Baron Fig Road Test and Quick Tips

I filled up my first Baron Fig notebook last week, and overall I've been very happy with it. In fact, I rolled right into a second Baron Fig book when my first one filled up.

There are still some rough edges here and there, but none of the concerns I called out in my original review ended up being show-stoppers for me. I also had a little fun trying to find my own hacks for the minor issues I encountered.

Fabric Cover Durability

I was a bit worried about how the fabric cover would hold up to daily wear and tear. It performed very well. I dragged the book around with me daily, including on a cross-country trip. The cover still looks great. In fact, the fabric softened slightly with use for a more homespun feel.

Fabric Cover Alignment

In my original review, I noted that the "grain" of my fabric cover was slightly misaligned. I quickly stopped noticing this in daily usage, and my second Baron Fig arrived with a perfectly aligned fabric cover. So, I think this is most likely a non-issue.

Cover Closure (or Lack Thereof)

My biggest complaint about Baron Fig is that the cover does not stay closed when not in use. This problem got worse the more I used the book. As Jeff Abbott noted in his review, this can be a bit problematic if, like me, you have a tendency to lay your fountain pen on top of your notebook. I've definitely had a couple of near catastrophes from pen rolling.

I dropped an e-mail to the Baron Fig folks, and they quickly confirmed that this is a known issue that they are working on a solution for.

A simple fix is to add a big rubber band, but it took me a surprisingly long time to find one that fits well and looks decent. (Note to local law enforcement: I had a non-creepy reason for all of the time I spent in girls and ladies headband aisles last month.)

I finally struck gold on Amazon with the aptly-named "Grifiti Big-Ass Bands" (6-inch version).

These bands come in a variety of colors and fit the Baron Fig very well. They're also made out of silicone rather than traditional rubber band material, which makes them a bit nicer to handle.

I can even squeeze my iPad mini in to create what the Germans call a Roterfaden BaronFigleiter.

Bookmark Ribbon Fraying

Nearly every Baron Fig review I've read highlights the fact that the bookmark ribbon tends to fray. It took several weeks before I encountered any issues with this, but once I did it went South very quickly. I can also confirm from experience that the old "burn the end of the shoelace" trick isn't very effective with this material.

My wife, who likes to sew, turned me on to this stuff called Fray Check. You can pick it up at Amazon or at your local fabric or craft store.

As soon as I received my second Baron Fig, I trimmed the ribbon and hit it with a little of this. After about a week, the ribbon end is still flawless.

Final Thoughts

The fact that I've re-upped for a second Baron Fig kind of says it all. I'm sure I will wander back to my other favorites from time to time, but the Baron Fig has earned a spot in my regular rotation.

Also, because it's a great value and simple to buy, it makes paper quality missionary work much easier. Whenever I see someone using a Moleskine, I send them to the Baron Fig website.

Doug Lane @douglane