Monday, December 07, 2015

Tracking Inks and Pen Rotation

Quick and dirty blog post based on a momentary Twitter discussion re: keeping track of fountain pens. If you're a nice logical person who keeps one or two pens inked with the same inks all the time, this does not apply. If, like me, you occasionally find yourself with six or seven, you may need a memory jogger for what's in what, especially if you bought samples of eleventy billion dark blues that are all very subtly different.

So this is my method. It's not fancy. If I get fancy, I fall behind, so I save notes on what I like or dislike about inks for my journals or blog posts.

As you can see, I'm rather fond of that Orange Safari. And even in a lousy nighttime photo, isn't the Cactus Fruit cool?

Anyone else log what inks they're using? How do you go about it?


Joe V said...

Well, I must say my "method" is far less complex, since I mainly use a Lamy Safari and TWSBI, so it's Parker Quink blue/black (my favorite ink) in the TWSBI and Private Reserve Velvet Black in the Lamy. Which is only slightly confusing, as the Lamy is blue colored yet has black ink, while the TWSBI is clear. I guess I've never gotten into collecting and trying out lots of different inks; once I discovered the Parker blue/black it became my all-time favorite.

But in general I like the simplicity of your tracking system, why overly complicate something.

Now, one writerly thing I need to track better are my (thus far) ten typewriters. I need to make a spreadsheet or something that tracks all the features between the models, plus their font sizes. For example, some (like the Olivettis) are "half-space" machines, meaning that as the typebars move toward the ribbon the carriage moves a half space, and again another half space as they retreat from the ribbon. This offers the feature of being able to half-space between letters, by holding down the space bar while typing, enabling you to insert missing letters into an already typed line. Also, if you hold the margin release while doing a carriage return, it'll stop at a point already indented five characters in from the left margin.

Bill M said...

I need to adopt your method. Simple, functional. Only your writing is so much nicer and more legible than my scribbles.

I started a spreadsheet on my fountain pens and gave thought to adding notes on paper and notebooks versus inks and pens. Never got there though. I over complicated my pen collection like I did my typewriters. I started spreadsheets on the pen, nib, characteristic of ink used,and never finished due to always needing a PC to reference it.

I like Joe's idea of adding typewriter characteristics. My goal is to use one typewriter each week on a rotational basis. I have a few not very useable due to age or their characteristics so not all the collection will be in rotation. I did this for a time with fountain pens, but not having good paper in notebooks or at work I end up with the same EF nib pens and Waterman Florida Blue or Noodlers Bulletproof black. At home I generally use Waterman blue or black and Parker Quink blue or black.