'The Gentleman Stationer


The Gentleman Stationer:

When most people think of Lamy’s gold nibs, they think of the Lamy 2000, another personal favorite of mine.  Lamy’s “standard” 14K nibs are often–and, in my opinion, unjustifiably–overlooked.  The extra-fine nib on my Lamy Studio is relatively wide for an extra-fine nib, and writes more like a “fine” from most other brands.   The nib is, however, springy and smooth.  It’s also slightly stubbish, in that it offers a touch of line variation and gives my writing an italic look and feel. To me, Lamy’s interchangeable stainless steel nibs offer good quality and exceptional value in entry-level pens, but this 14K gold nib has frankly blown me away.  At around $150, both the Lamy 2000 and the Studio make great options for a “first gold-nibbed pen,” though I must say, I prefer the Studio’s extra-fine to the extra-fine on my Lamy 2000.  I suspect it’s because the lack of a hood on the Studio gives the nib the additional springiness, making it very pleasant to write with.

Another Lamy pen made it to my pen wish list. I haven’t tried one, but this is a good option, if you either don’t like the hooded nib on the 2000, or don’t want a piston filler.


'Midori Traveler’s Notebook


A Better Desk:

Fountain pens are built to last. They may run out of ink, but they can be refilled over and over again. The same thing can’t be said for notebooks. Pages are filled with everything from beautiful prose to grocery lists, and the tears and scratches that mar the covers are reminders of the journey. Once these books are their most worn and beautiful, we chuck them out or put them on a shelf to collect dust. I’ve been longing for a notebook that could acquire these beautiful signs of age while lasting as long as a good pen.

You should, if you haven’t already, read this brilliant & elegant post about the Midori Travelers Notebook.


Bic Cristal Ballpoint Pen Review — Pen Addict


Brad Dowdy:

The fact is, this is a good pen, if not a great one. Released to the public in 1950, it has had a 65-plus year run and shows no signs of slowing down. The design is revered too, with its clear hex-barrel being featured in the Museum of Modern Art. A design classic that has stood the test of time? Sign me up.

I have spent many hours writing with stolen Bic Cristal pens over the years. I’m not a fan of this pen, I don’t like how it writes and the ergonomics, but it is without doubt a well designed pen. And I miss the days when this was the standard in all supply cabinets, instead of the horrible pens many of the places I have worked that last five years buy.


'Review


I initially wrote my first impressions, not long after I got this pen. And now I feel more comfortable writing a proper review now that I have used it for a few weeks.

I write a lot during the day, I manage all of my tasks in Field Notes, I manage high level tasks and meetings in my Hobonichi Planner and I write long form in my Midori Travelers Notebook. And when it comes down to it, I put pens in two different categories: the pens I enjoy using for long writing sessions, and the pens that are good for writing a short line here and there. This pen falls in the former category.

You get a lot of pen for the money with the 580AL. I love the you have to unscrew the cap, and it makes it a excellent pen to have in the pen holder for the Midori Travelers Notebook(it drives me nuts that I always uncap my Lamy 2000 when I try to get it out of it). It holds a lot of ink, and the writing experience is very good for the price.

But, it isn’t perfect. The grip section is a little bit slippery, and it took a few days to get used to it. This is a area where they can and should improve on in the future. And I have also experienced that the screw that pulls the piston up and down some times slips; where I have to screw it all the way down before I can pull it up again. The pens usually starts writing straight away without any issue, no matter if it lays flat or standing up; unless it is almost empty.

It is a very nice upgrade if you are coming from either a Pilot Metropolitan or a Lamy Safari; the Lamy nib might be a little bit smother. And it is a very cool, and unique extra pen for your arsenal.


My Field Notes Review.


I’m three months shy of using Field Notes for three years. And my go to notebook before that was the hardcover pocket sized Moleskine notebooks.

There are many great things about Field Notes, but I also have some concerns and I’m straight out disappointed with what they have done with the brand. Let’s begin with the notebooks.

I think Field Notes are great. The format works for having either one or two notebooks in your back pocket. And the kraft paper design looks good both in mint condition, and even better when you have had it for a few weeks. The paper quality isn’t the best, but I stand by my opinion that it is the best for what I want from a pocket notebook(in prioritised order): short dry time, thin pages to limit bulk and as little dry time as possible.

You could get less bleed through by going for the kind of paper you find in either Midori Travelers Notebooks or the Hobonichi Planner. But the dry time with them makes is a far less desirable pocket notebook; especially the Hobonichi. The MTN could work.

The thing I love about Field Notes is that I can write with more or less any pen, and it is dry by the time I close it.

I use Field Notes for two things I use them for my day to day tasks and capture, and the thing I love about the number of pages is that I know it is time for a GTD style review when I reach either the middle or the end of a book. The other thing I use them for is small projects, either at work or home. For example for making some mockups for an app or website.

The core product Field Notes have today, and when I started using them, with the exception of their new planner is more or less the same. They haven’t really extended their core offering in any meaningful way or form. That is the thing that both disappoint and worry me.

They spend a lot of time on the Color Subscription. That is fine, if that is your thing. I’m not into “special edition” stuff. I want to buy something good, and I want to be able to go to JetPens or GouletPens and order a new one of the same thing when or if I need to: pens, notebooks and inks.

I personally think Midori have the right idea. They offer different sizes(two) and they have different kinds of paper and formats. This is the the thing I would love to see from Field Notes in 2016. More options, and not as a special edition, but as a extension of their core offering. They could use the Color Edition as a testing ground for new ideas. But they should bring more of it back as a permanent thing. For example: why aren’t there a lager Field Notes notebook? I would love to see a A5 Field Notes with more pages.


'Review


I bought a new bag yesterday.

I don’t consider myself a bag addict, for the same reason I don’t consider myself a pen or a notebook addict: every single one of each I own is something I own for a particular reason.

I’m just a geek, that care and that wants to find the best for what I am trying to solve.

Some people have one bag, and are happy with that, while others, like myself prefer to have more than one. I currently have three bags and backpacks, if I exclude those related to overnight traveling and hiking.

Two bags and one backpacks. I have a backpack & bag pair from Osprey, both of them are orange, and they are the same model; the only difference is that one of them is a backpack and the other is a bag. The reason I got both of them was that had them pre-packed for different situations, one for work and the other for everything else; the only thing I had to move over was my laptop.

I have been looking for and researching a new bag for a while now. At least a year. The reason is that both my bag and backpack are made to be able to hold a laptop up to 15”. They are great for most things, but horrible when you only need to carry a few things.

The result is that I stick what I need in my coat pockets. Do you know how stupid an overstuffed coat looks? Yeah. That’s why I am looking for a new bag.

My new bag is not large, just enough space the essentials:
– iPhone charger.
– A pair of Apple EarPods.
– iPad mini.
Nock.co Hightower.
– Hobonichi Planner.
– A book.
– Passport.
– Power bar bar.
– Paracetamol.
– Batteries.
– (And probably a Fujifilm X100T, when I finally buy one).

I went for a a Fjällräven Foldstack No.3(I got the navy blue one). It is a high quality product from a great company, even though they are Swedish. Most of their stuff looks great, the only product I think looks bad is the very popular Känken backpack. My mother have winter clothes and backpacks from Fjällräven that was bought in the 60s and 70s that have been used for two or three generations that are ready for at least another one, and probably more than that.

The design is simple and functional. I think it is the perfect bag for the essentials. I’m going to get to why in a moment. But first a little bit about the process that ended with the Foldstack No 3.

I didn’t really know what I was looking for. The only thing I had written down was: “look for a small bag for the essentials”. But what I wanted became pretty clear as I looked at countless options. It had to be around the same size as a A4 page. The reason is that this looked like the sweet spot between having enough room and too much; the latter always ends in me bringing way too much junk. And I wanted something simple: in terms of design, in terms of how to open and close it, and in terms of the compartment system.

I’m in general not a fan of complicated compartment systems, unless they are designed very well, which most aren’t. But there are exceptions, like for example Tom Bihn, and some Osprey products, but not all, including some I own. The Foldstack No 3 has a very simple two compartment system: a large main compartment, that you can expand with a push button on each side, if you need extra room & a small zip pocket on the outside.

I always keep my passport, EarPods and a few AAA batteries for my Bose QC 15 Noise Cancelling headphones. The kind of stuff you want easy access to. And I keep the rest in the main compartment. There is more or less just enough room for what I want to bring everywhere, with some room to spare, but not enough for me to get the: “what else can I put in here” itch.

Which is exactly what I wanted from this bag. I’m very happy with it so far.


'Load out


The first load out post of the year. Not much has changed since last year, and there are only two things that are different from the last time: a new Hobonichi Planner and I once again are lugging around my huge A4 notebooks, since the spring semester started a few weeks ago.

Pens.

I still carry my four pens: Lamy 2000, TWSBI 580AL, Pilot Metropolitan & Retro 51. The TWSBI have gotten itself a permanent place in the pen holder of my Midori Travelers Notebook. There are above all two reasons for this: it holds enough ink for at least a long study session and most importantly I have never seen any ink leak into the cap. That is something I really want to avoid with the pen I carry in the thing I am most likely to bring to a meeting.

Things are more or less the same as before. The Pilot Metropolitan have made it into more of a regular schedule, but Pilot should really make a converter for it that holds more ink.

Ink.

The same as last month, but I might order a ink with a very radical colour when I order more notebooks at the end of the month.

Paper-stuff

I moved into my new 2016 Hobonichi Planner at the start of the month. I don’t have that much to say about it, but it is a fantastic planner.

My MTN is still being used every single day. It is the thing I bring with me everywhere, and it is also one of the few things I bring when I’m going “light”.

And my Field Notes use are ever increasing. I’m going to continue to use Field Notes for now. But I might move some of what I have been using Field Notes for over to my MTN in the future. I haven’t made up my mind yet. The reason, for those who are curious, is that they are larger and can fit more stuff in them and that I more or less always carry both with me everywhere.

I have also started to carry my huge A4 notebooks around again. They are huge, as you see in the pictures at the top. I’m not sure what the brand is, but I remember that it was impossible to find a link for them the last time I tried. I buy them in local book stores. They are large, something I like when I am studying, and they have thick paper, so drying time with my fountain pens aren’t a problem.


'Review


The Leuchtturm1917 notebooks are a fantastic alterntaive to everyone that have been using Moleskine, that wants something similar, with better paper quality.

I think you get a lot of notebook for your money when you buy a Leuchtturm1917. The A5 size is around $19 and the A4 size is around $33. That is more or less the same price as similar Moleskine notebooks. It is also more or less the same I pay per page for the refills for my Midori Travelers Notebook.

More or less everything about Leuchtturm1917 notebooks are great. They look fantastic, and you get a lot of bang for your buck. The paper quality is fantastic, and the dry time is pretty good; it is much faster than Rhodia.

I don’t currently use any Leuchtturm1917 notebooks. Long story. But I used two of them as my journal in the first part of 2015. Then I forgot to order new ones, so I found some acceptagble notebooks in a local store here in Bergen, then I had some gift certificates I had to use before they expired, so I got some more.

But, I’m pretty sure I will order a few Leuchtturm1917 notebooks the next time I’m going to buy a A4 notebook. Everything about them is great, but there is at the same time nothing that excites be about them. It isn’t like my Midori Travelers Notebook or my Hobonichi Planner.

I would without doubt go for a Leuchtturm1917 notebook, if you are looking for something similar to the larger than pocket size Moleskine products.


On pen rotation.


If you are like me, and don’t have that many pens, and like to have them all inked up: then you need to rotate them. What I mean by that is to make sure that you use them all relatively frequently to avoid them getting clogged up.

You probably have some pens that you like more than others. I have three pens that are inked up at all times. The pen I use the most is my Lamy 2000, and I always move over to my TWSBI 580AL when that is out of ink, and I usually refill them all as soon as possible when the TWSBI runs out of ink.

My Pilot Metropolitan serves two purposes: a backup for when my other pens are running out of ink, and two have a metal pen that I can put in my pocket for the rare occasions that I need that. It is a fine pen, but it isn’t the most comfortable to write with for longer periods and the ink capacity is a little bit low.

But, I still want to use it regularly to make sure it is in tip top shape. So what I do is that I use it as my primary pen until it is empty once every second or third time I refill my other pens.

The reason I keep it around, at least for now is for those times, when you are super busy and forget to ink up your pens when they run out of ink, and you need to have something to write with for the rest of the day; either at work or while studying.


'Pens and Junk


Pens and Junk:

I wasn’t expecting too much out of this gel ink pen when I grabbed it off the shelf, and it certainly isn’t a bad pen. It doesn’t smear as much as I expected for a 1.0mm gel pen, and the ink is nice and dark – perhaps even a shade darker than the Pilot G-2. Ink flow consistency is the only noteworthy issue the Wexford Retractable has, randomly running thick or thin while in use.

Interesting. I love the color of that ink. This got to be the first non-fountain pen that have poked my interest in a very long time.

I’ll probably pick up one of these the next time I order something.


'Lamy Imporium in Black and Gold


Susan M. Pigott:

When I first saw shots of the Lamy Imporium, I was mesmerized. I loved the guilloche patterns, the clean lines of the cap, and the nib–oh, that nib! The black exterior with the gold center was just too cool. Then I saw the price. $520 for a Lamy? No way. Plus, initially I was told the pen wouldn’t be sold in the US (that turned out to be incorrect). I quietly resigned myself to no Lamy Imporium.

I’m usually not into anything gold, if you get what I mean, but the Imporium looks very good. I think Lamy pens are the best, and I really love how their nibs feel and how they look; especially the high end models.

But I don’t get why they can’t make a cheap pen like the Safari without that ridiculous moulded grip section.


Why I Love Steel Nibs – The Pen Addict


Brad Dowdy:

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.

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.


'What I Use


Fountain Pen Quest:

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.

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


'Review


Alt. Haven::

Conclusion:
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.

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.


Introducing Pen Addict Memberships — Pen Addict


Brad Dowdy:

My decision to do this did not come lightly. I quit my day job – a job I have held for the majority of the past 15 years – because I believe in this site, I believe in the readers, and I want to continue spreading the stationery word. It would be an honor if you would consider supporting me and The Pen Addict as I take this on full time. Along with Nock Co., I am all in on analog and am comitting myself to this world and to you.

Finally! I’m going to sign up as soon as I can. A great way to support a fantastic site.


My review of the Hobonichi Planner.


I started using my new 2016 Hobonichi Planner almost a week ago, this review have been on the list for a while now. One month, at least.

The story of how I ended up with the Hobonichi Planner starts in the middle of January, when I realized that my digital calendar system didn’t work at all. So, I conducted a small experiment for the remaining two and half weeks of January where I used a Field Notes to emulate a planner. The experiment worked pretty well. So I spent the next week looking into various alternatives.

I had three requirements:

  • It had to work with fountain pens
  • It had to have a variety of layouts for different kinds of planning.
  • It had to be compact.

I looked at everything from Moleskine to Filofax to Hobonichi. The reason I went with the Hobonichi was mostly because I had it on good authority that it was fountain pen friendly and that it looked like a product designed by someone who uses a planner, and not just threw something together the last minute.

My opinion after using it for ten months is that this is the best planner out there for most people. It has what more or less everyone needs, and it does what it does very well.

The paper handles fountain pen ink very well, I have never seen any bleed through since I started using it. But the dry time is brutally slow. It isn’t a big problem for me, even though I write with my left hand. But paper that dried faster would be very welcome.

Let’s move on to the various pages you get in the book.

  • Yearly Calendar
  • Yearly Index
  • Monthly Calendar
  • Coming Up!
  • Daily Pages
  • Memo pages.

This means that you have places for more or less everything you need. I’m not going to get into how I use it, here, that will be a part of my larger Getting Things Done post, that I’m going to write soon. But you have a place for the large overview: Yearly Index. You have a place for the details: Daily Pages. And you have a place for your monthly goals: Coming Up.

The format of the Hobonichi Planner is very compact, while you at the same time have a lot of room. And it isn’t often I wish there was more room. But there is a larger version, it is, unfortunately only available in Japanese. I have three wishes for the 2017 version:

  • Shorter drying time.
  • Having all the versions available in English.
  • Different start dates, like the Japanese version have.

'Review


This review have been in the making for a very long time. I got my Lamy 2000 January 5th 2015. It have been and continue to be my favourite pen to this day. I think it is more or less perfect.

I got my first fountain pen right before the easter of 2013. It all started when I ordered a Pilot Metropolitan from JetPens, when I ordered some notebooks. And then I got a Lamy Safari when I ordered some other stuff a few weeks later. That was the moment I got hooked on using fountain pens, and I have written countless pages with both of them. And fountain pens have been my primary writing instrument ever since.

My first impression was that the grip section on the Pilot Metropolitan was far superior to the moulded grip section of the Lamy Safari, but I found the nib of the Lamy to be much more enjoyable, and silky smooth.

I continued to use them both for around a year, before I started to look into getting something nicer. The process involved looking at more or less every single fountain pen up to $200 at both JetPens and GouletPens. One of the first pens I looked at was the Lamy 2000. And I knew when I first looked at it that this would be the pen.

The pen screams everything I like. It has a beautiful understated design that says: quality, great taste and brilliant design and engineering. It doesn’t look like any other pen I have seen before or after.

My Lamy 2000 was the only pen I used(except for when it runs out of ink), until I got my TWSBI 580AL a few weeks ago, and these days I either pick up the 580AL or the 2000. It always starts writing instantly, it holds a lot of ink it is very light, while it at the same time feels well built. The nib is very smooth, and comfortable to write with, when you learn to know the nib a little bit. I don’t think it took me more than a half hour, tops.

I love my 580, but the only pen where I look for stuff to write is the Lamy 2000. I just love writing with it.

There is one thing that I’m not so fund about, when it comes to the Lamy 2000 compared to for example my TWSBI 580AL, and that is that it seems like it always leaks a little bit ink into the cap. Not a big issue, but still annoying.

This is a pen that everyone that are into fountain pens should own. Most pen have a lot of if’s when it comes to if you should buy one or not. The only other pen I know about that is such a no brainer as the Lamy 2000 is the Retro 51. There is one if though: find out what kind of nib size you prefer before buying it. Because you are stuck with it.


2015.


The months go by, and you order some stuff here, and pick up some stuff there, but what do I really think about all the different stuff I have been buying this year?

Pens

  • Lamy 2000 – Medium Nib. I love more or less everything about this pen. The nib is fantastic, it holds a lot of ink, looks great and is very comfortable to write with, even for long periods.
  • TWSBI 580AL – Medium Nib. This is a newcomer to my collection. I like it – a lot. As with my Lamy, it holds a lot of ink, is very comfortable to write with, even for longer periods, when you get used to how slippery the grip section is. The nib isn’t as smooth as the gold nib of my Lamy, but it is very good in a different way.

Notebooks.

  • Leuchtturm1917. I don’t know why, the paper quality is great, and it looks great; but it never clicked with me, like some of the other stuff I use all the time did. Don’t get me wrong, it is great, but not just for me.
  • Field Notes Kraft Edition. I have kept at least one of them in my back pocket since I got my first three pack. I just use the heck of them.
  • Hobonichi Planner. This planner is more or less perfect. I think that this is the perfect planner for most people.
  • Midori Travelers Notebook. I love this thing. It is so fantastic. It is the perfect thing in between Field Notes and the next thing on this list. I love how great it looks, how good the paper quality is, and how you can trully turn it into something special.
  • Various no-name big A4 Notebooks. I have been using some huge black A4 notebooks with thick paper for a while now. They are great for everything except portability. They are so heavy.

Ink.

  • Lamy Black. I got a bottle of the standard Lamy black ink when I bought my Lamy 2000. I’m not a big fan of the color or how it performs. But I keep to have something for when I run out ink.
  • Pilot Iroshizuku Take-sumi. I love this ink. The color is amazing, and the bottle is beautiful. The dry time is a little bit too long for my taste. This is the ink I currently ink up all of my pens with.
  • Noodler’s Bernanke Black. This is one of my favourite inks, it was the only thing I used from I got my Lamy 2000 until the bottle was empty. The color is pretty good, and the dry time is fantastic.

What is up for 2016?

  • I’m going to explore more ink colors, especially in the Pilot Iroshizuku line.
  • I’m going to buy one more fountain pens.
  • The main goal of 2016 is to look into accessories for my MTN and to find out what I want to do with it, beyond basic long form writing.
  • I’m also going to get a new bag.

'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


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.


'The Midori Travelers Notebook


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.

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

Format. 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.

Flexible. 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.

Paper. 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.

Design. 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.

Number of refills versus writing comfort. 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.

Conclusion. 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


Tools & Toys::

Enter Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal. 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

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.


On Keeping A Notebook


Laurel Keck:

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).

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.


'The Pen Haul


The Pen Haul:

This pen has surpassed all expectations for me. I had my TWSBI Mini before getting the Vac 700 so I kind of knew what they had to offer, but this hit all of the right notes for me. It’s large, writes well, has a cool filling system, and looks great. There has been some concern about the durability of it, but I have not seen any of those problems myself yet.

I got very interested in this pen, when the Vac Mini reviews started to pop up everywhere. The reason I like is that I love huge pens that have a lot of ink. There is nothing I hate more than the idea of running out of ink in all of my fountain pens.

But the thing I don’t like about the TWSBI Vac models is that you need a special bottle to fill them. And that is also the thing that might stop me from getting one.


50 Used Field Notes


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.