Writing instruments for your journal

Over the past two weeks PD has discussed writing a journal. You have your thoughts and your journal ready, but what are you going to write with? Before discussing this, PD would like to point out that he is not in favour of using an electronic journal, such as on a tablet. Sitting somewhere quietly and using a paper journal allows you to get your thoughts together better and makes you sure of what you will write. Besides, you can carry a paper journal more easily. It is also more private.

(Note: PD can neither confirm nor deny that this is a portrait of him).

First you have to decide on the type of instrument that you want. A ballpoint pen, gel pen, fountain pen or a pencil? Be aware that fountain pens cannot be used with all papers. You have to pick a paper that will not bleed and will allow the ink to dry rapidly. Having said that, PD finds that fountain pens with their smooth flow of ink give a pleasure not found with either ballpoint pens or pencils. PD writes in ink and uses a pencil for drawings in his journal.

Pick a pen that is nicely weighted and comfortable to use. Make sure it is not too short, although PD carries a mini pen in his EDC pack as this is more convenient when prowling, but in his kennel he uses a full size pen. They do not have to expensive, but avoid the really cheap ones that leak ink after a while. Also, if a ballpoint pen, make sure that it uses refills that are readily available. Most fountain pens use standard ink cartridges so there should not be a problem, but be aware that some smaller pens may only accept the shorter ones. Lamy uses its own propriety cartridges.

Also note that you should not take fountain pens on an aeroplane - the change in pressure makes them leak and creates a terrible mess!

Here is a small selection of pens, chosen at random.

A nice inexpensive pen is the classic Lamy Safari pen (below), available either as a ballpoint pen or a fountain pen. It has been a favorite of PD's for years (oops, PD let out a personal secret). Even though it is made from plastic, it has a nice feel, a good grip for prolonged use and it is strong. It is available in several colors, including some bright ones that make the pen easy to find.

If you want something fancy there is a lot of choice, such as Faber-Castell's beautiful Graf von Faber-Castell line of pens and pencils (below).

For something minimalist from a small manufacturer there is the Ajoto pen (below).

If you opt for a fountain pen, try ink cartridges from J. Herbin. They come in beautiful small tins reminiscent of old fashioned 35mm film canisters and there is a great selection of colours. Another PD favourite (oops again).

And do not forget some blotting paper.

Happy journal writing!





Note 1: PD does not get sponsored by any company and chooses to write about products that catch his eye while on the prowl, without the makers' knowledge. That way he remains impartial.

Note 2: photographs are from the relevant websites and are the copyright of the respective owners.

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