Issue #2: The Quest for the Perfect Notebook

Hobonichi, Cosmo Air Lite, Endless Regalia and Recorder

Issue 2 | 21 May 2023

Welcome to the second issue, and thank you for joining me on this journey! I hope you’re all signed up for your Pelikan Hubs - I can hardly wait for it this year!

Like many of us, I am constantly on the quest for fountain-pen friendly paper, preferably in the form of a notebook that will lay flat, that is also small enough to carry everywhere, but big enough for comfortably accommodating our thoughts in words and images, light enough that it does not make that EDC bag too heavy, with a beautifully hand-crafted leather cover… The list goes on. This is our version of Hermione’s bag - will tick all the boxes and yet remain portable and inexpensive.

As the quest progresses, I have found myself the caretaker of a growing collection of paper and notebooks of various sizes and formats. Loose paper in all sizes shapes and GSMs. Notebooks in all sizes - from A7 all the way up to A4, with dots, rules and squares, four-lined and single-lined and Seyes paper, or just blank. Perfect-bound and wire-bound and lay-flat binding by master binders a thousand kilometers away. And most of this will never be written on because it’s just not right!

Somewhere along the line, I realized a few things that work for me, and have helped me pare down my otherwise unmanageable collection of notebooks. I won’t use anything smaller than A6 or larger than A5. I prefer using a blank paper with a guide sheet behind it, which also means the lower the GSM, the better. Simply using these guidelines enabled me to give away a large part of my collection, to the joy of many folks around me. Now I find myself with a smaller, but by no means small, collection.

This year, I got myself 2 planners - the Endless Regalia Daily Planner and the Hobonichi Weeks Mega. The Endless stays on my desk - it is too bulky to carry around. With a page a day and monthly overviews, it makes for a really nice work planner. There is ample space for me to write my daily to-dos and notes from meetings. The paper is good to use with all fountain pens and inks - shows off all the ink properties without bleeding or feathering, and it has a usable dry time. Given that almost half the year has gone by, the 2023 planner is on sale at a 65% discount on the Endless website. A 435-page FP-friendly notebook at that price is a steal!

Endless Regalia Daily Planner

The Hobonichi Weeks Mega is my carry-around notebook. It lives in my EDC bag and is a pleasure to write on. The TR 52 paper is as good as it gets. Shading, sheening and simmering - even the tiniest bit is shown off beautifully on it. Even though it is a very well-thought out planner, I find my use of it is mostly as a notebook. Its size is really convenient and makes it an easy choice for a take-everywhere notebook.

Hobonichi Weeks Mega

I also carry around an Ayush A6 blank notebook. Originally intended to be a thoughts and poetry catch-all, it too has naturally evolved into a general use notebook. I’ve realized I’d rather write when I want to with what I have, than put off writing because the ‘right’ notebook is not with me.

A6 Ayush notebook

Apart from these two, I have a Cosmo Note, which I use to maintain a record of how inks look, with written passages and occasional swabs and crude drawings. This is a big hit at the FP meets, and I also get to add new inks into it. The Cosmo Air Light paper in it is superlative in bringing out every bit of shading, simmer and sheen in any ink.

What are your go to notebooks? Share some of your favorite notebook pictures and I will feature them in the next issue!

Everyday FPness

This week, the hero was my trusty Sailor Standard, but with a new ink - Isoshizuku Take Sumi. The hectic work week made sure I wasn’t able to indulge in any other fountain pen shenanigans.

That’s all from me this week. Please share what you’ve been up to - new pens you’ve inked, new inks you’ve tried, anything fountain pen related really. I would love to feature any content from you as well. If you have a nice picture, or a couple of paragraphs about your fountain pen experiences, pen/ink/paper/notebook reviews - do share with me and I will put it in a forthcoming issue.

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