Pen of the Week: Sheaffer Lifetime Balance with Military Clip

Sheaffer Lifetime Balance + Sheaffer Skrip Blue Black
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Economical Links for 2017.10.06

niblinklove

Some links to the like-minded:

Muji aluminium fountain pen (via Flex & Other Follies)
I keep seeing these pens and keep wanting them.
Why Digital Note-Taking Will Never Replace the Physical Journal (via Literary Hub)
I wrote a novella a few years back and used Evernote to keep track of all my notes and research. (Can we agree that being able to search across full text is incredibly useful?) So I’m not in complete agreement with this article’s premise, but it sure has a lot of pretty notebook pictures that made my writerly heart go all-aflutter.

 
I’ll leave you with a story from Mark Manson:

[One afternoon, a group of recent college grads returned to visit their favorite professor. They had many complaints about how difficult life was after school: long hours, demanding bosses, and how all anybody seemed to talk about or care about was money, money, money.]

After a while, the professor got up and made some coffee. He got out six cups, one for each student. Three of them were cheap disposable cups and the other three were made of his nicest porcelain. He then invited everyone to get up and help themselves.

Within seconds the bargaining had already begun. “Wait, why do you get that cup?” “No, let me have it, I drove here.” “No way, I got here first, go get your own.” The students laughed and gently chided each other over who got to drink what out of what. A silent competition among friends.

When the kids finally sat back down the professor smiled and said, “You see? This is your problem. You are all arguing over who gets to drink out of the nice cups when all you really wanted was the coffee.”

All I want is to put ink on a piece of paper. And yet…

Snap Judgments: Nock Co Seed A6 Case

Now that I’ve gone all-in on the Hobonichi Techo by ordering a 2018 edition for next year, I decided it was time to get a proper cover, too. In a bit of serendipitous timing, Nock Co recently announced a new notebook cover of their own: the Seed A6 case. With the positive experience I’ve been having with their Lookout pen case in mind, I jumped at the chance to order a Seed case as soon as they were available online.

The Seed is an A6 case that fits notebooks sized 4.1 x 5.8 inches (10.4 x 14.7 cm) and up to .75 inches (1.9 cm) thick. While the Nock Co website doesn’t specify the materials the Seed case is made from, I believe that the exterior fabric is the same 1000D Cordura found in other Nock Co cases.

This particular case is the “Steel/Silver Dust” colorway.

The Seed is a clamshell style cover with a sturdy YKK zipper around the outer edge. The zipper has double zipper pulls but I’m not sure why. On such a small case, I feel the second pull just gets in the way. (Obviously, this is a matter of personal preference.)

This style of case can be tricky to sew, and the sewing on this one is top notch. The seams are straight and even, and there was only one stray thread at the end of a seam that needed trimming.

Since this case was designed for the A6 Hobonichi Techo, I was pleased to see that it fits my notebook like a glove.

That said, it’s highly likely that other similarly sized notebooks (like the Stalogy 365 or Midori MD A6) will also fit. But as always, measure notebook twice, buy cover once.

The interior of the case is a lighter grey material. There are two pen slots on the front side and a business card slot on the back.

There are also slots on the front and back to secure the cover of whatever notebook is being protected. The Hobonichi Techo fits into these slots perfectly. It’s also possible to skip using the slots entirely and keep your notebook loose inside while using the slots for other flat items. A third option, which is what I settled on, is to slip the back cover of the notebook into the back slot while leaving the front cover free. This lets me store loose papers or a pocket notebook in the front slot.

In this configuration, I found that the notebook remained comfortable to write on. Writing on the left side pages is slightly more bumpy when there are pens in the slots. The surface of the paper is also higher off the tabletop due to the cover’s presence, which is something to get used to if your notebook was naked before.

The pen slots are generously sized and securely sewn. The left slot is slightly more narrow than the right. My largest diameter pens are a Lamy Vista and a TWSBI Diamond Mini, and both fit with plenty of room to spare.

Something to be aware of when storing larger pens in the pen slots is that they will add bulk to the front cover and make the case more difficult to close.

Also, if you store your pens clipped to the case with the clips facing out, some clips will leave small indentations in the flyleaf of the notebook inside. If you want to keep your notebook pristine, turn your pens inside the slots so their clips aren’t exposed.

Nock Co says their 1000D Cordura has a durable water repellent (DWR) finish, so let’s put that to the test.

Looks like it’s working. 🙂

The front of the case has an overlapping flap pocket.

It’s a little awkward putting items into the pocket, but once inside, they’re unlikely to fall out. I was able to cram a roll of washi tape, a Kaweco Sport, and a Raymay Pencut in there, but that’s pushing it. Items stored in the front pocket also make the case rather bulky.

So the Seed A6 looks good and fits good. I’m satisfied with mine, but at $60 plus shipping, I feel it’s about ten dollars too expensive. You’ll have to decide if $60 is worth it to you when there are American made leather covers out there for not much more.

I’ve only had my Seed case for a few days, but it’s already a part of my everyday carry. It’s simple, well made, and does the job.

Things I like about the Seed: the fabric, craftsmanship, fit

Things I don’t like: it’s $10 too expensive, would prefer just one zipper pull

This notebook case was paid for with my own funds. My opinions on this blog are always my own. Please see my review ethics statement for more details.

Economical Links for 2017.09.29

niblinklove

A slow week for economical content, but here are some links to the like-minded:

Scout Books Notebook Review (via My Pen Needs Ink)
It’s the Costco model for pocket notebooks: buy in bulk.
Wing Sung 235 (via goodwriterspens)
Don’t let the prices fool you — the best economical pens will last for years. This pen sounds like a good one.

In other news, I ordered my 2018 Hobonichi Techo for next year and one of the new SEED A6 cases from Nock Co. My wallet’s feeling rather battered.

I’ve decided to stick with the Hobonichi for another year because it just works for me. Have you figured out your planner/bullet journal/commonplace book strategy for next year? Trying something new?