Don’t Be List-Less!

Do you keep lists? To-do lists, shopping lists, goals, action plans, appointments, what else do you keep lists of? Even though I have an iPhone and a lap top computer I still like to have my lists on paper. I find that the act of writing my thoughts down on paper helps me to remember things and to reorganize.

Daily to-do lists are really helpful if you’re busy like me. I like to write all of the most important to-do items at the top of my list, and write the less important tasks at the bottom. If I happen to be driving around that day I group my to-do items by location to make the most of my time and travel expenses. One of the most satisfying things about having a paper list is crossing the tasks off as they are completed! The next day I carry over any unfinished tasks to my new list.

A suggestion I recently heard but have yet to try is writing each of your to-do items on separate index cards. Then divide your index cards into two groups – the first group is for tasks you would like to get done today, the second group is for things to do tomorrow. When tomorrow comes, reorganize your index cards into the same two groups and repeat. Exacompta Index Cards would be great for this purpose since they are so wonderful to use with fountain pens. They also have a grid pattern on them so that any edge of the card can be the top.

One trick to making paper lists work is remembering to bring them with you! I often tape these lists to the door I go through when I leave in the morning so I’m sure not to forget them. Now, Bob’s Your Uncle has made this even simpler with their Handy Handle Pad. No more tape is required since this notepad hangs right on the door handle. If you’re the type that has a pretty extensive daily to-do list Bob’s Your Uncle also makes the No Tomorrow Planner Pad with generous space for appointments and other lists. Just tear off the page and go! If you like to make lists of pros and cons when making decisions there’s even a list pad for that, the Yeah…But List Pad has two columns especially for this purpose.

There are many shapes, sizes and styles of list pads to choose from. Behance, known for its Action Method product line, has a couple of pocket size options to help increase your productivity – the Action Runner and Action Cards. Padblocks makes magnetic list pads with birds or dogs as well as list pads decorated with cats and flowers. Rhodia has list pads in orange and black, and we even have a Googims Time is Money checklist. What’s your favorite list pad and what do you use it for?

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Equation for the Perfect Writing Tools

If you are particular about what you write with like me, you may agree that the following equation, when put together just right, adds up to a great writing experience:

Pen (A) + Ink (B) + Paper (C) = The Perfect Writing Experience (YAY)!

There is no right or wrong answer to this equation since the answer will depend on the preferences and tastes of the writer.

I’m still in the process of experimenting with pens, inks and papers to see what works for me. Being a Lefty adds some additional challenges since I’m always trying to avoid a big mess of smeared ink. Much to my dismay, I’ve discovered that I am not able to use Clairefontaine’s fabulously smooth 90g white paper for everyday writing with a fountain pen. Almost all fountain pen ink dries too slowly on this paper for my style of left-handed writing and I make a huge mess. *Sniff* However, I can use this paper successfully with a fine nib Platinum Preppy fountain pen using Platinum ink cartridges, Pentel Energel or Slicci gel pens, or some other non-fountain pens and pencils. I’m in the process of testing other types of Clairefontaine paper such as the Graf it sketch pads to see if I can use it regularly with fountain pens. It seems that I need a paper that is slightly absorbent and not too coated, that still resists ink feathering and bleed-through. Right now I am loving J. Herbin Ink since it seems to have a pretty decent drying time. As regards to the pen I use, well, is it possible to have too many pens? I tend to write with whatever I’m in the mood for that particular day.

This is where I need to hear from you. Please leave a comment and tell me what your perfect writing tools are. I’d love to get some valuable tips from other writers!

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Dot Grid Notebooks

Dot grid paper is a fun alternative to traditional ruled or graph paper. With a dot grid any edge of the page can be “up”.  This paper is visually less cluttered than graph or ruled paper, but still provides a guide for those who like to keep their writing in a straight line. A great choice for those who like to write and doodle on the same paper! It’s nice to see the variety of choices is increasing for those who prefer dot grid paper.

Rhodia just introduced the dotPad which is a top stapled notepad available in four different sizes. The Rhodia dotPad contains white paper with pale violet dots in a 5mm x 5mm grid. This paper is super smooth and loved by fountain pen users around the world. We have a handful of these notepads available with more to follow.

The Behance Dot Grid Book is a large spiral-bound notebook filled with white paper dotted by a light grey geometric dot matrix. Behance’s other notebooks such as the Action Book and Action Pad are designed to increase productivity and organization in your life and incorporate dot grids into their designs.

Bob’s Your Uncle Pretty Vacant spiral-bound notebook offers cream colored paper with pale green dots. Gotta love the green dots! Great for doodling, sketching, drafting, or writing and made from responsibly managed forests.

WRITERSBLOK notebooks have a stitched binding, are available in small, medium and large sizes and contain cream paper with a very subtle light grey 5mm x 5mm dot grid. You can feel good using these notebooks because a percentage of sales from WRITERSBLOK goes to literacy-related programs around the USA.

Do you love dot grid paper as much as we do? What do you use your dot grid notepads for?

UPDATE: Writer’s Bloc now has a webpage dedicated to Dot Grid Notebooks. Take a look and check out the latest notebooks with dot grid paper. 

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Aurora Fountain Pen Links

We love Aurora fountain pens! Here are some of our favorite Aurora links:

First, this is a great video on how Aurora pens are made.

Blogger Lady Dandelion takes a great snapshot of an Aurora Talentum in fire engine red.

Bleubug has some interesting information about a cool vintage Aurora 98 fountain pen with a piston filling knob that extends from and retracts into the barrel with a “click”.

Rhodia Drive "What’s Your Favorite Pen" has a nice photo of the bright & sunny yellow Aurora Ipsilon.

Of course, we have to mention the Aurora Pens Italy website, the mothership of all Aurora pens. See anything you like that we don’t have in our shop? Send us an email and perhaps we can special order it for you.

You’ll find a selection of our favorite Aurora fountain pens at Writer’s Bloc. What’s your favorite Aurora pen?

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