Word. Notebooks Dot Grid.

Back in November, Word. sent us a back of their new Dot Grid notebooks. And, hell, I feel badly that it took so long to review them — especially since I used one up right away.

So, usually, we conclude last. Today, at the start of a new year, we conclude first (which really challenges the definition of what a conclusion is, no?). Should you buy a set of these? Yes.

From what I can tell, we’ve got the same page and cover weight (see our 2013 review) as the usual Word. notebooks. This is a good thing. I love their paper, and they offer a chance to break out your Wopexen and really go to town. You don’t have to be ashamed to enjoy that odd, plastic beast. (Go here, and proclaim it even.)

Instead of the reminder/tracking/note system that I always ignore, there are 5 mm dots on the page. If you’re reading this far into a review on a pencil blog, you probably know what dot grid paper is for. You get the “blankness” of a plain page, with a gentler version of the rigid guides of graph paper.


That makes them great for the mean cartoons you’re working on, drawing maps to your favorite pencil shops and making lists of books to read in 2016.

I really like that the cover is also Dot-Gridded (can we make that a verb?). I often draw on my blankish Word. books, and this one was extra fun to mark up. My only gripe is that the dots themselves are a little too dark on the page for my liking. But I’ve recently used a notebook whose dots were faint enough to be essentially useless. I imagine this is a fine mark to hit, and I expect that if Word. hears that the dots are too dark enough times, the dots will get a little lighter. Of course, I could be off the mark, and folks might like them fine.


If I can dig up another gripe, it’s that I used these books up too quickly because they felt good in my pocket and made me want to draw a lot. But that’s really a plus.

Order yours directly from Word.

(Also, check our Gary’s more timely review on Papernery.)

Fury Pencils.

We watched the 2014 WWII film Fury last night at HQ. There were two scenes involving the critical use of pencils. I won’t spoil anything if you haven’t seen it yet. Both scenes involved planning. WarDaddy’s pocket notebook (above, left) looks like the 3.5 X 5.5 inch books we are used to. It’s hard to tell if it’s a modern brand, a reproduction or even genuine (as the tanks are).

This is Wardaddy’s map case, full of pencils. I have something similar that belonged to my father, from the last generation of canvas map cases. It holds a lot of pencils.

Wardaddy’s pencil looks like a charcoal or soft-core pencil with the factory sharpening, from the very round collar where the cone meets the barrel. I suggest charcoal because it looks like there is a matte carbon dust all over the wood.

Old Man has a paper-wrapped grease pencil in his two scenes. My dad (a veteran of Vietnam, not WWII) said this was standard for marking maps (and the windows of vehicles).

(I assume these screenshots fall under “fair use” rules.)

Early Autumn Notebooks.

While walking around one of my favorite shops (Trohv) on Labor Day, I spotted Word. notebooks on the table near Field Notes books. We reviewed Word. books a few months ago, and you’ll recall the I loved them. I’m sure lots of Comrades are waiting for the new fall Field Notes to come out. But I needed some notebooks! And this orange is far more…earthy and autumnal in person than it is in most of the photos I’ve seen online. Paired with one of these pencils, it’s an early autumn Pocket Notebook Combination to put one in mind of chai tea and reading Poe outside under a light blanket.

Speaking of Trohv, there is a release party for Scout Books and some local Baltimore-based artists this Friday night, before Saturday’s Hampdenfest. Assuming that The Infant and The Toddler are behaving themselves, I’m hoping to go. Are there other Charm City Comrades who might be there?

(Pencils: General’s Kimberly; General’s Cedar Pointe; Mitsu-bishi Hi-Uni — all HB. Also: Dig the Word. leaf and flower books! Hope they keep up making interesting new covers.)