Word. Notebooks have just released their new Terrain Series notebooks featuring topographic style artwork on the covers of three different sets of notebooks in green, orange or ivory. Inside, these notebooks feature the same lined paper with the built-in bullet system as their previous notebooks and feature 48-pages in each of their 3-pack of notebooks. Each set is available for $9.99 for a 3-pack. Perfect for all your summer explorations.
I cannot believe how quickly four days passed. The Atlanta Pen Show 2016 was four action-packed days of making tons of new friends, seeing old friends, and, of course, looking at all sorts of wallet-emptying pens, inks, paper and other wonderful goodies!
To give a quick timeline, we arrived in Atlanta on Thursday afternoon and got to mingle and hang out with all the early arrivers in the evening. I get the impression that the hotel bar staff doesn’t quite know what to do with us but they tolerate the inevitably ink-tinged water goblets without complaint. We ate, drank and chatted a good deal so I hope the wait staff tipped out well at the end of the night.
Friday, I got to walk around the show floor a little bit in the morning and then the wonderful folks at Goulet Pens asked if I would do an interview for their Q&A series live and in-person. It was both incredibly exciting and incredibly nerve-wracking but the best part was meeting Brian and Rachel and their wonderful videographer and video editor, Jenni. After the video, I got to visit with more folks and wander a bit more before the show closed and the evening carousing kicked into gear again. Friday night was the traditional Atlanta Pen Show hamburger cookout which was fun and filling even if the burgers were still mooing.
Saturday, I got to spend the morning testing out inks at the Vanness ink testing station and then the afternoon helping out at the NockCo booth with Myke (yes, they let us run the show for awhile!) before the big moment: the recording of the 200th episode of The Pen Addict podcast recorded in front of a live audience at the show! I cannot believe how epic it was to record a podcast (not in my pajamas) in front of 60+ people. I am so grateful to all the Kickstarter backers and Brad and Myke and the celebrity crew from Relay.FM for making it all happen and letting me be a part of such a historic event. Sitting here typing this, I have to pull that pack of tissues out again because I’m getting all verklempt again.
However, the one thing I forgot to do in all the excitement was TAKE PICTURES! So, I’m leaning on all the wonderful folks on Instagram who used the hashtag #ATLPenShow2016 and #AtlantaPenShow2016 to find some of my favorite moments from the show and share them with you. I hope the original photographer don’t mind that I’ve included their photos here (please let me know if you do, I’ll swap them out but I hope you know that I’m sharing them with love and best intentions!) Please go through all the awesome photos on Instagram and see all the great stuff people found, all the happy faces and I hope to see your face in Atlanta next year!
I’ll be doing another post with all the goodies I acquired and, of course, more in-depth reviews of inks and pens in the coming weeks so stay tuned!
Saturday, April 16th, 6:00 pm (Doors at 5:30): The Pen Addict Podcast, Episode #200 LIVE
Brad and Myke are recording episode #200 of the Pen Addict podcast and I have the honor of sitting third chair beside two of the best guys in the pen community.
If you are in Atlanta AND attending the Pens Show AND backed the RelayCon Kickstarter, you can still sign up to be a tickeetd member of the audience for the live recording at the NockCo booth on Saturday but we are limited by the size of the room so it’s first come, first serve.
Once we get all the backers in the room, we will try our best to get anyone else in the room that wants to watch. Hopefully everyone gets in but there is a mximum capapcity on the room size. The event will be livestreaming on Relay.fm/live starting around 6pm EST as well if you are NOT in the Atlanta area if you want to listen and feel like you’re hanging out with us here.
For more details about the event and the after party, check out the post over on The Pen Addict. Thanks for all your support and if you’re at the show, please say hello!
Moleskine has introduced its Smart Writing Set, a notebook and digitally-enabled pen that works in combination with an app that syncs with the Moleskine Notes app, Google Drive or Evernote. The notebook is designed with rounded pages to look more like the shape of a tablet. Maybe to visually differeniate it from the regular notebooks? It features 100 gsm paper and NCode encoded pages to help sync with the digital app.
The Pen+ features a tiny camera and internal memory to store digital data as well as an actual rollerball nib. The pen comes with a charging cord as well.
Thanks so much to Fontoplumo for generously offering the Lamy Safari Dark Lilac Limited Edition fountain pen to one of the lucky readers of The Well-Appointed Desk. All the wonderful spring comments, from blooming cherry blossoms, to pollen-covered cars, were fun to read and made me want to see Spring in every single city and town across the world.
And now to Random Number Generator….
Hope you will have fun keeping track of baseball scores and players stats with your new Dark Lilac Lamy Safari. I’ll be contacting you directly via email to make shipping arrangements. Happy Spring!
Myke and Brad are joined by Ana Reinert of The Well-Appointed Desk to get ready for the 2016 Atlanta Pen Show! We also get through a huge list of follow up and have fun with our #AskAna segment.
Come on over and listen to episode 197 and get excited about the pen show if you’re planning to go, The Pen Addict’s 200th episode if you regularly listen to the show or just get a chance to hear my dulcet tones.
OMG! The guys gave me a hashtag! #AskAna And this week’s title is in honor of my online hoolies — you know who you are. Hope to see all of you in Atlanta and online!
Goldspot Pens is hosting a last hurrah for OMAS pens. They’ll be adding new OMAS pens to their shop all this week – some are rare pieces that haven’t been in production for years. There’s also a rafflecopter giveaway to win an OMAS Milady ballpoint pen. Also, there is a free gift with purchase of $150 or more with promo code (OMASPARTY good through4/15/2016) for a bottle of OMAS violet ink. Check out their blog post for more details and check in with the shop for new OMAS items. Say farewell to OMAS with a new pen.
My darling Dad sent me this article about the pen industry, including a short interview with the owner of Century Pens in downtown Chicago who was an absolute sweetheart to me last year when I went in to shop. It’s a good article about the good, the bad and the luxury in the pen industry. Sadly, I could not find the sidebar article about “Pens found on the desks of 10 Chicago Executives.” My favorite comment was from Sharon O’Keefe who is the president of the University of Chicago Medicine who is quoted excitedly about her current obsession, a Sailor Professional Gear with a fine point.
Write Notepads is starting their very own subscription service for $99.99 per year which includes US shipping (additional shipping charges for Canada and international subscribers). Every quarter Write Notepads will be releasing a special 3-pack of uniquely designed notebooks. The subscription kit will include (2) two variety 3-packs plus (2) two current limited edition 3-packs, a personalized membership card, and additional bonus items.
Each following quarter, subscribers will receive (2) two limited edition 3-packs of the current release. Subscribers will also be able to purchase additional packs of notebooks prior to the release to the public as well as being notified of “members only” sales and special promotions. The first kits will start shipping on March 31st so if you’re interested in getting in on the inaugural run, subscribe soon.
Most experts, including Cornell University, recommend that for every 20-30 minutes of sitting, you get up and walk or move around for two minutes. Getting up and moving is considered as effective as a costly (and often less work-efficient) standing desk and its free. Add in 30 minutes of brisk activity each day (which can be broken into 10 minute segments) and you might just live a longer, healthier life.
I’m going to try it by using the Pomodoro Method. I’ll work for 25 minutes and then walk around for five minutes. I also used to sit on a yoga ball and I have to say I’ve been missing the bounciness. I think I might reinflate it and try that again as well to help improve my posture too.
Do you worry about how much you sit? Are you using a standing desk or trying any techniques to walk, stand or move more? Any tips?
Mike Rohde and his Sketchnote Army has had a profound effect on many of you, myself included, and I’m excited to celebrate World Sketchnote Day on Monday, January 11. That’s right, let’s spend the day sketch noting everything! Your breakfast! That boring meeting! The guy on the bus! The five things on the top of your bucket list! The best things your kids have ever said! Whatever! Doodle, illustrate, elaborate!
You can sign up on the the Sketchnote Army site to win fabulous prizes and tell how you’ll be celebrating the joys of Sketchnoting. Prizes are being offered from Astropad, Cultpens, JetPens, Betabook, Baron Fig, Moleskine, Bullet Journal, Sketchnote Handbook, awesome Sketchnoters and more!
You can ask professional Sketchnoters for tips and techniques throughout the day.
There’s lot’s of other ways to celebrate and participate too. Visit the Sketchnote Army site to see the whole list.
No matter what you do, work that hashtag: #SNDay2016
There are far too many end-of-year sales for me to list them all here but if there’s something you’ve had your eye on for sometime, now might be a good time to double-check and see if there’s a discount, price reduction, coupon or free shipping offer available.
Lots of our favorite pen shops are doing year end inventory clear outs, like Pen Chalet (don’t forget to add the coupon code YEAREND in cart for an extra 10% off), Levenger is holding its semi-annual up-to-50% off sale and this year they’ve added lots of new planning supplies back into its offerings as well as its pens, Circa systems and travel bags. Notemaker is hosting its Boxing Day sale with 15% off sale items with the coupon code BOX15 through Wednesday 30 Dec. 2015. Kate Spade is having a huge sale that includes discounted prices on planners, stationery, phone cases and much more. Use the coupon code THRILL on sale items for an additional 25% off as well. I ordered the notecard set above for $16 (half the original price!) that way.
Lots of other shops are having sales so if you know of a particularly good one, leave a note in the comments. I’m sure there’s someone with some Christmas cash burning a hole in their pocket.
Remember, the best way to find out about sales, special offers and new products from any of your favorite retailers is to subscribe to their email newsletter list. I have mine filter into a special folder so they don’t clutter up any urgent messages but can be reviewed and perused regularly. Happy shopping!
Oh, yes. Its that time of year. Black Friday deals and sales. It’s time to take advantage of the best deals from all your favorite pen shops. And it’s time to send links to your friends and loved ones and tell them “buy me this!” for the holidays too.
I thought I’d help you out and round up all The Well-Appointed Desk’s US sponsors who are participating in the holiday mayhem. Our friends in the Netherlands and Australians call today Thursday. You can bother them on Boxing Day, which we Americans call December 26th.
Karas Kustoms is offering 20% off if you use the coupon code “BLACKFRIDAY” from 11/26-11/30 (Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday). After that, the coupon code “HAPPYHOLIDAYS” will get 15% off from 12/1-01/01/16. Coupon codes cannot be combined with free shipping options, however, so you may want to do some fancy math to get the best deals!
Goulet Pens are hosting their Thanksgiveaway campaign which has many ways to get great deals and free stuff. Check out all the details here.
Oh, good grief! With over 50 sale items, I couldn’t possibly list all the great deal that JetPens is offering for Black Friday here. So, here’s a link to this week’s newsletter. Just forward it to your loved ones marked “Urgent: Christmas Wish List” and let them take it from there.
Pen Chalet will be running a storewide 15% discount plus there will be a bunch of items listed at 40-50% off. For more information, visit their Black Friday sales page.
If you’re in the Appleton, WI area, you should definitely stop by the store on Friday, if for no other reason than to say hello to Lisa and take her a donut. There will also be lots of in-store specials.
If the shop is a little too far out of the way, Anderson Pens is offering free shipping on orders over $35 Thursday through Monday. And…
Buy any refillable ballpoint or rollerball, receive 1 free refill
Buy any Pilot fountain pen $20 or more, receive a free 3pk of blue cartridges
Buy any Sheaffer fountain pens except VFM, receive a free 5-pk of cartridges. Choose your color and include in your order notes. Color options are : Orange, Pink, Gold, Purple, Black
Goldspot Pens is offering an array of deals too including deal so good they require the above infographic. Check out all their great deals here plus a chance to win a Pelikan M205 Amethyst fountain pen.
Monday afternoon (THAT’S TODAY!) at 5:30 EST, the Pen Addict podcast will be recording the 4th Annual Holiday Gift Guide Live (but the third time that I’ll be on as co-co-co-host)! So if you’d like to tune in and listen live, pop over to Relay.FM a few minutes before and join in on the chitter chatter. If you can’t make it, you can download the episode later on. It should be episode #182, title TBD. The show notes should include gobs of links and I’ll be sure to post a follow-up here with additional information as well. Sorry for the short notice. Its been such a busy week and I just assume you can all read my mind. You knew this was coming, right?
I just wanted to let you know I cleaned up my Links page. I added a bunch of new links and removed a few that hadn’t been updated in over a year. If you are currently blogging about pens, paper, ink or planners and are not on the list, use the Ask The Desk link at the top of the page to send me a link to your site.
Also, it was brought to my attention that my Instagram link was crap so I fixed it. If you want to follow me on Instagram, give that link over there on the right a try. Its under the “Follow The Desk” header — lots of cute little icons so you can stalk me just about anywhere.
If you’re not familiar with Mike Rohde and his sketchnote revolution, I’ll try to distill it down but your best option would be to visit his web site or the Sketchnote Army site or, of course, purchasing his books. The idea behind sketchnoting is that simple drawings, bold lettering, icons and symbols can help improve your note-taking and thereby improve your understanding and memory retention from a lecture, class, presentation or meeting.
During the workshop, Mike elaborated on the techniques included in the sketchnotes Handbook and we got to see him create his symbols, lettering and other techniques live.
As the workshop progressed, we learned that sketchnoting can also be used for documenting personal notes like travel, recipes and journaling. Mike’s teaching style is relaxed and approachable and made it easy for everyone to feel like they could accomplish sketchnoting.
The attendees of the workshop came from a broad array of professions. I met designers, human resources specialists, educators, interior designers, and even a physician who works at a teaching hospital. Everyone was excited to take the knowledge they learned back to their colleagues, students and co-workers.
If you have a chance to attend one of Mike Rohde’s workshops or lectures, I highly recommend it.
If you already have The Sketchnote Handbook, I would recommend picking up a copy of the advanced techniques book, The Sketchnote Workbook. I got a chance to flip through the book at the workshop and have ordered a copy for myself. Its more techniques for sketchnoting and ideas and tips for bringing sketchnoting into all your written work. Peachpit Press has a 35% off coupon code right now too — POP35 so you can get a great deal on some great books!
I did a short Periscope from the Sketchnotes Workshop that a few people caught. If I get a rally in the comments, I might be persuaded to repost it on YouTube.
Oh, one last thing… I have two extra notebooks and stickers from the event that I would like to give away to readers. I’ll even throw in the pens! The notebooks were generously provided by my favorite local art supply store Artist & Craftsman and were produced by Shizen Design, a local KC paper company. Leave a comment below to be entered.
FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Thursday, September 3, 2015. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Friday. 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. Shipping via USPS first class is covered. Additional shipping options or insurance will have to be paid by the winner. US residents only please.
If you are in Kansas City, and you read this blog, you are probably going to want to hop over to the KC Coffee & Design and register to attend the Friday lecture (FREE!) and the Saturday Sketchnotes Workshop ($75) coming at the end of August. And if you happen to attend either of this events, be sure to look for me and say hello. I’ll be the one trying to hug Mike.
A photo posted by Goldspot Pens (@goldspotpens) on
While other people get excited about the sports-themed Retro 51s, the nerds at Chez Desk get grabby hands for anything NASA or space-themed. Having just finished reading The Martian, I’m particularly excited about this limited-to-500 edition of the Retro 51, in all its Saturn V-inspired rocket glory.
Pre-order yours at Goldspot Pens for $35 and remember to tell them you heard about it fro The Well-Appointed Desk!
Did you know Yafa is listing a Monteverde Pelle refillable journal listed on their site now? Does this mean that Pelle is back in business and working with Monteverde? Exciting news if, like me, you really liked the Pelle version of this popular leather notebook system.
Blackwing Volumes is a new collectible subscription service that provides subscribers with a dozen limited-edition, custom-designed Blackwing pencils, four times a year. Subscribers will receive an additional collector’s pencil, sealed and labeled for archiving, with each set and a guarantee to receive each release, even if they sell out to non-subscribers.
Subscriptions are $99 per year, plus shipping and can be purchased at Pencils.com.
Fontoplumo has been a loyal supporter of The Well-Appointed Desk and is often my first source of news about new European pen products from Lamy, Kaweco, Caran D’ache, Delta and more. Fontoplumo offers great customer service and quick delivery all over the world.
AND Fontoplumo has extended the discount code for Well-Appointed Desk readers. All readers can receive a 10% discount off their next purchase. New customers should use the code “WAD” and returning customers should use the code “WAD2“. These codes will be valid through the end of 2015!
Fontoplumo also has two great new products from Lamy. First up is the new nut brown Lamy Logo ($39.36 US). I have a brushed aluminum Lamy Logo and its one of my favorite Lamy pens. Its a little pricier than a Safari or an AL-Star but the grip section is not molded into a shape like the Safair series making it more comfortable for some writers and the whole pen feels a little more upscale than its cheaper plastic counterparts.
Also, there is a new Lamy Scala in a sparkly “midnight sky” blue-black, available with either a stainless steel nib ($157.91 US) or a gold nib ($223.32 US) and comes in a gift box with bottle of ink and converter. This looks like a beautiful pen with a very unique finish and a great option for getting into a gold nib if you are not inclined to purchase a Lamy 2000 with its more hooded nib design.
Go put those discount codes to good use! And thanks to Fontoplumo for supporting The Well-Appointed Desk and thanks to you, my fine readers, for supporting us both!
Recapping the last day of the pen show is done with melancholy. The whole weekend has been so amazing, so epic, that its hard to say goodbye. Many people had to head home on Sunday and our group got smaller as the hours ticked by. It kind of reminds me of the closing scene of Ocean’s 11, which probably makes me the little contortionist.
Now, to the true report.
The doors opened at 9am again for 3-day pass holders and at 10am for single day attendees. The show floor weren’t nearly as crowded as they were on Friday and Saturday but some hot items’ stock was starting to dwindle.
I had an appointment to get some nib work done by Mike Masuyama on Sunday morning. The kind enablers, Thomas Hall and Leigh Reyes, spent the better part of Saturday night letting me test drive every single nib in their pen cases to help give me some idea of what I might want to get done from micro needlepoints to italics. In the end, I decided to have two of the nibs on pens I purchased tuned rather than reground. Since it was my first time getting professional nib work, I wanted to see how he could make a good nib better before I started making serious alterations. Next year, I’ll come with a better plan.
At noon, I attended Deborah Basil’s Cursive Handwriting class which was a great history of handwriting class and a refresher on cursive writing. The class materials were from Michael Sull’s American Cursive Handwriting. Sull is best known for all this work with Spencerian script but the handwriting system he created is a good blend of other styles with a more sophisticated look than some of systems taught to children. It made it quite appropriate for adults looking to improve their writing. Deborah was awesome and the class had at least four lefties in it, not counting Deboarh, so it was great to be able to work with someone who understood our struggles.
Then there was last-minute shopping and a couple laments that “for the sake of my wallet, these vendors need to start packing up!”
By about 4pm, a few of us took over an empty table next to the Karas Kustoms booth and sampled a few bottles of ink and a couple new pens. Every time one of us pulled out a new pen, it gets passed around for inspection and testing by every person within a ten yard vicinity. And no one ever seems to mind. Its pride in their good purchase, their new nib or their ink choice and the thrill of sharing the experience with people who understand the excitement. Its really magical. And there’s as much enthusiasm around a good, everydy TWSBI as their is with a rare, ridiculously expensive Nakaya — and each pen is passed around with equal enthusiasm and gushing. If someone passed around a Pilot Varsity, we’d be jut as interested.
Then their were dinners and drinks and hugs and farewells as folks departed for their beds and early flights.
I’d like to thank everyone who backed the Kickstarter and made it possible for me to be a part of this amazing adventure. I will be eterntally grateful to each and everyone of you. I will cherish the memories and friendships I made and look forward to sharing each of my purchases in reviews in the coming weeks.
The first day of the Atlanta Pen Show was amazing. The atmosphere was friendly and party-like and everyone was excited to see what vendors had to offer and meet new people. Sometimes looking at tray after tray of pens spread out across a vendor’s table was hugely overwhelming but everything was so beautiful that my eye would be attracted to a particular color or clip and I’d have to zoom in for a closer look.
I met Lisa Anderson from Anderson Pens and she was just as friendly and charming as I expected. I even got a hug which totally made my day.
The Nock Co booth was frequently swarmed by pen collectors young and old. Rumor has it Brad got an earful from the legendary Susan Wirth and it was all enthusiastic praise about the products. How cool is that?
Everyone who witnessed me pulling my stash of vintage Esterbrooks out of a rolled-up shop towel gave me grief that “I know a guy who makes these pen cases” so I finally bought a Nock Co Brasstown in Mandarin Mango. Problem solved!
I spent a lot of time at the Franklin-Christoph testing station with my friend Amanda. We pretty much tried every nib they had in stock which was loads of fun and is why, after thinking things over, I will be at the F-C booth first thing this morning to buy my first Franklin-Christoph. Very excited and grateful to Lori from F-C who has been my own personal enabler.
I visited the Van Ness booth and drooled at the tower of P. W. Akkerman inks. I bought one bottle but will probably be back for more today.
The big social event, of course, was the Nock Co. Sassafrass Spring Fling which was a wonderful get-together with beer, pizza, raffle and lots and lots of pen talk. You can find other folks’ photos on Instagram with the hash tag #sassafling15.