Hiatus and Return

Remarkable how much time has passed since my last blog entry; the reasons for the lapse were severalfold, including life simply getting in the way. So once again I pick up this blog and take a few tentative steps to see the Muse of paper and ink comes forth to sustain this endeavor. 

Interesting really to look back at previous entries, those enthusiastic, yet largely cringeworthy accounts of early dabbling with paper and pens and see how my interests have since evolved. Much changed over the ensuing years, but there remain a few constants such as my habit of near-microscopic penmanship and my enduring, almost visceral, dislike of Moleskine.   

Two evolutions of note are the discovery of Hobinichi Techos in late 2015, which have since become my go-to books for nearly all of my journaling/diary keeping needs. I could (and probably will) write volumes about the wonders of Hobonichi and that glorious Tomoe River paper. 

The second and perhaps more exciting of the evolutions has been that FINALLY after all these years…..

*dramatic pause*

….I’ve fallen headlong into the wonderful world of fountain pens. This has been the most intriguing and rewarding of endeavors and quite the departure from my initial assessment. Years ago I wrote of my early frustrations with fountain pens and how I was unable to find nibs small enough to be compatible with my penmanship, which relegated me to being a bitter spectator on the sidelines. But with research, experimentation, and practice, I’m now deeply immersed in the fountain pen and ink thing and am greatly enjoying the experience. Nearly all of my fountain pens are Japanese, with most having EF nibs, with a couple F thrown in for good measure. But such are topics for another time.

Catching Up

Remarable just how quickly time passed since my last real blog post. In terms of notebooks and pens and planners, I have been far from idle the last two and a half years.  If anything this period has been a golden age of experimentation- a time of hope and disappointment; a time of paper cuts and inky fingers. I’ve tried new notebook brands and paper styles and found some workable and others…. well, not so much. I’ve continued my quest for the best of the micro-point gel pens and again picked up a fountain pen after many years away. I culled through a variety of planner styles and settled on two I’ve since placed high in the pantheon of what a planner should be. And, finally, during the time away from the blog, I fell in and out of love with Moleskine. Twice. Each time I was drawn by the ideal and driven away by the reality of cheap ass dreadful paper. The last breakup with Moleskine was different. It has about it a sense of permanence; a feeling that I’m just….over that brand, that annoying and deep chasm between expectation and reality.

So when it comes to pen and paper, what am I using now?

  • For notebooks and pads I’m mostly using Rhodia
  • I’ve become quite fond of dot grid paper which has become my paper of choice when it’s an option.
  • For planers, I’m using Quo Vadis: a Hebdo weekly for personal use and an ABP1 for work. The latter is among the best. planners. ever. made. And will likely be the subject of my next product review.

Site Update

Hi all. Just wanted to provide a quick update on this blog. After a lengthy hiatus, we’re again moving forward with Fine Points and hope to resume somewhat regularish posting in the coming weeks. A few changes to blog form and fuction are also in process. First up has been a reformatting and streamlining of the site to facilitate ease of posting and navigation. A few changes in content are also in development, though these will come further down the road. The first order of business is dusting off the blog and getting it back online. Feedback is welcome as we again move forward. 

A Place for Everything

Being of the nerdly notebookish persuasion, I’ve long been in the habit of carrying around too many pens. Whether to the office, on my travels, or just when I’m out and about, an assortment of pens is almost always at hand, or at least nearby in the backpack as it’s nice to have an available assortment of point sizes, ink colors, and a spare or two of ones favorite pens.

The little plastic sandwich baggie which had served as my pen case for a number of years.

I am somewhat ashamed to admit this, but for a number of years my trusty pen case was a cheap little plastic sandwich bag. It held an assortment of pens and other odds and ends and lived in  the front compartment of the backpack. The pen baggie in the photo to the right has been in service about four years. While it’s waterproof and obviously durable (Are you paying attention, people at random sandwich bag company? Are you paying attention? A collaborative and lucrative bit of advertising might be in order here), it leaves something to be desired in terms of a pen case (ignore this part, people at random sandwich bag company).  Completely lacking in aesthetics and organizational capacity, the pen baggie was little more than a minimalist approach to keeping pens together instead of strewn about in the bottom of a backpack and/or overcrowding a shirt pocket.

A couple months ago the decision was made to finally upgrade to a real pen case (sorry about this, people at random sandwich bag company) and after a rather extensive search I opted for the book-style case from Lihit Lab which is available from Jetpens. The series of photos below constitutes a review of sorts of this very workable pen case.

Having used a plastic sandwich baggie to store pens for so long and being the creature of habit that I am, the transition from cheap baggie to a real pen case proved altogether confusing.


The Lihit Lab book-style case comes with this handy card replica which give one an idea of what goes where.


My reenactment of the card insert with a few modifications. There’s enough room in the back pocket for a small notebook. Featured here is a Moleskine (cheap-ass paper not pictured). The three pockets on the center “page” of the case are large enough for a jump drive (pictured in the top compartment) as well as providing space for one’s emergency tea supply.


Space for 15 pens with room for more (space will vary depending on the type of pen used)


And finally (once I sorted out the complexities of the transition from baggie to case) a shot of the outside of the case. Note the two small pockets.

A few closing points: The Lihit Lab book-style pen case feels rugged, durable and is very well designed with oodles of storage for pens and all sorts of related paraphernalia including a pocket notebook which rather surprised me given the modest size of the case. One of the stand out design features is the case’s organization: there’s no digging around in a deep pocket for a pen; everything is laid out nicely in front of you with pens in the front half of the case and related supplies neatly arranged in the other. Remarkable product this is.