A while back I published an article called ‘A Trip To Muji’ and in it I remember saying that I had more from Muji but it was currently being stored somewhere safe; which translated to “I’ve no clue where it is!”. That was until a few days ago when I was looking for something and I moved a box and heard the unmistakeable rustle of a paper bag and knew I had struck Muji gold.
As you can see from the group shot the bag was full of long forgotten treasure; so sit back with the beverage of your choice and I will walk you through the other half of the Muji haul.
No.’s 1, 4 & 8 – the Post-it style notes and tabs.
This is a rather clever little idea, Muji have created a days of the week sticky note which is ideal for anywhere from the bottom edge of a monitor to the inside of a cell ‘phone case. The space will only allow for a couple of notes per day but to act as a reminder of important events it’s ideal.
As a pocket-sized sticky notes go this one is a bit more imaginative; we’re all used to the little yellow square that we scribble hasty lists on so Muji decided to organise us and created a ‘To-Do’ list sticky note. Whilst they’re not the first to do this they are definitely the best. Like No.1 this note is small enough to go anywhere but big enough to be useful.
These notes are small and very very useful. If you’re anything like me, you read a book and then realise what a good idea it would have been to tag the pages you are going to need to go back to instead of searching through the book for the paragraph you need. Again, Muji has got it right; these are small page markers that just do what you want. The one thing Muji could have done better is the colours and whilst there is nothing wrong with them it would have been nicer to have a bigger range because four just isn’t enough if you need to colour code several sections etc.
No.’s 2, 11 &12 – my pencil selection
I bought this pack of pencils with the intention of using them to mark-up draft documents and I fancied more than just red which I usually use. If you look closely you will see I have sharpened the red to use as a test pencil. I found these are not really suitable for my intended purpose as they are nice quality colouring pencils, meaning they are a little soft for making notes on documents but they are still good for highlighting sections. Don’t be put off by the plain packaging these are good pencils and very suitable as a gift.
This is Muji’s basic mechanical pencil made to look like a regular pencil; it’s just a simple click pencil, so a couple of clicks on the eraser and you have enough to start writing. I didn’t expect a lot from this pencil but I was very pleasantly surprised, it’s nice to use and it’s reliable. At 0.5mm it’s a fine point which means it’s good for both detail work and notes and has the advantage that you never need to sharpen it.
This is a pack of 2B pencils (Muji make them in other grades) which is my favourite grade of pencil. These are hexagonal section pencils and as you can see they come in a no fuss wrapper. They sharpen very well and when tested held a point, for the pennies I was not expecting a great deal, but I am happy to say I was wrong, these pencils are as good if not better than some of the more expensive pencils I have bought.
No.’s 3 & 6 – the notebook and the note pad
Of all of them this is my favourite Muji notebook. It’s A5, dot grid, hard cover with an elastic closure and even though I don’t like wire binding I have to concede that on this book it doesn’t bother me. As the image, below, shows the paper is good quality and is suitable for fountain pens; whilst there is some show through there was no bleed through so the reverse of the page was usable. This is a good everyday notebook and unlike Moleskine the elastic closure does not fail after a couple of uses.
No.4 has a big brother and this is it. Unlike No.4 this is a regular ‘To-Do’ pad and not a sticky note version. What it is is a really useful pocket-sized pad, it’ll fit in pockets, bags, backpacks in fact anywhere. To me it’s a great desktop companion big enough to scribble tasks on but not so big that it gets in the way and if keeping a bullet journal is your thing then this might make a suitable companion.
No.’s 5 & 7 – pencil loops
Both of these are very useful you can clip them on pretty much any notebook and you can clip as many as you want. They have a strong clip so there is no chance of them falling off and the metal loop will expand to cope with most standard pens or pencils. Whilst I have no proof I would not be willing to say that the loop wouldn’t scratch a pen or pencil particularly as I have read reports of elastic loops doing just this; I would only use them for everyday disposable pens/pencils and not for anything you are attached to.
No.9 – MIB approved eraser!
There is not a lot to say about No.9 and its smaller sibling, pictured, it’s an eraser, it’s black and it’s very cool. It’s Muji’s standard eraser that comes in two sizes and also comes in white. It does what it says on the tin, “no muss, no fuss and not a single cuss”*, which is exactly what any of us want from an eraser.
*Dr Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory
No.10 – possibly the worlds smallest pencil sharpener?
When it comes to small pencil sharpeners this one has the competition beat, it’s a tiny self-contained little sharpener that collects its own shavings. I have to admit I didn’t think it would work but decided to buy one for the novelty value, however, I was wrong. It does work, and it works well doing a pretty good job of putting a point on a pencil. I wouldn’t use it to sharpen a new pencil from scratch but it is ideal for topping up a pencil that is starting to go blunt; if you are short on space or looking for a travel sharpener then this is the one.
Well I hope you have enjoyed the second half of ‘A Trip To Muji’ and thank you for reading this far, this has been a long one.
To wrap this up I would say that the thing to remember about Muji’s stationery is that none of it is particularly aexpensive, it is all good quality and above all else it just works. I don’t like everything in the range because it doesn’t suit me and I do think they could expand the range a little such as making No.8 in a wider range of colours but at the end of the day I keep going back and I keep buying useful stationery from them so they’re definitely doing something right.
Disclaimer: All of the items were purchased with my own funds at retail price. The opinions expressed in this review are my own; and I am not connected with either the retailers or manufacturers in any way.