In the spirit of clean slates, over the last week I’ve tried to reset my stationery set up. I have a post in the works where I talk through some of the nitty gritty of how I made the choices, but for now, here’s some good ol’ pictures of pens and paper.
Field Notes - Work/Life Notes
My day job involves a lot of meetings, and a lot of conversations in which small things are mentioned in passing that I need to keep track of. How big a project is, who’s going to get what data, etc. I’ve been really inconsistent in 2015, but over the last month I got back in the habit of writing most things down and remembered just how much it helps.
Field Notes are PERFECT for this. I was a subscriber, but decided to not renew. I’m on the email list so I get quick access to the COLORS editions, and the extras didn’t do much for me. Also for something like the most recent edition, it’s awesome and I really like the look of the books, but one pack is more than enough for me. That said, they’re attractive, have a ton of variety, and small. One of them lives in my Sinclair with some sort of rollerball body for fast note taking.
Other Pocket Notebooks - poetry, quotes, reading notes, etc
I am curious about new notebooks and new brands, so decided to branch off the stuff listed above. These aren’t day-to-day operational things. They’re fragments of stuff I’ve read or heard or snippets I want to remember for poetry. It’s a catch-all for things that aren’t grocery lists, work notes, etc. Currently I’m finishing up a Word pocket notebook for this, will switch to one of the Nock Co. pocket notebooks after. For this one I like having a paper that is more fountain pen friendly, since this notebook doesn’t have the “need to jot this down fast” use case most of the time.
Hobinichi Cousin - Journaling
Last year I got the A5 planner and liked it, but fell off using it mostly due to size. I don’t have super small handwriting and constantly felt like I was cutting myself off. This year I got the Cousin, which is A6. I realized I never paid much attention to the “planner” aspect, let alone the translated quotes. So just having a daily place to write out some thoughts and answer a few simple questions with the incredible Tomoe river paper in a larger size was appealing. I’ve of course already forgotten about this new habit, hah!, and missed the 1st. But the goal here is to write in it every day throughout the year.
Appointed Notebook - WORK
This is the weirdest of the notebooks, but a) I LOVE this notebook, and b) I’ve found it helpful to have a larger notebook that is kind of a catch-all. I use and abuse this notebook. If I’m going to a coffee shop to work for a bit on a weekend I bring this along. I’ve sketched out work ideas, poems, baking schedules, etc. in here. It’s for when I want to explore a bit. I frequently will then transfer some part of what’s in here to other places, whether it’s another notebook or a work document, etc. These notebooks are gorgeous, and the paper feels good. It’s a really satisfying size for me when I want to have room to brainstorm or do a bit of a brain dump.
So those are my normal notebooks, and I just added a new one yesterday.
Life Kappan Notebook - The Focus Course
I just started this course from Shawn Blanc and decided I wanted a dedicated place to take notes, write down thoughts on the assignments, track progress, etc. I bought this notebook in 2014 and completely forgot it in my stash. So far I love the paper and it’s taken ink really well. I started with a medium oblique nib in my Parson Italix, with Emerald of Chivor and saw some sparkle, some sheen and no bleed through so far.
I’ve been trying to simplify here as well, so just three permanent ones, and a temporary fourth for some thank you notes.
Edison Herald - Steel F nib - Noodler’s Apache Sunset (second from the left)
I picked up this pen no less than five times at the SF Pen Show last year, but ended up deciding to hold off. Then not even a week later it was announced that the Herald would no longer be in the production line. So I snapped one up before they all sold out and I love it. I’m planning on writing a review after I’ve used this for a solid month. I love the ink, but hate the name. Still, it’s a beautiful shading ink.
Kaweco Lilliput Brass Wave - steel EF nib - Noodler’s Black Swan in English Roses (far right)
A recent arrival. Got a great deal via Massdrop and had been eyeing this pen for over a year. It’s SMALL, smaller even than I expected, but I love it quite a bit. I dumped the blue ink in the cartridge and refilled from a Goulet sample vial of this ink. I know I love how this pen looks, we’ll see how I like it in use!
Levenger L-Tech Stealth - Steel F nib - Akkerman 07 (far left)
Pulled this one out because I feel like I never actually gave it much use when I first got it. It’s a really nice looking pen that I’m not sure I love. Giving it another go though.
And the temporary fourth
Parson Italix - M oblique italic - J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor (3rd from the left)
This is for thank you notes. I got the ink as a birthday present and decided it’d be a great ink for some thank you notes to friends and family. Only half-filled the convertor and will plan to flush it in a couple weeks if it’s not written dry.
Ti2 Techliner Shorty in Brass (second from the right)
I love this pen. I was in the camp who saw the pictures and thought “that tip looks weird and ugly” and I decided to back the kickstarter anyway based on Brad’s love. Holy hell do I love this pen. I keep a .5mm blue-black Uniball Signo refill in it and it’s perfect. I love the magnets, the weight of the brass, the refill, everything. This is easily one of my favorite pens, period.
I have gotten into wood-cased pencils just a bit. So I’m still trying out a bunch. Currently I most reach for a branded pencil from a local store called Venture Co. I have no idea who makes this pencil, but it’s natural wood finish and firm core make me constantly grab it over any other pencil right now.
Carry It All
Nock Co Sinclar
This might be the best pen case I’ve ever used. I can fit at least three pens, plus at least one notebook, plus my phone. Which means 5 days out of the week this thing is loaded with my Ti2 Techliner Shorty in brass (Uniball .5mm blue-black is my permanent refill so far), my work/life Field Notes and a couple of fountain pens. It makes going from meeting to meeting super easy and carrying the Sinclair with my laptop is a perfect match. That I can use the pocket for my phone has really made this a huge part of my life. I move it from bag to bag no matter where I’m going with very little change needed. I love it quite a bit, and it's definitely the sort of thing I didn't quite know I needed, but now that I have one I don't see how I'd live without it.
One Star Leather Indie Field Notes Cover
I reviewed this awhile ago, and still love it. This was where pocket notebooks lived before the Sinclair. I love how it’s worn in and when the outer elastic got too loose he sent a replacement for free, which is insanely great customer service/care. I’m still throwing this in most bags even with just the Doane pocket notebook. I’m rethinking this one a little, but haven’t given up on it.
Line of Trade Briefcase (available only via Bespoke Post I believe)
My favorite bag I’ve owned, I think. It’s good looking, holds the perfect amount for me most days, but of late I’ve had some issues with one of the loops holding the strap on. I’m not giving up on it, and it’s testament to just how much I love it that I’m continuing to use it. That said, I’m starting to eye some other options that are int his same form factor.
I'm very happy with this so far. I put most of this together a few days ago and have been using the pens and paper. The real test will be Monday when I go back to work. I plan to check in on this stuff throughout the year, maybe once a month or so? We shall see!