Writing of the nondigital variety

More or less since the beginning of this year, I picked up two new interests, more or less in parallel, writing instuments (woodcase pencils, but also fountain pens) and pocket notebooks. Particularly the Field Notes collection (I also like Rhodia because the paper is top-notch)

Some of the FN notebooks on my desk

Mainly drawn by their design, I picked up the habit of carrying a pocket notebook with me. And I’m finding I write significantly more stuff than before. Where before I would get a cool idea, and acknowledge it mentally, now I actually record it in the notebook, which means I don’t forget it completely by the next week. Since the books are just 48 pages, filling them up doesn’t seem such a titanic task as with the moleskine-type notebooks with 90+ pages. It still takes me a good while to complete one, but I’ve already finished a few by now.

As for fountain pens, It’s kind of strange. My parents had them at home, and whenever I tried them they seemed unpleasant and scratchy to write with. They were probably old, cheap pens (as evidenced by my parents’ faces when I tell them how much I paid for mine, even though most are considered entry-level pens)

I don’t know what brought me to purchase a pen (first one the purple Lamy Al-Star, pictured above) and try for myself, but I really like the whole experience of writing with them. As whenever I pick up a new interest, I nerded out over nib types, filling systems and other details, and I guess I’m a fountain pen aficionado now.

One of my favorite things is the ritual. Like preparing tea, using bottled ink on a fountain pen has that old-school yet refined feel that contributes, however subtly to the experience. By now I actually have more ink bottles than pens!

Any other SBers with the same interests?

I was planning to open this topic a few days ago because I was just curious if someone shared the same interest, but seeing @schroeder post that TWSBI pen in the lusting over thread made me jump into it right now.


I had one of these on my person at all times for a couple years but I think someone stole it or I dropped it or something. I liked it a lot. I also used that Pilot Iroshizuku ink in dark brown. I have hinted to the wife at my wish list entries for replacements.

Not a fountain pen, but I’ve been using this ever since. It’s just a rod of machined brass that holds G2 refills, nice and weighty and affordable.

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Since I am a dork about these things, what does the ink you use have a base?

I’ve been meaning to get one of those Muji FPs for a while. In fact I believe I was decided to get one as my starter pen, but I haven’t seen them in stock in any of the local Mujis. Only the ballpoints and mechanical pencils.

Iroshizuku ink is super good. Too bad it’s one of the most expensive brands of ink. Almost $1/ml when you buy in local shops

That brass ballpoint looks pretty alright!

I have heard about the RitR notebooks, but they don´t appeat to me that much. I havent really investigated them but not sure what features they have to make me try them over Field Notes or Rhodia

I went through a lot of fountain pens ~5-10 years ago until I got over seeking the latest thing. I went through a lot of LAMYs at different price points (several safaris, a couple 2000s I busted in various ways (I’m hard on things and them bodies like to split), a stainless dialog 3 that’s currently sitting in a jar on my desk all gummed up). Eventually I just settled on a murex I nabbed off ebay.

…which I busted up in an act of thoughtlessness. It was during one of my sojourns in Alaska and I felt like I was made of money, so I promptly bid on a myu to replace it:

I carried that in my shirt pocket for 5+ years. Then I managed to misplace it at work.

Went to security 3 times to say “yo I know no one will turn it in because it’s just a pen but uh…”

Replaced it with a pilot vanishing point, extra-fine nib. My handwriting is a tiny scritch and I love pilot/namiki’s EFs.

The mechanical pencil I got to match the murex all those ages ago no longer completes the set!

That Myu thing looks real dope.

The myu is, no joke, my all time most desired pen (if we don’t count luxuries like Nakayas etc)

I hear the going prices on ebay are 5x their original msrp which puts them firmly outside my affordability range (at least for the time being) but if Pilot ever decides to make another integrated nib (unlikely!) I would jump on that in an instant

Well now you know there might be one in some strange crevice of intel’s Aloha, OR campus.

idk I can’t even get in to look anymore!


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Clicky blue ballpoint pens only

Writing at any length with ballpoint pens is actively painful to me.

check ur functioning joints privilege

You try to write live witness notes with a goddamn fountain pen.

The first sign a lawyer is a lazy shit who does nothing is when he whips out his fancy fountain pen.

gel ink rollerball for casual daily writing and nibs that i can dip for when i wanna be fancy. Pilot parallel is a happy medium between the two

fountain pens write the same way other pens write just with less pressure

what kind of weird non-standard fountain pen experiences have you had

are you even a human man

can you use fountain pens left-handed? like without smudging all that nice runny ink everywhere

Yea, the Pilot Parallel is really fun. Thinking of picking up the rest of the set. I only have the 2.4mm one

I hear there are some pen-ink combinations suitable for left-handed ppl. Usually that means looking for fast-drying ink

I am a little obsessed with notebooks. I have kept them since secondary school, and am always eager to see other people’s. I like this thread the best

for a long time I avoided using a moleskine, citing the expense, but after subsequently wasting much money on notebooks that just weren’t comfortable to write in, I coughed up for one last year and they really are the most beautiful little things. full of nice features without being at all ostentatious; the back pocket for scraps of paper, the page mark, the elastic strap. the best thing is that it stays flat. I write notes and journally things at the front and study japanese at the back, and when the two seas meet, I buy another

I don’t much care for pens, only that they are fine point and have black ink. a cheap convenience shop uni jetstream is my go to

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I love these little bastards:

They’re metal encased notebooks called Flip Notes. The pen keeps it closed - when you take the pen out it springs open.

I lost mine and I’m sad about it but

Apparently they also make one that’s a wallet too. I might get one of those and swap out my wallet for it. I love having a notepad with me everywhere.

Then pen isn’t great but it works.

This is digital writing, but my gnarled arthritic hands love styluses because they require no pressure at all.

Some inks dry much faster and are generally more smudgeproof than others (Noodler’s brand gets mentioned a lot), and in general fine tips are a little drier than bold ones. I’m not a lefty, but in general the fountain pens I’e used don’t seem to smear any worse than gel pens.

I still use pencil basically all the time, though. This ridiculously over-engineered drafting pencil with some superhard .3mm lead is the best tiny-writing tool ever.

What’s going on with this? Is it like a twisty feeder deal? Does it have, like, gears?