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Paper - My Rule of Thumb

Fr. Kyle Sanders

It had been too long since I've been here. I apologize. November took me by surprise. Hope this whets your whistle.

Paper has been one of the universal experiences of childhood before the onslaught of touch-screen phones and tablets. We colored on it. We practiced our alphabet on it. We did our homework on it. As we got older, we took tests on it and did reports on it. Paper was used as means to test the concept of flying and, mixed with a little spittle and a straw, became a comedic means to annoy someone from across the room. As I got older, my creative time, my writing was spent on the screen. I wrote high school papers on the family computer. I wrote my college essays on a laptop. More and more, I separated myself from the tactile experience of pen to paper.

That changed when I began writing with fountain pens. I realized that certain papers didn't respond well to the ink. So I began searching for good paper to enhance my writing experience. Paper I found was a lot cheaper than pens, as a general rule, so it seemed more justifiable to buy. The deeper down the rabbit hole I went the more of a workflow with my paper evolved. When I do a review of a specific notebook, it is because I am using, or have used, that notebook in a specific part of that workflow. Whether it is a good or bad experience, I will use every leaf (or just about). So without further ado, here is my rule of thumb. 

Daily Carry

When I have a back pocket, I carry with me a pocket journal. I have found these to be both incredibly useful and incredibly helpful. I was introduced to this style of notebook by Moleskine in their Cahier line, but I have since broadened my brand horizons. I use this notebook for exactly that: quick notes, things I want to remember, phone numbers, addresses, doodles, quotes from things I read, and book titles to be read in the future. I own a OneStarLeather cover which keeps the book in better condition due to the particular conditions of being next to my rear.   

Currently Using: Field Notes Northerly Edition

Bullet Journal

I am not the most organized person, and I have found the Bullet Journal system very helpful. (If you aren't familiar with it, go check it out.) I knew I needed a medium sized journal so the first three notebooks went in that direction: Moleskine Evernote Edition (I don't know why everything started with Moleskine. I blame Barnes & Noble), Rhodia Webnotebook, and a Leuchtturm 1917 medium size. The latter has been the best of the bunch so far. Unfortunately, I filled it with three months left in the year, so I chose a smaller one to finish out the year.

Currently Using: Field Notes Sciences Edition

The case is a This is Ground Mod

Blog Journal

I have turned to writing most of my thoughts by hand. That includes all my blog posts. I have been blogging since 2008. I maintain this one and another blog as well as being a contributor to a third blog. So I'm writing often. For about two years, all my blog rough drafts have gone into a journal before I transfer to whatever format I'm using. Physically writing takes longer and allows me to distill my thoughts much better than typing would.

Currently Using: Basic Clairefontaine Life. Unplugged Staple-bound

The Clairfontaine is the green one.

Homily Journal

In the same vein, I have another journal dedicated to homily preparation. This doesn't need to be a certain size. The notebook I'm using now was originally dedicated to something else, but I never used it so it has been rededicated, in the no-page-left-behind rule I have for myself.

Currently Using: Moleskine Ruled Hardcover Extra Large

TWSBI 580 for size comparison

Homily Delivery Paper

Then, just like my pens, I have a notebook set aside to write down the homily I will deliver. This is always a top staple-bound notebook because I need to be able to tear out the pages.

Currently Using: Rhodia Ice No. 18 Lined

Scratch Pads

I keep scratch pads in front of my office computer and in front on my home computer. They allow me to take quick notes and are very helpful with phone numbers and computer file names (especially photographs).

Currently Using:

Doane Paper Large Flap Jotter - Home

 Doane Paper Small Writing Pad - Office

Project Notebooks

Finally, I set aside notebooks for particular projects I'm working on at a certain time. These notebooks vary in size and shape and are determinded by the project. I keep a pocket notebook dedicated to show notes for a podcast I participate in. At the moment I have two other projects going on: NaNoWriMo novel (yeah, don't ask me how that went) and an altar server training video.

Currently Using:

Field Notes Red-Blooded Edition - Podcast

Moleskine Cahier - Altar Server Video

Zequenz 360º Lined - NaNoWriMo

Hopefully this gives you a good idea of my paper workflow. Next up will be how I choose and use my inks.

Pens: Kara's Kustom Ink  & Pilot E95s Fine Nib 
Ink: Schmidt P8126 Refill & Noodler's Antietam (respectively)
Paper: Doane Paper Small Writing Pad