Word notebooks

How I use my notebooks - the February 2016 edition

The notebook selection currently being used

The notebook selection currently being used

How I use my notebooks is something I think about a lot. In July 2015 I wrote a post on my notebook set-up exploring what notebooks I used and more importantly how I used them. However since July quite a bit has changed therefore I wanted to post a February 2016 update running through my notebook usage.

The Daily Carry Notebook

A daily carry notebook is really important for me. Without this I would feel lost and not have somewhere to scribble down random thoughts that pop into my head. For the past couple of months I had been using the passport Midori Travelers Notebook as my catch all system, however last week I moved into a Raydori and two Field Notes memo books. I may switch between these two notebook systems, but a portable, pocket or passport sized notebook will always be an essential carry around. One of the Field Notes contains the mundane and boring things that I need to remember on a daily basis such as shopping lists, things I need to do, doodles, tattoo ideas and garden plans. I complete one of these notebooks every month. I am using a second Field Notes to doodle. I am not very creatives but having a blank page notebook with me at all times gives me the opportunity to doodle or sketch out something I may see during my day. So far this has been going pretty well. Depending on the notebook I am using I will have a pencil, a Pilot Hi-Tec-C or a fountain pen to make notes.  

Travelers Notebook

My Travelers Notebooks are used for various things and I have wholeheartedly jumped into this system. I have two Travelers Notebooks on the go each with two notebooks inside. My brown Travelers Notebook houses a plain refill used to hash out anything to do with the blog and outlines of post ideas.  

My second refill is the monthly planner where I have a full picture of what my month looks like. In this calendar I note down blog related content, when drafts are started, when photos are taken and when the final review is done. I also add in when I need to get some studying time in. I don't include anything from my personal life in here, I use this planner to see what work I need to do and how I can fit it all in. 

A sample of my February 

A sample of my February 

My blue Travelers Notebook is where I have a weekly calendar refill and a ruled notebook. The weekly planner is somewhere I can record the days events, no matter how mundane they are. I try and add in a small doodle to be a little bit creative. On the right hand side of the page I add anything I feel could be memorable to that week. Sometimes I just draw on this page, I mark down books I have read, or starting reading or may stick in a ticket from something I have done that week. 

I love using the Travelers Notebook and the refills. The size of the notebook means that you can get that little bit more onto the page without the notebook becoming too big and bulky. You also get to enjoy a wide variety of different pens on this paper without any fear of fountain pens feathering or bleeding through on the page.  

Hobonichi Techo

I am still using and enjoying the Hobonichi Techo. I use this to record a more in-depth and personal account of my day. This year I was leaving space on the page each day to include a photo as a visual momento of my day, however after filling up January I am not sure the Techo would make it through the year. I have therefore abandoned that idea, but may include the odd photo here or there over the course of the year. I am not very creative with the Techo and I don't try and get crafty with this at all, I purely using this as another outlet for writing.  

Midori MD A5 Notebook 

This doesn't get used that often, and when it does it's usually because I have a lot of things in my head that I need to get out and I've run out of room elsewhere. This notebook isn't pretty. There are no doodles, sketches, or pretty handwriting. This notebook is scruffy and has pages and pages of scribbles. I include in here the date and time of an entry and one long stream of consciousness. 

Rhodia A5 No 16 Notebook

This is my review notebook. It has great paper especially for fountain pens and I have been steadily working through one of these notebooks since I started The Finer Point. I really like the Ice edition as the grid colour is grey and blends nicely into the background making the words and beautiful ink colours stand out. I would happily use these notebooks for other tasks if I had a need as they are so lovely to use. 

The Work Notebook 

I have often neglected the work notebook, but for my day job I need to take notes. I am currently trying out the Word Notebook for this due to its list making layout. I have been using this mostly with pencils as the paper in these notebooks does not like fountain pens. The more toothy paper works well with pencils and means I have a dedicated place to work with graphite, which sometimes takes a back seat when there are so many pretty pens lying around. 

The Study Notebook

I use my Field Notes to take notes on my course work. This year I am doing an introduction to design course and I didn't want to lug around or buy more notebooks when I have a healthy stock of Field Notes. Since I started in October I have gone through 4 of these notebooks and I almost completed the 5th now. They are perfect for writing down small notes that I need and for doodling out ideas and designs. 

In Summary 

I am obviously not a one notebook sort of person but I feel that each of these notebooks has a purpose. I use several notebooks to record my day which may seem excessive, however they each fill a different role and allow me to enjoy a slightly different system. I am sure as time goes on these may reduce down as I find something that works just right for me.  

By having so many notebooks on the go at one time it does mean that I get to enjoy using my pens and pencils. At the end of each day I spent anywhere between 15-30 mins reflecting and recording my day. After using my Travelers Notebook weekly refill since December 2015 I have flicked back through my completed weeks and it's really nice remembering what I have done. I don't do this as much with the Hobonichi Techo as it's long blocks of writing so perhaps in the long term how this notebook is used will change.

Some of my other notebooks are functional and needed just to do the normal day to day things and I need a dedicated place for these notes. 

I'd love to hear how many notebooks you use at one time. Do you use as many as me, or are you the one notebook at a time person? 

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. 

Used versus Un-used pocket notebooks

For some time now I have been thinking about the number of stationery items I own, versus what I regularly use. In most cases I use a lot of what I own, regularly rotating through items that I use. However I have noticed that I have a particular problem with paper. I have always loved using notebooks and in the past I would get frustrated with poor paper quality, feathering and bleed issues. After I discovered the Pen Addict podcast I started buying my paper online, discovering new brands that eased my paper woes. I now own a large amount of paper, more than I would ever use.   

My issue seems to be really prevalent with pocket notebooks. Initially this was in part fuelled by the crazy collectable, and in part, competitive nature that exists around Field Notes. You don't really have to search very far to see people desperate to have all the new releases and buying up large quantities of limited editions. Many people will have a problem of hoarding notebooks so I am not alone, and my stack is probably much much smaller than most, but to get a real idea on how bad it was I decided to write a post on the number of used and un-used notebooks I own. 

The Used 

My used collection

My used collection

In total I have 50 used pocket notebooks. I started using pocket notebooks around the Day Game Field Notes release which was in summer 2012, so I can presume I picked up a pack here in the UK any time in August or September 2012. From here I started regularly using Field Notes pocket notebooks and carrying them around with me all the time.   

Between summer 2012 and present day I have used 45 Field Notes books, 2 Doane pocket notebooks, 2 Calepino pocket notebooks and 1 Nock Co pocket notebook. That averages out to around 1.25 notebooks per month, and I would say about 95% are fully used, front to back.  

Field Notes have dedicated section on the inside cover for your personal information and due to this I have developed the habit of dating each notebook I use. I have found dating a notebook can be very useful if I need to find a note again later on and I have now extended this habit into all notebooks that I use. 

My first 3 completed notebooks 

My first 3 completed notebooks 

The Un-used  

This is where we have a slightly different story. I have quite a few un-used notebooks. Based on my use rate I have a healthy supply so there is no risk of me running out any time soon. 

I own 122 un-used pocket notebooks. This is made up of 6 Doane paper pocket notebooks, 3 Calepino, 2 Baron Fig, 3 Word, 5 Nock Co, 2 Dot Grid and 101 Field Notes.  

A Preferance for Field Notes   

I have tried a good range of pocket notebooks as you can tell, but again Field Notes are by far my preferred choice. This is not down to paper quality - we all know they don't handle ink very well, and it is not because I have the bug and have to have them all. It's because I like the style of a Field Notes pocket notebook. I like the designs that are release, I like the size of the notebooks and I like the fact that I can buy these easily and freely in the UK. Essentially I think they are a pretty good notebooks for throwing in my bag and carrying around for me and scribbling down, mostly unimportant, notes. I am not precious about keeping the perfect notebook nor am I trying to protect or collect these notebooks. They are there to be used and abused and that's how I use them.

The sealed 3-packs 

The sealed 3-packs 

My hoarded 3-packs

I have 19 sealed 3-packs of Field Notes. Mostly these are extras of a seasonal release that I bought thinking I would love a particular release. For example I have 3 unopened packs of Cold Horizon because I thought I would love this edition. I was enticed by the lovely blue covers and I bought without trying the notebooks out first in fear that if I didn't stock up I would miss out. I had a similar experience with the Shelterwood edition. I bought these from Field Notes HQ in person on a visit to Chicago and bought several packs due to the thicker paper stock and ruled grid thinking I would use them with fountain pens all the time. Turns out I am not the biggest fan of the wooden covers.

Others are just the second 3-pack that I bought and due to the sheer amount of Field Notes that I have I haven't cracked them open yet.  

I have 18 singles of Field Notes. Usually these are the last notebook from a 3-pack and I have a variety of different notebooks in this pile. These are notebooks that I just haven't got around to using, and are also ones I have around in case I find someone who may be slightly interested in Field Notes, I can pass a notebook along.   

Singles including a Two Rivers, Drink Local, Pitch Black and a Northerly among others 

Singles including a Two Rivers, Drink Local, Pitch Black and a Northerly among others 

Finally I have 26 partially opened 3-packs. A lot of these are the Two Rivers edition. I really liked the crazy letterpress designs on these notebooks and ended up ordering extras after initially trying out my first batch (lesson learnt this time round). I also have a few of the recent editions which fall into this little sub-category.  

Partially opened 3-packs

Partially opened 3-packs

Other brands of pocket notebooks 

My other pocket notebook brands  

My other pocket notebook brands  

Doane Paper grid

Doane Paper grid

I have tried and used other branded pocket notebooks but I have failed to latch on to them as there was usually something missing. For example with the Doane Paper that distinctive grid pattern in a pocket notebook is not something I can work with. The blue grid is super bright and I find the grid doesn't work so well in a small sized notebook. Therefore these are just left alone in my cupboard rarely, if ever, used. Calepino pocket notebooks are lovely and work really well with fountain pens but there isn't enough pull for me to grab one of these notebooks over something else. Nock Co. was another brand of notebook I enjoyed using and the reporter style was a nice change but again it's not a notebook I reach for regularly. I haven't tried the fountain pen friendly version of the Nock Co. notebooks, but these are added on the 'to use' list. The Baron Fig Apprentice and Word are new to me. These notebooks have not been used and tested enough for me to have an opinion just yet but I think the Word notebooks will be the ideal work notebook where I need to make use of to-do lists. 

So what does all this mean?  

To be honest I am not entirely sure. It definitely means I have a pocket notebook addiction. It means that I don't use pocket notebooks enough to warrent this huge un-used collection of notebooks. I don't encounter this problem with other sized notebooks. I have a small stash of larger sized notebooks that keep me going, and I know what I like to use and generally keep a couple of spare notebooks on hand. But with pocket notebooks this logic does not come into play.  

In the past I have obviously have suffered from FOMO, but my buying attitudes have changed and adjusted over time. I'm not perfect but now I buy what I like and I buy a sensible quantity rather than stupid amounts that I will never be able to use. I also suffer from an addiction to Field Notes specifically rather than any type of pocket notebooks. Mostly this is because of the seasonal releases that other brands don't have and results in me buying more than I need. If we only ever had the Kraft edition then perhaps I wouldn't stock up in the same manner. 

I also now use the Midori Travelers Notebook and this has been a constant in my life for a couple of months. The inserts I use mean that it won't replace my general note taking, however I do have a ruled insert as well and at the moment this has impacted on how much I reach for a pocket notebook. If I continue with the same system this could, in time, impact on how many pocket notebooks I burn through.  

This is not the end of my thoughts on pocket notebooks and how I use them. I like to record things, keep notes, make doodles and then refer back to them or flick through a random used notebook in the future. It helps me to see where I was at the time, what I was interested in and how I got there. In turn this guides me.   

I would love to hear your stories of notebook hoarding and if you have a particular notebook weakness please share the brand with me.