Calepino Large Notebooks review and giveaway

Calepino cover letterpress

I am, it is safe to say, a huge fan of Calepino notebooks. They look great, the small sized ones are a good price, they’re durable and the paper is fantastic. I use them all time: for work, for a pocket book, to write down three-plus-one good things each day, to plan out my days and to sketch.

They are fab.

Calepino notebook contents

So I was rather excited to see this wonderful video of the making of a new range of large notebooks.

I was even more excited to be given a set of two lined large (“No. 5”) notebooks to try out. (Merci, Fabrice!) I won’t fully review them here. The pictures tell the story, I think. Suffice to say, everything I had to say about the pocket books applies here but with added amazingness (and added A5 size). The packaging is fantastic, the stitching beautiful and the letterpressed cover incredible.

Some details: the entire notebook is made from recycled materials and uses vegetable-based ink. The notebook uses A5 (13.5 x21cm) 90g paper.

Calepino notebook binding

Now my problem is this: they are such beautiful notebooks I don’t know what to do with them. I already have notebooks for journalling and for all of the tasks mentioned above. So this is where the competition comes in.

The Competition and Giveaway

In the comments, suggest what I should use one of these notebooks for. I will pick the best idea and use one of the notebooks for whatever it is. The person who made the winning suggestion will win the other notebook.

Calepino notebook packaging

The Rules

It’s open worldwide but I won’t be held responsible for customs charges or the notebook being lost in the post.

You can’t enter if you know me.

It has to be something I don’t already use a notebook for (see above).

Nothing rude! I know what some of you are like…

My decision is final. I’ll pick the idea I like best and that will be that.

You can suggest more than one idea but each idea must be an individual comment. No more than one idea per comment please!

The competition will close at 9am GMT on Saturday 11 January. I’ll then email the winner and they’ll have one week to let me know his or her postal address. If I don’t hear back then I’ll pick a random entry and contact that person instead.

Calepino A5 notebook review

I was sent this pair of notebooks by Calepino at no cost to myself but, truly, they are beautiful and I love them more than is natural.

Good luck!

This competition is now closed. The winner will be announced soon.


  1. What would be interesting would be using the notebook to jot down one thing you learned everyday. I mean, you can write down more, if you want, and see how much of the notebook you fill up by the end of the year! Once the notebook is completely full, you will have an entire notebook full of wisdoms, trivia, random facts, etc.

  2. Record on a daily basis the one inspirational thought you had. After a year you would be amazed at what you had written and it would be good to reflect on.

  3. It is so exciting to write my adventure every awesome new year. In closing New Year eve is the perfect time to congratulate myself :” Well done, I did it :)”

  4. Words that you have to look up. Or words that you sort of know but cannot define to someone else. One word per page. Then learn the word. Define it. Use it. Use it again.

  5. An idea I recently implemented is my Blog idea book. I reserve a page for each blog idea and that leaves me room to add notes later and hand write picture boxes to kind of format my blog post before I get in front of the computer. I try to review it every day and add notes or comments that I thought about that day. My hope is it makes my posts better than if I would have just sat down and knocked it out in 20 minutes. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  6. Write & illustrate a story, in comic book / graphic novel style. Just start any story, invent a continuation each day, keep the drawings simple (so you can get a little done each day), and, when you reach the end of the notebook, the story ends.

  7. I like keeping track of quotes that make me feel/think in a notebook and this notebook looks like a great notebook for this!

  8. My suggestion is a book for writing short stories. Anything from a single side of paper to the whole book if you wanted. A book of that size is perfect for longer form writing.

  9. Write ficlets (short short short stories). 100 words each. Your choice if you make it daily or not. Then you sketch the character, whether it’s a stick figure or elaborate. Your choice too.

  10. How about as a collection/scrapbook-like container of things you notice every day about the significant other (or others, or family/friends) in your life? It could include your thoughts, things they said or did that impacted you, how you felt when they smiled at you or laughed at something or cried at something, something they said or a gift they gave you or someone else, things they have done for you or others, a sketch of them (or a part of them) or a printed pic, etc. Then, next year (or whenever you want), you can go back and look through the notebook – with or without them – and reminisce.

  11. A suggestion is to use the notebook to record the pens and/or pen-ink combinations you have or use. It’s nice to have a record to see what you liked or didn’t like about a particular pen or ink. It’s a good reference for shopping.

  12. this looks like the perfect notebook to make a recipe book of! definitely what I would do

  13. Use the book to purge your mind of all the negative stuff of the day. I like the idea of writing in a beautiful book with a great pen and ink all the stuff that bugs you. A few rules: 1. Keep it simple, no analysis, no blame, no downward spirals. Just simple declarations like: I got really pissed at that driver who cut me off on the way home tonight or I am still upset that someone walked off with my favorite fountain pen. 2. Never go back to read what you wrote. The idea is to get it out of your head. 3. No metrics or analysis. Don’t you go counting entries to see if life is becoming more or less positive. 4. When the book is full, make a ceremony and burn the thing. Put on some music and have a drink or do whatever you do to celebrate. Start a new book if you think it helped. 5. When you do all that let me know what happened. I’d like someone else to do this before I try it myself.

  14. Finding new places to set down with a cup of French blend coffee. Pull out that new fountain pen you just received in the mail. Put a cartridge of your favorite ink or get the bottle of sepia you love, get ink on your fingers and then do the initial few lines of garbage and finally doodle, scratch, glide or skip across the page to your hearts content. Does it get any better?

  15. I’d use it to record gardens I have visited and plants I’d like to grow!
    You might be able to guess that I’m a keen gardener!

  16. Use it to keep track of books, movies, poems, plays, musicians, and artists that you’re interested in. I started doing that with a section in one of my notebooks and ended up with a great list of interesting things to read/watch/look at/listen too when I had more time.

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