Did you know…?


Just thought I’d provide a little housekeeping info here.

I recently updated by username on Instagram. If you’d like to follow me there you can find me @wellapptdesk. Be prepared for pens, paper, knitting and the occasional cocktail photo.

If you don’t already follow me on Twitter, you can also find me as @wellapptdesk.

There is a Facebook page for the Well-Appointed Desk though I’m not a frequent user of Facebook. I check in here about once a week and will reply to comments.

And finally, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions for the site, please use the Ask The Desk link at the top of the page. I reply back to almost all emails, unless you’re that Prince from Nigeria – I told you, man, its over between us!

(image borrowed from Envision The American Dream)

Show & Tell: Field Notes DDC Factory Floor Edition : “Simple Minded Silver Streak”

Field Notes DDC Factory Floor Silver Streak

This is my first DDC Factory Floor edition of Field Notes. These were released for the Draplin Design Pop-Up Store in Portland but a handful were made available on the Draplin website. I was able to score two 3-packs.

I’m feeling oddly collector-y about these. Usually when I buy two sets of Field Notes, I give one set to my husband and as soon as he saw these he was all grabby hands and I swatted him away.

Each of the three books has a different color cover: metallic silver, orange and a copper-y color made from combining the orange and silver inks. Inside is bright white 50# paper with orange grid ruling. All of this information I’ve had to cull from the internet because I can’t bring myself to break the shrinkwrap seal yet. For a more in-depth review, check out the Gentleman Stationer who had the decency to take these out of the wrappers.

Field Notes DDC Factory Floor Silver Streak backs

In retrospect, I think I should let these be opened and used in the manner they were designed to be used. Leaving them in shrinkwrap indefinitely is no way to live. I think in 2015, I hope to stop “collecting” and start using the Field Notes I’ve accumulated.

How about you? Collector or user?

Kickstarter: Code & Quill Notebooks

Kickstarter: Code & Quill Notebooks

Code & Quill Notebooks
are a new Kickstarter project that was designed to appeal to anyone who needs to combine note taking with sketches or more freeform content. The “indentation rule” is particularly unique in that it provides tick marks along the line to help with indentation often used in coding. I’ve seen this type of indentation in some Japanese notebooks as well to space kanji characters properly but it has not appeared in any western notebooks that I know of.

The Code & Quill notebooks are available in either softcover or hardcover editions. Both books are 5.5″ x 7.7″ (a little smaller than A5, AKA approx. US half-sheet). The softcover books feature 300gsm glossy covers and the hardcover books are covered with a textured PU material which is a leatherette coated with polyurethane for added durability. I like the stitched labels on the cover that give some subtle, unique branding to the books.

Inside, both versions feature 100gsm eggshell white paper with minimal grain. On the left hand side of each spread is a dot grid pattern and on the right hand side is “indentation rule,” both printed in light gray to provide a visible guideline but not so dark as to inhibit visibility. The paper has been tested with a fine nib Lamy AL-Star with Noodler’s Waterproof black, Noodler’s Heart of Darkness and Lamy black. The fountain pen test done thus far met the expectations of the creator.

The books were designed here in the US but the final production will be in China in order to meet demand and keep prices competitive. All production will be closely monitored by the US design team to meet their exacting standards.

The softcover edition is called the Traveller and a pledge for one notebook starts at $15. The hardcover edition is called Origin, and a pledge for one starts at $20.One of each is $30. US backers will receive free shipping but international backers will have to cover shipping.

The Kickstarter launch ends Feb. 5 so there’s still time to back this project if its of interest to you.

Kickstarter: Code & Quill Notebooks

Orla Kiely Make-Up Cases as Pen Cases

orla-kiely-pouches-1 orla-kiely-pouches-2

I picked up two cases at Target this week after seeing someone post on YouTube about using these for keeping their planner supplies. Ding! What a great idea! So on my next trip to Target, I went snooping through the cosmetics department and, lo and behold, there were several to choose from.

The small, black-and-green pencil-style case was $9.99 and the larger green case was $14.99. I’d heard these cases were so popular that people were buying them up and reselling on Ebay for twice the retail price so I was thrilled to find them still available at the “going price.” Both pouches are a waxed canvas material on the exterior with gold metal zippers and coordinating zipper pulls of stitched vinyl.


The small pencil pouch zips all the way across and down the sides about halfway. The whole pouch is lined inside with coordinating nylon. It has a slit pocket inside which is not super handy but would be a good place to slide a pencil sharpener or a packet of leads. The main compartment is a large square shape  that holds a lot of tools.


I think I stuffed it with over 20 pens, including several multi-pens, and there was still room to dig around in it. Unfortunately, the case is a bit short for a new woodcase pencil but machanical pencils fit fine.


orla-kiely-pouches-3 orla-kiely-pouches-4

The larger case opens with double zippers and contains an attached, mesh zip pouch in the center. On either side, there are additional pockets. On one side there are three slash pockets and a zip pocket with mesh front on the other side. The inside is lined in navy nylon.

orla-kiely-pouches-5 orla-kiely-pouches-6

All the interior seams are covered in nylon so there’s nothing unsightly inside or out. For the price, these are really lovely cases.


I took the same 20+ pens and filled the center zip pouch. In the zip pocket, I put small items like erasers, washi tape and binder clips.


In the slash pockets I was able to put a Kaweco AL-Sport, some washi sticker packs and a packet of pencil leads.


This is what the large case looked like all zipped up. It closed easily and everything feels solid and secure. I suspect I’ll use this as a traveling case, maybe not for everyday use since its about the size of an A5 book when filled but for trips or a specific outing.

The smaller pencil case is overall more diminutive but with plenty of carryin capacity so it may become this year’s everyday pencil case. I’m a bit surprised with myself because I really thought the larger case would be an everyday case. They are both so lovely I’ll find a way to use them regularly. So, the lesson I learned from all this is that good office supplies can be found where you least expect it.

Winner: Word. Memorandum 2015

Word. Memorandum 2015

Time to draw the winner for the Word. Memorandum 2015 giveaway. Thanks to everyone who entered and shared some of their organizational goals for 2015. I love reading all the comments. I wish I had 100 of these to give to each and every one of you.

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 1.13.18 PM

That said, our giveaway winner is:

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 1.14.06 PM

Congrats, Joshua! I’ll be contacting you via email to arrange shipping!

Review: Nock Co DotDash Pocket Notebook (and Giveaway)

NockCo DotDash Pocket Notebook

The big news just before the holidays was the launch of the new NockCo DotDash Pocket Notebooks. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on these. Everything NockCo has done thus far has been excellent and I expected no less from these pocket notebooks.

NockCo DotDash Pocket Notebook

Inside the front cover is space to include personal information and notes. There’s also a message at the bottom that if the notebook is found, to contact NockCo directly. I’m not entirely sure what NockCo will do but if you include your name and contact info, they might be able to cross-reference with your order history and reunite you with your notebook. So best fill this in!

NockCo DotDash Pocket Notebook

A set of three books is just $9, each book opens at the top like a reporter pad and features white 50lb paper with the DotDash grid pattern in a light grey color. Each pad is 3.5″x5.5″ and includes 48 pages and bright yellow card stock covers.

The pads will fit easily into NockCo’s Maryapple and Hightower folios with easy access to your notes without removing the pad to write your notes.

NockCo DotDash Pocket Notebook

NockCo DotDash Pocket Notebook

On the inside of the back cover is the printing information. These are first editions, for what its worth.

NockCo DotDash Pocket Notebook

In writing tests, most of the pens I tried wrote well on the smooth stock. There was a little softening on the wider nibbed fountain pens but no true feathering or splining (you know, those shoots of ink caught by the fibers in the paper that often happen in Moleskines?)

NockCo DotDash Pocket Notebook

From the reverse, there’s some show through mostly with the fountain pen inks. In a flip pad though, the likelihood of writing on the reverse side of the paper is pretty slim. I sort of wish the pages were perforated to make it easier to remove pages.

NockCo DotDash Pocket Notebook

Overall, I really like these pads. I do hope that there are other colors offered for the covers in the future. The bright yellow is fun but other colors would be fun.


THE GIVEAWAY: I have an extra set of three DotDash notebooks available to giveaway. Leave a message in the comments and tell me what color covers you’d like to see next (or if you love the yellow ones) to be entered to win.

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Wednesday. 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. This giveaway is open to all readers.

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


Review: Super5 0.5mm Italic Stub Fountain Pen

super5 fountain pen in black

I recently purchased the new Super5 0.5mm stub nib fountain pen in black on a whim. I have some 0.6mm stub nibs pens from Nemosine and my beloved Esterbrook Falcon is about that width as well so I was looking forward to trying another pen with this diminutive stub. My handwriting is small and being left-handed, any stubs larger than a 1.1mm don’t always make proper contact with the paper for me or cause all my letters to fill in so finding that sweet spot in the stub category is pretty limited. And since the Super5 is just $27.95, how could I not give it a try?

super5 nib close-up

Super5 is a relatively new entry into the fountain pen, at least in the US. From the photos on Goulet Pens, the pens look kind of plastic-y but in reality, the pen feel surprisingly sturdy. ON the scale, filled and capped it weighs 24g and 19g uncapped. That’s right between a Lamy AL-Star (22g) and the Lamy Studio (28g) so its a pretty solid pen. It turns out the grip area is metal which gives it solid weighting to the tip. The body and cap are plastic but the clip is also metal. So overall, its not as low-budget as I might have expected.

The clip seems solid and the pen snaps closed tightly with a click. The overall shape is a long tapered bullet which in not unappealing but the plain black with a big logo on the side doesn’t make it my favorite pens to look at. Then again, a Pilot G-2 is a great writer and is an ugly pen. So, looks can be deceiving.

super5 writing sample

In writing, I had no issues with this pen at all. I loaded the blue ink cartridge that shipped with the pen (a standard European short cartridge in blue) and started writing. It wrote smoothly with the lightest of touch in all the wonky angles that this lefty uses.

I miswrote that its a 0.6… Super5 = 0.5mm, at least for now. It sort of reminds me of a medium sized nib without the iridium tip roundy-ness. I get a nice mix of thick and thin stokes rather than an overall roundness in a regular medium nib.

super5 writing close-up

If you’re looking for a new kind of nib at a reasonable price, this is not a pen to be overlooked. Its performance is excellent even if its overall aesthetics wouldn’t win a beauty contest.

Fashionable Friday: An Apple A Day


  • Kyokuto French Classic B5 Notebook in Pink $6 (via Jet Pens)
  • KUM 1-Hole Long Point Sharpener $1.95 (via Pencils.com)
  • Midori D-Clip Apple Paper Clips – Box of 30 $7.25 (via Jet Pens)
  • Fisher Space Pen in Red Cherry $20 (via Pen Chalet)
  • Apple Slice Sticky Note $4.95 $3.71 (via Mochi Things)
  • Faber-Castell GRIP 2001 Pencils $16.45 per dozen (via Pencils.com)
  • Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pen in Steel 79€ (via Fontoplumo)
  • Lamy AL-Star Blue-green Fountain Pen (2014 Special Edition) 26.90€ (via Fontoplumo)
  • Cotton Jersey Pen Case Dark Gray x Gray $10.50 (via Muji US)
  • Clairefontaine 1951 Collections Le Carnet in Red Coral $4.50 (via Pen Chalet)
  • Apica CD11 Notebook (A5 7 mm Rule) in Light Blue $1.75 (via Jet Pens)
  • Stipula Netto Calamo Ink in Dark Red $17.10 (via Pen Chalet)
  • De Atramentis Apple Blossom Ink $12.95 (via Goulet Pens)
  • TWSBI Diamond 580 Fountain Pen – Green $50 (via Goulet Pens)

(Inspired by the Vintage Apple Print from Lilipinso 14.90€)

Pocket Notebooks for the Ladies

Most of the distinguished gentlemen of the pen blogging community talk about pocket notebooks and the ease of pulling them out of a shirt pocket or back jeans pocket. But what about us ladies who might not have the necessary pockets nor want to carry a book in our rear pockets? The whole idea makes me think, “Stop staring at my Field Notes, jerk!”

So, how do we ladies carry a handy, jot-a-quick-note notebook that does not mean having a bag or purse with us at all times?

After working on a small team of almost all women last year, I discovered the handy convenience of a wrist clutch. The women on my team varied in personal aesthetics but all unanimously embraced the wristlet in various forms.


From memory, there was a BlueQ tyvek zip pouch with pretty graphics printed on it, two Coach wristlets (one in fabric and one in leather) and a Kate Spade wristlet in stripes. All the specific bags we carried have been discontinued but these images will give you an idea of the general look. The links are to the current offerings from each brand. The prices of these pouches ranged from $7 to about $100 though several were purchased on sale or at outlet stores so I think none of us paid full retail except me. The size was fairly consistent across all four bags — about 5.5″ x 7.5″ with of about 1.5″, give or take a half on inch. In these, we each had enough space to carry a small pocket notebook or a stack of 3×5 index cards along with our cell phones, ID and work badge, credit cards and cash for lunch. I think any lady could find some sort of wrist bag or clutch that suited their personal aesthetics from handmade Etsy designs to high-fashion designer styles.

The key is to find one large enough to hold your absolute essentials but not so large that it becomes a purse. I use my wristlet as my wallet and dump it into my purse/tote/backpack/bag at the end of the day. The wristlet is also handy for quick errands and shopping trips when I don’t want to haul around the whole mess that is my bag.

If your job or daily life requires more hands-free mobility, you might want to consider a small crosssbody bag instead. Its a similar idea to the wristlet but with a strap long enough to position the bag comfortably at your hip. No fanny packs or bumbags, okay? That is not a solution. With crossbody bags, there are as many looks, styles and materials to choose from as you could want from high brow to budget priced. On Etsy, there were over 14K search results for “crossbody bag” so there’s definitely something for everyone.

crossbody bags

I picked two to show the range, one from Kate Spade (over $200) and one from Mochi Things (about $20).

And what are the best pocket notebooks to carry in your new-found wristlet or bag? The same awesome notebooks the boys carry: Field Notes, Word.notebooks and Doane Paper Utility Notebooks, of course.

Link Love: Thank You Nots?

Link Love Link MascotPosts of the Week:

Two sides of the Thank You note debate, both from NPR. After sending many gifts to friends and family and hearing nothing, I think a thank you note, even on a postcard, to let the sender know that the gift was received is a good way to guarantee you will get another gift. No thank you note, no more gifts, at least from me.


Fountain Pens:



Notebooks & Paper:

Planners & Organizers:

Other Stuff:

Who ever said lefties can’t use a Pilot Parallel Pen? And his brush pen work is excellent!

Inside My Filofax Original Planner (Personal Size)


Now that I’ve settled on the Filofax Original personal-sized planner in dark aqua as my planner for the year, I was ready to add my inserts and customize it to be mine. I’m not inclined to be too craftsy with it because I want to use my planner to get organized. I don’t want it to be another “project” I have to do each week. I just want to plan out all the projects I want to do (and need to do), but I wanted to add a little “me” to is as well. I thought I’d share the little details I added to make this my planner.

It’s not “finished” yet but I’ve been using for over a week and its meeting all my needs so far.


As you can see, I’ve stuffed it full already with pages and some other bits. Because its really just a leather cover, the bulk of the bulk is the content and not a big planner.


The pen loop is on the let side which a lot of people have complained about. As a lefty, this couldn’t be more perfect! Its the first time ever that the pen loop is on the proper side. There are a couple business card-sized slot pockets on the inside of the cover and the elastic is stitched in two places so there is theoretically room to slide other things under the elastic but I have discovered that the more stuff I stick in the inside front cover, the less pliable it becomes. Since its already pretty full, the stiffer the cover, the harder it becomes to snap the cover shut. So, for me, no junk in the inside front cover.

There’s a clear plastic flyleaf on the front that I’ve been paper clipping coupons to. It keeps them front and center to I remember to use them. Under that is one of my handmade, laminated dividers. I drank my own kool-aid here and bought a budget priced Amazon Basics laminator for about $20.


I’ve been collecting bits of pretty paper for years and this seemed like the perfect use for some of it. I used the stock tabs that were included with the Filofax as guides and cut out the tabs, ran them through the laminator and then trimmed and punched them. I used an electronic Dymo to print sticky labels on clear film and cut them to fit on the tabs.

Right now, I have five tabs:

  1. Calendar
  2. Lists
  3. Addresses
  4. Post Log
  5. Blank


Inside, I upgraded to the Filofax Cream Cotton week-on-two-pages inserts for 2015. I use these pages to write things I need to do in a given day, be it “stop at library” or “get gas” to “project due”. For activities that need to happen in a given week, I’ve been hole-punching a smaller card and inserting it in between the week. These can be things like a list of topics for the blog or “call the dealer to schedule car maintenance”. If the tasks don’t get completed, the card can be moved to the next week.

I’ve heard that the Cream Cotton paper is thicker and better quality than the standard Filofax bright white paper. I haven’t done any comprehensive ink tests yet but, in general, I think the best course of action with a planner is to keep a multi-pen filled with fine tipped gel inks rather than to try to make it work with my fountain pen collection. I’m willing to sacrifice some fountain pen time to not have slow-drying, smudging, bleeding, etc issues with my planner. Besides, my multi-pens frequently get neglected in favor of fountain pens so this is their chance to shine. At present, I have a Pentel i+ in the elastic pen loop but I’ve also used my Uni Style Fit pens (4 colors plus a pencil) and they both easily fit in the elastic loop.


I printed a year-at-a-glance fold-out calendar from What She Was on Etsy which is super clean and simple and gives me quick access to the whole year. I might also add a month-on-a-page calendar for tracking longer projects, holidays and birthdays.


Behind the “Post Log” tab is only a little glassine bag that I punched and filled with an assortment of stamps. This will eventually include the PenPal Mail Log sheets I purchased from Holiday Notes on Etsy but I am waiting to print them on a good color printer rather. Hopefully, I’ll have a few sheets in place by next week.


The addresses section is also the Cream Cotton pages from Filofax. I used a page or two for all my contacts. It took me awhile to transcribe them from my old address book but I love having all the addresses in one place, along with my post log.

In the Lists section is just a few sheets of the Filofax sample To-Do List pages but I plan on downloading and printing some To-Do Lists soon. I’d like a slightly different format than what is offered on the Filofax sheets but will have to shop around on Etsy and My Life All in One Place in hopes of finding a better option.

In the Notes section, I have it filled with the multi-colored paper samples that came with my Filofax. I am burning through this paper so I suspect I will need to order more soon. I do like the colored paper and the lines so I might buy some from KiddyQualia or Yellow Paper House.


Behind the black tab is a vintage air mail envelope that I’ve been tucking receipts into. It fit perfectly, I just needed to punch holes and voila!


Behind the envelope is the clear plastic sleeve which I’ve slid some loose papers into and stuck a large sticky pad to the back. Eventually I might swap out the large pad for a smaller pad but I had this one, so I’m using it for grocery lists and what not. Then there’s another clear flyleaf sheet. In the back slit, I placed a plastic pocket folder that friends brought back from Japan for me. Tucked into it are some calendar stickers that also came from Japan, some sticky fold-over tabs, business cards and other paper detritus.

So, there you have it. A tour of my planner for 2015. I’m sure, over the year, things will be added and other things will be removed. The nice thing with the Filofax is I can move things around, take out pages that aren’t getting used or add in more pages where I need them. I can even change the binder completely and move all the pages, tabs and all, with no issues. So maybe in the spring, I might try a more summery binder. For now, I am in love with how flexible and aesthetically appealing the dark aqua Filofax Original is.

Giveaway: Word. Memorandum 2015

Word. Memorandum 2015

Several weeks ago, I decided I wanted one of the Word. Memorandum 2015 notebooks ($11). I ordered it at the same time I ordered the Polygons and Indigo Word. Notebooks. Then I went full-tilt on ring-bound planners so it feels extraneous to keep this beauty to myself.

The Memorandum us beautiful with a rich brown cardstock cover, stamped in gold foil. Inside is fabulously, classic design elements for tracking your days (week on two pages) as well as spaces for indexing and personal information as well as a list of holidays.

Word. Memorandum 2015

The Memoradum is just 2.35″ x 5.25″  so it will slide easily into the smallest pocket. A fancy leather cover is available for purchase from Word. Notebooks ($40).

Word. Memorandum 2015

Designer Jon Contino is responsible for the stunning typography and design and it is awesome. He has a great eye for classic design and it shows.

Word. Memorandum 2015

TO ENTER: Since I’ve decided to rely on a ring-bound planner, I’d like to give this to a lucky reader. Do you want to account for your days with this fabulous planner? Tell me in the comments what events you’d like to track in the Memorandum to be entered to win.

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Friday, January 9, 2015. 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. This giveaway is open to all readers! Shipping via USPS first class is covered. Additional shipping options or insurance will have to be paid by the winner. We are generous but we’re not made of money.

My Planner Journey

After putting together the Ring-Bound Planners series, I decided that I needed to take my own dive into planners too. First, I ordered a green Franklin Covey Giada binder in the compact size. The compact size in Franklin Covey-speak is similar in size and ring configuration to the very popular Filofax personal sized binders.

Ring comparison FC vs Filofax

On top, the Franklin Covey Giada in Compact Size and on the bottom, the Filofax Original in personal size. See how the rings don’t quite line up?


The hole placement of the 6-rings is CLOSE to the same on the Franklin Covey to the Filofax.

Since the FC compact-size planner is designed to fit slightly wider paper than the Filofax Personal, and most of the planning sheets I want to use are designed to fit the Personal-sized Filofax, the Giada might end up feeling to gappy for me. But, oh that color!

Franklin Covey Giada compact planner green

The Giada binder was on sale (thanks, Christmas discounts) but it was still not the cheapest option available. The Giada ships without any inserts at all so there is an additional cost factor to consider when choosing Franklin Covey.

The thing I noticed first about the Franklin Covey planner is that it did not ship with any inserts at all — not undated planner pages, no plain  lined paper, no dividers, nothing. So, despite the sale price, there would still be an additional investment to build out the planner. That wasn’t a huge deal breaker for me since a big part of my interest in a planner came about when I discovered how many custom inserts were available for download on the internet. But still… nothing but two plastic slip cards for the front and back (what are these things called anyway?).

Inside the Giada

Inside, the Giada features lots of pockets for cards in the front and a zipper compartment. IT also has two pen loops with elastic on the underside to accommodate a variety of pens.

Inside the back of the FC Giada

Inside the back cover were two slit pockets placed quite low but would probably support a reporter style notepad or hold a few loose pages.

I never really unwrapped the Giada because I just wasn’t sure about it.

The more I thought about the size and the weight of the FC Compact planner, the more I started thinking I might prefer a Filofax Original in the Personal size. Its narrower than the FC Giada and the color options were different. I was able to find a Filofax Original on clearance which was actually a bit less expensive than the Giada. Also, Filofax planners do ship with an assortment of filler pages though including a week-on-two-pages diary, ruler-page marker and a sampling of paper including to-do list sheets, ruled colored paper (in an assortment of colors), address pages and a clear plastic envelope. While I may not end up using the sheets that ship with the Filofax, the fact that it comes with these tens-of-dollars worth of add-ons, may be a consideration in your purchase if you’re just starting out with a ring binder planner.

Franklin Covey Giada vs. Filofax Classic Personal

I kept the Giada long enough to photograph it with the Filofax Original. I wanted to be able to see for myself the size and feeling difference between a Franklin Covey and a Filofax before I made a decision about which planner I would stick with for the year. As much as I love green, I didn’t let that be the deciding factor between these two planners. When the Filofax arrived, the feel of the leather, which was much more pliable while also feeling more durable was immediately more appealing. The FC Giada has board stiffened covers which are then wrapped in leather. Add to that the abundance of pockets and zips and the Giada just felt bulky before I had even put anything in it.

Franklin Covey Giada vs. Filofax Classic Personal

From the profile, the rings on the Filofax Original seem larger but the binder clamp looks more streamlined. As you can see from the profile, I took to the Filofax very quickly and I’ll go into a more in-depth review and flip through tomorrow. I just wanted to walk you through my own experiences and show you the differences between a Franklin Covey compact planner and a comparable Filofax personal-sized planner. The Giada has been returned to Franklin Covey. Maybe it will be the “just right” planner for someone else but its not for me. The pockets, the color, and the wider size would be the pluses for the Giada but in every other way, the Filofax  was the clear winner.


Word.Notebooks: Polygons and Indigo

Word. Notebooks in polygon and indigo

Back in 2013, I reviewed the Word.Notebooks but have not spent much time with them since. The original assortment in Camo, Orange and Kraft colors didn’t inspire much loyalty from me but when I saw the indigo series and the polygon series, I was moved to gives these more consideration. I liked the look of the indigo and polygon books and they seemed to be doing something different from Field Notes.

I’ve also recently started to employ the Bullet Journal system to my to-do lists and notetaking so the Word. Notebooks seemed like a good fit since they use a checkbox-and-line layout on the pages.

Word. Notebooks indigo

The indigo series includes two Japanese asanoha pattern books and one indigo dotted polygon design.The covers of these books are kraft colored cardstock with a navy indigo and opaque white litho printing.

Word. Notebook Polygon

The polygon design books are available in 3-packs of either orange, blue or grey or a mixed pack of one of each. I went with the mixed 3-pack so that I could experience all three color options. The colors in this set remind me of orange sherbet, ice blue mints and milky tea. These covers are printed on bright white cardstock making the colors pretty bright instead of the traditional kraft coverstock.

Word. Notebooks comparison

Inside both books feature the same lined paper in bright white with light grey lines and the Word. Notebook bullet system. There is a key to their notetaking system on the inside cover though I’m inclined to integrate the Bullet System iconography instead. The lining is light enough to be useful without being distracting.

Word. Notebooks polygon paper Word. Notebooks indigo paper

As mentioned in my previous review, the Word. Notebooks do a decent job with most regular pens and writing tools. Fine line fountain pens don’t feather or bleed too badly, there’s slight showthrough but not too bad. With pocket notebooks, there can be a trade-off between price and portability versus fountain-pen friendliness. To get paper that is fountain pen friendly is to either increase costs, dry time or thickness which reduces the portability and quickness of using a pocket notebook.

That said, overall, the Word. Notebooks are a pleasing option for a pocket notebook. If you are looking for a book specifically for lists, its a win-win.

Three-packs of Word. Notebooks are available for $9.99 per set from their web site.

Hacking a Midori Traveler’s Notebook

Like Field Notes, Hobonichi Techno and Filofax, there’s a rabid and growing following for the Midori Traveler’s Notebook. At its essence, the Midori Traveler’s Notebook (MTN) is a simple leather cover with elastics to hold small bound notebooks and accessories into it. As more people use them, the more they’ve added to them — from simple DIY inserts for all sorts of tasks, list, planning and goals to posh handcrafted leather accessories. Here are a few of my favorites ways to customize and hack a Midori Traveler’s Notebook to best suit your needs and preferences.

Baum Kitchen MTN leather zipper pouch

Baum Kitchen leather zipper case/card holder [Essential 2.0] $72
This is a US made, natural leather rubbed with cedar oil insert. The front section provides an assortment of slits for cards and large flap pocket for paper ephemera. The back pocket is a zipper pouch. Adding this insert can easily turn your MTN into a wallet and be your all-in-one life keeper. The [Essential 1.0] includes just two credit card pockets and a larger slot for miscellaneous paper for $65.

DIY kraft card divide tabs for Passport sized MTN

Patrick Ng of Scription created custom kraft card tabs that he attached various envelopes to each kraft tab and filled with various items like postage stamps and notes. While he did not provide a specific tutorial, I think it would be easy to reverse engineer what he did using existing file folders trimmed to size and taped together or cutting tabs from a plain piece of board. I would probably use bookbinders tape to hold the pieces together but clear, plastic packing tape might work just as well.

pen & ink sampler pages for MTN

My Life All in One Place has created several printable inserts including 2015 calendar pages, pen and ink sample test pages, Seyes french-ruled paper,  and even knitting grid paper.

Seyes French Ruled Midori Traveler's Notebook printable pages

If you think making your own inserts might be fun to do, check out the companion video about how to trim and assemble your custom printables to fit into a Midori Traveler’s Notebook.

MTN 2015 calendar printable inserts

Check out my previous post with other hacks and add-ons for the Midori Traveler’s Notebook.

Fashionable Friday: Cassandra from The Librarians


I don’t know if you’re familiar with the new TV series, The Librarians. Its based on a series of made-for-TV movies starring Noah Wylie about an Indiana Jones-like librarian collecting mystical artifacts à la Warehouse 13. So when I heard plans to launch an on-going series, I cheered like a little girl getting a pony on her birthday. The show is great and I love Cassandra’s quirky fashion sense — a mix of girlie sweet and tough chick. So, this week’s Fashionable Friday is inspired by the girl with the calculator brain.

  • Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen Violet Leopard F Nib $14.50 (via Jet Pens)
  • Pilot Metal Falcon Collection Fountain Pen in Burgundy $240 (via Pen Chalet)
  • Rohrer & Klingner Ink in Alt-Bordeaux $12 (via Goulet Pens)
  • Apica CD-10 Notebook in Light Green 4.1 x 5.8 $2.80 (via Goulet Pens)
  • Bibliotheque Trek Tote $19.99 (via ModCloth)
  • Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto Me 4 Color Multi Pen in Gold Ivory $9 (via Jet Pens)
  • Equation Elation Mug $14.99 (via ModCloth)
  • Adhesive Leather Pen Holder in Zebra & Green $5.95 $4.46 (via MochiThings)
  • Noodler’s Dark Matter Ink $12.50 (via Goulet Pens)
  • Midori Brass Bullet Ballpoint Pen with White Body and Black Ink $27 (via Jet Pens)

Top 5 Posts of 2014

Wordpress fireworks

WordPress kindly sends out a yearly round-up of blog statistics. Since I didn’t move The Well-Appointed Desk to a privately hosted server until autumn, the stats are a little wonky but the most popular posts are pretty accurate. Want to see the list and see if you missed any of them?

  1. The Epic Refill Reference Guide: Rollerball, Gel and Ballpoints
  2. Turn a Blank Notebook into a Lined Notebook (AKA Guide Sheets!)
  3. Customizing a Midori Traveler Notebook
  4. Review: Hobonichi Planner 2014
  5. Review: Productive Luddite Notebooks Part 1

I think its pretty interesting that four out of five of the posts were focused on paper, notebooks or planners.

Other Stats: I posted 365 posts in 2014 and there are over 840 posts in the archives. If you’re looking for something specific, try using the search field. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, drop me an email using the Ask The Desk link at the top of the page.

Thanks to everyone for reading this blog, leaving comments and generally being awesome. Happy writing in 2015!

Pre-Order: Lamy Al-Star in Copper Orange

Lamy Al-Star in Copper Orange

Our fine friends over at Fontoplumo just posted the opportunity to pre-order the new Lamy AL-Star in the special 2015 Copper Orange color. There is also a  special copper orange ink cartridge set available. The fountain pen is 26,90 € (about $32.50US) and the ink cartridges are a pack of 5 for 1,95 € (about $2.30US). The copper orange is also available in rollerball and ballpoint pen versions.

The Lamy limited edition Safaris and Al-Stars are quite popular and reasonably priced. This is a great way to get a good pen in a novel, new color. While I am not a fan of the molded grip for left-handed writers, many folks love these pens — both right- and left-handed.

You can pre-order today and receive your pen and/or ink in February. I placed a pre-orer with Fontoplumo last year for the Kaweco Sport Skyline edition in Mint and it arrived several weeks earlier than I expected so Frank ships out as soon as products are available, even internationally.

Lamy Al-Star Copper Orange Ink

Link Love: Resolve to do it all better in 2015

rp_link-ana1.jpgThis week, I’ve decided to skip my traditional RSS feed and go in search of interesting sites and articles to help you achieve whatever paper-related goals you might have for 2015. Do you want to get more organized; improve your handwriting; write more letters or start journaling? Here’s this week’s new year’s edition of Link Love!

Get organized:

Ready for tomorrow.

A photo posted by Patrick Rhone (@patrickrhone) on

Plan it out:

Writing More:

(Fabulous Spoonflower fabric with pen nibs via Lefty Lettering)

Handwriting & Penmanship:


Letter Writing:

Other Cool Stuff:

Crowd-Funded: Brauller Writing Tool

Have you heard about the new crowd-funded aluminum pen, the Brauller? It appears to be a pen designed to customize by slipping the refill unit out of one case and allowing the user to slide it into a different colored case while swapping out the grip and/or cap as well. The Brauller takes an assortment of standard Parker-style and European rollerball/Pilot G2 refills. So, if you’re looking for something new and different from the Render K, TechLiner, Pen Type-A or Ti pen, than maybe you’ll be interested in this.

From the product description, it sounds like the pen will be created in the designer’s Portuguese city of Vale do Ave so be aware that “international shipping” theoretically means anyone not living in Portugal.

I really want to like this product but it feels a little gimmicky to me. Rather than having two functional pens in two barrel colors, I could end up with one functional pen and a change of clothes for it that I’ll need to store and keep track of.  Also, the video included does not show how assembly and re-assembly occurs. Its a very opaque video that doesn’t really show the pen in action. Sadly, with a new product developer, I need to see the product in more detail, the creators and generally speaking more technical information rather than a flashy “magic” video.

Is this a project you might back?

Review: Uni Power Tank 0.7 Smart Series Pen Review

Uni Power Tank pen 0.7

The Uni Power Tank Smart Series 0.7 ($3.30) is another in the growing pressurized ballpoint market. The pressurized ink cartridges are designed to allow the pen to be used in severe weather, upside and in zero gravity though I’ve not had a lot of call to test the validity of these claims. The Fisher Space Pen is the original pressurized ballpoint. I don’t own one but my husband has one that he loves and uses regularly. The Fisher Space Pen is a small compact design with a standard Parker-style refill but the refill is pressurized to be used in extreme circumstances. I have a Rite in the Rain metal refillable pen that a reader sent to me as well.

Uni Power Tank pen 0.7 comparison

The Uni Power Tank is a “disposable” pen so the entry to use is a little lower. Since its a standard plastic barrel pen, it doesn’t feel like a commitment to a pen lifestyle. I’ve previously reviewed the Tombow Airpress ballpoint pen which is a similar idea to the Uni Power Tank.

Compared to the Tombow Airpress which has a very wide, stout appearance, the Uni Power Tank Smart Series is a more streamlined pen design. The width for the Uni Power Tank Smart Series is similar to a Sharpie marker — wider than a hex pencil but not as chunky as the Airpress. The grip area is textured with some horizontal ridges but its not a particularly cushy bit.

In writing, there is no discernible difference between the Airpress and the Power Tank. If you like the funky Stormtrooper vibe of the Airpress, go for it. For me, though, I’m not a huge lover of ballpoints but sometimes I need one and sometimes I need a writing tool that is going to work after months of neglect. When I need that, I’m going to reach for the Power Tank.

I think of the Uni Power Tank Smart Series as being a very no-nonsense pen. It works in severe conditions, you can leave this pen in your car from Key West to Fargo without worrying about it exploding or leaking or ceasing to function. At less the $4, you can leave the Power Tank on the diner table on that epic road trip and not be heart broken over the loss.

Uni Power Tank pen 0.7 writing sample

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


Fashionable Friday: Pantone Color of the Year 2015 – Marsala


Every year, for the past few years, color experts Pantone chooses what it thinks will be the color of the year. This year, they selected a deep wine-y red they call Marsala. I immediately thought of all the inky possibilities available in the burgundy, red-black and deep berry range. There were so many to choose from but I chose Private Reserve as the closest match to Marsala. Which inky color do you think is most “marsala”?

  • Rifle Paper Co Blank Card – Burgundy Vintage Blossoms $6.45 (via Notemaker)
  • Pilot G-2 Gel Ink Pen – 0.7 mm – Burgundy Red $1.50 (via Jet Pens)
  • Kokuyo Enpitsu Mechanical Pencil – 0.9 mm – Wine Red Body $2.95 (via Jet Pens)
  • Edison Pearlette Fountain Pen – Violet Flake $149 (via Goulet Pens)
  • Raymay Davinci System Leather Binder in Pocket Size – Wine $50 (via Jet Pens)
  • A Low Hill Double Pocket Pouch v2 $30.95 $23.21 (via MochiThings)
  • Pentel Sharp Drafting Pencil – 0.5 mm – Burgundy Body $4.80 (via Jet Pens)
  • Kaweco Sport Classic Fountain Pen in Bordeaux 16,95 € (via Fontoplumo)
  • Noodler’s Burgundy Ink $12.50 (via Goulet Pens)
  • Private Reserve Black Cherry $11 (via Goulet Pens)
  • Field Notes Arts & Sciences Edition $9.95 for a set of two (via Field Notes)
  • Antique Silver Ruby Red Glass Inkwell Desk Ink Well $12.99 (via Amazon)

(Fashion inspiration from Pinterest: man’s tie, office space and woman in skirt, respectively. The central photo of the desk came from an article on Apartment Therapy about marsala burgundy used in home decor, if you’re interested.)

Winner: Jet Pens Gift Certificate

Screen Shot 2014-12-25 at 9.08.25 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-25 at 9.09.17 PM

Congrats to Jen, the winner of the Jet Pens $25 Gift Certificate giveaway. You have your own little “green” now! I’ll be emailing you directly today.

Happy Holidays to all my wonderful readers. I wish I could give everyone of you a gift certificate. Maybe if these scratchy lotto tickets amount to anything… (scritch, scritch, scritch)… nope, nada. Better luck next year!

Link Love: Another Time-Sucking Rabbit Hole

Link Love Link MascotFountain Pens:

Other Pens:


Notebooks & Paper:


Other Cool Stuff:

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