A while back - maybe in the comments to my New Year's Giveaway post - someone asked the question, "What do you use your pens and ink for other than reviews on this blog?" Well, as I recently discussed at some length, I use my pens quite a lot in my daily workflow, and this blog is actually a small fraction of my total weekly "pen time." The topic's come up again in various other forums, including a recent episode of the Pen Addict Podcast when Myke was discussing how he feels like he doesn't have the opportunity to use his pens much anymore and asked for suggestions on how to fix this. If you're also facing a similar dilemma, I can point you to ten of my favorite websites that I look to regularly for refreshing ideas on how to add to some variety to the "analog side" of your life.
- The Cramped. Patrick Rhone's site always has some great links to articles and quotes about writing in general, and especially writing by hand. There's also advice on how to get started with many "analog" habits, including journaling and keeping a commonplace book. (The piece "Why Analog" also hits the nail on the head, for me.)
- Scription. The home of Patrick Ng, creator of the Chronodex method of time tracking and day logging. If you're interested in Chronodex, start here. Patrick also links to lots of articles on using analog tools in your daily life, and offers good book recommendations.
- Kaizen Journaling. I enjoy reading through the journaling prompts here. They mainly relate to personal exploration and self-improvement. Updates can be sporadic, but there's a wealth of good content on the site and the blog.
- Bullet Journal. A flexible planning/journaling/organizational system created by Brooklyn-based designer Ryder Carroll. He ran a successful Kickstarter a while back to launch the Bullet Journal site and create a customized notebook. If you're looking for a way to use your stash of notebooks to keep yourself organized and collect your ideas, this is a good place to start because you can adopt many of the principles without committing yourself to a rigid "system."
- InCoWriMo Website. International Correspondence Month (February) is officially over, but there's no good reason to give up on letter writing during the rest of the year. The site hasn't been updated for 2016, but there's some videos and blog posts, as well as a list of people who have volunteered their addresses to be correspondents. (And if you get really desperate, you can always write to me at Joe @ Gentleman Stationer, P.O. Box 681294, Franklin, TN 37068 USA.)
- NaNoWriMo Website. National Novel Writing Month is technically in November, but there's a real push to sponsor related events throughout the year. Many people (like me) do NaNoWriMo by hand, in whole or in part, and trying your hand at writing fiction is a great way to give your pens a workout and burn through paper and ink. The NaNoWriMo website has some excellent writing resources.
- Leigh Reyes: My Life As a Verb. If drawing, painting, and calligraphy is more your thing, you need to check out Leigh's site for inspiration. Whenever I've seen Leigh in person, she always has at least one notebook and sketchbook with her (and her art is amazing).
- Pens!Paper!Pencils! Another great site that I link to from time to time. Ian is another artist who inspires me to actually pick up a pencil and a sketchbook and try to draw. He also posts in-depth product reviews and commentary on the stationery world.
- Rhodia Drive. The official blog of the U.S. Distributor of Clairefontaine-Rhodia paper and related products. Content includes interviews with fans/retailers of the product who discuss what they use and how they use it. Check out this recent interview with Mike Dudek of the Clicky Post.
- Circumspect Reverie. A newer blog that I've only recently started reading. Daniel LeMay may already be familiar to those of you who frequent the PenAddict slack channel, but if you haven't read his posts on journaling and making time in your life to read, they are well worth your time.
I'll be posting the winners of the InCoWriMo Giveaways tomorrow. I have to make one last run to the post office box to pick up mail. Stay tuned!
None of the sites linked to in this post have compensated me in any way, or sponsor the blog. These are sites that I visit and enjoy on a regular basis, and that I believe you might find helpful in creating/restoring some digital/analog balance in your life. As always, thanks for reading!