I am old-school at heart. Sure, I learn things from time to time; how to use a new phone, VR technology, how to get thrown out of a post office, reading a book on a tablet; I can do new things. Still, I am mostly a slave to my old-school-ness. I never use the back-up camera in cars, I refuse to learn how to use a smart watch and I will always reach for the pen in my pocket to jot down a reminder over using a note-taking app on my phone.
I know pen and paper. I'm used to it, it works and it reminds me a simpler time, before screens dominated everything. It's a comfortable medium and I was sure I wouldn't have to learn anything new about it. In short, I thought I had pushed pen and paper to the limit. I thought pen and paper was at it's zenith, a formula that couldn't possibly be improved upon.
How wrong I was.
Introducing the Ghost Paper Notebook, the next step in the evolution of, well, notebooks.
Claiming to "Combine the freedom of a blank page with the structure of lined pages", I knew I had to try it out. I reached out to the good people at Ghost Paper Notebooks and they sent me a few to review. Let's get to it.
The Look and the Feel:
Now, this is a nice looking notebook. The cover is faux leather, matte gray, soft and very pleasant to the touch. The front and back covers are bendy, but not floppy and the binding feels nice and tight. This is not a cheap notebook and you can tell as soon as you pick it up. The imprint of the word "ghost" on the front and the cursive "g" on the back are classy and understated in a good way, kind of like the difference between a small Nike swoosh on a pair of shoes vs a "JUST DO IT" T-shirt.
The Ghost Paper Notebook has 96 6X8 inch pages and the paper has a nice thickness to it, making flipping through the book a pleasant experience. There is a long ribbon attached to the binding that can be used as a bookmark, in addition to the elastic band that holds the book shut, and a small elastic ring to hold a pen. Even with my thicker pens, the elastic was able to stretch enough to accommodate them, while staying tight enough to hold smaller pencils and pens.
There is definitely something aesthetically pleasing about opening a completely blank page to write on. I kinda feel like kid with a big piece of construction paper. The lines on the paper are embossed/debossed instead of inked, meaning that every page appears to be blank with no guiding lines. In the light, you can clearly see the embossed and debossed lines in the pages and you can feel them when you run your hand across the page, kind of like braille.
Onto the big one; how does this thing actually perform as a notebook? Quite well, it turns out. The ghost lines guide your pen or pencil as you write across the page and it feels natural and fluid. I was apprehensive about the design of the "ghost lines", assuming that my pen or pencil would be bumping on the bottom line, jarring my pen as I wrote, but that isn't the case. When you are writing, you tend to lean a little closer to the page in general and the lines stand out well.
The heaviness of the paper feels good as you scratch across it with a pen. I especially enjoyed using my Pilot G2 .5 pen with this notebook. It felt like the more narrow the tip of the pen, the more pleasant it felt to write on the page. Pencils are especially enjoyable to write with on this notebook, and I caught myself switching back and forth between a mechanical pencil, a regular pencil and my G2, just for the pleasure of scrawling across the page.
The only slight I have against the notebook is the potential for bleed-through if you use a fountain pen or a pen that dispenses a lot of ink. You would never have this problem with a ballpoint pen and the ink from my thinnest G2 could barely be seen when you turn the page over. It isn't perfect; some of my heavier pens' ink could be seen through the back of the page. It wasn't terrible, but I wonder what a fountain pen would do to the backside of the page.
Where to Get One:
You can buy a Ghost Paper Notebook for $25 on their webpage, but this month they are celebrating my stellar review by offering a discount code. Enter DLHNET10 to save 20% via Amazon to receive a discount
Full Disclosure: I received a Ghost Paper Notebook for free for the purposes of this review, but received no compensation of any kind besides the notebook.