Friday, 30 March 2018

New Journal!

Among other chores this weekend I’m rolling over to a new bullet journal. I’ve been using this approach for a few years but in 2018 I tried something different: rather than just use the BuJo for tasks, I’d use it for everything, including work meeting minutes, creative RPG ideas, daily tasks and so forth. This was a conscious departure from how I’d done things in the past, namely several notebooks on the go (e.g. one work, one home) plus brief episodes of going completely digital, embracing GTD with multiple lists, and trying to make Filofax work for me.

Thanks to my vacillating my last BuJo (one of the official Leuchtturm black embossed ones) lasted more than a year, this one (in blue) has been filled in three months. It’s filled up so quickly because I’m not using the system perhaps in the minimalist way Ryder Carroll does it; instead of a single day taking half a page, my working week might fill up to 20 pages. But while I write a lot more the principles are the same:

  • rapid logging; write everything down and bullet them according to information or tasks
  • monthly (or more frequent) task migration
  • one place for everything

Some changes to the BuJo approach, with varying levels of success:

  1. I’ve developed a few new bullets but the only one that’s been useful is the cross for sub-headings within meetings
  2. I have thought about doing weekly task migration as I generate a significant number of tasks daily, which are easy to lose
  3. The one other thing I tried but ultimately didn’t need was a much more complicated Future Log which I laid out like a calendar. For the next book I’m going back to the minimalist Future Log layout and keep it to a single page spread (given how quickly I’m likely to use up the journal).

I’m sticking with Leuchtturm1917 journals for now. The outgoing journal was squared paper and unlike Rhodia’s violet 5×5 grid on bright white paper the Leuchtturm square grid is very subtle grey on off-white, and doesn’t make it hard for me to read my words later. The Leuchtturm also has a prompt for Date at the top of each page which is both good and bad — good because I got in the habit of starting a new day on a new page but bad since I write across several pages, so the subsequent ones waste some space. This time I’m going back to a dot grid with one of the special edition Red Dots books which look fantastic — although the index has shrunk down to a 2-page spread which would not be enough if I were not indexing the BuJo way.

(still using Field Notes for gathering RPG project notes though)

Tuesday, 11 April 2017


This is what happened when I opened my new bottle of Montblanc Lavender Purple:

You could be forgiven for thinking that’s just dried ink inside the cap, but look at around 8 o’clock and you can see a big fuzzy growth, as well as some stringy stuff in the middle which could be slime or it could just be ink precipitates.

I went for a refund rather than replacement since the stock was all from the same batch (Dec 2020) and replacements could easily be contaminated and/or undertreated with biocide.

There are a few examples of mouldy Montblanc inks on t’internet (more Lavender Purple, and Yellow) although the name usually associated with bottle slime is J. Herbin who had issues in 2010 — caused by challenges of using ingredients that were safer for operators but harder to mix with water, so their treat of biocide wasn’t consistent across all batches (letter here).

Friday, 15 July 2016

Inky Flush

This is a bit of fun using the straw technique as used by Ian Hedley on his ink reviews e.g. Diamine Red Dragon. I was cleaning out four pens:

  • Lamy Safari with Cult Pens’ Deep Dark Purple
  • Parker 51 with Diamine Graphite
  • Noodler’s Ahab with Cult Pens’ Deep Dark Orange
  • Another Ahab with Diamine Evergreen

All I did was blob the remaining ink onto the paper and push the blobs around with a drinking straw. Anyway, pictures:

corner 1

forest detail

graphite splash

the forest



corner full image

Full image

Photos were taken with both natural and artificial light (with a Panasonic Lumix and a fixed-focus lens) and some of them are a bit yellow. Still, I like the way the sheen comes out in some of the pictures.