Mark’s Inc. Tous Les Jours ballpoint pen

I was recently buying a couple of things from Bureau Direct and needed to add something else to my basket for free shipping so I thought I’d get a wild card item… I chose the Tous Les Jours ballpoint pen by Mark’s Inc. P1040768
It’s a very lightweight 0.5mm ballpoint pen. It’s USP comes in that it has the days of the week listed around the side, each with a suggested activity.

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Spending the last 2 years doing evening classes in French has finally come in handy!

It translates as:
Monday – watch a film
Tuesday – listen to a CD (bit old school…)
Wednesday – Read a
Thursday – Write a poem
Friday – Buy a ticket
Saturday/Sunday – Go on a little trip

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As I said, it’s very light, and actually, as you can see in this picture the body of the pen is a pencil casing. I really like how it writes; the line comes out incredibly thinly, and feels precise. I don’t generally like to use ballpoint pens very often, but this one could change my mind. The only negative thing about it is that it’s kind of noisy. The actual pen part rattles around inside the casing.

At £5.95 it’s actually extremely expensive, for what is essentially a biro. But I do like it and it’s a bit different, so maybe it’s worth it. I also recently reviewed another Mark’s Inc product, the Pensée sticky note rolls.

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Mini MUJI Haul

I popped into MUJI on Thursday without any intention of buying stationery. I was queuing up to pay for my pyjamas and before I knew it I was paying for a load of stationery too (they cleverly put the stationery right in front of the till)…

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Here’s what I got: B5 Lined Notepad, £1.25, Lined A5 kraft notebook, £0.95, Wooden Mechanical Pencil 0.5mm, £3.95, Gel Ink Pen – Green 0.38mm, £1.00

So there you go, I am weak willed person. But a happy stationery addict.

Pensée Sticky Note Roll

A colleague left something on my desk last week with a note on it and I practically chased her down the corridor to find out what this amazing post-it thing was! She showed me, and told me she got it in Paris, so of course I saw that as a challenge to get my hands on one myself…

So, may I present, the Pensée roll, by Marks Inc.:

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It is, essentially, one long sticky note, on a tape dispenser, so you can tear off as much as you need and stick on to whatever you want. It comes in yellow and blue.

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And to make it even better – they have grid squares!

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I found it them Fred Aldous for £5.75 each.

I hadn’t heard of Marks Inc. before, but surprise surprise, like most great stationery things, they’re Japanese.  It seems like they have an enormous catalogue of products, and Pensée is just one of their ranges. I think there must be some sort of French affiliation with the company, but their website is a little confusing/in Japanese so I’m finding it difficult to work out. Either way, I’m glad I know about them now.

Pensée translates as “thought” and the writing on the dispenser seems to say “man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed” or something to that effect. So… errr… yeah…!

Great Ideas #2: MUJI Erasable Pen

So here’s one of my pencil case staples, MUJI’s erasable Pen, £2.50:

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As you can see, it’s 0.5mm. And the rubber is in the tip of the lid.

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How does it work? Nobody knows… Ok, that’s a lie. According to MUJI’s website: “The frictional heat generated by the eraser at the end of the pen erases the ink immediately” so there you go. But I prefer to think it’s magic.

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And here it in in action (sorry for the different lighting, I took these later). It erases well, as you can see. You can still see it a bit on the paper, but no more than you would if you were using a pencil.

So why is it better than using a pencil, I hear you ask? Well, it’s not that different I suppose but a few of the things I can think of are:

  • It doesn’t wear down and you don’t have to sharpen it, so it’s a good one to keep in your bag
  • It doesn’t smudge like a pencil would
  • Personally, I use them most for knitting patterns. This is because patterns are usually printed on shiny paper, which you can’t write on with pencil. This pen allows you to tick off where you’ve got to, but then rub it out when you’re finished so the pattern is good as new!

So there you go, this is definitely one of my top products. I know there are plenty of other erasable pens out there but MUJI just somehow make it cooler than the rest.

Anthropologie presents: TAPED

On Saturday in New York, after wandering over the High Line, we thought we have a quick look around Chelsea market, and what did I find in the Anthropologie store, but a whole MT Tape extravaganza!

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They had carts full of amazing washi tape throughout the shop.

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The whole of the downstairs of the shop had been decorated using MT tape. They called it Tape Bombing. A kind of guerrilla stationery art I guess. There was also a workshop by Koji Iyama, Japanese washi tape artist (yes, that’s a thing).

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Boxes and boxes of beautiful tape…

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And examples of how you can use MT tape to decorate everyday items.

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And, I’m pretty proud of my restraint here, I only bought ONE (it is a bloody good one though eh?). It was $5.

Hobonichi Planner 2014: Update

As my Hobonichi Planner 2014 post has been one of my most popular posts to date, and we are now, well, THIS much through the year

P1040361I thought it was time for an update.

Now, I would absolutely love to be decorating my Hobonichi as brilliantly as these guys, but I just don’t have time (I wish I’d had one when I was a student!). So instead, I mainly use it as a normal appointment diary, but I only use pencil:
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And then if and when I have time I go back and write up my day properly, like this:
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But that’s about as arty as I gets I’m afraid.

I also just wanted to highlight a few of my favourite features:
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Dot grid paper in the notes section (which I’d actually  forgotten about until today)

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Drinking Tea around the World pages. Love this, and there’s also a Sushi guide and “How to Use Chopsticks” guide.

And then there’s the quotes that are on every double page.

Some are just good advice/pearls of wisdom
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Some are more specific to diaries/journals

In case you can't read this, it says: The trick to a daily diary is to "record, don't recall". You'll forget things that you wanted to remember, so take notes and organise them later. Wise words indeed!

In case you can’t read this, it says: The trick to a daily diary is to “record, don’t recall”. You’ll forget things that you wanted to remember, so take notes and organise them later. Wise words indeed!

And some, are just… well… RANDOM (!)
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So, in short, I love it, and am getting on really well with it. The only one thing I’d like is a bookmark ribbon that you usually get with a diary. But I understand that this comes with the covers you’re meant to put on your Hobonichi (I didn’t want one because they were a bit bulky for my handbag and I prefer the simplicity of the book alone).

New Brand Find: by | n

Uber cool Japanese design studio Nendo have launched their own stationery line, under their in house brand “by | n”. My boyfriend has always admired their furniture, so he’s had his eye on them for a while and we were excited to see them going down the stationery route, for obvious reasons.

Here are my favourite picks from the collection:

Contrast Ruler

The contrast ruler works so that measurements can be seen if you are using light or dark paper – useful!

Cubic Rubber Band

The Cubic Rubber Band is easy to find in a drawer, would look good on a desk and perfect for holding rolled up paper.

Outline Tray

I think this is really clever actually. As Nendo point out, you don’t often carry around your pot of paperclips from your desk do you? The bottom isn’t really needed, so these little desk tidies (or frames, as they call them) are useful, without using wasted material.

Those are my favourites, but you can see the whole range on the Nendo website. It seems like they were available for international import from April 2014, but after doing some digging, I haven’t actually seen anyone selling them yet…