Review: Doane Daily Arsenal Kit

You are not Ernest Hemingway.

Unfortunately, your undying devotion to Moleskine notebooks will not change that fact. Our advice? Ditch the aspirational pieces of writing bling and cozy up to something more practical.

If you truly want to indulge in a bit of paper-and-pen Luddism, nothing beats the elegant simplicity of Doane Paper’s Daily Arsenal Kit.

Instead of harping about his product’s (questionable) creative lineage, Chad Doane simply makes high-quality notebooks. And it shows.

The line-up comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, but it’s the stationary that’s the real star. To wit: the clever grid + lined paper layout, which combines bold blue horizontal lines embedded with smaller (.125-inch) grid formations. Think of it as a mashup of your standard college-ruled vellum with some graphing paper.

The resulting parchment is suitable for everyone from the math ninjas to artists and designers to the average college freshman. Not only is the grid system fantastic for impromptu doodles, but it also works for intricate outlines and even simple lists. Doane even lets you print out sample pages before you buy.

Included in the company’s 21-piece uber kit are three large, legal-sized writing pads, three smaller pads, plus a trio of small “flap jotters” for random quick notes or weekly scheduling. Our favorite piece of scribble candy, however, is the 8 x 11-inch idea journal, which comes sandwiched between durable, 80-point chipboard stock and is bound with a double 0-ring wire binding. Throw in three of the best writing utensils in existence — the water-resistant, smudge-proof Sharpie Fine Point pens — and you have yourself a deal that even Hemingway and Chatwin couldn’t turn down.

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