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When in doubt, be a unicorn – Happy Monday!

Stationery Mondays

The other day I went to Black Ink, which is a store that sells Japanese goods, including stationery. They have a great variety of all-paper things, and I could easily spend HOURS there! I have written about this store before and you can read about it here

The shop has a great variety of erasers. I was looking into the bowl full of cute erasers and i found this one. I love it and for some reason, this little guy makes me smile so he lives on my desk. I hope it’ll make you smile too! Have a great Monday and a great week. Leave me your comments below and let me know if you like cute erasers.

Thanks for reading this short post,

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unicorn

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Best pens to use on your Hobonichi

Choosing a pen for your Hobonichi Techo books 

Often, I see this question being asked by (new) Hobonichi users “What pens are best for the Hobonichi Techo?”. This is a bit of a relative question where the answers can vary a lot. There’s a myriad of pens and also a myriad of answers. Choosing a pen is a personal choice and choosing one for a particular type of paper depends on so many factors, for example:

  • Paper thickness
  • Width of the pen that you like
  • the boldness of the pen
  • Colors
  • Ink type
  • Fountain, roller ball or felt tip
  • and so on…

Personally, I like pens that are smooth, that are on the thin side and that have super dark ink, usually black. My favorite brands are Pilot, Papermate gel joy, Faber Castell and Staedlers triplus fine liners. I do love some fountain pains but my collection is not huge so I wouldn’t dare to recommend one for you because I am still learning about these. I do have a couple of Lammy pens and Faber Castell but I don’t know yet what I love — fountain pen wise.

Because the Hobonichi Techo is made out of Tomoe River paper which is a very special kind of paper — and the main reason why many of us love the Hobonichi books — Not all pens write the same and not all pens will offer the same experience. Personally, I have also used normal rollerball pens and I find that the glide. It is hard to get traction with them, and also because the paper is a grid kind, you can’t really write smaller with these pens.

I think I have tried all kinds of pens on my Hobonichis, from the cheapest to the fancy Lammy fountain pens and Faber Castell. I find that the ink needs to be on the liquid side, but not too much like the jelly rolls, otherwise it will smudge. From my experience the best pens to use on a Hobonichi techo are these and I hope you will find it useful, at least until you find THE pen that you love to use.

  • Faber Castell basic black rollerball pen
  • Staedlers triplus fine liners
  • Pilot pens, usually the most basic ones are amazing
  • Ink joy gel pens in 0.3 by paper mate
  • Paper mate flairs – although if your handwriting is large, you’ll end up using a lot of space on your notenook with these pens
  • Jetstream uniball in 0.5
  • Lamy safari

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Thanks for reading, let me know which pens are you favorite.

E. J.

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Four differences, one hobonichi

If you are new to hobonichi and want to get a book for 2017 but you are not sure which size is the best for you to buy, keep on reading. Here, you will find a brief explanation of the three different hobonichi sizes and their main differences. Hopefully, this post will be useful to you!

Hobonichi techo is a Japanese book that translated means “life book”. It is made in Japan and one of its main characteristics is that tomoe river paper. This paper is special because it is very thin, yet resistant and strong in a way that can even be used with fountain pens and water colors. When wet, it will wrinkle but there won’t be transfer to the other side of the page. It is a fantastic paper, and if you are a stationery enthusiast like I am, you will love this paper because it is smooth, yet thin and mighty.

The hobonichi techo comes in three different sizes and four kinds of books

  • A6 (4.1”x 5.8”x 0.6”) known as Hobonichi Techo original; Weight: 210g this book comes in Japanese and English
  • A5, also known as Hobonichi cousin only comes in Japanese (148 × 210 mm)
  • A weeks hobonichi book, Wallet-Size (3.75”x 7.4”x 0.4”); Weight: 135g
  • Hobonichi cousin avec, equivalent to A5 (148 × 210 mm), these are two books each one carrying six months which means it is a lighter version than the cousin

All of them have the same following characteristics:

  • Tomoe river paper
  • all of them lay flat, except the weeks book which needs a little bit of training
  • All of them lay flat, 180 degrees binding
  • Quotes on each page
  • January start or April
  • Tons of covers to choose from, and all of them can have a cover on cover

The main differences between the four books are:

  • Hobonichi techo A6
    – Has monthly, yearly and daily, and a few blank pages to plan, but this book
    doesn’t have a weekly       overview
  • A5 cousin 
    – Has yearly, monthly, weekly and daily pages in addition to blank pages for notes in
    the back
  • Weeks hobonichi
    – It only has monthly and a week on one-page overview, the beauty of this book is that it has over 30 blank pages to take notes on and it is narrow and taller than all the other books. It fits a traveler’s notebook cover.
  • Avec cousin hobonichi
    This book only comes in A5 size like the cousin, the different is that it comes in a pair and each book has only six months each, one from January to June, the other from July to December. It has a yearly, monthly and weekly view of the days.

Personally, I love all of the books and each can be destined for different uses depending on your planning system and lifestyle, it also depends on whether you want to carry the planner with you every day or if it will stay at your workplace or at home. All of them except the cousin are very easy to carry. The cousin can be a bit heavy because of its size, none the less, I still plan to take it with me sometimes.

Here you go, I hope this has been helpful and please don’t forget to check out the hobonichi site for more info on sizes and differences if you’re still undecided.

Happy plans!

Em Jorden

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The route for stationery lovers in Boston, MA (USA)

Whenever I see the pictures of stationery shops in Tokyo I drool over how amazing those places look like. Basically, the epitome of paradise for any stationery enthusiast!

This said, I started to wonder if there were any stationery shops in Boston, where I live, and whether those places had anything to offer. Off I went, in search of similar or at least, existing stationery shops in Boston where I could spend some time looking at pens and notebooks and guess what? I actually found them! Now I feel proud to say that Boston has some beautiful stationery shops where you can buy all kinds of products usually found online, at really good prices, so this post will be a virtual tour through the stationery shops that you can find in Boston. If you are ever here, don’t forget to visit them, you will be pleasantly surprised.

1. Bob Slate Stationer – This is an amazing store located in Harvard Square in Cambridge. It looks small from the outside but they have an amazing collection of notebooks, planners – including several binders, mostly the original model – paper, pens of all kinds, sketch books, stationery, personalized stationery, invitations, cards, inks and all kinds of notebooks, pencil cases and a few accessories like pen holders. Here you will find Ogami notebooks (the ones made from stone), clairfontaine, rhodia, leuchtturm 1917, moleskine, Quo vadis, Filofax, and the list goes on and on. If you are ever around Cambridge, this place is a must see. The store has been around since 1930! Customer service is great, and here you experience some old fashion stationery advice. The address is: 30 Brattle St, Cambridge Massachusetts.

2. Black Ink – Also in Harvard Square, this store is one of my favorite because of the wide variety of stationery products that they carry. They sell paper, notebooks, pens and stickers a lot of products are japanese which makes it very unique. Usually, I go here to find unique paper clips, paper, japanese notebooks, and Japanese stickers as well. The store doesn’t focus on stationery things but mugs and some other fun products. The service is not the best and they don’t give personal attention but if you can deal with that, you will enjoy the shop. Also, the shop keepers are young and my impression is that they have no clue about stationery. When I go there, I go with the idea of looking at any new products that they have and knowing that the shop keepers will be moody and won’t care about whether or not you buy anything there. This is a fun place to see!

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3. Papyrus in Harvard square – I know this is a chain but this particular shop, ALSO in Harvard square carries a wide selection of stationery, including some Kate spade products like planners, notebook and their famous paper clips. They also have a few notebooks, stamps and beautiful paper things. This is a beautiful, fun little store that any stationary lover will definitely enjoy.

4. Barnes and Noble at Prudential Center  – The reason why I love this Barnes and Noble is because they have an amazing selection of notebooks, journals and office articles like pencil cases, pouches and pens. You can easily spend a couple of hours looking for a nice notebook, here you will find the famous Miquel Ruis fauxbonichi.

5. The Coop at Harvard Square – This is mostly a bookstore – and definitely a paradise for book enthusiasts – where you will also find some stationery products, they carry tons of moleskine notebooks, planners, pens, coloring books, notepads and notebooks. The nice thing about this place is that you will find some moleskines that are only sold online otherwise. This is a fun book store with 4 floors to wonder around and spend a Saturday morning.

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6. The harvard book store – This store is also one of my favorite for completely different reasons than the others. Here, not only will you find tons of books on different topics but also, tons of fun and unique sticky notes. They also sells some book markers and they have a small array of stationery products, some notebooks and also some moleskine notebooks. Definitely this is my “go to place” when I am looking for cool sticky notes or fun pens. The service is great and when you are buying books, they shop keepers who are sometimes local students will help you with recommendations and suggestions. This a great little corner also in Cambridge.

7. Porter square books – This is a smaller shop, none the less, just as fun or even more than the above. This shop sells a great variety of journals and notebooks, as well as some desk accessories and pencil cases. This shop is on the expensive side, I am not sure why but it is a cool place to go if you are looking for a cool notebook. I have to say that, usually, I would visit first any of the ones above and would eventually end up at Porter square books, just because it is a little expensive to go there and it is likely that you will only find a limited number of products, either notebooks, pencil cases or something else but not in great numbers. The service is great as well and the shop keepers are very helpful as well. This store is located in Cambridge, but the other side of Cambridge at Porter square.

8. Tokai Japanese Gifts  – This store is one of the most beautiful places around the neighborhood. They specialize in Japanese objects and stationery, yes, they do! Although the shop is a little small, and they don’t carry tons of stationery products, you still find a great selection of notebooks, pens – frixion pens and jet pens – japanese stickers, paper for notes, cards and markers. All from Japan and all in that style of stationery. It is a little expensive as well but it is worth it because, as you well know, you don’t find many Japanese stationery stores around small cities. I love this shop and usually go there when I am looking for something in particular, something Japanese or something that I know I can find there instead of buying online. The shop is located at Porter square.

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9. Bromfield Pen Shop – This is a little beautiful shop located at the heart of Boston where you will find an array and amazing selection of pens. From the cheapest to the $2,000 expensive one. I love this shop because this is Boston’s oldest pen shop where you will also find a small section of Filofax binders, inserts, a few other planners, notebooks like Rhodia and moleskine, and tons of affordable pens, color pencils and fountain pens. Here you will also find filofax binders that you rarely find these days at shops, like Maldens, dominos and originals. This is another must see place if you are in Boston downtown. Service is great although Bostonian style, which means, they won’t really smile at you but they are friendly people once you start asking questions and show interest in their products.

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Here you go, this is Boston for stationery crazies – like myself. I love each and single one of these stores, all of them for different reasons, and if you are ever in Boston, don’t forget to check them out. You can definitely spend a couple of hours of your trip at these places. This is not like Tokio definitely or New York but you will enjoy them, maybe even find a thing or two that you were already looking for.

I decided to write about stationery shops because with the increasing number of local stationery stores closing down – due to the high demand of online shopping – I thought I should let everyone know that these places are still around and we should support our local businesses, especially those that are disappearing.

Let me know what you think about these stores and whether there are any places in your neighborhood that you like visiting.

Thank you for reading!

Em