Paper Review: Hitlist Notebook

The Hitlist Notebook is a Canadian-made notebook I found by chance at Stylus Fine Pens while I was on the hunt for Leuchhturm-Whitelines notebooks. I use Leuchhturm-Whitelines notebooks as my daily work journals and meeting books. I've purchased them directly from Whitelines in the Netherlands, but it always takes a while for the Trans-Atlantic journey. Hence I searched for a local Canadian retailer. Since I was getting notebooks shipped, I decided to top up my order with odds and ends. I found that Stylus Pens has many paper supplies that I've not seen elsewhere in Canada or US for that matter. The Hitlist is one of those finds.

The Hitlist is a notebook made by a fountain pen user for daily use on the road away from the office. The genesis story is quite interesting and can be found on the inside of the front cover.

Most notably, the Hitlist boasts to have 'special text stock' with 'virtually no feathering or bleed through.' Is that the case? Read on to find out.


The notebook is 5x8". It uses black flexible card stock for the cover. The edge with the spine has square corners while the right hand side corners are rounded which help prevent the dog-eared look. I stashed my Hitlist in various bags and it still looks fine.

Along the spine on the front cover is a 1/2" white stripe with room to indicate subject and date. This is handy for indexing.

In the middle of the top edge for the front cover is a small square cut-out called the 'CTF dock'. This high-tech name is a rather low-tech (but clever) solution for how/where to carry one's pen when using a flexible cover notebook. The dock is quite a handy place to clip a pen for carrying when out and about. I walked around with my Pilot Falcon, TWSBI 580 and Lamy 2000 taking turns hanging out in the dock. They did not budge or move. I could see this being very handy at the office when moving from meeting to meeting. Similarly, this is great for a 1 pen, 1 notebook EDC set-up.

CTF Dock does a good job of even holding a pen horizontally

Now the most important thing in a notebook is the paper. The Hitlist has 32 pages of 148 g acid-free archival quality paper. The stock is 100% PCW (post-consumer waste, or recycled) fibre according to the details printed on the back cover. Being a voracious consumer of paper, I'm happy to contribute to Mother Earth's health by using recycled paper.

The 5x8” notebooks are lined. They are also available with blank paper in 3.5 X 5.75" size. Lines in the lined books are 6 mm apart. I find its perfect for fine lines. I would like to see this in dot grid, my preferred ruling.

The paper is smooth and feels good with most of the fountain pens and nibs in my current rotation. The paper is not particularly glossy. Dry times are reasonable, around 10-15 seconds.

I tried all my current pen and ink fountain pen combinations plus a few other types of pens. They all feel nice in terms of writing or feel of nib on paper. No strange events such as nib squeaking or scratchiness.

I did not notice any feathering. There was some ghosting. I find the level of ghosting to be acceptable and I would not be bothered to at all this use this paper double-sided. Bleedthrough only happened when I did heavy flex writing. I would likely medium nibs or finer with this paper.

Blank books (3.5 X 5.75") sell for 3 for CAD$14.99 ($11.67 as at date of this post of 2016-06-19)
Lined books are (5x8") are priced at 2 for CAD$15.99. ($12.45 as at 2016-06-19)

I think these are generally in line with Travellers Notebook or other pocket notebooks of similar size.

Similar to the Clairefontaine Roadbook, I think the 5x8" lined Hitlist would be a good form factor for a travel notebook or notes on the run. The smaller blank notebooks would make good Field Notes substitutes with more fountain pen friendly paper. I use a Traveler’s Notebook for my EDC so a Field Notes type notebook had limited use for me.