inksmudge.net

We need handwriting.

08.09.2016 02:00

```text Articles like this always drive me nuts. We still use hand writing a lot in our daily lives, even though it doesn’t have the same role as it used to have. ```

```text The author uses one of the most ignorant and idiotic arguments I have seen in a very long time: ```

```text

But as a left-hander with terrible handwriting who watched my son struggle to master cursive — he had to stay inside during recess for much of third grade because he wrote his j’s backward — that is a loss I can weather. And history is replete with similar losses; consider how rarely people now carve words in stone, dip pens into ink or swipe platens of typewriters. There will be no loss to our children’s intelligence. The cultural values we project onto handwriting will alter as we do, as they have for the past 6,000 years.

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```text School isn’t just about learning useful skills. It is also about learning a wide skill set, so that you can figure out what you want to do later in life. But the most important thing is that many things in life are hard. You still have to do them, and it is good for you. ```

```text You still need handwriting. Many subjects you are going to take require you to do a handwritten exam, not because we are old fashioned, but because subjects like Math, Physics or Logic require very sophisticated software and a lot of training before you are able to do the same thing that you can do with a simple piece of paper and a ruler. ```

```text There are also many things in your daily life where you are expected to write by hand, for example when you have to fill out some forms. Or in a meeting when you are brainstorming on large piece of paper or a whiteboard. Or in a meeting with a designer when you are trying to figure out how something should look. ```

```text You can probably do the same thing on a computer, and we do, but it is often faster, easier and better to do it on paper. ```

```text Now. Cursive. My cursive hand writing is horrible, and I hated it when I had to learn it. But it is still a very useful skill. I can read cursive because of it, even though I can’t write it myself. We have spent many hundred years, and billions of dollars to learn how to understand dead languages that we lost the direct ties to. We will cut the ties to most of the primary sources available to historians if we stop teaching cursive. That is bad. The long term problem is that we could loose the ability to read them at all. The short term problem is for everyone that need in their field or study or other work related task. Instead of using a little bit of time learning it, while learning is easier, they have to learn it much later. This means more training or education for various research positions and probably regular jobs as well before they can do their job. ```

How to ask the right questions

06.09.2016 02:00

```text I think we have established that buying every cool thing that shows up isn’t really my thing. But I do buy stuff when I need them. And this is about how I go forward to figure out what I need. ```

```text The first step is that you need to start out with a different starting point than the product. For me it is about replacing something that isn’t what I need, removing something I don’t need or adding something new to solve a problem I don’t have a good solution for. ```

```text I always take note when I get annoyed. For example my latest change in my “workflow” for a lack of a better word, is the re-introduction of pocked sized Field Notes. As I said in the blog post, I got rid of them because the format wasn’t the right thing for most of what I were using them for. The format was way too small and limited for managing all of my notes and tasks. But I slowly realised that they were the right thing for a small sub set of my tasks and notes. I don’t always bring my Travelers Notebook when I go shopping, but I always have the room for a Field Notes notebook. There: that is a good place to start. ```

```text The reason I focus on having a use for something before buying it, is that most of us have a limited amount of money we can spend on stationary per month and year, and the less I spent on stuff I won’t use, the more I can spend on stuff I will use. It’s not that hard to spend enough on notebooks you don’t use to pay for a Lamy 2000 or something really expensive. ```

Review

31.08.2016 02:00

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```text I don’t usually buy limited edition products, this might be the first time I have done it. The reason I wanted to buy it is the same reason I support [The Pen Addict](http://penaddict.com) as a member, both on the web site and over at [Relay.fm](http://relay.fm), and because it is the best looking Retro 51 I have ever seen. ```

```text This isn’t really the kind of Limited Product that drive me insane, you can get more or less the same thing, the only difference is that it looks different. ```

```text The pen looks amazing, and so does the packaging. My favourite design detail is the subtle Pen Addict logo at the top of the pen. I spent a few hours with it when I got it this week(or last week when this is published) and it feel exactly like a Retro 51 should feel. Retro 51 have always had the feeling perfection when you hold the pen and when you twist it. ```

```text But the finish of this pen feels much more grippy than the other Retro 51’s I have used, and I like it a lot. ```

```text A fantastic pen, and I can’t wait to see what the next Pen Addict Pen will look like. ```

Small or large?

29.08.2016 02:00

```text I always try to use the smallest bag I can get away with. This is the kind of where you have room for what you need, and not much more. ```

```text My previous bag was perfect for what I needed then. But it is too small because I have to bring my computer to and from work at my current job, something I didn’t need to at my previous. ```

```text The one I am using is way too big, and I haven’t found the new “perfect” yet. ```

```text My problem with a large bag is that it leaves room for carrying a lot of junk. The result is two new problems, first it becomes full, and then you can’t find anything, because it is full of junk. ```

```text The result is that I have to empty it once a week, put back what I need and figure out what to do with the crap. ```

```text The thing I like about using a bag where you don’t have much more room than what you need is that you can’t fill it up with crap, and you need to consider every singe thing you want to add. It comes down to how important that new thing is, and figure out what to do. You could chose to not add it, or you could remove something else or get a bigger bag. It all comes down to how important it is. ```

```text It always feels like I am doing better choices when I really have to consider everything up against each other. This is one of the ways I try to force myself to do just that. ```

On when to buy.

24.08.2016 02:00

```text I have written many times before about questioning what you use, as a way of finding the best tools available to do what ever you are trying to do. But I have left one very important slot open, and that is when to do it. ```

```text It is very easy to buy every single new and shiny thing out there, just because they are new and shiny. But that is just a very simple way to spend a lot of money, and fill your house with a lot of crap you’ll never use. The alternate approach is to let the need come before, you buy it; instead of trying to find a use for something after you buy it. ```

```text For me, everything stationary I order are in one of two categories: new stuff and more of what I already use. What I mean by more of what I already use is things that I need more of(inks, refills, notebooks etc) and things I need to replace, like pens. While new stuff are new pens and other items that I buy to solve a specific problem. ```

```text Let me begin with new stuff. I don’t order anything the first time I see them because I know that it is a fairly big chance I won’t use it much unless I have a plan for what it is going to solve for me. But I add everything interesting I see to a list, so that I have a good place to start when I need something to solve a specific problem. And when I decide to buy it, wait a few weeks to see if I really need to pull the trigger. Some problems aren’t big enough to actually justify it, while others are. ```

```text The tricky part is when you want more of something you already own and use. For example inks or notebooks. It’s okay to have a few bottles of ink or a nice pile of Field Notes. But you should in general avoid ordering at a higher pace than you are using. My strategy have always been to order a pile of refills for my Travellers Notebook or a pile of Field Notes and then wait until my stock is almost out before I order more. And seriously: how many bottles of ink do you need? When you are getting close to owning more ink that you can use for the rest of your life, is the moment where you should stop buying; and maybe selling a few bottles before you order more? ```

Everything matters.

22.08.2016 02:00

```text I think I first learned about this concept when I started playing guitar, everything has an impact on the sound. From the strings you use, to the picks and everything about how the guitar is made. The same goes for your pens and notebooks. ```

```text When you are trying to achieve something, everything that is a part of that something will have an impact. I always find it useful to write down a few sentences about what my goal is. ```

```text The most important thing for me is always short enough dry time without any bleed through, while others might think that no feathering is more important than the dry time. My perfect setup would be instant dry time, no bleed through and no feathering. But that is impossible. You could probably get it with a very thin nib, but I’m not a fan of nibs like that because they are way too scratchy for my taste; and I have thing for a thick line. ```

```text You need to start with your goal. Before you figure out what the options for getting there are. But you also need to look at where you are willing to compromise. ```

```text My personal experience is that you do get something from picking an ink with short dry time combined paper that are known for shorter dry time. But the key factor is the the pen. How broad and wet the nib is the most important factor. ```

Using a journal to keep track of habit forming.

17.08.2016 02:00

```text I’m more interested in habits and how to get yourself to do what you want than the average human. ```

```text Let’s say you want to do something, for example read more books, buy more pens or go more to the gym. A typical solution to this a resolution; they usually come in the form of “Work out twice a week”. There are a number of problems with it though. ```

```text The problem with it is that you will fail many times, and the typical resolution don’t take this into consideration. A good goal should be achievable, not too hard, while at the same time pushing yourself. It should be hard to fail. ```

```text I have taken a different approach to it the last few years. I set a number. For example “I want to go to the gym 100 times this year”. The total number of times you go to the gym is more or less the same, but it takes into consideration that you will skip a week here and there, without breaking it. If you skip a week while on vacation or sick – then you’ll have to make it up by the end of the year. ```

```text This is a fantastic way to use that pile of Field Notes you haven’t started using yet. The way I do it is that I write what the goal is on the first page, the next two pages I use to keep track of how many times I have done it. Then I start writing dates; all the days I went to the gym. You can also write some notes about each entry if needed; this is what I do to keep track of all the books I read during a calendar year. I write the date I completed it followed by Author and Title. ```

Ink Review

15.08.2016 02:00

![](https://static1.squarespace.com/static/560ec734e4b0d6edef0fcf6d/560ec965e4b023d2c257ab18/57af1747579fb31363797ead/1471092885922/20160808-IMG_0784.jpg)</p>



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```text [This bottle of ink was sent to me by Pen Chalet, free of charge for the purpose of this review. This does not affect the review in any way. ](https://www.penchalet.com/ink_refills/fountain_pen_ink/j_herbine_1670_bottled_fountain_pen_ink.html) ```

```text The bottle is one of the most beautiful bottles I have seen. My only complaint about it is that the bottom of the bottle is flat, many bottles have a hole at the bottom to make sure that you can use as much of the ink as possible. Everything about this bottle is beautiful, but I do miss some information about the name of the ink on it, there isn’t any information at all on the bottle itself. Design is about beauty, usability and practicality, and it leans too much in the beauty direction. ```

```text I never do any dry time tests with any of my inks. There are probably some value to them, but I usually start by writing with the ink on the different notebooks I use. My problem with the standard dry time test is that there are so many other factors than the ink that will have an important role in the dry time like pen, nib and paper. The dry time with this ink is not super fast, but still fast enough to not be any issue at all for me. Left handed beginners might struggle a little, but everyone else will not have any issues. ```

```text This is not a ink I would have bought myself. But it have gotten me interested in J Herbin and a little bit more “exotic” inks. And it will be something I’m considering in the future. ```

```text I usually go for ink colours that are clearly a colour. For example, that is a blue and clearly a blue. This ink has a beautiful brown colour with some hints of red. I would call it a redish-brown. It also have some cool gold shimmer in it. ```

```text You can use this ink with, and without the shimmer, shake the bottle before you fill it up, if you want them. They do alter the colour a little bit, I don’t notice much difference. But I clearly see the gold, when I look the the page from an angle. ```

```text This is a highly saturated ink, so use it with some caution. ```

```text The conclusion is that I really like this ink. The colour is very nice, and it is something I can use both at home and at work without people fussing too much about it. For me, the key thing about any ink is the dry time. To be something I’m going to use, it has to be short enough for me to not notice it, this ink falls in that category. And it’s fun to look at the dried ink from an angle to see the gold. ```

```text Great ink. Check it out. ```

My New Work Notebook.

11.08.2016 02:00

```text I have spent a lot of time looking for a good notebook to use at work. My previous work place(I work as a Software Developer Consultant, so I work for as long as they need me, before I move over to the next gig) had a supply cabinet with not great but good enough notebooks, so I used them. ```

```text I have been using MYN refills since I started at my current gig, but I don’t think they are the right thing to use at work. ```

```text What Do I need? ```

```text
  • Short dry time
  • Be able to rip out pages
  • A notebook that stays flat, so I can read pages and take notes without having to fiddle with the notebooks.
  • ```

    ```text I considered everything from the Baron Fig stuff to LT1917, Rhodia and so on. ```

    ```text I landed on a notebook that I have been curious about for a very long time: The Field Notes Steno Pad. The paper isn’t the best, but I know it after filling over 50 of the pocket sized Field Notes; they are not the best for fountain pens but work pretty well, everything considered. The dry time is short. It is more or less the perfect notebook for me to use at work. ```

    ```text The format is superior to the “book” format in this context, but I prefer a more book like format if it is a notebook I have to carry in my bag all the time, because they are more durable. But it is perfect for something that just lays around on a desk. ```

    ```text I also think the steno page layout is great for task management; you can use the full width, when needed; but the half width is surprisingly useful while dealing with projects with a lot of simple tasks. ```

    Review Field Notes Wooden Archival Box

    10.08.2016 02:00

    ```text I ordered the archival box a while back. This is one of the products I have considered so many times that I don’t know how many times I have almost pulled the trigger. And it have been on my wish list for about two years, probably closer to two and half. ```

    ```text The funny thing is that I have almost filled it up with used notebooks within minutes of getting it. ```

    ```text You get a simple, well designed, but not fancy wooden box. They included some dividers, but I don’t use them. It is a very good solution, if you are looking for a practical way to store your Field Notes, without wasting a lot of space, while still having easy access to the notebooks. ```

    ```text All my previous attempts have been far from effective and straight out annoying and a pain in the ass. They either require ridiculous amounts of space, or makes it very hard to get access to the notebooks. ```

    ```text It is a little bit expensive, but the fact that it works so much better than the other options makes up for it. You have just enough space for the height of the Field Notes, and it it just tall enough for the dividers to fit. The fact that it doesn’t waste any space at all is the thing I appreciate the most about it. ```

    ```text Is it worth the money? Yes! ```

    ```text I’ll probably order another one in a while; but that one will hopefully last me at least two years. ```