Paper review: Muji Agenda Weekly Refill and dot-grid memo

In addition to Kinokuniya, I visited one of the Muji stores while in New York City.  Muji literally has everything, from stationery to clothing and furniture.  It is a concept store, I would say.  All products in the store give a bit of zen aura, in that simplicity and purity dominate the conceptual design.  Click here to learn more about the store.
While I was in the store, I specifically looked for agenda refills.  I have my agenda for 10 years now and I like every aspect of it, from size to design.  The only downside of it is that it is difficult to find refills.  I thought about making my own, but for those of you who know me well, I cannot draw straight lines to save my life, let alone make 6 holes in a straight line.  To my surprise, I found one at Muji that fits!  Better yet, there are also dot-grid note pages that will fit nicely in the agenda.  Needless to say, I quick grab several packages of the agenda refills and a pack of dot-grid note paper.
Agenda refills
 
Compare to most agenda refills, the Muji one is very plain.  It only has days of the week printed, and it is customizable in that you can fill in the date and year, so it will never expire.
Plain Jane?  I do not think so.

The refill page is fairly thin.  As you can see in the below picture, it is fairly opaque when you hold it against the light.

Another tiny detail.  The agenda refill is made with more than 15% of recycled material, which will mitigate some guilt for being an old-fashion agenda user.  It is definitely not heavy and satin-like as Rhodia or Clairefontaine.  It is not toothy either like most recycled paper.

How is it with pens?  In general, it is definitely more suitable for gel pens and pencils than fountain pens.  As the two pictures below show, entries made by fountain pens feathered just a little.  Writing definitely does not turn into ink blots; however, if you are particular in how your agenda pages look, you might want to stick with gel/ ballpoint pens.

There is show through for gel pen and visible bleed through for fountain pen.

 

Some opine that these pages are too puritan in appearance, but I thought the empty space can easily be a place to exercise creativity.  Borders and little doodles can be done on the border and margin.  You can also use stickers to embellish the pages.

 

The immediate shortcoming I can think of is that people with big lettering might find these entries a bit crammed.  In addition, this agenda page might not provide enough space for super planners who write down details to the minute.  Thankfully, my writings are usually ant size and usually utilize agenda to keep track of daily to-do list, so it is just right for that purpose.
For a package that comes with 30 sheets costs $1.50, it is a quite a steal in my perspective.  The creamy vanilla color pages cause less strain to the eyes, the paper quality is consistent in the package, and the simplicity and streamline page design draws me to it.
Dot-grid note paper
 
While I was looking at the agenda refill, my eyes casually glanced at the neighboring shelves, and I saw the dot-grid paper conveniently sitting on the side.  Without hesitation, I grabbed a package of it.
Similar to the agenda refills, the dot-grid notepaper is made of recycled paper.  The packaging did not label the percentage of the recycled materials.  Each pack contains 60 sheets for $1.50.
Looks like a blank page..
One thing I realize is that the dot is not as noticeable as other dot-grid paper I have.  In fact, it is hard to tell the existence of the dots.
Okay.. micro dots

Just to make sure I am not seeing things, the picture below is a side-by-side comparison of Muji dot-grid paper (left) and Fabriano dot-grid.  The benefit of faint dot is that there is guideline to keep writing straight, but not intrusive enough to take the attention away from the written content.

Muji v. Fabriano

How is it with pens?  Though the texture of the dot-grid paper feels similarly to the agenda refill, the dot-grid paper takes fountain pen inks a lot better than the latter.  I can scribble with calligraphy pen without any feathering or major bleed through.  Gel and ballpoint pens, of course, pass with flying colors.

One thing I do like about dot-grid is that connecting the dots can always be an option when you are bored.  🙂

 

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3 thoughts on “Paper review: Muji Agenda Weekly Refill and dot-grid memo

  1. Are these pocket Filofax size? Soooooo love the simple design and small holes. My hole punching is uneven on my DIY pages and the holes are so much larger than I'd like.

    Like

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