Piston fillers versus Cartridge converter

It all boils down to one simple question: what is more important of large ink capacity or ease of cleaning?

If you are the kind of person that has a lot of different inks, and like to change them on a frequent basis, then having room for a lot of ink might not be the most important. Because cleaning a cartridge converter pen is quick, you can just flush it out with a bulb syringe and flush the converter and you’re set for a new ink. While doing the same with a piston filler takes longer time because you need to fill and empty the pen until it is clean.

On the other side, if you are like me, and often use the same ink for months, if not until the bottle is empty, then you probably prefer having room for a lot of ink. A Piston filler is made to have room for as much ink as possible. While a converter is often designed to fit in a large number of different pens. And the result is often far smaller ink capacity.

I have pens with both. But I always prefer room for more ink because all of my pens (except for my Noodlers Ahab) is filled with the same ink. And I use a pen until it runs out, then I move over to the next pen, refill the empty one and rotate through all of my pens.

And I try to clean them every second to third refill or so. For me it doens’t really matter how easy it is to clean them for a new ink because it don’t do it that often.

Pilot CON-40

It should not be a huge surprise to everyone that I’m not the biggest fan of the Pilot CON-50 converter. It looks kind of dated. Not that the design of a converter is the most important thing in the world, but it still looks like something out of the 80s or 90s. But my biggest problem is the ink capacity that leaves a lot to be desired.

To be fair, they have a lot of pens to accommodate, which probably makes it very hard to make something that have a lot of ink, is reasonably easy and cheap to produce and so on.

The new model is the CON-40. It looks more modern, and is slightly smaller. But I don’t notice much of a difference, if you just do a regular fill. But I found it much more difficult to push all the air out and fill it all the way up, than in its predecessor. My personal opinion is that is isn’t really worth it. It is faster, less messy and easier to just refill the pen more often.

Pilot are doing the opposite of what I want with the CON-40, they are accommodating more pen, by replacing the CON-50 and the squeeze converter with one. I get why; one less product to produce, ship and keep in stock everywhere. But I still wish they made a separate converter for the Vanishing Point to make it more “on pair” with the Lamy 2000.

Task Management in 2017

My task management system is constantly changing in order to adopt to ever changing requirements from my side. My system has consisted of three different components (the later years), except for during periods when I have been experimenting to figure out where something trives or not. They are: a central database, a notebook and a “smart system”.

The central database is usually based on having one or multiple “Taskpaper” documents. It’s just a simple format to write down projects and tasks in a plain text file. It feels a lot like using a notebook. I use it because I is very easy to automate and copy past stuff into. This is where I store everything at some point.

My notebook (currently a Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal), and I use my own bastardised version of Patrick Rhone’s Dashplus system. My notebook is where I keep what I am working on right now. The perspective is never longer than a couple of weeks. And I also use it when I need to plan something. This is because I prefer just taking a notebook and sitting down at Starbucks or what ever and figuring out everything I need to do in order to complete something.

The reason I use a notebook to keep track of what I am doing now and the following days is that I find in much less distracting to have a notebook open than to having to switch applications all the time to figure out what’s now and what’s next.

Then you have the “smart application”. I currently use Things, and I have used more or less any application available in the past. I mostly use it for repeating tasks and stuff where I need to be reminded.

How strictly I’m following the stuff above varies a lot. There are times when I use taskpaper to deal with stuff I usually use a notebook for, and there are other times when I use a notebook as the central database. While other times I mostly use Things.

But the only thing that is constant, except for the three elements is the fact that I’m willing to let my system live its own life in order to solve any short time problem I might have, and then bring it back to its ideal form as soon as possible.