Thursday: Paper Stuff

I get asked every so often about what index cards are good for fountain pens. More specifically, I get asked about 3″x5″ index cards like we’re all used to, but ones that are good for fountain pen ink. Exacompta does make really nice index cards, but they may or may not be what you’re looking for. 

They come in multicolor assorted packs, 100 cards to a pack. There’s 25 blue, yellow, pink, and green. The only choice is 5×5 graph ruling. They’re French, so they’re not the same size that we’re used to here in the US. They have 3 different products that are imported regularly into the US:

  • 4″ x 6″
  • 5″ x 8″
  • 5.75″ x 8.25″

But this isn’t going to be a full-on review of these cards, that’s something I’ll do later. The whole reason I bring these cards up is because they’re the only truly fountain pen friendly index cards that I’m aware are around. That’s part of why I wanted to post this. I would love to track down a source for good index cards, especially something available in blank or lined, white, and in a 3×5 size. Do you know of anything?

Working with your cheap-o index cards

If all you have are the office’s bargain brand, there are a few things you can do to make it more bearable to use your pens on your junk index cards. Here’s a couple of tricks that work for cheap paper in general:

  1. Use a finer nib- stay away from the broads and italics. Using a finer nib, especially in a drier writing pen will put less ink on the paper, causing less problems like feathering and bleedthrough
  2. Change your ink- some inks perform better than others on cheap paper. Play around! You may be surprised which ones work well on cheap paper. The pen is also a factor, but one suggestion I have is Noodler’s X-feather, which was specifically designed not to, well, feather. Certain other inks are ‘dry’ writing, like Pelikan (Edelstein as well as 4001), which helps resist feathering.
  3. Hold the card really far away from you when you read it. Preferably across your desk or at more than an arm’s length. The less you can see it, the less you’ll see any ink problems (this is of course, a joke suggestion!)

Seriously though, if anyone else has any good index card source, share with us all here in the comments. Also, let us know if you have any other tips for writing on your cheap-o index cards!

If you do like the Exacompta ones, we do have the 4×6 size available at