1. A product that is actually useful/offers a significant improvement.
If you have vacuum fillers or piston fillers that you can’t — or don’t want to — remove the nib, then the Ink Miser Ink-Shot Inkwell is really useful for using up the last bit of ink from a bottle or filling from a sample.
2. Ink that was actually worth the hype.
Taccia Jeans series inks. I think they’re discontinued now, but you can still find them fairly easily. Light Washed and Grey are still among my favorite inks. Granted, they’re light, desaturated inks. But, the dark inks, like Navy Blue, Indigo, and Black are great, too.
3. Pen/ink you wish you hadn’t waited to try.
TWSBI — I know, I know — but if I hadn’t waited to try them, I could have had their fun 580 colors like the 2016 Green or Lava. I like the 2014 Orange, too, but I wasn’t into pens at that point.
4. Pen/ink you were on the fence about but are now obsessed with.
I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with it, but I love my Kaweco Collection Iridescent Pearl. I hummed and hawed over it, since the Frosted Sport Banana I’d gotten earlier was too light for my taste. I don’t know if it’s my brain messing with me because the Iridescent Pearl is prettier — probably — but it feels heavier when I write with it than the Banana did.
5. Product or process that literally changed your relationship with fountain pens.
This changed things for me quite a while ago, but learning about filling cartridges and piston-fill pens with a syringe was a massive game changer. There’s so much less mess! My nibs aren’t covered in ink anymore. Of course, you have to wait for ink to make its way down to the nib (like with a cartridge) or prime the nib with some ink to get writing.
6. Ink that actually looks like the swatches.
This really comes down to how much an ink shades. I’ve found that “solid” — non-shading — inks will look most like their swatches when writing. The first ones that come to mind are Diamine Poppy Red and Taccia Momo.
7. Shimmer ink that doesn’t seem to settle, meaning it stays shimmery in the pen without shaking or rolling.
I’m giving the “w” to two inks. While they both settle in the bottle, there must be A LOT of shimmer particles, because they’ve both stayed shimmery through a full week’s fill rotation. First up, Colorverse Iris Nebula; second, Van Dieman’s Ink Anna’s Hummingbird Wing.
8. Easily portable pen case that actually protects pens.
I need to preface this with an acknowledgment that there are MANY pen cases I haven’t tried. I can’t, in good conscience, mention those. That said, I have a great fondness for the Raymay Detecool . Because it’s a standing pen case, you don’t need to worry about your pens leaking. And the case itself is pretty sturdy, so it offers some crush protection.
If pens touching isn’t a concern, then you can keep 10+ pens in it, depending on pen diameter. If, however, you need to keep pens from touching, I’d suggest putting them in pen sleeves first. The footprint of the sleeve will determine how many pens you can fit in the case.
9. Paper with a good balance between dry time and showing ink properties.
The Rhodia Goalbook with white paper is my favorite for a reason. But, Kokuyo paper is pretty nice. I’ll be testing a Kokuyo binder/paper setup once I finish my current notebook.
What are your stationery marvels? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.