19 Dec 2018

introducing: the wing sung 698 piston filler fountain pen in lake blue, fine nib

Wing Sung is a brand that has been around for a while. However, up until a year ago, I had not tried any of their offerings. But then, I started reading positive reviews for certain models - including this one, the 698 with a piston filler. The lake blue colour with gold colour trims were enough to entice me and an order was placed. A week or two later, this beauty arrived in my hands from China.

There are nice little touches to the design, including the top of the pen cap where there is a 'starburst' kind of feature to it and the small window to see when you're running low on ink. This ink window is only visible when uncapped too. It has a minimalistic air to it without being too plain.

The plastic barrel means that it is lightweight in the hand and a pleasure to use for long writing sessions.  The cap stays on securely with the screw-on design but it is not possible to post the cap unfortunately. This proved to be a deal-breaker for me as it was originally bought to be used for work purposes but the fact the pen cannot be used with the cap posted meant this idea was vetoed. A shame as it is an almost perfect pen for me.

The nib is gold in colour and writes exceptionally smoothly. As always, I chose the fine nib. It wrote brilliantly out of the box and absolutely no complaints whatsoever about the nib.

As you can see with the writing sample above, the pen writes a fine line (just about fine enough for me!) with no skips and a good amount of ink laid down with each stroke.

It holds an awful lot of ink and even those who write a lot will likely find themselves not having to refill too often. Perfect if you're laid back about that sort of thing!

Overall, 9/10 . If the cap could be posted, it would definitely be a 10/10.

12 Dec 2018

introducing the trigg life mapper

Bullet journals are increasing in popularity and though the system does not work for me, I can see why it appeals to so many. Bullet journals are customisable, enable you to brain dump if you needed to and also record anything else you wish. How good would it be if you could have a planner which also enables you to brain dump, work towards your goals and aim to become a better person within a year but would not require you to set up each week as a chore?

Well, here's where Trigg's Life Mapper comes in. And I can tell you it's not for the faint-hearted. Trigg's Life Mapper is a day-per-page planner and has prompts every week for you to review different parts of your life. I can see this being especially good for mental health in general because there is ample space for noting down deep, dark thoughts and feelings. Because of the day-per-page layout, the planner is very thick. However, there is an elasticated band in lime green to keep all of your pages together.

The personal page is a good space to put your pledges for the year. These are akin to new year resolutions and below you can see some of mine. I'm not the most patient person, hence why that one is on the list and working as a doctor means I often flake on plans if I'm tired or have had a long shift - I am trying to change this!

There is a year to view too which can be useful for all sorts of things.

Some introduction pages can aid the user in getting the most out of their Trigg planner. Very useful as it can appear overwhelming with all of the added features.

Next, there is a space to note down the values most important to you in the next few years and also assess how happy you are with different parts of your life. I have blurred mine out as these two pages are very personal!

Month to view pages! Each month has a different focus. For example, you can see July's is willpower, and August's is mindfulness.

At the beginning of the year, you can write down your goals for each part of your life: self, relationships, passions and work.

Each day has its own dedicated page where you can write down tasks which absolutely need to be done that day, a plan for the day and other tasks which can be deferred if time does not allow them to be achieved within those twenty four hours. At the bottom, there is a space for appointments or whatever else you wish. There is plenty of free space for each day.

At the beginning of each week, you review each of the four sections of your life along with a reflective note or two.

And half-way through the year, there is a six-month review of each section too.

At the end of the year, you do another visual assessment of each part of your life and record how satisfied you are with each of them again.

And each area is again reviewed in more depth as twelve months have now passed.

There is ample notepaper at the back which is plain so can be used for drawings, diagrams or just text.

The paper is of a high quality and takes fountain pen extremely well. I used a Lamy Safari fountain pen with an EF nib in it and it took it well. The cover is thick and seems durable enough to last a whole year of being bashed around (which it most certainly will be if used consistently!). My only critique of it is that there is only one page marker where there should be, perhaps, another one at the very least.

Overall, this is a very impressive planner and definitely not for the faint-hearted.

Disclaimer: though this product was provided free of charge, it has been reviewed as honestly as possible and as if I had paid for it.

5 Dec 2018

leuchtturm 1917 diary review

This is my first Leuchtturm 1917 planner and now that three quarters of the year have gone by, I thought it would be good to review it properly. Here is the original post from almost a year ago now where I introduce it.

This planner has taken a lot of battering. It has endured my first year as a qualified doctor where there was a lot of paperwork and through some life events requiring copious organisational skills. You can see how battered it is in the photos below.

The weekly page spread leaves me more than enough space to plan each day and little more. It means that most of the planning happens on the blank page on the right. I like to record what I wore that day too - one of the reasons is so that I know which clothes haven't been worn for a while and should be sent to charity.

Some weeks, my to-do list took up half of the page on the right side. Other weeks (where I was mostly working), I was careful not to make too long a to-do list. Things that don't get checked off just make me feel uncomfortable!

One of the pros is definitely how much notepaper space there is at the back. I have only used about seven sides so far (out of the 23!).

I tried to use Tippex to write the date on the spine but didn't like how I did it (as you can see!). I then wrote it on with a permanent marker and the mess doesn't seem to bother me too much. What I hadn't realised is that the year is actually embossed on the spine at the bottom. Doh!

The one negative is there is no month planner - this is something I've really missed as it's quite nice to see my schedule on a monthly basis. This especially helps for planning my life around work and I have had to use a calendar on my phone for this.

However, the positives far outweigh the negatives. The weekly spreads give me ample space to write anything I wish (there has not been a week where I have ran out of space) and the planner itself is light enough to carry around without being a burden. I have chosen a cornflower blue colour for 2019 and I'm beginning to think that colour is a bit too muted compared to 2018's choice of emerald green! I have no one to blame but myself for this choice though!

All in all, the fact that I have since bought the same planner for 2019 means that it is the planner that has suited me most, out of all the ones I have tried. Here's to another year of feeling organised :)