Friday, July 29, 2016

Goulet Q&A Episode 131, Open Forum

Goulet Q&A is now available as an audio podcast! Click here  for the RSS feed to use in your podcast app of choice, or click here for a direct download.

In this episode, I talk about custom fitting paper into your Filofax, using an ultrasonic cleaner, and who could stand up to me in a fountain pen trivia battle!

This week:
  • Jenni will be out next week, will have a shorter Q&A
  • DC pen show

New/Upcoming Products - (4:25)

Pens/Writing - (7:44)

1) eclectidbits- Instagram - (7:50)  
What do you do when you have a penvelope filled with inked pens but you're bored and want to try something else?
  • use up whatever's low, then replace that ink
  • dump the ink back in the bottle (if you're cool with that)
  • clean the pens
  • just use more pens, screw it! Ink them all!
  • get a new case! fill it more! jk

2) evanrog- Instagram - (10:20)
Hello! I am a college student and I often find myself using not so ideal paper. I find that finer nibs work better on this sort of paper but I am a sucker for super smooth nibs. What pens have you found to be a good balance between fine and smooth? Big fan by the way.

Ink - (15:40)

3) ilovechubbyunicorns- Instagram - (15:42)
I've just got a question about the J Herbin 1670 inks, I've got a bottle of the sparkling inks from Diamine but the sparkles are quite difficult to clean out of my pens, thus I only use them in my lamy vista/safari. Are the 1670 inks easier to clean out or more on par with the sparkling inks?
  • Drew was actually just commenting on this to me, that the Shimmertastic sparkles are a little tougher to clean than 1670
  • It's usually ideal to keep unusual/troublesome inks more dedicated to pens, especially ones easier to clean
  • cartridge/converter pens are ideal, especially if the nib unit can be removed

Paper - (19:22)

4) @daveburrowsuk- Twitter - (19:25)
Could you use Rhodia No 16 A5 Dot pad and some how hole punch and put into the new Filofax A5 Notebooks you have?
  • Filofax makes A5 hole punches! You can totally do it
  • It doesn't fit the personal size though, just A5
  • two grades of hole punch, the portable will be the way to go for most folks
  • Rhodia you'd have to tear out each sheet, it might be easier to use the wire bound 
  • you can use whatever paper you like, though! (Tomoé anyone?)

5) darth_nibbous- Instagram - (25:19)
Are notebooks, Quo Vadis Habana for example, best stored vertically or horizontally, long-term?
  • Library of Congress has a whole page on how to properly store books (here)
  • They say to store upright on a bookshelf, straight and not leaning (like mine!), and there should be enough space to fit an envelope easily between each book
  • it's also appropriate to store lying down, with the biggest (not thickest) books on the bottom, up to about 12" high
  • if storing in a cardboard box, make sure it's acid-free and lignin free and new condition
  • some plastic containers are okay (polyester, polypropylene, and polyethylene), better for protecting against pests like bookworms and silverfish
  • store in cool, dry place, 4" off the floor and away from walls

Personal - (29:32)

6) Ewing N.- Facebook - (29:36)
What does Brian recommend as good things to wear for an epic pen show like the DC Pen Show - whether for fashion, practicality, or general nerdiness?
  • the fishing vest is the quintessential pen show-goer's enthusiast attire
  • lots of pockets are the name of the game
  • don't underestimate the practicality of the fanny pack!
  • there's usually a good assortment of denim shirts there
  • trenchcoats aren't unheard of, but not really common at DC in August
  • I will have my Goulet shirt on, some others may too, since we sell them now
  • other than that, it'll be pretty normal attire, it's not like a comic convention or anything!

7) matthewamoser- Instagram - (32:49)
Who would win in a fountain pen trivia duel between Brian, S.B.R.E. Brown, and Matt Armstrong (of the Pen Habit)?
  • that is a really tough question! 
  • Matt would probably know deep details and technical specs of a lot of different pens
  • Dr Brown would probably school us both on Visconti and a lot of the more inexpensive pens available more overseas
  • It's hard for me to say where my expertise would shine, but I could likely out talk the both of them! Though we all do pretty long videos...
  • long story short, I think it'd be a tough call, and I respect the heck out of both of them and wouldn't want to go toe-to-toe with either of them! 

Troubleshooting - (36:16)

8) dsmallc-Instagram - (36:20)
Could you give some tips for the use of an ultrasonic cleaner? I know to get things as clean as possible before going in there, but which parts do I give the ultrasonic treatment to and more importantly, which do NOT go in there?
  • I have one, don't use it much at all
  • it really works best for pens that are really crusted up with old ink
  • it's generally fairly safe for pens, I'm not aware of any big no-no's
  • clear demonstrators sometimes are tough, because the ink can work it's way up into places it normally wouldn't go otherwise (like inside the grip of the Pilot Custom 74)
  • I might be weary about using it on vintage pens with complex mechanisms (like the Sheaffer Snorkel) or MB Boheme, maybe even the Vanishing Point body just because it would get water into everything

9) feedbetweenthetines- Instagram - (42:41)
I have a lamy studio palladium 14k pen, and everytime I ink it up, a few hours later there are a bunch of black spots and almost bumps on the grip. It looks like the ink has gathered on the grip from evaporation from the nib, and could possibly ruin the palladium if left inked for days in a row. I'm very disappointed with this from such an expensive pen. Is this normal?
  • This isn't super uncommon, especially this time of year with the heat
  • is it really ruining your palladium? That's a pretty corrosive resistant material and should be able to hold up
  • palladium is sometimes used for nib coatings or for the entire nib (Visconti) so it'll hold up to ink
  • the matte finish on this pen is probably making it stain a little more, but it should clean up with some dish soap or pen flush
  • as for the ink splatter, trying to carry it nib-up as much as you can, keep it out of extreme heat, limit rapid movements with it if you can

QOTW: What was the first thing that you remember being a big hurdle you had to get over when just starting out with fountain pens? - (48:51)

Thanks so much for joining me this week! You can catch up on any old Q&A videos you missed here.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thursday Things: Honey Bee

A honey bee inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with amber and orange colors.

This Thursday Things collection is as sweet as honey with its assortment of gloriously golden hued products. Bask in the glow of these vibrant yellow pens, flawlessly complimented by coordinating inks and notebooks. Thursday Things: Honey Bee brings together a great group of products that remind us of sunny summer days spent watching honey bees buzzing from flower to flower, collecting pollen on their fuzzy little bodies. Drink in the flaxen sweetness of Thursday Things: Honey Bee. 

Featured products from left to right:
Collect your own honey hued writing tools with the Thursday Things: Honey Bee shopping guide
A Noodler's Bumblebee flex pen in a honey bee inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with amber and orange colors.
Noodler’s Ahab Fountain Pen - Bumblebee
A Noodler's Konrad Apache Tortoise flex pen in a honey bee inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with amber and orange colors.
Noodler’s Konrad Fountain Pen in Apache Tortoise
A Noodler's Nib Creaper Carniolan Honey flex pen in a honey bee inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with amber and orange colors.
Noodler’s Nib Creaper Fountain Pen - Carniolan Honey
Mustard Yellow Apica notebooks in a honey bee inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with amber and orange colors.
Apica CD-11 Notebook – Mustard, Lined
A Noodler's Ahab Baltic Amber flex pen in a honey bee inspired flat lay of fountain pens, notebooks, and ink, with amber and orange colors.
Noodler’s Ahab Fountain Pen - Baltic Amber
Which pen and ink combo gets your sweet creativity flowing like honey?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

How to Turn Your Filofax into a Bullet Journal

Hey guys! Madigan, here. As a productivity junkie, I was super excited when we started carrying Filofax Organizers. Late last fall, I transitioned from a simple To-do list system, to bullet journaling in my Leuchtturm1917 Notebook. I'm totally in love with the system and have seen how insanely effective it is in my work and personal life. At this point, I'm not sure I could live without it! I certainly wouldn't be able to accomplish nearly as much. 

That being said, I have had some frustrations with my bullet journal- the inability to rearrange pages or remove things that are no longer needed. I've also found the monthly and long term yearly planning doesn't quite work for me. I also work on a lot of longer term projects and need a large space to brainstorm and outline.

I picked up a Filofax Organizer with the intent to try out that system. However, since I was already used to running my day-to-day schedule in the bullet journal format, transitioning to a different style has proven problematic. Plus, to be totally honest, some of the Filofax paper doesn't work well with fountain pens. I needed dot grid paper that fit in a Filofax and was fountain pen friendly... the Goulet Notebooks with Tomoé River paper to the rescue! 

I've put together a hack to help you create your own fountain pen friendly Filofax Bullet Journal! It's insanely easy and takes under 20 minutes to do. You'll need the following supplies:

Step 1: Remove the Staples from the Notebook

First you want to gently remove the staples from your Goulet Notebook. Luckily they are incredibly easy to take out- you don't even need a stapler remover. Pry the staples up and the paper should easily slip out from the cover. 

Step 2: Mark your area to hole punch.

Take a sheet of paper that comes in your Filofax Organizer. Line it up even with the notebook paper and using a pencil, draw a circle to outline where the holes should go. 

Step 3: Punch holes in your paper

Pull out four sheets at a time (this will give you 8 sheets to hole punch through). Take your single hole punch, line it up with the circles you drew, and punch through the paper.

Step 4: Hole punch the rest of the paper

Take your four sheets of hole punched paper and put the next four sheets inside. Using this "template" draw circles for your hole punch. Continue to do this until all of the pages of the notebook are hole punched. 

Step 5: Cut the paper
If you want to write on both sides of the page and have the ability to move pages around, you'll want to cut your paper in half. I used scissors, but you could also use a paper cutter for faster cuts.

Step 6: Put your notebook in your Filofax

Now that you have your hole-punched loose leaf Tomoé River paper, slip it into your notebook. Voilà! You just made a fountain pen friendly, dot grid equipped Filofax bullet journal! Customize at will.

Optional Upgrade: Use the Notebook cover!

After I was done creating my Filofax bullet journal, I started writing on it and quickly realized that if you are writing on the back side of the page it gets tricky. The pockets of the Filofax and pen loop make for a difficult writing surface. Since I had the cover of the Goulet Notebook just sitting there, I decided to use it as a barrier. I cut it in half, hole punched it, and decorated it with a bit of Washi tape. This isn't a must, but I think it added a nice personal touch.

You can find Filofax Organizers in A5 size at varying price ranges and types at GouletPens.com. Goulet Notebooks are available in dot grid, blank, graph, and lined pages for $9. 

If you want to turn your personal size Filofax into a bullet journal, I suggest using a Traveler's Notebook size Goulet Notebook. You'll have to cut a few inches off the top of the notebook to make it fit, but the paper width is about the same. 

What do you think? Will you be using your Filofax as a bullet journal? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Write on,

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