Notebooks are not something that are hard to find. There’s such a massive variety of brands and products around these days, that finding a notebook that suits your needs isn’t something that’s particularly difficult. However, there are those times when you want something custom, something unique; either to give as a gift, or keep for yourself.
Last time I wrote about cheap fountain pens, I was very impressed at the quality for pens that can be bought using spare change. The sub $10 and sub $5 category have really shone lately, both in the quality of the construction, and how they often write better than pens costing upwards of $100.
JustWrite recently sent me a huge batch of pens from their new sub $5 range, and after playing with them the past couple of weeks I have my final review to share with you guys. I’m pleased to say that all of these pens exceeded my expectations.
Rhodia is my brand of choice for almost everything I write on. Not only is the paper of utmost quality, but they come in a variety of sizes and ruling styles whilst also being very affordable. With this perfect blend, Rhodia is often the standard against which other notebooks are measured.
In this review series, I’ll be reviewing three distinct groups of products: notepads, notebooks, and webnotebooks (or “webbies”). Because of the immense range of sizes and rulings available, I’ll be splitting each group into its own post, beginning with…
I’ve done it. I’ve finally got my Traveller’s Notebook right where I want it.
For those of you that don’t know about the Midori Traveller’s Notebook, think of it as a super DIY Filofax, except cheaper, nicer, and with a better philosophy (at least in my opinion).
I’ll get on to those points later, but first a reason for this post.
My lovely girlfriend, Charlotte, gave it to me a couple of years ago for my Birthday (I don’t remember exactly when). I said I had to have one, and she agreed. I never really loved it, although I always liked it, because it didn’t quite encapsulate my whole life until about two weeks ago. Previous to that I had tried putting all manner of different things inside it without really liking the result, and so it became just another random notebook in my (fairly vast) collection. However, I did nickname it “Travers” (pronounced “Travis”), which created a little bit more of a bond with it.
This post is me convincing you of why it’s very rewarding having something personal and unique to write your thoughts, ideas, and tasks in. If you organise yourself in a more effective, private, and personal way, you feel more connected with your work. Once your notebook is filled with your ideas, you feel like they’re truly “yours”, be it a Filofax, Moleskine, a Midori, or others.
It’s no question that some of the best fountain pens made today are coming out of Japan. Quality and materials beyond most anything ever seen, and nibs that go finer than fine; Pilot, Platinum, and Sailor are Japan’s “Big 3″ pen companies, the ones to go to for a writing experience like no other.
But why? To understand the reason why Japan is one of the best places for writing instruments, you have to look at its history. Over the course of the last century Japan has become a central hub for technology and innovation. This translates to improvements in design, manufacturing, and overall quality of products across the spectrum. If you buy a TV these days, chances are you will be looking at Japanese brands. The same goes for cars, phones, computers, almost any piece of tech you can think of.
Now most people may not associate the term “modern technology” with something as archaic and (perhaps incorrectly) basic as a fountain pen, but the two have blended together significantly over the past 50-60 years to produce futuristic “classic” fountain pens that exhibit the feeling of a vintage writing instrument and the features of a modern piece of technology.
Now that I’ve gotten right into pen restoration and photography, it seems only natural to take some great pictures of pens and then give you the opportunity to have those pens! I have spent the past few weeks busily restoring a heap of old pens: polishing them up; straightening, smoothing, polishing, even grinding nibs; and restoring filling systems, from snorkels to sac fillers.
There are a mixture of prices from $15 to $200, so there’s something for everyone!