Maruman Giuris Cover File Folder Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter. And check out her latest book, Out of Water, now available where books are sold!)

It's finals week, so you know what that means! Yes, it's time to get ready for next semester. No rest for the wicked. But the best part of getting ready for a new semester is setting up your school supplies.

I was sent this Maruman Giuris Cover File Folder to review, and I had a thought that it might make a good binder system for my class notes next semester. Ultimately, I don't think it's going to meet my needs, but it's a good product that has its uses.

The name of this product is a little misleading. It's not quite a folder, and it's not a book cover--it's a 20-ring binder. It has a smoothly operating ring system set in a plastic binder, with a faux leather cover that slips over the plastic. On the inside of the front cover there are a few card slot pockets, and the inside flap can be used as a folder. Then there are six binder tabs, followed by a slim plastic notebook-like insert. The back inside cover has a pen loop. The setup comes with a packet of 50 sheets of loose-leaf paper, and the rings can hold up to 70 sheets in addition to the tabs and notebook.

The paper included here is reportedly Maruman's best paper, and it is exceptional. It works with everything I used, no bleeding, feathering, or even ghosting. I highly recommend it for fountain pen users, but it was pleasant with any writing tool. Paper refills cost $7.25 for a 50-sheet pack, but this binder is also compatible with Kokuyo Campus 20-hole papers, which are also excellent and cost $7 for 100 sheets.

There are a few reasons why this setup isn't ideal for me. For one, 70 sheets doesn't get me very far when it comes to schoolwork--I need a notebook/binder that can hold a lot more than that, especially if I'm taking several classes. I also had some issues with their loose-leaf paper packet. The pages aren't really loose-leaf; they're bound at the top with glue, like a notepad. You're meant to tear the pages away to use them, but the glue is a bit aggressive. Perhaps not every pack is so thoroughly glued as mine was, but I experienced torn or tattered pages most of the time. Not occasionally--almost every page did not tear away cleanly. That wouldn't bother me if this was a notepad, where the notes are often disposable, but my school notes are something I want to hold onto. Really, the glue seemed like a mean thing to do to such good paper. It was also inconvenient to have to peel off every page. I think it would be preferable if the loose-leaf paper just came loose. Six tabs also seems like a lot if each one could only hold a dozen or so pages.

This binder is priced at $39 on JetPens, which I think is a bit steep for what it offers. I would have estimated it a bit lower than that, though it does come with a decent amount of paper, which helps. While I won't be using this for school, I do think it could be useful in some other way. It might make a good planner, and the page layout is well designed for such a purpose. I could even see it as a good phone or address log, or reading log. Actually, I might use this as a reading log, myself. The tabs allow for a six-month setup, and the dozen sheets for every tab is a good amount for such a purpose. But the options speak to the versatility of the product, which is definitely a mark in its favor. I will probably get the Kokuyo refills, though.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

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