Review by Tina Koyama
Every stationery-related collection goes through these stages: At first you have a few, or several, or even a dozen, and they look beautiful displayed on your desktop. Very soon, you have too many to keep on your desk at one time, so a few select ones stay there, and the rest go into a storage bin or drawer. Not too long after, they fill numerous storage bins, drawers, closets, entire rooms. You know you’re in the latter stage when someone asks if you have this one, and you can’t recall, so you have to go into the bins, drawers, closets and rooms to see if you do.
If you are in that last stage with your pencil collection, this product won’t help you (I’m there with mine, and I use an Excel spreadsheet). But if you’re still in either of the first two stages, the Geistnotes Pencilog (2/$10) is just what you need to manage your beginning and intermediate collection.
Handmade by Justin Ryan Books for stationery purveyor Notegeist, the Pencilog is a Field Notes-sized log book for tracking pencils as you acquire, use and collect them. They come two to a pack, and the covers have the same cute pattern of stationery goods in two colorways. (Incidentally, I was not familiar with Justin Ryan until now. He makes a variety of log books for interests and hobbies, such as beer, wine, coffee, pizza and even dreams. Notegeist carries several.)
The handy pocket size is intended to make it easy to carry the log with you while shopping so you can refer to your growing collection before adding to it. (Admit it: You’ve inadvertently bought the same thing twice because you forgot you already had one.) The paper weight and type are not indicated, but it feels like 60 pound with a tiny bit more tooth than the typical smooth Finch that Field Notes favors. It feels good with graphite.
The inside front cover offers suggestions for using the log, such as pencil details to record, where it was acquired, and where it is stored (I might have to add this to my Excel). The first two pages serve as an index to the log entries.
The log entry pages form the meat of the book. You could track 56 pencils in one book, two entries per page. The pages are not numbered, but the lower corners indicate a place to number them yourself.
The log ends with a two-page Want List. The inside back cover offers pencil trivia (14 billion pencils are made each year!) and suggestions for pencil use.
Although I’ve seen a few log books for tracking foods and beverages (apparently tacos are important to log), the Pencilog is the first I’ve seen of its kind. Alas, my collection is long past the stage where I could benefit from it, but I think this would make an excellent gift, along with a few choice pencils, for someone who already has a few but won’t admit it’s a “collection.” (We all know that stage of denial, right?)