Writer’s Bloc 7th Anniversary Sale & Giveaway!

Neon Yellow LAMY Safari Fountain Pen
Neon Yellow Limited Edition LAMY Safari Fountain Pen

November 2013 is our 7 year anniversary! To celebrate we will be offering special deals at Writer’s Bloc throughout the month of November so be sure to visit us often to see what’s new. To kick off this event we are giving away:

TWSBI Vac700 Fountain Pen in Amber
TWSBI Vac700 Fountain Pen in Amber


  • To enter leave one comment on this blog post.
  • Increase your chances of winning by sharing the Writer’s Bloc Anniversary Event with others!
    For additional entries link to the Writer’s Bloc Anniversary Sale – http://reviews.shopwritersbloc.com/ – on your own blog or on social media. Be sure to include a link in your comment to where you mentioned it. Each comment = one entry.


Giveaway Rules:

  • No purchase necessary to enter.
  • Entries will be accepted now through November 18, 2013 at midnight Pacific Time.
  • Three winners will be chosen at random from all entries and announced on this blog on November 20, 2013.
  • Winners will be contacted using the email address provided with their blog comment.
  • The winners will have until November 30, 2013 to contact us and claim their prize or the prize will be forfeited.
  • Prizes consist of one TWSBI Vac700 Fountain Pen in Amber with a fine nib, one Neon Yellow LAMY Safari Limited Edition Fountain Pen with a chrome fine nib, and one $25.00 gift certificate valid only at www.shopwritersbloc.com
  • Not redeemable for cash – no cash value.
  • Gift certificate code will be sent to the winner via email.
  • Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received.
  • Anyone 18 years of age or older that is a US resident can enter.
  • Prizes will be shipped to addresses within the USA only.
  • Giveaway is being offered by Writer’s Bloc, 2403 SE Monroe St Ste A3, Portland, OR 97222
  • Email addresses and other info are only used to verify and contact the winner.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmailby feather

What is the Cornell Note Taking System?

The Cornell note taking system was invented in the 1950’s by Walter Pauk who was an education professor at Cornell University. This effective system for taking notes was made popular by Professor Pauk’s best selling book How To Study In College and is still being used by college students today. This book is still available if you are interested in reading the details about this effective note taking method and other study strategies.

The Cornell method of note-taking is done by dividing a page into 3 sections: Notes, Cues and a Summary section. Assuming you’re taking notes on an 8.5 x 11″ or A4 size page, create a column about 2″ wide on either the left or right hand side of the page for Cues. Leave about 2″ at the bottom of the page for a Summary section. The largest section is for Notes. At the top of each page write your name, date, topic and class.

The Notes section is used during class or while reading a book to take abbreviated notes and to copy any diagrams or charts the instructor may use. It’s a good idea to leave extra space between main points and topics so that other details can be filled in later and to allow you to read your notes easily.

The Cues should be written down soon after the class is over. Cues are used for review and study and can include such things as questions anticipated on an exam, main ideas/people, and vocabulary words.

The Summary at the bottom of the page is written after class and is used to help you find information later on. It is a brief summary of the notes on that page highlighting the main point(s).

Cornell Note-Taking Method
Cornell Note-Taking Method

Cornell University summarizes the method of using these notes most effectively this way:

  1. Record. Take brief notes during a lecture or while reading.
  2. Questions. As soon after class as possible, formulate questions based on the notes. The writing of questions is used to study for exams later.
  3. Recite. Cover the large note-taking section with a sheet of paper. Then, looking at the questions or cue-words in the cue column only, say aloud, in your own words, the answers to the questions, facts, or ideas indicated by the cue-words.
  4. Reflect. Reflect on the material by asking yourself questions, for example: “What’s the significance of these facts? What principle are they based on? How can I apply them? How do they fit in with what Ialready know? What’s beyond them?
  5. Review. Spend at least ten minutes every week reviewing all your previous
    notes. If you do, you’ll retain a great deal for current use, as well as, for the exam.

Several universities & websites provide explanations on how to benefit from the Cornell note taking method – here are just a few:
Cornell University
Florida State University
University of Houston-Victoria
Life Hacker

If you want to try to improve your studying by using the Cornell Method of note-taking you can simply use a bold pen to divide pages in your notebook into 3 sections, you can print out your own Cornell paper by using an online PDF generator, or you can buy a nicely bound notebook with Cornell paper. Cornell notebooks currently available at Writer’s Bloc include:

Rhodia Classic Meeting Book – Large with Black Cover
Rhodia Classic Meeting Book – Large with Orange Cover
Rhodia Classic Meeting Book – Medium with Black Cover
Rhodia Classic Meeting Book – Medium with Orange Cover
Rhodiactive Meeting Book 90 – A4+ Large
Rhodia Business Collection Meeting Book 90 – Medium
Moleskine Professional Notebook – Extra Large, Black Hardcover
Moleskine Professional Notebook – Large, Black Hardcover

Have you ever used the Cornell note-taking method? What is your favorite notebook or paper for taking notes?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmailby feather

What is the Best Waterproof Fountain Pen Ink?

What is the best waterproof fountain pen ink? I would have to answer this by saying it depends on what you are planning on using it for, the type of paper you are using and on your own personal preferences. Also, depending on your expectations, you may feel that there are no fountain pen inks that are truly waterproof. Let me explain.

While there are different forms of waterproof ink on the market, not all inks are suitable for use in a fountain pen. Some types of ink can harm or clog your fountain pen, so unless the ink is specifically formulated for fountain pens we cannot recommend using it. Fountain pen ink is water based, and therefore water soluble, and is either dye or pigment ink.

Noodler's "Bulletproof" Black Fountain Pen Ink
Noodler’s “Bulletproof” Black Fountain Pen Ink

Noodler’s Ink has created many colors and types of dye based ink that are what they call “bulletproof.” Here is how Noodler’s currently defines “bulletproof”:

“Bulletproof” refers to any Noodler’s Ink that resists all the known tools of a forger, UV light, UV light wands, bleaches, alcohols, solvents, petrochemicals, oven cleaners, carpet cleaners, carpet stain lifters, and of course…they are also waterproof once permitted to dry upon cellulose paper. Some inks are more bulletproof than others – generally in descending order (most bulletproof with the most testing – to less bulletproof): blacks, blues, yellows, invisible (“blue ghost” and “White Whale”), greens, browns, purples, reds….all are equally bulletproof with one exception: the resistance to strong industrial bleaches to the point where the paper structure itself decomposes. Reds are prone to more fading when exposed to strong bleaches (sometimes fading to a yellow) than the other colors.

Noodler’s has also gone a step further and created the Warden’s series of inks which in addition to being “bulletproof” also resist several new technologies that could potentially be used by forgers.

In what way are these “bulletproof” inks waterproof? When the ink has a chance to react with the cellulose in paper, it forms a bond with the cellulose and cannot be washed out of the paper. “Bulletproof” ink that does not bond with cellulose CAN be washed off.

Noodler’s bulletproof inks are a good choice if you want to address an envelope and make sure the address doesn’t get washed off by the rain. They are also good for writing checks or for writing other documents where resisting crime/fraud is important. If you want to make sure your precious notes or journal do not get obliterated due to a coffee spill, bulletproof ink is also a good choice. Some of the ink may run or wash off of the page or even fade in color when exposed to water, but the ink that has bonded with the cellulose will remain. You can expect differing results with this ink depending on what type of paper and pen you use.

Platinum Carbon Ink - Black
Platinum Carbon Ink – Black

If you want to use black fountain pen ink along with watercolor paints for artwork, your best choice would be a water-resistant black pigment ink meant for fountain pens such as Platinum Carbon Black. This ink contains ultra-fine pigment powder that makes the ink very water-resistant, fade-resistant and heat-resistant after it dries. It is possible that this ink could clog a fountain pen, so careful fountain pen maintenance is required when using this ink. Depending on the situation, a small of this ink may wash off with water, so it is not perfectly waterproof. Again, you can expect differing results depending on what type of paper and pen you use. Platinum pigment inks are also available in red, brown and blue colors.

Of course there are other types of water-resistant fountain pen ink available, with varying degrees of resistance to water. We’d love to hear which one is your favorite, why you like it and what you like to use it for!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmailby feather