Sponsor Post: Progressive Gifts Promotion from Goldspot Pens

A gift for you, a gift for me. The more you buy, the more you get FREE! This week only, get up to $108 (Retail Value) in free gifts with your next order through Goldspot's current progressive gifts promotion. 

  • Order $124 or more, get a FREE Sheaffer VFM Fountain Pen and FREE Shipping (within the USA only)
  • Order $199 or more, get a FREE Sheaffer VFM Fountain Pen, a FREE Cross Calais Fountain Pen, and FREE Shipping (within the USA only)
  • Order $299 or more, get a FREE Sheaffer VFM Fountain Pen, a FREE Cross Calais Fountain Pen, a FREE Parker IM Fountain Pen, and FREE Shipping (within the USA only)

This special ends on Monday, June 11th at 10:00 AM Eastern Time. Cannot be combined with other promo codes. Please see the Goldspot website for terms and conditions of all promotions and special offers. 

Many thanks to Goldspot for sponsoring the blog this week! 

Disclaimer: This post contains sponsored content. All images and other content is the property of Goldspot Pens. 

Six Month Review, Part III: Favorite Pen Accessories

As the current analog resurgence continues, and more people become interested in fountain pens, pencils, good paper, and the stationery category in general, new lines of accessories are popping up to serve this market segment. Which means, for us pen obsessives, that there are new categories of things to buy that aren’t more pens, inks, or bound journals that we can’t possibly use in one lifetime. Over the past year or so I’ve had the opportunity to test out more than a dozen of these different products. Here I discuss five of my favorites. 

Disclaimer: The following contains links to sponsors and affiliates. It’s how I support the blog and keep the lights on around here. That said, whether or not I chose to include a specific item on this list in the first place is a choice separate and apart from which retailer I choose to link to. No sponsor or affiliate had any input into the inks included on this list, which reflects my own personal opinion.  


Penwell Pen Holder. The “desk pen” as a stand-alone tool has more or less died out (with some limited exceptions). In 2017, Good Made Better released the Penwell, a pen holder that converts any pen into a desk pen, and allows for quick removal if you want to take your currently inked fountain pen on the go. The Penwell is easily my favorite pen accessory that I’ve reviewed since I’ve been writing this blog, and I look forward to seeing what else GMB has in store for the future. My review of the Penwell here.

One Star Leather Notebook Covers. I’ve settled on the Baron Fig Confidant as my favorite hardbound notebook, and whichever one I’m currently working through is always protected in my One Star Leather cover. Keegan does excellent leather work, and he makes a wide variety of accessories for sale, including custom leather covers designed to fit pretty much any brand of notebook from Moleskine to Leuchtturm to Baron Fig. My review here.


Roterfaden Taschenbegleiter. The Taschenbegleiter isn’t new to the market, but after sitting on the fence for a couple of years, I purchased one from Los Angeles-based retailer Baum-Kuchen and have been using it regularly to manage multiple “mini-projects” I’ve been working on, each of which is contained in an A5-ish softcover notebook clipped into the Roterfaden. I’m still working on my full review, but I plan to have a fairly in-depth piece ready to go sometime this summer.


Baron Fig Mastermind Desk Pad. Few products have received more daily use at my desk than the Mastermind. While I do wish Baron Fig made a slightly larger size, the Mastermind has become my “catch-all” scratch pad, whether for household budgeting, outlining reviews and content for the site, or sketching out the initial drafts of legal briefs. Though it doesn’t see quite as much use - I manage my calendar electronically - the Mastermind Weeks pad can be particularly helpful in navigating those busy weeks at work with multiple deadlines and to-dos. My review here.

Col-o-ring/Col-o-Dex. My friend Ana at the Well-Appointed Desk released the Col-o-ring Ink Testing Book last year as a way to help organize your ink swatches and ink collections. This year, she upped the ante with the Col-o-dex, a way to repurpose those rolodexes that might be sitting unused in your (or your workplaces) office supply closet. You’ve probably noticed my Col-o-ring cards prominently featured in most of my recent ink reviews, and it’s a great way to compare colors.

And that's that for the recaps! I'm officially back from vacation tomorrow (if only in body, and not yet in spirit). Happy Saturday night to all!   

Deals & Drops: Vacation Edition, Part Deux

After a long wait and a couple manufacturing delays, the Aurora Talentum Full Black/Full Metal Black/"Black Ops" pen has finally landed and is available for purchase. I just got my shipping notification, so hopefully I'll have it in my hands once USPS delivers my post-vacation mail. Other items of note include several new Retro 51s, including a Pen Chalet exclusive, a new Montblanc ink, and a couple of new Kickstarters. 

Disclaimer: This post contains links to paid sponsors and affiliates. 

  1. Aurora Talentum Full Black/Full Metal Black (via Pen Chalet). The new blacked-out Talentum has landed and is available for purchase. Also called the "Black Ops" edition, this is a great looking pen! 
  2. Retro 51 "Argo" Edition, a Pen Chalet Exclusive (via Pen Chalet). Check out this new Retro 51/Pen Chalet collaboration, which takes "a futuristic twist" on a mythological story.
  3. Retro 51 "P51 Mustang" Metalsmith Edition (via Pen Chalet). WW2 history buffs will want to check out this new entry in the Retro 51 Metalsmith series. 
  4. New Etruria Pens from Stipula (via Pen Chalet). Stipula has released some new entries in its "Etruria" lineup, including an all black, durable "Gorilla" model, as well as a more classic-looking "Tortoise" model. 
  5. Baron Fig Squire "Mysterium" Edition (via Baron Fig). You all know I can't have too many Squires, especially where Baron Fig is designing them in conjunction with Harry Marks and releasing them in ORANGE! These would pair nicely with their new "Atomic" notebooks
  6. Safari Dark Lilac Special Edition (via Goldspot). In addition to this year's "All Black" special edition, Goldspot still has stock of 2016's Dark Lilac, as well as last year's Petrol edition
  7. Bexley Pens at Vanness (via Vanness Pens). Vanness has a steady stock of vintage-inspired writing instruments from Bexley, another U.S. pen company based in Ohio. Apparently they have something special in the works, so stay tuned....
  8. Montblanc Emerald Green Ink (via Anderson Pens). A new special edition color from Montblanc has landed!
  9. Pelikan Souveran Metal Striped M815 (via Appelboom). Pelikan's new M815 fountain pen has landed at Appelboom. I love the look of the metal stripes, reminiscent of the Stresemann, but with the metal lending the stripes a more pronounced look. 
  10. Field Notes Notebooks (via Paul's Paper & Pens). Paul still has a bunch of back-edition Field Notes in stock, as well as the standard Field Notes lineup. 
  11. KOSMOS Ink Magnetic Fountain Pen (via Kickstarter). From the makers of the KOSMOS ballpoint pen, you now have the KOSMOS ink fountain pen with a magnetic, self-aligning cap. 
  12. Prometheus Writes: Alpha Bamboo Fountain Pen (via Kickstarter). An interesting design concept from a well-regarded maker of EDC pens. the choice of the Pelikan Edelstein international long cartridge as the sole refill option is interesting. 
  13. Jinhao Shark Pens (via Amazon). One of the more unique stationery items I've been able to try out this year! These inexpensive pens are lots of fun to use, especially as ink testers and as an introductory fountain pen for kids. 
  14. The Swerve, by Stephen Greenblatt (via Amazon). I read this Pulitzer prize-winning history a few years ago, but picked it up again recently to read on vacation. Though the story itself focuses on the rediscovery of certain classic texts from antiquity, the book contains a lot of material on the history of handwriting and its importance during and in the years leading up to the Renaissance. A highly recommended read.