Archive of ‘feature’ category

A Beginner’s Dive into Ring-Bound Planners: Part 2 – Planner Sizes

binder-sizes

This is Part Two of  6-part series about getting started using ring-bound planners. Part One can be found here.

Planner Sizes:

The most popular planner size is the Personal (with paper measuring 4.25” x 6.75″) or Compact (paper is 95mm x 170mm, or 3.7″ x 6.75″). DayRunner and Franklin Covey use the “Compact” size  and Filofax, Kikki K and others use the “Personal” sized pages though each company has their own names for the size. The divide between the Personal size and the Compact size seems to break along US and non-US lines. Franklin Covey and DayRunner are US-based companies. All the other big names else in the planner business are in the UK, Europe or Australia.

Filofax paper sizes

The Personal (Filofax) and Compact (US companies) sizes are the same height and feature the same 6-hole configuration (two sets of three holes placed to the top and bottom of the spine) but the Personal size pages is about a 1/2″ wider. Binders designed for the Personal sized paper are a bit wider to accommodate the larger paper. This size offers the widest range of potential planner refills, while the overall size of the planner is still portable. Using Franklin Covey or DayRunner inserts in a Filofax may be a little too tight and Filofax inserts in a FC or DR may have a bit too much excess space but the option is there. Also, the Personal/Compact size is used by a lot of people creating custom inserts which might be appealing if you need something specific.

To add to the confusion, Filofax sells a binder size called “Compact” which accepts the same paper sizes as their Personal binders but features smaller rings and an overall smaller binder profile, similar to the “Slimline” binder.

Other popular sizes are the A5 (also called the “half sheet” size since its  approximately 5.5×8.5″ making it half of a US letter-sized sheet or half an A4).

The Pocket size holds paper slightly smaller than a 3×5 index card in the Filofax sizing and just slightly larger than a 3″x5″ in the Franklin Covey sizing. This size might seem a bit too small for a daily planner but it is often used as a wallet since it can fit in a pocket.

For bigger options, the A4 or the Monarch/US Letter planner (depending on whether you are choosing an European brand or an American brand respectively) is a good desk planner option. If you have a job that requires a lot of daily meetings and tasks you might consider the A4/Letter size. This size is considered the least portable as a full binder large enough to hold A4 or US Letter paper is going to be heavy and bulky.

There are even systems built around the standard US 3-ring binder in either full Letter size or the half-sheet size (5.5×8.5″). Martha Stewart has created an array of products for Avery that use the half-sheet size. The Classic binder in Franklin Covey and DayRunner also use this size.

(via Staples)

(via Staples)

The last option is the disc system option like the ARC or the Circa planning system. These use the familiar ring discs and pages punched with divots that slip into the rings. It has the same level of customization regarding page inserts as well as a range of cover options from budget board covers to full leather cases. For the most part the disc systems are only available in half-sheet/A5 or US Letter sizes.

Ring Sizes:

Be sure to consider how many pages you may want to carry in your planner when deciding on a size. The Filofax Compact and Slim line utilize smaller rings which will limit how many sheets you can fit in your planner. If you choose to cut down Tomoe River paper to fit in your planner, you might be able to use a smaller binder but if you plan on having lots of pages, dividers and additional content, you may want to consider a binder with a larger ring diameter. Some binders have a ring diameter at 1.25″ while others can have ring diameter as small as 0.75″.

Systems like ARC and Circa sell different sized discs that make it easy to swap out the capacity. Discs start as small as 0.25″ and go up to 3″.

(This portion of the post has been moved to Part 3: Binders, where it makes more sense. Sorry for the bad edit!)

Which size is right for you?

I wouldn’t recommend that Americans purchase an A4 binder nor would I recommend that  Brits/Europeans purchase a Monarch/US Letter-sized planner.  If you plan to add your own inserts, I would recommend choosing a format that is conducive to the tools you have handy. Anything that I can print out or copy on a standard US machine and cut down to fit in my planner is fair game. If I have to hunt down a very specific size paper, that’s going to make me less inclined to actually use my planner. The whole point of using a ring-bound planner is to make my life easier, not more complicated.

Also remember that the bigger the planner, the less portable if will become. If your goal is to create a planner you feel comfortable having with you all the time, make sure its a size that will comfortably fit in your day bag or pocket. Some men might be inclined to use a Pocket sized planner because it will fit in a pocket. With every size and configuration, there are trade-offs. Too small and you may not be able to carry a year’s worth of daily or weekly calendars. Too big and you might not be inclined to carry as often as you might need it.

Planner Page Sizes vs. Moleskine and Midori

The diagram above is from My Life All in One Place. I think its super helpful in comparing paper sizes in planners to Moleskine and Midori Traveler’s Notebook. The actual planners will be a bit larger than the paper they contain, of course.

Once you’ve chosen your preferred size, you’ll be ready to start considering your binder and/or preferred brand. Stay tuned!

Indie Planners for 2015

Indie planners from Etsy

If you’re still trying to find your “perfect planner” for 2015, Etsy may have some options for you. I found a search function on Etsy to search for similar items using keywords that gave me a mere 3400 items similar to “planner and diary”. There might be something in all those items that meet my needs. Or yours.

Happy hunting and let me know if you find the perfect one for you!

Giveaway: Uppercase Magazines Issues 20 & 22

Uppercase 20 & 22

Uppercase Magazine recently had a $10 back issue sale and I stocked up on three issues I really wanted. What I didn’t realize was that I had already purchased two of the three issues I ordered. So, my loss is your gain!

I fell in love with Uppercase early on but became a loyal follower after the Issue 12 with the fabulous carrier pigeon illustration on the cover which is all about creative adventures.

Uppercase magazine spines

These two issues are stunning! I photographed my copies. The giveaway copies are still safely wrapped up in their shrinkwrap.

Uppercase Hamilton Type

Uppercase Jason Munn Uppercase Yarnbombing Uppercase Ham Radio

I’d like to give two readers the chance to try an issue of Uppercase magazine for themselves. Issue 20 is focused on the theme of “broadcasting” including stories about ham radio operators, manifestos and posters.

Uppercase Pantone swatches

Issue 22 is all about color — like vintage labels, Pantone color chips and paint swatches, for example.

Uppercase Vintage Labels

Uppercase Jennifer Mercede

The GIVEAWAY: To enter, tell me which issue you’d like to try (20 or 22) or which other issue seems interesting to you (though I only issues I have to give away are 20 or 22).

The FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Saturday, December 13, 2014. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Sunday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 30 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Open to US residents only in order to ship in time for Christmas!

Uppercase Color Swatches

Winner: Karas Kustoms RETRAKT Tu-Tone Giveaway

Karas Kustoms Retrakt Tu-Tone

The time has come to click the magic random number generator and make someone’s day. Click….

Retrakt Tu-Tone Giveaway winner

And we have a winner!

 

Retrakt Tu-Tone Giveaway winner

Poor Marissa! She has no neck so she really does need a good pen to entertain her. Okay, I think the no neck thing was a typo, at least I hope it was. Either way, congrats to Marissa. I’ll contact you by email to arrange delivery.

Remember, if you are anyone other than Marissa, you can still get a good deal on a RETRAKT thanks to the discount offered by Karas Kustoms.

The DISCOUNT: Place an order at Karas Kustoms today and receive 15% off your order with the coupon code “HappyHolidays”. The offer is good on any Karas Kustoms product but you know you want a Tu-Tone RETRAKT. Maybe a RED and a GREEN to be in the spirit of the season? Offer good until the holidays so don’t delay!

DIY Planner for the Midori Traveler’s Notebook

A full how-to tutorial for making the notebook is available on the Hello Forever blog.

A full how-to tutorial for making the notebook is available on the Hello Forever blog.

In my hunt this week for planners that start the week on Sunday, I discovered Marcy Penner’s Hello Forever site. She created a lovely PDF document to make your own planner calendar for 2015 for the Midori Traveler’s Notebook which is available for sale in her shop.

The PDF is $10 and includes the full calendar year in week-at-a-glance pages that can be bound into two booklets to fit a regular-sized Midori Traveler’s Notebook (approx. 5×8.5″).

Her blog includes step-by-step instructions for printing, folding and binding your booklets as well.

If you want to have rounded corners on the finished notebook like the sample, small handheld corner rounders can be purchased on Amazon for under $10 or can be found at your local big box craft supply store.

TRAVELERS-NOTEBOOK-WEEKLY-CALENDAR-THUMBNAIL-480x480

Midori Mini Cleaner

My dear friend picked up one of the original Midori Mini Cleaners on her last trip to Japan and I’ve been dying to have one ever since. So much so, that I emailed Jet Pens and begged for them to restock these. Then, last week, I got a tweet to let me know that the Midori Mini Cleaners II were back in stock.

Mine is in the mail and I will be picking up little gritty bits of eraser dust with glee from the moment it arrives.

Giveaway: Kaweco Liliput Brass Fountain Pen from Fontoplumo

kaweco liliput fountain pen in brass

The fine folks at Fontoplumo would like to give you a brand new Kaweco Liliput Brass fountain pen. Yep. In the spirit of the holidays, Fontoplumo wants to share with you, the joy of the Kaweco Liliput Brass pocket fountain pen. That’s it.

I have an aluminum version of this pen and I just love it. I know the brass adds some good weight and, if you win, you can gloat that you have a pen I don’t have.

Happy holidays from Fontoplumo and The Well-Appointed Desk!

Giveaway: One Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pen in Brass from Fontoplumo, winner chooses the nib size (EF, F, M, B, BB). To enter, leave a message in the comments and tell us what kindness you’ll pay forward if you win.

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Friday, December 5, 2014. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Saturday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 30 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Open to all readers, US and international!

Society 6 Phone Cases

With the purchase of my new phone this week, I am on the hunt to accessorize it with great cases. I love all the options from Society 6 which lets independent artists sell their artwork on not just phone cases and skins but also prints, shirts and more. These are the cases on my short, each is $35 and is a hard shell case. The cases are also available in sizes to fit other comnon phone types.

Do you prefer plain cases, arty cases or no case at all on your phone? Do you match your phone wallpaper to your case?

Uppercase Magazine 23: Calligraphy & Lettering Issue

Uppercase Magazine #23 Calligraphy Cover

I’ve always loved how much detail and thought goes into each issue of Uppercase magazine. Issue 23 holds a special place in my heart though. For one, the issue is all about calligraphy and lettering so every page is a treat.

Uppercase Magazine #23 Calligraphy Tag Team Tompkins

Also, my dear friends Tag Team Tompkins are featured in the issue in a two-page spread. And finally, I got the photo credit for their feature since I got to visit their studio and capture these two amazing ladies in their natural habitat.

Uppercase Magazine #23 Calligraphy Feature

If you’ve never checked out an issue of this beautifully crafted, independent magazine before, issue 23 is a perfect place to start.

Uppercase Magazine #23 Calligraphy Letraset

Right now, Uppercase is holding a “Stock Up Sale” and back issues are just $10 CAD each through Monday, Dec. 2 so this is the perfect time to grab an issue or two. Issue 17, the Stationery Issue, would also be a great first foray into the beautiful world of Uppercase.


Subscriptions make a great gift too!
In a wonderful act of kismet, I wrote this post days before Uppercase became a sponsor of this blog. Thanks to Uppercase for supporting The Well-Appointed Desk and thanks to all you fine readers who support our sponsors!

Pen Addict Podcast 130: Stop Spending My Money – Holiday Gift Guide 2014

Holiday Gift Guide 2014

For the second year running, Brad and Myke have kindly let me join them on The Pen Addict podcast to make my gift guide picks.

These are most of my picks. If you want to see the full list including all of Brad and Myke’s picks (and hear me ramble and one of my cats meow), check out Episode 130 of the Pen Addict Podcast.

What I did today and what’s in my bag

What's in my bag: iphone 6

Today didn’t really go according to plan. I had planned to spend all day working on the blog, prepping for the Thanksgiving week. However, a couple errands took us out of the house, which lead to the AT&T store, and we  finally upgraded our phones and VOILA! I am now the proud owner of a new iPhone 6. In gold, if you can believe it. Surprisingly, the gold color is quite pale and not nearly as bling-y as I thought it would be.

iphone 6 and Pentel i+ pen

I picked out a ridiculously girly, floral hardshell case for my new treasure, a Lenntek Sonix Inlay case with a Rifle Paper Co. floral design which just happens to match the new Pentel i+ 3 multi-pen I got. It all matched nicely with my EDC bag, a pink Coach leather clutch, my Pantone lime business card case and my Miro pocket notebook with pink edge painting.

iphone 6 and Pentel i+ pen

Lots of people have reviewed and re-reviewed the new iPhone 6 so I’ll spare you suffering any additional commentary. Suffice it to say, its not uncomfortably large, even with my munchkin hands, and its nice to have a bigger drive, faster service, better camera and better battery life. So its all good. And damned girly.

What’s on my Desk(top)?

apps on my desktop

Strangely, for a fan of all things paper-and-pen/cil, I’ve been thinking a lot about my digital tools recently. I’ve been fiddling with which music player is best for me, what task manager can get me off the panic precipice as well as all the other digital tools I need to stay organized and productive like text input, calendar management and getting all this stuff to synchronize together.

I can’t be the only one who worries about the best way to stay on top of everything, can I? The to-do lists, grocery lists, ideas for blog posts, things to read now, things to share, things to read later, work projects, events in my life and everything else?

A lot of this fussing has come as a result of upgrading to Yosemite (OS X 10.10). Many of my standby tools required upgrading and some fell by the wayside. Other issues had never been thoroughly dealt with in the past so I used the growing pains of Yosemite as my chance to re-evaluate my whole digital tool library.

The first aspect to my organization is that I work on Mac and Apple products exclusively. I have an iMac 27″ at work (behind a big SERIOUS firewall), a personal 13″ MacBook Pro, an iPad Mini (the original incarnation, no retina, no data) and an iPhone 4s (seriously needing to be updated). As a result of my office firewall and absence of wi-fi for my iPad at work, I need most of my tools to be accessible without installing an app or feature a browser-accessible interface.

Music Player:

Luckily, most music players and streaming music tools are now accessible via web interface so I’ve been able to test and play with Spotify, Rdio and Pandora. The first one I ever tried was Rdio and I’ve built a lot of playlists on it. I abandoned it when everyone went to Spotify and played with that for awhile and finally went to Pandora for the ability to say, “I like English Beat. Play stuff like that,” without having to build all the playlists myself. But in the end, there was just as much work involved in grooming Pandora to my tastes that I might as well have built my own playlist.

So, I’ve come full circle and gone back to Rdio. The web interface is vastly improved over the last few years and includes a free streaming option (with ads) as well as paid subscriptions that allows users to download content to a mobile device. If you don’t pay for the premium subscription, the only mobile option is a “radio” option. The radio option let’s you select a song and the app builds a playlist based on it. I think Spotify free works the same way.

Podcast App:

Overcast has become my go-to for podcast listening. For me, the web interface means I can tether myself to my desk at work and access my podcasts without using up my mobile phone data plan. Sure, I don’t get the benefits of some of the iPhone app features (like speeding up the podcast or skipping pausese) but I can easily bounce back and forth from my phone at home to the browser at work and stay current.

Task Manager:

I’ve tried to keep daily lists on paper using a modification of the Bullet Journal system which is fine for personal projects and home stuff but work projects needed a digital option that would allow me to copy and paste text and rearrange and update a lot. I tried both Todoist and Wunderlist and have bounced back and forth, depending on the types of projects I’ve been working on. This week, I decided I needed to embrace ONE and make it work. So I chose Wunderlist because the Todoist site locked up on me and I could not use the web interface. Wunderlist provides web interface through a browser and a mac desktop app as well as iPad and iPhone versions. In other words, I can have all my lists wherever I am. I can add sub-lists and images to each “task” which, in my case, is a card collection or individual card design. I can snap a pic of the sketch to store with the task item. I don’t know why I didn’t figure this system out ages ago. Now I wish I could copy multiple sub-tasks from one task to the other because every card I do has to pass through the same series of tasks. Sometimes there’s additional task but it would be so helpful.

Photo Editing and Management:

I was one of those suckers who bought Aperture as my go-to photo editing and cataloging. So, with Apple’s announcement that they’ll no longer be supporting the app, I had to switch to Adobe Lightroom CC. Its been a slow process. It took about 8 hours to migrate my Aperture library to Lightroom. I can see why it is the preferred application. Even after just an hour using it, I think my photos look better and the interface is intuitively Adobe.

If photos need more manipulation, I use Adobe Photoshop CC. The weekly Fashionable Friday is built entirely in Photoshop and I design logos, icons and the like in Illustrator CC.

Text Input:

I still use paper for most list-making and taking notes in meetings. I need some excuse to use up all those notebooks and inks I buy. When I have to write on the computer, either to prepare blog posts, work documentation or brain musings, I still have a gap.

I’ve heard lots of recommendations for DayOne as a place to dump ideas but I’m not sure how easy it is to access individual pieces and how much formatting it allows.

I’m taking recommendations now!

Calendar Management:

I still use iCal (or whatever Apple is calling it these days). I use Fanstastical on my iPhone which makes adding events on the go super easy. Wunderlist automatically adds tasks to a special calendar on iCal and provide alerts to keep me on task as well so that all my calendar activites sync. Sadly, my work calendar is the cheese that stand alone. My company uses Outlook and the calendar cannot be linked or synced to my iCal for whatever reason. So I have to manually add events. If anyone has a workaround for syncing Outlook to iCal let me know.

Other tools:

I use 1Password to keep all my passwords sorted. I use Suitcase Fusion to keep my massive font collection together. I build some of my photo collages with PicFrame (like the one at the top of this post). I live and die at the hands of Alfred who helps me find my apps, my files, helps me add, spell and even defines words for me in a pinch. I use Firefox almost exclusively for web browsing and have plugins for some of my favorite utilities like Pinterest, Evernote, Twitbin, 1Password and Wunderlist. Most of my email is now managed by Gmail.

Do you use any of these tools to keep organized? Have any recommendations for me?

Start As You Mean To Go On.

start as you mean to go on

Thanks to everyone who commented on the Pen Habit post. I never intended to scare anyone into thinking I might cease publication or anything. I just wanted to think out loud about the blog. I love doing this and I think I’ve been putting invisible pressure on myself to do more, more often and bigger. In reality, I think I have been my own worst enemy.

All the comments and messages on Twitter have been hugely uplifting and I am so grateful to have such kind loyal readers. I’ll say it over and over again, pen (and pencil) people are the best people in the world.

When I started the blog over four years ago on Tumblr I posted twice a day, five days a week. The content was less involved then than it is now but I have never really tried to taper the pace even though most posts take a lot longer to produce today. The Monologue Journals is a great example (a huge pile of notebooks in different paper weights, sizes and configurations required lots of photos, testing and a lot of specifics transposed into the post) compared with a “look at this beautiful office” post of four years ago.

As it stands right now, there are no plans to change the blog. There will continue to be Link Love posts almost-weekly*, Fashionable Friday, and From The Archives. I will continue to write ink, pen, pencil and notebook reviews as well as publish news, Kickstarter announcements and the occasional Art of The Day post or work space photos. There just might not be two posts everyday. Maybe just one. If I don’t post for a day or so, don’t worry. Sometimes, it gets a bit busy and sometimes or its just a slow news day (whether I’m responsible for the slowness or there just doesn’t seem to be much going on).

I’m always looking for new products, something different, something well-loved or just something beautiful. I hope I can keep bringing these finds to you in a thoughtful and timely manner.

If there’s anything you’d like to see more (or less), please leave a comment.

*It’s hard for me to keep Link Love on a specific day but I get one out every week or so, usually on Wednesday but I’m off this week. AGAIN.

Ink Drop: So Long, Summer (September 2014)

Ink Drop: September 2014 So Long, Summer

Today was the perfect day to open this Ink Drop set. It was one of those Indian Summer days — warm and sunny but it would get a little chilly when the breeze would blow and the trees are starting to change. So, so long, summer. You’ll be dearly missed.

This month’s Ink Drop (I guess technically it’s last month’s Ink Drop) featured colors that hover between summer and fall. They are colors that are a little deeper than those bright sun-baked summer colors but not quite the jewel tones of late fall. Featured this month was Diamine Sepia ($12.95 for an 80ml bottle), Diamine Teal ($12.95 for an 80ml bottle), Pelikan Edelstein Mandarin ($22.40 for a 50ml bottle), Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-Gaki ($28 for a 50ml bottle) and Private Reserve Daphne Blue ($11 for a 65ml bottle).

The color difference between the Mandarin and the Fuyu-Gaki was pretty slight in the swatches but it might be more noticeable when actually writing. At best, I think the Fuyu-Gaki is a little more reddish than the Mandarin which was a vibrant orange. It might help to know that Fuyu-Gaki translates to “Winter Persimmon.” I do think Fuyu-Gaki is reminiscent of the color of a persimmon.

The Diamine Sepia is a golden, fall leaf yellow gold. I would have named it something like “Golden Wheat ” or “Raw Umber”rather than Sepia which I always assume will be a more reddish brown or grey brown. That said, its a pleasingly autumnal color and I’ll be curious to actually ink it up in a pen. Maybe my Kaweco Art Sport would look good with this color ink?

Private Reserve Daphne Blue is quite similar to the Naples Blue from the August Ink Drop. The Daphne Blue is just slightly more turquoise in the swatch than the Naples Blue. Both look like fabulous vivid blues.

The Diamine Teal is a wonderful sort of teal blue-black. I may not love black inks but blue-blacks and green-black and purple-blacks are all well-received at The Desk. I’m looking forward to doing a full review of this ink and probably buying a full bottle.

Which of these colors would you like to see as a full writing sample first?

Ink Drop is a monthly ink sampling service from Goulet Pens. Subscriptions are $10 per month (add $5 for international subscription), pre-paid or ongoing, and include five different colors of ink and discounts on purchases of full bottles of ink in the Ink Drops.

Swabs are done with a watercolor paint brush on Kyokuto Word Cards.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Goulet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Pen Cleaning

Pen cleaning

Every once in awhile I realize that I have every fountain pen in the house inked up and haven’t used most of them in months. This inevitably leads to maniacally cleaning every pen. All the cartridges come out and every pen is disassembled to its smallest possible pieces and dropped into water. I even syringe out a lot of the cartridges so that I can reuse them.

This photo is only part of the pens that got cleaned. Some of the nib units are still soaking since they were left filled until the ink dried. All my Kaweco pens were cleaned first and refilled so they are not pictured above. The Kawecos are probably better maintained than any of my other pens. My growing collection of Lamy and Monteverde pens were also pretty well maintained. The most neglected were the budget fountain pens bought early in my fountain pen collecting that got cleaned last.

In the process of cleaning, I realized that the Lamy Logo and Lamy Accent do not accept the Lamy Converter. It a good thing I cleaned out the stock Lamy cartridges that came with the pens so that I can fill them with bottled inks. Lamy ink colors are pretty limited.

How many pens do you keep inked at any one time? Are you fastidious about cleaning them or do you leave them until it gets this bad? Are there certain pens that get more “love” than others?

Commonplace Book Ideas

Throughout my life, I’ve made various efforts to keep a journal or diary of some sort. Sometimes, I was at a crossroads and needed a place to think through my plans, goals, needs and wants. Sometimes, I just wanted to be able to remember who I met and where I went. Today, so much of our lives is documented in someway digitally– Facebook, Instagram and Twitter catch bits of our thoughts, photos and memories– but I still yearn for something tangible.

I found 10 Commonplace Journal Ideas on Quinn Creative and love the ideas that were recommended to jump start a commonplace book. Quinn recommends documenting the weather; the foods you eat; the music, film and other media you consume; how much things cost; maps; quotes and ideas as well as looking back over previous years to see if your ideas or opinions or tastes have changed over time. This seems like such a simple way to keep track of a few moments in your life without committing to writing lengthy, soul-searching entries that might require carving out hours from each day to accomplish.

I’ve actually been employing some of the ideas mentioned in my Hobonichi this year but Quinn’s suggestions gave me a few more ideas to add to it.

The Commonplace Journal Ideas post lead me on a hunt for more information and other ideas about keeping a commonplace book and there are pages of search results on Google. Some focussed more on the more traditional use of a commonplace book which is seen to be a place for writers and poets to collect quotes and fragments of story ideas to be used later.

I found a post that talked more about a system to organize a commonplace book on yihogyun.com that seemed to integrate some of the same principles used in the Bullet Journal system (indexing, page numbering, etc).

If you have the passion and/or the time to write or draw or document at length, I would not discourage doing something bigger but, sadly, most everyone I know says they never have nearly enough time to do all the things they want to do. So, maybe a commonplace book is a good way to capture the flavor of each day without requiring an excessive amount of time?

Do you keep a commonplace book or something similar? What do you record in it?

Winners: Monologue Notebooks

Monologue journals

There was a remarkably even distribution of entries in the Monologue Notebooks giveaway. About one-third of entries went to each giveaway collection though there were a couple people who didn’t specify a prize.

all the entry slips

I printed and cut out every entry and then tossed them into a bowl to do an good old fashioned drawing. So, without further ado…

prize 1

Winner Number 1 is Kristopher K.

prize 2

Winner Number 2 is Derek K.

prize 3

And winner Number 3 is Becca.

I’ll be contacting each winner via email to get shipping information. Thanks to everyone for entering and congratulations to all the winners!

Shop Tour: Oblation Papers

While in Portland recently, I got a chance to visit Oblation Papers. When the staff realized that we were a letterpress printer (my husband), a lettering artist (my friend Madeline) and a stationery blogger (that would be me), we got a full behind-the-scenes tour. We also happened to be in the store on the day of their 25th anniversary so we got to share cupcakes and cheer too.

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I took so many photos that I felt a gallery presentation was the only way to share these. (Hope that’s okay. There are more great “behind the scenes” photos on the Oblation blog if you can’t get enough.)

Oblation Papers is not just a retail stationery shop, its also a paper making facility and a letterpress print shop. There is also a magical closet of vintage typewriters that are repaired and cleaned and put out for sale.

Ron, one of the owners of the shop, happily toured us around showing us the paper making tools like the pulping and beating machines as well as the frames used to create handmade paper and shaped papers. Then we visited the mythical closet where I nudged everyone out of the way to stand, surrounded on four sides by shelves, in a room of vintage typewriters. Then we wandered into the print shop filled with Chandler & Price and Heidelberg Windmill presses and we met the delightful Jennie. She is one of the press operators who was such a good sport, she and her husband took our motley bunch out for beers after the tour.

I got a few last looks at the actual shop floor filled with lots of unique cards, both Oblation and other small indie brands, as well as a vintage Sheaffer case filled with vintage pens for sale and another case filled with newer pens and writing tools. Oblation also stocks wax seals and other goodies. Its an amazing place and the staff there were so kind and knowledgeable.

If you’re in Portland definitely stop by. OR check out their online store.

Thinking About The Pen Habit

smoke_fire

For those of you who follow The Pen Habit, you may have already heard about his announcement to cease recording his pen review videos and the subsequent follow-up about amending his format and explain in more detail his reasoning. Matt’s comments rang loudly for me about the amount of time he spends preparing and recording his reviews, not to mention the amount of money he has spent on pens.

Matt’s decision came on the heels on  Brad’s recent announcement to cease publishing his weekly Ink Links.

All of this led me to think about what I do and why I do it. How much time (and money) is too much to spend on a hobby? Its made me wonder if I should reconsider how much time I spend doing this blog versus actually living and reading and writing?

I have not made any decisions one way or the other because I like what I do. However, every week I do struggle to stay on top of all my reviews as well as working my full-time job and all those daily tasks that often get overlooked to squeeze in one more blog post, photo shoot, photo editing session or some other blog-related project.

I love this community. I love pens and inks and paper and all the other things to make a beautiful place to work. So bear with me while I get over my own growing pains.

Uppercase #23: Calligraphy Issue

Uppercase Issue 23 Calligraphy Cover

If you are not familiar with Uppercase magazine, it is a beautiful publication printed on heavyweight uncoated paper with amazing design in each issue. Its an independent publication out of Canada created by Janine Vangool. Each magazine is themed and features independent artists, illustrators, and craftspeople making beautiful things all over the world. Every aspect of the publication is beautifully designed and the only advertising is in the back of the magazine in a “marketplace” section.

Issue 23 is themed around calligraphy and lettering. The cover is a beautifully lettered grocery list on the back of an envelope. So charming! $18 CAD/$16 USD

Previously, Issue 17 might be of interest to readers of The Well-Appointed Desk. The theme of the issue is stationery and back issues are still available. $18 CAD/$16 USD

Subscriptions are also available starting at $80 CAD/$72 USD.

Also, the blog and the mailing list are full of inspiring, interesting paper-y related goodness. Just this week, the blog featured re-purposed fountain pen ink bottles etched with inspiring messages.

My copy of Issue 23 is in the post, I’ll share some photos when it arrives.

Kickstarter: Whimsical Page Markers

Sticky Page Markers animated gif

If you’ve been around the paperazzi blogs recently, you may have seen someone mention the new Kickstarter project for these whimsical sticky page markers that feature cities like Tokyo, complete with Godzilla and New York with King Kong to Mars landscapes and rainbows and clouds. They are well designed and a fun way to brighten those science textbooks or business books you’ve been slogging through.

The project has met its initial goal and is now aiming for the stretch goal — a set of Nessie page markers. If the campaign reaches £50,000, any pledge over £10 will receive a set of Nessie page markers as well.

Nessie page markers

The Sticky Page Markers project is created by Duncan Shotton who also created the Rainbow Pencils and the Pinnochio-inspired push pins. He’s clever and all his designs have been extremely well-executed and beautifully designed. I really want the Hong Kong set and Nessie! There’s only seven days left so submit your pledge soon!

Rhodia 80th Anniversary Set

Rhodia 80th Anniversary Set

The Rhodia 80th Anniversary Limited Edition Set is finally available for purchase at $10 per set. The set includes a No. 80 sized tablet with a black cover and special Rhodia logo cover design and a black Rhodia pencil with matching pattern printed on it. the whole set comes in a special orange gift box.

Details:
Graph paper with faint grey grid
90 gsm, acid-free ivory paper
140 Pages (70 sheets)
6 x 8 ¼” (14.8 x 21 cm)

Rhodia 80th Anniversary Set

I don’t have any of the Rhodia paper in ivory with the grey grid so I might buy it for that though I’d hate to break up the perfect collector set. How about you?

(via European Paper)

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