Notebooks, Pens and Stationery geekery

Maybe people who are particular about wine are also particular about writing implements, writing materials, notebooks and all that jazz.

You admit, you’re a geek you’re one of the afflicted you’ll see in small shops in random European countries, looking through their notebooks and excited by a brand that’s new. You’ll know, as well as good wine shops, the best art shops in a city, where you can buy your Korean/Japanese/German/whatever pens that you really like for your particular notebooks.

  • Write only on squared paper? A nd only whitest of white, buffest of buff?

  • Does gsm not mean anything to do with mobile phone protocols, or Grenache, Syrah Mourvèdre but the weight (‘grammes per square meter’) of the paper you like?

  • Have you too many notebooks and too many pens?

  • (And especially if ‘too many’ is ‘never enough’…)

This thread is for you…

So…what do you write on and what do you write with?


Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre for me! :smiley:


Ah! I’d forgtten that one! I’ll add!

1 Like

Leuchtturm 1917 bauhaus eddition*, red dotted grid. Blue cover of course because the dots are in red ink.

  • = Wassily Kandinsky “everything starts with a dot” the first point of contact between thoughts and paper, and a point (and all points) in zero dimensions.

I buy mine E.P. just in case they go out of stock. And shrink wrapped until 2024

Matching colour fleece is optional.

80 gsm.


There is only one brand worthy of my thoughts MOLESKINE (in a leather cover of course)


I suspect you’d all enjoy Robert Walser’s microscript short stories, some written on the back of postage stamps, translated by the wonderful Susan Bernofsky and available in many places, but for neutrality via the publisher… Microscripts | New Directions Publishing

As if there weren’t already enough temptations on here, that looks absolutely beautiful. And there’s so many to choose from (which makes it almost inevitable I’ll choose more than one)! Now, do you get a bauhaus chair free with the notebook? Or a Kandinsky, I’ll take either (on an aesthetic basis, primarily :slight_smile: ).

Seawhites to draw and paint on (Brighton all the way!), moleskine for a notebook, I know trashy really, I do have a couple of Smythson notebooks but I can’t quite bring myself to write in them. I have a lot of brush pens, but usually write with any old biro or my dad’s old Parker duofold.

Kandisky every time :slight_smile: could hang it next to the Klimpt.

We used to have a set of Thonet S 32 V Cantilever Chairs (Marcel Breuer) - might have been original / hard to tell the fakes - but very uncomfortable so they went to landfill.

If I could afford it, would be Hans Wegner Wishbone Chairs - the originals are fantastic, the fakes are appalling, look VERY similar but just do not feel the same.

1 Like

My urge to try new things kicked in recently so I am about to start with a Rhodia. It’s dotted which I sometimes prefer (as I sketch a lot as part of forming ideas) but also often means my (dire) handwriting gets out of hand. I am previously a big fan of Leuchtturm 1917s in whatever the most garish colour I can find is.

On handwriting, I’ve recently started using the sort of ergonomic pens you give to primary school kids when they’re first learning to write joined-up. It’s been made a massive difference to my level of legibility (to myself and others!). Current pen of choice is a Pelikan Twist.


Thanks for the introduction: the Thonet chairs look spectacular. A whole history of the interaction between space and the line in there, but I can imagine more for the eye than the back. :joy:

About a year ago, I did branch out into the Mad Men era, and went for a Sternzeit Retrostar Lounge Chair with matching footstool. It is in the background of my last post on the weekend drinking thread (Weekend wines 30th June - 2nd July 2023 - #98 by Alexander-C0855). Very good as a reading a New Yorker or listening to music chair, and comfortable too.

The Wegner Wishbones look wonderfully delicate, like something that’d get lost in the wind, but I feel I’d be worrying sitting on it :joy:

I’ve had Rhodia’s in the past and very much enjoyed. I should note I only used them for handwriting (in my former life as an academic), and used simple ballpoint, which was always my favourite as a pen anyway (my handwriting has never been good enough to justify anything else!).


Good to know!

In my former life as an academic I used to use an A4 spiral bound “Black and Red” as that’s what I could pinch from the stationery cupboard.


Haha! Yep, had to fork out for the Rhodia for my own stuff. Anything else was ring bound, A4 notepads and plenty of biros pinched from the post room :joy: Not to mention powerpoint slides printed out to put notes on, pdf’s of out-of-print books printed four to a page, front and back…

1 Like

Oh god, I daren’t show this thread to my wife - she’s a proper notebook geek/aficionado


I’d forgotten the mobile phone GSM. It’s so last century. GSM’s just a grape blend for me. Who needs paper when you have a smartphone :smirk:

I’ll get me coat.

1 Like

Interesting thread. I write all my notes with a Faber-Castell 2B pencil and score them out when used after transfer to the PC. Always have, always will. I do have a rather nice Schaeffer biro in my man bag for signing stuff too.

This is all a bit like baring one’s soul!


Likewise that used to be my constant companion: great for doing site surveys, ‘work-to’ lists, taking meeting notes, contact details, sketching design ideas etc. Extremely useful to refer back to even years later.

I once worked for an Architects where it was a contractual obligation and all staff where required to maintain an A4 black-and-red.


I now use a Waterman propelling pencil mainly for doing the crosswords and sudokus and a matching Waterman ball point pen for anything else. I gave up using a fountain pen as I find they either leak or dry up. I do miss my old Parker 51 which was a joy to use. It was bought for me by my parents when I learnt how to use a dip pen at school when I was about 10 years old (I am now 75!) That was a proper fountain pen!


As @AnaGramWords said earlier, this is a bit like bearing one’s soul.

In the style of AA, I’m grimpeur and I’m a notebook nerd.

As I said, I prefer squared notebooks, and my favourite just now Sigel Conceptum. I love Sigel and quite like Leuchtturm but am not sure they’re (Leuchtturm) still made in DE. I’ve got different sizes and versions (diary, A4, A5 ring bound and notebook) and love them all.
(Notizbücher, Notizblöcke und Notizhefte | SIGEL)

Other ones I like are Brunnen Kompagnon - lovely. I quite like Miquel Rius (Spanish) as well.
(Notizbuch Kompagnon individuell gestalten. Exklusiv für Firmenkunden.)

There’s a lovely Flemish company, Brepols who are in Turnhout, a lovely town as I remember, really worth a visit, which traditionally makes playing cards - lots. Brepols make very nice diaries and notebooks-- beautifully lined on buff paper and with a little tear-off corner to make going to your current week easy. I imagine they’ll make really nice notebooks too. I bought my diary from them in Amsterdam.

There’s another company I liked - Semikolon, but I think they’ve been taken over by Leuchtturm - but whatever happened their paper quality went down and it just didn’t work with the pens I use.

Pens: I used to use, all the time Pilot G-tec C4 but I’ve been moving to Sakura Micron 01 (both about .4 mm to give a nice sharp line. I also like the Sakura Micron 005 for particularly fine writing in margins.

Pencils: I love Uniball Kuru Toga, which I use in .3 and .5. I find them really useful if I’m reading the sort of book where I want to underline (never in pen!!!) and write notes on the margins.