Ever wanted a nice, thick notebook of good quality, but don't have enough money to splurge on a Moleskine journal? If you're in the market for a good quality notebook that won't break your wallet, then Copelle's dot grid notebooks might just do the trick for you.
Copelle notebooks have nice, hard board covers. If you get the brown-colored covers, you can even decorate them with your own doodles. The most striking feature about this notebook is its thickness. The Copelle Dot Grid notebook contains around 100 leaves, meaning you get a total of at least 200 pages if you write on both sides of the paper. The dot grids themselves are quite subtle, giving you enough of a guide while not getting too in-your-face like full grid notebooks do. It works great for writing down notes in text, ensuring your sentences stay aligned but without full lines distracting you from the content. The dot grid is also perfect for designers who need to draw symmetrical thumbnails and elements, which is hard to pull off on completely blank sketchbook pages. It's also fantastic for practicing calligraphy with nib pens.
Copelle's dot grid notebook comes with a wide elastic band, which keeps the pages together quite well. However, you need to fold the elastic at the back for the notebook to lay level on a desk. The pages feel nice and smooth, and have a good weight to them. They aren’t as thick as Moleskine’s blank sketchbooks for artists, but they are relatively thicker than the cream pages that come with National Bookstore’s other Venzi notebooks. Copelle comes with 120gsm wood-free paper. Depending on the type of pen you are using, most ballpoint inks don’t bleed through, which means you can write back-to-back without worrying about your notes getting ruined by prior scribbles. However, if you tend to use gel pens or fountain pens, expect some ink to show through. Luckily, it usually doesn’t reach the page beneath it. You could also use watercolors with it, provided you don’t smother the page in too much water.
The last pages of the notebook are perforated. These would work great for giving people your contact info should you have forgotten to bring a calling card. You could also use them to hand off some important information without ripping out one of your precious dot grid pages.
However, one minor complaint I have with this notebook is that after keeping it laid flat open for a while, the binding glue seems to come undone. Luckily, the pages are sewn together, so the notebook isn’t falling apart. I’m unsure as to whether the glue issue is only because I got a bad batch of notebooks, but I did buy the A6 and A5 notebooks at two different branches and time periods. Both exhibited the same problem.
If you’re planning to bring this notebook around to jot things down on-the-go, take note that it can get quite heavy. It’s not obvious when you’re carrying only the notebook with you, but when you chuck it into a schoolbag filled with lots of other items, the added weight is quite significant. Even the small one adds a lot of weight for people who are planning to carry it around in their purses. If you primarily commute and/or are prone to neck or back pain, I would advise that
you choose a thinner, lighter notebook for your spontaneous thoughts.
Otherwise, it still makes for a nice journal or idea book to keep on
your desk at home.
One of the best things about the Copelle dot grid notebook is its affordability. Compared to Moleskines and MUJI’s own line of dot grid notebooks, Copelle is so affordable that you won’t be afraid to experiment within the pages for fear of ruining an expensive journal. Copelle’s thick dot grid notebooks are available at most National Bookstore branches. The A6 pocket-size versions, which come in black and brown, sell for around 175 pesos. The larger sizes will run you around 350 pesos. I would highly recommend it for artists or writers who want to have lots of great quality pages in exchange for their hard-earned money and don't mind bringing something a bit heavy around with them.