Saturday, March 26, 2011
Do you like your notebooks to be large, small, or somewhere in between? Would you prefer a notebook that takes up your entire desk space or one that can be hidden away in your pocket?
Large notebooks are expansive, allowing you to stretch your imagination, make big plans, draw complex maps and diagrams, or fill the page in a passionate outpouring of words. But they can be awkward to carry around, are hard to hide (if you need to hide your notebook), and that large expanse of blank page can be intimidating to some.
Small notebooks, on the other hand, are portable, personal, and private, ideal for jotting down your innermost thoughts or for making a brief grocery list. But when you have many things to write, a small notebook may feel cramped and inhibiting. And, although a small notebook can be more easily hidden, it can also be more easily lost.
But perhaps for you the ideal notebook is neither very large nor very small, but somewhere in between. It fits perfectly into your hand and into your bag or backpack. Perhaps you haven't found it yet, but you're convinced that it's out there, somewhere...
For a written journal, I like a small notebook myself, although not too small. My small Quo Vadis Habana at about 4x6 inches feels about right. For sketchbooks, art journals, and notebooks that stay at home on the shelf and don't get out much (that sounds a lot like my life, actually, but never mind), I like something a bit larger, perhaps around 6x8 inches. Notebooks much larger than that just feel too cumbersome, while those that are very small just don't have enough space.
What about you? Which size of notebook do you prefer? Does your preferred size change depending on the purpose of the notebook? Do you prefer different formats of paper (plain, lined, or graph) for the different sizes? (For example, I often prefer lined for medium-sized notebooks and plain or graph for large or small notebooks.) Do you use one size exclusively or experiment with different sizes?
Friday, March 25, 2011
Let's begin with with the positives first: The Papermate Biodegradable Ballpoint Pen has a slightly contoured barrel in a somewhat earthy-looking colour scheme. It is retractable and the plunger indicates the colour of the ink. The plastic feels pleasantly smooth, although a slight seam is noticeable on either side of the barrel. Overall, the pen is surprisingly lightweight and comfortable to use.
However, the main selling feature of this pen is the fact that it's made of biodegradable plastic. But, I must ask, how "green" is it? Although I'm glad to know that this pen will not end up sitting around in a landfill for centuries to come, a certain amount of energy is still needed to produce it and ship it the store, so I still have some doubts about how environmentally friendly this pen really is. Although this pen is refillable, I also doubt whether the average ballpoint pen user would actually seek out a refill. Still, it is an improvement over the average plastic pen.
But even if the Papermate Biodegradable Ballpoint could single-handedly save the world from environmental disaster, it would still not be redeemed in my eyes, because, unfortunately, it writes like any other mediocre ballpoint pen. The line skips and is full of white spaces. I need to exert considerable pressure while writing to make a mark on the page and, even then, I don't feel as though the ink is dark enough. A smooth writer this pen is not, but I must admit that I was not exactly expecting anything too stellar in writing ability to begin with. Since the barrel is appealing and comfortable, if I could put in a gel or Jetstream refill this pen might become a favourite, but as it is I'm afraid it will end up at the back of my pen case.
Still, some people are ballpoint people (despite all my attempts to change their ways) and others don't really care what pen they use - they just want a basic pen to toss in their bag and not have to worry about losing. If that describes you or someone you know, then I encourage you to check out the Papermate Biodegradable Ballpoint as a (somewhat) environmentally-friendly choice.
Related reviews: OfficeSupplyGeek, Pocket Blonde.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Doesn't it annoy you when a blogger, who formerly posted fairly regularly, suddenly, for no apparent reason, disappears, and weeks if not months creep by with no new posts from her? It always annoys me, which is why I feel very bad about my own lack of posts here lately. Part of the reason was due to my very busy semester at university, but part of it, I'm afraid, was just due to procrastination. Still, I hope you have not all abandoned me yet!
I have a backlog of new pens to review, so I need to start posting more regularly again. I mean it this time.
Here's what you can look forward to in the next few weeks:
- Reviews of the above pens: Sharpie Pen RT, PaperMate Gel 0.7mm, PaperMate Biodegradable Ballpoint, Stabilo Colorgel 0.4mm, Zebra Z-Grip, Pentel EnerGel RT 0.7mm
- Some pages from my recently completed fourth art journal
- A homage to the No. 11 Rhodia pad
- Reflections on ways to use your pens, and on sizes of notebooks
- Perhaps some more stuff on art journaling?