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In this week’s Q&A, I talk about whether or not you can eyedropper convert a Pilot Falcon, how to smooth out a stub nib, and the Brian Goulet system of personal organization. It’s a beefy one!

New Products: – (2:54)

Pens/Writing – (5:52)
‏1) @DillonIanCarter- Twitter – (5:59)
Can the Pilot Falcon (resin) be converted into an eye dropper?
  • there’s some debate about this one!
  • there’s a fair amount of speculation about it online, some of what I’m reading says it leaks from the back finial
  • the press-fit end cap isn’t necessarily air-tight, so it could leak if you fill the whole body with ink
  • my personal pens don’t seem to leak, I’ll experiment with them further though
  • I will settle on saying that they aren’t advertised as eyedropper convertible so you should expect it, but it’s a nice-to-have if they work out that way
2) Denise K.-Facebook – (12:22)
What’s the very best pen w/ stub nib at $200-ish or less? I prefer a finer line in general.
  • not as many distinctly different options here as you might think!
  • Monteverde/Conklin are all similar nibs, stubs are generally okay, do have some tine pinching reputation
  • Edison nibs are great
  • TWSBI nibs are generally pretty good
  • Pilot VP is awesome! but not readily available…
3) Janet D.-Facebook – (17:40)
I recently purchased the Conklin Duragraph in green with a 1.1 stub nib. The pen is beautiful, but the nib seems a little “scratchy.” Are stub nibs generally a little more “scratchy” than regular fine or medium nibs?
  • stubs are a little tougher to “do right”
  • it’s not necessarily that they’re more scratchy, but they are not as forgiving for rotation in your hand
  • even Goulet #6 nibs we get in need to be adjusted, we find that 1.1 nibs need more adjustment and smoothing than just about any other nib size
  • Goulet Loupe Tutorial Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQ29a1ct5XA


4) Janet D.-Facebook – (22:16)
Can you smooth a stub nib with micro mesh?

  • absolutely, just like any other nib
  • check alignment first
  • be very aware of your pen rotation when doing your smoothing
  • figure 8 patterns help
5) Janet D.-Facebook – (27:04)
Can the nib on the Conklin be replaced with a #6 Goulet nib, and if so, how?
  •  it can, just be aware your new nib won’t be warranty covered by Conklin (obviously)
  • it’s friction fit, so just pull and replace!
Ink – (32:42)
6) John Y.-Facebook – (32:45)
Is there a fountain pen ink that works on credit cards? I just tried to sign one of mine and even after a day the ink still smeared. I used Noodler’s Black Eel.
  • nope! FP ink is water-based and needs paper to soak into
  • best to use a sharpie, something else solvent-based
  • same goes for photo paper, glossy cardstock, “waterproof” paper, etc
7) André V.- Facebook-(35:06)
Are “universal” cartridges/converters truly universal? Are there things to look out for?
  • there is no such thing as a universal converter or cartridge
  • the most versatile one is called Standard International and it fits a wider variety of pens than any other
  • many brands use proprietary C/C’s though, always look to see what type a certain brand takes
  • you can get a good start under the “Compatible Inks & Refills” filter on GouletPens.com
  • you can select “Standard International Ink cartridges” and see all the ones that take those

Personal – (40:59)
8) Samantha W. -Facebook – (41:06)
How does THE Brian Goulet stay organised? Between the store, the videos, emails and social media I’d imagine it’s a tall order. What organisers and/or notebook styles do you use (bullet journals, …?) Thanks in advance!!
  • that is a great question! and I have a complicated answer that’s more high-tech than low-tech
  • personally, I write because I love it not because I “have to”, so many of my productivity methods are high-tech so I can get them done quicker and write more for the joy of writing
  • the simplest answer is with David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) method
  • discovered it about 3 years ago, been honing it ever since
  • literally made somewhat of a breakthrough this past week with my “contexts”
  • Basic ideology of GTD:
  • get things out of your head and in a trusted system that you review regularly
  • have everything go into an “inbox”, clarify what it is and the next action for it, review it weekly and determine its priority, then do it!
  • I use many, many different programs depending on what I’m managing
  • High-tech:
    • Omnifocus 2 for my Mac and phone, my main holding place: 1,100+ actions stored there!
    • recently getting into Evernote, trying that out in tandem with Omnifocus
    • Simplemind for mind mapping on the phone
    • Basecamp for projects across the company
    • Outlook Exchange for shared calendar and email
    • Slack for interoffice communication
    • Various apps for all our social media channels
    • Google docs/sheets for collaborative work
    • MarsEdit app for drafting blog posts (like Q&A!) and video prep
    • Reminders app on my phone for certain grocery lists and whatnot
    • 1Password for security and account management
    • Textexpander for faster typing shortcuts of repetitive things
    • Jumpcut is a cool app for copy/paste actions
    • Dragon Dictate for some things like transcribing notes from books I’ve read
    • YNAB– You Need A Budget for personal budget
    • personal photos, been using Aperture now I’m switching to Lightroom
    • videos using Final Cut Pro X
  • Low-tech:
9) ‏@smadayrrek- Twitter – (1:04:05)
What is your favourite holiday movie to watch with your family for Christmas?
  • haven’t established a single “must watch” Christmas movie yet, probably Charlie Brown Christmas though
  • watch a lot of Veggie Tales, Mickey Mouse
Troubleshooting – (1:05:02)
10) Tonja B. Facebook – (1:05:03)
I have a TWSBI Classic black. A co-worker, fascinated by my pen a few weeks ago (he loves fountain pens) attempted to take it apart by unscrewing the nib/grip section from the barrel. Obviously this created a problem, as he soon discovered (his hands turned black from the ink), but ever since then, every time I take the lid off the grip section is all inked up. Since the barrel was full when he did this, I hate to waste all that ink, but should I simply expel what is left, wash it all out and start all over? Or is the pen defective? Advice?
  • check to make sure the nib unit is installed properly
  • at least wash off the grip of the pen
  • visually inspect to see if anything’s stripped, cracked, etc
  • pen only holds 1.5ml of ink total, the more expensive inks are about $0.50/ml so don’t sweat the lost ink too much
  • hard to say if it’s defective, likely not


QOTW: How do you stay personally organized? – (1:09:40)

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