Inksmudge

Paper will last.

November 20, 2015

<strong><a href="http://www.thecramped.com/if-you-wanted-to-ensure-it-lasted-for-150-years-youd-choose-paper/">If you wanted to ensure it lasted for 150 years – you’d choose paper</a></strong>:

<p>

  As amazing as our current electronic technologies are – despite their strengths – are terribly, terribly ephemeral. The code that worked yesterday isn’t support today. The processors of – five years ago, ten years ago – are brought to their knees by the computational complexity and presumed processor capabilities of today’s software. The runtime environments required by the digital creations I manifested as a University student not only do not exist – computers of today don’t even recognize the file types.

</p>

This is why my journal is on paper, my todo lists is on paper and that my planner is on paper. I know they will be readable in the future(if you understand my hand writing).

Review

November 19, 2015

<img src="https://i1.wp.com/static1.squarespace.com/static/560ec734e4b0d6edef0fcf6d/560ec965e4b023d2c257ab18/564e1893e4b0ebe1a4b43ef6/1447958707930//img.jpg?w=1040" alt="" data-recalc-dims="1" />

I used to be a huge fan of the hardcover pocket sized Moleskine’s, before I got hooked on Field Notes. And there are things I prefer about the former, and there are things that I prefer about the latter.

There are so many different designs and variants of Field Notes, and they release a new limited variant every four months or something. I have ordered two of the special editions: Night Sky and Arts and Sciences. They are cool, but I just go for the regular kind, blank.

The first thing I love about Field Notes is how fantastic their sense of design is. A regular Field Notes notebook look good straight out of the pack, and I think that the standard edition is the best looking, but they look even more fantastic the more worn out they are.

The second thing I love about Field Notes is the paper quality. You can use a regular ball point or a fountain pen, and they work great. The ink dries fast, and the bleed through isn’t a problem. It isn’t perfect, but I think they have the perfect balance between instant dry time and minimal bleed through.

The third thing I love about Field Notes is their sense of humor, like I wrote about <a href="http://www.inksmudge.net/blog/2015/11/16/field-notes-practical-applications">here</a>. Take a look at the inside of the back side of the cover in the Practical Applications section.

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I have been running my life out of a combination of paper planners and Field Notes during the last couple of years. There is always at least one Field Notes notebook in my back pocket, and I use them to take short notes(I use a larger notebook if I’m going to take serious notes, like for example during a lecture, meeting or while studying / researching) and to manage tasks.

There are also some things that Field Notes aren’t that great at.

One of the things I loved about my hardcover Moleskine I used before Field Notes was how easy it was to write in it, when I wasn’t sitting by a table or other flat surface. But the great thing about not having it is that it is way easier to have in your back pocket. And I often use my iPhone as a writing surface to solve this problem.

Availability is my second problem with Field Notes, that Moleskine is much better at. One of the great things about Moleskine is that they are available everywhere, I think they are overrated and overpriced, but I love the fact that I have something reliable I get anywhere if I need it. The most annoying thing about Field Notes is the fact that I need to remember to always order a new batch of them when I have around 4 unused notebooks left. It takes a while to ship them from the US to Norway; around two to three weeks to be exact.

My last issue is the lack of options. There are times when I want something like a Field Notes, just larger than both the regular and the steno. For example a spiral bound A5 or A4 version. I love my huge book bind notebooks like for example from Leuchtturm1917. But there are times when you want something a little bit less fancy, and then you end up with either a crappy notebook or a overpriced Moleskine.

I wish Field Notes just would start to extend their standard product line.

They make one hell of a pocket sized notebook, and they are well worth the $9.99 per three pack.

The Pen Addict

November 19, 2015

<strong><a href="http://www.penaddict.com/blog/2015/10/7/retro-51-tornado-25th-anniversary-limited-edition-review">Retro 51 Tornado – 25th Anniversary Limited Edition Review</a>:</strong>

<p>

  Retro 51 — the darling of rollerballs — recently celebrated an important milestone of making great pens for 25 years. I had no idea that my favorite rollerball pen maker was having such a significant anniversary this year, but it’s certainly exciting.

</p>

That is one good looking pen. I love my Retro 51, and there are so many fantastic designs. I think it is too bad that I don’t need a rollerball more often, because I don’t need more than one pen I barley use. This is the Retro 51 I would have bought if I was ordering one today.

Four fantastic pen blogs

November 18, 2015

There are many other great pen blogs out there, this is just a short list with some of my favourites.

<li>

  <strong><a href="http://www.penaddict.com">The Pen Addict</a></strong>. I have been reading The Pen Addict for a long time; I found it when I started to listen to the <a href="http://relay.fm/penaddict">podcast</a> with the same name. It is a fantastic resource, and I always check up what Brad(or any of the the other contributors) have written about it before buying a new notebook or pen.

</li>

<li>

  <strong><a href="http://www.thecramped.com">The Cramped</a></strong> is another fantastic pen & paper blog by Patrick Rhone. Mr. Rhone is one of, if not my favourite web personality. The thing I love about The Cramped is that it isn’t about reviews and the new hot notebook or pen, it is about how stuff are used.

</li>

<li>

  <strong><a href="http://www.wellappointeddesk.com">The Well Appointed Desk</a></strong> is the blog of Ana a.k.a “The third host of The Pen Addict Podcast”. It is a fantastic blog, and the thing I love about it is all the great links I find there.

</li>

<li>

  <strong><a href="http://www.thefinerpoint.net/">The Finer Point</a></strong> is the newest pen blog I subscribe to. I think it is very good, interesting reviews, even though most of the stuff isn’t new, but I always value another point of view before buying something; especially if it is expensive.

</li>

Where I shop

November 18, 2015

There are many great places to buy pen, paper and stationary online. I have four places I go to. All of them are great, and they have fantastic customer service, I have never had a bad experience. Things have gone wrong with some of them, something I expect when I buy stuff from them time after time after time, but they have always done the right thing to fix the issue, without any hasitation.

<li>

  <a href="http://www.gouletpens.com">GouletPens</a> is my favourite place to shop everything related to pens. They have excellent customer support, their prices are competitive, and the experience from selecting the product until you unpack them are fantastic. Their blog is also fantastic; video reviews of pens, notebooks and inks.

</li>

<li>

  <a href="http://www.jetpens.com">JetPens</a> is the place I go, if Goulet don’t have what I’m looking for. They are excellent, and they have more or less everything you are looking for.

</li>

<li>

  <a href="http://fieldnotesbrand.com">Field Notes</a> is my go to place for pocket sized notebooks. They are awesome, not too expensive and works great with more or less any pen.

</li>

<li>

  <a href="http://nockco.com">Nock.co</a>. This is the company Brad Dowdy of The Pen Addict started with Jeffrey Bruckwicki after a very successful Kickstarter. They make good looking, durable and functional pen & notebook holsters. My personal favourite is the Hightower.

</li>

A Beginners Guide to Fountain Pens

November 18, 2015

I was in the middle of planning a beginners guide to fountain pens; it was one of the posts I was going to have here on day one. Then I found this article from <a href="http://penaddict.com">The Pen Addict</a>. So, I deleted it.

The following link is a excellent guide into the world of fountain pens.

<strong><a href="http://www.penaddict.com/blog/2015/10/1/the-beginners-guide-to-fountain-pens-by-a-true-beginner">The Beginner’s Guide to Fountain Pens (By a True Beginner)</a></strong>:

<p>

  I have always loved the look and the mystique of fountain pens. As a writer, I have a sentimental attachment to the written word, and all things that go with it. I’ve always had a bizarre fascination with stationery stores. I own far too many notebooks, and while you would have to drag me kicking and screaming into a shopping mall, I’ll happily spend money on office supplies. As such, maybe it was a foregone conclusion that I would some day grow fond of fountain pens.

</p>

This is the best place to start if you curious, or just want to learn more about fountain pens.

Three excellent fountain pens

November 17, 2015

The first step into fountain pens is both weird and scary, but it is also a lot of fun. I’m going to recommend three different fountain pens that I think are great. Two of them are great cheap pens, while the last one is my favourite pen(it is a little bit expensive).

<li>

  <strong><a href="http://www.jetpens.com/Pilot-Metropolitan-Fountain-Pen-Medium-Nib-Black-Dot-Body/pd/10174">Pilot Metropolitan</a></strong> is the pen I think is the best starter pen out there. Other people disagree, and think pen number two on this list is better. I disagree, because that pen is more or less useless for left handed people, like myself. The reason I love this pen is that you get everything you need for $14.50: pen, a cartridge and a okay converter. It is the perfect starter set. It is available in fine and medium nib.

</li>

<li>

  <strong><a href="http://www.jetpens.com/Lamy-Safari-Fountain-Pen-Extra-Fine-Nib-Charcoal-Black-Body/pd/1937">Lamy Safari</a></strong> is another great option. You have a greater set of available colours and nibs available. But I don’t think it is the best starter pen. It is almost twice as expensive as the pen above($28), and you don’t get a converter with it. But most of all: this pen is really hard to use for left handed people. But when it comes to it all, I think you get much more for your money by going for the Pilot Metropolitan, because the pen is built better and you get more in the box. But the Lamy Safari is a great pen, especially if you want more options than what the Pilot give you. <em>But be aware, lefties</em>.

</li>

<li>

  <strong><a href="http://www.jetpens.com/Lamy-2000-Fountain-Pen-Medium-Nib-Black-Body/pd/9187">Lamy 2000</a></strong> is my favourite pen, it is a expensive pen $165, and I don’t recommend anyone buying it without trying it in real life. I love this pen more than anything else I own. It looks cool and distinctive, and writes like a dream. I don’t recommend getting this one before you know that fountain pens are for you, but I do recommend it, if you are looking for a really good pen.

</li>

One final note, before I let you spend some money. Don’t waste money on cartridges, get a converter, or go for a pen with a piston filler and buy bottled ink. You save so much money, and you have access to a much wider variety in colours and other properties.

Field Notes

November 16, 2015

There are many things I love about Field Notes, but there are one thing that is more amusing than anything else, and that is the inside of the backside of the cover. The Practical Applications section. It is such a fantastic combination of good ways to use Field Notes to the most funny and amusing applications ever. All of them are good ways to use the notebooks; some of them are formulated in a more serious tone than others.

Take a look, I think it alone is a good enough reason to buy a pack.

<img src="https://i0.wp.com/static1.squarespace.com/static/560ec734e4b0d6edef0fcf6d/560ec965e4b023d2c257ab18/564a1ddfe4b0e50631521367/1447697923899//img.jpg?w=1040" alt="" data-recalc-dims="1" />

Welcome

November 16, 2015

Welcome to The Ink Smudge. This is a site about Stationary, and more specifically about finding the best tools and the best way to use them. I used to write about this every now and then on my <a href="http://hjertnes.me">personal site</a>, but I never was a fit with the rest of the content. So I decided a few months ago to spin it off, and to create a site just for this stuff.

The great thing about that is that I’m going to write a lot more about it than before. I have a lot of great stuff lined up, or I do at least think it is great. And a lot more stuff on my to-do list.

Stay tuned.

Please, click the subscribe button if you are a RSS person, or follow either my personal twitter: <a href="http://twitter.com/hjertnes">@hjertnes</a> or the twitter feed for this site: <a href="http://twitter.com/theinksmudge">@theinksmudge</a> to get notified when I post new content.

Why do I care?

November 15, 2015

You are probably wondering why I care, if you aren’t already a pen and paper geek. And there are a number of reasons to care. I’m only going into two of them here.

The first one is that you take much better care of something you have spent a little bit of money one. I used to be one of the people that lost my pens everywhere. I used to buy cheap pens, and I got a big box of them, and probably lost one more or less every other day. And all of that stopped when I started to buy something a little bit nicer. I think it all started when I upgraded to writing with Pilot G2’s and a Retro 51. The Retro isn’t expensive, it costs $20, but it looks and feels nice. That year is the year I spent the least on pens.

You don’t loose something that you have spent a little bit more money on, and you don’t lose something that is a little bit nicer.

The second reason to care is about using something as much as possible. When you have a notebook and a pen that you really enjoy to use. Like for example me, and my Lamy 2000 and my Field Notes, I love using them. And the result is that I use them way more, than I otherwise would have.

I can’t wait for a reason to use them.

The last reason I care is because my pen is one of the most important tools in my life. I use it all the time. Everything from taking notes to writing down tasks and so on. I spend a lot of time using it.

This is why I care. I care because good tools can save you money in the long term, I care because tools you enjoy using get you to use them as much as possible, and I care because I think it is a good idea to have good tools when you use them for so many hours each week.