Supporting Small Businesses: The Journal Shop

Supporting Small Businesses: The Journal Shop

Welcome to the fourth edition of my Supporting Small Businesses series. I’m sure you won’t be surprised that I am yet again featuring stationery!

I have been a customer of The Journal Shop for some time now, so when I decided to stock up on letter paper just before the start of lockdown, I headed straight to their website to place an order. The Journal Shop aims to provide the best of the world’s stationery products and you will find they stock a vast array of stationery – from notebooks and pads to pens and pencils, desk organisers and pen pots to photo albums and tote bags, washi tape and stickers, and so much more. Some of the items can be quite hard to find elsewhere in the UK.

Letter pads from The Journal Shop.

Not all paper is equal when it comes to writing letters with a fountain pen. Fountain pen ink behaves better on some paper than others and, whilst some cheaper paper such as Clairefontaine and Rodia work well, I’ve found the slightly more expensive Japanese paper works best.

Life Co writing paper is quite possibly my favourite brand of writing paper as I have several different pads of it. This time I bought two Life Co pads – the L. Writing Paper Pad and the Life Bank Paper Pad.

L. Writing Paper
L. Writing Paper

The L. Writing Paper Pad is A5 (14.8 x 21cm), comes in cream or white (this time I went for cream), and has 30 sheets per pad. It is lined on one side with a decorative border, but that doesn’t stop me using the blank side too (after all, our international postage from the UK is priced based on size and weight, so I need to keep the page count down as much as possible). The paper itself is smooth. It handles fountain pen ink very well, with no bleed-through or feathering, and it shows any sheening or shading the ink might have.

Life Bank Paper
Life Bank Paper
Life Bank Paper
Life Bank Paper

The Life Bank Paper is just a bit smaller than A5 at 14.5 x 20cm, it comes in white and has 100 sheets per pad. It also features a pink blotting sheet, but I haven’t made use of that myself. This paper is blank, so I use a lined template beneath each sheet to keep my writing straight. The paper is fairly smooth but has a bit of texture to it. Again, no feathering or bleed-through with this paper, showing shading well.

Midori MD Cotton Pad
Midori MD Cotton Pad

I bought the Midori MD Cotton pads in both A5 and A4. The paper is blank and has an angled corner to the bottom-left, apparently, so you know where to tear the sheets from. Unlike most other letter pads, the Midori MD Cotton Pads are glued on both the top edge and the right-hand edge, supposedly to make the pad more secure, but I generally don’t have any problems with paper moving on pads which are only glued at the top. Each pad holds 90 sheets and the paper is made from 20% cotton pulp. The paper is soft and smooth with minimal texture, and, very much like the Life paper, it handles fountain pen ink very well.

At the time of ordering, The Journal Shop had a discount code available, so of course, I made use of that (always worth checking for!). My order arrived just two days after I placed it and it was packaged well, so I was very pleased with the swift service by The Journal Shop.

No doubt, I’ll be ordering from The Journal Shop again.


Please note: I bought these items with my own money and I am in no way affiliated with The Journal Shop.


  1. My handwriting is so atrocious these days; hardly legible.
    Back in the day, I was very proud of my pretty writing style…where did it go?
    Even signing a greeting card, I tend to make it sloppy.
    Ahh, such is life, but I’d LURV to have writing paper like this, just to feel it…

  2. Hi Nikki,

    I think that for me personally, this has to be your best find yet. I love the quality look of this stationery and I can imagine that it feels like quality too!

    I prefer to use lined stationery myself, as I was never a big fan of those little lined template sheets.

    I haven’t used a fountain pen in years, in fact it is very difficult to find a decent pen these days, as I believe that a good pen can make your writing look nicer by default, if that makes sense!

    The company website has also been very well thought out and designed, which makes you feel good about the product, before you even enter the shop.

    Thanks for sharing and I hope that all is well with you 🙂


  3. Lisa says:

    You can never have too many notepads around, can you? And I love writing with a fountain pen too, it forces me to slow down and write more neatly. The quality of this paper looks wonderful! Lisa

  4. Lauren says:

    I haven’t heard of this brand before but as I am a huge stationery fan, I am always keen to find other stationery brands. Thank you for sharing this review.

  5. Ann Coleman says:

    I’ve been keeping a journal for quite a few years now, although I don’t write in it every day. I just record the highlights (or in the case of this year, the low-lights) of our lives together. I think it will be interesting to read it some day!

  6. jeanie says:

    Rick is a huge fountain pen guy and we’re always looking for beautiful writing paper. I wish we lived near this wonderful shop. We’d be great customers!

  7. This one is definitely one for me. I’m obsessed with notepads and journals, have way too many but can never resist when I find ones I like. I’ll have to check these guys out x


  8. Aimsy says:

    Oh, I love stationery so I will definitely be checking out the journal shop. You can never have too much stationery, can you?

    Thanks for sharing and what a great way to support a small business!

    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

  9. Nancy says:

    I’ve been loving small stationery shops lately. Ooooh the quality of these pieces is pretty good! I haven’t tried writing on cotton pads before. I need to give it a try, especially with a different material. Glad you enjoyed their shop!

    Nancy ♥

  10. Sheryl says:

    I’m impressed that you use a fountain pen. I haven’t tried one in years, but always found them difficult to use without getting blobs of ink all over the paper.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.