Monday, August 25, 2008

Review: Quo Vadis Habana

Notebook: Habana (5 stars, your pens are going to waste if they aren't being used in this notebook)
Manufacturer: Quo Vadis
Where: The Daily Planner
WTF: A soft cover, yet hard backed, ruled journal with amazing paper.
The Habana Review Set on Flickr
A full list of features can be found on the Quo Vadis webpage

In short? If you own any fine tipped pen (.4 or less) the paper in this notebook will make them feel like whole new pens. Any disgruntlement you've had with the .18 Signos will be resolved.

I've been a fan of notebooks and fine tipped pens for a long time, but the two have never quite met eye to eye before. The fine tipped pens, particularly the .18 Signo Bits, bite into paper and make writing difficult. However, the paper in the Habana makes me want to buy the multi-pack of .18s. I wrote an entire page with a .18 pen and it was smooth the entire way. I honestly wouldn't feel a difference between the .18 and the .38 Signo Bits. I felt that I could really write for the first time with that pen.

The Frixion are also another Habana win. The Moleskine paper buckles and shreds under the Frixion eraser, but the Habana paper showed no sign of it.

The paper was also very resistant to bleed through, and worked like magic with my fountain pens. As seen here, I drew three slow strokes each on the Moleskine and Habana. (Click on the picture to see it bigger on Flickr). The thicker and smoother paper of the Habana didn't allow the ink to feather and there was absolutely NO bleed through like you can see here in my moleskine.

The cover material is soft, but reinforced. This combination produces a cover that avoids floppyness (a major negative of the giant softcover moleskine), yet still feels supple. The cover moves freely with the spine when opened, and the notebook easily stays open on its own. The pages feel smooth and solid. The ruling is up to debate, and is a matter of personal preference. Personally, I like the title area on the top and bottom, and I'm undecided about the wide ruling. The only thing missing is the ability to fold the cover backwards, but that feature is in no way a priority.

The Habana just feels better to use than any of my Moleskines. Using one is a very enjoyable tactile experience from cover to cover. You will love to use it, and you will find all of your pens will feel better to use. I've used Quo Vadis planners before, and this paper quality is something you can find in all their products. Check out their HUGE selection of planners here. I'm serious, no matter what niche type of planner you need, they have it. If they don't? Let them know at the Quo Vadis Blog.

You NEED this notebook if... own pens that are .4 or below

Buy if... enjoy the feel of fine paper want a notebook that makes you feel good when you pull it out of your bag need strong paper for erasing, or heavy inks

Don't buy if... have a strange complex about title spaces enjoy the cold feeling of Moleskine hard covers


Speedmaster said...

Great review, nice work! ;-)

Biffybeans said...

Nice review!A

s an FYI, there are varying Habanas being produced. See here:

RubyE said...

There is nothing like good paper beautifully bound! Although quite a few stores carry Quo Vadis planners, I like to patronize my little local stationery store, rock paper scissors, because the owner is so nice (and has fantastic taste).