Back to School 2016 for Stationery Lovers

Back to school for students who love stationery is an exciting time that means backpacks full of shiny, fresh school supplies with that brand-new stationery smell! Here are some of our favorite supplies for your stationery fix in the new school year.

Clairefontaine Side-Staple Notebook
Clairefontaine Side-Staple Notebook

Clairefontaine Notebooks

Clairefontaine notebooks rock some of the best paper in the world for writing! This paper has a super smooth coating on it that reduces writing fatigue by allowing your pen to easily glide across the page. The quality of the paper minimizes any instances of ink bleeding through or showing through the paper which allows you to write on both sides of each page. Clairefontaine notebooks are especially awesome if you like to write with a fountain pen. There’s a huge variety of notebook styles and sizes from Clairefontaine, we’ll mention a few of our favorites here and you can check out the rest yourself.

LAMY Safari Fountain Pen in Blue
LAMY Safari Fountain Pen in Blue

LAMY Safari Fountain Pens and Pelikano Fountain Pens

A fountain pen is the perfect companion to go along with your Clairefontaine notebooks. Fountain pens help with writing fatigue by reducing the friction required to write and Clairefontaine paper has a satin smooth surface to reduce the fatigue even more. If you’re going to spend a lot of time writing you may as well enjoy it! For school or college purposes we would recommend a pen that’s not too expensive that can be filled with washable blue ink cartridges (more info on that in a moment). When you’re on the go, ink cartridges are easier to use than bottled ink and both the LAMY Safari and Pelikan Pelikano have washable blue ink cartridges with a decent ink capacity: LAMY Blue ink cartridges or Pelikan Royal Blue giant ink cartridges.

Pelikan Super Pirat Ink Eradicator
Pelikan Super Pirat Ink Eradicator

Pelikan Super Pirat Ink Eradicator 

The Super Pirat Ink Eradicator can erase mistakes made when writing with royal blue fountain pen inks and then you use the blue correction tip to correct the mistake. This correction pen is a fantastic addition to your fountain pen and Clairefontaine paper. If you’re wondering how it works take a look at this blog post: What is the Pelikan Super Pirat Ink Eradicator?

Quo Vadis Textagenda Academic Planner with a Red Chelsea Leather Cover
Quo Vadis Textagenda Academic Planner with a Red Chelsea Leather Cover

Quo Vadis Academic Planners for 2016-17

Academic planners are special because their dates correspond to the school year instead of the calendar year. They begin with the month of July or August and end with the month of July in the following year. Quo Vadis offers a variety of high quality planners and covers to keep even the busiest students organized.

  • Textagenda Daily Student Planner
  • Minister Weekly Student Planner – fountain pen friendly
  • University Pocket Size Student Planner
  • Scholar Weekly Student Planner – fountain pen friendly, open format
  • Monthly 4 18-month Monthly Planner
Clairefontaine Multiple Subject Notebook - Large
Clairefontaine Multiple Subject Notebook – Large

Clairefontaine Multiple Subject Notebooks

Clairefontaine Multiple Subject Notebooks get their own mention because they accomplish more than one purpose. In addition to tabbed, different colors of paper to keep your notes on different subjects organized, they also help save on space and weight to minimize the number of supplies you need to carry with you. These multiple subject notebooks have paper with a 5mm x 5mm grid so if you happen to have small handwriting you can get a lot of notes on one page. Clairefontaine Multiple Subject Notebooks are available in small, medium and large sizes.

Uni-ball Jetstream 3 Multicolor Pink Ballpoint Pen - 0.7mm
Uni-ball Jetstream 3 Multicolor Pink Ballpoint Pen – 0.7mm

Uni-ball Jetstream 3 Multicolor Ballpoint Pen

If you’re not into fountain pens, check out the space saving, smooth writing Uni-ball Jetstream 3 Multicolor Ballpoint Pen. It conveniently gives you 3 choices of ink color in one pen body. The pen comes with blue, black and red ink ink cartridges with a 0.7mm tip but can be refilled with any colors you wish. The pen is available with your choice of a pink, light blue, lime green, black or transparent body.

Clairefontaine Basics Blue Oval Leather Pencil Case
Clairefontaine Basics Blue Oval Leather Pencil Case

Aston Leather or Clairefontaine Leather Pen & Pencil Cases

Carry your writing instruments in style with a leather zippered pen and pencil pouch from Aston Leather or Clairefontaine. Both cases are reasonably priced and durable enough to last for years.

What are your favorite new school supplies to buy at the beginning of the school year?

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Your Fall Stationery Style Guide

Do you like to change your stationery supplies with the change of the season? I do! Now that autumn is here the ink in my fountain pens changes to warm, rich fall colors such as orange, gold, maroon and brown. Of course, it is necessary to select a harmonizing pen and notebook to complete the ensemble. Here are some of our fall stationery favorites:

Yellow Leaf

Yellow & Gold: One of my favorite everyday writing tools is the LAMY Safari fountain pen which is available in a cheery bright yellow that reminds me of the autumn color of some maple or birch tree leaves. Yellow ink is not practical for regular handwriting writing, so I like to use a golden amber shade such as J. Herbin Ambre de Birmanie fountain pen ink. If you’re new to fountain pens, and you’re going to use bottled ink in your LAMY Safari or Al-Star pen, you’ll need to get a LAMY Z24 ink converter.

LAMY Safari Fountain Pen in Yellow
LAMY Safari Fountain Pen in Yellow
J. Herbin Ambre de Birmanie Fountain Pen Ink
J. Herbin Ambre de Birmanie Fountain Pen Ink

Orange Pumpkin

Orange: I love seeing all of the colorful autumn squash in the supermarket this time of year. The star of this fall’s orange fountain pens is the limited edition copper-orange LAMY Al-Star pen. This relative of the LAMY Safari fountain pen is made from light-weight aluminum with a metallic finish. LAMY created special copper-orange ink cartridges just to match this fountain pen. A couple of my favorite orange bottled inks with nice shading are Noodler’s Apache Sunset and Noodler’s Habanero ink. Want a paper notebook with an orange cover? Go no further than Rhodia‘s famous orange notepads available in all sorts of styles and sizes with fountain pen friendly paper.

LAMY Al-Star Copper-Orange Fountain Pen
LAMY Al-Star Copper-Orange Fountain Pen
R by Rhodia Notepad, Medium Size, Orange Cover and a Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen
R by Rhodia Notepad with an orange cover and a Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen
Noodler's Ink Apache Sunset
Noodler’s Ink Apache Sunset

Red Maple Leaves

Red & Maroon: Doesn’t this orange Rhodia notepad look stylish next to these red Japanese maple leaves? The color of these leaves makes me think of the deep burgundy red color of the clear resin Bourgogne Platinum 3776 Century Fountain Pen. Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink in Momiji or Autumn Leaves is a red shade emulating the bright red leaves that are iconic of a Japanese autumn landscape. The ivory paper inside the red Quo Vadis Habana Journal complements the warm, autumn shades of ink that I use this time of year.

Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink Momiji - Autumn Leaves
Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink Momiji – Autumn Leaves
Platinum 3776 Century Fountain Pen - Bourgogne
Platinum 3776 Century Fountain Pen – Bourgogne
Quo Vadis Habana Journal with a Red Cover & Ivory Paper
Quo Vadis Habana Journal with a Red Cover & Ivory Paper

Brown Turkey Tail Fungus

Brown: I absolutely adore anything in tortoiseshell, and the Stipula Tuscany Dreams Peposo Fountain Pen in Brown Tortoiseshell is no exception! It’s a pity that this manly pen is too large for my small hands. This pen pairs well with J. Herbin Lie de The Ink Cartridges or Pilot Iroshizuku Wild Chestnut ink which is a brown color similar to the shade of a ripe, fallen chestnut shell during autumn. Aston Leather’s pen cases in golden caramel Tan or dark Brown are going to look great with and provide protection for any of your fall writing instruments.

Stipula Tuscany Dreams Peposo Fountain Pen - Brown Tortoiseshell
Stipula Tuscany Dreams Peposo Fountain Pen – Brown Tortoiseshell
Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink Yama-guri - Wild Chestnut
Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink Yama-guri – Wild Chestnut
Aston Leather Double Pen Hard Case in Brown
Aston Leather Double Pen Hard Case in Brown

What are your favorite stationery items for fall?

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Quo Vadis Monthly 4 Calendar Review

Quo Vadis Monthly 4 Planner - Black Club Cover
Quo Vadis Monthly 4 Planner with a Black Club Cover and elastic bookmark

The Monthly 4 Calendar from Quo Vadis provides 18 months for scheduling beginning with July of one year and ending with December of the next. It has the flexibility to be used to plan out a school year starting in August or September, or it can be used as a regular yearly planner.

Quo Vadis Monthly 4 Planner open to a calendar planning page
Quo Vadis Monthly 4 Planner open to a calendar planning page

As its name indicates, this is a monthly planner, which means that it displays an entire month over 2 pages for making notes about activities and appointments. It is a compact and useful tool for those that don’t need to keep extremely detailed records for each day. Each week of the monthly calendar indicates which week of the year it is (ie 34th week etc), begins with Monday and ends with a smaller space for Sunday. Each day indicates which day of the year it is and how many days are left in the year. Lunar cycles and holidays are also noted. On the right side of each month there is space for notes such as phone numbers, websites and expenses as well as small displays of the 2 previous months and 2 upcoming months. The bottom of each month has a space about 1.5″ tall for taking notes.

Quo Vadis Monthly 4 - Annual Planning Pages
Quo Vadis Monthly 4 annual planning pages

The first few pages of this planner include a page for personal information and a year and a half of annual planning pages that correspond to the 18 months in the planner. After the final calendar month of December in the planner there are annual planning pages for the following year.

Quo Vadis Monthly 4 world time zones & map of Canada
Quo Vadis Monthly 4 world time zones & map of Canada

The back of the Monthly 4 planner has a chart of international holidays for 31 different countries, international telephone access codes, world time zones and 8 pages of world maps. There is one page that displays 3 yearly calendars, an A to Z address book of 5 pages and 16 ruled pages for notes.

Quo Vadis Monthly 4 address & notes pages
Quo Vadis Monthly 4 address & notes pages

The smooth white 90g paper in the Monthly 4 planner is noteworthy because it is made by Clairefontaine. This means it is really great if you like to use fountain pens! Clairefontaine paper is acid free, chlorine free and PEFC certified. Each page in the planning section of the Monthly 4 has a perforated lower right corner. When you tear the corners off as you progress throughout the year it will help you to easily open the planner to the month in progress. Take a look at the very bottom of this post for a writing test we did with the paper in this planner.

Quo Vadis Monthly 4 map of Africa & 3 yearly calendars
Quo Vadis Monthly 4 map of Africa & 3 yearly calendars

A feature that is appreciated by many is that the sewn binding allows the planner to lay flat when it’s open. The Quo Vadis Monthly 4 can be purchased with a variety of refillable covers or it can be purchased as a refill without a cover. My planner has a Bamboo Green Texas cover that has a soft, suede-like feel to it. It’s the slimmest, most flexible and most light-weight of the available covers. The leather-like Soho and Club covers have stitched edges and are sturdy enough to be paired with a Quo Vadis elastic bookmark. The size of this planner is approximately 7″ x 9.38″ so it will slip into a medium size purse, backpack or briefcase.

Quo Vadis Monthly 4 Planner with a Bamboo Green Texas Cover
My own personal Monthly 4 Planner after a year & a half of use – still looks good!

Do you like to use a monthly planner? If so, which one is your favorite?

Quo Vadis Monthly 4 writing test - front of the page
Quo Vadis Monthly 4 writing test – front of the page
Quo Vadis Monthly 4 writing test - back
Quo Vadis Monthly 4 writing test – back of the page
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Top 5 School Supplies For 2015

A new school year is right around the corner! My favorite memory of going back to school was getting all of the fresh, new stationery supplies needed to prepare for the upcoming year. I was particularly fond of any new art supplies such as pencils with a variety of graphite, paints and sketchbooks. Whether or not you feel it’s old-fashioned, using paper and pen to take handwritten notes has proven to help students learn more than if they type their notes on laptops so be sure to stock up on writing supplies for top school performance! Here are our top 5 stationery choices for back to school 2015:

Clairefontaine Twinbook
Clairefontaine Twinbook Two Subject Notebook

1) Clairefontaine Notebooks. Whatever your paper notebook needs are, Clairefontaine pretty much has you covered with their huge variety and high quality super-smooth paper. One of our favorites is the Clairefontaine Twinbook. The first 48 pages have a tab cut into them that divides the Twinbook into two sections for two subjects. Another favorite is the 3-hole punched Clairefontaine Wirebound Notebook, ruled with margin. This notebook has paper that is sized to fit 3-ring binders in the USA and includes a generous 90 sheets of paper (available soon).

Quo Vadis Minister Planner - Red Club Cover
Quo Vadis Minister Planner with a Red Club Cover

2) Quo Vadis Academic Planners. Back to school means a busy schedule and lots of exams and assignments to keep track of. Keep yourself or your student organized with a Quo Vadis Academic Planner that starts and ends with the months of the school year. For a super jam-packed schedule try the Quo Vadis Academic Minister or for something pocket-sized the Quo Vadis University Appointment Book.

Palomino Blackwing Pencils
Palomino Blackwing Pencils

3) Palomino Blackwing Pencils. Whether you’re in art class or geometry class a quality pencil is an essential tool. Palomino has got your needs covered with their retro variety of premium graphite wooden pencils.

Zebra Optex Highlighters
Zebra Optex Highlighters

4) Zebra Optex Highlighters. These Zebra Highlighters have a tip on each end: The thick end is perfect for highlighting words on a page while the thin end is great for underlining. Save space (and weight!) in your backpack with these dual purpose writing tools.

Aston Leather Pen & Pencil Pouches
Aston Leather Pen & Pencil Pouches

5) Aston Leather Pencil Pouch. Keep your writing instruments from getting lost in the black hole of your backpack with a rugged Aston Leather Pencil Pouch. Aston selects their leather from the best environmentally friendly American and European tanneries, and their leathers are scratch resistant, supple, and sturdy.

What would you like to add to our list of top 5 school supplies for 2015?

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Why Use a Paper Appointment Book or Planner?

Exacompta Space 17 Pocket Size Weekly Planner
Exacompta Space 17 Pocket Size Weekly Planner

In the age of smart phones and digital calendars, why on earth would anyone want to continue using a paper planner to schedule appointments? I personally have both a digital and a paper calendar because I find that each one has a particular role to help keep my life organized. Here are some of my favorite reasons to use an old-fashioned paper appointment book to keep track of my schedule:

1. The act of writing by hand is a memory aid. When I pick up a pen and write down events in my schedule I am much more likely to remember these events without looking at any calendar – whether it’s paper or digital!

2. You can use your beloved fountain pens to write in your planner. Yes, you know who you are. If you’re like me, writing with a fountain pen is a satisfying, calming experience. (Check out our list of Fountain Pen Friendly Planners if this applies to you.)

Quo Vadis Minister Weekly Planner
Quo Vadis Minister Weekly Planner

3. It slows you down and helps you to focus. There are no notifications, videos, ads, texts, etc to get in the way of your thoughts as you put your pen to paper. Distractions can cause me to schedule things poorly but a paper organizer eliminates digital “clutter” as I plan out my weeks.

4. A paper planner can also become a memory book. I seldom look back through my digital records to reminisce, but a paper diary or record of my past events has a much more personal feeling to it.

5. It encourages creativity and is fun to personalize. I really enjoy using a different style and type of planner each year. Some planners I’ve used are very traditional and business-like, other years I’ll choose something pocket-size or a planner with eye-catching artwork. Inside I like to mix it up with a variety of ink colors and a some doodles. Some people go all-out and completely decorate their planners with stickers and memorabilia. Emotions can also be expressed with the fonts and style of handing writing that you use.

Exacompta Journal 21 Daily Desk Diary
Exacompta Journal 21 Daily Desk Diary

6. Handwriting is also good exercise for the brain and we all need more of that, right?

7. Writing in a planner or diary is an opportunity to help keep your penmanship in tip-top shape.

8. Maybe it’s just me – I really prefer the “week at a glance” or “month at a glance” view in a paper planner over a digital planner, especially for the non-work related events in my personal life.

Do you use a paper appointment book? Why do you enjoy recording upcoming events using pen & paper? Planners for 2016 are now in stock at Writer’s Bloc.

Quo Vadis Notor or Textagenda Daily Diaries
Quo Vadis Notor or Textagenda Daily Desk Diaries
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