Exacompta Club Leatherette Journal with Exacompta Basics Refill Review

I’ve used my Exacompta Club Leatherette Journal regularly for three years now and still have not grown tired of it.

These refillable journals are made with a leather-like, grained cover material that is sturdy and holds up well over time. I can’t even see any wear yet on my three-year-old cover. Since these covers are so durable it’s nice that they can be refilled over and over again.

The cover opens easily and the journal lays nice and flat. I love this! It is currently available in eight different colors, from a conservative black to an energizing orange. A color for every personality! I have an older bright green color that was originally named “bamboo”.

The edges of the cover are stitched and the Exacompta Basics refill fits easily into pockets inside the front and back covers. These pockets can get in the way of writing when using the first and last several pages of the journal. I solved this problem by making a cardboard cut-out that is twice the size of the page size (about 9” x 6 5/8” total). I fold the cardboard in half (4 1/2” x 6 5/8” folded) and slide half of it into the pocket so that it doesn’t slide around or fall out. The other half of the cardboard folds over the top of the pocket to provide a smooth writing surface until I use up enough pages that this is no longer an issue. Then I remove the cardboard until I need it again, which isn’t for quite awhile since there are 200 sheets of paper in this journal.

The Exacompta Basics refills have a stitched binding so that pages do not fall out and the refill will open flat. The paper inside is white, pH neutral, acid-free, 64g and has a smooth-satin finish.

When you take the Club Leatherette cover off the Exacompta Basics refill you’ll find its cover is a brown, textured cardboard with a cloth spine. Old versions of the Basics refill had ribbon bookmarks, but the new versions do not. It’s still easy to find your place though since the bottom of each page has a perforated tear-off corner.

The front and back end sheets are glued to the Basics refill cover, so when inserting the refill into the Club cover I like to insert the cardboard cover as well as one page.

The Basics refill is available with three different paper options: blank, graph, and undated 365 so that you can use this journal as a planner. There are also Notor and Textagenda daily planners available with the same size Club Leatherette covers (Notor 2012 planners will be available soon,  Textagenda 2011/2012 academic planners are available now). Although blank paper is my favorite, in addition it would be nice to see Exacompta make a ruled Basics refill as well.

The size of the Exacompta Club Leatherette Journal is a handy 5” x 7”. The Basics refill is about 4 3/4” x 6 3/4”. The cover is flexible and in your hand it has a nice book-like feel.

Is this journal fountain pen friendly? I guess my answer would have to be mostly no. Most of my fountain pens bleed through and show through this paper. As a left-handed writer I really like this paper since I can have the nice smooth Clairefontaine finish that my fountain pen glides across, but it is more absorbent than regular 90g Clairefontaine paper so the ink dries quickly. This is crucial for me to prevent a smeary ink mess. If I want to use both sides of the page I need to stick to a fine nib and only use certain inks or use a gel or ballpoint pen. However, if you don’t mind using up your journal more quickly, you can just use one side of the page like I do sometimes. There are 200 sheets so for me it lasts quite awhile.

Do you use any Exacompta Club covers or Basics journals? Which are your favorites?

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