Made For Ink Notebooks

A Review

Made For Ink notebooks are made by Rob de la Porte and are, as the name suggests, made for ink. You’ll have noticed the lack of my usual pithy title for this review. It seemed unnecessary, since, to borrow a well-known phrase, “it does what it says on the tin”.

Rob kindly sent me a selection of notebooks with various rulings for review. I absolutely love them! There were also some entertaining, albeit eye-wateringly fluorescent green stickers with some entertaining images.

First impressions

Beautifully wrapped in branded paper, these notebooks are full of surprises. The A5 “Chalk Stripe” set have a navy chalk stripe cover and come in lined, dotted or plain rulings. Inside, there is a loose adhesive label, so that you can identify your notebook. The inside covers are different colours, depending on the ruling. The plain is a fairly mundane beige, while the dot and lined are sky blue and orange respectively, giving the effect of a respectably suited banker wearing rebelliously bright underwear.

On closer examination, even the rulings are slightly off the wall, with the ruled lines being made up of closely spaced dots, rather than solid lines. Perhaps the message here is to write quickly, i.e., tear along the dotted line. I am altogether too fond of the subversive not to be amused by this.

The “Exorcise Books” are something else again. At first glance, they appear to be ordinary school exercise books, with a black bordered title section on the front cover to write in your name, class and subject*.  The rulings are the same as the A5 notebooks with the addition of a squared ruling, for your Maths homework.

*Ah, I still have many such books from my school days.

Now comes the subversive element. The covers bear different esoteric woodcuts on the inside front, with a detailed explanation on the inside back cover. For example, the plain ruled book features the cover ofJohn Dee’s Monas Hieroglyphica, with the back cover sharing some very interesting facts about the man himself. Did you know that he signed off his correspondence to the Queen with “007”, which signified “For Your Eyes Only”? Other woodcuts feature witchcraft, the Witchfinder General and the Malleus Maleficarum. I so wish these had been around when I was at school – the horror on the nuns’ faces would have made me laugh like a drain!

Writing Experience

As you might expect from notebooks branded “Made for Ink” these are indeed made for use with ink and fountain pens. The paper is smooth and of good quality.

The Chalk Stripe notebooks boast 40 pages of 120gsm white paper. Writing with a wet, Broad nib, there is no feathering at all. Neither is there any bleeding. The pen glides smoothly across the paper and it is a delight to write on.

However, there is some slight ghosting, though not such that it would interfere with normal everyday use.

The Exorcise books have 60 pages of 100gsm white paper and are just as nice to write in. I even did some Maths in the grid book!

Well, it’s been a while!

Again, there is no feathering or bleed through, though there is some ghosting evident particularly with the fatter, wetter nib. Not enough to cause me any concern, though I probably wouldn’t do any ink drawings on this paper.

I was careful not to write in Latin, so as to avoid summoning any demons…oh, wait!  Tries to avoid eye contact with newly materialised and somewhat perplexed demon standing in the corner.

In Summary

I love these notebooks! The Exorcise books tickled me hugely and I am actively looking for reasons to use them. Most of my pens have Fine nibs and so I\m not overly concerned about the ghosting. They are slim enough to be a convenient carry, slipped into a pocket of your bag. I have one earmarked for my Inkvent calendar scribblings in December and will be scribbling my responses to November’s #fountainpenchallenge prompts in another.

I may save one specifically for magical workings. The demon has developed a fascination with the hoover and is currently vacuuming the dog!

  • Made for ink
  • Delightfully smooth to write on
  • Entertainingly subversive
  • Convenient EDC
  • Some slight ghosting
Who is it for
  • Everyday scribblers
  • Fountain pen enthusiasts.
  • Demon summoners
The lowdown

Rob’s notebooks can be bought from his website made The Chalk Stripe notebooks will set you back £7.95 each and the Exorcise Books a mere £6.95.  They are slim and convenient enough to slip into a bag pocket for everyday use.


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