Brunnen Kompagnon – out with the old…

Nearly three years ago I bought a Brunnen Kompagnon notebook, a quite small one (A7, i.e. 74 mm x 105 mm, ~ 2.9″ x 4.1″) so that it fits in my shirt pocket. I wanted a small notebook I can carry with me on a daily basis and thought I give the Kompagnon a try. I paid €8.60 (~ $11.70; £7.50) at myPens and ordered a few others things as well –  to reach €30 as they offer free shipping in the EU for order above €30.

I cannot say that the quality of this notebook was poor, but after such a long time of carrying it around with me on a daily basis and using it on a nearly-daily basis it is definitely not in great condition any more. Quite early I also ripped a page or two out of the back, but didn’t know that the  Kompagnon doesn’t really like this. It didn’t take long before neighbouring pages became loose.The plastic cover near the spine got damaged over time, too. I fixed it with double-sided 3M tape, but that didn’t solve the whole problem. The plastic stuck to the spine, but over time the corners have now ruined two shirt pockets. Time to replace this notebook, but unfortunately there isn’t much choice when it comes to A7. I’d prefer a slightly thinner notebook, too. The 192 pages of 80g/m2 Munken paper and the cover and pocket mean that the Kompagnon is about 1.5 cm thick.

I found the Samsonite basic notebook in A7 [1]unfortunately I couldn’t find an English web page with more information to link to, but it is 1.5 cm thick, too. The Staufen Poème is an A7 notebook with 96 pages of 80g/m2 paper, so it might be thinner. Another alternative I found is the X17 system, reviewed at Notebook Loves Pen. The Mode A7 version, made from bonded/regenerated leather (“Lefa”), for two booklets looks very interesting, but I am not sure whether it is too thick. A version for one booklet is supposed to be released later this year.

Does anyone have a suggestion for a “not too thick” A7 notebook?


Price: November 2008

Exchange rates: October 2011

Wikipedia has an interesting chapter about the history of the A paper formats.

There is a good explanation on the server of the University of Cambridge.


1 unfortunately I couldn’t find an English web page with more information to link to

12 thoughts on “Brunnen Kompagnon – out with the old…”

  1. The photos of your battered notebook are great! By the way, my last notebook was a Kompagnon too, and it has looked similar after two years already.

    Unfortunately there is no Leuchtturm1917 notebook that meets your demands – I am sure that you would be happy with it (despite your disappointment with their pen loop).

  2. Oh, thanks for letting me know. I actually forgot to check Leuchtturm.
    The Kompagnon is great. If it hadn’t ruined two shirts I would have kept it, despite it’s bulkiness when worn in a shirt pocket…

  3. What about the smallest moleskine size? I usually would not recommand moleskine notebooks, but in your case it seems suitable: durable, small, thin, the price range is comparable, rounded corners, different types (blanc/lined/squared), not too hard to get, to use with pencil or rollerball.

  4. Julie, I had a look, but the smallest Moleskine size I could find is much bigger than A7. Definitely too big for my shirt pocket (that also has to deal with a FC 9000 Perfect Pencil and a Pelikan M400). If there is an A7 Moleskine it might not be available in all countries.

  5. Perhaps the notebook with hard leather cover is better option. I’ve been using Midori’s Traveler’s Notebook in Passport Size for quite long. It is fully customizable (similar to X17) and looks better and better with more use. The idea and its design has its own charm. I absolutely love the MD paper (also Midori product) used for refills. Here’s the link to German retailer.

  6. Calculi, thanks for the suggestion. I searched for “passport size” on the web and the numbers I got indicate that it’s much too big for my shirt pocket… It does look nice though. I like the rustic look and wouldn’t mind a similar notebook in a bigger size – for a use other than carrying with me all the time.

  7. Pingback: Notebook Stories: A Blog About Notebooks, Journals, Moleskines, Blank Books, Sketchbooks, Diaries and More

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  9. One of the issues when using a notebook daily is that the cover has to be pretty good. How is/was the cover of the notebook you bought?

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