Christmas Gifts for the Papyrophile in Your Life: A Guide

Christmas Gifts for the Papyrophile in Your Life: A Guide

Somehow, someway, it’s already the Christmas season! I can’t believe it, but I hear time goes faster the older you get and it seems to be ringing true.

Since the Christmas season is, indeed, upon us, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a gift guide that can be passed along to husbands, parents, siblings, friends, and miscellaneous family that is appropriate for any papyrophile (a person who loves paper, notebooks, stationery, etc.) regardless of their budget! Enjoy!

***Disclaimer: All of these thoughts are my own. I am not getting paid or reimbursed or any product for anything I say here. I just love recommending shit to people, especially when it’s shit that I love! Carry on.

A Ring-Bound Planner:

Given my new-found love for ring-bound planners, of course this was going to be the first thing on my list. I’m going to offer you three options of varying price, depending on your budget!

  1. Webster’s Pages Personal Binder: regularly priced $24.99, ON SALE AT THE TIME OF WRITING FOR $12.50!!!!! (binder only) or binder and inserts, regularly priced $34.99 but on sale right now for $17.50! These are a super fun option because they are incredibly affordable, come in lots of cute colors and designs, are relatively durable for the price, and (BONUS) can be bought online or at your local craft store (Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and Joann’s I believe all carry this line). The website states they come with a 1″-1.25″ ring mechanism, which is 25mm-30mm, but I’m not sure how it varies? You don’t get an option to pick 25mm or 30mm that I can see, but whatever. This is a great option for someone on a limited budget, especially if you snatch up the sale prices and get the whole kit with all your inserts already (although the company inserts may not work for everyone), or for someone who wants to try out ring binders to see if it’s the right planning style for them before they drop the money for a more expensive ring binder.
  2. Filofax USA Personal Ring Binder: Filofax is kind of the OG of ring planners, and TBH they have a ton of options for any price range, going from $38 on the low end for a personal Filofax Domino to $220 on the high end for a personal Filofax Classic Croc. Probably your best bet for middle-of-the-line personal ring binders will be either the Filofax Saffiano ($59) or the Filofax Original ($101). The Saffiano is a faux leather binder that comes in fun pop colors, has one pen loop, card pockets and a secretarial pocket on the left and a flap for inserting a notepad on the right. The Original (pictured) is made of real leather (though the site doesn’t specify what type), also comes in fun pop colors or more traditional ones, and features two card pockets, one slip pocket, two elastic pen loops, and one multifunctional elastic holder. Bonus with Filofax is that all binders automatically come with inserts – the Saffiano will come with your choice of a 2017 set or a 2018 set, while the Original comes with an undated perpetual year set. Both come with 23mm Filofax ring mechanisms, as well.
  3. Gillio Firenze Medium Compagna: This is (IMHO) the god of all ring binders. I cannot say enough good things about the Compagna. Vegetable-tanned full-grain Italian calfskin leather (aka the highest-quality leather money can buy), plenty of pockets and card slots, a zippered pocket on the left for change, a flexible pen loop, a leather flyleaf, plus that large document pocket on the back, 25mm Krause rings (the gold standard of ring mechanisms), and a lifetime guarantee. It really doesn’t get better than this, and for a whopping starting price of $286 + $25 shipping to the US you had better feel like you’re getting your money’s worth (trust me – you are!). Pictured is the Yale Blue Compagna, but they come in a variety of colors, plus printed croco, bicolor, printed ostrich, and real ostrich leather (which will run you upwards of $800!). You can also add-on Gillio’s medium inserts and a ton of other stuff, and each of their organizers comes with a free Gillio ballpoint pen in the color of your choice.

BONUS OPTION: Van Der Spek Touch Me Standard: These are EXTREMELY similar to the Compagnas, but come with a slightly lower price point. The VDS TM is a good option that falls in between the Filo Original and the Gillio. You’ve got a choice of five colors of French buffalo leather, plus the same inside features as the Gillio. VDS gives you the option of 25mm OR 30mm Krause rings depending on how much you like to stuff your planner, and will run you approximately $170 total (including taxes and shipping).

A Traveler’s Notebook:

Traveler’s notebooks are a great option as a gift for the stationery-lover in your life because they can be used for about a million different purposes. They can be actual traveler’s notebooks, used to document travels. They can be planners. They can be wallets. They can be journals, memory keepers, literally practically anything you may imagine. Here’s three options of varying price:

  1. May Designs for Target Planner Folio: At $19.99, this is probably the cheapest you’ll be able to find a TN, and it comes with inserts already! This would be considered a cahier-sized TN, and would fit Moleskine Cahier notebooks and other 5×8 notebooks. This is a great value option for someone just testing out the system. They’ve got two secretarial pockets, a pen loop, and come in a handful of different cover styles.
  2. Mystics Little Gifts B6 TN Cover: At the time of this writing, this particular leather (linked) was the only style she still had in-stock, BUT there are usually lots of other options, as well, including full-grain, top-grain, and milled leathers. $40 gets you the classic TN with four elastics and nothing else, but she offers a-la-carte options to customize each TN, which include adding a stitched cover, interior and exterior pockets, reinforced spine, a pen loop, additional elastics, and a larger spine (to hold more inserts). The a-la-carte options range in price from $1 to $13, so it’s totally feasible that you can get a B6 TN (the largest size she offers currently) for under $60.
  3. Foxy Fix Foxy Notebook Cover: Foxy offers ten different leather styles currently, with both full-grain and top-grain leathers available, in probably over 100 different colors! They truly are able to offer a style, color, and texture for almost any person in the market. A fully-loaded compact (four string) No. 7 (cahier-sized) Foxy complete with interior pockets, pen loop, and foiled front cover and spine embossing will run you $121 + shipping in their original styles; a Lush or Spice fully-loaded No. 7 compact (these have a different interior pocket configuration and a large back pocket, similar to the Compagna ring binders) will cost you $137 + shipping. Add $7 to each if you want to upgrade to a wide fitting (six strings). You can also opt for a FN without pockets, pen loop, embossing, etc., and they offer FN singles, as well, which run significantly less than their couture options but also are far less customizable. Pictured is a wide Spice Thyme.

BONUS OPTION: Chic Sparrow Traveler’s Notebooks: Chic Sparrow falls (price-range wise) somewhere between MLG and FF. A Wide (cahier-sized) Deluxe TN, which comes with stitching, internal pockets, four strings, and a pen loop will run you about $113. Chic Sparrow also offers a Classic option, which is just the TN cover with four strings for $87.99 in the Wide size, and has a handful of options you can add at an additional cost from there. Chic Sparrow TNs are all full-grain leather and are very high-quality. Pictured is a Deluxe Mr. Darcy Carie Harling Violet TN.

Bound Notebooks:

Maybe a customizable insert-based system isn’t what works for the papyrophile in your life. In that case, here are three options for bound notebooks that will work beautifully for bullet journaling, regular journaling, note taking… basically anything you could want to use a bound notebook for!

  1. Essentials Dot-Matrix A5 Notebook: Featuring an inside back cover pocket, elastic band to keep the journal closed, ribbon bookmark, hardcover binding, and 192 pages of 100 gsm acid-free archival dot-grid paper for $9.92 on Amazon, this is a really great entry-level bullet journal-style notebook.
  2. Rhodia A5 Webnotebook: This hardbound dot-grid notebook comes with 96 sheets of 90g ivory Clairefontaine paper, an Italian leatherette hardcover, an elastic closure band, inner pocket, and ribbon bookmark, and will cost you $19.95 on the Goulet Pens website! The Clairefontaine paper is fantastic, super-smooth, fountain pen friendly paper, and the notebook itself comes in a handful of colors.
  3. The Official Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal A5 Notebook: Currently offered in emerald or black, this *~*~official~*~* bullet journal is blind embossed on the front with Ryder Carroll’s Bullet Journal logo and features pre-printed key and index pages, 240 numbered  (front and back) dot-grid pages, an elastic closure band, and three (not one, not two, but THREE) ribbon bookmarks. At the low, low price of $24.95 on the Goulet Pens website, this notebook is sure to please any die-hard bullet journalist in your life!

BONUS OPTION: Zequenz Classic 360 Soft-Bound A5 Grid journal: I own this notebook in the B6 size and feel honor-bound to list it here because I just think it’s a super handy notebook. It’s soft bound but lays flat and rolls up easily, it’s got 200 pages (400 total, front and back) of 70 GSM premium acid-free fountain-pen-friendly grid paper (which I prefer to dot paper, to be totally honest), and comes with a nifty magnetic bookmark, as well. For $21.95 on Amazon, you really can’t beat the price for the quality and sheer number of pages you’re getting, and I love my B6 size (which is slightly cheaper, clocking in at $18.95 on Amazon).

Fountain Pens:

I exclusively write with fountain pens. I am obsessed with them and think they are just the greatest things. Here are three of my favorites on the low-end of the fountain pen price range (cause this shit gets expensive quick):

  1. Caliarts Ego Transparent Piston-Filled Fountain Pen: These can be found on eBay for anywhere from $10 to $12. They are a Chinese kind of a knock-off pen, but I own one and it’s honestly one of my favorite pens. It has a huge ink capacity, the piston-filling mechanism is super smooth, and the steel F nib is buttery and lush. It’s a clear demonstrator pen, which is also super fun when you’re using colored ink.
  2. Pilot Metropolitan: The Metro was my first-ever fountain pen, and so I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for it. Offered in F or M nibs and had for $15 at the Goulet Pens website, these are super nifty little pens that make for a great starter pen if you’re first getting into the FP world. They take proprietary Pilot ink cartridges or a squeeze converter (both included), or you can purchase a twist converter separately – both converters would allow you to use bottled ink with your pen. These are just super fun!
  3. TWSBI 580AL: These come in a myriad of colors and nib sizes, and are the original version of the Caliarts Ego dupe mentioned above. Running you anywhere from $50 to $60 at Goulet Pens, depending on the style and color you choose, TWSBIs are super fun and super smooth-writing piston-filled fountain pens with an awesome reputation for quality.

BONUS OPTION: Pilot Vanishing Point Decimo: Included here because this is my workhorse EDC fountain pen that goes everywhere I go. You can’t beat the rhodium-plated 18k gold retractable nib for taking quick notes and not having to worry about screwing off a cap. They have a relatively good ink capacity and take both proprietary Pilot cartridges and converters. They come in a variety of colors and nib sizes, and are just an awesome pen to have in your collection. Tipping the scales at $140 from Goulet Pens, this is the most expensive fountain pen that I’ll recommend, but it has been 100% worth the money since I bought it as a Christmas gift for myself in December 2015. 10/10 would recommend again and again.

Other accessories and recommendations, in no particular order:


So there you have it! A fairly thorough gift-giving-guide for the stationery lover in your life. Let me know in the comments if you have any additional recommendations! 🙂





2 Replies to “Christmas Gifts for the Papyrophile in Your Life: A Guide”

  1. Really like your review. I love the Pilot MR pens and the Pilot vanishing point. I am going to look at the Zequenz Classic 360 Soft-Bound A5 Grid journal. Never heard of it.
    Thank you again for sharing.

Comments are closed.