Travelers Company Caravan

Image: Travelers Company
Image: Travelers Company

So I had planned a nice day in Berlin, checking out some stationary stores during the day and visiting good friends in the evening. Jenny over at The Finer Point was a great inspiration on what to look for. I would recommend adding Modulor to your list if you want to check out the Berlin stationary and crafting highlights.

Last on my list was the highly recommended Luiban, a lovely stationary shop with a great selection that is somewhat exotic for the German market. Good stuff that is hard to find elsewhere.

When I got there I was delighted to see that the store was very busy. The staff quickly informed that they had a special event, Travelers Company was there to sell custom made spiral bound notebooks and talk about their products. While I picked out and paid for my items, the gears in my mind started turning: Didn’t Midori just split off the Travelers Notebooks as a separate business unit? Could it be…?

While checking out some Travelers notebooks I was approached by some very kind people from Travelers Company, and we quickly confirmed that they were indeed the new company for the Travelers Notebooks.

We had a very pleasant chat and they quickly asked me if I am a user of Traveler Notebooks. After some awkward hemming and hawing I admitted that I prefer a different paper size and showed off my “Timbori” (a term Andreas came up with and which I’m forever grateful for).

The ladies and gentlemen where very interested and asked me some questions. One gentleman in particular was very curious where I get my material from. After a few minutes he invited me to stay for the Q&A session that was about to happen.

Imagine my surprise when he got up on stage and introduced himself as the designer that came up with the Travelers Notebooks 10 years ago.

I felt an immediate pang of embarrassment. I was practically plagiarizing his idea, and I was not doing nearly as well him in his own trade.

The presentation and following Q&A were very informative, and I was lucky enough to ask a question about the inspiration behind the Travelers Notebook. Turns out they are a pretty original idea, based mostly on the paper format that was popular at Midori at the time.

After the session I asked him how he felt about people like me, that felt inspired to make their own Travelers Notebooks by his design. He showed an admirable sense of humor about the situation, stating that he would prefer it if people by his product, but that things like that can’t be stopped in a creative enterprise.

What a great chance to meet such an influential creative person and businessman. Thanks to everybody at Luiban for setting this up.

And once again it turns out: pen people (and notebook people) are the nicest people.

Introducing: The Spreadsheet

If you are like me (and for your sake I hope you are not) you have tendencies to be obsessive, compulsive and, worst of all, messy.

So when I noticed that I had pens inked up and no idea what ink was in them, or in what case they where at the time, I knew I had to do something. And since I am a nerd with nothing better to do on a Friday night, I came up with The Spreadsheet


 

The Spreadsheet helps me keep track of my collection and the state it is in. You can enter your inks, your pen cases and most importantly your pens. Since there is some minor spreadsheet trickery embedded you can use the entries for ink and cases as an automatic reference for the list of pens.

My wish is that this little file helps you to manage your growing collection of writing instruments the way it’s helping me. Feel free to download it, copy it to your own Google Drive account and modify it any way you like.

I love spreadsheets, but I am far from knowing a lot about what you can do with them. If you are an Excel wizard or have general ideas on how to improve The Spreadsheet, please hit me up on Twitter! (@therealnibcreep)

Fountain Pen Day 2015

Has it been a year already?

When I look back at my year on the blog I’m not happy. I did not follow through on my plans to post often and regularly. There are all the regular excuses. I spend a lot of time in the office, a lot of time on business trips. Lots of work at times during the week and day that left me with little time, energy and motivation to do much.

I learned 2 things about the whole situation:

  1. I have to put effort into finding joy in life. It won’t come to me, I have to track it down, have to invest in it.
  2. There are changes on the horizon that will both force me to be better about finding joy and make it a little easier.

So the plan is to pick up the pace here. No pressure, but to find fun in blogging, writing again.

But things haven’t been just hardship in the life of the nibcreep. I visited the Pelikan factory. Such a great experience, if you have the chance to take a tour of a place like that I highly recommend it. Thanks to the whole team there that made it a day to remember.

Oh, and I went to my first pen show! The Pen*Port in Hamburg was glorious. All kinds of sweet vintage pens, of course, but the highlight were the people.

Pen people are the best people. Shout out to my friends Andi and Raymond (and their patient significant others).

So yeah. Still geeky about pens, just very distracted lately. Thanks to all of you , and especially the nice folks over at fountainpenday.org, for reminding me that there is something as beautiful and useful as the art of writing in my life.