Monday, May 30, 2016

Using My Document Holder Notebook

by Tony Thomas

I have been using my new custom "document holder" notebook for almost two weeks and can say that I am still very pleased with it. 

As I wrote earlier, I constructed it from a 8.5 x 11 piece of tooling leather that I dyed and punched.

I really love the flexibility the notebook provides. I can use all kinds of paper in it (much of it custom cut or folded to fit). As I use fountain pens, pencils and gel pens, I can use better and cheaper paper as I desire.

Right now, I have Rhodia graph and lined paper, HP 32# laser, Georgia Pacific 24# laser and cheap 
Indonesian lined paper loaded. I can sort the sheets I have completed to fit my daily requirements. When I am done with a sheet of paper, I can file it or toss it.

It is absolutely perfect for my workflow!

For more information on the original notebook:

Thursday, May 19, 2016

My New Notebook

by Tony Thomas

I have a problem with regular notebooks.  Unless they are dedicated to a singular purpose, I usually fill them up with information that has no long-term significance.  My initial solution was to use disc-bound Circa and Arc notebooks for everyday use but found them to be both bulky and heavy to carry around.

I decided that a better solution would be to create a notebook that would allow me to carry loose papers that could be easily rearranged and discarded when no longer needed.  These days, most of my important archival information is in Evernote and I either transfer the information from my written notes manually or take a quick photo of the written page with my tablet or phone and store it electronically in Evernote.

I ordered a nice piece of tooling leather from eBay, cut it down to 8.5" x 11" and dyed it.  I added an elastic band to hold everything together.  It is similar to a traveler's notebook and very quick and easy to make -- less than an hour from start to finish.  I custom cut the blank pages down to 8" x 4.75" so that they fit comfortably.

So far, I am very happy with the result.  This notebook allows me to use any kind of paper that I want and to mix and match lined paper, grid paper, and various weights of regular copy paper.  I can even include receipts, index cards or any other stray bits of paper that I encounter.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Nemosine Nibs

by Tony Thomas

I love Nemosine nibs.  They are inexpensive and come in a range of line widths including the unusual (and usually sold out)  .8 and .6 italics.  

They are reportedly made in Germany and compare favorably to the JoWo and Bock nibs I have used.  I have no idea who makes them as there are only a few nib makers in that country.

They are available exclusively from and on Amazon by their parent company, Paramount Goods, LLC.

Nemosine nibs can make inexpensive pens from China and India come alive.  As you can see, I have quite a few of them. Many others are installed in pens that I use frequently (like Jinhaos, Noodlers and other Chinese and Indian pens).  Highly recommended!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Quo Vadis Compact Habana Review

by Tony Thomas

I recently received a Quo Vadis Compact Habana notebook from Exaclair and decided to a quick review.  

First of all, it brings back memories of the Moleskine notebooks that I have used in the past but the paper quality is much, much better.  It uses 85 gram Clairefontaine paper which is the paper of choice for many fountain pen users.  I found the ivory paper color to be very pleasing and it looks good with most inks.  

The notebook has a faux leather cover, a bookmark ribbon, an elastic cover closure and a rear pocket. The Quo Vadis logo is embossed on the front cover, and on the back, the Quo Vadis name and logo appear at the bottom.  It is made in the USA with Clairefontaine paper from France.  The binding quality is excellent and the notebook has a very impressive fit and feel.  

As expected, there was no feathering or bleed thru when using the notebook with fountain pens, and it provided a smooth and enjoyable writing experience.   The line width is a bit narrow for my taste and the lined version of this notebook may not work that well for you if you have large handwriting and like to use really fat nibs (it is also available with blank pages).  Personally, I would like to see this notebook offered in narrow and wider-ruled pages as well as in dot grid and graph.  I would also like to have more pages available (perhaps 100).

All in all, this is a great notebook and a joy to use!


Leather-like cover
16 x 24 cm (6.25" x 9.25")
85 gram ivory Clairefontaine paper
Acid and chlorine free paper
80 double-sided lined sheets
Round Corners
5.56mm (.219") ruled
Sewn binding
Elastic Closure
Rear Pocket
PEFC Certified
Made in the USA

Full Disclosure: In compliance with FTC 16 CFR Part 255, I hereby disclose that the manufacturer or retailer mentioned in this article provided the product for review purposes with the knowledge that I would provide a full, unbiased and impartial review.