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October 26, 2011

Write Now Journal by Compendium

(The “Write More Happiness Into The World” Write Now Journal by Compendium)

Compendium’s new Write Now Journals are a fun way to add inspiration to your journaling and notes. They come in seven different styles that feature modern typography and artwork along with inspirational quotes. I happen to own the “Write More Happiness Into The World” version of this journal so this blog post will focus mostly on that. Other versions of this journal have different designs and can be viewed at Compendium and Writer’s Bloc.

(Write More Happiness Into The World – front cover)

The Write Now “Write More Happiness Into The World” journal cover features a content little penguin, who normally could not fly, soaring through the sky in her own hot air balloon along with many other happy little birds. This design looks like something I might have doodled in my school notebooks on a sunny day. Other covers feature such things as rainbow watercolors, a blue monkey riding a bicycle with bananas in the basket and a retro typewriter.

The cover of the Write Now Journals is a flexible laminated cardboard with a little bit of a textured finish. Inside the front cover there is a space for writing your name, address, date, theme, or whatever you wish. This journal also has rounded corners and a total of 128 pages. It has glue-bound paper signatures, so it does not tend to want to open flat without closing. It measures 8" H X 5" W and is about 3/8” thick.

(Illustrated inspirational quotes)

One of the things I like the most about these journals is that every six pages or so there is an illustrated page with an inspirational quote. The reverse side of these pages in my journal is light blue with fluffy white clouds, but other versions of this journal will have different designs. The quote in the above scan is one of my favorites: “You, whose day it is, get out your rainbow colors and make it beautiful” – Traditional Nootka Song. I have to say though, my favorite quote of all is from the “Remember, Ideas Become Things” Write Now Journal, and it is: “Things are only impossible until they’re not” by Jean-Luc Picard.

(Writing test on soft green colored paper – front)

(Writing test – back)

Write Now Journals are made with FSC certified paper that is chlorine-free and they are printed with soy based ink. I’m not sure of the exact weight of this paper, but I’m guessing it is probably 90g. The color and designs on each page vary depending on which journal you get. “Write More Happiness Into The World” has paper in various colors: cream, soft green, soft blue-green, pale blue and bright yellow-green. There are birds and various dots, dashes and things decorating the edges of the pages. These journals are wide-ruled, and the rules are not stuffy and business-like, rather they consist of funky dots or rough hewn lines.

The paper seems to be good quality and handles a variety of writing instruments successfully. I was pleasantly surprised that this paper takes fountain pens quite well! I couldn’t see any feathering and there was only minimal bleed through or see through. Ink dries fairly quickly on this paper too. I would say most people would be happy writing on both sides of each page. You can check out the writing test I did in the above scans.

Do you like journals with colored paper, artwork and inspirational quotes? Or do you like yours plain? What is your favorite?



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October 19, 2011

Introduction to Myndology

While teaching English in Japan, the creator of the company now known as Myndology noticed that the Japanese students learning English used flashcards bound together by a ring. He decided to use this method of ring-bound flashcards himself to learn Japanese and became addicted to this flexible method of organization.

After returning to the USA, a friend’s cat-related study card disaster made him remember those ring-bound flashcards from Japan. He realized that American students could benefit greatly from a similar system of flashcards and started a company called Mindbinders run out of his parent’s garage in Wisconsin.

Eventually this company changed its name to Myndology, and also attained the rights to distribute a very cool line of notebooks from Belgium called Atoma. These notebooks are disc bound – another system of binding that creatively allows pages to be removed, reorganized and added with flexibility and freedom. They even sell a punch that allows you to make your own disc bound notebooks!

Myndology paper is 100% manufactured in the USA and 100% of the assembly is done in the USA. Only the standard Disc Bound Covers and discs are imported from Belgium.

The goal of Myndology is: “to make stationery that helps you create, study and do whatever it is you want to do. … The tagline ‘good thinking’ says it all. Cleverly simple solutions to making the best stationery products in the world.”

New to Writer’s Bloc are Myndology disc bound journals, notebooks, memo pads and index cards. If you’ve never tried a disc bound notebook and are wondering how it works, here’s a brief video from Myndology that will help you visualize how flexible these notebooks really are.



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October 12, 2011

Leuchtturm1917 Large 18 Month Weekly Planner Review

(Leuchtturm1917 Large 18 Monthly Weekly Planner)

The Leuchtturm1917 Large 18 Month Weekly Planner has a practical multipurpose design. The 2012 planner begins with September 1, 2011 and runs all the way through the end of February 2013. This allows it to be used as either an academic planner or a yearly planner. If you happen to lose your yearly planner before the year is over, the Leuchtturm1917 18 month planner steps in with plans starting in September to help you out. If you procrastinate and put off buying a 2013 planner until the new year has already begun, it gives you some breathing room until you can find a new planner.

Its basic design is similar to a lot of other black-cover notebooks. The black cover is lightly grained to give it a leather-like appearance and the only writing on the cover is a small “Leuchtturm1917” on the bottom of the back cover. It has rounded corners, is held closed with a black elastic and has a matching black ribbon book marker. Inside the front cover there is a place to write your name and address and a handy expandable pocket is found inside the back cover. The cream color of the end sheets matches the cream color of the paper. It is about 5.75” x 8.25” in size and about 0.5” thick. I appreciate the fact that the hard-cover is very slim to make this planner as compact as possible.

(Monthly Plan)

When you open this Leuchtturm1917 planner you discover that it has a stitched binding which helps it to open flat and keeps pages from falling out. The ink-proof, acid-free paper is cream colored and has gray printing. It is most likely 80g like the paper in many other Leuchtturm1917 notebooks.

The first printed information is three pages of yearly calendars: 2011, 2012 and 2013. These calendars list the week number for every week of each year. Following these calendars is a six page monthly plan that runs from September 2011 to February 2013. This monthly plan shows you the phases of the moon in case you need to know that information.

(International Holidays)

Next comes six pages listing three years worth of international holidays in close to 60 countries. This comes in handy if you are a business traveller or are planning a fun international vacation.

(Project Planner)

The Project Plan spans two pages and covers September 2011 to February 2013. It has 29 lines worth of projects to plan.

(Weekly Plan)

Each weekly plan is two pages, begins with Monday on the left and ends with Saturday/Sunday on the right. Each day gets a column of hourly planning from 07:00 to 22:00 hours with a space for notes at the bottom, except for Saturday and Sunday which are combined into one column on the right. Saturday has four unmarked lines for plans plus notes and Sunday has three lines plus notes. At the bottom of the notes space for each day are country codes indicating which days are holidays in which countries. The bottom right corner of each weekly plan has a calendar of the current month with the current week highlighted. The bottom right corner also includes the week number of the current week.

(Stickers for labeling front & spine and lined/graph template)

The back of the planner has 15 blank pages for taking notes. If you can’t write in a straight line there is a lined/graph template included that can be placed behind these pages as a guide while you’re writing. The Leuchtturm1917 website says that these pages are perforated so they can be removed, but honestly I cannot see any perforations here.

If you like to archive your planners, the Leuchtturm1917 18 month planner includes handy stickers for labeling the cover: three stickers for the front cover and three stickers for the spine.

(Writing test - front)

(Writing test - back)

The paper seems to perform quite well with a variety of writing instruments including fountain pens. Very little bleed through or feathering of ink, however, there is some show through since the paper is 80g. I personally find I can use both sides of the page without it bothering me, but if you are very particular it could be bothersome. I especially appreciate that ink dries reasonably quickly on this paper so I can write without a bunch of smearing (I’m a lefty).

If you like to have a pen holder, Leuchtturm1917 makes self-adhesive pen loops in 6 different colors that can easily be added to your planner.

Leuchtturm1917 makes a variety of quality notebooks and planners where “details make all the difference.” What’s your favorite Leuchtturm1917 product?



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October 05, 2011

Fountain Pen Friendly Planners

Many people consider paper to be fountain pen friendly if it has the ability to prevent the following three problems: ink feathering, ink bleed through and show through of your writing (so that you can clearly write on both sides of the page).

Quo Vadis, Exacompta and Rhodia planners all have very high quality paper, and I would have to say their planners with 90g paper are the most suited for use with your beloved fountain pen. I’ve compiled a list of which of these planners contain 90g paper:

Weekly Planners with white 90g paper:

Rhodia WebPlanner 6x9
Prenote #24 
President #16
Trinote #48
Minister #15 
Executive #14

Weekly Planners with colored 90g paper:

Space 24 – soft green paper
Visual – soft green paper
Note #27 – ivory paper
Minister #15 - cream paper for the Habana and Smooth covers (discontinued)

Monthly Planners with white 90g paper:

Monthly 4 #76
Visoplan #67

Academic Planners with white 90g paper:

Academic Minister #34
Septanote #49
Principal #31
Scholar #55

I must also mention that the Quo Vadis Exaplan #66 21-month planner has 85g white paper. This paper likely performs almost as well as the standard 90g Clairefontaine paper.

As as lefty over-writer, my own personal requirements for fountain pen friendly paper are a bit different. In addition to the three requirements mentioned in the first paragraph, the ink must also dry fairly quickly on the paper to avoid smearing or I end up not wanting to use it. I compensate for this partly by choosing ink that dries reasonably quickly, but I am willing to compromise somewhat on the bleed-through, feathering and show-through issues to speed up the ink drying time.  I do well with the ink-proof paper inside Leuchtturm1917 planners. I believe this paper is typically 80g, so there is more show-through compared to a 90g paper. This issue may bother you, however to my liking, ink seems to dry more quickly on Leuchtturm1917 paper than it does on Clairefontaine paper.

While they are still in stock many of these planners with a variety of different covers can be found at Writer’s Bloc. If you see something you want and we don’t have it please feel free to ask if we can special order it. Planner season is upon us (what happened to summer?) – get your fountain pen friendly planner now before they’re gone!

What’s your favorite fountain pen friendly planner?



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