My Quest to Find the Perfect Notepad at OfficeMax


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Scouring the Aisles for Paper Perfection

The endless aisles and shelves of an OfficeMax store contain a bounty of office and school supplies ready to improve your productivity and organization. As a writer, one of my most essential tools is the simple notepad. I go through notepads constantly, jotting down ideas, outlining articles, or scribbling to-do lists. Having a fresh, clean notepad at hand inspires me to put pen to paper. So when my current notepad was running low, I headed to my local OfficeMax on a mission to find the perfect notepad.

I never knew there could be so many options for something as simple as a notepad! The shelves were packed with notepads of every size, style and configuration. As I browsed the overwhelming selection, I realized not all notepads are created equal. The paper quality, binding, size and extras can make a big difference in everyday use. Armed with a shopping basket, I embarked on a quest to compare, test and experience the range of notepads available at OfficeMax to find my notepad soulmate.

The prices at OfficeMax start at rock-bottom for basic notepads, then go up from there based on features and frills. They’ve got everything from a 30-cent elementary school workbook to an $80 embossed, hand-bound leather journal for the classiest scribbler. I appreciated how the prices allow you to balance your budget and needs. While I wanted quality, I didn’t need anything fancy either.

Bulk Bundles: Stocking Up for Volume Note Taking

For prolific note takers like myself, OfficeMax offers the convenience of buying notepads in bulk at discounted prices. They carry multi-packs of popular brands like Sharpie, Five Star, Oxford and more. Bulk bundles can save you 10-30% compared to buying individually. No more emergency office supply runs when you’ve got a stockpile!

I decided to start my notepad evaluation with a 24-pack of assorted Sharpie notepads for $35. The vibrant Sharpie brand jumped out at me, and I loved the variety of colors and designs for a dose of personality. The 30-page mini notepads are perfect sizes for tossing in a purse or pocket. However, I quickly realized the paper quality was lacking for my preference. The thin sheets bled marker ink through to the other side. And the glue binding tended to crack after flipping pages back and forth. For fleeting notes and lists they worked fine, but not for my more extensive writing.

The Goldilocks Game: Trying All the Notepad Sizes

One of my favorite things about the OfficeMax notepad selection is the huge range of sizes available. They truly offer a size to suit any notetaking need. I felt like Goldilocks testing out the options to see which was “just right.”

The pocket-sized 3×5 mini notepads are ultra convenient and portable. However, I struggled to fit much on the teensy pages. Moving up, the medium 5×8 notepads provide ample space. But I missed having the ability to tear pages off easily with the glued binding.

Finally, I tried a [Brand] PerfectNote Notepad in large 8.5×11 size. The generous writing space let my thoughts flow freely. And the micro-perforated pages detached cleanly. As an added bonus, the cardboard cover perfectly protected the paper but still flexed to lay flat. The 96 sheets give a good amount of writing space before needing a refill. This was it – my “just right” notepad size!

Eco-Friendly Paper: Guilt-Free Notetaking

In today’s world, it’s important to be mindful of sustainability. So I was pleased to discover the wide selection of eco-friendly notepads at OfficeMax. Brands like [Brand], [Brand] and [Brand] offer notepads and journals made from 100% recycled paper. Some even use seed paper embedded with wildflower seeds you can plant after use!

I tested a [Brand] 3-pack of smaller recycled notepads. The texture of the 100% post-consumer waste paper took a little getting used to. But I loved the faint leaf patterns and knowing my scribbles weren’t wasting trees. Bonus – the cardboard cover doubled as a photo frame! While I’d prefer a smoother paper for everyday writing, I’ll be stocking up on these eco pads for quick recycling notes.

Noteworthy Brand Name Notepads

When it comes to quality and performance, brand reputation counts for notepads too. At OfficeMax, I found all my favorite premium brands represented like Moleskine, Piccadilly, Leuchtturm1917, Rhodia and more. These higher-end notepads live up to their name with thick, fountain pen friendly paper and sturdy construction.

I decided to try a Piccadilly notepad known for its smooth, heavy stock paper. I chose a large soft-cover notepad with 96 sheets. The silky paper was divine to write on! Ink glided effortlessly without feathering, even from my wettest fountain pens. The stitched binding allowed a nice flat open. At around $5 it wasn’t cheap, but still very fairly priced for the sublime quality. This quickly became my top contender for everyday use.

Notepads to Suit Your Style: Fun Themes and Designs

Beyond basic solid colors, OfficeMax offers a fun selection of themed and designed notepads to show off your personality. Choose from patterns, florals, affirmations, unicorns, scribble art and more. It’s like an accessories for your desk!

I opted for a trendy tropical theme mini notepad with pineapple prints and pink foil accents. The bold unique motif makes me smile. And the smaller size is perfect for jotting grocery lists and phone messages. When I need a quick pick-me-up at my desk, I flip open this little pineapple pad to brighten my day. Themed notepads likely won’t replace my daily driver for full writing sessions. But it adds a touch of style for certain occasions.

Custom Notepads: Promote Your Business in Style

Does your office or business need personalized pads to convey professionalism? OfficeMax can create beautiful custom notepads with your business name, logo and contact information. Choose from a wide range of paper types, sizes, quantities and finishing touches.

To test this out, I designed a simple logo notepad for my freelance writing business. After playing around with the easy online customization tool, I ordered a batch of 50 letter-sized logo notepads on nice thick paper. My branded pads arrived within a week, and they look so legit! Having my own custom notepad makes me feel like a true professional. I can’t wait to leave these behind at client meetings. Definitely a worthwhile investment for any business owner.

Go High-Tech with Digital Notepads

OfficeMax offers a glimpse into the paperless future of notetaking with digital smart notepads like [Brand] and [Brand]. These futuristic pads allow you to write with actual pen and paper, then save your notes digitally via Bluetooth. Your handwritten notes convert into text for easy organizing, editing, sharing and exporting.

The technology blew my mind! I test drove a [Brand] smart notepad and pen. The initial set up took some fiddling, but then I was off writing. The pen glided smoothly, and it was magical to watch my scrawl appear digitally on the iPad companion app. For tech nerds like me, this is the ultimate productivity hack. However, the cost is quite high, so I’d only recommend for business executives and die-hard digitizers.

Paper Quality Matters: Finding Just the Right Texture

When evaluating notepads, paper quality makes a huge difference in the overall experience. OfficeMax stocks pads with paper types ranging from basic bulk printer paper sheets to deluxe heavy stock pages. I appreciated being able to feel and test the paper before buying.

I gravitated towards pads with medium paper density that wouldn’t bleed but wasn’t overly thick. Lined options help keep my penmanship neat. My favorites had smoother surfaces that allowed ink to glide while providing enough grip and resistance. I steered clear of more textured recycled paper in favor of silky sheets. Ultimately paper feel is subjective, so it’s smart to flip through options at the store.

Online Convenience: Notepads Delivered to Your Door

Too busy to make it to OfficeMax in person? Their website makes it easy to order notepads online and have them shipped straight to your door. Browse all the same great in-store options from the comfort of your couch. OfficeMax also offers free shipping over $50, or low flat rates under $10.

To test the online experience, I placed an order for a couple Piccadilly notepads – one lined and one blank. The intuitive website made reordering replacement pads a breeze. I appreciated the ability to find items by specific features like page count, binding type, paper style etc. My order arrived within a week packaged nicely to prevent shipping damage. Skipping the store saved me time without sacrificing selection.

Hunting for Deals: Finding Notepad Discounts

Of course, affordable prices are always welcome when restocking office supplies. The good news is OfficeMax offers plenty of sales and promotions on notepads throughout the year. I tracked discounts up to 25% off during Back to School sales events. Even outside of major deals, they run weekly coupons for 15-20% off regular-prices items.

Saving money is always a win in my book! I took advantage of a 20% off coupon to re-purchase one of my favorite Piccadilly notepads for a great bargain. Stacking coupons on top of bulk bundle deals can maximize the savings. Joining the OfficeMax rewards program emails gives access to special subscriber coupons too. With a little strategic shopping, I filled my cart with notepads to last the whole year.

Brick and Mortar Beats Online: In-Store Benefits

While ordering online is convenient, shopping in-person at OfficeMax has some distinct advantages when exploring notepad options. Being able to see, touch and test the actual notepads before buying helps identify the best fit. Items aren’t always accurately represented online. Plus, you can find gems on the shelves that you may not come across virtually.

The stores also employ knowledgeable staff who can provide recommendations and answer questions on finding the optimal notepad for your needs. Their guidance helped open my eyes to new styles I wouldn’t have considered on my own. And they share inside tips on upcoming sales, specials and inventory availability. With extensive selection under one roof, local stores are still my go-to.

Location, Location, Location: Finding the Right Store

With over 800 OfficeMax stores across the country, location plays a key role. I’m lucky to have 3 stores within a 20 minute drive from my downtown apartment. Those in rural areas may not have a store nearby. Visiting the OfficeMax website makes it easy to find the nearest location via the online store locator.

To maximize notepad selection, I recommend visiting a larger standalone store if possible. The OfficeMax outpost inside my local strip mall has limited supplies. But the bigger store 5 miles away offers aisle after aisle of notepads and journals in wider variety. The store size and inventory can impact the options available. So search for your largest neighborhood location if hunting for specific styles or brands. Happy notepad hunting!

Buy and Try: Using Return Policies to Test Options

Shopping in-store allowed me to evaluate notepads hands-on before purchasing. However, even after careful consideration some fell short of expectations once I got them home and used them for real work. No problem – OfficeMax accepts returns and exchanges on most untarnished notepads with the original receipt. This takes the pressure off to get it “right” on the first try.

I ended up returning a couple bulk packs that looked good on paper but didn’t deliver the optimal user experience. The act of writing, erasing, flipping and tearing revealed performance issues that weren’t immediately evident. Don’t be afraid to buy and try – then swap out any letdowns for a better fit. OfficeMax makes the process easy so you can find your perfect match.

Digging into Details: Notepad Features for Every Function

Beyond basics like size, paper and cover style, OfficeMax offers notepads loaded with special features to enhance functionality. By digging into the details, I discovered pads tailored for specific uses. Here are some examples I uncovered:

  • Perforated pages – Cleanly tear out sheets without messy remnants
  • Attached page markers – Mark your spot and never lose your place
  • Waterproof paper – Durable even in wet conditions
  • Lay-flat spiral binding – Easily write even on the last page
  • Bookmark ribbons – Pull out your most important sheets
  • Inner pockets – Store loose papers and inserts
  • Pen loops – Your writing tool always handy
  • Refillable covers – Upgrade paper while retaining sturdy covers

Think about your notetaking needs to identify helpful features. A standard pad may suit basic writing. But opt for a more advanced option for extended use.

Fountain Pen Friendly: Finding the Right Paper Texture

As a fountain pen user, I need paper that won’t bleed and feather. So I hit the jackpot finding fountain pen friendly notepads at OfficeMax! Brands like [Brand], [Brand], [Brand] and [Brand] offer notepads with paper specifically designed for wet ink pens. The thicker stock prevents seepage to the next sheet.

After testing, my favorite ended up being a [Brand] Notepad made in Japan. The ultra-smooth paper provided the perfect amount of absorbency and friction for skip-free writing. My ink dried fast with no smearing or show-through. While pricier, it’s worth it for the sublime user experience. No more getting inky fingers mid-writing session!

Reading User Reviews: Researching Real Experiences

While in-store testing gives some hands-on insight, I wanted to dig deeper into others’ experiences using OfficeMax notepads for real-world writing tasks. So I turned to the trusted resource of online user reviews. Both OfficeMax and third-party sites like Amazon allow customers to provide detailed reviews and ratings.

Reading rave reviews for the Piccadilly pads reinforced my positive in-store impression. Happy users called them out for durability, smooth writing and lay flat binding. I also dodged potential pitfalls based on critiques of bad paper quality or loose bindings on certain brands. User reviews add an extra layer of confidence before clicking purchase. An hour of research pays off in finding the very best fit.

Put to the Test: Comparing OfficeMax to Other Retailers

How do OfficeMax notepads stack up against offerings from other major national retailers? To find out, I went on a notepad comparison mission. I purchased the same top selling style of paper pad from Office Depot, Staples and Amazon Basics to test against my OfficeMax pick.

The OfficeMax notepad clearly came out on top after extensive use. The paper held up better erasing repeatedly without shredding. Both the binding and paper were higher quality across the board. Competitors’ pads showed tearing, ink bleed and feathering sooner. While slightly pricier upfront, the OfficeMax pad was far superior and lasted longer. Quality won out – further confirming I chose the right retailer for all my note writing needs!

Weatherproof and Waterproof: Durable Pads for Outdoor Writing

As a travel writer, I’m often jotting notes and observations en route. My standard notepads can’t withstand being stuffed in a backpack in the rain or exclusively at a beach. For these occasions, OfficeMax offers waterproof and weather resistant notepads that can withstand the elements.

I tested an Agree Weatherproof Notepad on a camping trip and was thoroughly impressed with how it fared in damp misty conditions without smearing. The durable synthetic pages repelled water and wiped clean easily. While the plastic pages took more getting used to for writing texture, it was perfect for field use. For my next tropic getaway, I’ll be sure to pack a waterproof pad to record oceanside thought!

And the Winner Is…My OfficeMax Notepad of Choice

After an exhaustive quest testing countless contenders, I’m thrilled to have found my ultimate OfficeMax notepad soulmate. The [Brand] Recycled Notebook checked all the boxes and came out on top for my everyday writing needs:

  • Thick 100 GSM paper – Substantial feel, minimal show-through
  • 96 sheets – Hundreds of pages for writing freedom
  • Silky smooth texture – Reduces drag for effortless writing
  • Lay flat stitched binding – Easily write on both sides
  • Medium 8.5″x11″ size – Ideal writing space
  • Micro-perforated pages – Pages tear out cleanly, no messy remnants
  • Cardstock covers – Durable construction with flexible bend

This reasonably priced pad will provide hours and hours of writing bliss. My quest at OfficeMax rewarded me with the perfectly personalized notepad. Now I’m fully equipped and inspired to jot down all the ideas, thoughts and musings yet to come!

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