One month

One month. That’s how long I went without writing in my diary this time around. This is significant because it’s the first time in almost 3 years I haven’t written in my diary daily.

The reason; there isn’t any.

I don’t know what happened.

I just didn’t use it for the month.

A lot happened in my life that should have been documented, but I just never picked up the pen to write it down.

Safe to say, today I wrote in my diary and have promised myself to never again let this happen. I want to be able to read my diaries back when I am 90 and old and remember details I have forgotten about my own life.



Copic Multiliner & Uniball Signo 307

I often get ideas in my head late at night about things I want to try or buy. Last night it was the idea to include more illustrations in my journals (even though I am so bad at drawing–you will see soon just how bad). The day later, I stopped in at Dymocks Stationary in Sydney on my way to work on a mission to buy just one thing. A fine line pen that I can use in my journals to illustrate. It had to be the finest line pen I could find.

The shop assistant showed me the Copic Multiliners and I chose the finest one they had, the 0.03mm.

I am in no way an artist or designer, I have never used a Copic before and I have never used a pen under 0.38mm, so I was surprised at just how hard it is to write/illustrate using fine tip pens. Did some small sketches in my notebook to test out the pen (the eye is a traced drawing, I cant draw remember). The detail you can get with a 0.03mm pen is amazing but also difficult to use. I have a long way to go to learn how to render and add textures in to my drawings so any tips or ideas would be helpful.

That same day I got the Copic I also needed a new writing pen too as my other one was running out of ink. The only time a pen runs out of ink for me is when the pen is a Uniball Signo RT or Sarasa Gel pen. I use them up in an instant. 

While browsing the pens I found the Uniball Sign 307 and wanted to give it a try. Couldn’t find it in 0.4 or 0.38 (my preferred writing size) but found one in 0.5. Close enough I thought. As expected by uniball, the writing experience is super smooth and extremely flowy (for lack of a better term). 


It was a mistake. 

That night when I did some writing, I was so dissapointed with just how much ink flowed out. Usually the Uniball inks dry quick enough for my left hand writing that by the time my palm smudges over it it doesnt smudge, however with this pen, because it is so inky, I had to bend my hand uncomfortably just to allow the ink to dry while I wrote normally. It is hard to find a good pen if you are a left handed writer. I wasnt accustomed to just how thick and dark the writing would look. It gave my writing a kind of rushed appearance which is probably due to all the smudging and thick inky lines. 

The right hand page of that image is the Uniball Signo 307, hence the smudges.

This pen will not become my new writing pen and for now I will keep to what I know works best for me. This pen however may be suitable to right handlers and to those who love a real thick, dark heavy line when they write.

Patents from yesteryear

Between getting stuck down YouTube holes and Googling any random thought that pops in my head, I found myself the other day browsing pictures of Leonardo Davinci’s notebooks which led me down a vortex of browsing patent sketches from long ago.

I find patent sketches really interesting. I am unsure of the process a patent goes through, but I assume it is something like…

1. Person gets a grand idea.

2. Person writes or illustrates said idea but in a way to not entirely give away the idea but just enough to prove that you indeed conceived the idea.

3. The patent is created.

These are just a few of the patents I found that I discovered. How to perform an acrobatic jump, how to loop-the-loop on a double bicycle for looping-the-loop and an 1869 flying machine. I doubt much flying and more falling was done, in all these cases, but it made me wonder how many other amusing and bizzare patents (or ideas) there are out there.


Oh and this patent for a game I played probably a bit too much when I was younger, Ouija.

Japanese watercolour brush markers

When I left Japan last year, I was given a farewell gift from someone. Inside this farewell gift was some amazing Japanese stationary. I hadn’t used it until recently due to all the stationary I have accumulated and just wanted to show you all what it is.

It started the other night. 

I found myself going through my things I brought back and stumbled upon these beautiful Japanese watercolour brush markers in spring colours by Sai.

I am in no way an artist. Drawing anything more than a stick figure is beyond my skill set. But even though I know my drawings look like automatic writing, I decided to incorporate more drawings/sketches in my notes and these newly found old Japanese brush markers have made my chicken scratches look less crap more decent.

Now while writing this entry, I was looking up the markers online and almost crapped myself when I came across this.

A full set of the beauties! How much? Take my money. Take all my money. 

Unless you are a master calligrapher, the markers are hard to write with, but they do very well colouring and adding life to illustrations. Actually, these markers have made me want to delve into the world of water colouring. I can see it now. Title of my next post…backpack disaster; how I ruined my Moleskine and made expensive paper mâché at the same time.

Help; a story of what keeps me up at night

I got stuck again last night on YouTube watching various stationary videos. Fountain pen reviews, Midori Travellers notebook set ups, moleskine art journals and much much more. It led me into another which-note-book-should-I-be-using crisis as often is the case when I start watching these kinds of videos.

You see, I have so many notebooks (mainly Field Notes) which I collect. I keep a daily Moleskine pocket diary (the thick daily kind) which I write in every day as well as always carrying a field note in my back pocket wherever I go. My Midori is usually chucked in my bag and only makes itself known when I occasionally put my Field Note in it for safer keeping.


The perfectionist inside me likes a unified archive of notes. I cannot have different sized books. I cannot have a Field Note one week and a Moleskine the next. If I am journaling or catching my notes, I want it all the same. I dont know why. Maybe I have a problem. Or, maybe I have OCD. I just need my books to be the same.

By now, a bunch of people would have scrolled past this post thinking “What is this guy going on about?”. For those that have stayed, I know you know what I know and how I feel.

So getting back on topic, last night while I was watching these videos, I got out my old note books and realized my daily catch all notebooks went from a Moleskine soft cover pocket, filled with amazing notes, keepworthy thoughts, dismal but delightful drawings of random things my brain thought up, to Field Notes filled with work notes like who is changing shifts with who, random figures and time slots, sales report notes and other boring-I-don’t-want-to-read-this-again kind of notes.

What went wrong? I went from writing interesting things in my catch all notebook, things that gave a glance into the inner workings of my imagination and mind to catching all the boring un-fun stuff in my life. 

Then it clicked…

I was using my Field Notes to catch the boring work notes and just got in the habbit of it. I was pleased I was actually filling them up, but looking back through some of them, it almost put me to sleep. When looking through my old Moleskine catch all notebook, it was filled with interesting things I am glad I wrote down. And I think it had something to do with my keeping the Field Note in my back pocket and scribbling in any old junk.

Instantly I knew what I had to do.

Buy another Moleskine pocket softcover and use it as my catch all notebook, only writing in it when I have an idea, thought, want to record something profound and not all the work crap. So, thats what I did today.

Originally last night I did vow to not waste my Field Notes filling them up with boring work things, but instead use them as my daily catch all, and this would have worked perfectly fine, but, today my inner perfectionist kicked in and reminded me that it would not be right to have a Moleskine, Field Note, Field Note, Moleskine combo so instead, I will now use my Moleskine as my daily catch all so when I have a collection of notes, they are all in Moleskines.

This is what keeps me up at night guys.

Am I crazy?

Reading this post back to myself it appears so, but, I finally feel after all these years I know which kind of book and tool I like to use to record my ideas. This is progress…small steps.

I bought a new Moleskine softcover pocket blank notebook today, my first ever blank page kind. The excitement I felt looking at the blank pages and all the possibilities of what to fill in it, albeit probably with crooked wonky writing, but the joys of a fresh blank notebook is just what I needed.

I added it to my now frankenstein’esque Midori which now includes…

– Pitch black Field Notes.

– Two rivers Field Notes.

– Plastic Midori insert

– Craft Midori folder insert

– Moleskine softcover pocket blank page notebook

Look at the bloody thing.

Now my new problem is that I have the half filled Field Note which was my previous work/catch all notebook just sitting there. I guess I may as well just fill the rest with boring work notes now that I have the Moleskine shoved in there.

And another new problem…what to use my Field Notes for? I guess they will just continue to be a collection thing than a use thing for now…until I have another mid life notebook crisis.

Until then…

Catch All = Moleskine; but not for work notes

Work notes = something else that isnt wasting field notes or precious space in my Moleskine

I think I need professional help.

More Field Notes

I re-newed my Field Notes subscription going back a few weeks. I just love collecting Field Notes. Like many others who read this, I too have a stack of Field Notes now, more so than I probably need or will ever use, but, I have started a collection and I will feel weird to stop. So I renewed my subscription to continue for another year of collecting these great notebooks. I also enjoy the feeling of receiving a package in the mail every so often throughout the year. It is always a surprise. And this time around I was surprised by the new packaging the Field Notes subscription came in!

My first thoughts on this Utility edition were…

  1. The raw feeling of the cardboard is nice.
  2. Why doesnt the ruler fold over the pages like a bookmark?
  3. Nice sending one pack of each a ledger and a graph.

I have finally started using my Field Notes as my catch all notebooks that I keep in my pocket now when I am at work. They fit nicely in my back pocket and age well in there too. I finished one of my Black Ice editions the other week and due to the weather here in Sydney (rain every day) I switched it out to Expedition to withstand the water that leaks through my backpack. It has also been a great little show off item at work watching people trying to rip the pages or wet my notebook.

I really love the look of how the Black Ice edition has worn. Being my first Field Notes that I have just let be in my pocket, I am now excited to see how the other editions will wear! I can already see the fading/scuffing of the Expedition edition and am amazed how well the cover is keeping up in my pocket.

Snail Mail #4

I know it is now February almost March but I had to post this.

Each year, my good friend and artist Tomoko sends me a personalised nengajo. A nengajo is a Japanese post card sent on New Years. If you have lived in Japan or have Japanese friends, you have no doubt seen or heard about these postcards. People design their own postcard to send best wishes to their friends and family. 

Well, Tomoko has been illustrating and sending me one each year in the hopes I collect all 12, which I am told, is very good luck.

The fun thing about collecting Tomoko’s nengajo is that she illustrates it and paints the New Years zodiac sign on the front in great detail. Her art style has its own unique touch

Each year I look forward to receiving her beautiful pieces and cant wait to build my collection of her paintings.

As well as the beautiful illustration on the front, she also greets me with exceptional Japanese calligraphy too. I just had to share with everyone how perfect it is.