September 2014

This was my first Italian fountain pen. I remember the day, I was at Novelli Pen in Rome, and when Marco brought out this pen, well, nothing more to say.
  • This was my first Italian fountain pen. I remember the day, I was at Novelli Pen in Rome, and when Marco brought out this pen, well, nothing more to say.

Above: the great comb-o leather covered notebook/organizer

For us who enjoy the pleasure of writing with a fountain pen, we have a "needs" hierarchy.

First of all, we need to have a fountain pen that suits our hand and our writing style. There are plenty of brands to choose from. There are good fountain pens at all price points.  We probably need more than one!  I sure do!

Second, we need ink. This is a personal choice of the colour and brand of ink, as each brand is so different. This is the fun of having a fountain pen. To make the choice!

Third, we need good paper to write on. Our paper comes in many formats. Note paper for letters and notes. Pads of paper for general and office use, and notebooks for keeping our writing organized.

Clairefontain Notebook fits into a leather writing caseI have just returned from a month in Italy and my notebook of choice for my full sized Travel Journal has been for the past 10 years or so, the Clairefountaine 17x22 cm notebook, and I prefer the grid style page.

I like this notebook for my Travel Journal as it fits within a leather writing case I carry, and the pages are large enough for writing. Anything larger and I would have a hard time writing at the small cafe tables.

But I actually carry a number of notebooks, each for its own use.

I have smaller notebooks 9x14 cm, that I carry in my camera bag for on the spot short notes.

For a pad I have really like the A5 MISTO pads by Fabriano in a dot grid page style. The pads are handy as you never know when you want to write a short note and pull off the page to give someone.

This year, while while in Italy, I acquired the Comb-o Notebook. I have placed some photos of the notebook on the page, and more images can bee seen on their

I talked and met the the designer of the Comb-o and I sensed a real commitment to this new line. I also got the sense there is more to come. The company is just starting up but from what I saw, the products look great. There is a link from the the Comb-o website that sends an email for purchase information.

Just send a note to: and they will get back to you to obtain the necessary order and shipping information and here is a copy of their brochure.

I liked the comb-o as soon as I picked it up.

The Cover. The leather cover is beautiful and it feels just like what you expect when you pick up Italian leather. Soft, durable and looks elegant. The elastic strap keeps the book together.

The Paper. When you open the book, there are three inserts, each held in with a elastic strap. Each insert has its own page style: lined, dot-grid and blank. You can organize how you want to keep you notes in each section. You could order all one particular paper style. This is your book. The paper is good quality fabriano/fedrigoni paper. As I wrote, the ink nicely adhered to the page and there was no messy bleed-through as you will find with some brands of notebooks.

The books come in two sizes. I have the large,115 x 210 mm (8.3 x 4.5 inches) and my wife Karen's is a smaller size about 5 by 3.75" with a suede leather cover.

The books are only available through their website but they are priced right:

  • The large size book (cover and three inserts) sells for $38 US or $32 US for the smaller size.
  • Inserts cost $5 US.

I have returned and ordering more inserts and another book. Ordering is easy, Comb-o accepts PayPal and there is no additional cost for shipping. The price you see is what you pay. The package will come via Italian Postal Racomandata. I am not too sure of the time frame but I will update this as soon as my arrive.

So, you have your pen, you have your inks of preference, now use them and get a notebook or paper that meets your needs and writing styles. Owning a pen is all about using it!