Posts Tagged ‘news’

Recap: Sketchnotes Workshop with Mike Rohde

Sketchnotes presentations

Saturday, I attended an all-day workshop with Mike Rohde, author of The Sketchnote Handbook. The workshop had been organized by the Kansas City Coffee & Design group and held at the Sprint Accelerator space. I didn’t actually count the number of attendees but there was probably about 40 people in attendance, some who had traveled from as far away as Omaha to attend the workshop.

Sketchontes & tools

I did my sketchnotes in my Midori Traveler’s Notebook with a Magic rainbow pencil, Sai Watercolor markers and a Sharpie pen.

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.

Mike at the podium

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.

Workin on the whiteboard

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.


Sketchnotes notes by Sarah Taylor.

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.

Sketchonotes Workshop Giveaway

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, 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.

Recap: Mike Rohde Coffee & Design Lecture

Mike Rohde Sketchnotes Lecture

I just wanted to put a quick post up about the lecture hosted by the Kansas City Coffee & Design group. Today’s lecture was Mike Rohde of The Sketchnote Handbook fame discussing how Sketchnotes evolved and a brief overview of the technique.

There is a full day workshop tomorrow so I’ll have lots more to share then.

If you’re in KC and want to attend the workshop tomorrow, here’s a discount code for $15 off the entry fee: FRIDAY.

(Sketchnotes by Renee Andriani)

(Sketchnotes by Renee Andriani)

(my sketchnotes from the lecture this morning)

(my sketchnotes from the lecture this morning)

Guess Who’s Coming to Kansas City?

mike rohde

(Sorry, I couldn’t resist a click bait title.) MIKE ROHDE!!!!!!!!

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.

Don't forget to buy his book!

Don’t forget to buy his book!


Pre-Order: Retro 51 Popper Lift-Off

Okay, now that I have already pre-ordered my Retro 51 Limited Edition Popper Lift-Off, its safe to tell you’all about it.

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!

News: Pelle Notebooks and Blackwing Subscriptions

Yafa Monteverde Pelle Journals

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


Fontoplumo Loves The Desk Readers!


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!


Atlanta Pen Show: Day Three

(Photo reposted from Pen Compass)

(Photo reposted from Pen Compass)

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.

Pen testing with Thomas and Leigh

Pen testing with Thomas and Leigh

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.

Brian Anderson with his pocket overflow, Mike Masuyama working on my nibs and Deborah Basil teaching the cursive writing class.

Brian Anderson with his pocket overflow, Mike Masuyama working on my nibs and Deborah Basil teaching the cursive writing class.

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.

See you all next year!

Atlanta Pen Show Report: Day One

Atlanta Pen Show Day One

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!

Atlanta Pen Show Day One

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.

Atlanta Pen Show Day One

To see all the photos in their full glory, please see my Flickr Album: Atlanta Pen Show 2015.

What News? Atlanta Pen Show

Atlanta Pen Show 2015

If you’ve been following along by way of The Pen Addict podcast, you’ll know that we are just days away from the Atlanta Pen Show and the video filming of episode 150 of the podcast. Along with Brad and Myke (live and in-person) there will be lots of guests on the show. Guests will include Dan from Karas Kustoms, Stephen Hackett from and me, to name a few!

Not to mention all the folks coming from all over the country (and all over the world!) to attend the pen show and to meet, greet and swap pens, inks and stories with fellow pen addicts.

My question to you, what do you want to see from the show? I’ll be blogging, tweeting and posting to instagram while there but I want to know from you what you most want to know?

Will you be at the show? If so, please find me and say hello!

Well-Appointed Desks Must Have Music

This morning NPR announced the winner of the Tiny Desk Concert Contest based on their successful series of performances hosted at the desk of NPR All Song’s Considered host Bob Boilen.For the contest, musicians were asked to submit a video performing a song in front of a desk. Entries included:

desks dragged into nature, onto hilltops, into and around oceans, through offices and kitchens, classrooms and science labs.

What makes a desk a great workspace? Music. And how better to celebrate that than with a few Tiny Desk Concert performances including the winner of the Tiny Desk Concert Contest, Fantastic Negrito.

You may now dance at your desk.

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!

Happy Fountain Pen Day!

Fountain Pen Day Poster

There are so many sales and events going around the internet today that I’d be surprised if anyone has time to actually use their fountain pens. That said, my good friend Chris sent me this fountain penned greeting for the day.

Post your own fountain penned greeting and post it on Instagram. Tag your photo with  #fountainpenday and tag me in the post with @tuesday_next if you want. Can’t wait to see all the fountain pen goodness.

Happy Fountain Pen Day

Fountain Pen Day: Nov. 7

Fountain Pen Day is Friday, November 7th 2014. The first Friday in November is a day to celebrate, promote and share the love of fountain pens with the world. Celebrate in your own way by writing with your fountain pens. If you don’t own one, November 7th is the perfect day to go out and buy or order your first pen. For more information about Fountain Pen Day and to find retailers and resources participating in Fountain Pen Day, visit

There will be lots of ways to celebrate the upcoming Fountain Pen Day including giveaways, sales and goodies. Check with all your favorite retailers and bloggers for more details. Here’s what I know so far:

Any orders placed to the Well-Appointed Desk Shop will include free Fountain Pen Day swag until I run out.

There are still five days left to order an official Fountain Pen Day t-shirt from Cotton Bureau ($28 for charcoal, $27 for red shirt — available in men’s and women’s sizing).

Pen Chalet is sponsoring a bevvy of coupons and discounts and an epic giveaway in honor of Fountain Pen Day. There will be a special coupon on Fountain Pen Day for use on ALL items. Check back on their site on Friday, November 7th, 2014 for the coupon code and then place your order. There will be special discounts on select items. Enter your email in the “Special Offers” at the top of their page or enter the giveaway to the right to receive notification of the Fountain Pen Day Deals. There will be freebies in each order while supplies last.

And then there’s the epic giveaways! Pen Chalet is giving away about $1000 in prizes including the following(enter to win here):

  • Platinum President Fountain Pen ($275 retail value) Blue w/ gold trim, Broad nib
    Sailor Reglus Fountain Pen ($140 retail value) Marine Blue w/ chrome trim, Medium nib
  • Sheaffer Prelude Fountain Pen ($100 retail value) Brushed Chrome w/ 22K Gold Plated Trim, Medium nib
  • Field Notes Cherry Wood Notebook ($9.95 retail value) Cherry wood w/ graph paper
  • Clairefontaine 1951 Blue Notebook ($4.50 retail value)
  • Pelikan 205 Fountain Pen ($195 retail value) Black w/ chrome trim, Medium nib
  • Taccia Covenant Fountain Pen ($129 retail value) Jet Black w/ gold trim, Medium nib
  • Lamy Safari Fountain Pen ($37 retail value) Charcoal, Medium nib
    Rhodia Ice No. 16 Notebook ($5.50 retail value)
  • J Herbin Vert Empire Fountain Pen Ink ($10 retail value)

Are there any other events, giveaways or special deals for Fountain Pen Day? Leave a note in the comments and happy penning!

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.

Tomorrow is Social Media Blackout Day


The good folks at KnockKnock are launching the Anti-Social Network Journal, and encouraging folks to participate in the Social Media Blackout Day tomorrow, Thurs. Oct. 16—a day to log off all those social networks.

SocialMediaBlackout_Profile_FIf you’d like to participate (or share on your social networks), show your support by changing your avatar/icon to the image attached and post a status of “Today is #SocialMediaBlackoutDay and I’m unplugging for 24 hours. Join me!” Their goal is to raise awareness on the impact social media has had on our lives and encourage people to log out and live in real life again, or at least for 24 hours.

Since my post yesterday, I think a little 24-hour detox from Instagram, Twitter, blogs and such is just the thing I need to recharge my batteries — and maybe get a few reviews done and a few letters written.

I’ll see you back here on Friday!

Thinking About The Pen Habit


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.

New Sponsor: Pen Boutique

Pen BoutiqueI’m delighted to introduce one of our new sponsors,  The Pen Boutique. Headquartered in Maryland, the stock pens, ink, paper and leather goods from lots of well-know manufacturers like Edison, Pelikan, Kaweco, Acme, Cross, J. Herbin, Noodlers, Parker, Retro 51, Rhodia, Rotring, Monteverde and so many more.

Pen Boutique also has two retail stores, one in Bethesda, MD and one in Columbia, MD, so if you live nearby, you should definitely plan a trip to visit.

Siign up for their newsletter and receive a $5 off coupon for your first order of $50 or more.

Please stop by their web site and check them out and let them know you heard about them here!

Pennaquod: The Pen Blog Searcher


Ian from Pens! Paper! Pencils! has built a site called Pennaquod specifically designed to seek out and find posts on pen-related blogs. It features a custom search tool that just searches from within the pen community. So, if you’re looking for genuine pen blogger reviews, this will streamline your search results. This is particularly handy if you know you recently read a review for “Pelikan M205” but cannot remember which site it was on. This will just search from the pen bloggers listed and bring back the results. Easy peasy.

Ian has set this site up as a tool for the community and is not making any profit from it. Thanks for the efforts, Ian! This is going to end up being my go-to search engine since all I ever search for is pen-related.

The list of sites used to compile the results is also super handy as it may lead you to new pen blogs.

If you’d like to have your site added to Pennaquod, use the contact form on the site to submit it for consideration.

Think maybe pencil pals can be added too?

Ask The Desk: Where’s Your Feed?

rp_askthedesk_hdr.pngDerrick said:

I am not getting your feed anymore.  Haven’t received an email from the site in a few weeks.

Since the switch over to our own Well-Appointed Desk servers this month, some folks have mentioned that they are no longer getting post from us in the RSS reader. If you’re having issues, please update your feed info to:

There is also a link in the sidebar for the RSS and a link to receive email updates.

Thanks and sorry for any issues.

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