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Seven Seas "MicroDot" A5 Grid Journal

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.


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Product Reviews

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  1. Love it so much I ordered another one 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 9th May 2019

    I am a big fan of Tomoe River paper and these notebooks really are so beautiful. Wasn’t sure about the microdot but to be completely honest after using it for over a week now I don’t even notice any differences between that and a normal dot grid.
    As the title says, I love it so much I ordered another one!
    I live in the uk and the shipping was super quick took about five working days, it was packaged really well too.
    So a big thank you Dave for another gorgeous seven seas notebook to replace the Crossfield, although I also would love to try the Crossfield Japan with the larger squared grid

  2. happy to have a replacement for the cross grid 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 5th May 2019

    I haven't ordered in awhile hoping that the A5 cross grid would return but finally I needed a new journal so took a chance on this one. It truly is an excellent replacement and I really recommend it highly!

  3. love it so much i’ve just ordered another one! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 2nd May 2019

    A Excellent notebook well made with beautiful 52gsm Tomoe River paper. The dots don’t bother me at all and as it says in the title I loved it so much I’ve just ordered another one.
    Shipping to the uk was super quick, about 4 working days!
    Can’t fault Nanami paper at all. I’m a very happy bunny.

  4. Beautiful 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 30th Apr 2019

    I read all the reviews on this notebook and was torn as I totally love the Crossfield and Tomoe River paper and as I live in the uk was concerned as it was quite pricey shipping for something I wasn’t 100% sure of.
    But I went ahead and ordered one as I miss my Crossfield and have not found anything even close to the amount of pages and quality of book.
    I am so glad I did, the microdot doesn’t bother me at all, I just pop some blotting paper in between the pages and it’s fine.
    My only problem now is I don’t want to use pen in it as I’m scared off messing my gorgeous notebook up!

  5. Almost perfect 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 18th Apr 2019

    I love my Nanami A5 Seven Seas micro dot journal. I have already done my pen test, line drawing test and general daily use tests. The only wish I have is that the beautiful super thin paper that magically blocks all but Sharpie ink (so far), does "dint" when using ballpoint or sharp point pens. Still the best journal for me.

  6. Amazing quality! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 30th Mar 2019

    It’s something I have come to expect from this store: perfection. The notebook is top quality build and great value for money.

    I now use Nanami notebooks almost exclusively now and will continue to do so.

    I can’t recommend it enough.

  7. Best notebook I've used 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 26th Mar 2019

    I used to write in the Seven Seas Standard but decided to order the microdot on my latest order. By far my favorite dot journal that I have used. The target dots are very subtle and I have not had any issues with the other pages 'ghosting' and being distracting while writing.

  8. Excellent notbook 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 1st Mar 2019

    Very impressed with the build quality and packaging of the product. Perfect, no frills, unassuming notebook with excellent paper.

  9. binding coming unstitched 2 Star Review

    Posted by on 20th Jan 2019

    I recently received this item, and after working on just a few pages the stitching is coming undone.

    Note from Dave: I will replace any defective notebooks and pay shipping to the USA.

  10. waiting for the next dot grid version 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 10th Jan 2019

    just adding to the chorus here that I'm eagerly waiting to purchase the next version of this with a more minimal dot grid, if such a notebook should come to pass. =)

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