When I think of “Field Notes”, I instantly picture one of their pocket notebooks. Whether it’s their Kraft series or a limited edition version, it’s always a pocket notebook that I think of in the traditional sense of the word. I think of the 5.5″ x 3.5″ staple bound pocket notebooks that they commonly produce.
If you didn’t already know, Field Notes release a special new limited edition notebook every season. These limited edition versions are only printed in small batches and once sold out, are gone. The number of packets printed for each edition is listed on the website, as well as on the inside covers of the notebooks themselves. And let’s be honest, every time they do something new and amazing. They play with the quality of the paper, the colour of it, the cover material, perforation and many more things as they look to create new exciting products. It’s always exciting to see what they come up with every season. In Summer 2016, they launched the Byline edition – and like always, it was a surprise. The Byline edition is completely different to the other series in that it is a Reporter’s Notebook. A proper top spiral bound flip book sort of reporter’s notebook. Today’s post will be a look into the Byline edition.
I’m really excited about this one, mostly because it’s so unexpected and different this time. The notebook is 8″ x 3.75″, making it quite a bit larger than your usual notebook. It’s not quite pocket size anymore (or perhaps I just have small pockets?) but nonetheless, it’s still light enough to carry around with you. It easily fits into my handbag or laptop bag so it is something that I can always have to hand. With Double-O Wiring to bind the papers together, the notebook is held in a sturdy manner. The cover is made of a durable dark grey card. It’s thick enough to protect the contents from getting damaged easily and, at the same time, provide a good base for the paper so that you can write on it whilst holding the notebook in your palm. This makes it great for using it on the go.
I’ve been using the notepad for a few weeks now and I’m so in love with it. It feels weird if I go anyway without it now. It’s easy to write in, without the need for something to lean against all the time and this makes it perfect for when I’m standing up or don’t have a table to lean against.
The Byline is designed for function and it delivers it exceptionally well. The back cover contains a small pocket, which is great for adding the odd receipt or note that you don’t want to lose. The pocket comes with a newspaper style story, which is super cute. The editors explain that the newspaper story is actually adapted from Mr. John Dickerson’s forthcoming book. I love the news story style of it and how unique the concept is. Field Notes have certainly put thought into the details with this one.
As always, Field Notes have gone the distance with this latest product and added some great bits of information on the inside of the covers. Inside the front cover, there’s a useful map of the States with their time zones, space for contact details and a section that’s titled “talk like Ben Bradlee”. This latter section is my favourite. It contains a few useful words or abbreviations that are commonly used in the news industry. For example, a “dummy” is a rough page layout used to indicate the positioning of headlines, pictures and stories or a “graf” is actually an abbreviation of “paragraph”. Jam packed with information, this section is great to learn a little bit more about the news industry.
The back cover contains the aforementioned pocket and, as always, the story of Field Notes & the specification of this particular product. It also has a few themed sections here too, that are packed with useful information. I love the section that’s titled “common proofreading marks”, showing a few of the most common marks when editing proofs. It’s got a few examples that could come in handy if you have to proofread anything at work or in school. Memorise a few of these and you’ll be able to do it faster than before! Another section is the “source guidelines”. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “off the record” before – especially used in films or TV shows – but have you heard of other source guidelines? This section contains a few to give you an insight into journalism and how it works. I love the attention to detail that every Field Notes product contains and this one is full of small details that add up to make something amazing.
I mostly use the Field Notes pen in the Byline and this works beautifully. The paper is smooth but also thick enough to avoid any bleed. There is also minimal show through when using biro pens, making it a great book to have on hand.
I am pleasantly surprised at how much I have grown to love this edition in the recent weeks. I admit, I was very hesitant when it first arrived as I am a huge fan of Pocket Notebooks and didn’t use Reporter’s Notebooks before this one. However, using it allowed me to quickly change my perspective. If you’re in a similar boat, then why not give it a try? Perhaps you’ll like the change too. There are only 25,000 packs printed in this edition, each pack containing two notebooks so if you want to give it a go, grab a pack now before it’s too late! The Field Notes limited editions sell out quickly and once sold, are very hard to find (or cost a lot!).
I have purchased a one year subscription from Field Notes to receive these quarterly editions. I love that I don’t have to worry about missing one now, as I am guaranteed to receive two packs each quarter. I opted to do this as I almost missed the Snowblind edition that I love from Winter 2015. You can purchase the packs individually or subscribe to the quarterly subscription, as well, to make sure that you receive your notebooks each quarter. These are available on the Field Notes website directly.