Rotating inks

Having a lot of different inks is one of those fountain pen geek problems that most people don’t get.

Some people have different inks in different pens, while others just use the same in all of their pens. I usually have the same ink in all of my pens because then I can just pick up the closest pen in my cup when my current pen runs out of ink.

I try to use the same ink for longer periods. This is to avoid having many bottles that are almost empty. And I try to use up what I have of one colour before I move on to the next one.

For me, the same goes for notebooks and inks. I like to complete something before I move on to the next.

I obviously don’t use the whole bottle before I move on to the next. The exception is, as mentioned above, when I have two similar colours.

The way it works is that when I get something new I ink up my pens as they run out, and test out the ink with all of my pens for a while. And then I just rotate between what I have. I usually keep to one colour for 6-8 weeks.

Ordering internationally.

Every time I order something online I have a lit of stuff I need, and another list of stuff I would like to get.

How do I pick where to order from?

Well, that is a difficult question. My first priority is always to get all of my “must have” items, and then ideally all my “nice to have” items in as few orders as possible; ideally one order.

JetPens and Goulet are the two places I order almost everything from. I prefer Goulet because I love the company, but I often end up ordering from JetPens because their selection is better.

Pricing isn’t that important to me, because the difference have to be huge for me to be able to justify making two orders instead of one. Yeah, international shipping can be expensive. It doesn’t really make sense if the difference is a dollar here or there. But I do it when it comes to expensive items, where the difference can be large.

To pack as much as possible in each shipment is important because it makes the total cost of each item as low as possible. This is probably a non-issue for most americans.

Quality as a virtue.

Some people buy the cheap one while other people buy the good one.

You have probably done the same thing. A few times through your life; if you are like me, and like to get quality products. You have to justify it. Either by necessity or value. That means, necessity: you either need to expensive one to get your stuff done, or it will make it easier, value: it might look more expensive but you will save money in the long run.

Both, one or neither can be true; it all depends on the situation.

I have stopped or I do at least try to not do it anymore. This is because I think that buying quality is a virtue by itself.

How can quality be a virtue? Or, what is good about quality?

Cheap products often entails things that we don’t like, that we at least shouldn’t like.

  • Bad working conditions for those who make it
  • Bad for the environment
  • Lower quality
  • More expensive in the long run
  • It isn’t enjoyable to use
  • Bad design.

These are often true, but not always; and not always all or none of them.

A quality product is almost always more expensive to buy, compared to a cheap one. This means that it is easier to do the right thing; if they want to. Like giving people a decent wage, make sure it is sustainable and make sure it is a good quality product.

You can go out there today and buy one of almost anything that isn’t related to technology and use it for the rest of your life; if you buy a quality product and take proper care of it.

If you buy a good pair of boots in your early 20s, and take care of them, you’ll probably save a fortune by time you retire. More expensive at that point, but it becomes cheaper and cheaper for every year that passes.

Yes, money and value is important when you come down to it. But I consider that a bonus; or one out of many things that is great about it.

This is what I think is great about quality products:

  • Less waste
  • You support local and non-local, small and large businesses that focus on doing the “right” thing.
  • They usually look and work much better.
  • You take a stand and tell the world that you actually care.

Reviews.

You will probably find a huge overlap between the products that the different stationary blogs have reviewed. The reason is simple and quite obvious: there are many products that almost everyone has or at least try out because they are fantastic.

Reviews are not an important part of this site. I’m not that into it. It’s not my thing, and I don’t buy that much stuff.

But I do write reviews from time to time, either after using them for a while, or what I think about them after using them for a long time.

Are there any value to many different reviews of the same pen, ink or notebook?

Yes, there are. And here is why. The reason I think there is a good thing to have as many reviews as possible of the same products is because more information is always a good thing to have before buying it.

For me, the value of a review comes down to three things:

  • Different people have different opinions
  • Different Pro and Cons
  • How a product holds up in a first impression scenario versus after using it for months or years.

My process for figuring out if something is for me is a simple process, but it often takes a long time.

It always starts out with a product. Before I move on to watching every video review and reading every written review I can find. Before I look at the product details to figure out if it is something for me.

I prefer broader and smooth nibs. And I will probably not buy anything with a cartridge-converter filling mechanism because of the compromises the entail.

My pen wish list is very short, because of my very strict guidelines and because I know exactly what I want from a pen. For example my current wish list:

  • Pilot Custom Heritage 92
  • Conid
  • Mont Blanc Meisterstruck
  • Visconti Homosapiens

There are two pens that I have been very curious about for a very long time, while at the same time will never end up on my list because I just know that I would be unhappy with them.

  • Lamy Dialog
  • Pilot Vanishing Point.

This is about finding as much information as possible, and to discover what you like and don’t like. It is also about finding out what people that share the same taste as you, while still reading people that don’t, because they might discover something that could tip your decision in either direction.

It is something you learn by experience. There are things about pens that doens’t matter to be, that would drive other people nuts; and the other way around.

My game killer list is as follows:

  • Slippery grip section
  • Moulded grip section
  • Gold trimming
  • Small pens
  • Low ink capacity
  • Cartridge / converter.

Having a notebook on your desk

I started doing something new few weeks ago. I’ve had this A4 notebook laying around for a few months, and I want using it for anything. I found it at the same time as I was thinking about how to write more in general.

This notebook will never leave this desk. that is the basic idea. So that I have something to write in, when I feel like it, without having to locate my bag or anything.

Why? Well it is just about removing anything that can be a reason to not write. I just site down at my desk, open the notebook and take a pen(usually my Lamy 2000) and write.

Does it work? It works were well this far. I have written much more per week than I have in a very long time.

This might sound stupid to a lot of people, but I use the same kind of tricks on all kinds of things that I love to do, like writing, photography, but I find it so hard to do it.

Writing: make sure I always have a notebook at my desk.

Photography: always have a camera with me.

The goal is to make sure it is as easy as possible, to just do a little bit more every month.

On geekdom and why I care about stationary.

There are probably a community that care fiercely about more or less anything from anal lube to shampoo; and anything in between. But don’t mix them up.

This isn’t about anal lube or shampoo. I’m as interested in that as I am in watching paint dry. But I am for some strange reason very interested in watching ink dry.

It is about how someone becomes a geek, and about why I care about pen and paper.

Let’s start by putting my Philosophy Major to use. What I mean by “geekdom” here is limited to every day items; like a camera, pen or headphones. Some people get hooked on the relationship between knowing all the details, or as much as possible and finding the “perfect”. While many care about quality, without becoming a geek.

I care about quality in general because I would rather get a quality product that is more reliably and will last longer(and often so long that I don’t remember when or where I bought it), than some cheap piece of shit that I have to replace many times per year.

Am I a kettle geek? No. I just search only until I find the one that seems like the best fit for what I want and need from a kettle. Which is way more than what most people would want from a kettle, since I’m into coffee and tea. And buy the one that the reviewers agree on being the best one.

There have to be some reason for this. In other words: the reason you are a geek about X.

I blame parts of my deep dive into stationary on the Moleskine marketing department. But that came a little bit later.

It all started when I realised how much time I spent writing with pen and paper. But I don’t enjoy using them. The pens I was using was driving me nuts. And the paper was crap.

I don’t remember 100%, but from it all went very fast. In one moment I was using what ever pens was laying around the office and printer paper to using Pilot G2’s and Moleskines in a very short time span. I don’t remember which came first, or if both came at the same time. But I know that I picked up both while buying some book, and had to walk past the stationary section to pay for the damn thing.

I cared enough, to buy something, myself, when I could get something that did more or less the same thing for free. But I didn’t become a geek.

Jump forward two years, and it happens. I went deep. This was when I discovered there was a whole community out there, and that I could get something much better. This was the when I started to look for the best pens and notebooks for what I used them for.

Another way to say what I started out with is to say that geekdom is the interplay between understanding and caring.

There is a difference between the two groups of people that care. One of them just want something good, while the other are also interested. If you just want something good, buy a Mont Blanc. But you can also find something as good, or even better, for way less money if you want to put in some time, to do the research.

This is the difference between being a geek, and not being a geek.