I know all I talk about in this blog lately are books but there’s also another thing I am passionate about in my life: stationery. I’ve been living the semi-analog life ever since I can remember in terms of planning my life and putting things in order. I tried transitioning to digital planning last year (and even bought an iPad and an Apple pencil to do it) but the act of writing things down and physically scratching off to-dos in paper just hit differently. I ‘ve been wanting to do a post about it for the longest time but haven’t gotten around to do it. Then I read THIS Gentleman Stationer post and finally got the kick to write something similar.
This is my analog setup for 2021:
- Hobonichi Techo Weeks in Toad Lily – I use this mostly for work schedules and to-do lists. This also includes a couple of personal items and whatnots. This is my EDC (every day carry), I’d like to think, and probably the most abused in the bunch. I love the paper as always (Tomoe River Paper!) and how thin and lightweight the whole thing is even if it contains my whole year. This is my fourth year using the Hobonichi Techo Weeks in my dailies and the third time I ordered the Tomitaro Makino design (which I am absolutely in love with). It has my monthly, weekly, and daily pages, period tracker, reading tracker, sleep tracker, (sometimes) mood tracker, habit tracker, water/coffee intake tracker, therapy tracker, gratitude log, and a whole bunch of other things. It’s an all-around notebook; if I could pick a notebook I will take, this will probably be it.
- Traveler’s Notebook in Regular Size Blue – I loaded it with two 013 Refills (Lightweight Paper) at a time. I used one as a plain personal journal (for when I need to let out stream-of-consciousness writing) and the other to house my book notes especially if I’m reading an interesting non fiction and I wanna remember the concepts. Honestly, I’ve had it for almost 3 years now and I still haven’t change the inserts.
- Travelers Notebook in Regular Size Brown – This is my book journal for the occasional times I fall in love with the book so much that I wanna write whole ass pages about it. This was featured in my Reading Diary series. I loaded it with one 026 Refill (Dotted Paper) and one 003 Refill (Blank). I’ve had it for almost 3 years as well and still haven’t changed anything yet.
- Muji W Ring Dot Grid (B6) – Dot grid Muji notebooks are probably one of my favorite notebooks ever because of how smooth the pages are and how they brilliantly pair with any fountain pen ink I use. I currently have the wire ring dot grid notebook in B6 size and I use it for random notes for work and detailed engagement to-do’s (in case my Weeks don’t have any space) and for any random writings and drawings I do when I’m working.
- Travelers Notebook in Passport Size Camel – This is the oldest notebook that I have out of this bunch and I’ve had it for more than 4 years. This serves as my common place notebook for writings, drawings, random thoughts, reminders, and whatnots. I also use this as an occasional wallet, containing business cards and my bank cards. I used to carry this all around when everything’s still normal and I loved the patina it developed because of all those times. The black charm in this passport is a random bead I found on the ground in Jiufen’s alley back in 2017.
PENS and INK
These pens are in my daily rotation right now (from L to R):
- TWSBI Mini (Black) in F inked with Platinum Carbon Black – This is my personal workhorse for general journaling and drawing, just the right thickness of lines for my taste. Platinum Carbon Black is a bulletproof ink so it is perfect for watercolor and it doesn’t smudge if I highlight over it (I just need to let it dry first). I have to say the ink has a decent drying time in Tomoe River (from my Hobonichi) and Muji papers, where I write most of the time.
- Pilot Metropolitan (Purple Ellipse) in F inked with Platinum Carbon Black – I recently transitioned to writing with this using the same ink as my EDC because Japanese nibs are so thin – which is perfect for my Techo Weeks, because the # of things I need to tick off daily gets longer and longer and I could only get little space in the daily box and weekly pages. I use this exclusively in my Techo Weeks.
- Moonman Wancai Mini (Demonstrator/Clear) in F inked with Diamine Oxblood – I use this Chinese fountain pen for shading in my daily trackers. Diamine Oxblood is one of my favorite inks but the color and shading only pay off if you use it in wide strokes. I got this fountain pen cheap in Fountain Pen Palengke from a fellow enthusiast for only 150 PHP (3 USD?) and it’s been a real favorite of mine ever since. It also helps that the pen is clear so it looks like I have blood in it which is metal af.
- TWSBI Eco (Demonstrator/Clear) in F inked with Diamine Purple Rain – I swear, TWSBI nibs are some of the smoothest writers I could get in my price range. This has been my backup EDC before and I still keep it inked. Diamine Purple Rain is a gorgeous deep purple ink with a gold sheen to it and I use it to write if I’m feeling fancy and playful. I also sometimes use it to shade stuff because I just really like seeing that sheen on page.
You can treat this as my recommendation post as well because all of the items I’ve listed down are my personal favorites and I’ve been using them for years now. The patina created in my leather notebooks throughout the years of use is lovely – and serves a lot of memories. The use of fountain pens and the ability to switch ink whenever I want to while having such a smooth experience make it more enjoyable to do everything manually. I recognize that, for some, these may slightly be relatively pricey for stationery items but it contributed so much to my efforts to live more sustainably. I stopped buying a lot of notebooks and pens since I discovered most of these alternatives, and it honestly saved me a lot in the long run! I also hope you consider switching to using more sustainable items/materials in your stationery journey!