Just for a while, I’m back at my desk. For me, this means that I spend more time in larger format notebooks and less in pocket notebooks. I’m still enjoying my Moleskine Cahier when out and about, but when at home, I am back to bullet journalling.
At the moment, that means I am in an Endless Recorder from endless.works in India. Mine is black, with a blue page marker and elastic closure. It has a two page spread “Table of Contents” at the front, followed by 187 dotted pages. The cover is hard - yet thin, giving the book a little flex. The killer feature however is that the notebook is made of Tomoe River paper. The heavier 68 gsm variety.
Some fountain pen users wax lyrical about Tomoe River. “It’s so thin!” “My ink sheens beautifully!” “It holds ink so well!” On and on they rave.
“Humbug”, I respond.
Don’t get me wrong, Tomoe does showcase ink in a way that is difficult to replicate on other papers. It is quantifiably thin. However, it has downsides too. Ink takes 3 years, 2 months and 5 days to dry. Heavy-handed writing shows through the page. Even pencil.
Alright - I may be exaggerating about the dry time and frankly, I need to work at the pressure that I apply to writing instruments, nevertheless, it is true that there are negatives as well as positives when it comes to Tomoe.
A bullet journal is an intensely pragmatic thing for me. I don’t draw ‘spreads’ or design mini-calendars. I do not keep 36 colours at my fingertips to beautify next Wednesday’s entry. I write a gratitude note each morning. Then I start listing events for the day and stuff that I need to get done. That’s my morning routine, and it gets my head in the right space.
Rough, tough and macho posturing apart, I love fountain pens and being able to integrate the use of one into my morning routine appeals to me. My current weapon of choice is a Pelikan M600 in Vibrant Orange, teamed with Gibson Les Paul Honeyburst by Diamine. Don’t tell anyone, but that pen, with that ink, on that paper, is gorgeous. It brings me pleasure, until I write too much, turn the page without waiting for the requisite 3 and a bit years, and smudge everything.
At times, I use pencil in the Recorder or even my favourite Mitsubishi fineliners, and all work beautifully. Tomoe has little or no tooth, so the the writing experience is smooth.
Soon - the Endless Recorder will be on the shelf next to the 4 Leuchturms that preceded it. What will follow it, I wonder?
As you may imagine - I have options. Let me know - in comments or on twitter or something if there is one you would like to me to review.
The Endless Recorder is a superb notebook, with the features of Tomoe - and the downsides. Genuinely, the dry time doesn’t bother me too much, as I seldom need to refer back too much, and using a fountain pen is, for me, one of life’s few pleasures that isn't bad for me. These books are definitely in my rotation, and will stay there. We carry them in blank, ruled and dot, with multiple covers. Endless.works also provide some excellent guide sheets on their website for free.