Slice Planner

I’ve been using the Slice Planner off and on for a while but the past few weeks it’s become my daily driver. Every morning, I use it to time block my schedule, list tasks, take notes, and even journal a short paragraph or two. With the circus rigging taking up so much time and forcing all that’s left into much tighter spaces, having one two-page spread to see the day as a whole has been a godsend.

I don’t use any of the digital syncing stuff. Never have. I have no idea how well that works or not. But, as an interesting take on the paper based planner/notebook concept, it’s great.

Schools are removing analogue clocks from exam halls

The Telegraph:

Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary at the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said youngsters have become accustomed to using digital devices.

Mr Trobe, a former headmaster, said that teachers want their students to feel as relaxed as possible during exams. Having a traditional clock in the room could be a cause of unnecessary stress, he added.

This makes me sad.

On a related note, we recently linked to a report about young people struggling to hold pencils due to too much tech. Yesterday, while checking out a web series someone sent me a link to, I noticed an actor holding a pencil like this:

This underhand grip is great for drawing and sketching in long, broad strokes, but it makes no sense for writing.

The importance of revisiting notebooks

The importance of revisiting notebooks — Austin Kleon

Almost every writer will tell you how important it is to keep a daily diary or notebook, but very few emphasize how important it is, if you want to publish, to have a system for going back through those personal notebooks and diaries and turning them into public writing.


How to Save the Day, Repeatedly, with a Notepad – Michael A. LaPlante – Medium

How to Save the Day, Repeatedly, with a Notepad – Michael A. LaPlante – Medium

“On many of the jobs I’ve held, even if someone did not know my name or position, I was commonly referred to as “that guy with the notebook”. I was constantly taking notes. It is also a nice “prop” if you want to appear “busy”. A thoughtful look, a slight chin rub, and a few notes. Working hard.”

Lots of fun smart quips in this one.

(via Chris Bowler’s newsletter)

A new (to me) concept for keeping a notebook. – Shaunta Grimes – Medium

A new (to me) concept for keeping a notebook. – Shaunta Grimes – Medium

“I don’t number the pages. I don’t keep an index. I don’t do fancy handlettering. Sometimes I date the entry, but usually not. I just write what needs writing. Usually with a Papermate Flair or an Ink Joy gel pen.”

She discovers the beauty and utility of keeping a commonplace and is wonderfully excited about it. I enjoy her anti-fancy approach.

(via Chris Bowler’s newsletter)

The Pen Addict before The Pen Addict

Some of you may know that I had a long running and fairly popular podcast many years ago called enough. It was hosted by myself and Myke Hurley, who now runs the highly successful podcast network Some of you also may know Brad Dowdy, who is not only the longtime show runner of The Pen Addict blog but also has a very successful podcast on the network of the same name that he hosts with Mr. Hurley.

Well, before the Pen Addict podcast got started, I had Brad on as a guest on my show. He and I got very pen and paper nerdy while Myke largely just listened in. But, if you listen close enough you may detect the beginnings of something special — Myke and Brad’s relationship forming and the spark of an interest in pens in Myke. Some might consider this The Pen Addict Podcast Beta — the show that led to the now very popular podcast and what is a years long friendship and partnership between Brad and Myke.

One of our readers and The Pen Addict Podcast listeners Samantha Kay was curious about this particular episode and reached out to Brad and I to see if we knew where she could find it. Neither of us could help. That’s where Robert Wall came to the rescue. Robert hosted an archive of enough for a while after it ended. He was able to track down that episode and shared it with Samantha who sent a copy to me.

Here it is below:

But wait! There’s more! You may hear the name Aaron Mahnke dropped a couple of times in the episode. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Aaron is the creator of the also beyond insanely popular podcast and Amazon TV Series and Book Series, Lore. Before that he was an extremely talented designer and made a line of paper products I still love and use today.

So, there you have it. There’s a whole ton of “before they were podcast stars” packed into this little podcast episode. Enjoy!

Why Paper Works – Mike Vardy – Medium

Why Paper Works – Mike Vardy – Medium

Paper works because it is only limited by what you’re willing to put on (and into) it. Paper provides an escape from your devices and does so without compromising your ability to get things done. Paper is safe and secure in that it can be both lifesaving and disposable depending on the circumstances. Paper is versatile, compatible and portable.Paper?—?simply put?—?just works.

Much agreement to be found with my friend Mr. Vardy here (via my other friend Chris Bowler)

The Analog-Digital Life | Leigh Reyes

The Analog-Digital Life | Leigh Reyes

There are days it feels like I’m living from screen to screen. I answer several messages on your phone, check Instagram, hop to my laptop to clean up a few slides. Before I know it I’ve spent half my waking life absorbed in variously-lit pixels.

Butch Dalisay showed a class of young advertising people a 500 year-old book and a first generation iPhone that still worked. They seemed a little more awed by the iPhone. Perhaps because they expect specialized hardware to become obsolete faster than the printed page.

The Posh Pen Paradox: when writers and artists fear their tools

The Posh Pen Paradox: when writers and artists fear their tools

Money plays into this fear, with the idea that you should only invest expensive materials in to a piece of work that will turn out to be a worthwhile investment, and as mere students we think: Why bother?

I wonder if it is for many of the same reasons mentioned in this article that cheap wins the day for many established authors. Also, as this article alludes, many famous artists such a Leonardo da Vinci rarely used new canvases for their most famous works. Instead, they often painted over existing work they weren’t satisfied with.

Some things to think about If you are having trouble with the fear of starting. Try grabbing a cheap ballpoint and half-used spiral bound notebook you have laying about and just make a mess. You may be surprised on how well it works.

(via Mark Lovely)

The Beginner’s Guide to Mechanical Pencils | JetPens

The Beginner’s Guide to Mechanical Pencils | JetPens

A new guide from JetPens. In-depth and useful. Also, I’d never really thought about it, but apparently mechanical pencils predate wooden pencils.