Getting to know Nickie O'Hara

by Stuart Lennon
Nickie and I first engaged on Twitter when she kindly reviewed 6 Pocket Notebooks when we first launched in the Summer. Since then I've been amazed with all the online activities that Nickie is involved with along with her productivity techniques and knowledge of Stationery.

1) Describe yourself in three objects

Twitter (not really an object but I've been a user and a super-fan for almost seven years now), planner, London Underground tube train.

2) Wood or Mechanical Pencil?

Do you know what? I rarely use a pencil but when I do, I use a mechanical pencil just for ease of use (no hunting round for a sharperner) but I have a set of Field Notes Carpenter pencils - big, red and square and they have to be sharpened with a stanley knife. They remind me of my dad and his DIY projects in the garage as he always had pencils like this. 

3) Ballpoint, Gel or Fountain Pens?

I've found my happy medium between a ballpoint and a fountain pen with my J Herbin rollerball. It takes real ink cartridges. The colour of choice is currently Lames de Cassis (a purple/grey) but I also use Lierre Sauvage (green) occasionally too. This is my everyday pen and I use it in my notebooks (therefore, my notebooks have to have pages that will hold ink really well).  I always have a black fineliner at the bottom of my handbag... just in case. 

4) Sketchbook or screen?

I can't doodle to save my life and blank paper scares me so I have to choose screen. I'm a total screen queen at the end of the day but I've been finding out recently that more and more geek types (or those who are embedded into a digital life) are using the "analogue" ways of note-taking such as diaries or bullet journalling. 

5) Tell us about a couple of your favourite materials to work with?

I've recently moved away from Filofax (that shocked a few people) and into a Traveler's Notebook style set-up. I downsized to a 'pocket' size set of notebooks which is how I found Pocket Notebooks. My favourite two styles of notebooks are now the Field Notes and Word. Notebook products. I use an adapted bullet journal system for planning and I'm an incessant list maker so I have a notebook just for that - this acts as a braindump type of place really.  I go back to when I mentioned that I don't/can't doodle.  My way of expression is to list or mindmap my thoughts. 

6) Which country or continent is your favourite for Stationery?

Every day I'm discovering new items of stationery or new uses. I don't think I'm beholden to a particular country/continent but I think all stationery lovers have an affection for Japanese stationery because of its many themes and innovation. I think the UK is waaaaaaaay behind the rest of the world when it comes to stationery ideas and even making popular brands available.  I'm grateful for places like Pocket Notebooks, Bureau Direct, Smiggle et al for being thought-leaders with their stock cupboard.

7) Apart from your own blog, which other stationery blogs would you recommend following?
I tend to follow links on social media for my stationery reading/viewing fix (Instagram and YouTube are a fabulous sources of information) so I scour the stationery related hashtags on Twitter/Instagram for new content and use the sidebar recommendations on YouTube.  However...
Stationery Lovers- I know you said apart from my own but this is my collaborative blog which was a new venture for this year.
Desk of Adam - I love the way he enthuses about stationery in a professional, cross-platform kind of way.
Natalie Fergie - her blog is a mix of stationery & craft & lifestyle


8) Do you practice any productivity techniques or hacks?

My own bullet journal hack is the best thing I've done but it does take time to create (I have to physically draw it out). A 48 page pocket notebook perfectly houses six months of my diary/daily notes system. You can see the first edition of this hack in my Stationery Playlist on YouTube. I also created a way to incorporate the Bullet Journal system into a Filofax. The video for that is on the same YouTube playlist.

9) And… we’ve got to ask. What’s in your pencil case?


Make-up! Yes, really. I bought a little pencil case from The Works for the grand sum of £1.50 a while back with the sole intention of using if as a make-up bag. 

I did purchase another (same style, different colour & design) to use as a pencil case but I've spent the past few weeks scaling down what I carry with me on a daily basis in my handbag and I decided that I simply didn't need to have lug all this unnecessary paraphernalia around with me.    So now I don't carry a pencil case around (although I did do a "What's In Your Pencil Case" video once... guess where you can find that?)​ because I sorted our spare room out and created an office space for myself - now I have everything arranged on my desk. As mentioned before, I only have one pen that I use daily although I do have various other pens scattered around the house so they are to hand when required.


Nickie blogs at Typecast and Geekalicious. You can follow Nickie on Twitter Pinterest Facebook Instagram, YouTube and  Google+