Another pen affair ended & a new pencil for the Filofax!

Why is is that we planner/pen/paper people can never perfect our system? As much as I'm sure all of the office supply stores love it, I'm getting a bit tired of constantly updating my system. Ok, who am I kidding? Updating my system is actually really fun/exciting- including my newest pen update.

Remember (just a few months ago) when I shared how my pen affair with the lovely FriXions had ended? And then I went on and on about how great the Pilot V5 set I got was? Well, it's a mere five months later and I've already made a switch.

Don't get me wrong, I still like the V5 pens. Its just that I don't love them. Honestly, I don't think I ever did. They have a lot of good features: variety of colors, smooth ink flow, long lifespan. But something was still missing. I have never really liked my handwriting with these pens- I tend to not write very well with roller balls. Not thinking that was enough to justify spending money, and not wanting to change my pens out (yet again), I decided to deal with them. Until, that is, my blue V5 pen exploded.

Ok, maybe exploded is a bit dramatic. But it is definitely leaking. So far, only on my fingers when I use it, but am I really going to take the risk of blue ink all over my purse, or (gasp) my Filofax? Definitely not.

So I began looking around. I immediately thought back to my beloved Sharpie pens, but then remembered how costly it can be to get a full color set, not to mention how much the paint peeling off the barrel drove me nuts. Then I remembered seeing these guys one day while walking down the aisle at Staples:

I had only heard good things about the company, the 10 color set was only $9.99, and I had four times that in Staples Rewards Dollars to spend. In case you can't tell that the photo above was taken on my desk, I nabbed these guys after work yesterday without a second thought.

I've got to admit, it wasn't instant love, but I'm definitely liking these pens. One thing that helps is the awesome reusable case they come in that not only keeps the pens organized, but doubles as a great little stand (which has proven to be wonderful at my desk at work today)!

One small problem I'm having with them is the colors. More specifically the aqua. While there are definitely more colors in this set than in the V5 set, I really liked the aqua color that the V5 set had. The photo below isn't showing the colors perfectly, but it gives you a pretty good idea of what I mean.

Maybe it's not so much an issue with the shade, but more that the V5 was a true turquoise, while the Staedtler is a true aqua. Regardless, I think it is something I'll be able to get used to. I actually had to tweak my color system in general because not only did I have more colors at my disposal, I lost the purple that had become my go to for work to-dos. This was my color system at the beginning of the year:

Black: work appointments
Blue: social/personal appointments
Purple: work to do items
Aqua: personal to do items
Red: Brian
Green: notifications, weather, gratitude list
Pink: blog
Here's what I've decided to change it to with the new pen set:
No major changes. Pretty much everything stays the same, except work to-dos went from purple to brown. Because there are two greens, I was also able to separate out my weather and gratitude doodles/lists from general reminders/notifications. So light green will be used for things I merely need to be reminded of, but might not actually attend (like TV shows, etc). I'm also excited that I have the addition of an orange pen- as one of our wedding colors it will be perfect to separate all wedding tasks/appointments from the daily grind. I still don't have a use for the yellow, mainly because it reads far lighter in person that it does in the photograph. But, being as OCD as I am, it'll stay in the nice little plastic case at least for the sake of symmetry.

Overall, I'm pretty sure I like the Staedtler set more than the Pilots. For one, I just love writing with them more. They feel and write way more like my favorite Sharpie pens do, and while I know there isn't much of a difference in my crappy handwriting, I feel like I write better with the Staedtlers (the bottom sample).

Maybe I am just crazy (obviously) but I think the bottom writing looks better. Oooh, and while I was in Staples, I also grabbed a few mechanical pencils on sale. If you read this post on the Malden's involvement with my wedding planning, you'll have noticed I added a pen loop in the Malden for quick notes on the go. I've never used the loop in the Malden itself (more details on why in the post above), so having an extra loop has proved a great addition. Especially with a pencil, now that I'm not using the FriXions- it's nice to take notes on the go, or jot down an appointment without worrying since I can always make it permanent later. 

The only issue was how fat the pencil was. The only part that was a real issue was the rubberized grip- it was just too fat and sticky to fit easily in the loop. I was a bit worried that it was going to tear the loop from the piece that sticks it to the flyleaf, so I grabbed a $2 set of these guys along with my new Staedtler set.

Simple, effective, and slides right into the pen loop. But speaking of fat, can you tell how chunky the Malden is these days? I'm hoping to find some time to clear him out, but I don't see when that's going to happen while I'm still going nonstop!

Have any of you had mid-year pen switcheroos? Or some color-coding madness? Please tell me I'm not alone here...

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