The fellas at Nock Co were kind enough to send me over a pack of their DotDash Pocket Notebooks awhile back and I'm finally getting the chance to write down some thoughts.
Get out the sunglasses as the first thing you'll notice about these particular pocket notebooks is the cover. A bright and shining yellow that is sure to catch the attention of those around you and possibly low flying aircraft. In my opinion, this is fun. I'm not generally the type to buy overly bright objects (I'm sort of a grey, blue, black... boring type of guy), but these were a really nice surprise. When I buy or receive products, I sometimes think to myself what color choice I would have made if I was the creator and I know that yellow wouldn't be it, but that's why having so much creative diversity in the world is important. If left up to me, things would be pretty neutral all around.
That being said, just know that they are yellow and if yellow may not jive well with your conservative aesthetic, then consider yourself informed.
The guys have also taken a slightly different approach to your average pocket notebook by choosing a top staple design (like a little reporter notebook almost). By shortening the amount of stapled edge by almost half, it provides the flexibility of using the book in both a portrait or landscape format much easier.
When I hold a Field Notes or Doane Paper Utility Notebook I never think to turn it on it's side to write. With the the Nock books, I could totally see myself doing this if I needed to sketch a quick design or drawing. I'm sure it is all psychological on my part, but I feel this removes some of those boundaries.
How is the performance? Good overall for most everyday writing. I've put down to the page a variety of different pens/pencils and have some thoughts to share on each.
The paper is 50lb which holds up well and is printed with the Nock DotDash pattern in grey.
I found some of the best result with micro gel pens like the Uni-ball Signo DX. The lines were crisp and there was no bleed through.
I've only used one fountain pen with the book, my Pilot M90 with an F nib (inked with Pilot Blue/Black) and found that it didn't really maintain the line width very well. Not a ton of major feathering, but it sucked up a lot of ink and bled a bit through the page. Broader fountain pens would probably be a no-no.
I used two rollerball pens, the Schimdt Cap-less (like found in Retro 51 Tornados) and the Uni-ball Vision Elite and these also tended to bleed through pretty heavily and onto the next page with the Schmidt.
My conclusion would probably be to try and stick with ballpoints, gels, or use with pencils (maybe really fine and drier fountain pens...maybe) for the best possible experience.
From a price point, they are on par with other pocket books out there at $9 for a 3-pack.
I really enjoy these books from a utility standpoint. The highlight to me was the ability to easily choose the landscape vs portrait option with the simplicity of top staple binding. A seemingly small thing, but something that stood out.
Thanks again to Nock Co for sending these over! Check out their website for more info and to pick up a pack if you feel these bright beauties will fit your fancy.