Loadout

Stationery Travel Kit - Isle of Wight

This weekend as you read this post I will be taking a weekend break to the Isle of Wight, a small island on the south coast of England. Of course being a stationery addict I am taking a number of stationery items with me, which I will detail out in today’s post. So grab a tea and croissant and read on.

Paper

First and foremost I need the right paper tools. This comes in the form of my Travelers Notebook which includes three inserts and my Raydori which also includes three inserts.

My Travelers Notebook is for reflective evening writing. In here I have my weekly refill where I note down something interesting from the day. I also have a blank notebook which is used for travel journalling. I use this whenever I go away somewhere and I make notes on what I have seen and done.

In my Raydori I have two pocket notebooks and a monthly view planner. This is part of my standard carry and comes with me always and this trip is no exception.

Writing Tools

To accompany the paper items I have with me a number of writing implements, obviously. I have two Pilot Coleto pens for general note taking. I love the Coleto 0.4mm refills and I have multiple colours in two pens with me at all times. I have the Kuretake Cocoiro Zig Letter Pen in black, my Ateleia Brass Pen with a Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.4mm black refill and a Stabilo Point 88 fineliner in grey.

Doodling Tools

I have the Uni-Pin in 0.2 and 0.3mm which is used for drawing / doodling purposes. I have the Kuretake water brush pen with the detailer tip. I plan to use this for painting, either on the move or later on reflectively. Either way the Kuretake water brush pen is very convenient to use when travelling. I have my travel Winsor and Newton watercolour set and a range of Blackwing pencils for drawing or outlining something I want to paint. Watercolour paints are not normally part of my travelling kit however I have been inspired by Wei Taillandier on YouTube and this year I am trying to start a habit of drawing and painting.

Hightide Pen Roll

The contents of all this goodness can be found in my new Hightide pen roll which is a recent addition this week. After reading the following interview with Pocket Notebooks featuring Priya from The London Parchment my eye caught the Hightide pen roll and I had to give it a go myself. I also went for the bold yellow. I figured it looks good and should be easier to spot in my bag.

Sandqvist Stig Backpack

I will have all of these items in my trusty backpack whilst roaming (weather dependent) around the Isle of Wight.

Final thoughts

As I am only away for two nights this travel kit gives me everything I need. The addition this time round includes some very basic painting tools. This year I wanted to learn how to paint and draw so whilst travelling I will have both time and hopefully some inspiration. It’s also a great way to record and remember the areas I have visited.

February 2016 Loadout

I haven't done a loadout post since December 2015. As before I have broken my loadout into groups to make some sense of the choas. I really enjoy using a variety of different products and sometimes you need to find the right stationery pairings. 

personal loadout

My two Midori Travelers Notebooks and an array of pens

My two Midori Travelers Notebooks and an array of pens

Regular Midori Travelers Notebook - I now have two of these beautiful notebooks. My Blue Travelers Notebook holds my weekly refill where I try and be a little bit creative recording my days and practicing lettering. I also have a ruled refill in this notebook. I recently added the orange elastic that comes with the brown Travelers Notebook after Wonderpens recent post. I love the contrast of the orange against the blue. 

My second Travelers Notebook holds everything to do with The Finer Point. I have a monthly calendar where I keep on top of everything I need to do with my blog and also track my study schedule. My second refill is a blog brain dump refill. 

Midori MD A5 Ruled Notebook - this acts as my extended journal. When I need more space to write, this is the notebook I use. I love this notebook as it lies flat and it handles fountain pen ink really well. 

Hobonichi Techo - I continue to enjoy using this little book even after a year. I am still using this to record my days and this year I am including a little photo from my day.

Pilot Hi-Tec-C - I use a selection of these gel pens in my Travelers Notebook. I have a combination of sizes including the 0.4mm and 0.5mm. I am using the black, brown, violet and cherry pink colours and at the moment two of these refills are loaded up in my Karas Kustoms Render K and the Ateleia Brass Pen

Sakura Pigma Micron 03 - I use this pen for doodling and lettering in my Travelers Notebook. I have been trying lots of different fine liner pens lately. I love the way they write and they are so durable. 

My Hobonichi Techo and the fountain pens I use most

My Hobonichi Techo and the fountain pens I use most

TWSBI 580 RB - I have this inked up with Pilot Iroshizuku Tsutsuji-Azaela. I love the vibrant pink colour of this ink and by using this in a demonstrator pen I get to enjoy the colour even when not writing. 

Karask Kustoms Ink - I have this fountain pen inked up with the Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-gaki. This bright orange adds a nice pop of colour to my notes. The Ink has a fine line which is actually fairly bold and means I get to enjoy a nice thick line of orange on the page. 

Lamy AL Star Copper Orange - I have this inked up with the Lamy Black T-10 ink cartridge. I quite like having a plain black ink in one fountain pen. 

Lamy Safari - This is inked up with the Pilot Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku an ink I have found myself enjoying again and again. 

Pilot Kakuno - This is inked up with the Pilot Iroshizuku Ama-Iro. This is a new ink I received for Christmas and I love the light blue colour.

Pilot Metropolitan - I have this fountain pen inked up with Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai. I love the super fine line on the Pilot Metropolitan and with Shin-Kai it makes a great writing partnership. I think this is my favourite low cost fountain pen that looks and feels great to write with.

The Carry around 

Passport sized Travelers Notebook - This holds my personal monthly view calendar and a ruled notebook. This is the notebook that I carry with me on a daily basis and where I dump anything that pops into my head.

School loadout

Field Notes Kraft, ruled notebook - This is being used to take notes on my design course and while I have loads of different colours editions available I thought I would go back to basics and go with the original. 

Pilot Coleto - I have an aqua blue, green, orange and cherry pink refill in this pen. This is a great pen for school work as I can have 4 different colours to hand, in one pen making note taking a breeze. 

Staedtler Tradition H - I use this for any doodles or outlines I need to make as part of my course. Staedtler pencils write really well and they look great.

Work loadout

Word Blue Mountain notebook - I loved the design and the colour of these notebooks. This is the first Word Notebook I have tried and I have been using this for my work to do lists. 

Blackwing pencils - I use these a lot for taking notes at work. Pencils work so well in the Word notebooks which gives me a perfect excuse to increase my pencil use. I have added an orange eraser into my 602 for something a little bit different.

Caran d'Ache Edelweiss F - a simple pencil but one that I really enjoy using. This pencil matches my Blue Mountain notebook quite well too. 

Tombow Mono 100 - This was one of the first pencils I bought. The Mono 100 looks great and writes so smoothly. 

Staedtler Wopex - There is something strange about these pencils and the waxy barrel can be a little bit odd, but for some reason I quite like it. 

Loadout thoughts

Every time I prep for one of these posts I am always a little bit surprised by how much stationery I use on a daily basis! My loadout shows that I like using Japanese stationery and Midori has become my go to paper product over the past few months. I like the design of their stationery and the way the paper handles an array of different pens. 

As always I'd love to hear about what you're using and what are your favourite must have items. 

December Loadout

It has been some time since I have done a loadout post, but for December I thought I would update you all with the tools I am using. This time round I have broken my loadout down into a series of mini loadouts as there can be a lot of variation in what I use, depending on where I am using it.  

Personal Loadout  

MTN - this remains my constant and has been for some months. In here I have one insert for general notes, the free weekly planner and a month planner. I really enjoy using this set-up and having everything all in one place. I am now in a position where I would be lost without the MTN.  

Hobonichi Techo - I am still using my Hobonichi, however since introducing the MTN into my set-up I have not been as loyal to the Techo. With this in mind I am working through some ideas about how to use my Techo next year as there will definitely need to be some changes here. 

The main line up

The main line up

Gel pens - I have been using the Pilot Hi-Tec-05, G-Tec-C4 and Coleto mostly with my MTN. I love the colour options available and the Pilot gel pens perform consistently well.  

Pencils - I have been and will continue to use my Palomino Blackwing 211 and Faber Castell 9000 HB. These are two of my favourite pencils at the moment and I regularly grab these for scribbling down notes or to do lists. 

Fountain pens - The Lamy AL Star, Karas Kustoms Ink, Kaweco AL Sport and Pilot Kakuno are all in my rotation this month. I really enjoy using these fountain pens and each one offers up something slightly different. 

Other things I am playing with  

Baron Fig Apprentice - Before starting this notebook I had never used the small Apprentice notebook from Baron Fig. I have started using this to try out different pencils as the paper handles graphite really well. This notebook is for doodling and taking notes about pencils. It is used rarely but sits by my desk so its easy to grab when I want to test something out. 

Pencils - some of the pencils I have enjoyed with this notebook are the Palomino Blackwing - a pencil that I didn't think was one for me but when used for doodling I really like it. Also I have been testing out General's Kimberly F and General's Semi-Hex.  

Studying Loadout

Field Notes Shenandoah edition - Currently I am using the Red Maple Shenandoah notebook for taking notes. This notebook looks a lot like the Kraft edition but you have a very bold, blood red pop of colour on the inside. Once this book is complete I will be moving over to one of the new Snowblind notebooks.  

Pilot Coleto - paired with this I have 2 Pilot Coleto gel pens with a number of different colours. One is a recent acquisition from a very generous, fellow pen addict who gifted me the pen as he was no longer using it. I like these pens for notetaking as it's easy to switch colours whilst scribbling down notes with minimal fuss. I tend to tear through the refills, which in the UK are becoming harder and harder to get. 

Work Loadout  

Rhodia Bloc No 14 - my work notes are pretty much to do lists and the Rhodia Bloc No 14 is the perfect to do list size. It's great for work as once my to do list is done I can easily rip out and discard the page. The Rhodia paper is super smooth and more suited to fountain pens, but I find the dark grid lines distracting and hard to read from. Therefore I have taken to using pencils in this notebook. 

A selection of pencils - Not only does the graphite stand out on the Rhodia's crazy dark grid but they're perfect for writing down quick notes. I have been using the Palomino Blackwing 211, General's Kimberly F, Mitsu-bishi 9000 HB and Tombow 8900 HB.

Closing Thoughts 

December has become pencil heavy and has seen the re-introduction of gel pen use in my life. Fountain pens are still my one true love but sometimes you just need a simple, but nice gel pen. 

Study Toolkit - the 2015 edition

October represents for me the start of a new study year with the Open University. Nine months of part time studying, my fifth year out of six. It has been tough and challenging and at times I have questioned why I am doing this. 

To make the stressful period more fun I revel in the stationery items I can use. However this year my study toolkit takes on a slightly different set-up. From October I will be taking a course in a completely different subject area - Design thinking: creativity for the 21st century. This means a lot less reading than my previous courses and probably less analogue note taking. In light of this I am expanding on my first study toolkit post, and creating the 2015 edition. 

My 2015 study essentials  

My 2015 study essentials  

MacBook Air 

This course is primarily carried out online. My beloved 11" MacBook Air will be used for the main online tasks, uploading images and completing my written assignments. 

iPad 

When I don't need to be on my Mac my iPad will be the second in command system. At some point in the next few months I will be upgarding to an iPad Air 2 to allow me to take advantage of the new features in the recent iOS 9 update. 

The Notebook

Of course being the stationery nerd that I am, I will have a notebook for any note taking that may be required. This time round I will be using the recently launched Shenandoah edition Field Notes memo book. I wanted to use a small and portable notebook that is easy to carry around and can be used alongside my digital tools.

iPhone (soon to be 6s Plus)  

I found an interesting YouTube channel from someone who has taken this course last year. A requirement is taking photographs to record your work and feed back into an online portfolio system. This particular person decided to take this one step further and to video his work. Borrowing, ok perhaps stealing from this idea, I have decided I will use the iPhone's time lapse feature to take multiple pictures of me doing particular tasks and activities. I am not very comfortable sitting in front of a camera and talking without waffling so this seems like the next best idea to me. I will upload these videos to YouTube and send on to my tutor. 

Travel Tripod and the Glif 

Both of these are essential for use with my iPhone. Using the Glif alongside the tripod means I have a ready to go set-up for time lapse filming when needed.  

iBooks

This will be an important tool in the absence of physical books on this course and perfect for studying on the go with the iPad. I usually prefer reading from physical books and taking notes with pen and paper - shocking I know - but this year and with this course I will be forced to embrace more digital tools. 

OmniFocus 2 for iPad 

My current tasks

My current tasks

This is a new addition to my workflow. I used the original OmniFocus a long time ago on the iPad but I wasn't using it for a designated purpose and therefore quickly got bored. However as time has gone on and I have taken on projects OmniFocus seems like it could really help me out. Plus the app has changed significantly from the version I used. I will add my study tasks, assignment preparations and reading lists into OmniFocus to keep track of everything. This will also be useful for all projects I have on the go, so will not only be used solely for studying tasks. I will have this on my iPad and iPhone to begin with as I use these a lot more during the day, when random thoughts are more likely to pop into my head. 

Drafts 

I have this on my iPhone and iPad and I really like this tool for thoughts and ideas on the go. I have small lists within the app and I use these to capture ideas when a notebook is not handy. I also love using this app for long-running lists that outlive a notebook, such as blog ideas or reading lists. 

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Day One 

Day One is a great tool to capture and remember memorable moments and photographs. I have used this semi-regularly for some time but I think this could be a useful tool for my latest course. One way to develop and learn is having an understanding of how you work and Day One will be perfect to capture my study progress as well as anything I create. 

iA Writer 

I use iA Writer as my Markdown editor of choice. I will use this to write my assignments and then export the plain text files once complete ready for submission. I really like the layout of iA Writer. I use this in dark mode usually on full screen. I have the apps on both my Mac and iPad and share documents through Dropbox so I can pick up and edit documents on both devices. 

In Summary

Obviously on top of this list of study tools, pens and pencils will come into play. I am not outlining these items in this post as these will change throughout the year. My monthly loadout posts will give all the details about the tools I am using during that particular month.  

I am aware as time goes on that this list of study essentials will undoubtedly change, in particular with the apps, but for starters I think this is a pretty solid set-up. If anyone has any recommendations for apps useful for studying please let me know.