Review: Markings by C.R. Gibson - Large Journal with Graph Paper

When I came across Markings by C.R. Gibson I was looking for an alternative to the Moleskine notebook. I like graph paper in my notebooks, and that is what this one is. I believe the graph paper to be rare, or no longer produced as I have not been able to find reference to it on the C.R. Gibson website.

My notebook has a black bonded leather cover in the large size. The bonded leather cover has some overhang, which may protect the pages, but it is defiantly not as nice looking as a Moleskine of the same size. There is also a stitch going around the edge of the notebook. The cover takes the wear of being in a backpack with cords, iPad, pocket knives, and stuff well.

It has the features of a Moleskin notebook; elastic to hold it closed and pocket in the back. The elastic is looser than I would like, but it still holds the book together. I believe the pocket is well made, if more utilitarian looking than most rear Moleskin pockets.

So far I have used Pilot G2 pens with this notebook, and they take the ink well. I see shadows on the reverse side of the pages when I write on the back, but the ink does not bleed through. Based on the use of the pens I have used I have seen comparable paper to the Moleskine in quality.

I do not believe I would purchase another one of these, but I am not disappointed in its quality to much. If the elastic were just a little tighter I think this could be a serious contender for future purchases.


  • Slightly less expensive
  • Easier to find, as it is available in more locations (Target, Staples, etc.).
  • Paper works well with Gel pens.
  • Cover is heavy duty.


  • Lacks a certain amount of style when put next to a Moleskine.
  • Elastic is looser than what I would expect.

I give it a rating of 6 out of 10.  

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Elastic and extra contents

Good review!

Is the elastic very loose? Would it be good for holding the journal shut if it had loose papers etc kept inside it?

Loose Elastic

I find that the elastic is still strong enough to hold the book together. I do find that it slips off the book more than I would like.

I agree with your 6/10

I agree with your 6/10 rating on the overall quality of the notebook. However, I was lucky enough to get in on the clearance at Waldenbooks closing sale. I purchased 50 of the pocket sized notebooks in various configurations for $1.00 each. I think I'll probably have enough notebooks to last the few remaining years of my life. My only real "con" is that my Levenger cobalt ink tends to bleed slightly through the page .