Sometimes, I like to dash off a quick note that doesn’t require a full sized greeting card or a sheet of paper. Often, I like to use a fountain pen when dashing said note. Mostly, I just want some fountain pen friendly index cards.
Enter the Nock Co DotDash Note Card.
After reading positive review after positive review on pen blogs far and wide, I summoned a few packs of the “Standard” and “Petite” cards to give them a try. Now I’m going to share my findings with you.
The Standard cards are the typical 3x5in index card size while the Petite cards are 2×3.5in business card size.
I like the size of the Petite cards more than I thought I would. They’re rather cute, and they’re perfect for short TO-DO and shopping lists.
Both varieties of cards are printed on both sides with Nock Co’s unique “DotDash” ruling pattern: an alternating series of dots and lines that form a 4.25mm grid. The Standard cards are available with the ruling printed in different colors (the ones I have are Dusty Blue) while the Petite cards are only available in Purple. Regardless of color, the grid lines are subdued and don’t overwhelm the writing being put on the card.
The paper is bright white 80lb cover stock. It’s smoother and heavier than cheap no-name index cards. That’s a good thing because these Nock Co cards cost quite a few pretty pennies.
According to Nock Co, “[T]hese note cards can handle almost any pen and ink you throw at it. Yes, even fountain pens.”
Let’s put that to the test.
I took a bunch of pens and wrote on a Nock Co card.
Then I took the same pens and wrote on a cheap no-name index card.
Look even closer.
Writing on a cheap index card with a fountain pen is a tragic experience. You know it. I know it. The ink feathers like crazy. Nibs seem to catch. It’s enough to make the Lamy Vista throw up its tines and say, “Mein Gott!”
Unfortunately, I wasn’t much thrilled when using my fountain pens on the Nock Co cards either. While the nibs wrote smoothly, I saw a lot more feathering than I expected, and I just didn’t like the “feel” of my pens as I wrote on the cards.
Conventional wisdom holds that finer nibs lead to better results on uncooperative paper, but most of my pens are the Japanese kind of fine, and if I’m seeing feathering with those, then I wonder just how much fountain pen handling these Nock Co cards are really up for. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by Tomoe River and Traveler’s Notebook paper and my standards are impossibly high.
That being said, there was no show-through or bleed-through after my fountain pen test. And my trusty Pilot G2 and Uni-ball Signo gel pens write beautifully on these note cards. I also really dig the DotDash ruling — the 4.25mm grid is perfect for my writing style.
Here’s how the Nock Co Standard cards price out against some other brands of index cards.
The Nock Co cards cost nearly twice as much per card as the next most expensive brand, Exacompta. For that premium, you’ll get decent paper that’s mostly fountain pen friendly, a really nice set of grid markings, and a product that’s made in the USA. Whether that’s worth it will be up to you to decide.
Obviously, I did not conduct an exhaustive test of every pen/nib/ink/Nock card combination on Earth, but with the fountain pens and inks I use most often, the Nock Co cards fall short of my lofty standards.
These note cards were purchased with my own funds. My opinions on this blog are always my own. Please see my review ethics statement for more details.