Planner Review: Luddite Function Pro Freefield Vertical B6

Planner Review: Luddite Function Pro Freefield Vertical B6

I was so excited to  review this planner. Upon initial research, The Luddite Function Pro Freefield Vertical B6 Planner ($19) had a lot of things going for it:

  • Available in A5 and B6 size
  • Tomoe River 52 gsm paper
  • Freefield Vertical layout (as well  as 4 other page layouts)

On the plus side:

  • The lines are a light grey and inside the field areas are an even lighter 5mm grid.
  • The type used for the days of the week is crisp, unobtrusive Futura.
  • The weeks start with Monday.
  • I love the “Freefield Vertical” layout. I don’t have a lot of meetings to account for on my calendar but lots of projects, to-dos and notes I like to track. This type of layout provides space at the top for AM/PM or home/work events and then the rest of the column/below area is open for other information. I tend to use this type of layout treating the lower section as a communal space for weekly activities. I may make a section to track activities, list out books I’ve read or podcasts I’ve listened to, etc.

Unfortunately, the reality of this planner did not align with my expectations.

  1. Somehow in my head, I thought the size was A6, not B6. While B6 (approximately 5″x7″) is quickly becoming a popular size, I do not own any covers that are B6 sized.
  2. The monthly pages are all in the front and the weekly pages follow. Since this is a bound softcover planner, there are no built-in book marks or tabs to make flipping back and forth easy.
  3. The covers of the planner are the thinnest cardstock. The book is floppy and needs a cover of some sort to stiffen it and make it durable enough to be used for a full calendar year. The thin 52gsm paper  provides no additional stability so without a cover of some sort, this notebook will be a wrinkled, crumpled mess within a couple weeks.
  4. The 52gsm Tomoe River paper is not the Tomoe River paper we have grown to love. This must be the new Tomoe River 52gsm and, I hate to say it, it’s garbage. I tested multiple pages and fountain pens to verify that it was not a fluke. These images (comparing the Luddite planner with an Elia Note) shows how differently the paper behaves. The writing was done with the same pen and ink on the same day. Yeah… horrifying.
  5. And finally, the 52gsm paper reminded me why I have never really taken to the Hobonichi planners — the show through from day-to-day and week-to-week is too distracting for me. It looks and feel messier than a more opaque page. My planner pages can get messy enough as it is but seeing the mess from last week just makes my skin itch.

It breaks my hear a little to do this but I do not recommend this planner. Just the paper quality alone os enough for me to say no, no, no. If you are not a fountain pen connoisseur, then there is no real appeal for buying a Tomoe River planner  so I can’t even caveat this review with “well, other pen users might like it”. Nope. Hard pass.

DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Another year is coming to a close and I like to reflect on the good things that have happened this year and the good people in my life.

So, allow me to give thanks for:

  • The readers of The Well-Appointed Desk: your support, comments and shared enthusiasm for pens and stationery have kept me going all these years. Your comments and feedback have been what keeps us writing this blog every week.
  • To all our Patrons, you are the kindest, most loyal readers and I cannot tell you how much your support means to me. Thank you so much.
  • To all the shops and vendors who have supported this site over the last 11 years, we couldn’t have made it this far without you.
  • I want to thank Tina, Laura, Jesi and Jaclyn for bringing their talents and enthusiasm to this site. I couldn’t do this without them.
  • And finally, to Bob who has made it possible for my crazy projects to become a reality.

To celebrate and show our gratitude, we are offering a coupon for all our friends. In either of our shops, Big Cartel or Etsy, we are offering 20% off all merchandise through Tuesday, November 30, 2021 at 11:59pm. Use the coupon code THANKS to access the discount.

Link Love: Let the Gifting Begin

Tomorrow is US Thanksgiving and we have already been consuming excessive amounts of food which has lead to WEIRD dreams. Does that happen to you too?

May you eat your fill and have weird dreams, if you dig that. Then shop and eat some more. Love to you all!

Gift Guides:




Notebooks & Paper:

Art & Creativity:

Other Interesting Things:

We need each other. Please support our sponsors and affiliates. Your patronage will let them know you appreciate their support of the pen community. Without them, and without you, we could not continue to do what we do. Thank you!

Paper Review: Midori Autumn Silk Screen Printed Pads

When browsing for paper recently, I was absolutely taken with the Midori Autumn Silk Screen Printed Pads ($7.00-9.50). The designs were beautiful, and the message pad and letter pad (with matching envelopes) called to me.

I ended up purchasing the Japanese Maple Message Pad ($7.00) and the Dahlia Letter Pad ($9.50). These top bound pads are filled with ivory textured paper, and silk screen printed with designs inspired by Maki-e lacquer art.  Both contain absolutely lustrous colors with foil accents. They are, in a word, stunning.

Each pad contains 16 sheets, 8 each of two designs. They are intended for writing letters or notes, and there are guides included at the back of each pad. Even though I’m not a letter writer, I just had to buy these – I have no idea what I’ll use them for, but they’re just so pretty!

The paper is quite interesting. It’s textured and almost has a cottony feel, but it doesn’t seem to absorb more ink than usual. Sheening inks don’t appear to sheen so much on it (I tested Robert Oster Fire & Ice), but the paper doesn’t feather or bleed either. And it’s thick enough that you could clearly use both sides.

These seem to be selling out fast, but if you’re looking for lovely stationery gift for a fellow pen addict, I’d definitely recommend these!



Black Friday Deals!

Black Friday Deals!

In the past, we’ve waited until FRIDAY to post a bunch of Black Friday Deals. This year, Black Friday sales have started early (this year is Black November!) and, honestly, trying to corral all the deal is next to impossible.

So… here’s our advice for getting in on the best Black Friday Deals.

Sign up for email newsletters

Go to your favorite sites (pen related or not) and sign up for their email newsletter today. Many online shops are offering rolling sales starting yesterday. So to get all the details and when exactly the best deals will happen, sign up for newsletters.

You don’t have to stay subscribed forever but if you want to get the specifics for each shop, this is the best way to do it.

If you’re already subscribed, build a filter so all newsletter funnel into one folder. Depending on your email app, the method to do this will vary but it’s 30 minutes or less to set this up and is a great way to get all the shop newsletters in one place and out of your inbox.

Follow your favorites on social media

Despite my protestations in Link Love last week, if you do utilize social media, be sure you’re following your favorite shops. Often, they will post about sales, discounts and other deals.

Forward deals to F&F

If you are looking to help a friend or family member know what to get you for the holidays, forward a newsletter and/or your wishlist.

Tell them you read The Well-Appointed Desk

Finally, it helps us if you tell shops you heard about them or read about a product here on The Well-Appointed Desk. Just add it to the comments with your order, if there is that option. Thanks!

Paul’s Fountain Pen Journal

Paul’s Fountain Pen Journal

I can’t believe I’ve never talked about the small, highly researched and well-crafted publication called Paul’s Fountain Pen Journal. If you’ve attended just about any pen show in the US, you’ve probably met or heard Paul. He’s got a distinctive East Coast accent and is the enthusiastic Grand Poobah of the Black Pen Society.

The Grand Poobah himself, Paul Erano, in 2018 at the DC Pen Show meet-up

Paul’s Fountain Pen Journal is filled with detailed articles about modern and vintage pens, profiles of notable folks in the pen community and really great photography. It arrives in my mailbox wrapped in protective plastic. The magazine uses high quality paper and includes full color photography throughout.

The latest issue, Volume 7 No.1, is at the printers, and should be mailed out sometime in late November.  If you would like to become a reader of this small independent publication, you can subscribe to via PayPal. Cost for a subscription (3 issues per year which works out to about $8 an issue and includes shipping in the US) is $25 and can be sent to Paul directly via PayPal to this email address: plerano (at) aol (dot) com. You can also mail a check directly to Paul. Email him at the same address for his mailing address.

Paul's Fountain Pen Journal

The pandemic has made it hard for a lot of the pen community who made a good deal of their yearly income from pen shows and the subsequent sales after meeting people at shows. Paul’s Fountain Pen Journal was no exception. So, if you’ve never subscribed, help keep this independent publication going by subscribing now. (According to Paul’s email: “It also makes a great gift!”)

I am a subscriber to Paul’s Fountain Pen Journal. This post was not sponsored, I just want to support the community.

Ink Line Review: ColorVerse Project Series 2 Part 2

Ink Line Review: ColorVerse Project Series 2 Part 2

Today’s inks are part 2 of the ColorVerse Project Series 2. If you missed part 1, make sure to read that as well!

I have been enjoying this look at ColorVerse Project Series 2. Each of the 8 inks is named after the brightest star in well-known constellations and it has been fun learning a bit about each star/constellation combination. I purchased my samples at Vanness where they were $3.10 for a 4mL sample or $27.50 for a 65mL bottle.

The first ink today, (alpha) PSC, is named after the brightest star in the constellation Pisces. It is actually two stars, so a bit of a cheat! I love the dusky pine green- it is dark enough to be legible and swings from dark to light in writing, but not in a way that causes shading. It is quite a peaceful, gentle color.

The next ink, (alpha) CYGNI, is the first of two glistening inks in the second Project series. This is a dusky sky blue with subtle shimmer – appropriate for the white giant that is one of the brightest in the night sky. ColorVerse does a great job with shimmer inks – the particles are smaller than several other manufacturers’ shimmer inks, making it less likely to clog in your nib feed.

The only other glistening ink in this series is (alpha) SCORPII. The color is appropriate for this star – a red supergiant that is said to have a mass 12 times that of our own sun. The dusty pink has an orange undertone that isn’t quite a salmon pink. It is close to the color of PenBBS 140 – one of my favorite sparkling inks.

The last ink in the Project collection is (alpha) CMA. The ink shows medium shading in writing and is an interesting blue-gray color – not quite a blue-black but close. This is probably the most office-friendly color of the series but the shading keeps it from far from boring.

These are the same photos from last week’s post – the entire series on Tomoe River paper (first) and Cosmo Air Light paper (second).


A photo of both papers in the same light for a clearer comparison. It will never cease to fascinate me – the difference paper makes in the character of each ink.

ColorVerse has done a great job with this collection. Three of the inks here, (alpha) And, (alpha) UMa, and (alpha) Ori, will make their way into my collection sooner or later.

DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were purchased by me and I was not compensated to write this review. Please see the About page for more details.