Inksmudge

Book Review: The Bullet Journal Method

December 30, 2018

After reading this book, I realize that it might not have been for me. At least, it got me to try a proper Bullet Journal system once again. A little bit closer to the “official” one this time. But I have many times in my life used a A5 LT or a Travelers Notebook to run my life.

I liked Part 2 of the book a lot. This is the explaination of the system itself. It was straight forward and the first time I have read about Bullet Journal where I feel like I know exactly what do to afterwards.

I have some huge problems with the current and former version of the BulletJournal.com website. The short version is that I think it is optimized for SEO, rather than usability.

I did not enjoy the rest of the book. Like I said in the beginning, it might be because it is not for me. My main problem with it is that it feels like a lot of pages, a lot of bullshit to sell my on the system.

Agan, it is probably not for me. And I don’t regret byuing the book, and I would buy it again.

Some thoughts about nibs

December 17, 2018

A little bit of history. The Pilot G2 0.7 was the pen that got me into better pens. And when that happened I soon figured out two things: I don’t like scratchy, and I like a thick solid line much better than a thin one. And I never questioned this much as I moved into fountain pens. And I still like thicker lines better than thin ones. I still like wet pens better than dry ones. And I still like a not scratchy nib better than a scratchy.

I have a Kaweco pen with a medium nib that feels a lot finer than most of the medium nibs I have used before.

Let me be perfectly clear, it is not what I prefer, but it is not bad. And there are some stuff I like about it. For example how I have a lot more control over my writing because a finer nib will naturally be more scratchy.

I might get more pens with a finer nib in the future, or I might not.

Syrringes for refilling

December 10, 2018

At some point I bought a bulb syrringe and a pack of two regular syrringes from Goulet Pens. I think they are some of the most useful tools I have as a fountain pen user.

A bulb syrringe is this rubber thing you can fill with water or air to make it a hell of a lot easier to flush a fountain pen FAST. You could do the same thing in the sink, but it would take a hell of a lot longer.

It makes it easier, and faster to clean a cartridge / converter pen, and the result is that I do it more often because it it easier.

Then you have the regular syrringe. Or it is not like the one your doctor uses, but it looks the same. You can’t actually pierce your skin with it because it is flat.

I use this syrringe for two things: refilling used cartridges in pens where I consider the coverters useless. I’m looking at you Kaweco. And for refilling converters, because I like to have them as full as possible.

The cartridge part is self explainatory, you have empty one, so you take the syrringe, fill it with water and stick the needle into the hole and press water in until it is clear. Then you take out the water with the syrringe, fill the syrringe with ink and then use it to fill the used cartridge with new ink.

But I also use the same trick to properly fill my converters. This is because if you fill them like they intend to they often are between half full and 2/3 full. So I just fill them all the way up and stick them into the pen.

I have links to the stuff I use below.

A short note about links and this site. I usually don’t link directly to product unless I feel like I have to. This might be because it is hard to say something like “The Lamy 2000” and everyone knows what I am talking about or because I got the product from free in return for my putting up a link.

The reason I usually don’t link is that when I do, and it is not sponsored, I feel like I’m telling you to buy this thing from that shop. Something I don’t. I think that everyone should pick the place to buy stuff from that makes the most sense for them.

This is why I usually don’t link to products.

Index Cards. What are they good for?

November 26, 2018

The first thing I start to do when I get some new piece of stationary is to start experimenting to find out what I like to use it for and not, and then I start to compare to what I currently use for that and after a while I figure out what the current “best thing” is for everything.

There are three things I use Index Cards for these days:

  • Capture.
  • As a heavy duty tool for task management.
  • To bring notes into meetings.

I love using Index Cards as a capture method, because I write it down, and then I process it at a later point, and I can just throw it away. No crossing out or anything like that. Sometimes, like now, when I need to write a couple of blog posts before I leave town for a few days, I have taken two cards and written down the title of both of them on its own card. It is a method I use when there is something that is more important than anything else. I write it down and put it down next to the keyboard. The third thing is that sometimes I need to remember a couple of things in a meeting, then I often just put it down on some cards and bring that.

The running theme on where I think cards are great are for stuff where you can sum it up in a few words or a short sentence and you are going to get rid of it as soon as possible. But anything longer than a short sentence is better served by a small or large notebook.

Daily Carry

November 19, 2018

I thought it was about time to write another daily carry post. My current ink is a Pilot Iroshizuku Murasaki-shikibu, and I use that in all the pens in current rotation.

My current pocket carry is the Belroy Cover + Filed Notes, some Nock.co Index cards and a short pencil, when a pencil gets shorter than the height of the case I take them out of rotation and use them for this purpose.

I use my Nock.co pouch to carry pencils, I currently have some Golden Bears, some Blackwing Volume 54 and some Blackwing Pearl.

I carry some new Field Notes, my Vanihsing Point and my Lamy 2000 in my Hightower, and I also use my TWSBI Eco’s, and Pilot Metal Falcon; but I don’t carry them. I use them from my desk.

The notebook situation otherwise are changing. I’m stilling working my way through the last rest of my LT1917 stash, before I’m going over to using travelers notebooks again.

How I use Pencils

November 12, 2018

I almost never sharpen pencils on the go. The way I deal with sharpening them is that I have somewhere between 12 and 24 pencils in rotation. I carry them all in my Nock Pencil Pouch; I don’t remember what it is called. I sharpen them on both sides.

I use them until they are too dull, and then I put it in one of the pockets of my Tom Bihn Plot bag. And when I get home, I sharpen them and put them back in the case.

I also always have a pencil in the spine of my Belroy Field Notes case.

What I usually do is that I keep pencils in regular rotation until they are short enough to fit in there without the point sticking out. Then I reserve them for pocket uuse until they get too short to be comfortable to write with. At that point I just throw them out and find the next short one to use.

At the moment I use Golden Bears and the Pink Blackwing Volumes.

My main pencil is the Golden Bear, but I try to test out most of the other big popular pencils one by one, to have an informed opinion about them.

I actually get a full box of every pencil I want to try, because I think that you actually have to use a few of them before you have an opinion. Because I often really like a pencil for the first 3-4 of them, and then I get over the initial excitment and realize that they are really scratchy or really soft. And get annoyed.

Field Notes Bellory Cover

November 08, 2018

This have taken a really long time. I think I started to look for a cover for my Field Notes the day after I got my first pack in May or June 2013. I came from using some really thick hardover Moleskine pocket sized notebooks. And even though Field Notes was a lot better in many ways, especially paper quality and the smaller page number made them much more portable, there was something about the hardcover I really missed. Mainly that I new they would not fall apart, and that I did not rely as much on having a desk to write.

Over these five and half years, I have looked at more or less every single cover that fits Field Notes at least once. But I never pulled the trigger. I’m not sure why, but I never did it.

I finally did so a while back. And I went for the Belroy Field Notes cover. I’m really happy with it this far. It protects my Field Notes, and adds additional stiffness, without a lot of extra bulk. Also, the cover makes it really easy to carry a small pen or a pencil in the spin. One additional feature the Belroy has is two pockets on one side made to let you carry either Credit Cards or Index Cards.

I regret not getting this thing before, but I really like this thing. And as a bonus the cover protects my pencil a little bit, something that means I break way less pencilpoints each week.

If you should get this cover or not depends, I really like it because I can use this instead of a FN Cover plus the Talluah. But you might want to get something a little bit different if you don’t want to carry Index Cards.

Nock.co Talluah

October 12, 2018

I got this Nock.co case as a part of the 2018 PenAddict Kickstarter. This is not something I would have ordered myself, because it is very much outside of what I usually use. But I like it a lot.

The basic concept is a small case with room for two pens and something “business card” sized. This could mean proper business cards or index cards in that size. Something Nock.co sells. So I ordered some of them and started to use this thing.

The Talluah is a must if you are a index card person. And if you like me, are not, I think it can be a interesting addition to for example a pocket sized notebook. There are things where I think Index Cards work better, like capturing stuff or as a blunt instrument when there are a few things you really need to get done. But I prefer using a notebook for lists and stuff like that.

Index Cards and a Talluah have been a good addition to the stuff I carry, and I will continue to use it.

The Price of Ink

October 08, 2018

You can find cheap ink, and expensive inkk. More expensive bottles are sometimes larger, but other times not. The price range of inks, I’m talking about fountain pen inks by the way, vary from around $5 to a little bit under $40. The cheapest from JetPens is about $0,55 per ML while $0,74.

If you compare the price of ink to the other part of this that you actually use up - paper. Then you will realise that ink is not that expensive. When I wrote a lot with and exclusivly with fountain pens, I used maybe close to three 50 ml bottles a year, but I think most people would struggle with using one a year. I don’t know the number, but imagine how many notebooks of your choice you need to buy to use all of that ink.

If you use Pilot Iroshizuku inks and Leuchtturm1917 notebooks, you spend about the same per bottle of ink that you spend on a A5 notebook, but I think you need at least 20 notebooks if not more to use all of that ink.

I get that some people don’t have that much disposable inkcome, and I get that those of you that this applies to have some different priorities, but I personally went with Pilot Iroshizuku inks even when I was on a tight budget because I enjoyed using it so much more than cheaper inks. If you like me have some disposable income to use on this hobby, I think there are much better places to how much money you spend than inks. Because you get a bottle and it lasts forever. Notebooks are a place where you can save a lot of money. And not buying pens are another.

Baron Fig

October 05, 2018

I have tried to write this thing many times. But I always end up deleting it because I feel like it doesn’t say what I feel about the subject.

BaronFig makes well designed, high quality products that a lot of people love. Or I just assume it is of high quality, because that is what I have heard.

I don’t like the products they make. I love minimal, but some times minimal turns into this pile of nothing. That is what I think about most of BaronFig’s products. It looks good, but I don’t like it because it just looks like “meh”.

I also have some issues with their communication, but that have been covered by Brad Dowdy on the Pen Addict Podcast well enough for me to not get into it.

To be perfectly clear: I don’t say that their products are bad, I just don’t like them.