17 Apr 2019

katie leamon lay-flat notebooks

Most of you probably know this but I am currently a Foundation Year two (FY2) doctor within the NHS. After an FY2 year, some doctors choose to go into specialty training - that is choose what to specialise in, be that surgery, medicine, A&E, GP, etc. More and more FY2s are choosing to do a gap year, or an 'FY3' year which is not counted towards training. I know of people who have even done two or three gap years before going into specialty training.

Anyway, I have opted to take a 'gap' FY3 year and have secured a role combining my clinical interests (Emergency Medicine) with some education bits and bobs. I'm very much looking forward to it as the job description sounded like my perfect job so when I received the job offer, I was pretty much over the moon.

A new job and new role calls for new stationery (as always) and I knew a dedicated notebook would be ideal for it. There will be a fair few projects on the go within the job and this notebook will help me stay on top of things (along with my planner... but more on that in the coming weeks).

What I wanted was a notebook which has a substantial number of pages, can lie flat but also have paper of a high enough quality to take fountain pen ink. Enter... Katie Leamon.

This notebook claims to lie flat, contains 300 pages and has 90gsm paper. I chose the yellow one to try and bring some sunshine into my life ;)

First impressions are as follows:

1. This notebook definitely lies flat. And astoundingly so.

2. The 90gsm paper is amazing - barely any showthrough, a small amount of bleeding (but not enough to bother me) and is smooth with my fountain pens gliding on it like butter.

3. The plain pages are ideal for drawing arrows from one thing to another, noting down diagrams and gives me the freedom to use the pages how I please. Perfect for project management!

4. Love at first sight!

It's rare to find a notebook which ticks all the boxes as often, I have to compromise on one of them: be it the number of pages, the quality of the paper or its ability to lie flat (without being a spiral bound notebook).

I've written a few pages of notes in it already and though I can't show those, believe me when I say that this notebook is one that has me liking it more and more with each use.

10 Apr 2019

introducing the platinum procyon fountain pen in orange, fine nib

My only other Platinum pen is a Platinum 3776 Century Nice and it's not really one I feel comfortable taking to work with me just in case I misplace it. So when I heard about the Procyon, I knew it could be the pen to replace my current work pen of a Lamy Al-Star. The fact that it came in orange was perhaps the main reason I gravitated towards this pen. I decided to order it from Appelboom, having never used them before, and I was very impressed with the service. Because they also sell a wide range of De Atramentis fountain pen inks, I added a few of them to the order as well (trust me, it was tough to find only a handful I wanted - I want all of them!).

The Procyon came in a lovely black box with a black sleeve. And upon opening the box, we see the fountain pen lying there comfortably.

I would liken the colour of the pen to a salmon-pink but leaning more orange than pink? If that even makes sense? Kind of like smoked salmon. And I quite like it - it's orange but not an 'in-your-face' shade of orange.

Design and Usability

The pen is lightweight and when closed, is the same length as a Pilot Capless. It feels lovely in hand and evenly weighted, with the cap posted or unposted. It is simplistic in design with a barrel that is thicker in the middle and thins towards each end. The only way to describe it without a picture is to say it has soft lines! The grip is made of smooth plastic but despite this, I've not encountered my fingers slipping.

I mentioned the colour earlier and for me, it is a true orange with a tinge of salmon pink in there too.

In terms of ink flow, it is excellent - I've experienced no skipping or hard starts.

The cap is secured with a couple of turns - I like this as it ensures the nib does not drive up - but for work purposes, this is not ideal. Sometimes, I need quick access to the nib for some swift note taking.


I chose the fine nib because, well, I'm a creature of habit. I have small handwriting which looks best with a thinner nib and this Platinum fine nib did not disappoint. It is a true fine and writes with a small (and bearable) amount of feedback. It is quite a stiff steel nib so don't expect any flex! For a fine nib, it is not scratchy at all.

Next are some writing samples on Tomoe River Paper in an old, partially filled Hobonichi planner. The ink is the standard Platinum blue cartridge that comes with their pens.


I paid just under £50 for this fountain pen which is on the pricier spectrum for a work pen that is not intended to be used as a desk pen. For another £20 or so, you could get a Platinum 3776 on the grey-market... Make what you will of that!


Overall, Platinum pens write wonderfully for those who want a true fine nib. Although this one writes wonderfully and is great for long note-taking sessions, I don't think the price matches up to the target market.

As an aside, my pen came with these special commemorative inks with an ink mixing guide too!

NB: this pen was bought with my own money and I have not been paid to endorse it or Appelboom, where I bought the pen from. All opinions are my own.