How to figure out what you need

The first step into pen & paper geekiness can be daunting. And it isn't easy to find out what kind of stuff you are going to use.

Some people like fine pens, while other people like broad pens, and the first step should therefore be to find out what kind of writing experience you prefer. A pen with a fin tip use less ink, and you can fit more writing into a smaller space, while a broader nib have a smother writing experience. You can always start by getting a 0.7 and 0.5 Pilot G2 to find out what you prefer.

A good place to start is to get various "disposable" pens like the Pilot G2, Hi-tec-C or Uni-ball Signo. Buy various pens, with different tips, and find out what you like. It is much easier to go deeper when you have a basic understanding of what you like.

The next step is notebooks. And there are so many different shapes and sizes. But the thing almost everyone likes, is Field Notes. Start by getting a mixed three pack. And go from there.

Some people only need pocket sized notebooks, while others, like me, need larger notebooks for writing, notes and so on. There are many factors that are important when it comes to notebooks

  • Size. There are many different sizes out there, everything from very small, like for example Field Notes to the huge notebooks some of us really like. Some pick one, and stick with it, while others like me use different sizes for different tasks.
  • Book binding versus spiral bound. They are either spiral bound or more like a book, when you start looking at larger notebooks. There are good and bad things about both. Spiral bound is more comfortable to write in, but less durable, and doesn't look as good.
  • Short dry time versus less feathering and bleed through. This is a very hot topic. My experience is that paper either have very short dry time or they have more desirable qualities when it comes to fountain pen use. This means that you either get something where the ink dries very fast, or you get something where the ink doesn't bleed through the pages and so on. I always prefer short dry time.

The only way to find out what works for you, is to experiment. But don't buy a bunch of stuff just to buy it. I think it is important to only have stuff that you use, stuff that works for you.