🖋 About once a year I finish off an A5 notebook dedicated to all my creative projects (in this instance anything that relates to Stet.Build, In Abeyance and kaa.bz). This time around I decided to pull out the big boy, the Nanami Seven Seas notebook. A 480 page brick of a notebook complete with tomoe river paper. This book is likely going to be around till August 2023. Can’t wait to fill it with ideas, sketches, articles and notes.

There’s a notebook for that.

Its taken a really long time but I have finally settled on my physical notebook situation that I use on a regular basis. I originally was trying to fit everything into a single book, a Hobonichi. Foolishness. No instead, what I actually needed was 5 distinct notebooks, plus a bunch of little pocket notebooks. Lets unpack that.

1 / The Sketchbook

I wish I had stumbled across this concept earlier in my life. Keep a sketchbook for exploration. Use one notebook and fill it with all the sketches, rough, finished, try different mediums, give yourself room to explore. What you might find in those pages is your style moving; shifting; growing. A visual playground of your own creation. What’s interesting about this is the first few pages are going to be poor even to your eyes. Don’t feel discouraged. Persevere and you will see yourself slowly but surely getting better.

My notebook of choice for this type of notebook is a blank A5 Midori MD.

2 / The Journal

Your thoughts are like water.

Now in my 5th year of regular journalling I don’t do this as often as I want (twice a day), but I have been carving some time out every day to go through it. This is your mental dumping ground. This is where you letter your mind write whatever it wants. The paper is not going to judge you. Better for you to write it down than let it float and bounce around your head.

For this, I have settled on the excellent sized B6 Cafe Note from Nanami paper. I’ve got a Gfeller cover that will last me years and years to come.

3 / The Writer

Turns out the best way to write articles, books or anything is to get it onto paper first. While my online writing can be captured pretty quickly in Drafts or iA Writer, when I want to work something out, the sequence of thoughts and ideas, there is nothing better than paper. For stringing these thoughts into cohesive sentences I go digital, but for working things out, I go analogue.

Although I am currently using some Muji A5 notebooks, I have a massive Seven Seas Nanami notebook waiting to be used just for this purpose. Once my current notebook is finished (probably end of the year), can shift over to the book that will last me a whole lot longer.

4 & 5 / Meeting Notes & Taskmanager

For years I employed the bullet journal method to get shit done at work. It was invaluable to me. However one of the issues is we live in an increasingly digital world and there are far to many channels. I found myself breaking the mould and away from some of the basic things that make the system useful (put the date at the top, collection of tasks for a topic, bullets for notes). It was all getting messy again. I also found the A5 notebook wasn’t getting filled out very well.

So I decided to split things a little. I have two A6 notebooks. One dedicated for just notes, ideas, whatever. The other is just to capture all of my actions into individual buckets. Every page is a channel. Whenever a task pops up I put it into one of the channels

My go to are the Hobonichi A6 notebooks. Blank and beautiful. No eccentric Japanese quotes or sketches of foxes or whatever else they have added recently to the Techo. I know this is probably part of the charm, but to be honest, I want that 20% lost paper per page to be mine.

6 / Pocket Notebooks

Finally I have been using pocket notebooks for over a decade. These go with me wherever I go. Its a practice that has served me well and even if it’s one note, its one note less bouncing in your head or worse, lost forever. I hate that.

I finally found a good place for stationary in Scandinavia, the Pen Store out in Stockholm. Ordered a couple of bottles of ink (Iroshizuku Yama-budo and Lamy Topaz), a bunch of refills and a Lamy Safari Mango (to match up with the brown ink). Package arrived within a few days in a gloriously yellow box.

I’ve been having fun discovering the simple jobs of things I bought years ago and now I have the opportunity to spend more time with them and use them more.

First up is probably one of the most elegant and functional ballpoint pen ever made, the Rotring 600.

Finally got something Danish that isn’t groceries. I know it’s only a box of pencils but like Frank Chimero says:

Get enthusiasm on the cheap by buying a fancy wooden pencil to write everything down. A $3 pencil is now more exciting than a $2,000 computer. Many people will do the most mundane work just to feel a good tool fly.

In light of other stationary porn being shared, thought I would share my favourite pairings.

Muji notebook. Muji 0.38 Gel ink pen. Pilot Sign Pen - while I have a picture of the Pilot Sign Pen here, my absolute favourite thick pen is the Pilot V Sign pen.

The journal on the left is for 2018 & 2019. The journal on the right is for 2020 & 2021.

I may have gone a bit overboard at Daiso today.

It’s all happening on my desk today. #watercolour #fieldnotesbrand #comics #characters #moonracket #midorimd

It’s all about the Japanese stationary #midoritravelersnotebook #sailorink #midori

So we got some take out today (Briyani) and it came in these awesome glass pots (completely OTT) but was looking for a pen pot and sticker haven, perfect. #recycle #stationary #fieldnotes #pen #briyani

All of my used #fieldnotes #moleskinecahier #baronfigapprentice notebooks 15 so far

FINALLY! #bulletjournal #notebook #leuchtturm #leuchtturm1917

A whole bunch of awesomeness came in the post today. #midorimd #midori #fieldnotes #leather #leathercase

My new obsession- blue lead. Man I wish I’d discovered the joys of this simple addition to my arsenal 6 months ago. Live and learn. #bluelead #rotring600 #unipin #drawing #inking #moonracket

The #nexus pen finally arrived today. Initial thoughts. 1. The pen is much larger than I thought it was going to be 2. The packaging is pretty well put together. 3. The Bock nib is massive. Unfortunately doesn’t indicate what type of nib it is either. 4. Having a Schmidt converter and Bock nib is great but would have been nicer if they had Nexus specific logos. Slightly diminishes the professional view of the product. 5. Matt coating is excellent.

#nexus #namisu #fountainpen #pen #stationary

Love customising my memo books. First time I do something to a Fieldnotes #fieldnotes #memobook #gellypen #whiteink

Tools used this holiday break. Was able to draw 10 strips for season 2 of Moon Racket - and have thumbnails for the rest of the season. I had hoped to finish the art last year but taking my time with it means a better result - will start posting random panels soon. #kaweco #unipin #retro51 #sakura #shinhanart #tk4600

I’ve waited a long time to finally use my hobonichi techo let the journaling begin. #journal #hobonichi

Been waiting a long time to try out these bad boys. My first foray into Gee Urban aka #jherbin

Got myself some #baronfig notebooks for Christmas. Shipped them in via #Shopandship - got some thoughts about both theses things and will share at some point #notebook #stationary

We didn’t originally hit it off (that’s me and this Sailor Procolor 500) but after a bit of nib widening (just with my fingers) it works an absolute treat. Thin line but smooth.