One place to start a blog about pens and papers is to share my current set up. I know as I browse many (MANY) paper and notebook sites (and I have about 2 dozen I check each day for stress release/retail therapy), when I come across a “set up” page it helps me understand how closely I will follow the blogger. Do we have the same activities? Are they a journal person or a sketch/artist? Do they rely on ink or graphite/lead? Do they carry a lot or are their minimalist. My reactions are not judgements, but just a recognition of how well our interests and processes might align.
My tendency is to prioritize mobility, notes, function, ink, and segmentation. I have my planner and a day-to-day in one notebook, and my journal and professional notes in a second and third. I have, despite now having been in work from home more 4+ months, continued to prioritize minimalism and portability. In part because I don’t have my own home office, and in part because I like the idea of pretending we might reverse the current trajectory of Covid-19 in America sometime soon. A boy can dream, can’t he?
So, here is my set up:
- Day Journal – I use Hobonichi Mega-Weeks for my major events, habit tracker, to do list and resources I might need on a daily basis. I use pencil. And I wrap it in my favorite purchase of the last year – a gorgeous Galen Hobonichi Weeks Cover. I will admit that I am not 100% sure I will stay with a Hobonichi organizer next year. I like the set up, and paper is terrific, and extra grid paper allows for all kinds of extra note keeping and data input, and overall I love the look and feel of the planner. However, even with small handwriting, I prefer a larger layout and continue to be drawn back to Nanami Paper Seven Seas A5. But because of the feel and quality of the Galen, if I make the switch next year I will then need to adjust the rest of my set up. I can’t let something as fabulous as the Galen cover lay idle. They are also super nice people (met them at the 2019 DC Pen Show last year).
- Journal/Meeting Notes – in 2018 I used a Discover A5 organizer from Japan. The layout, the paper, all of it was perfect for me. Sadly they are hard to get in the states and I had to have a Japanese colleague send me a copy in 2018 and have not asked again. The notebook cover, however, continues to do service and includes 2 Stalogy 1/2 year notebooks. One is for my personal journal and the other is for professional meeting notes. This latter one has been getting a real workout with zoom meetings of late. I like the set up overall, but am souring on the Stalogy paper. Why? Because I am using my fountain pens and the paper feathers and catches a bit, especially with the extra fine nib on my Parker Vacumatic. I also use a old insert for the Discover planner as my book review journal and tracker. I try to keep 1/2 page of reviews for every pleasure reading book I finish.
- Lastly, I keep a lot of pens and other materials in my Ukrainian GaTuRa kitbag I purchased from Etsy a few years back. This thing is a beast and has taken a ton of abuse. It holds my computer and phone headphones, pens, cartridges, Field NoteBook (my
Crossfitexercise tracker), note cards, and business cards (I have not handed one out in 6 months so don’t ask me why I still have them).
For writing I am relying on my Parkers, my Sheaffer graphite holder/pencil and a few mechanical pencils as needed. My Kaweco’s also get a lot of work in journal keeping and note taking as well.
Overall, I like the set up and it works for me.
If we Since we will be remaining in semi-isolation for the foreseeable future, I suspect I will be changing things around a but but this gives you a basic glimpse on who I am and how I digest and process.