2018: My Favourite Tools.

I’ve reviewed my 2018 planners and explained what I have lined up for 2019 in my recent posts and this got me thinking about all the tools I have used this year. 2018 feels like a year of consolidation. I’ve acquired less stationery and tried to focus on using what I have stored in my drawers and cupboards. Today’s post is reflective and about sharing my year in stationery.

My paper use.

I use a lot of paper and I always feel like I have too much paper on the go. I enjoy trying out new notebooks and paper stock but I also like what I like.


Baron Fig notebooks have become a staple in 2018. I use one Baron Fig Confidant as a journal, at the moment this happens to be the big Fig, or the Baron Fig Plus (small side note, I really wish Baron Fig had called this the big Fig). I also use one of the Confidants or the Vanguards for work because the paper works so well with pencils, ballpoint or rollerballs as well as fountain pens. I like that I don't have to consider my writing tools at work.


I thoroughly enjoy using the Travelers Company notebooks. Their paper is high quality and is perfect for pairing with fountain pens. I enjoy the cream paper, which is not to everyone's taste.

That is supposed to look like an ‘18’.

That is supposed to look like an ‘18’.

I have used a lot of Field Notes notebooks this year but this is because I have a lot to get through and not because I am a super fan. My love of Field Notes has waned over recent years. I buy what I like, the Coastal edition was a favourite of mine this year, but I am no longer concerned with acquiring any notebook that they release.

Finally my exploration into sketchbooks has expanded my experience with paper. Finding what I like to sketch on, what paper works best with watercolour and coloured pencils has all been part of the journey. Currently I am using a pocket Baron Fig Confidant as I am mainly sketching with pencil and black pen and I was interested to see how I fared with a small sketchbook. I think as I go into 2019 I will only increase my knowledge in my sketching materials and really find what works well for me.


2018, the year of pencils?


My pencil use has increased a lot in recent months. I use these mostly with my pocket notebooks for daily note taking but there is also sketching use in there too. I tend to use one pencil for a while and then rotate when I fancy a change. Lately I have been really enjoying the Tombow Mono 100 2B. The softer graphite is not usually a pencil I am drawn to but this pencil is so smooth to write with.


I have loved using the Blackwing 54 in part because of the colour choices with this pencil and the hard graphite that makes it a great note taking pencil.


The Craft Design Technology pencil has been another favourite. The mint coloured barrel is just beautiful. And finally the Staedtler Mars Lumograph in H, I love this pencil for its simplicity and its ability to hold a point. It’s an old reliable.


Fountain Pens and Ink.

This is one category where I’m happy with what I’m using. Unusually, I don't feel a pull to acquire more pens or inks and find joy in using the pens I have.


The Lamy LX with Sailor Blue Black is my go to fountain pen. I have been using this combination for most of the year, it just works.

The Pelikan M400 and Sailor Wagu-Uguisu is a great match. The gold nib, and the softness when writing means I get a good view of the green Sailor ink and can appreciate the shading. It’s so much fun writing with this pen and I usually admire my scrawl once complete.

Finally the Kaweco ART Sport inked with Pilot Iroshizuku Ina-Ho. I love this combination as the colours work so well together.

Drawing Pens.

The final category that I felt was worth a mention was drawing pens. In my effort to learn how to draw, drawing pens have been vital tool that I now use more than I ever have. They are so versatile and useful to have as part of any stationery nerds toolkit, but for drawing they are a dream. I have used fine tip drawing pens and brush pens to experiment. The Tombow brush pen has been a personal favourite and the Faber-Castell PITT Artist pen continues to be my preferred sketching pen. Recently I have tried a Pentel marker and the Pilot Finerliner to experiment with line width.


Overall thoughts.

My tools of choice have changed a bit this year which is down to a shift in the way I use my analogue tools. I used to be fully immersed in fountain pens and ink and couldn't get enough, but now I happily use other tools alongside my fountain pens. They all have a certain purpose. I’ve been most surprised by how much I have used pencils and that’s in part as I am sketching more now, but also because they’re so easy to use with a pocket notebook. It makes my daily carry easy.

2018 has been less about acquiring new things, although I have done a bit of that, but more about finding what I like and using it more and more. In 2019 I want to continue this and really hone down the tools I enjoy using.

Finally I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who reads, shares, likes and comments on my posts. I really enjoy sharing my thoughts on stationery and hope you enjoy the content. I'm looking forward to sharing even more in 2019!

Kaweco Perkeo Review

The new Kaweco Perkeo came into my possession from the very kind folks over at Pocket Notebooks out of the blue one hectic weekday morning. Whilst this item was sent to me, this review contains my honest opinions and thoughts on this fountain pen.

My 'Bad Taste' Kaweco Perkeo

My 'Bad Taste' Kaweco Perkeo

The Kaweco Perkeo is a brand new fountain pen in Kaweco’s product offering that fills a previously unoccupied gap. The Perko costs £15 putting it in the same price bracket as the Pilot Kakuno and the Lamy Safari.

The Kaweco Perkeo, Pilot Kakuno and Lamy Safari 

The Kaweco Perkeo, Pilot Kakuno and Lamy Safari 

The design of the Perkeo mirrors elements of the Kaweco Sport range. The pen lid is instantly recognisable with its angular shape, the only difference being its larger size.

The Perkeo lid clicks onto the barrel rather than screwing on like the pocket fountain pens. I presume this makes the pen friendly to younger audiences. Like the Sport ranges you don’t get a pen clip but then I don’t think it’s needed.

The barrel on the Perkeo is angular with lots and lots of flat surfaces running the full length. I really like this design move as I feel like it adds a satisfying texture to the pen.

The grip section has three ridged sections to aid and guide the users grip. This is very like the grip design on the Lamy Safari but I think the Perkeos grip is less intrusive.

A comparison shot of the Lamy Safri grip section and the Kaweco Perkeo grip.

A comparison shot of the Lamy Safri grip section and the Kaweco Perkeo grip.

The nib on the Perkeo is marginally bigger than the Kaweco pocket pens. However when comparing it to the Pilot Kakuno and the Lamy Safari it’s far smaller and looks a little measly. Personally I feel like the Perkeo would have benefitted from a larger nib to balance out the proportions of the pen.

A diddy Kaweco nib

A diddy Kaweco nib

Generally I’m a fan of Kaweco fountain pens and own several of their pocket fountain pens. The Perkeo feels very similar with its fun colour schemes and recognisable design. It’s a great entry level fountain pen and it makes sense for Kaweco to have a product offering that can compete with the Kakunos and Safaris. Whilst I like this pen I am not sure it would be the pen I would recommend over the Lamy Safari for people starting out, but it’s a very welcome addition to the enthusiasts toolkit.

The Perkeo in hand

The Perkeo in hand

And for size comparison the Kaweco AL Sport

And for size comparison the Kaweco AL Sport

My Fountain Pen Day Line-Up

The fist Friday of November marks International Fountain Pen Day. This year to celebrate I have decided to share the fountain pens I am using and the paper products I use with them.

Lamy LX, Tacticle Turn Gist, Kaweco AL Sport, Kaweco Skyline Sport and the Pilot Kakuno

Lamy LX, Tacticle Turn Gist, Kaweco AL Sport, Kaweco Skyline Sport and the Pilot Kakuno

Fountain pen and ink combinations

Lamy LX in Rose Gold with a medium nib and KWZ Brown Pink - this is a new fountain pen and ink combination both bought at the London Pen Show. The rose gold colour of this pen is gorgeous and works so well with the KWZ Brown Pink ink, it's a natural pairing. Over the past few months I have been enjoying broader nib widths and the medium nib on the Lamy LX is perfect. This was I get to really see and enjoy the inks I am using.

Tactile Turn Gist with a fine nib and Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai - this combination is left over from my 1 week 1 pen mini series. It’s my sensible combination that I can use is almost all scenarios.

Kaweco AL Sport with a fine nib and J. Herbins Bleu Nuit - I really love my AL Sport. The grey colour is so nice in person and the Bleu Nuit seems to be the perfect ink colour for this pen. It’s a very wintery fountain pen and ink partnership.

Kaweco Skyline sport with an extra fine nib and Diamine Ancient Copper - I love the mint colour of this fountain pen, it’s possibly one of my favourites. I have this loaded with a Diamine Ancient Copper cartridge, an ink colour I have been keen to try for some time. The thing is I am not sure that this pairing works very well, therefore I don’t see this partnership lasting long.

Pilot Kaukuno with a medium nib and Pilot Iroshizuku Syo-ro - I love my Kakuno. As it’s a simple, entry level fountain pen I don’t feel too precious about it and its one that comes on the move with me. I opted for Iroshizuku Syo-ro as it’s a nice deep green for the autumnal season.

The notebooks I am using

The notebooks I am using

My current paper choices

The Soukime plain A5 slim notebook is used for blog post planning and outlining of ideas. I have this with plain paper in the dark green cover.

I have a Midori Kraft notebook that I use as a photo journal. This is crammed with photos of my son documenting the small developments he is making and the things we are doing together. This isn’t a journal I use everyday and is somewhere I can experiment with different journaling techniques.

My Rhodia staple bound ruled notebook is being used for notes for my Open University course. I am using this in my Start Bay Navigator.

I have a Clairefontaine ruled notebook for morning pages, or my version of it. This is also in my Navigator.

I am using a Field Notes Lunacy edition notebook to capture notes on the move and for some journaling on the go.

I have the English version of the Hobonichi Techo which I am currently using as a sort of bullet journaling and planning notebook.

My Midori 019 free weekly refill is being used as a small memory keeper recording snippets of my day.

Fountain pen day 2016

I have found that my fountain pen usage has swayed towards Western brands and that I have begun to enjoy a range of different nib sizes. A year ago all of my fountain pen choices would have been extra-fine or fine nibs, but this isn’t the case any more. I have tried to align my current ink colours to the time of year enjoying Autumnal tones. As usual I am using a lot of different notebooks at one time, (I plan on streamlining this a lot next year). Due to my love of fountain pens I have found and acquired a range of notebooks that have the right types of paper for fountain pens.

This year I won't be celebrating Fountain Pen day by adding to my foutain pens as I am happy with my purchases from the London Pen Show. Instead I will be enjoying some time writing and appreciating those fountain pens I own.

1 Week, 1 Pen/Pencil Mini Series - Week 1 Review

I have successfully completed my first week in this mini series exploring if I can use 1 pen or pencil for a full week. Before starting out on this endeavour I had a few questions in mind to focus my reflection on each different writing implement.

Week 1 - Kaweco AL Sport and J. Herbin Bleu Nuit.

The Kaweco AL Sport is always a pen I have inked up. Kaweco fountain pens are a staple in my writing toolkit with the AL Sport being one of my preferred choices due to the aluminium barrel.

After successfully using this fountain pen for a week my opinions have not altered in any way, I enjoy it just as much as I did before. The fine nib that I have on this pen works well for most writing tasks, from journaling through to simple note taking. The size and durability of the Kaweco AL Sport mean its ideal for throwing in my bag and using on the move. On most occasions I did this without a pen case and had no concerns and about the pen getting damaged in any way.

Morning Pages in my Startbay Notebook

Morning Pages in my Startbay Notebook

In terms of the ink partnership, J. Herbs Bleu Nuit was a new ink choice for me. After enjoying J. Herbins Lie de The I bought a pack of the Bleu Nuit cartridges specifically to use in this fountain pen. The colour combination works well due to the cool blue tones of this ink and the dark grey barrel on the Kaweco AL Sport. Being a blue ink this also meant it was suitable for most tasks.

During this week I haven’t had a requirement to fill out any official forms or send any post. As a result I have not encountered any problems with the choice of ink. I have mainly used my fountain pen in notebooks of my choosing that are fountain pen friendly. I think for tasks other than this the ink choice would have let this option down. For example addressing an envelope with this ink would involve the risk of it getting wet and the address running off the envelope. Similarly I could not fill in or sign many official forms with this pen. Therefore whilst the pen option would be fine, I am not sure as the only ink I could settle on Bleu Nuit for practicality purposes.

Daily reflections in my Travelers Notebook weekly refill

Daily reflections in my Travelers Notebook weekly refill

Finally, I am surprised that I haven’t used more ink this week. I have only used a little over half an ink cartridge. With my morning pages routine, journaling and general note taking I would have suspected I would have consumed more ink. I guess I don’t write as much as I thought, which then leads me to believe I shouldn’t have so many fountain pens inked up at once as the ink will tend to sit in the pen and potentially clog the feed.

Final thoughts on Week 1

The Kaweco AL Sport was always going to be a nice easy introduction into this exercise. I know I enjoy using this fountain pen and if I really had to only have one fountain pen to use I could settle on this one. The size of the pen makes it an ideal travel companion and I have always found the Kaweco nibs write well. J. Herbins Bleu Nuit whilst a lovely ink would not be a practical ink for a variety of different uses. However I have discovered another ink colour that I enjoy using and it really does go very well with my Kaweco AL Sport.

Onto week 2 and the Blackwing 211

Onto week 2 and the Blackwing 211

Week 2 - Blackwing 211 pencil

In my original post outlining this mini series I had settled on the Blackwing 24 as one of my pencils of choice. However after going back through some old posts I realised I have already used this pencil for a full week and written about it on the blog. Therefore I have made an adjustment to this pencil swapping it for the Blackwing 211.

I really enjoy Blackwing pencils and struggled to pick one for this experiment therefore swapping the 24 for the 211 wasn't a hard decision. Generally I prefer using pencils with a harder graphite therefore the 211 fits this bill. Pencils rarely top my choice of writing utensils so I am intrigued to see how I get on during the week and how much I wear the pencil down.

In case you missed it you can find out why I am running this exercise here in the introductory post.