Stationery 🍕

Review of the Blackwing Volumes Subscription

2023-01-31 00:00

This is a short and sweet review of the year I had the Blacking Volumes Subscription.

It was easy to sign up, not as easy to cancel it. I just had to send an e-mail. But still, not as easy as signing up.

I liked it, but when I started to get close to the renewal date I decided I had to cancel it because I don’t use enough pencils to justify it. I’d just end up with a ridiculous amounts of pencils by the end of year 2.

The "collection" test tube Blackwing Volume Pencils

2023-01-26 00:00

I have a bunch of them from the year I subscribed. And I have no idea what to do with them.

I hate the idea of collections in general, so keeping them as is isn’t really an option. Then it leaves me at taking them out and using them or throwing the whole crap out.

I’ll probably go with just using them, but I like the idea of just throwing the shit in the bin.

Pocket notebook setup

2023-01-24 00:00

I have not used a lot of pocket notebooks after covid, but I have gotten back into it recently. Especially when I have my daughter.

Since Field Notes still haven’t gotten their act together and made a dot grid option generally available, I did the switch to Travelers Notebook a while back. And their passport size is awesome for pocket notebooks.

Most of the time I use it with gel pens, most of the time a Signo or Hi Tec C. But it also handles fountain pens really well.

In general this setup is really great. The covers are awesome, it handles all my pens way better than Field Notes and I can get all the formats I want. Plus using pocket notebooks again have been good for my ADHD.

Writing with a thick pen

2023-01-19 00:00

Most of the time these days I use a finer nibbed pen. But I also have some broader nibs inked up.

Most of the time I use the broader ones to draw divider lines between sections in my Hobonichi Techo Cousin A5 planner. But sometimes I take one up one (or one of the numerous broader nibs than I prefer gel ink pens I have laying around after testing things out or from my former life as a borader nibbed person) and start writing with it.

And it looks so strange to see these thick lines when you’are used to like a EF nib or a ~0.3mm gel ink pen.

What pen do I use the most?

2023-01-17 00:00

I try to change the main fountain pen I write with every day. Typically it is more like every 1-2 days.

The one I like the most at the moment is a very good question. Based on what I write the most with it is probably either the Pilot Custom 823 or the Pro Gear.

Most likely the former. But it is a very tight one.

Travelers Company brass ruler

2023-01-12 00:00

The way I use my A5 Hobonichi Cousin is that I split the day pages in three. Just to be able to fill more stuff into each page. Plus that my todo items are more 1-3 words than full sentences.

Until now I just freehanded it, and it looked like shit.

So I finally got around to buying a ruler. Of course I bought a nice brass one. I wanted one from Ystudio but it was out of stock, so I got one from Travelers Company instead.

I like it a lot. But it is a tiny but too short. But the good thing is that it fits in the case I carry my pens in.

Theme System Journal Part 3

2023-01-10 00:00

Finally onto how I use mine.

I use my journal every day. I typically fill out the journal page late afternoon or early in the evening. But I fill out the checkboxes in the morning. To avoid me fucking up my diet plan late in the night.

Theme page

At the moment I have filled out one theme page. I wrote a theme in the classic format of The year of X. Then I added some context of why that theme in the description. And finally I filled all 8 boxes under ideal outcomes for what I want to work on over the next 3 months on that theme.

Journal pages

I typically use the first box to summarise how I feel about my personal life in the first box. Then in the second I write about big picture thing in my life that I have the most feelings about at the time of writing. Sometimes it’s work, other times my daughter, my dog, my diet, exercise stuff and often my ADHD.

Then I always use the large box to dump out what’s on my mind. And the final tiny box I use to write down what I want to focus on tomorrow.

Daily theme pages

This is how I do my daily theme pages.

When I start a new pair of pages I sit down and look at my current setup and draft a new setup based on it. I get more into it below, but I do a retrospective after I complete 15 days, then I use that plus my current setup to decide how my next 15 days of daily themes will look like.

I use all 14 themes. And I use it in a way where it kind of covers more than just 14.

I have a document describing how I currently use it. Just in case I forget.

In some cases I just fill in the entire circle if I just did a thing. But more often I fill in first half if I did something and all of it if I did it properly. And in other cases the first half of a box tracks one thing and the second half another. For example I have one call listen where the first half means music and the second half means podcasts or audiobooks.

I usually fill out the boxes the day after. Like I said in the start of this section. And I usually review and set up the next 15 days of daily themes a few days before I start it.

I also do a retrospective of the period when I’m done with it. And some stats of how many times I did what and think about how things have gone. And try to include some other factors that have played a role in things.

Like skateboarding is one of my daily themes. But I can’t do that when it’s a lot of snow or ice. Another one I have is going to the gym. But I don’t do that if I’m sick.

Conclusion

I really like this format, and it have worked really well for me this far. And the plan is to start a subscription soon ish. I guess I’ll set it up by the time I’m half way through this one. So that I have some time between it being mailed and me needing it.

Theme System Journal Part 2

2023-01-05 00:00

Now This part is about the formatting of the different types of pages you find in the notebook.

These journals are designed to last you for 90 days if you use it every day.

It has five different kinds of pages: - Theme pages - Plain dot grid note pages - Journal pages - Daily theme pages - Index pages

I’m starting with the simplest and then moving on to the more interesting and unique pages after

Dot grid pages

At various places in this journal you’ll find plain dot grid pages without any specific use. My assumption is that they are there for different reasons. Partly to make the page numbers add up between the different other parts. And partly to have a place to write more, if you run out of space either in the Theme or Daily Journal pages.

Index pages

There are two index pages at the end of this notebook. I have had them in a lot of different notebooks I have used over the years. I guess they are useful if you’re into that kind of stuff.

I have never used them in any notebook I have had that have them.

Theme pages

There are four theme pages. My impression is that there are four of them to give you some flexibility to re-start a few times if you need to. And it isn’t really the idea to have multiple going at the same time.

The basic structure of them is that you give your theme a short title, then a longer description. And then you can list out up to eight ideal outcomes for your theme.

Daily Journal pages

The daily journal pages there are 90 of. They are divided into four sections plus a date field at the top.

First there are two small fields, followed by a large one then a even smaller one at the bottom.

I think this format is a really interesting way to journal about how you’re working on change. Because it kind of tries to push you do treat it as four different aspects.

Daily Theme pages

The daily theme pages are more like habit tracking. It covers 15 days, and 14 different themes. There is room to give all of them a name or short description plus a place to write the dates of each of the days. And a cool circle thingy for each day / theme combo. I really like the design of it, because it is kind of divided into two. So you can do a lot of interesting things with it.

Like just fill all of it, or first half if you did some and all if you did enough. Or you can even make each half have a separate sub-goal.

Conclusion

I think the format of the pages in this notebook is really well thought through and interesting. All of it makes sense, and seems to be a really good structure to work in a structured way against a goal.

Theme System Journal Part 1

2023-01-03 00:00

I’m doing this in multiple rounds. This time I’ll be focusing on the notebook itself, and I’ll get on to the format of the pages in the second part and how I use it in the third.

The cover of the notebook is really nice. I like how it feels, unlike anything else I have ever owned. Also it is kind of like a softcover and hardcover notebook at the same time. It isn’t a real hardcover, but still stiff enough to write on without a proper surface.

Like I would prefer a real hardcover, but this is probably cheaper to make, and it makes it thinner.

The design of it is subtle and nice.

On to the paper. It is good, but not great. But more than good enough.

The interesting thing about it is that it is way better than anything you’d most likely find in a regular staples or anything like that. But still the notebook with the worst paper in my bag.

The tear off corner is neat, but I’m not sure about the utility of it yet.

There is one thing I miss: page markers. I miss it so much I might buy a A5 Hobonichi cover to use with this. Since they have page markers.

All in all, if there are more interesting variations on notebooks in this wrapping I’d most likely check it out. I would probably not be interested in a plain dot grid thing, because I have options that work better for me for that. But if they come out with other products more like this one I’d almost certainly check it out.

Made with ❤️ in Bergen, Norway by Eivind Hjertnes