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Thread: REVIEW: WILLIAM HANNAH NOTEBOOKS

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    Senior Member DrPenfection's Avatar
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    Default REVIEW: WILLIAM HANNAH NOTEBOOKS


    I often wonder if I really have anything constructive or creative to say that hasn’t already been said when I write a review. I am a rather conservative person. Before I purchase an item, I have taken time to read all the reviews I can find and spend some time considering how I will use the item. If I do purchase an item “on a whim”, it is generally one that I have considered for some time, or a brand that I am very familiar with. And thus, the item I am reviewing is already well-known and, likely, well-reviewed by many others.

    Yet, an item comes along every now and again that is worthy of further comment. Such is the case with William Hannah notebooks.

    I own a consulting practice and have a number of clients. Over the past few years, I have been using a separate bound notebook for each client. The notebook would include meeting notes, project notes and anything else related to that client. Current notebooks were kept on a bookshelf in my office, and archived notebooks which contain past projects and/or clients were stored in boxes in the attic. I was satisfied with this system until I ran out of room to store the archived notebooks. After consulting with our attorneys, I then started tearing apart the bound notebooks, scanning the contents, then shredding the paper – which takes some time. And there is something unsettling about ripping apart a bound notebook. As I was doing this, I realized that I needed to modify my system.

    That is when I began to seriously consider other options. Years before, I used a binder and notebook paper system. But I could never find quality notebook paper. The same held true for spiral bound notebooks. I had tried other “ring-bound” systems and liked the versatility, but felt that they were rather flimsy, especially if there was only a small amount of paper in them. And I was never quite satisfied with the paper.

    I had heard about William Hannah notebooks from a fellow fountain pen aficionado. I liked the fact that William Hannah is a small, family run business. And it seemed like a nice notebook, but they seemed expensive. After watching a few YouTube reviews and checking out a few more blogs, I decided to give one a try.

    The notebooks come in either A5 or A6 sizes. There is also a small notebook variety that many use to supplement their larger size.

    I ordered an A5 notebook in the standard Whiskey and Kingfisher color. The notebook comes with 60 pages of paper in either plain, or you can choose lined or dot grid with the lines/dots in a host of colors. I also ordered a few other accessories and more paper.


    The package arrived within a week (from the UK to the western side of the US), expertly packed. I was really impressed with just the packaging. But when I opened the box that held the notebook, I fell in love with the smooth leather, the stitching and other details. I was very impressed with the ring system. The rings are attached to a rod that is attached to the inside of the leather notebook. This adds a fair amount of stability to the entire notebook, whether partially or completely full.

    I immediately set up the notebook for a project notebook for multiple clients. I was surprised how easily the pages slipped into the rings and how easily they moved in the notebook.

    Over the next couple of weeks, I used the notebook constantly and began to wonder how I ever got along without it. Adding pages and moving the pages around has been very helpful. And when a project was completed, I merely take the pages out of the notebook, scan them to a secure drive, then shred the pages. Not only has this helped control the paper clutter, but it has also helped me keep my client information even more secure.

    The paper, however, has completely sold me on this system. I confess I am a paper snob. I have used dozens of different papers and utilized Tomoe River notebooks for years. I used Clairfontaine, Rhodia, Stalogy, Kokoyo, Cosmo Air Light, Bank paper, etc., but I had always gone back to Tomoe River… until I started using the William Hannah paper. The paper is much heavier (around 110gsm) which means there is no ghosting but is incredibly smooth and shows off all of my inks to their finest.


    I did a review on various papers, including William Hannah paper here:

    https://fpgeeks.com/forum/showthread...-KOKUYO-RHODIA

    Since this time, I have purchased a second notebook to use as my planner. I purchased the black and crimson colorway and love the accent stitching. I also purchased the planner pages and a number of other pages. I am even more impressed and appreciate how the planner has been very helpful.


    I also purchased matching pen elastic straps for both notebooks. While I don’t use the pen holders very much, I do appreciate the elastic straps keeping the notebook together when I toss them in my travel bag.

    Recently, someone asked me whether I had purchased a hole punch in order to put other kinds of paper in the notebook. Yes, I had purchased a hole punch from Staples for their ARC system. The punch works perfectly for the William Hannah notebook. I had purchased the punch for those few times when I need to add a specific sheet and map to my notebook. But for all other writing, I stick to the William Hannah paper.

    Overall, the William Hannah notebooks and accompanying paper are superior products. They look very professional and are very functional. I highly recommend them.

    Note: This is an independent review. I purchased these notebooks myself.

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    Senior Member mizgeorge's Avatar
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    Default Re: REVIEW: WILLIAM HANNAH NOTEBOOKS

    I have to confess that I bought some of the William Hannah paper on the strength of DrPenfection's earlier recommendation, and I am hugely impressed with it. I'm actually using it for swatching, and prefer it to anything else I currently have. As she also mentions, the company is an absolute pleasure to deal with, and I wouldn't hesitate to add my recommendation to those above.

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    Chrissy (January 5th, 2023), DrPenfection (January 5th, 2023), PithyProlix (January 5th, 2023), Yazeh (January 4th, 2023)

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    Senior Member RobJohnson's Avatar
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    Default Re: REVIEW: WILLIAM HANNAH NOTEBOOKS

    I have seen the company attend every pen show, they have certainly paid their dues in terms of research in the community. I haven't bought their products because I have followed the same procedure that Dr Pen used to follow, keeping a casebound notebook for each project, with dated and numbered pages and secure storage. I keep the same brand and size of notebook for professional work.

    The reason for doing this was on legal advice following a court action in which the subject matter of a meeting was disputed. I was asked to provide contemporaneous evidence of what was said and could give a handwritten account within a notebook with a dated page. The judge said that he would not have accepted anything else, including scanned documents, loose sheets and especially any computer records as all could have been faked. This was his opinion, not mine, although as it was his court and he had considerably more power than I did, I thought I should take note - quite literally.

    This was a great review Dr Pen and I am an admirer of the quality of the William Hannah system, it isn't a system that works for everyone but if you have a need for a ring bound paper storage record in a high quality folder then I cannot think of anything better.

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    DrPenfection (January 5th, 2023)

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    Senior Member DrPenfection's Avatar
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    Default Re: REVIEW: WILLIAM HANNAH NOTEBOOKS

    Quote Originally Posted by RobJohnson View Post
    I have seen the company attend every pen show, they have certainly paid their dues in terms of research in the community. I haven't bought their products because I have followed the same procedure that Dr Pen used to follow, keeping a casebound notebook for each project, with dated and numbered pages and secure storage. I keep the same brand and size of notebook for professional work.

    The reason for doing this was on legal advice following a court action in which the subject matter of a meeting was disputed. I was asked to provide contemporaneous evidence of what was said and could give a handwritten account within a notebook with a dated page. The judge said that he would not have accepted anything else, including scanned documents, loose sheets and especially any computer records as all could have been faked. This was his opinion, not mine, although as it was his court and he had considerably more power than I did, I thought I should take note - quite literally.

    This was a great review Dr Pen and I am an admirer of the quality of the William Hannah system, it isn't a system that works for everyone but if you have a need for a ring bound paper storage record in a high quality folder then I cannot think of anything better.
    Thank you so much for your comments, which are excellent.

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    RobJohnson (January 6th, 2023)

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    Senior Member Yazeh's Avatar
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    Default Re: REVIEW: WILLIAM HANNAH NOTEBOOKS

    Thank you Dr. P for such a great review. I enjoyed reading it and one day, I hope to get one. I like the fact that the paper can be removed and disposed of easily. And find the covers quite tasteful....

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    DrPenfection (January 8th, 2023)

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