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Archive for January, 2010

Leuchtturm Journals, Old and New.

The new, journal with the ink-proof paper vs.the orignal Leuchtturm Journals

Leuchtturm started making all of their their journals and planners with a new, ink-proof paper starting in August, 2009. The original journals did not have this feature, so I thought it would be interesting to subject both old and new journals to the same tests I conducted on the Rhodia, Moleskine, Ciak, Cartesio and Markings Journals.

The pens I tested on the paper include:

  • Tombow Ultra Rollerball Pen, 0.5 mm point
  • Sensa Ballpoint Pen
  • Staedtler Triplus Fineliner
  • Tombow Fountain Pen with Medium Nib and Foray Ink Cartridge
  • Tombow Pixie Ballpoint Pen, 0.7 mm point
  • Pilot Precise Grip Fine Point Marker
  • Tombow Dual Brush Pen, Fine Point
  • Bic Mark It!

Please note that you may get different results using your pens than I do with mine. A lot of variables can come into play here including pen type, ink type, pressure used, nib style and environmental conditions, etc. I will do my best to be specific when possible and to include all of the relevant details.

First Impressions

Both Leuchtturm journals are different than the other journals I tested in the following ways.

  • They measure 3½″ wide by nearly 6″ tall, so they are taller than most.
  • The pages are numbered
  • There is a Table of Contents in the front for organizing
  • There are self-adhesive labels included for archiving
  • The paper is being advertised as ink-proof
  • The elastic strap is wider
  • The paper is thinner than most

Like other notebooks in a previous test, both include a ribbon bookmark and ruled lines. Like the Moleskine, the Leuchtturm journals both lay completely lay flat when opened. There are 22 usable lines per page, that measure 6 mm apart. The expandable envelope in the back is useful for storing notes, receipts and photos.

Leuchtturm Journal next to a Moleskine Journal

The Leuchtturm pocket journal on the left is 6" tall, ½" taller than the Moleskine pocket journal on the right. Leuchtturm's elastic strap is wider than Moleskine's

The New, Ink-Proof Paper

This paper is thinner than the earlier version and weighs 70 gsm. I don’t know for sure what the weight of Leuchtturms’s previous journal was, but it feels thicker then the new paper and is similar to that in a Moleskine. The lines are much lighter than the earlier version, which is great if you prefer a page with a clean appearance. It performed as advertised regarding bleedthrough, but because the paper is thin, there is showthrough on the back side. It did perform better than any notebook I have tested so far with a permanent marker, however. The Bic Mark It pen I used just barely bled through the back while it saturated any other paper I have tested.

Leuchtturm pen and ink test.

The pen and ink test on the new, in-proof paper yielded mixed results. The ink color was strong and bright and I experienced no feathering, but there were some issues on the backside of the paper.

Backside of Leuchtturm ink-proof paper.

While the inks did not bleed through the paper, there was a considerable amount of showthrough, more than can be seen in this photograph. If you use a Leuchtturm journal, I would recommend a pen with a thin line and a light ink color.

The surface of the paper was receptive to wet writers but the ink dried slowly. This is a problem for me because I write quickly and tend to smear ink if it is still wet. The paper produced dark, contrasting lines and rendered strong, bright colors that rivaled the lines made in the Ciak notebook in an earlier test.

When using my fountain pen, the ink dried slowly. There was some tonal variation that was equal to the variation on the Rhodia paper, but overall the ink color was darker and more intense. I liked the way my fountain pen wrote on this paper and found it satisfying the way the paper accepted the ink even though drying times were long. I did not experience any bleedthrough with my Tombow Fountain pen.

Other things to consider; the new Leuchtturm journal has 185 pages, 5 pages more than the previous version, which is good news if you find yourself running out of paper too soon. But there are only 8 perforated pages in the new journal while the old journal had 32 perforated pages.

The Previous Paper

The paper in the earlier Leuchtturm journals was heavier than the new paper and so were the lines. The rules in the old version are substantially darker and appear thicker than in the new, ink-proof paper. It performed much like the Markings journal in a previous test. There was bleedthrough on the Tombow Fountain Pen as well as the Tombow Rollerball and  permanent marker examples.

Pen and Ink test in an earlier version of a Leuchtturm journal.

The pen and ink test on the paper of earlier Leuchtturm journals did not perform all that well. The ink color was strong and bright but there was minor feathering and some issues on the backside of the paper.

There was siginificant showthrough and bleedthrough in the older verison of a Leuchtturm journal

There was siginificant showthrough and bleedthrough in the older verison of a Leuchtturm journal except on the ballpoint pen examples.

The surface of the paper was receptive to wet writers and the ink dried fairly fast. The paper produced dark, contrasting lines and rendered strong, bright colors similar to the lines in the Leuchtturm journals. When using my fountain pen, the ink sank well into the paper and dried in a reasonable amount of time. There was less tonal variation than on the new, ink-proof paper, but overall the ink color was dark and intense. I liked the way my fountain pen wrote on this paper and found it satisfying the way the paper accepted the ink. There was some bleedthrough with my Tombow Fountain pen, however.

New, Ink-Proof Paper Summary

  • Clear, sharp text with ballpoint, rollerball and fountain pens
  • Ink does not bleed though (except slightly on permanent markers)
  • Best performer regarding bleedthrough of permanent markers I’ve tested
  • Table of Contents and page numbers for easy archiving
  • Includes self adhesive labels
  • Pale ivory color and pale rules are easy on the eyes
  • Good quality for less money than most
  • Paper is thinner than most
  • Heavy showthrough on the reverse side of the paper
  • Writing with any pressure will push through leaving raised areas on the back side
  • Drying times are long and heavy inks may remain sticky

Final Thoughts

The new, ink-proof paper in the Leuchtturm notebooks is definitely an improvement over the earlier paper. It handled even the wettest inks without any bleedthrough. It even performed well with a permanent marker, better than any others I have tested to date. The paper is thinner than the earlier paper and thinner than many comparable notebooks, so there is a fair amount of showthrough on the backside of the paper. If you use a pen with wet, dark ink, I would look elsewhere unless you are happy using only one side of each page. However, I think the paper in the Leuchtturm notebook is fine for use with most pens, especially those with lighter colored inks. If you are using this journal to take quick notes on a day-to-day basis using basic ballpoint pens, pencils and markers, a Leuchtturm journal will work well for you and may even save you some money in the long run.

The extra archiving features make this journal ideal if you like to categorize and/or organize your information. This is where the Leuchtturm journals really shines. There is no other journal that offers these features at the moment. The Table of Contents and page numbers make it easy to find what you are looking for as long as you can bring yourself to catalog your journal’s contents as you go. The labels are perfect for titling your journals and make them easy to identify when organized on a shelf.

However, if you prefer using dark, wet pens, such as fountain pens, roll pens or markers, you may want to consider a Rhodia, Ciak,  or Cartesio notebook instead because they have significantly less showthrough than the Leuchtturm and shorter drying times.

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Artist Collection Planner in Red by Moleskine

Each Moleskine Artist Collection Planner is Wrapped in Smooth Leather with a Custom Graphic Design. A Matching Slipcase is Included.

Now through January 31, 2010, you can order Moleskine’s stylish leather Artist Collection Planners at 56% – 60% off at http://www.journalingarts.com while supplies last. Moleskine’s Artist Collection feature 2010 limited edition planning calendars that features silky-smooth leather covers designed by internationally recognized artist, Martí Guixé.

Unlike most of Moleskine’s planners, the artist collection planners are wrapped in gorgeous leather that feels and smells divine. Lively, graphic patterns have been printed on both front and back covers, giving this planner a distinct artistic look.

• January 1, 2010 through December 31st, 2010
• Protective, Hard Cover Leather Cover
• Week View Format Across Each 2-Page Spread
• New, in Original Packaging
• Expandable Inner Pocket
• Smooth, Rounded Corners Don’t Poke or Get Stuck in Your Pocket

Moleskine Artist Collection Planner

Custom Design Wraps Around Both Front and Back Covers.

Moleskine Artist Collection Planners

Available in Both Weekly and Daily Planning Formats.

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Thank you to everyone who entered the Rhodia 2010 Weekly Planner Giveaway #2. The results are in and our winner is ccorrada! Congratulations! Please email me at cynthia@journalingarts.com to claim your prize and include your mailing address.

Ccorrada’s comment about this giveaway was indicative of the final outcome:

“I was just thinking that I’ve not seen that many planners with the days on the left and space for the notes on the right (a la Franklin Covey) and lo and behold, here comes this giveaway… Coincidence? I think not…”

Our luck winner was determined by random.org's True Random Number Generator, which generated #22.

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Enter to Win the Rhodia 2010 Weekly Planner Giveaway!

I found another Rhodia Planner in my stock and I am giving it away. I reviewed the pocket-sized 2010 Rhodia Weekly Planner in September if you would like more information on this great planner.

Win this Rhodia 2010 Weekly Planner by entering the Rhodia 2010 Planner Giveaway by follwing the instructions below. The contest ends November 20, 2009.Win this Rhodia 2010 Weekly Planner by entering the Rhodia 2010 Planner Giveaway by follwing the instructions below. The contest ends January 11,2010 at 11:59:59 pm.

If you would like to win it, enter the Rhodia Planner Giveaway by following the instructions below.

  1. Leave one comment on this post anytime between now and January 11,2010 at 11:59:59 pm Eastern Time. You are limited to one entry. You may link this contest on your blog, or share it with anyone who loves Rhodia notepads or any other notebooks and planners. If you have a blog, a link back would be great, but it is not required.
  2. I will pick one winner at random from the comments section of this post. The comments will be numbered in the order they are received, i.e. the first comment is #1, the second #2, and so on. The True Random Number Generator at random.org will be used to pick the number of the winner.
  3. The contest winner will be posted on this blog and on Twitter Tuesday, January 12th. The winner will have one week to claim the planner by emailing me at cynthia@journalingarts.com. I will need your complete shipping address including country as well as an active email address.
  4. I would be happy to ship internationally, so feel free to enter the contest if you are overseas.

Thank you, and good luck!

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For those of you who have been waiting, the Ciak Golf journals are back in stock in all standard colors including black, red, orange, yellow and blue. Designed to be used while you play, there is room for all of your important information. The easy-to-follow charts on each 2-page spread has room for score-keeping as well as plenty of space for additional information about the course, your partners, weather and more.

• Charts for Holes, Par, Strokes, Putts, GIR and Penalty
• Record Your Clubs, Best Hole, Worst Hole, Partners and Event
• Section for Club Name, Phone Number, Website and Email
• Keep Track of Date, Weather, Playing Time and Weather

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Welcome to the January 5, 2010 edition of Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper. My name is Cynthia, and I am also the host for this months blog carnival. Sit back, relax, and enjoy this month’s selection of posts from a variety of blogs from those who love pens, pencils and paper.

Journaling & Art Journaling

NotebookStories gives us a sneak preview of Lynda Barry’s beautiful art journaling book “What It Is” in her post My Favorite “Notebook Book:” Lynda Barry’s “What It Is”. Be sure to visit her blog for this and more notebook topics at NotebookStories.

“Here’s a detail of one of the pages. I love the look of the yellow lined paper peeking through.”

Betsy from Wild Thyme Creative explores different mediums in the Exacompta Sketchbook in her article Behind the pages {Exacompta: The next journal}.

"At first glance, the gold edge on the pages and the yummy paper made me think of a traditional sketchbook . . "

Mari L. McCarthy presents 5 Steps to Start Journaling for the Health of It™ posted at Journal Therapy Cures.

"To get healthy and stay that way, we have to get to the root of our repressed feelings and release them. One of the simplest ways to do this is through journal therapy."

Heather presents The Other Journal posted at A Penchant for Paper.

Pages from the other journal containing part of William Wordsworth's poem, "Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey," and a watercolour pencil sketch of a maple leaf.

User’s Collection

Seth Baker presents In Defense of Handwriting (plus tips!) | Happenchance posted at Happenchance, saying, “I grew sick of having lousy handwriting and decided to do something about it.”

Margana presents Pen, Paper and Ink Finds for 2009 posted at An Inkophile’s Blog Check it out to see her favorite items for 2009!

Laurie presents Ghost of Planners Past #1: Desperation posted at Plannerisms, saying, “This is a story about two people using Quo Vadis Textagenda planners in very different circumstances: a university student and a Peace Corps volunteer. The story revolves around my relationship with my sister and our shared love of planners. Others who love planners and good paper will identify with my craving for my planner of choice!”

" . . .I went through every single page of that planner and changed the days to reflect the upcoming year’s dates. Obsessive? Yes. But I had plenty of time on my hands and I really wanted to use that planner!!”

Pens, Inks & Writing Tools

Okami0731 presents Featured Pen – Mabie Todd Swan SM 205/86 posted at Whatever. Check out her blog for more information on this beauty.

"It is one of my absolute favorites."

Woodworker presents Iroshizuku fountain pen ink by Pilot posted at Inkyjournal – reviews of fountain pens, notebooks, moleskine and ink, saying, “This ink was my discovery for the year 2009!”

"The Iroshizuku ink is a luxurious line of inks created to reflect the beautiful natural scenery of Japan."

Dowdyism presents Top 10 Pen Reviews of 2009 posted at The Pen Addict, saying, “2009 was a great year for pens. Here are the reviews that Pen Addict readers viewed the most over the past year.”

"The rankings below consist of the top 10 pen review posts for the 2009 calendar year as determined by Google Analytics. This list isn't my top 10 favorite pens, but rather a snapshot of what was popular over the last 12 months."

Sam presents Review: USUS Pi ballpoint posted at Future; Nostalgic, saying, “A stylish ballpoint with wonderfully clean lines and an interesting toggle switch mechanism.”

"The Pi is a comfortable hand fit and the supplied refill writes well enough for a ballpoint. I have noticed a little skipping here and there, but not enough to put me off using it."

Stephen Smith presents Pen, Pencil and Paper posted at …words.

"Simply put, I love this pen. It writes very smoothly and evenly on most of the papers that I have tested. I am especially happy that the pen leaves a nice, fine line in my journal and on the el-cheapo index cards that I use for notes."

Office Supply Geek shares an unconventional method to remove an air bubble from his pen refill in How to Fix Your Pen – The Ink Bubble Resolved. Find out how he did it at the Office Supply Geek blog.

"The Air Bubble in the Ink Cartridge is Fixed - The After Picture."

Julie presents Sheaffer’s WASP Addipoint Fountain Pen posted at Peaceable Writer, saying, “”WASP stood for “Walter A. Sheaffer Pen” and was the name of the company producing the pens. Thus, not all WASP pens are Addipoints.””

"The pen in the photos is approximately 70 years old, weighs 9g inked & 14g posted. It measures 5″ in length with the cap on, 4 1/2″ with the cap off, and 6 1/4″ posted."

That concludes this edition. Big thanks to the Carnival ringmaster, Notebook Stories. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of pen, pencil and paper using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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carnival of pen, pencil and paper, blog carnival

"At first glance, the gold edge on the pages and the yummy paper made me think of a traditional sketchbook . . "

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Write and Draw. Verbalize and Visualize. Organize and Improvise. This description embodies the function of the Revolver journal, but it omits the most obvious feature of the journal; the ability to turn inside out, revealing another side of its dual personality.

My initial response to this concept was that it was a bit too cute, but as I worked with the journal, I found it to be a capable notebook that has some features that make it unique. I was surprised by the quality of the recycled paper and found it to perform as well as the Ciak journal on the pen tests.

The Reversible Covers
The Revolver journal is designed to function like the Jacob’s Ladder toy. If you open the journal, placing the front and back covers together, you can open it again from the inside by splitting the spine and a brand new cover will be revealed. Each Revolver journal includes two different colored covers, so you can change the outer appearance whenever you see fit.

Pocket-Sized Little Blue Revolver Journal

The pocket-Sized Little Blue Revolver Journal features a reversible blue-to-black cover, silver foil accents and two interior note pads.

The Revolver in this review is the Little Blue and it revolves back and forth from blue to black covers. When the blue cover is selected the pad of plain, sketch paper is on the left and the ruled paper is on the right. The reverse is true when the black cover is selected and the ruled paper is on the right and the plain paper, the left. Regardless of the cover color, there is a magnetic closure on the long, open side of the journal that completely covers the open edge. Convenient? Yes, but could cause a problem if you are keeping it close to recordable media such as USB drives, discs or digital cards.

Revolver spines feature a magnetic closure, great for keeping the contents secure, but could damage or disrupt drives or USB drives.

The Revolver's spine feature a magnetic closure, great for keeping the contents secure, but could damage or disrupt drives or USB drives.

Easy to Customize
The cover texture is smooth, and I found it perfect for embellishing.  I added some metallic marker swirls to the band across the middle of the cover with excellent results. The marker adhered well and is now a permanent part of the cover, resistant to scratches and bumps. Permanent markers also work well on the Revolver’s cover and would be a great way to add a custom design.

The surface of the RevolveR is perfect for embellishments. Here I used a silver metallic pen to create coordinating swirls.

The band across the cover offers a great opportunity to customize the journal. I hope the folks at Revolver Bound Books will consider adding coordinating graphics to the band in future editions. Here, silver metallic pen was used to create coordinating swirls.

The band across the cover offers a great opportunity to customize the journal, and I hope that the folks at RevolveR will consider adding some coordinating graphics it in future editions.

The band is also the perfect place to tuck a calendar page or notes.

The Paper
The pocket-sized Revolver journal includes two permanently-bound pads of recycled note paper, one lined and one ruled. Each pad consists of 32 leaves for a total of 64 pages. The white, ruled pages each contain 21 olive-green lines that are spaced 6mm apart. There are no margins at the top or the bottom. The texture of the paper is similar to the texture of a sketchpad and feels porous. Each notepad opens flat, making writing or sketching easy.

The RevolveR includes 2 notebooks, one lined and one plain.

The Revolver journal includes 2 notebooks, one lined and one plain.

Pen & Ink Test
Please note that you may get different results using your pens than I did with mine. A lot of variables can come into play here including pen type, ink type, pressure used, nib style and environmental conditions, etc.

The pens I tested are:

  • Tombow Ultra Rollerball Pen, 0.5 mm point
  • Sensa Ballpoint Pen
  • Staedtler Triplus Fineliner
  • Tombow Fountain Pen with Medium Nib
  • Tombow Pixie Ballpoint Pen, 0.7 mm point
  • Pilot Precise Grip Fine Point Marker
  • Tombow Dual Brush Pen, Fine Point
  • Sharpie Ultra Fine Marker

The paper in this journal was an excellent performer regarding bleedthrough and showthrough, very similar to the Ciak notebook. It was receptive to wet writers and is fast drying, which is great for fountain pens and rollerball pens. There is more tooth to the paper than the Rhodia and Moleskine notebooks, but I think this is part of what makes the paper so agreeable to wet pens. The paper also produced heavy lines and rendered the strong, bright colors. The Sharpie Ultra Fine permanent marker did bleed through, but this was expected.

When using my fountain pen, the ink sank well into the paper and the dried quickly. There was minor tonal variation, but overall the ink color was intense. I liked the way my fountain pen wrote on this paper and found it satisfying the way the paper accepted the ink. I did not experience any bleedthrough with my Tombow Fountain pen and only one raised area on the back when using the Tombow Ballpoint pen.

A variety of pens performed well on the paper in the Revolver Journal.

A variety of pens performed well on the paper in the Revolver Journal. Only the Sharpie Ultra Fine marker bled through the back side.

The paper had minmimal showthrough and only the Sharpie Ultra Fine marker bled through, which was expected.

Most of the pens had some showthrough on the back of the page. In most cases this was minor, but was more evident on the Tombow Roll Pen sample.

Sketching & Drawing
The texture and color of the paper are ideal for sketching. I used pencil, charocal, water-based marker, pastel and ink without any bleedthrough or showthrough. The only showthrough on the paper was from the Sharpie Ultra Fine marker. Overall, I was very satisfied with the surface of the paper for sketching and drawing.

I also used watercolor, which caused the paper to buckle, even after it had dried. The paper is thicker than the paper in a similar Moleskine journal, but thinner than that of a Ciak notebook, so I only recommend it for sketching and drawing or general note taking.

A variety of artist mediums performed well on the paper.

The paper opens flat for easy sketching or writing.

The spine of the Revolver journal has just enough space to slide a pen clip through, making it possible to attach a pen or pencil which includes a clip.

The spine of the Revolver journal has just enough space to slide a pen clip through, making it easy to keep a pen or pencil with the journal.

Pros

  • Dual Personality Has 2 Different Cover Options
  • Includes Both a Ruled and Plain Notepad
  • Notebooks Open Flat
  • Magnetic Cover Keeps Journal Contents Safe
  • Crafted From 100% Recycled Paper
  • High-Quality Paper Handles a Variety of Pens, Pencils, and Artist Mediums
  • Cover Material Is Easily Customized
  • Space in the Spine for to Slide a Pen Clip
  • Available in 2 Sizes and a Variety of Color Combinations

Cons

  • Magnetic Closure Can Cause Damage to Discs, Digital Cards and USB Drives if too close
  • Hard Cover and Sharp Corners Aren’t Comfortable in a Back Pocket
  • 2 notebooks Side-by-Side Might Feel Awkward at First
  • Unsure if Paper is Acid-Free

Final Thoughts
If you want a unique journal that can do double duty, the Revolver is worth a look. The combination of both lined and plain pages gives you the opportunity to write, draw, verbalize and visualize all within the confines of a small notebook. The paper is of good quality and can handle a variety of pens, pencils and ink. The novelty of changing the cover color may wear thin after a while and you may find yourself sticking with just one color after time, but even so, the notebooks inside will serve you well for most of your note taking needs.

I can’t help but imagine how well this format would work for a planner and notebook combination and wonder if they have this in the works for future editions. I guess for now, I can only imagine how nice it would be.

Revolver journals were provided for review at no charge by Ellen from Revolver Bound Books. You Tube video is copyrighted and was used in this article with the permission from Revolver Bound Books and Journals.

Please note that you may get different results using your pens than I do with mine. A lot of variables can come into play here including pen type, ink type, pressure used, nib style and environmental conditions, etc. I will do my best to be specific when possible and to include all of the relevant details.

The pens I am testing are:

  • Tombow Ultra Rollerball Pen, 0.5 mm point
  • Sensa Ballpoint Pen
  • Staedtler Triplus Fineliner
  • Tombow Fountain Pen with Medium Nib
  • Tombow Pixie Ballpoint Pen, 0.7 mm point
  • Pilot Precise Grip Fine Point Marker
  • Tombow Dual Brush Pen, Fine Point
  • Marks A-Lot Dual Sharp Permanent Marker Fine Point (similar to Sharpie)

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