Load out: March 2016.

I’m going to change the focus of these monthly load out posts a little bit. They are about what I use, but I’m going to put a stronger emphasis on the details of how I use them as well.

I still use the same pens that I have been using lately:

  • Lamy 2000: medium nib
  • TWSBI Eco: 1.1 stub
  • TWSBI 580AL: medium nib
  • Pilot Metropolitan: medium nib.

All of them have been inked up with Lamy Black ink until a few days ago. I had a little bit left of a bottle, and decided to just use it up, before I used anything else. It’s too bad to throw away good ink, even though I don’t like that much. All of my pens are being inked up with my first blue ink – Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo – as they run out of ink. Both my Lamy 2000 and my TWSBI Eco have been inked up with it, and I love it.

I’m particular about almost everything, and ink colours is without doubt one of them. I have said this many times before, and I’m going to do it again: a ink need to have either excellent colours or excellent dry time. This is one of the reasons I don’t like the Lamy black ink. I can talk until the cows come home about my distaste for mediocre inks. This is about blue inks.

The reason I have kept away from blue inks for over three years is that I don’t like the typical blue ink you find in most regular pens, and the cartridge you get with most fountain pens. It looks way too light, and the first thing I think when I see it is: that is what you get from the pen at the office with your company logo on it.

I guess it all comes down to my preference for inks that are darker. Not just for blue inks, but almost any colour. But not too dark, it still need to look blue if it is blue or green if it is green; the exception is black inks, the blacker the better.

I’m going to do a proper review of the Tsuki-yo in a few weeks.

There are some pretty big changes this month. Not only have I extended my colour palette away from black and the occasional green to blue, but I have also made some drastic changes to my notebook setup. I don’t use Field Notes anymore.

Let me explain. I have been a big fan of them for a long time, and they have been something I carried everywhere from May 2013 until a few weeks ago. You can read more about me and Field Notes here.

This is a part of a lager project I have going on, where I am trying to move everything I can over to my beloved Midori Travelers Notebook. I have six refills in it. Five lined, and one blank. I have two for journaling(one of them are full), one for tasks, and I use the blank one for sketching(when I like to pretend that I know how to draw, or making UI mockups at work) and testing inks.

Why did I do this?

  • I’m trying to carry and use fewer notebooks, because I prefer to carry one less thing if I can without loosing something essential. And this brings me down to two: MTN & Hobonichi Planner.
  • The MTN refills are a little bit larger, which makes it easier to combine small projects on a single page, and map out larger projects on a single one.
  • The paper works much better with fountain pens. The dry time is a little bit slower, but still pretty good.

My favourite benefit of doing this is that it takes much less time to browse through the notebook to get an overview. There are advantages to the smaller size, but it all depends on if they provide you something on the other side.

What does this mean for the Hobonichi Planner? Well, it doesn’t mean anything before the end of the year. But I will, as I usually do, evaluate then, what I’m going to use for the next year. It would be nice to also have my calendar in my Travelers Notebook. But I have two concerns, about the MTN calendar refills:

  • I have some very specific needs when it comes to layout: a full page per day, and a page for monthly goals between each month.
  • All of the refills I have seen are generic, and I prefer those who are made for a specific year. It isn’t a deal breaker, I just prefer to not have to deal with filling in all of the dates myself.

This is the biggest change, since I started using fountain pens. I think MTN is a must buy for almost everyone, because it is so easy to put together a combination of refills and accessories that fits what you need. You could do the same thing with different notebooks, but having it all in one package makes it much more convenient; it is so easy to forget one of them if you carry multiple notebooks. Everything I need, including a pen, is in one thing, and that makes the MTN worth every single penny.