I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the tools I use everyday, my absolute must-haves. While I love having an assortment of gel pens, fountain pens and a bevvy of different notebooks, I realized that there are a few tools I use everyday, without fail. I also have some tools very specific to my job that might not be of interest to readers but I thought I’d share the everyday go-to tools, in no particular order.
- Hobonichi Planner ¥2,500 for the planner, covers start at ¥1,500
- 3×5 blank index cards $1.49/100 cards
- Field Notes $9.95/3-pack (or comparable pocket-sized notebook. I always have one on me)
- Kaweco Sports Fountain Pen $23.50
- Staedtler Mars Plastic eraser $1.25 THE eraser by which all other erasers are measured.
- Marvy LePen $1.15 (could potentially substitute a standard Sharpie marker here though I’m more likely to use the LePen everyday than a Sharpie)
- Palomino Blackwing 602 $19.95/dozen
- Tombow Mono Adhesive Permanent $7.29, refills $11.99/3-pack (I know this seems odd but it’s excellent for sealing envelopes and a much tidier way to attach scraps to my planner or notebook)
- Evernote FREE (I am now storing all sorts of text bits, digital detritus, links and blog starters here. I can access the content on all my digital devices)
- Alfred FREE (Until you’ve used the Alfred App, you don’t know what you’re missing. I hate working on someone else’s computer that doesn’t have Alfred installed. It’s free, go try it)
What are the tools you can’t live without?
I love vintage staplers. They are good looking and often still work after all these years. Some of my favorite vintage staplers take the difficult-to-find TOT staples. Well, I took a chance and got a packet of Max No. 10 staples in green (of course) and lo and behold they fit and work perfectly in TOT staplers. They are also available in red and blue. All colors are available for $3.30 per box. If colored staples are not to your taste, plain silver No. 10 staples can be purchased in a box of 1000 from Jet Pens for $1.50.
While surfing around ModCloth looking for stationery, I found some other goodies for the office and for the office supply geek.
First, there is the cookie-inspired USB cup warmer. I’ve been grumbling about my coffee or tea cooling off and I have one open USB port left on my office computer. Solution? At $14.99, it just might be.
In the middle image is the vintage-inspired, ceramic dachshund paper organizer. Display your incoming post, letters and photos in the coils. It’s hot dog cool for your desk. Just $12.99.
And what paper nerd wouldn’t want to curl up under a sheet of notebook paper with the Free Verse Reveries duvet cover? Dream sweet pen and ink dreams. $89.99
And the Pencil Me In shoes are back in stock. It’s the perfect shoe for the teacher, librarian or office supply geek in your life. $109.99. If you’re feeling generous, I wear a 6.5.
While I could not get Flickr to upload my travel photos, at least it saved my goodies, so I shall share those with you today. I did not buy a lot of goodies knowing so many things could be purchased later via Jet Pens and other vendors’ online shops so I limited myself to must-haves and small items that would fit in my carry-on bag.
Above, Melissa of Craftgasm and the Smithsonian Postal Museum shared the postal love with a little pink mail box filled with paper treats.
If you put red-and-blue airmail stripes on anything, I’m likely to buy it. Maybe that’s why I love red/blue pencils so much? The pencil pictured above came from the epic Patrick & Co. stationery shop for a mere $0.39. Patrick’s is a classic stationery shop that’s been in business for over 100 years with an endless array of legal pads in every color imaginable, pens and pencils in jars to be purchased individually and so much more. There are two locations in downtown San Francisco, both near Union Square and should not be missed. The Dennison Airmail seals and the gummed labels came from Saturday Morning Vintage who had a stellar booth at the vendor market at Ex Postal Facto. The G. Lalo Verge de France stationery pad came from Patrick & Co. while the Air Mail stationery and envelopes came from Maido.
I purchased a few Pilot Hi-Tec C refills and a Hi-Uni HB pencil in the Maido shop in the Westfield Mall in Union Square. I also visited the Maido shop in Japantown and picked up a few more goodies. The postcard set tied with twine came from the 826 Collective Pirate Shop in the Mission. What fun! The Ohto Dude pen was compliments on Jet Pens along with a couple Morning Glory Mach 3 pens.
And of course, no trip would be complete without a little green. I got a word cards deck, some green gel pens, a “beans” cutter and itty bitty green staples from Maido. There will be more details about these purchases in the near future but I wanted to give a little taste of the stationery bounty available in San Francisco, should you find yourself there.
Doane Paper has once again created a limited edition team-up product, this time with Winter Session out of Denver. The team created a heavyweight waxed canvas pouch to fit into a 3-ring binder to go along with Doane’s 3-ring loose leaf paper. The pouch measures 11×7.5 and include an industrial zipper, heavy-duty grommets and an unstated leather tag. It’s simple, modern and enviably covetable. $45
Little Low Laser Etched Wood Pencil Box $48 (via Etsy)
Each beautifully laser-etched stationery box ($48) from Little Low on Etsy comes filled with a Marvy Le Pen (assorted colors), a wood-barreled calligraphy pen with nib, a Zebra #2 mechanical pencil and a roll of washi tape. The lid slides and inside is two compartments — one for writing tools and one for smaller bits. Be sure to check out their other products too. Hint, hint there are some great Valentine’s ideas in here.
Need to keep the snack-stealing, pencil-nabbing, cube-dwelling troglodytes from running away with your beloved office supplies or snacks? The KnockKnock MINE! sticky notes might do the trick. They are standard 3×3″ squares with removable adhesive and a place to clearly establish your ownership. $3.99 for a 100-sheet pad. Just in time for Valentine’s Day.
I have a CRAP sticky notes pad and, while they are not the stickiest sticky notes in the world, I always get comments on how fun they are.
A dear friend sent me this beautiful bird letter opener for Christmas. Its made of a hard plastic with a matte finish. It’s sculpted shape feels good in the hand and the tail is curved to tuck under the edge of an envelope. It can stand on its own like a little bird perched on my desk.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve put it through its paces the last couple weeks. It works pretty well but is not as sharp as a blade sharpener like my favorite old school letter openers. It has decided to take up residence on my work desk where it can be called upon to open the occasional letter versus the abuse my home openers endure.
(available via Walker Art Center Shop for $16 each, seven color options)
A lot of topics I’ve mentioned in the past, have made appearances on other blogs this week. I thought I’d start with those…
Note: In this section, the first link is my original post and the links in parentheses are the posts from other bloggers.
And now back to our regularly scheduled Link Love:
Pencils, Pens & Ink:
Johan Vaaler, a Norwegian inventor, is credited with inventing the paperclip. It was patented in the US as were several other variations but it wasn’t until the English company GEM streamlined the design to the double oval we know today and an American, William Middlebrook, of Waterbury, Connecticut, patented a machine for making paper clips of the Gem design in 1899. The design for the GEM paperclip was never patented.
During WWII, Norwegians were prohibited from wearing any insignia on their clothing with the king’s likeness so they wore paperclips in their lapels as a symbol of resistance to the Nazi occupation.
Alternately, after WWII, the Americans started a project called Operation Paperclip to recruit former-Nazi scientists to work in the US after the war.
Oh, little paper clip, what an intersting life you lead!