The Best Notebooks for Fountain Pens - 2021 Reviews

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Cover Image: The Best Notebooks for Fountain Pens

When you want to use your fountain pen, it isn’t always as simple as grabbing the first paper you see to write on. Choosing a quality notebook that is specifically designed to handle your fountain pen is a must. In this article, we’ll walk you through making a good selection so you can have an optimal writing experience.

So you have just begun your journey with switching to fountain pens. You have already ordered or received your new pen, some ink, and a converter and can’t wait to start writing. But have you also ordered a notebook that will help you have the best writing experience with your shiny new pen? Whether you are a complete beginner to fountain pens or you already have a huge collection, this guide will be helpful for you.

Sadly, most typical printer paper isn’t suitable for handling the ink or nib that comes with your fountain pen. It can feather, smear, or bleed through the sheet. This type of paper isn’t as bright, is not as smooth, and just isn’t as nice for writing. That’s why we have put together this list of the best notebooks for fountain pens on the market today.

Comparison Table

2020 Breeze A5 Notebook with Tomoe River Paper
  • Pearl foil stamped new cover design
  • 183 numbered pages of Tomoe River 68gsm white paper
  • Soft cover thread bound journal
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160 Pages- Tomoe River Cream Midori
  • 160 pages TOMOE RIVER CREAM paper (52 gsm)
  • Made to order Traveler's Notebooks Inserts
  • Available in 12 vibrant COLOURS
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Leuchtturm1917 Hardcover Notebook
  • 249 numbered pages
  • Acid-free and ink proof paper
  • Stickers for labeling and archiving
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Rhodia Classic Ice Top Staplebound Notepad
  • Includes 80 pages
  • Measures 6 by 8.25 inches
  • Paper is pH neutral and acid-free
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Apica Premium C.D. Notebook
  • 96 Sheets
  • Notebook - A5 - 7 mm Rule
  • Dimensions 5.8 x 0.4 x 4.1 inches
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Seven Seas Standard Tomoe River Journal
  • Sewn Binding
  • 480 pages, 240 sheets
  • Blank pages - no lines
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Clairefontaine Clothbound Notebook
  • Clothbound notebook
  • Grained paper cover
  • 99 sheets of lined white paper
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The Best Notebooks for Fountain Pens

  1. Leuchtturm1917 Hardcover Notebook
  2. Rhodia Classic Ice Top Staplebound Notepad
  3. Apica Premium C.D. Notebook
  4. Seven Seas Standard Tomoe River Journal
  5. Clairefontaine Clothbound Notebook

Each of the notebooks on this list was chosen for its price, quality, and overall writing experience provided when paired with a fountain pen. Any of them would be a worthy selection but each has its own unique qualities, as you will soon learn.

Leuchtturm1917 Hardcover Notebook


For those who are into staying very organized with work, school, or just life in general, the Leuchtturm 1917 is ideal. Its empty table of contents page and numbered pages in each book help you keep track of your place in the pad and your schedule. This is a new way to level up in your planning skills.

“The range of colours for these notebooks is really impressive and has to be a big selling point for Leuchtturm1917,” said Jenny at The Finer Point. “I have used a number of these notebooks over the years and each time I have bought a different colour.”

The journal comes with a sticker set for the spine and cover that will let you clearly archive and label the pages’ contents. The notepad consists of high-quality, 70-gsm pages that enable roller balls and fountain pens to be used with absolutely zero bleeding. The notebook also comes with two bookmarks for easily finding your place later. Note that although it may look like it from the photos online, you can’t tear all the pages out along a perforated line, only a few select pages.

The dot grid, numbering system, and quality of the journal’s paper is perfect for taking your organization to new heights. You are guaranteed to have an easier time with your schedule after this. The book itself is a great size for throwing into your bag easily and makes a perfect beginner’s dot grid journal.

The Leuchtturm 1917’s pages are off-white and have a light gray ruling. In other notebooks, the grid pattern can be too overbearing but with this one, it’s dark enough to be visible but light enough not to be off-putting.

The quality of the paper is great, as well. Test out various pencils and pens and you will find that the pages handle most with ease. This includes fountain pens, of course, along with ordinary pencils, colored brush pens, gel pens, and drawing pens. Note that with wetter inks or broader nibs, some show-through may occur but with finer nibs, there’s no issue at all. You will need to do some experimenting to find your ideal choice.

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**Also read our post on the best bullet journal pens here**.

Rhodia Classic Ice Top Staplebound Notepad

Rhodia Classic Ice Top Staplebound Notepad

For a 6 by 8.25-inch notebook with grid paper, this Rhodia Classic Notepad is another suitable option for fountain pen lovers. When you use it with a high-quality pen, you will notice a huge difference in your writing experience, overall.

“Why is Rhodia so good? It provides the best writing performance for the price,” said Brad at The Pen Addict. “The paper is ridiculously smooth and will make even your worst pens feel and perform better. Yes, the right paper can actually make your pens write better.”

It works great with gel pens in addition to fountain pens and doesn’t require as much effort to write in as a cheaper notepad does.

This is the benefit of choosing high-quality paper and once you make the switch, you’ll never want to go back. You will get bold, crisp, and consistent lines each and every time. The paper isn’t too thin or too heavy and comes with subtle lines instead of ruling that is too wide or intrusive.

This notebook’s cover will easily fold into place, staying put instead of getting in your way when you write. Although the book is staple-bound, you won’t even notice that the staples are there. Overall, the quality, colors, and size of this notebook make it an enjoyable and refined piece of stationery to use in your office or home.

Keep in mind that if you prefer textured paper or are just used to cheaper paper, you might find the pages in this pad a bit too smooth. It has hardly any texture at all and your ink might smudge if not allowed enough time to dry.

The pages are just flexible enough, won’t cause bleeding, and the book itself is sturdy enough to remain intact even when you flip over the cover. If you’ve never used a notebook like this, it may require a small adjustment period.

As a bonus, the book comes with plenty of pages to write on. Not only is it the perfect companion with fountain pens, but it’s very aesthetically appealing and makes a great gift for that reason. Just touch the fine paper and you’ll instantly be able to tell that this is a high-quality journal.

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Apica Premium C.D. Notebook

Apica Premium C.D. Notebook

Another classy and reliable option, the Apica Premium C.D. Notebook comes with 96 sheets of smooth paper and 7mm rule.

Once you feel the surface of this paper, you’ll be very excited to use your fountain pen on it. Not only is it perfect for a wide variety of nibs and ink types, but it also handles other types of pens easily.

“Once I cracked the notebook open and ran my finger across the paper I was shocked by how incredibly smooth it was,” said Office Supply Geek. ”I’ve felt the smooth paper in notebooks before, but the paper in this Apica Premium CD Notebook is in a league of its own when it comes to smoothness.”

Your pen will easily glide over this surface without any toothy feeling or friction. Some types of ink may require more time to dry than others, so make sure you take your time and do some testing with various kinds. But even wet ink won’t show through, bleed, or feather much at all.

Although other brands and products use the word “premium” pretty often, this Apica Premium notebook deserves to use it for this product as it really is among the best available. Quality materials and construction, along with great paper and a beautiful design, make this a top tier notepad for your fountain pens.

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Seven Seas Standard Tomoe River Journal

Seven Seas Standard Tomoe River Journal

Those who love writing on cream-colored paper instead of bright white pages will love this next option. The Seven Seas Tomoe River Journal comes with 480 blank sheets of premium, 7mm-ruled paper.

“The construction of the book is top notch, utilizing thread binding typically seen on more expensive and mass-produced books,” said Ed Jelley. “The binding not only adds extra durability but allows the book to lay flat without damaging the spine. The corners are rounded off just slightly so they don’t get bent up and destroyed.”

The color of this paper is complimentary for most fountain pens on the market and is easy on your eyes. Users will be happy to know that the 7mm rule works well with different types of handwriting. Unlike some other notebooks, the ruling is proportionate to the notebook’s size and looks very balanced.

Closely looking at the line will reveal that they are composed of many closely packed, tiny dots instead of solid lines, giving the lines a fainter appearance. This unobtrusive ruling style allows your writing to stand out more. Most users will find that it’s hard not to love this notebook as the paper is a great size, comes with perfect ruling, and the pad itself has an all-around amazing construction.

When you order this notepad, it comes beautifully decorated and packaged, so keep that in mind if you have a fountain pen-loving friend in your life who needs a gift. For a notebook, it’s not cheap, but the quality makes it worth the extra money. In addition, it comes with a lot more pages than other competitor’s products.

The paper included inside is impossibly light and thin for how well it handles most fountain pen nibs. Note that since it’s thinner than others you may notice some ghosting but that feathering won’t be an issue.

Though the drying time for ink is longer than more textured papers, you will soon get accustomed to letting it dry as you write. You will also find blotter paper inside for those times that you’re in a hurry and need to jot something down and then immediately close the notepad. The paper is fun to write on and will be among the smoothest you’ve ever tried.

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Clairefontaine Clothbound Notebook

Clairefontaine Clothbound Notebook Green A5

Are you into more classic styles rather than entirely modern options? For this 1951 collection of notepads, Clairefontaine has introduced its original covers again.

The Clairefontaine Clothbound Notebook has a front label and grained paper cover which lends it a vintage feel and look. The A5-sized pad comes with 96 pages of ruled, 90g, white paper and a satin finish for a smooth writing experience.

“The notebook is staple-bound, but quite thick and substantial, with a slightly squared-off spine,” said Notebook Stories. “It’s much sturdier than a Field Notes or Moleskine Cahier. And of course, as always, the Clairefontaine paper is  a pleasure to write on with pretty much any pen.”

Fountain pens themselves are a throwback to an older era, so those who enjoy using them, for this reason, will like the vintage design of this collection. It may even remind you of your school days and give you a touch of nostalgia. This journal is the perfect companion for your wide variety of fountain pens and inks.

The book is 5.75 by 8.25 inches in size, making it ideal for everyday journaling needs or taking quick notes. Made in France, this notebook comes with acid-free, pH neutral paper. It can be hard to find a journal suitable for fountain pens that doesn’t let ink bleed through the pages, but even with wetter fountain pens, this is up to the task.

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Four Reasons to Switch to Fountain Pens

Maybe you’re still undecided about whether you like fountain pens better than more traditional options, or just need more reasons to love your current fountain pen. For some users, the fountain pen-writing experience dates back to grade school, calling to mind smudged writing and ink-stained hands.

As the digital age has closed in, a trend of going back to traditional writing styles has come about. This has made handwriting more of a fun option than a necessary obligation or chore. For this reason, many have decided to revisit pen and ink. Here are some of the best reasons why:

  • As a Statement of your Lifestyle: Since fountain pens aren’t the traditional choice for writing instruments anymore these days, they are now considered fancy accessories. Pulling out one of these at your next meeting, instead of a disposable pen, will be sure to turn heads. With text and email becoming the main tools of communication, fountain pens are a statement of preference for the old-fashioned and a sign that you do things with care and precision. At work, it can show others that you truly care about what you do. Important business men use fountain pens, not Bic pens.
  • For an Expressive and Luxurious Writing Experience: Writing with a high-quality pen on great paper is one of the greatest pleasures of life, according to many. The ink will glide over paper effortlessly, requiring less pressure and creating beautiful strokes every time. In addition, you can get a better, more unique style of writing as you adjust your choice of pen angle, nib, and ink. When writing is a more enjoyable experience, you’ll find yourself looking forward to doing it more.
  • To get Years of Use and Reliability: Ballpoint pens are considered disposable and most of us can’t even manage to hold onto or keep track of them because they aren’t important to us. For most, ballpoint pens are thrown away again and again. A fountain pen, however, will last you for years if you take good care of it and may even get better over time.
  • It makes your Handwriting better: Fountain pens tend to make users write more clearly and slower. When you use high-quality equipment instead of disposable pens that break easily, it impacts your attitude toward what you write. When your instrument is something to be proud of, you will take more pride in what it produces, as well.

Fountain pens are from an older, simpler time. Slowing down and taking your time writing on actual paper with a nice pen is a tactile, relaxing process and the opposite of text and email. Get yourself some quality paper and when you dip your pen in ink and put it to the page, you will feel a real difference.