The ethics stuff: Bags Of Love provided one of the personalized notebooks for review. I solemnly swear to review the notebook impartially and fairly. But you DO know that I’m a sucker for notebooks!
I was not aware of Bags Of Love, until Claire Grannell contacted me about reviewing one of their Personal Notebooks. Once I saw that I could combine two
interests obsessions…notebooks and photography…I knew I had to take one for a test drive. So I went to their website, uploaded a couple of photos (after changing my mind a half dozen times), and submitted my order. The upload process was quite intuitive and went without a hitch. Though Bags Of Love is in the UK, and I’m in the US, the order arrived quickly. (I should have kept track of the number of days, but I didn’t. I do know that it was quite fast.)
I personalized the A6 size notebook (6″ x 4.5″/15 x 11.5 cm) with a couple of photos from an Adirondack vacation (one for the front cover, and one for the back), and am very pleased with results. The cover is glossy and heavyweight (350 gsm*) but still flexible, and with the thickness of the spine at about 0.4″/1 cm, it looks very much like a nicely constructed paperback book. This particular size is very easy to carry around, or tuck into a purse or bag. The photos look exactly like the images that I uploaded, with true colors and crisp images. Nothing was lost in translation.
Front cover: Wild Center, Tupper Lake, NY
Back cover: Adirondack Museum, Blue Mountain Lake, NY
Inside the notebook are 76 pages of plain cream/ivory 100 gsm* paper, which I THINK is about 68 lb paper. It’s a nice weight…substantial but not too thick. I decided that I want to use this notebook as a gratitude journal (the photos make me feel instantly grateful for vacations and relaxation and summer and nature), so I wrote a gratitude quote on the first page using my TWSBI Mini fountain pen (EF nib) and Private Reserve DC Supershow Blue ink. How would the paper handle this combination of pen and ink, I wondered. Turns out…like a pro. There was no feathering bleeding or show-through. Happy dance.
To kick off the gratitude journal. (Page color is a touch yellower than it appears in actuality.)
Because these notebook are personalized with YOUR photos, they make great gifts for moms, dads, kids, grandparents OR yourself. Create covers that feature your kids, pets, gardens, vacations, or interests. You can also add personalized text to the cover, if you wish. Use the notebook as a journal, a place to keep to-do lists, a book or movie log…whatever. The compact size, sturdiness, and glossy covers make these notebooks stand out from the usual notebook crowd. With a custom cover, your notebook is TRULY your one-of-a-kind creation.
The perfectionist in me has to point out a few niggly things. Because the notebook is bound much like a paperback book, in order to easily write in it, you’ll eventually need to crease the cover. Not a big deal, but something to keep in mind. My perfectionist mind is also happier with grid, dot, or lined paper than with plain because I can keep my entries uniform and straight. But those who like to sketch and draw (or who are less OCD) will have no issue with the plain pages. I’ll happily use this notebook, but I’d love the option for other page styles. I’d also like the option of choosing white paper over the cream, but again, not really a big deal.
Bound like a paperback
The A6 notebook runs £14.98 (around $23.00), but right now Bags of Love is running a “Buy Two, Get One Free” deal, which makes this a great time to buy a few gifts or a trio for yourself. I’m impressed with the whole process…from the photo upload to the finished product…and I look forward to using mine at the end of each day to jot down what I’m thankful for.
Notebooks not your thing? (GASP!!!) Well, check out their website for a wide range of other items that can be personalized…everything from mugs, tablecloths, calendars, coasters, place mats, aprons and so much more.
Let’s face it, we walk around with hundreds of digital photos in our phones and cameras, but rarely do much more than download them (if that). Bags Of Love gives us the opportunity to use those photos to create gifts and keepsakes, a way to give those photos a life outside of the camera.
Go ahead, upload. It’s easy.
*gsm = grams per square meter. It’s the UK, remember?