ARC Customizable Notebook System From Staples


This is one time when images tell the tale. arc notebooks are both configurable and good with fountain pen ink. If Staples keeps the same supplier for paper in the future, this is one product that is well worth considering.

Staples arc Notebook with sample page

Staples arc Notebook with sample page

If you aren’t familiar with this sort of notebook system, suffice to say it is extremely flexible and yet very simple. The heavy weight paper moves easily into and out of the plastic discs. Position things any way you like. You can even purchase a special hole punch to add other items but flimsy paper might not hold up to the rigors of more than a few removals. For small items a glue stick would come in handy to attach bits to an arc sheet so nothing gets damaged or lost.

Staples arc Notebook with Dividers

Staples arc Notebook with Dividers

My arc notebook has an unadorned poly cover but it also comes in leather at a very reasonable price point. The paper is offered in narrow or graph ruled sheets as well as a project planner and a “to do” version. Just add a poly divider with pockets or tabs to keep things in their proper categories. Extra tools include page flags and task pads. Again, this is a simple system yet easily customized to your work flow and needs.

Staples arc Notebook Writing Sample

Staples arc Notebook Writing Sample

It took magnification to reveal feathering on the ruled sheets though only with one of the eight inks tested and at that only from the most free-flowing nib used. On the reverse there is no bleed-through and just the faintest hint of show-through. This is a paper destined for double-sided use and easily so considering the cover can be folded back to lay perfectly flat. Finally there is a notebook that fits both my limited space and my individual work style.

How can I use thee? Let me count the ways! No, I won’t bore you with my ideas but it should start you thinking about how you can use arc notebooks to increase your productivity and keep your fountain pens happy at the same time. Ready, set, go!

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  1. I’ve been using the ARC system this semester and I love every aspect of it, but especially the thick paper.

    • You are so right, Erin. It is thick and feels like it would stand up to just about anything. I’ve got to get a hole punch for it so I can add lots of other items to it. Did you buy one?

  2. Hi Inky,
    Looks like a good system, especially if it provides FP-friendly quality paper for the inserts. How do you find those big plastic rings when writing? Do they inhibit writing? That’s one problem I have with wire bound notebooks that as soon as you get close to the right hand edge the wires start to make it harder to write properly. It looks as though those big plastic rings could be even more inhibiting. How do you find it?

    • That’s a good question, Peter. The rings haven’t been a problem for me but I’m right-handed. The back of a page might be more of an issue but so far it hasn’t been. The rings are smooth and that helps somewhat. Worse case you can pop out the paper and tuck it back in when you have finished writing on it. This system is certainly flexible.

  3. Hi Inky,
    Looks like a great system especially if it provides quality FP-friendly inserts. How do you find the big plastic binder rings though? Don’t they inhibit writing when you get to the righthand side of the page? I find this even with wire bound notebooks , so the plastic ones look as though this might be an even bigger issue.

  4. Apologies for double post – internet connection playing up!

  5. I will be off to my local Staples to look for an Arc. I expect here on Vancouver Island there will not be any. I am very interested to see your court choices. I have all of these inks and they are among my favourites or ones I covet. Good shades, too.

  6. I love this line. I have everything they sell for it. Martha Stewart has a line with Avery as well and it is compatible with the Arc system. I will say the paper in that kit is not as fountain pen friendly in my opinion, but works just fine for most things. And for some of my disposable fountain pens, the paper is perfectly acceptable.

    • You answered one of my questions, Melinda. The Martha Stewart covers are nice and all but paper counts more. I’ll stick with ARC or the Clairefontaine version. Thanks for saving me some money especially this time of year. :)

      • the dividers from the MS collection also fit.. and they are 8 tabs rather than 5. In addition, they are very colorful — so with the 40% off coupon nice but otherwise meh! and i’ve also started seeing myenology (sp?) at target too!

        • Eight colorful tabs could be just the thing. Where did you get the 40& coupon?

          Somewhere in my stash is a Myndology notebook. Maybe Target is where I bought it. Myndology’s college ruled paper for a discbound notebook would be useful if it is good with fountain pen ink.

          • Here’s the coupon! It expires 12/31, so hurry! Also, print out a few copies, there’s no limit per customer, I think. http://www.staples.com/sbd/cre/marketing/coupons/21992_msho/offer.html

            I love the ARC system, and the paper’s fine for the fine-nibbed fps I use. I like MS calendar sets too, which now occupy permanent spots at my home and work desks in A5 notebooks.

            • Thanks for the coupon. Now to decide what to buy and in which color. Choices, choices. :)

  7. [...] Inkophile presents ARC Customizable Notebook System From Staples posted at Inkophile [...]

  8. did you know that the UK version of the colored dividers have top tabs?

  9. [...] Staples Arc Collection [...]

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