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?
The Mitsubishi Hi-Uni HB is on of those pencils I’ve always wanted to try. I found this one at Maido in San Fransisco. Hi-Uni pencils can be purchased individually on Jet Pens for $2.35 each.
The lead has no friction on the paper. I definitely see the appeal of this pencil. It feels fabulous in the hand and lays down a smooth line. The HB lead smudges only slightly and it erased completely with the Staedtler Mars plastic eraser.
The red-brown lacquer on the pencil feels silky in the hand. The branding is stamped in a crisp, gold foil including the grade on the black lacquer-dipped end. The branding includes the tag “Established 1887″ as well. There is a gold foil ring around end of the pencil just before the end. The Hi-Uni line does not have an eraser tip, just the lovely black lacquer end.
On the very end of the pencil is a bright yellow dot. I did not look closely when I purchased the pencil to see if each grade had a different colored dot or if they were all the same but its an interesting design detail.
There is a white bar code stamped on the reverse side of the pencil from the branding, near the point. I’m not sure if this is just on the pencils for individual sale or if it would appear on pencils purchased by the box. It’s the only eyesore on an otherwise beautiful pencil.
One of my favorite tourist and travel mementos are pencils. They are small and fit easily into my suitcase. Sadly, they are not as common to find as they once were. So I was tickled to see that the Book Arts & Special Collections at the San Francisco Public Library had a stamped pencils on the front desk.
When I asked the librarians if they would mind if I took one of the pencils to commemorate my visit, they held up a jar so that I could pick a “nice one.”
I visited the Book Arts & Special Collections to see calligraphy and original typography designs. Since a lot of the material is rare, original drawings or small run prints, there were signs everywhere, written in beautiful script, reminding visitors to use pencils only.
Even the folders and folios were beautifully handwritten in pencil. This folder was filled with hand lettering created by the head of the font group at Hallmark, Rick Cusick. Sadly, I was asked not to photograph any of the original work so this is as close as I can show you.
If you’re interested in calligraphy or the history of type design, I recommend visiting the Richard Harrison Collection of Calligraphy and Lettering.
5-color pencil question mark screenprint, £40 by Jportch. Edition limited to 25.
Yeah for awesome Instagram friends! If you’re not following the folks in the photo collage above, I highly recommend them for wonderful office accoutrement photo yummies.
In other news:
Paper and Notebooks:
Pens and Ink:
For Valentine’s Day:
Thanks to Johnny at Pencil Revolution, I am now the owner of a lovely selection of green pencils. Not green as in environmentally sensitive but green as in outside paint colors. They look lovely in combination with all my other green office supplies but what’s most pleasant is that they are pretty good writers too.
The Musgrave Pencil Co. CUB 3030T is a large diameter round pencil. Based on its size, I suspect it is meant as a kid’s learning pencil but its not as large as some children’s pencils. And its actually a smooth writer. Because of the diameter, I didn’t have a lot of sharpener options so I used the large diameter size of my Lefty sharpener from Pencil Things. Its about the same diameter as some of the colored pencils I own.
The PaperMate Earth Write #2 HB pencil is a deep evergreen with silver foil stamp, silver ferrule and a nicely contrasting mint eraser. The eraser doesn’t work particularly well but it looks nice. The pencil is a hexagonal shape and standard diameter. Sadly, I found it a little scratchy to use but not terrible. At the right price, these are nice looking. Office Depot lists a box of 48 for $8 so that’s a good price for a pencil of this quality. Teachers might want to pick up a box or two for their classrooms.
The Dixon Ticonderoga SOFT #2 HB was part of a dozen neon painted pencils in a variety pack purchased at Target for $2.89. These pencils were made in Mexico. Its a standard hexagonal wood cased pencil with the traditional evergreen metallic ferrule with school bus yellow srtipes which is used on the classic yellow pencils and on the black versions as well. The branding is foil stamped in bright kelly green. Its a lot of different shades of green on one pencil. The pink eraser works okay, better than the green eraser on the Earth Write.
The bright neon paint makes it feel like an updated classic. The neon multi-pack would be a big hit with kids for sure. It writes pretty smoothly for a mass market pencil.
Thanks to Johnny for a package full of happy pencils!
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: