PDA

View Full Version : Tell me all about your favorite notebooks and pens



FeeFee
10-18-2015, 01:10 AM
I love office supplies. I love fine-point ballpoint and pale green large lined post-its. But I've loved notebooks the most, ever since I started handwriting journal entries at the age of 10. I also never stopped journaling, and I rarely bought the same notebook twice. This means that I've amassed quite the collection of half-empty pens and filled notebooks.

My favorites at the moment are ClaireFontaine notebooks (like this: http://www.amazon.com/Clairefontaine-Classic-Wirebound-Notebooks-sheets/dp/B002TDK56U) because they're relatively cheap and easy to write on while on a moving bus during a commute. I also like the paper quality and pale lines. I don't love the covers, and they're slightly too heavy for their size.

My favorite pens are absurdly rinky dink and cheap: Pilot EasyTouch Retractable (aka clicky) Fine Point Blue Ink Pens (these lovely things: http://www.amazon.com/Pilot-EasyTouch-Retractable-Point-Dozen/dp/B000EFPDAS/ref=sr_1_1?s=office-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1445115676&sr=1-1&keywords=pilot+easytouch+fine+point+blue). I like the finest point I can find and that they never skip.

However, I am currently shopping deprvied, and my consumerist ache is kicking in.

I want to buy these:

A Leuchtturm notebook - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002CVAU1Y?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=ox_sc_act_title_1&smid=A1C50XGUOQJ18

I believe I've seen these in person, and I held off on buying because they felt a bit heavy. However, I have a hankering to try one.

A LAMY Safari Fountain Ex-Fine Blue Ink Pen - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000R309SI?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=ox_sc_act_title_2&smid=A2QXSQP7BL8J8Z

Again, I believe I tried this one out at a stationery store at some point, but my memory is bad, and my concern is that this will not write fine enough. I've also never used a fountain pen before and am not sure if this is a good starting point.

Thoughts?

Do you handwrite regularly?

What are your favorite notebooks and pens?

Osulagh
10-18-2015, 01:51 AM
Paper:

Kokuyo Campus paper. Great paper. No bleed or feathering or showing through to the other side with my fountain pen. It's everywhere in Japan, and you can find it in some stores like Amazon.

Top Flight paper. You can find a college-ruled notebook with 70 sheets for under a dollar. Paper is overall good quality and even my fine fountain pen doesn't bleed or soak through it.

Rhodia would be my next recommendation. Overall great. ClaireFontaine is better than Leuchtturm. Leuchtturm is just a bit better than Moleskine. And god forbid, don't get Moleskine. I really like Red and Black's paper and value, but they've got some shitty lined designs that turn me off.

Post-it notes for sticky-notes. I've got strips, small bright ones, and large yellow ones.


Pens:

Pilot Precise series if you want great writers.

Pilot G2 if you want gel. I use them for quick note taking.

Platinum Preppy would be my top recommendation for a fountain pen. Inexpensive and solid. You can buy a converter for them to refill them. I use the 0.3 fine since the 0.2 EF is too scratchy and the 0.5 Medium is too bold for me. I fill the 0.3 with Noodler's Antietam which is a true blood red, but sometimes comes off as red-brown on certain paper and with certain pens.

I don't recommend shelling out for it as your first fountain pen, but the Pilot Vanishing Point would be the best fountain pen IMHO outside of vintage.

Uni Kuru Toga (non-metal) would be my rec for a mechanical pencil. Yes it works as advertised. I also pair it with Uni's NanoDia led. I've got a 0.5 in both plastic and metal (plastic is more comfortable) and a 0.3. For erasers, I use the Tombow Mono One and Mono Zero 2.5x5.

Pilot Friction pens are great if you need erasable.

I don't recommend Lamy. First non-Asian pens are typically bolder, and Lamy can sometimes have even bolder pens. For example, a European Medium could be a Japanese Bold, and Lamy a fraction bolder. So if you want fine, go for a Japanese pen. Pilot and Preppy are my rec. Although, fountain pens aren't generally the "greatest" writing instruments. If you want a fast-writing pen, they are the best you can get. But some prefer slower pens like gel. The Pilot Precise series I mentioned before are nearly as quick as writers as fountain pens, but without the fuss.

FeeFee
10-18-2015, 02:31 AM
I love a good, simple spiral notebook. I see Top Flight single-subject notebooks for about $10 on Amazon.

I’ve used Rhodia, and I like the covers, paper, and lines just fine, but none of their notebooks quite work for me. They’re either too small, too big, don’t have enough pages, or have a top spiral, which I don’t like (it makes the pages feel less secured). I also feel like the giant staples in the bound products look cheap. They remind me of the little booklets I used to make as a kid, stapling binder paper together and coloring a cardboard cover. Ideally, I’d like a bound notebook that has a bendy spine.

I like the styling of Leuchtturm, but handling it in a store I did feel like the price didn’t quite warrant the product. I’ve never liked Moleskine. They don’t have a good feel to me, and I simply can’t use a product that makes me think “mole skin” every time I pick it up, sorry.

Pilot Precise – Ohhh, I hate these. I don’t like the “scratchiness” on paper. I like a very, very, very fine ball point. I don’t like gel. Maybe I’ll hate a fountain pen.

Pilot Preppy – This looks neat! Is it supposed to be cheap? I see it for $5 on Amazon. That . . . is definitely do-able. I’d love a navy blue ink.

Yes, I definitely see the difference between the fountain pens you mentioned and the ones I looked at. Thank you so much for the heads up! Yes, a very fine line is important to me.

Why does a vintage fountain pen blow the current competition out of the water? Is there simply not enough demand currently?

I almost never use pencil, but when I was in school I was devoted to this: http://www.penheaven.co.uk/parker-jotter-stainless-steel-chrome-trim-mechanical-pencil-0-5mm. I still can’t believe I lasted years without losing it. For erasers, I was devoted to the black oval Black Pearl (as opposed to the ubiquitous Pink Pearl) erasers.
Do you mean FriXion?? Gosh, marketing is dumb . . . Anyway, I should probably get these instead of a fancy fountain pen. They actually erase?

And thank you, you’ve successfully convinced me to remove the LAMY from my Amazon cart.

Osulagh
10-18-2015, 02:51 AM
I see Top Flight single-subject notebooks for about $10 on Amazon.
Which is a stupid place to buy them. I pick them up at my local grocer for 25 cents on school special.


Pilot Precise – Ohhh, I hate these. I don’t like the “scratchiness” on paper. I like a very, very, very fine ball point. I don’t like gel. Maybe I’ll hate a fountain pen.
Pilot Preppy – This looks neat! Is it supposed to be cheap? I see it for $5 on Amazon. That . . . is definitely do-able. I’d love a navy blue ink.

Yes, I definitely see the difference between the fountain pens you mentioned and the ones I looked at. Thank you so much for the heads up! Yes, a very fine line is important to me.
You caught me before my edit. I meant Platinum Preppy. Yeah, they're a good price to try out fountain pens. The thing about fine pens though, is the finer you go the scratchier they are. High-grade ones try to stop this, but don't do a stellar job.


Why does a vintage fountain pen blow the current competition out of the water? Is there simply not enough demand currently?
They can be good deals. Fountain pens haven't changed so newer ones aren't better than vintage. Once you start going for gold tipped fountain pens, specific styling, and such, vintage can be a good deal versus new. But under $100-200, don't bother. And no, fountain pens don't improve much after you get over the $100 range unless you want specific stuff like a flexible nib or custom wood body.


Do you mean FriXion?? Gosh, marketing is dumb . . . Anyway, I should probably get these instead of a fancy fountain pen. They actually erase?
Yep, and yep. They are good pens, but not amazing.

I do suggest trying out a fountain pen. Platinum Preppy or Pilot Varsity are good to try (the Preppy would allow you to add a converter on later). I suggest the Platinum Preppy Fine (0.3mm).

AW Admin
10-18-2015, 02:56 AM
The Safari Lamy is a good "starter" pen as fountain pens go. It's surprisingly durable.

Google "Safari Lamy Writing sample" with quotation marks and you can see what fine vs v. fine and medium, etc. are like.

If you want a very fine point fountain pen, look for pens made for the Japanese market. This is one:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006CQUI9O


My favorite fountain pen is a Namiki Fine Point retractable.

If you're using a fountain pen, be sure the paper is fairly high quality so you don't have bleed through and smearing.

November 6th is National Fountain Pen day in the U.S. lots of places like this Pen Chalet will have sales/special deals .

https://www.penchalet.com/fountain_pen_day.aspx

I_love_coffee
10-19-2015, 10:01 PM
I love office supplies.

I get very attached to certain pens.

right now it's a uni ball micro 207. I need to come back to this thread and take notes , such good stuff!

WriterDude
10-20-2015, 10:39 AM
I used to have a fountain pen. Can't remember the make, it was twenty years ago, but it fitted my hand and danced across the page with such ease that it carried me with joy through exams and assignments and aborted attempts at novels for seven years or so. But then a girl, if that's the right word, lunged at me playfully, stabbing me in the arm. My baggy jumper took the brunt but the nib was ruined.

Since then I've been a drifter, getting my ink to page through what ever means I can, even using pencils so long as they mark the page so.


Never lend your pen to a girl, not for a second, not a single word.

Snitchcat
10-20-2015, 05:33 PM
Currently a weighted metal mechanical pencil and my ducky notebook. Soon my preferred notebook will be truly unique -- handmade by yours truly (no, don't have any expectations about such skills or lack thereof; it'll be because it's truly uniquely mine).

FeeFee
10-20-2015, 09:33 PM
Osulagh – Do American grocery stores carry Top Flight for cheap? I’m currently in Grenada (which doesn’t have much of anything neat in stores, unless you happen to like generic Corn Flakes), so can’t run out and check until mid-November. Thank you for all your advice!

AW Admin – Yes, I’m changing my answer to: Lamy is too bold for me. I like that pen in black!

I_love_coffee – Even among the cheap pens, some are infinitely better than others. A bad pen is so obnoxious to write with, in the same way I hate a .7 mechanical pencil. For this thread, I just put a bunch of stuff on my Amazon Wish List so I would remember to come back to each product.

WriterDude – Okay, I’ll let my dad hold my fancy pen once I get one, and that’s it. Thank you for that heads up.

Snitchcat – Aww, my grandpa always used to make his own notebooks as well, not because he was some avid stationer, but because he was an engineer with the token practical engineering mind and didn’t see why he would buy a notebook when he could easily sew one together himself, with whatever scraps of paper and posterboard he had on hand. Enjoy the duckies for now as well.

Osulagh
10-20-2015, 09:48 PM
Do American grocery stores carry Top Flight for cheap? I’m currently in Grenada (which doesn’t have much of anything neat in stores, unless you happen to like generic Corn Flakes), so can’t run out and check until mid-November.

Yeah, it's one of the cheaper brands we get at grocers and dollar stores. I'm not suggesting people to order them online, but I do suggest not to discount the cheaper notebooks. Most are really shitty, but some can be of great quality.

Nerdilydone
10-22-2015, 09:28 AM
I'm all about dem needlepoint pens. Also, I love unmarked journals/sketchbooks, particularly those handmade ones from Nepal.

But really, they're all good. I'll use anything that writes/holds ink.

CSPayne
10-23-2015, 04:40 PM
I adore office supplies too! I used to not like the gel pens, but now I really like them on the paper we have at work. I also prefer pencil when I'm writing notes or journaling, pen is just so permanent. But I'm also a sketcher, so pencils rule. I love a dark thick pencil lead like 0.5mm. It's funny to say but that pencil fits my personality to the T. I think I own about 1000 pens/pencils. Maybe about 50 notebooks right now. I collect little books, bound any way, hardback, spiral, I don't care. And I will gank any pen I can get my hands on, if I won't get arrested. lol I'm probably the reason those little chains have to be on the pens at the bank.

Yesplease
10-25-2015, 02:28 AM
Sharpie medium pens (not markers) with a decomposition book - my favorite is the design with the sloths and other rainforest animals.