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How I use Pencils

12.11.2018 09:00

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

08.11.2018 09:00

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

12.10.2018 10:00

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

08.10.2018 10:00

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

05.10.2018 10:00

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.

Daily Carry

01.10.2018 10:00

My current daily carry is a little bit larger than usual because I am trying some stuff out at the moment. But I hope to have things back to normal by the time I do the next one of these.

In my pocket I carry a Bullet Spacepen, with a clip on it, a pocket sized notebook, and a Nock.co Talluah filled with Nock.co Index Cards, and two TWSBI Eco.

The stuff I carry in my bag is still a lot like always, my good old Hightower filled with a couple of fresh Field Notes, three pens (Pilot Vanishing Point, Lamy 2000 and Pilot Metal Falcon), a KUM Masterpiece sharpener. I have recently started to use a Nock.co Pencil case, that I love, I usually have it filled with around 24 pencils, Currently Golden Bears.

My current notebook setup is a little bit in the middle of a change. I’m filling up my last Leuchtturm1917 notebooks as we are speaking, and I plan to start using Travelers Notebooks again. This is because now that I can get them from Norway, I can save a not unsigficiant amount of money on notebooks.

A look at Blackwing after just using the Golden Bear for a while

28.09.2018 10:00

I decided to get a box of Blackwings with the extra firm core. Because I managed to find them for sale on the Norwegian store I buy most of my pen stuff.

It is the Volume 54. It is pink, which is not really my thing, but still not that bad. This core is much better than anything else I have used from Blackwing. It feels really smooth like every Blackwing, but still firm enough to not be annoying.

This is the first Blackwing where I don’t think “damn I have to sharpen this a lot”. And I think I could have used this as my only pencil without issue, if it was a part of their regular line of pencils. But it is very expensive…

There are three things I always notice when I use Blackwings:

  1. Design, they always look great, even though it isn’t always my thing, they always feature the best pencil design ever.

  2. Their cores are always very smooth. It being smooth seems to be the number one priority, and that firmness will never come before that.

  3. They are very comfortable to hold. It is either something with the pain job or how they form the wood case.

Nock.co Index Cards.

24.09.2018 10:00

I just got some Index Cards from Nock in the mail the other day. This is the first pack of Index Cards I have bought in years. They have never been a part of my system for many different reasons. Mainly because I think books are more practical when you have a very portable setup. Sometimes I write in the office, other times my home office, or on the train or using the table in the living room. You get the picture.

But I got a Talluah as a part of the latest PenAddict Kickstarter. So I figured that I had to find some index cards to fit in it. And of course Brad had made some from Nock.co. I don’t have much to compare it to except the really think and cheap ones we had at home growing up.

These cards are smaller than the standard. Exactly the same size as a business card.

It will be a seperate review of the case and how I use these cards later.

These cards are great, handles pencil and my fountain pens great. Exacltly what you expect from Nock.co. They are not cheap, but not that expensive either. $5 for 50 of them. I got four packs of them, and I’ll probably get more of them soon.

I recommend checking out the Nock.co ones if you are looking for some great cards that work with more or less any kind of pen.

Nock Co Pencil case

21.09.2018 10:00

When I got into pencils (a few hours later) I started to look into a pencil case of some sort. It seems like most go for a roll of some sort, with induvidual slots for each pencil or a puch where you can stick how many you wish.

Then you have a lot of leather, or either very cheap or expensive non-leather materials.

My first thought after trying to navigate this is that this is exactly how it was with pen cases before Nock Co.

So, I just found a cheap pen case at home, you know the kind you used when you went to High School. And used that until I found something that matched my criteria

  • Not leather
  • Not overpriced
  • Not cheap.

Then Nock Co made a pencil case. And I love this thing. It is very inexpensive, $15 (Blackwing makes something similar for $35), and the quality is the same as all other Nock.co products.

It is simple, and exactly what I want.

A Pile of Pencils

17.09.2018 10:00

The moment I got home after recieving the Clasroom Friendly Sharpener through eBay and tested it out on a few pencils I started to consider ordering another one. Because it is the only sharpener I want to use.

I did not do that. But instead I found a pen case or pouch at home and sharpened 24 pencils on both ends and started to carry that. The pouch I found at home have since been replaced by one from Nock. But the same principle stands.

Instead of doing what I did in the beginning, where I used up on pencil before moving on to the next, I now carry a lot of sharp pencils. And I use one after another and then re-sharpen them when I get home. Not usually every single day, but 2-3 times a week. But I usually stick to one pencil and re-sharpen it as often as I need when I am at home.

I still carry the KUM Masterpiece though, just in case, but I have never needed it.