Inksmudge

Review

January 06, 2016

<strong><a href="http://althaven.com/blog/2015/9/13/review-twsbi-eco">Alt. Haven:</a>:</strong>

<p>

  Conclusion:<br /> The TWSBI Eco, Eco short for Economical, is a value for money piston filler fountain pen. If you are looking to dip your toes into the world of piston filling fountain pens, the TWSBI Eco is a great place to start. I wouldn’t recommend the TWSBI Eco to be a starter fountain pen. It might be a little overwhelming for a beginner to learn how to service a piston filler if they came from the world of disposable ballpoint pens.

</p>

The TWSBI Eco is very interesting product. I’m not sure if it is a hit or a miss. I wouldn’t recommend it as a beginners pen. I think the Pilot Metropolitan is a very good beginners pen because it is cheap and you just pop in cartridges and write.

You have a good pen you paid around $15 for, and you like fountain pens, and want to test out some more inks. You could either buy a converter for less than $2 or find another pen. You could either buy a pen in the same price range, or save a little bit more and get a much better pen for $60 dollars instead of the $29 the Eco costs.

The reason I’m not sure if it is a hit or a miss is that I don’t think a piston filler is for the beginner market. So the only places I can imagine that this pen has a market is for people on a tight budget, or if you want to just have some good and cheap pens. For example laying around at work where it wouldn’t be too bad if a few of them disappeared.

What I Use

January 06, 2016

<strong><a href="http://fpquest.com/2015/12/31/what-i-use-hobonichi-techo-journal/">Fountain Pen Quest</a>:</strong>

<p>

  As you may know the Hobonichi uses fountain pen friendly Tomoeo River paper. I used fountain pen exclusively. The paper is thin and while bleed through isn’t a problem there’s some show-through. In general show-through never bothers me and I regularly use both sides of any paper. With my thin nibs the show-through is there but minimal with the Hobionichi. What does bother me is the time it takes for ink to dry on this paper. I cut a piece of blotter paper to fit the Techo and place between the pages. In addition to making my current page easy to fine it keeps the ink from transferring to the facing page when I close the book. Sure, I could wait for the ink to dry but that would require patience. Plus, it provides a bit of a cushion to write on if I’m using a hard thin nib that might leave an imprint on the page below the one I’m writing on.

</p>

Yeah, the dry time is <em>painful</em>, but that is also the only problem I have with the Hobonichi.

Why I Love Steel Nibs – The Pen Addict

January 06, 2016

<strong><a href="http://onfountainpens.com/2016/01/why-i-love-steel-nibs-the-pen-addict/">Brad Dowdy</a>:</strong>

<p>

  The first thing you should be aware of with steel nibs is that, in general, they are stiffer than their gold counterparts. Makes sense, right? Gold is a softer material, so that translates to a softer nib. Standard gold nibs have some bounce or springiness when writing. Steel nibs are firm without much give. This holds true for the full range of nib sizes too. Extra fine to broad all exhibit the same general behavior.

</p>

Finally someone bringing this up. My personal opinion is that they are both good, and have equally good properties. I personally prefer to write with a gold nib. But I think my hand writing look better when I write with a steel nib.

2015 in review

December 31, 2015

I officially launched this site a month and a half ago. The progress up until now have gone beyond any hope or expectation.

Brad Dowdy of The Pen Addict mentioned the site on #186 of The Pen Addict Podcast, and I got some Ink Love from Ana from The Well Appointed Desk yesterday.

The result is that, a lot more people are subscribing and visiting the site. I don’t really care too much about that, the thing I care about is that people I admire and respect actually like what I have started doing over here.

I can’t wait to start the new year, and to publish some of the stuff I have been working on for a very long long time.

Hovonichi Planner 2016

December 28, 2015

My second Hobonichi Planner arrived almost a week ago. The choice this time around was much easier than it was in February last year, when I decided to get a paper planner. I think I spent two weeks looking at every single alternative available, before I went for the Hobonichi.

I’m going to write a proper review as soon as I get around to it. But there are not many new things in the 2016 versus the 2015 edition. The dates and so on have been updated, the other big thing is that it now features serial numbers.

It is a great planner. My advice is the following: go for the Hobonichi if you are looking for either a planner or a journal, but aren’t sure what to get. It has 99% of what 99% of people need or want.

It is the thing that keeps my live together. There will be a post about my GTD system very soon.

On Keeping A Notebook

December 27, 2015

<strong><a href="http://laurelkeck.com/post/134224956642/keeping-a-notebook">Laurel Keck</a>:</strong>

<p>

  I’ve been keeping a notebook for over 14 years, and one of the main things I’ve learned is that your notebook is exactly what you put into it. If you pour yourself into it, it will be a patchwork quilt of your life, thoughts and ideas. A timeline of your progress as an artist, a writer, and as a human. The more you use your notebook, the more it will become an automatic response, rather than a deliberate one. Something happens or you have something to remember? Make it a habit to jot it down, and it’ll become a part of the story your notebook is telling (which is of course your story being told and drawn as it happens).

</p>



<p>

  There is only one rule to how you need to use your notebook, and that it that there are no rules. Accidently draw a terrible drawing? Great! Now turn the page and try another one; the only way to get better is keep going. Leave those drawings alone. There will be a time when you look back at these early drawings with embarrassment, and then later on you will look back at them with a sense of pride at how far you’ve come. You’ll remember the things you felt when you made those drawings, then you’ll work on a new thing.

</p>

The Midori Travelers Notebook

December 27, 2015

![](https://static1.squarespace.com/static/560ec734e4b0d6edef0fcf6d/560ec965e4b023d2c257ab18/56803c8ac21b864703108b63/1451244795214/20151227-IMG_1618.jpg)</p>



<p>

  <img src="https://i2.wp.com/static1.squarespace.com/static/560ec734e4b0d6edef0fcf6d/560ec965e4b023d2c257ab18/56803c8aa128e603baa2bed7/1451244793193/20151227-IMG_1619.jpg?w=1040" alt="" data-recalc-dims="1" />

</p>

The MTN have been on the top of my wish list for a long time. I remember wanting one, when I started to get into fountain pens almost three years ago. But I didn’t have the money for at the time, and forgot about it. Until I saw a blog post with a picture of one, earlier this year. Which made me move it to the top of my list.

I think that there are room for more than one size of notebooks for most people. But what people need is very individual. My personal preference is to have three different sizes, plus a planner.

<li>

  Field Notes(or anything in the “passport” size would work) for tasks, and short notes.

</li>

<li>

  Large A4(similar to the letter size in the US) notebooks, preferably with many hundred sheets for journaling, studying and taking notes at home, in meetings and during lectures / seminars.

</li>

<li>

  The thing in between. Field Notes are a excellent tool for keeping track of tasks, and to write down stuff you need to remember. But they are too small to be efficient when it comes to either journal, writing or taking notes. The huge A4 notebooks are great, but they are heavy, and is therefore not something I want to bring everywhere. I have found the MTN to be the perfect thing in between the two.

</li>

<strong>Format.</strong> I have tried many different notebooks formats over the years. My personal preference is as stated above: a pocket sized for capture and organising tasks and projects; the biggest notebook I can get my hands on for hardcore studying or writing; and the thing in between for when you want to write a little bit when waiting, or traveling, or just want to get a beer and write a little bit.

The format of the regular version of the MTN is perfect for this. You have enough room on the page, while you still at the same time have a format that is compact enough that you can fit it in the inner pocket of a winter jacket or you can put it in your bag without noticing it.

<strong>Flexible.</strong> The thing that really sold my on the MTN was how flexible the system is. Mine is currently extended to have three refills(lined) and a pen holder.

One thing that always drive me nuts with various other notebooks I have used, for example the Field Notes Arts and Sciences Edition is that: I usually need lined paper, that is 90% of the time, but there are times where blank or grid paper is nice; I like to have the option, but to alternate between the two of them doesn’t really solve anything.

This is the cool thing about MTN. You can fill it with one blank, one lined and one grid refill if you want to. Or two lined and one blank. Or you might want a planner refill. You have many first party option, including pockets and all kinds of other cool and weird stuff.

And a added benefit of the flexibility of having different kinds of refills is that you can alter the content of your MTN as needed.

<strong>Paper.</strong> The paper quality of the refills are excellent. I haven’t seen any bleed through or feathering this far.That includes writing with my Lamy 2000, and that pen is a wet mother fucker. I have written in it with both my Lamy 2000 and my TWSBI 580AL(medium nib on both) with Pilot Iroshizuku Take-sumi and it takes a few seconds to dry. One of the advantages with the narrow page width is that you don’t have to move your hand that much back and forth.

My only problem with the current line up of refills for the MTN is that I wish they had more than one lined refill. Some people like tiny lines, some like something in between, and some of us like bigger lines.

<strong>Design.</strong> There isn’t much to say about the design; you have four options: black or brown leather; passport or regular size. The thing I like about it is that it is as simple as you can get away with. It looks cool and works great.

<strong>Number of refills versus writing comfort.</strong> A MTN have two bands that you can use to attach refills. This means that you can extend it to hold up to six(!!!) refills, if you buy the pack of rubber bands. I have tried using it with different configuration during the weekend to find out what the ideal thing is for me.

Six refills are too much in my opinion. The sweet spot in my experience is two, but I think it looks much better with three. So, three it is.

<strong>Conclusion.</strong> I think it is a fantastic notebook, and it will without doubt be something I bring everywhere from now on. It is the thing I just grab when I want to write something.

The next thing on my list is to find some extra accessories to make it even more useful. I’ll write more about it when I publish a follow up to this post about how it was to travel with it.

Wreck This Journal’ by Keri Smith — Tools and Toys

December 27, 2015

<strong><a href="http://toolsandtoys.net/wreck-this-journal-by-keri-smith/">Tools & Toys:</a>:</strong>

<p>

  Enter Keri Smith’s <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0399161945?tag=toolsandtoys-20">Wreck This Journal.</a></em> This journal literally commands you to “destroy” it in various and interesting ways, whether it’s ripping or poking holes in pages, painting on pages with coffee, flinging the book at walls, showering with it, drawing on it with glue, etc. The point is to get you out of your comfort zone so you can experience what the true creative process is like

</p>

I don’t have the problem at hand. But this is a fantastic book for everyone that thinks that their fancy notebook is too nice for their crappy writing.

50 Used Field Notes

December 19, 2015

![](https://static1.squarespace.com/static/560ec734e4b0d6edef0fcf6d/560ec965e4b023d2c257ab18/567531f5c21b8664a2fb1915/1450521111330/20151219-IMG_1205.jpg)</p>



<p>

  <img src="https://i2.wp.com/static1.squarespace.com/static/560ec734e4b0d6edef0fcf6d/560ec965e4b023d2c257ab18/56753212d8af102d24d36d55/1450521136919/20151219-IMG_1217.jpg?w=1040" alt="" data-recalc-dims="1" />

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<p>

  <img src="https://i1.wp.com/static1.squarespace.com/static/560ec734e4b0d6edef0fcf6d/560ec965e4b023d2c257ab18/567532141c1210f594d1883f/1450521142489/20151219-IMG_1228.jpg?w=1040" alt="" data-recalc-dims="1" />

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<p>

  <img src="https://i0.wp.com/static1.squarespace.com/static/560ec734e4b0d6edef0fcf6d/560ec965e4b023d2c257ab18/5675322cd8af102d24d36d8b/1450521157851/20151219-IMG_1231.jpg?w=1040" alt="" data-recalc-dims="1" />

</p>

I posted some pictures of my collection(on my [personal site](http://hjertnes.me/2015/06/18/32-used-field-notes-.html)) of used Field Notes back in June; when the number was 32. And I realised yesterday when I finished another one that I now have used 50 of them. So I decided to do the same thing this time as well.

The way I use them have changed over the 2,5 years I have been a Field Notes user; from writing down ideas and notes to my the most important element in my GTD system. Some of them look like new and others are falling apart.

There have been times where I have used a notebook for six months, and there are times where it only lasted two days. But the usual life time is more like 7-10 days.

I’m going to make page, with pictures of all my used Field Notes early next year.

A Better Desk

December 17, 2015

<strong><a href="http://www.abetterdesk.com/blog/2015/12/14/lamy-2000-fountain-pen-review">A Better Desk:</a></strong>

<p>

  The Lamy 2000 is a truly remarkable pen. Its fifty-year-old design still looks modern and edgy, and I’m sure that it will look just as edgy in fifty more years. The pen’s features, from the ink window to the piston knob, only appear when needed and then vanish into the pen’s brushed body. The Lamy 2000’s gold nib, perfect weight, and brushed body combine to form the best writing experience that I’ve ever had. If you’ve stumbled upon this review because you’re on the fence about this pen, go ahead and buy it. I spent several months reading reviews and none of them seem to do the pen justice, now that I have it in my hand. Aside from the functionality of the Lamy 2000, its history is something special. While I love my TSWBI, Kaweco, and Pilots, this will be the pen that I pass down to my children. In a world of throwaway things, this is a pen that is truly built to last.

</p>

In case you are wondering, yes I love the Lamy 2000, and I love how many great reviews of it that have been published lately.