What’s What 3/21/24

Can we simultaneously fly and sail? Planner problems probed.

Inked Right Now

  • Pilot Decimo with Monteverde California Teal

  • Pilot Custom 74 with Pilot Sepia

  • Pilot Custom K500SS with Sailor Studio 460

  • Pilot Custom 845 with Iroshizuku Tsutsuji

  • Sailor King of Pen with Sailor Blue Black

Gone from last time: Sheaffer No Nonsense and Parker 61.

4 to 1 in favor of the Pilots, but this Sailor holds its own against anyone.

I did end up changing out Herbin Vert Empire for Sailor 460 in the Custom K500SS. I think 460 is flowing better than Vert Empire had been.

The Custom 74 and Sepia ink are two items I had not used in a while. They make a nice combination. This pen has a cursive italic grind from Custom Nib Studio. It works well for my normal print handwriting but really shines when used for, you guessed it, cursive. I almost never write in cursive. It takes a pen with a special nib to coax my hand in that direction. Perhaps I’ll display some cursive written with this nib next week.

The Decimo because, well, Decimo. I get antsy if I go more than a few weeks without one. California Teal is an old favorite ink. It doesn’t show off that much in writing with the Decimo’s fine nib, but if you make a larger swatch or scribble the lighter green elements start to come out. A broad or stub nib makes this ink sing.

The King of Pen got inked for a few reasons.

  1. The currently inked lineup lacked blue ink.

  2. I spotted Sailor Blue Black in the drawer and thought it had been a while since last using it.

  3. Blue Black wasn’t included when I swatched my Sailor inks several weeks ago.

  4. It’s an incredible writer.

#4 is all the justification one would need to use the KoP. The rest just makes me feel good, like I wrote a well-considered paper for school. ;-)

Now that the KoP is inked, I can think of another good reason to keep it going a while. I have 5 other Sailor inks that are only in cartridges and lack representation in the swatchbook. When Blue Black runs out, we’ll just pop in a different color cartridge. The KoP’s broad nib goes through ink at a good clip so I don’t think any one color will last for too long if it gets regular use. What will provide the regular use case? Reading Emerson’s journals is always sure to get me copying over passages so I’ll start there. To be continued….

Working On

A few weeks ago, I threw up my hands at the number of different lines and colors used to write items in my planner. Despite using a symbol system to denote various types of tasks and points, the mix of pen, pencil, marker, and whatever else was handy make it difficult to read because there’s no consistency. I didn’t always mind the chaos but the more things I need to use my planner for the more it needs that missing consistency so I can easily find what I need when I need it.

I attempted using only 2 pens for the planner — a Pilot G-Tec C4 in black and Uni-ball Signo DX 0.38 in orange. Both smooth writers with fine lines. Black ink for the routine stuff and orange ink for anything that needs highlighting or action taken.

The color coding worked well but I have some logistical hangups. Switching back and forth between the two pens is fine at home but using the planner at work is often a more rushed and crowded situation. Having multiple pens open and keeping track of them within whatever else is going on hasn’t been convenient.

Also, how do I carry the pens? I wasn’t going to have them on my person because my daily work carry already has a primary pen (fountain pen or rollerball), a pencil, and a Sharpie. That means the planner pens must stay with the planner but keeping them securely attached was tricky. They could sit clipped inside the large diameter spiral binding but I don’t trust them to stay there. I have a few elasticized fabric bands with pen loops meant to go on A5 notebooks but they’re not a clean fit because the planner is bigger than A5. I thought about pen loops that clip on or stick on to notebook covers but didn’t see a way they could neatly attach without getting in the way of something.

If two pens aren’t the answer, could I get what I need out of one pen? That would mean using a multipen. I’ve never been much of a multipen user. I like their functionality but the designs and feel in hand often miss the mark some way. I spent a few days researching popular multipen models to see what the best options were for my needs.

I landed on the Pilot Hi-Tec C Coleto. I trust Pilot products to work. The refills use the same ink as the capped Hi-Tec pens, which I generally like. There are also a wide range of body options depending on how many refills you want to have in the pen. And, not for nothing, they’re cheap. I got 2 bodies and 4 refills in 0.5 size for about $13 from JetPens.

The Coleto bits should be here next week. I excited to try them out and see if one pen can (mostly) solve the problems I’ve encountered using two pens for my planner. More to come.

Do you have a favored multipen for a situation like mine? What is it and why do you like it?


21 March 2024