About me · Pen and Paper · The Friday Flex

‘The Friday Flex’ Issue #12: Stationery Love vs. Addiction

‘The Friday Flex’ is a weekly newsletter consisting of personal stationery and lifestyle news pieces. It primarily focuses my experiences with pen and paper krafts.

Table of Contents

  1. Instagram Highlights
  2. Reining in my Shopaholic Mind
  3. Notebook Collection: Uniform vs Variety

I. Instagram Highlights

View this post on Instagram

#GoT6Countdown Day 23: Jon Snow Although he's "dead", I do need to dedicate a day to him because he's all over the trailer. Oh Jon Snow. No offense to Kit Harrington, but Jon Snow was a pretty bland character until later in the series. And, even then, his obliviousness to the feelings of his brothers led to his demise. Jon Snow is similar to Ned Stark in many ways. His stoic attitude, his compassion, his honor. And like Ned Stark, he was murdered for honor. Its too bad. We'll just have to see what happens to his dead body… #gameofthrones #gotseason6 #april24 #got #asoiaf #jonsnow #deaderthandead #nightswatch #thewall #thenorthremembers #winteriscoming #calligraphy #lettering #penmanship #handwriting #stationerylover

A post shared by Joanna Mei (@mojolives) on

II. Reining in my Shopaholic Mind

Lately, an unhealthy obsession with sketchbook shopping has been taking over my life. In an attempt to regain control, I went through my entire collection of notebooks that are in-use and waiting to be used and I re-evaluated their purpose. This was a great exercise for me because it reminded me that I don’t need to buy any more things. Instead, I need to use what I do have.

My Precious Krafts 2016-04-27 006My Precious Krafts 2016-04-27 007My Precious Krafts 2016-04-27 008My Precious Krafts 2016-04-27 009

While a lot of my un-used notebooks are backups for current notebooks, a lot of them are waiting to find their purpose. It doesn’t make any sense for me to continue looking fornre anything. As far as sketchbooks go, I still need to use the Clearprint Vellum and to finish my Innovative Journal Companion refill. I should be set for a while.

III. Notebook collection: Uniform vs. Variety

While I was sorting through my notebook collection and thinking about how I will make future purchasing decisions, I realized I was being controlled by my desire for a uniform collection. I love seeing people with shelves lined with completed versions of the same book. If you checkout the ‘Notebook Addict of the Week’ Series on Notebook Stories, you’ll find people with collections of journals, especially Moleskines. I believe that’s one of the appeals of Moleskine notebooks: if you finish one, you can always replace it with the same notebook because they’re so widely available. After looking at so many collections, I wanted a uniform collection of my own.

Of course, there are several main problems with the desire for uniformity.

First, if it’s not a huge notebook company like Moleskine, you have no idea how long your desired notebook will stay in production. For example, I have no idea how long we’ll keep getting the Seven Seas Writers and A5 Tomoe River journals in general. I might be compelled to stock up on notebooks, which is a dangerous road to go down.

Second, you will feel compelled to choose the perfect notebook for you and that will bring on its own degree of stress. How would you know which notebook is worth buying over and over again? Should you try out many notebooks before you settle? But that would lead to a non-uniform collection?

Lastly, you might fall into the trap of letting your research into this “perfect notebook” give you a sense of accomplishment and expertise. Then, when you finally receive it, you realize that you haven’t accomplished anything. The only really important thing is filling up this notebook. All that research only helped you get to the starting line.

For regular notebooks, I am confident that I understand what I like because I have many years of experience with writing. So,I don’t mind choosing the one notebook for a specific  purpose. Step #1 to a uniform collection. I have pretty much settled on the Seven Seas Writer for journaling, the Levenger 5-year Journal for daily summaries, Field Notes for notes, Daiso’s blank A5 spiralbound notebooks for blog drafts, and the Seven Seas Crossfield or Standard for calligraphy and lettering practice. These notebooks have been thoroughly researched and tested and I am confident that my opinion won’t change. In order to calm my fear of seeing my favorite notebooks discontinued, I allow myself to replace any of these with similar notebooks. For example, the Seven Seas notebooks can be replace by any other A5 Tomoe River journal and the Daiso A5 spiralbound can be replaced by similar Muji notebooks.

When it comes to sketchbooks, I cannot confidently say I understand which type works best for me and, since I don’t understand them, settling on one seems like a silly idea. After much deliberation with myself, I decided to give myself the freedom to try new things until I know what I like. I need to allow myself some trial and error (with emphasis on the trial part).

Conclusion: I need to start with trying a variety of notebooks if I don’t understand what I like yet. Only when I figure out what I like can I allow myself to start a uniform collection.


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