I was at Staples a few weeks ago and picked up several items from a brand I’d never seen – Poppin. Last week, I reviewed the Poppin Gel Pens. Before that, I had a closer look at the Cahier Notebook.  I didn’t enjoy either those items.

And, here’s a surprise . . . I’m not wild about these ballpoint pens from Poppin either.

The pens are a dozen to a pack, the ink is black, the tips are medium (1 mm).  The barrel is solid purple and other than that, the style is exactly the same as the gel pens.  That is to say that the pens have that terrible “step down” grip that isn’t very comfortable for any sort of longer time spent writing.

Flow is good and there’s no terrible squeaking sound like with the gel pens. Surprisingly, the ballpoint practically skates across the page, providing no sense of feedback or friction. A bit odd for a ballpoint – and some people may enjoy that feeling – I did not.

I ended up putting the pen I used back in the package and gave them to a friend who loves purple.

So…that’s three failed items in the Poppin line for me. I’ll say again what a shame it is – the items are so pretty. If only they were also functional.


I hope everyone had a happy Easter.  I was off to New York for a few days – had a great time. I wasn’t blogging during my time away, but I was definitely posting over on Instagram.

Today, we’re taking a look at Poppin Gel Pens. You may remember that just before Easter, I reviewed their Cahier Journal.

These gel pens are definitely pretty, pretty . . .

Average in size.

Some of the colors are pretty terrific . . .

Poppin, even.  (ha.)

But . . .

There are some issues . . .
– some of the pens have a terrible squeaky sound to them when they write – I’ve never heard this sound coming from a pen – crazy
– some of the pens just wouldn’t write – even after lots of scribbling
– the grip isn’t really a grip – it’s more of a steep drop off and it hurts to hold for any length of time

Bottom Line:

Even though some of the colors are wonderful (look at the purple! the orange! that green!), these gel pens from Poppin are not keepers. I could probably live with the squeak and even with the terrible grip – but the flow issues?  No. That’s a deal breaker.

The real shame is that this is the second Poppin product that caught my eye and then didn’t live up to expectations. It’s too bad because the items look great.

Third time’s the charm? Stay tuned!


I was in Staples last week and there was a beautiful display of Poppin products. I’d never heard of this brand and decided to pick up a few items.

Today, I’m taking a closer look at the small notebook. Here are some specs for you . . .

  • 192 pages
  • 3.5″ x 5.5″
  • Lined paper
  • Elastic band closure
  • Ribbon marker
  • Pocket in back
  • $6 at Staples
Let’s take a closer look . . . 
As advertised, the cover is soft. It’s vinyl. It’s stinky. Not a good start, I’m afraid. Almost reminds me of my gran’s tablecloth from the 70s. (Yes, I’m old.)
This was a bit of a surprise – a happy surprise for me, but I imagine it wouldn’t be so happy for everyone – the paper isn’t simply lined as indicated on the outside labeling – it’s set up in a bit of a journal entry / checklist style. I’m loving this . . . 
And..surprise!…there’s a thin ribbon marker. (The book doesn’t lay flat – it’s being held open so I could get the picture.)
A not-so-good picture, but it does have a pocket in the back – much like Moleskin.
But the important question – how is the paper? The book is quite thin for 192 pages, but the paper feels silky smooth. Cautiously optimistic is how I was feeling.
(Oh..the paper is bright white – these last few pictures were taken later in the day and I’m not a photographer.)
Not bad!  Very little feathering. 
Lots and lots of show-through / ghosting. I personally have an issue with that, but know that many people don’t mind some show-through.
Final Thoughts
At just six bucks, there are some pretty sweet things about this notebook. Features like the pocket, elastic band, and ribbon marker make the product seem like a quality item. However, all of that is discounted by the super tacky and stinky vinyl cover. 
I have a zillion notebooks and can’t imagine that this one will work its way to the front of the line anytime soon.
Have you tried any of the Poppin items? With Moleskin paper being criticized so much lately, have you found a suitable replacement?