Review: Maruman Mnemosyne Special Memo Notepad

After proudly displaying my setup a while back, I wound up striking up an online conversation with Brad over at JetPens. Seeing that I'm a bit of a pen/pencil/paper junkie, he sent me some stuff to play with -- and play with them I did.The first item I'm going to offer up for review is the notebook I received. Mnemosyne is the ancient Greek goddess of memory, and this notebook reminds you of that when you first open it. And the Maruman Mnemosyne Special Memo Notepad has been one of the most elegant and useful notebooks I’ve used in recent – well…memory.

My Impressions

The outside cover is durable, which is especially essential when you’re dealing with a spiral-bound notebook. The inset page suggests how you should use the notepad, but it’s written in Japanese (go figure), so I couldn’t read it.

Since I didn't want to find a translator (although if any of you out there can make sense of it, let me know) nor had the time to learn a new language before using the notepad, I had to go my own way with it.

And go my own way with it I did.

I tend to the majority of my task and project management electronically, so I didn’t use the Mnemosyne Special Memo Notepad as a traditional day-planner. Instead, I used it to take notes from meetings and write down my “3 Big Rocks” for the day when needed. What you see below is some of what I wrote down – having fun with the notebook all the while.

The paper in the notepad is a pleasure to write on, and it is strong enough that it perforated properly from the notebook rather than straight off of the spiral bindings. Of course, the better the writing instrument the better your experience will be with any notebook. I tried a variety of pens and pencils to see how well things stood up, and even with lower quality writing tools the paper was still a joy to use. It rivals the Moleskine in this regard – and if I had to choose between the two, I’d pick this one hands-down.

My Wife’s Impressions

As a further litmus test, I asked my wife to give it a look. She’s more of a “paper planner” than I am, and also isn’t as hung up on quality of tools, just accessibility. She found the form factor of the notepad to be ideal for her and liked the strength of the paper as much as I did. The only thing she’d like to see in it was some form of calendar if she was going to use it for planning; she’s not big on having to fill out dates. But it wasn’t a deal-breaker, so there’s that.

The Verdict

I’ve tried my share of paper products over the years, and this is my first Maruman notebook. Based on my experience with this notepad, I’m certain I’ll be checking out more of their stuff.

If you’re looking for a notebook that allows you to break some of the rules and have an elegant writing experience while doing so, then give the Mnemosyne Special Memo Notepad a good look.

1. Full disclosure: I get to keep the wares sent my way and received no other compensation for this article. And thanks to Brad again for sending them.