Choosing a Notepad: Top vs. Side Staplebound

21 Nov

The Invention of Staples

Did you know that staples have been around for over 100 years? The concept began in the 1850s when eyelets were used to hold papers together. Patented in 1859 by W.H. Rodgers, metal eyelets were used in place of the modern day stapler. Next came brass paper fasteners, introduced in the mid-1860s, which were used to bind several pages together.

Innovation came rapidly in the 1870s. Machines to insert and fasten individual staples were patented; then quickly followed by machines supplied by a whole magazine of staples.

Today, in the case of top and side staplebound notepads, pages are held together by heavy-duty staples, which provide for stability and strength.

Notepads on EPC

Click to see all Notepads on EPC

Top Staplebound

Most top staplebound notepads have micro-perforated paper near the closure, for easy and clean tearing. These notepads can also have scored covers or non-scored covers. Scored coverings are best for easier folding, as the cover is meant to be folded back time and again without tearing the cover. Non-scored can still be bent back, but tend to wear down the cover. Many top staplebound notepads have a stiff back cover to avoid pages getting crinkled, but also to support writing on-the-go. Try writing or drawing on one of these notepads on the bus or on a flight and you’ll feel how the sturdy back cover gives you a surface of strength to put ink on.

A favorite of architects, designers, and scientists, top staplebound notepads are ideal for quick sketches, doodling, a grocery list while you’re out, or even a science report in the classroom. An on-the-go example would be Rhodia’s No. 08 Pad, or if you’re in need of a large space for a design project, check out Rhodia’s No. 38 Pad.

But if you’re a musician, Clarefontaine has you covered when you’re in the studio or in the rehearsal hall. The Music A4 Top Staplebound Notepad features 12 staves per page to compose your latest masterpiece.

Side Staplebound

Some notepads are stapled on the top, whereas others are side stapled. The side staple notebooks give a little retro throwback with their school composition book feel. All modern side staplebound are made with reinforced staple binding for extra strength as well. These notebooks have many purposes and are able to be utilized in both the office and the classroom.

When you need bright colors to organize your classes or work, Clarefontaine’s Classic Side Staplebound Notebooks are my personal go-to notebook. In colors like red, lime green, blue, purple and more, you can use these as part of your color coded organizational system. The acid-free paper is exceptionally smooth and allows for easy and clear writing.

But if you’re looking for something portable, the Rhodia Side Staplebound Pocket Notebook is a quick grab-n-go notebook. Notebook portability is important, especially when you are out and about and an idea pops in your head. Taking the Rhodia Pocket Notebook on trips is also a must have. It can fit in your back pocket or in your luggage without taking up much space at all.

Which do you prefer?

If you use a staplebound notebook and/or notepad, which do you prefer, and what do you use it for?


3 Responses to “Choosing a Notepad: Top vs. Side Staplebound”

  1. wmanthony February 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    There are a few reasons why the top staple is preferable for me, the least of which is the Rhodia leather cover and pad I have in two sizes and enjoy for those days when packing the office up for a field trip of some kind. But even for everyday use around the house the top is preferable to me, perhaps if for no other reason that by turning the cover up and over it is held secure by your writing hand. The side staple variety has always let me down since it always wants to close right back up. Thanks for the entry, and keep writing.

    • europeanpaper February 28, 2012 at 11:21 am #

      Thanks for commenting! We’re in love with Rhodia pads & covers as well. Most of us use some combination of side and top stapled notepads so we can have them open in all directions!


  1. Choosing a Notebook: Top vs. Side Spiralbound « European Paper Company - January 17, 2012

    […] Editor’s Note: Like stapled notepads better? Check out Kelly’s article detailing Top vs. Side Staplebound Notepads. […]

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