The Fountain Pen Test - Story Supply Co Notebooks

by Dan Smith

As lovers of all things stationery, we use a wide range of paper types and different pens all the time. However, more often than not - as you might suspect! - when we need something to write on, the one piece of paper we have on us at the time is a pocket notebook. And depending on which one of us you ask (and on what day!), you'll get a different answer when it comes to what we're actually using to write with in our notebooks.

An interesting aspect, our everyday carry (EDC) pen really does range, from your trust ballpoint, to an enjoyable rollerball, through to a particularly comfortable fountain pen. And it's the latter we're going to be focusing on here (and moving forward...:)).

Here at Pocket Notebooks, we believe a notebook and a fountain pen go together like a Hobonichi Techo + washi tape. But to help our customers decide how well they really do go together, we've decided to test all our notebooks and rate them for fountain pen friendliness.

And to help us out, we've enlisted the brilliance of Mr Robbie Ross!

If you're active in the stationery circle on social media, you may very well know Robbie (you can find him on Twitter here if not). He's a huge stationery geek and a lover of fountain pens (and if his recent updates are to be believed, a Star Wars obsessive), so it made complete sense to have Robbie do what he likes best - writing in notebooks using a fountain pen!

Wanting to ensure these posts really are of use to our entire audience, you'll find a link to the relevant blog post on each of our pocket notebook pages as soon as Robbie has produced his review of how well the notebook's paper handles fountain pen ink.

So on that note, let me introduce to you, the one and only Billy Shears Robbie Ross!


Being a huge fountain pen fan, for the reviews I've chosen to use a Kaweco Skyline Classic Sport fountain pen with a fine nib.

Why this pen? First of all, I think it is a great all-round fountain pen, and at only £17.99, it is very reasonably priced for the quality. What's more, it is also the perfect size for an EDC fountain pen to go with a pocket notebook.

To kick things off in terms of notebooks, I'm going to start with one of my favourites from Story Supply Co.

Story Supply Co.'s Fountain Pen Test

A photo of the standard Story Supply Co notebook

Now a lot has been written about how good these notebooks are. In fact, Ana over at the Well Appointed Desk has just written an excellent review of them including lots of pen ink tests.

I first came across them when I backed their Kickstarter to bring their pocket staple notebook to the world. I was attracted to them because I loved their ethos that every child has a story in them. As such, every time you buy a notebook or pack of notebooks from Story Supply Co., they will donate a supply kit - including notebooks and writing tools - to children who are enrolled in free tutoring, writing and arts programs. What a fantastic thing to do, right?

If you're yet to sample them for yourself, the notebooks have a beautiful, simple design. That dark blue cover looks great and for me, it will only look better as the notebook wears in.

Ink Test

You can see in my photographs below an ink test on the Story Supply Co. pocket staple notebook. As mentioned, I was using a Kaweco Skyline Classic Sport fountain pen with a fine nib, and I opted for some Mont Blanc Midnight Blue ink.

Ink on a page of the Story Supply Co notebook for an 'ink test'

The pen moves smoothly across the paper and the ink flows nicely. There is hardly any bleed through onto the page behind, however there is some ghosting on the text (and that’s when using a fine fountain pen nib).

A close up of ink on a page of the Story Supply Co notebook for an 'ink test'

Ink Drying Time

One thing that I was really impressed with was how quickly the ink dried. I was going to do an incremental drying test up to 10 seconds, but once I had got to 3 seconds there was no smudging.

Ink on a page of the Story Supply Co notebook for an 'ink drying test'


Apart from some ghosting, the Story Supply Co. notebook is great to write on with a fountain pen. With little bleed through, you can easily use both sides of the paper and as the drying test shows, there is no risk of your hard work being ruined by a stray swipe of your finger.

The focus of these reviews is to provide a succinct overview of how the relevant notebooks perform with fountain pen ink. As such, we're not going hugely in-depth with regard to the notebook, but if you have any questions here, or something you'd specifically like me to cover in future reviews, do just let me or the guys at Pocket Notebooks know!