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.
Thanks to a little bit of snow, this week’s Q&A features an unplanned new location and some special guest performers. I’ll dish on flex pen writing basics, my favorite notebook for journaling, and how well I’d perform as a mime. Next week we’ll be back live at Goulet HQ — with another nice Q&A surprise. OK, here we go…


Pens/Writing: – (6:52)
Glenn L.- Facebook – (6:58)
What are your recommended fountain pens for lazy people like myself? I like pens that are easy to use, easy to fill, and most importantly, super easy to clean? Effort, schmeffort. Your top picks for lazypens, please!
Lori Arrowood- YouTube – (10:04)
Hey Brian, I was browsing the web the other day for fountain pen stuff and came across a link for a Pilot Cocoon fountain pen. Maybe I’m crazy but it looks to me to be the exact same thing as a Pilot Metropolitan, yet it lists on JetPens for $45. The site also says the nib is “metal” (assuming that means non-gold) – am I missing something? What is the difference?
  • basically nothing
  • Pilot Metropolitan in US, Cocoon in Japan, MR in Europe (with SI cartridge!)
  • no difference, I’m not joking when I say the Metro is an incredible pen for the money!

Paper: – (11:59)Ty W.- Facebook – (12:03)
I love my rhodia webbook. However, for daily note jotter it seems overkill. What is a better replacement, preferably with dots and/or ivory paper? I loath bleed through/shadowing- hence ending my decade long love with Moleskine thanks to the elegance that is the fountain pen.
  • Leuchtturm1917 is the ticket
  • dots, awesome colors, more pages, pretty darn good paper (not quite Rhodia though)

Travis W.- Facebook – (14:51)
If you could only use one brand/type of paper for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  • Rhodia, great all-around paper
Chad C.- Facebook – (16:25)
Dear Brian, I’m a lover of Rhodia paper for writing, but not in love with the 8mm wide ruling found on most of Rhodias large writing pads. I tend to write small, with short quick strokes and a smaller ruling would be great. Do you know if a smaller ruled, lined large Rhodia writing pad exists or perhaps in development. Thanks. P.S. the friday Q&A has become date night for my wife and I.
  • Need clarification on this one, the only Rhodias with 8mm is larger wire bound notebooks
  • Most everything Rhodia does is 7mm, except small Webnotebooks (6mm)
  • You could go with large Rhodia dot pads, they’re 5mm
LiAnn7396- YouTube – (19:28)
What’s your favorite diary. And paper. And please leave out rhodia dotted one. The one you use for pen testing :)
  • Toss up between Rhodia Webnotebook and Leuchtturm
  • I use and enjoy both, for different reasons
  • Webnotebook is 7mm and I like it for more journaling
  • Leuchtturm dot is 5mm and I like it for note taking

Business: – (22:36)
Chuck B.- Facebook – (22:51)
Have you thought of offering nib tuning on purchases?
  • definitely thought about it!
  • don’t have anyone here or nearby with the skills to do it
  • those with the skills elsewhere don’t need the work
  • only option is to train up in-house, and that’s a huge undertaking
  • the door is closed, but not locked
Personal: – (26:15)Jackie M.-Facebook – (26:16)
Inquiring minds want to know. If someone were to grab Brian’s hands while he’s talking, does he become functionally mute? (Just kidding.) Goulet Q&A is one of the high points of my week.
  • if you grabbed my hands, the rest of my body would surely gyrate
  • nothing will really shut me up though ;)
GimmeeCookiee- Blog – (29:12)
Congratulations on (almost) reaching 20000 subscribers! Which youtube channels do you personally enjoy watching (Pen related or otherwise)?
Troubleshooting: – (34:01)

Mayra R.-Facebook – (34:05)
My pilot metropolitan used to write very well but lately when I’m writing, no ink will come out. I’ve had to force ink into the nib and sometimes not even that works. What can I do to solve this problem?
  • make sure it’s inked up, it’s hard to tell sometimes with the included converter
  • clean the pen (remove nib/feed)
  • try a different ink
  • ‘pound down’ the ink
Chris W.-Facebook – (39:20)
I’ve recently considered converting my Edison Collier to an eyedropper pen. However, I am concerned about the inside of the barrel getting stained and affecting the appearance of the pen (even though it is on the inside there is a slight amount of transparency.) Any thoughts?
  • very natural concern
  • acrylic acetate (what Edisons are made of) is a pretty stain-resistant material
  • celluloids stain much worse, don’t eyedropper convert those (with permanent inks anyway)
  • shouldn’t have grave concerns, the pen’s easy to disassemble if thorough cleaning is needed, I basically never hear of Edison staining issues
Mirjam L.-Facebook – (43:26)
I have bought a couple of noodlers flexpens in the past, I like how they write, but I can’t get the hang of writing with flex. Is there a special technique to it? Normal writing works fine.
  • only flex on the downstroke (top left to bottom right), 45 degree pen angle, go slow, practice practice practice!

Chase Harris- YouTube – (47:02)
I recently purchased a Platinum Preppy Highlighter and converted it to an eyedropper with Noodler’s Firefly ink. The problem I am having is the pen writes (or rather highlights) extremely wet. Is there a way to adjust the flow on a Preppy Highlighter? I thought about using a cartridge to see if that slows things down a bit but I am not optimistic. Are there dryer alternatives for a refillable highlighter? I also have a M205 Duo but the line width is too small for my liking. I should also probably mention that most of the highlighting I am doing is in code books with thinner paper.  It’s not quite Bible paper but it is very close.

Jacob W.- email – (51:21)
This may be a dumb question but: I recently purchased my first piston filled pen. I am a bit disappointed by how dry it writes. I decided to open the piston a half turn to fill the feed with ink and the pen started to write much more wet. I was wondering if I should always open the piston when I write or if the nib needs to be altered.

  • you aren’t really opening the piston, you’re just forcing ink down the feed (which makes it wetter)
  • this helps in a pinch, but isn’t something that should be required ongoing
  • something else is going on
  • clean the pen thoroughly (FP101 Pen Cleaning and Maintenance)
  • try another ink, see if it helps
  • dilute the ink 10% or so
  • if all that doesn’t help, it’s the nib

QOTW: I’d love to introduce our Media Team to you. Mike is our Manager, Jenni is our videographer, Sarah is our photographer, and Margaret and Madigan are Community Coordinators (social media). What questions do you have for them?

Write On,
Brian Goulet