Filtering by Author: Brad Dowdy

The Pen Addict Podcast: Episode 161 - No Micarta For You

Myke and I were joined by the Gentleman Stationer himself, Mr. Joe Crace, on this weeks podcast. We discussed his excellent blog, pen show travels, vintage pens, and lamented the loss of our favorite orange ink. We also talked about my Mental Floss appearance and several new pens such as the Retro 51 Lift Off and the TWSBI ECO.

Show Notes & Download Links

This episode of The Pen Addict is sponsored by:

Squarespace: Build it Beautiful. Use code INK for 10% off.

Karas Kustoms: Get 15% off anything in their store by using the code "PENADDICT" before you checkout.

Posted on June 30, 2015 and filed under Podcast.

June Stationery Carry

My daily carry of stationery has been interesting this past month. For some reason, my turnover in products I am actively using has been lower than what I am used to. Why? I think busyness is the main factor. If I haven't been working my day job or my plethora of night jobs, I have been getting away on the weekends with the family. The weekends seem to be the time when the shuffling of goods happens, and there just hasn't been time.

I've found, over the past several weeks, that this means one important thing: I'm very satisfied with the pens and paper I have been carrying on a daily basis. What I have been taking to the office in my work bag easily makes the jump into my weekend bag with zero changes. That's the sign of a good kit, and contentment with the products I am using. Here is a look at what I am currently carrying:


-- Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe

-- Franklin-Christoph Model 20 Marietta

-- Pilot Vanishing Point Black Faceted

-- Karas Kustoms Ink

-- Pilot Elabo (Falcon)

-- Nakaya Piccolo

-- Lamy Safari


-- Midori Travelers Notebook

-- Nock Co. DotDash Pocket Notebook

-- Nock Co. DotDash Spiral Pad


-- Nock Co. Brasstown

It’s funny how the perfect carry makes itself sometimes. I moved pens in and out of my Brasstown a lot over the past month or two, and then all of a sudden it stopped. The pens I am carrying are a good match for how I like to write, and cover me for almost all situations.

I want at least one bright ink, and the Sailor Jentle Apricot in the broad-nibbed Pro Gear is pefection. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I want an extra fine nib with black ink for tiny notes and drawings. Stub or cursive italic nibs are a must, which the Franklin-Christoph, Karas Kustoms, and Pilot VP handle nicely, and I want new goods in there too, which the Lamy Safari and inks such as Dromgooles Blue Steel and Kobe #7 Kaikyo Blue do for me.

The lone outlier in the pen department is the Pilot Falcon. The way I use this pen is similar to other EF pens, meaning I just use it to write with. Both the Nakaya and Safari are in the same realm, so I can see the Falcon being the first pen I swap out into someting new.

As far as paper goes, I’ve really narrowed down what I am using regularly. I’ve carried the Midori Travelers Notebook (regular size) with me for months just waiting to bond with it and I think I’ve finally turned that corner. I’ve been using it for planning and general writing, like the newsletter draft I wrote in the picture above. I really like the format and layout of the MTN and see it as a continuous partner.

I also love the two most recent Nock Co. paper products, the black DotDash Pocket Notebook and the DotDash Spiral Pad (Spoiler alert: I own the company.) The Pocket Notebook is the perfect portable companion for short notes and sketches, and the Spiral Pad is great on the desk at home, office, or remote work space.

Between these three notebooks all of my bases are covered. I was carrying two other A5 sized books and two other pocket notebooks along side these three up until a few weeks ago, but found this setup to work best for what I need.

The pen case is the no-brainer of the bunch. The Brasstown offers six individual pen slots, plus a pocket to add a few more if needed. That’s where the Safari rides, for example. When I start carrying the Brasstown plus one or two more filled pen cases with me is when I start to get in trouble. I do that more than I like because I frequently carry new products for testing, and have to be sure not to overwhelm myself with choices, especially redundant ones.

I learned a lot about my likes, dislikes, and needs over the past month. While to most people this seems to be an insane amount of goods to carry at once, to me it is a simplification and refinement of what I had been carrying. We will see how this translate over the coming months as more new (and old) products are shuffled in and out.

Posted on June 29, 2015 and filed under Stationery Carry.

Dudek Modern Goods "The Workspace" Winner

This is one of those giveaways where I just want to take the prize and run off with it myself! Of course I would never do that, but I hope the winner is excited about it as me:

Congrats Loop! Get in touch via the Contact Page within the next week and I'll get The Workspace headed your way.

Don't forget, you can still get 10% off on any Dudek Modern Goods order by using the code "PENADDICTSUMMER" at checkout through June 30th at 11:59pm EST. My thanks to Mike Dudek for this great giveaway, and thanks to everyone who entered!

Posted on June 27, 2015 and filed under Giveaways.

Three Questions With David Sparks

There are Mac users, and there are Mac Power Users. David Sparks is certainly the latter, but he also finds the time to integrate analog tools into his daily routine. My thanks to David for answering Three Questions.

1. What role do analog tools such as pens, pencils, and paper play in your day to day life?

I have to admit it's funny, given the fact that I am the guy that wrote a book on going paperless, but I still find plenty of uses for pen and paper. Digital storage is great but there are moments when a pen (or pencil) and paper are simply the right tools for the job.

On my desk I keep a stack of Aaron Mahnke's Frictionless Index cards. I know I could buy index cards cheaper but I like the thickness of the paper and I like the small grids. They help me release my inner doodler and sketchnote artist.

As for pens, I've been using the Pilot Vanishing Point pens for several years. I accidentally destroyed the first one and bought a second one about a year ago. That one is doing swimmingly. I've been using the extra fine nib but a friend sent me a a wider nib and I really like that for writing note cards. As for ink, I go the lazy route and use cartridge refills. One of these days I'll get into ink. I'm actually looking forward to that as a future obsession.

For disposable pens, I like the blue-black Zebra Sarasa .4 gel ink pens. I've got a drawer full of them along with a few red ones I use when proofreading hard copies.

I also have a few Kuro Toga .5mm mechanical pencils for noodling. I like the way the lead rotates so it stays sharp in the center.

2. What are your favorite products you are currently using?

I'm still in the honeymoon phase with my Apple Watch. Is it a "must have"? No. Is it a lot of fun? Absolutely. I can also make a case for its productivity use but in truth, I just love fiddling with new technology.

3. What post are you the most proud of on your blog?

Occasionally, I get a bit hippy-dippy. I don't know what my readers think of those posts but I am proud of them. Here's one about spending 20 years practicing law and a related post about me quitting my day job. Finally, here's one about my dad.

Posted on June 27, 2015 and filed under Three Questions.