"I've always got a pen."
July 7, 2015 7:20 PM   Subscribe

Perhaps inevitably: The Pens That Write Best In My Filofax
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:21 PM on July 7, 2015

I hoped for a brief second that this was about a way to transmit baklava over a network. Maybe I'm just hungry.
posted by demiurge at 7:23 PM on July 7, 2015 [12 favorites]

notebooks previously!

After that post I got kind of "into" making my own notebook covers and am now totally unsatisfied with my current Field Notes journal, and am eyeing the filofax system
posted by rebent at 7:36 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

ah! I knew it! I've seen some of these people talking about midori TNs. It's funny how we love to shift around and around with which notebook systems we like the best.
posted by rebent at 7:42 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

As an unrepentant notebook consumer (I've just re-upped my Field Notes COLORS subscription again...yeah I know I have problems) I can only say that I wholeheartedly approve of all of this
posted by Doleful Creature at 8:01 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've got a standard pocket-sized Moleskine that I've been carrying around for something like two years now, and it's barely two-thirds full. Previously I'd been getting through one every six months or so. I find myself taking notes on my phone (AK Notepad, if you want to know) pretty much exclusively these days, which is really reverse-luddite and something I actually don't like doing, but it's way more convenient than pulling out a notebook and pen.

But I resent my own reverse-ludditism and there's no sense of progress or achievement (no matter how small and unimportant) with typing stuff in a phone. Nothing like seeing those Moleskine pages getting all swollen with ink and hand-sweat, the covers getting beat up, that stupid pointless elastic band losing all elasticity and just getting in the way until you rip it off. Poor Moley was getting badly neglected.

Until I struck upon an amazing idea: I'll spend a few hours every couple of weeks TRANSCRIBING MY PHONE-BASED NOTES INTO MY MOLESKINE.

When I can be bothered.

posted by turbid dahlia at 8:26 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

i just write things on the inside of my wrist
that way they're easy to access
and i don't lose them
when i wash my hands

With that said, my love-pen is totally a uniball Jetstream. So smooth, even when it's not my skin I'm writing on.
posted by mikurski at 8:29 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

I use a shitton of reporter notebooks, and have been looking at a way to get more systematically organizedÔÇŽ but man, I cannot do a rambling YouTube video. Three minutes in (out of 12!) and I just wanted a transcript I could skim. Anyone willing to give me a synopsis of the Filofax/Midori/whatevs systems?
posted by klangklangston at 8:39 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

I also recently "discovered" this planning thing. I'm a hobby collector, paper, stationary, pen lover. But more importantly I am a master procrastinator who never writes lists or puts things in a calendar and so on. So naturally I purchased one of those fancy Erin Condren planners and every sticky note, list pads, and cool pens I could get my hands on. This went on for a couple of weeks. Got my planner.... Haven't written anything in it. Fucking youtube.
posted by mokeydraws at 8:40 PM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]

Can it import from my Palm Pilot?
posted by miyabo at 8:48 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

Watching these makes me feel like I've fallen down a rabbit hole that ends in the past with twelve year old me watching hours of QVC daily just to watch people fiddle with various products with their hands while talking about it.

That said, these blow my mind because I feel like I barely have enough time and concentration to write a hasty, half-thought to-do list on the back of a torn up old receipt. I aspire to be this organized, or at least appear to be.
posted by pandalicious at 8:48 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

I will now also probably buy one that never gets used because I am always in the market for organizational items, even though I clearly lack the mindset/skillset that should come with the product but sadly, cannot be purchased.
posted by pandalicious at 8:49 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

It's interesting to me that there are younger people who still use paper planners. Not only that, but they clearly see it as an important expression of their individuality as well as their organization skills.

When I still used a planner, DayTimer was my favorite, followed by Franklin. I've always liked the idea of Levenger Circa planners or Field Notes, but I have to admit that if I were going to buy a planner, it'd probably be a DayTimer. Of course, the last time I actually bought and used a DayTimer or anything else like that was the '90s. Since the turn of the century, I've been an AMPAD 22-156 man through and through.

P.S. “Stationery”BEGIN Japanology, 25 April 2013
posted by ob1quixote at 8:53 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

Something I saw a while back when I was reviewing journalling and task structures was Bullet Journals.
posted by mikurski at 9:05 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]

rebent: I blame you for the money I've spent on Midori supplies in the last month, and now the leather and supplies to make my own. That previous post got me, though there was a bit of a delay before I caught the bug.
posted by litlnemo at 9:12 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

Something I saw a while back when I was reviewing journalling and task structures was Bullet Journals.

Let me introduce you to studyblr where you can see The Great Depression and Hitler in cheery pink highlighting and bullet journals galorious!
posted by srboisvert at 9:20 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

I have a series of time capsules in the form of different organization systems, analog and digital. (Need any vintage corporate style guides? Configuration files for my old Unix System V setup? Hit me up!) It's kind of embarrassing in a way, but I decided that I just like organizing stuff, and I no longer even aspire to come up with one perfect and permanent method of organizing things. I get huge amounts of satisfaction from organizing stuff. If I had a perfect system, I'd never get to do that again.

But I never got the hang of Moleskines or any other pricey bound notebooks. Most of the things I write down are temporal. To do lists, stupid grade school arithmetic calculations, notes on failed experiments, instructions for doing stupid things I always forget how to do, and other things I don't need or want to preserve for future reference. I just can't make myself write my dumb stuff in fancy expensive notebooks like that. I've bought them before, and I just end up giving them to better, more confident people.

As it stands right now, I have a Tiddlywiki and a little $2 notebook with an elastic band that I can tear pages out when I need to destroy the evidence of the dumb things I've had to write down.

I expect I'll be updating that system before long, though.
posted by ernielundquist at 10:06 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

I have become a convert to the Bullet Journal after many years of using online, synchronised tools. About six months in now and I don't see myself ever going back. Using a lovely hardback, dot grid Rhodia notebook, with a fountain pen, and a stick-on pen loop, is just catnip to my inner stationery nerd.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 10:13 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]

Is this compatable with my hipster PDA? How about 43 Folders?
posted by themanwho at 10:19 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

With that said, my love-pen is totally a uniball Jetstream. So smooth, even when it's not my skin I'm writing on.

Yes, the Jetstream ink is fantastic. Too bad every single to the last one pen body is chintzy plastic junk. I buy the ink sticks 5 at a time, crimp them special with my needlenose pliers so the spring holds in place, and pop them into my Zebra F-701 steel-bodied pen as needed. ­čśÄ Yeeeah.

Anyone willing to give me a synopsis of the Filofax/Midori/whatevs systems?

Planners and wallets made from fancy materials with lots of slots and pockets. This lady took the binder ring out of her Filofax fancy name brand dayplanner and did some simple modifications (adding decorative pages AKA 'dashboards') to a moleskein planner (18 months!) and a Post-It™ plastic envelope that she then slipped into some of the slots. Various other little cutesy modifications. Person does it compulsively like scrapbookers rather than practically like you're probably seeking. She has that ASMR delivery style so I left it playing.

It seems like rather a lot of folks are like her, and even a rather lot of those like to make YouTube videos in addition to souping up their planners.
posted by carsonb at 10:46 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

Basically if you really extra loved your Trapper-Keeper in elementary school you might enjoy getting a filofax or midori or similar for your adult self.
posted by carsonb at 10:53 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]

I love my filofaxes*. Love, love, love them. I have friends who refer to pre-filofax helga-woo and post-filofax helga-woo. I was an unreliable flake always scrounging pens and tube maps and stamps and forgetting birthdays.

I have very strong feelings about how to set it up. Diary in the middle, yo! So you don't have uneven amounts of paper on one side of the rings. And a week to a page with notes. Always. I don't know why everyone else doesn't do this? Weekly schedule one side, to do list the other.

But I am slowly moving to electronic lists - Keep is amazing and ticking the done boxes is almost as satisfying as putting a line through a written note. Almost. But I've still not managed to find an electronic calendar I can fully get behind. All I want is something that works with outlook that doesn't mean I have to also sync my work emails with my personal devices, and I only have to push across some of the appointments (so not the weekly reminder to update the budget spreadsheet, but yes to the 9am Monday meeting at the office across town...)

But oh the satisfaction of pulling out a paper list and crossing things off.

My go to Filofax home on the web is Philofaxy.

*work planner, archive work planner, home planner, and travel diary... What?!
posted by Helga-woo at 11:43 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]

Also walking into meetings with your Filofax makes you look super organised and efficient, even when the opposite is true...
posted by Helga-woo at 11:44 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

my daytimer is a moleskine, because it's the one i have found that has the huge empty page beside the date, that i find nessecary, though it tends to lose binding. My notebooks are just stenos from staples, but I worry the time of hte steno will soon be past, and then what do i do.
posted by PinkMoose at 12:22 AM on July 8, 2015

After years of successful digital GTDing (first on a Palm Pilot then Things on the iPhone), the Bullet Journal method has been a nice change for me. I think it works for me because I've GTD'd my way to a simpler life, so paper is a viable option again.
posted by harriet vane at 7:13 AM on July 8, 2015

I was kind of excited by this post until I realized that ALL the links are videos.

Doesn't anybody WRITE anymore?
posted by uberchet at 9:47 AM on July 8, 2015 [7 favorites]

(uberchet - I tried to find an article on the recent Filofax craze; my Google-fu failed me. I gathered, though, that the recent resurgence has occurred since around 2013 or thereabouts. What I found absolutely fascinating was the online YT community that had sprung up around it. Also: I had no idea people were customizing their organizers as a way of personal expression. Fascinating.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:27 AM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Doesn't anybody WRITE anymore?

Plannerisms covers Filfox and a plethora of other planner options (including DIY) and the "Find Your Perfect Planner" guide.
posted by audi alteram partem at 11:24 AM on July 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

You can read a lot about what people are doing on the blog Philofaxy that's mentioned above. She does weekly round-ups that are a gold mine for planner nerds. Pinterest and Instagram also have huge communities of people who are into this, and there are tons of Etsy shops that sell various planner stickers, custom tabs and dividers, and other accessories (tassels seem to be a huge thing, not sure why).
posted by katie at 11:39 AM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Litlnemo i'd love to see pics of your setup! I've posted all of mine with the #Calliopenotebooks hashtag on instagram
posted by rebent at 11:52 AM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

So no love for the (huge, expensive) TimeManager journal system, with its complex lists, and Darumas for tasks?
posted by scruss at 11:58 AM on July 8, 2015

From high school until my 2nd smartphone, about 25 years, I organized like so:

Letts of London leatherbound or Week-at-a-Glance spiralbound week-view vertical checkbook-size yearly planner. Usually with a small binder clip on the top of the back caver to retain odd bits of paper.
Topical color 3x5 cards in a pocket-size leather carrier, plus saffron-colored/mica-dusted 3x5 cards for notes to hand to others
Pelican twist-fill fountain pen with permanent brown or cobalt ink. I prefer to write with a vintage Osmiroid copperplate or music nib, but they leak too much for daily carry. I also like Montblanc flexible gold nib fountain pens.

The problem is, fountain pens do not work, or worse, bleed the printing on thin or low quality papers. Such as most official forms and ink-jet printed items. Plus fountain pens don't press hard enough for pressure-sensitive copies.

I now just carry the index-card holder, a high-end ballpoint pen (either handmade or gold Cross with Cross or MontBlanc refills), and my smartphone. If I was still doing a lot of political or multiple-client with NDA agreement work, I'd return to a paper organizer with paper back-up, for both retrospective information and privacy reasons.

In my travel music score folios I keep both soft lead mechanical pencils, a music-notation nib cartridge fountain pen, and stave pre-printed paper to amend scores, or even write new arrangements. And lots and lots vari-colored post-its. However, I usually scan those sheets into lilypond or Sibelius music notation software when I return home.

I'm also starting to digitize my old datebooks - it's a great spur to memory to be able to look at the pages and my various handwriting styles, plus the various things tucked between the covers.
posted by Dreidl at 12:38 PM on July 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

So this is like the nonviolent version of every day carry?
posted by pwnguin at 7:36 PM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

So this is like the nonviolent version of every day carry?

One nonviolent version of EDC is the Practical Carry group on Facebook:
Everyday carry (EDC) "for gentle people."
posted by audi alteram partem at 7:40 PM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

we need an EDC post on metafilter
posted by rebent at 6:36 AM on July 9, 2015

I can't believe nobody's remarked on the title, which I believe comes from Red Dwarf. While moping about his lack of success in romance, Rimmer tries listing all his best features (most of which show how twisted his priorities were in trying to coast to success through tradition while denying his own privilege). The last one he lists before Lister interrupts him to try and change the conversation is "...I've always got a pen..."
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 3:35 PM on July 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

Rebent, I have some pics here. Both the newly purchased journals and some pics from after they've been used a bit. I don't have pics of the ones I've made myself posted yet, but eventually I will get those up too.
posted by litlnemo at 9:16 AM on July 25, 2015

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