flamebyrd: (Default)
[personal profile] flamebyrd
An addendum to my last post:

Please, please feel free to evangelise your favourite type of notebook*, brand of pen, intricately crafted bullet journal method, complex note-taking and revision technique, anything that makes life/study easier for you!


*I probably won't be adopting a new notebook for this semester, but there's always next semester ;)

Date: 2019-02-02 02:22 pm (UTC)
cimorene: woman writing in a hard-bound book with a quill pen (writing)
From: [personal profile] cimorene
Felt-tip pens and rollerball pens (because they use liquid ink) can cause showthrough problems with some papers - not to the extent of fountain pens but still.

The most popular bullet journal makers, Leuchtthurm and Moleskine, besides being overpriced, are both a bit unfortunate this way - papers that don't stand up well even to felt-tips. Just... not great paper quality, particularly in light of price, although with gel and ballpoint ink and pencil it shouldn't be an issue.

There's a huge variety of paper that's fine for felt-tips but not quite tough enough for fountain pen use, though. You could probably google it. Because I use fountain pens, I mostly use Rhodia and Clairefontaine paper - both owned by Clairefontaine actually, but the latter a little denser than the former. There are Asian papers and notebooks that are easier to get in North America than here, though, that I haven't tried.

I'm also very attached to the so-called "Traveler's Notebook" system (sometimes referred to as Midori, the brand name of the Japanese leather notebook cover that started the recent fad) since I switched to it after six months or so of bullet journaling - basically it's a cover that holds multiple thinner notebooks inside, usually with the aid of elastic bands, so in that sense a bit like the idea of a Trapper Keeper (or any large binder with internal folders/subject dividers), although there are all kinds of Aesthetic and also practical facets to the movement/market (pockets, folders, etc).

For my purposes, it's a sweet spot in flexibility between a single notebook and a binder where you can individually place each page. The discrete notebooks can be swapped out and saved afterwards easily, but carried around together. Also since the outer cover protects the contents, the inside notebooks are soft/staplebound but don't get as banged up as these smaller notebooks often do, and that makes them fairly cheap and easy to make so there are many small custom makers doing different things with them out there, if you have particular preferences and desires about design, paper, layout, etc. For my purposes, it's much easier and cheaper to get staple-bound composition book style notebooks of fountain pen-friendly high quality paper.

Date: 2019-02-03 01:36 pm (UTC)
cimorene: closeup of the nib section of a gold-nib fountain pen (pen)
From: [personal profile] cimorene
specialty store carries them (along with a handful of Happy Planner accessories, if I decide to go discbound)

They can range from incredibly expensive and fancy to incredibly cheap, much like binder-style planners - the original is simple and leather, the fanciest stuff is complicated and involves a lot of leather with fiddly hand-sewn and -dyed bits, but the function can be replicated with hair ties or rubber bands and cardboard, or by cutting up an old vinyl binder, or made out of a few sheets of laminated cardstock. So the price range and appearance is quite flexible; really the only static part of the system is the cover that wraps around & the elastic bands strung through the spine of it, which are used to hold things inside! Depending on your stationer, they might look like the concept is all leather or all rugged and manly or all twee and metallic gold and pink, or all costs a hundred bucks or something, but those aren't true. (I've gone through a couple of homemade ones and a leather one since I started.)


I do want something a little smoother than a ball-point, though. I think I just need to come to terms with only using one side of each piece of paper.

This is why I hate ball points, but I would probably recommend gel pens in that case. They aren't as smooth as liquid ink (eg rollerball pens, which I loved before I switched to fountain pens - but these have leakage problems like fps as well as bleedthrough problems, and come in fewer colors) but they can come close, they resist drying out much better but dry faster and smear less on the page, they're much cheaper and available in a wide range of colors, etc. There are quite a few Asian gel pen brands that offer a full rainbow of colors. MUJI are popular with bullet-journalers. Gelly Roll are the classics, but a bit more pricey. Pentel and Pilot both offer pretty complete color ranges too, which are available from online pen and stationery stores if not as likely to all be in stock at a local shop.

If you already have a notebook with pretty thin paper, you should probably use just one side of each sheet, yeah. I haven't looked for felt tip specific advice, but I'm sure you can find reviews of Asian and Western notebooks that would let you write on both. FWIW, Clairefontaine & Rhodia are both significantly cheaper than Leuchtthurm and Moleskine, but they're harder to find in North America (which might or might not predict their availability in Australasia).

Also: Stabilo felt tips suck. Staedtler Triplus Fineliners are really fantastic, as many reviews will say (though not artist quality).

The bleed of fountain pens depends on a lot of things, including the paper you're writing on but also the nib, the feed, and the ink in the pen, so you can definitely get a wide range there. I imagine your pen is designed to not bleed much, as that would go along with waterproof ink.

But there is a range in felt tips as well, I'm sure.
Edited Date: 2019-02-03 01:45 pm (UTC)

Date: 2019-02-04 11:42 am (UTC)
cimorene: blue-green tinted monochrome photo of a woman with short curly hair holding one hand to the back of her neck and looking to the side (Default)
From: [personal profile] cimorene
Oh, yes, I have some of the Staedtler fatter ones too for coloring and I looked at those when I was ordering them!

I have always enjoyed having a big zipper bag of colored pens that I carry around with me to play with, but usually for serious business and many kinds of note-taking or longhand writing I can't bother to switch pens often, so I can see how the multi-color pen would appeal. When I was a kid they never seemed to work quite right, but modern technology and gel or liquid ink could cover that.

Date: 2019-02-02 05:15 pm (UTC)
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
My current method for daily planner stuff is cutting recycle paper with a blank side into roughly 4.25 x 5.5 inch sheets, dating them, then stamping or stenciling checkboxes in 2 or 3 clusters.

Notes, I use a lined pad and I really want a self-inking, self-updating date and time stamp to replicate Notepad's behavior with the F5 key.

In Word, I use the multi level organization headers, especially after I learned that you can drag and drop to shuffle the order.

I take pictures of the paper notes, but that's a vaguely terrible archive system.

Date: 2019-02-03 12:04 am (UTC)
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
There's a panel that turns on and off under the View tab, and that's the one. So useful.

Date: 2019-02-03 08:52 pm (UTC)
lilymaid: pond lilies (Default)
From: [personal profile] lilymaid
[personal profile] cimorene's comment about liquid ink-friendly paper and our discussion about Happy Planner/discbound leads to this paper advice that I had to trial and error when I was making DIY Happy Planner inserts.

I have no idea what MAMBI specifies in paper weight for Happy Planner-branded products, but I haven't had problems with felt tips or fountain pens so it has to be pretty heavy. The Clairefontaine notebook I told you that I've used reliably for school for years has 90-gram weight paper. TBH, the #1 reason I went with that brand of notebook had nothing to do with fountain pens; that was a feature I discovered later. I'm left-handed and it became almost impossible to find a top-bound notebook with normal school-type lines. I paid too much for this at a local, now-closed, bookstore and got hooked.

So, if you're looking to make DIY paper inserts for anything and you don't want ink to soak through, look for 90g paper or heavier. US measurements for paper weight are a pain in the ass to understand. I made my DIY inserts out of 28lb paper. 32lb would be far better but it's hard to find.

(Oddly enough, the Clairefontaine catalog indicates they make discbound notebooks but I am exceptionally unclear if they're available anywhere outside of Europe)

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