Loading... Please wait...

Seven Seas "MicroDot" A5 Grid Journal

Calculated at checkout
Max Purchase:
5 unit(s)

For the longest time, I resisted making a notebook with a dot grid. To me, dots have to be of a certain size and shade to be visible by themselves, and thus lack the precision of a grid pattern's intersecting lines. Plus, dots are solid shapes, require a lot of printing ink which repels water, and thus they easily show through dark fountain pen writing.


Then one day I was driving down the street past a Target store, and it hit me that the image of a target might have the benefits of a dot, with the precision and light weight of a grid. Thus, the idea for the "micro dot" - a tiny dot within a circle - was born, and became what you see here.


Now, to be perfectly honest, I think the micro dot idea is really good and original, but, given that I like to do things in an understated manner, our execution of that idea turned out to be a bit loud and strong for my tastes. See the pics - the pattern just jumps out at you! Part of it is because we made the circle a bit bigger than normal (0.8mm) and the print color could have been made a shade lighter. Please judge for yourself and look carefully before ordering.


Also, we all know that in thin-paper printed notebooks, the print on subsequent and preceding pages ghosts, giving the facing page a blurry effect. This is exaggerated by the dots and is shown in the pics. That can be overcome by placing a writing mat, blotter sheet (included) or just a plain 'ol sheet of paper underneath. The pattern is actually quite mild when the pages are used that way.


In any case, I do feel that once you start writing, you get used to it. My daughter feels the design is a bit too complex, but she is using it for her calligraphy, and has been ok with it so far.


So there you have it - our Micro Dot Grid. Please try it out, and let me know what you think in the reviews, or email me directly.



  • Flexible, semi-stiff coated fabric cover.
  • Smythe-sewn (thread-bound), lay-flat binding
  • White Tomoe River paper - lots and lots of it
  • No cover printing or branding except for the back end sheet
  • Comes with a kraft slip case


The pages are "thread-bound", which is a very old and still the best production method of bookbinding. Thread-bound pages are sewn (with a special sewing machine) into signatures, which are gathered to form a text-block, which is then cased into a cover. This method allows the journal to lay flat with no stress to the spine, and for that reason it is the absolute best method for binding a book (including a library book) that sees the daily rigors of opening, closing and pressing down with the hands. It can even be folded back on itself. If you were to go on an around-the-world trip over the course of many months and needed to document your experiences in great detail, this journal would certainly be up to the task.

The paper size is A5 (148x210mm or 8.3x5.8 inches), and 15mm thick. The cover is made of a coated fabric, similar to buckram, but a bit less coarse and heavy duty. The cover has also been made stiffer through the use of a core board sandwiched between the fabric and the end sheets. You can use the book as-is, or put it inside a leather, cloth, paper, vinyl, fabric, etc. outer cover.




  • The notebook will lay flatter if you bend it back on itself a bit. Go ahead and bend it backwards! It won't break.
  • If you use a fine-to-medium fountain pen, the ink will generally dry fast enough. If it doesn't, close the book on the included pink blotter sheet.
  • If you use a pencil, softer leads such as 2B and 3B work well.
  • Pencil marks erase very cleanly from this paper, and using a high quality eraser is pure pleasure. Don't be surprised if you find yourself making mistakes on purpose.
  • If you find the book a bit thick for your writing style, please read this.


Recommended accessories:



  • Size A5, 210x148mm, 15mm thick, (8.3x5.8x0.7 inches)
  • White-color (which is really an off-white) Tomoe River "Notebook" paper
  • 5mm dot grid
  • 480 pages (240 leaves), no lines, rounded corners
  • Lay-flat thread binding
  • Flexible, tough, thin water-resistant coated-fabric cover
  • Ivory-colored end sheets
  • Comes with one A5 blotter paper
  • Made in Japan


ABOUT MANUFACTURING VARIATION: We've found that Tomoe River paper, and thin paper in general, is unlike working with "regular" weight papers such as 20 lb bond, laid, wove, etc. papers (we have actually be unable to find any binders in the US that are willing to work with TR paper). Tomoe River paper is very sensitive to humidity, and when bound in a thick book by machine as ours are, some unexpected variations can occur. So far, we've experienced the following (also please see the pictures):

  1. Rippled pages
  2. A subtle "waviness" on the edge of the book block
  3. Dog-eared pages (rare)

None of these issues will affect the writing surface or quality of the writing experience, and it's not practical for us to go through each book page-by-page (these issues can be quite random). However, if for any reason you are not satisfied with the book you receive, please let us know (dave@nanamipaper.com) and we'll do our best to rectify the situation. Thank you for your understanding!

For more information and design goals, please read the Seven Seas Journal Fact Page.

If you'd like to compare this journal to the cost of other journals, please see our notebook value comparison.

Did you know that Hemingway wrote with a pencil? We like to think that, had he known about the Seven Seas Standard, he would have used a fountain pen. Here's the full story.


Write your own product review

Product Reviews

Showing reviews 1-10 of 33 | Next

  1. The more I write, the more I love it. 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 18th Feb 2020

    I have been using a Seven Seas microdot as my daily journal. I use mostly M nibs and love wet flowing inks, so the drying time requires a purposeful effort not to smudge when turning pages or passing a hand over a finished page for any reason. But this is a small habit to have to form for the pleasure of this writing experience. I love the microdots, I don't find them intrusive at all. In fact, I appreciate the gentle guide keeping my lines reasonably straight. I can't recommend the Seven Seas MicroDot highly enough.

  2. Good for Fountain Pens 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 12th Feb 2020

    I recently purchased this journal because I had gotten some J Herbin Emerald of Chivor ink and the sheen wasn't showing up in my current journal, which was a leuchturm 1917. I purchased this journal after seeing that tomoe river paper is good for fountain pen ink. Now that I have this journal, the ink has that nice red sheen and isn't just plain blue. There's no bleedthrough even though the paper is thin. The journal is nicely constructed and arrived fast.

  3. Love Nanami Notebooks, dots too pronounced 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 3rd Jan 2020

    First, I love Nanami Seven Seas notebooks and Cafe Journals. The construction, the paper, the page count, and portability make these fabulous notebooks to carry around.

    As Dave already noted, the dots are a bit too pronounced. Because they are pronounced and this is Tomoe River paper, you can see through to the dots on the other side (ghosting). This can be a little disorienting when the dots do not fully line up. In my notebook, the alignment is only off vertically but are in alignment horizontally, so I can at least still write in a straight line.

    I am using this notebook as a work notebook, which means I leave a lot of white space on the page. The dots in the white spaces around my notes are still noticeable but they do fade into the background, unlike the grids in the lab notebook I replaced this with.

    The best part? I had been filling a lab notebooks about every couple of months. The Tomoe River paper means I can write on both sides of the page with my fountain pens. When combined with the generous page count of the Seven Seas notebooks, I expect a single notebook will last me several months.

    Having said all that, I will likely switch to the Crossfield when it comes back into stock.

  4. Seven Seas A5 Micro Dot 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 30th Dec 2019

    My order of these marvelous note books arrived today. I love these books, the paper is so welcoming of fountain pens inks. I still can't believe that there are 480 pages in these books, unreal! Just a word about the packaging that they are shipped in, mine arrived on the west coast of Canada looking like they had been shipped from around the corner, rather than from the other side of the world. Such care!

  5. A dream to write on... 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 12th Dec 2019

    An elegant yet simple notebook, my only wish was the the dot-grid came in cream color paper, however I still love it and appreciate the smoothness of the Tomoe river paper.

  6. My first Tomoe notebook, totally thrilled! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 11th Dec 2019

    I have only made a quick try with this Seven Seas MicroDot A5 notebook. This due to my wife telling me I can’t use it until Christmas,as it is my Christmas present. However, I did get in a writing sample test, with my Montblanc, Cross, and Schaffer fountain pens. The nibs were ef, f, m. All with Montblanc black ink. I found all pens wrote smoothly, with no ghosting and minimal to no bleed through. I can’t wait to start using this product on a daily basis.

  7. Love these notebooks, not this grid 3 Star Review

    Posted by on 27th Oct 2019

    The Nanami Seven Seas notebooks are hands-down my favorite notebooks. I'm addicted! It's almost all I ever use. Lovely Tomoe River paper, 52 gsm in great quantity, beautiful, light and sturdy A5 binding. I use the dot-grids for writing and bullet-journaling, and I loved the previous incarnations of the Crossfield.

    Why the 3 stars? I hate leaving a "meh" review for products I generally love by leaps and bounds more than other products, but... Unfortunately, this target-like grid is too pronounced. It's distracting to look at as I'm writing, and doesn't disappear into my handwriting as much as previous grids, which affects legibility as well as aesthetics. I find myself trying to split the distance between lines and cram my handwriting in tinier spaces than before, instead of writing on the bottom line. Showthrough, which I normally love for handwriting, is compounded by the added showthrough of grid misalignments and bold grid design, pushing it over the edge into being confusing. Difficult, as I like writing on both sides of the paper, and don't want to have to insert and move around other papers in between the sheets I'm using. It makes turning pages more laborious than it should be, and alters the paperfeel.

    This grid is an ok way to pass the time until the Crossfield comes back. I may switch to the blank Standard while I wait, even though it's easier using paper with guides printed on it. Less of a dealbreaker, but I'm not fond of the target bullseye logo on the front cover, either -- placement, size and design reminiscent of Target and targets in general all bother me there. That can be hidden, though, so it's okay. I also miss the burgundy covers, though the blue-black is growing on me -- just a personal preference, and not something that affects usability.

    Looking forward to the Crossfield returning in future, hopefully!

  8. beautiful 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 16th Oct 2019

    This notebook is awesome. The paper is thin like all tomoe River paper but has minimal ghosting. And of course, it’s a dream to write on.

  9. spectacular 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 15th Oct 2019

    Most beautiful notebook I’ve ever seen. Flat, crisp, thick and juicy. This sucker opens up and lies flat as a board!!! It holds my well-used and lived TN open as well. Fountain pen? No problem!
    Nanami, will you marry me?

  10. Fantastic quality, great paper and beautifully bound! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 26th Sep 2019

    I’ve been using an A6 Cafe note as a personal journal for some time now, but needed something bigger for work. Enter the A5 grid notebook. Loads of pages, fabulous tomoe river paper and really well made. I don’t see any other reason to use any other notebook having had these in my life.

Showing reviews 1-10 of 33 | Next