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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

Previous | Showing reviews 11-20 of 21 | Next

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. =)

  5. More pronounced dot grid - Still excellent notebook 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 9th Jan 2019

    I do like the crossfield better, but this is still an excellent notebook at a great price for the top quality Tomoe River paper. I have no hesitation to recommend this notebook.

  6. Great for bullet journaling! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 8th Jan 2019

    I have been keeping a bullet journal for about three years. I started with a dot grid Leuchtturm A5 and finished my third in December 2018. I liked the dots but the number of pages meant that if I added collections, lists, or other fun additions to my bujo, I was left with about half a page per day for most days. And honestly that felt a bit restrictive as I would rather have about a full page per day (and more if needed). I had ordered two A6 cafe notes for other purposes and really enjoyed them but I really really wanted a dot grid for my bujo. I was delighted to see the micro dot book available in time to start my 2019 bujo. There is plenty of paper for me to have a page per day plus extra pages for reading lists, monthly calendars, etc. The size of the grid is perfect and the grey color means the dots don't stand out too much. And the paper is amazing!!! I have been using a few fountain pens with inks that have sheen in them and this paper shows the colors so nicely! Even though the paper is thin, it's very strong and I love the crinkly feel as I fill them up. I have not had issues with bleed through and show through is about the same as the Leuchtturm (so not a big deal at all) I also ordered the plastic cover and inserted a photo that I took to personalize it. I hope you keep a dot grid in stock as this is now my absolute favorite to use.

  7. Love this notebook 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 5th Jan 2019

    I really loved the Crossfield, but this is a much better version...the dots are less distracting. Paper is amazing. Notebook is fantastic. I'm using it daily.

  8. bigger dots on the Micro Dot 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 21st Dec 2018

    Well, OK, I love the paper, of course, but I agree that the dots are just a bit too big with the little circle around them. Still, once I actually write and draw in it they will probably not be very noticeable.

    Gotta love that Tomoe River paper.

    Like the other reviewer, the Crossfield is my favorite and don't know how I ever got my journaling done before I discovered Tomoe River notebooks by Nanamipaper.com.

  9. I’m sorry, but this isn’t a great option 2 Star Review

    Posted by on 14th Dec 2018

    The way these dots are designed is very distracting, even with using a writing mat behind the pages. I was given one to try out by a friend who also wasn’t a fan.

    I feel terrible about leaving a bad review on a Nanami notebook, but this is just really problematic. I miss the Crossfield in a major way. It was unique and innovative without causing a distraction from writing. In truth, the crosses made it easier to write straight compared to any dot grid I’ve ever used.

  10. Fountain pen not drying 3 Star Review

    Posted by on 11th Dec 2018

    I want to love this but I will likely not buy more.
    I purchased two because the Standard was out of stock.
    I like the dots, although even smaller would be even better, but the ink from my fountain pen is not drying. The same pen dries standard notebooks.

Previous | Showing reviews 11-20 of 21 | Next