Size Well A

by Scribble Monboddo

Spring is here again, and with it the urge to indulge in spring cleaning - or at the very least a sharp reminder to look like you're interested in some semblance of tidiness. That kind, long-suffering person you share a home with deserves a bit of effort to manage the chaos, to be fair. If you're anything like Nero's chums, you'll find a pile of notebooks when you do so; some full of notes, some part-way through use, and maybe one or two which you forgot buying. Don't worry, you're in good company.

One rather handy way to get on top of the towering piles of produce is to pick the format that works for you and, by and large, stick to it. Some manufacturers seek to lead us astray with odd proprietary formats, but if you want to get organised a standard shape does the job nicely. Two standard shapes work very well for your loyal correspondent; Pocket Size and A5.

Pocket Size isn't really a formal international standard at all, but it has become terribly popular nonetheless. 90 x 140mm turns out to be just right for most jacket pockets, and there's a wide range of very nice pocket notebook holders of this size too. US graphite enthusiasts Field Notes have to take a good deal of the credit for popularising the format, and if you really want to get organised their archive box is just the ticket. Unfortunately Nero's out of stock at the moment, but hope springs eternal (geddit?).

For a genuinely international standard, A5 takes a lot of beating. Most office kit is prepared for A4, but that's exactly two pieces of A5 - so it fits in easily everywhere. There's loads of choice - Clairefontaine is a good brand to start with - and some very nice notebook holders indeed, like this one from Lochby. Better still, when opened it fits perfectly on those little tray tables in planes and trains, so you can record your exotic explorations when spring is through and it's time for a summer holiday. Maybe we'd better let Amanda tell you about Size Well B...