Thursday, 25 April 2013

Cult Pens Haul

I don't normally splurge on pens, but occasionally you just have to don't you? I'd never ordered from Cult Pens before but I decided to give it a go, especially as their postage rates were cheap (free over £10) and they have such a wide selection.

filofax paper zebra and uni-ball elite pen tests swatches
Left to right - Staedtler Fineliner (free sample), Uni-ball Vision Elite, Zebra Antique Rollerball, Gelly Roll Stardust, Artline Calligraphy liner, Berol Fineliner, Zebra Antique Rollerball, Faber-Castell Highlighter (sample)
filofax paper zebra and uni-ball elite pen tests swatches
All the lovely swatches!
I ended up getting an assortment of pens; one calligraphy liner, two fineliners, one highlighter, one gel pen and four rollerballs. Whoops. I swatched them all and then decided that in this post I would rather focus on the four rollerball pens, as they will be the ones I'll be using the most often in my Filofax and generally. I tested them all on filofax paper and on the scrap paper I use to make most of my blank inserts as this is what you find in my filofax!

Scrap cream paper zebra and uni-ball elite pen tests
All four tested on scrap cream paper
Scrap cream paper zebra and uni-ball elite pen tests
Other side of the scrap cream paper showing visibility of writing
As you can see, all four write really nicely and there's not a massive amount of show through on the other side. Whilst there is a little bit from the Uni-ball it's not enough to put me off using it on this paper. I imagine that cotton cream filofax paper would have similar results as the scrap paper I use is comparable to the weight and colour of it (even though it looks a bit grey in these photos).

Now for the filofax paper - again I just used some random address paper scraps I had lying around as I didn't want to ruin my diary if they bled or were bad for showing through!

filofax paper zebra and uni-ball elite pen tests
All four tested on Filofax standard white paper 
filofax paper zebra and uni-ball elite pen tests
Back of Filofax paper showing ink
As you can see, on the Filofax page none of them are particularly good at being invisible on the underside and the Uni-ball Elite in particular is quite prominent. However it's not as bad as some pens I've used! I think I'm going to do a trial run of using the Antique pens in my Finsbury as the main writing implement. They all make my handwriting lovely and neat which makes me very happy! They'll be great to use in my revision posters and notes for my upcoming final exams. Definitely a good purchase!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Student Organisation Tips

... AKA 'Complete Chaos That Works (sometimes)'

I finish university for good in six weeks time - I'm all done with education on the 31st of May! This is both a terrifying and fantastic thought train because quite frankly I have no idea what I want to do with my life, even though I'll be turning 23 5 days before I leave higher education. Crazy, huh?

Over my time at uni, my organisational skills have definitely developed. Whilst in the beginning they were not fantastic, they are now pretty damn good! Here's a brief overview of my desk-centric system:

The week planner

artbox week planner

Bright, colourful and most importantly - Simple. It tells me where I need to be and when. This sits on the side of my desk so I can see it at a glance and note where I should be at that time. I've written in the times I want to wake up so I can set my alarm appropriately the night before.
Even though it's plain, the front cover of this little week planner is covered with cute little bunnies and is so gorgeous that I barely want to use it! It came from Artbox but unfortunately isn't sold any more. I actually thought it was going to be bigger when I bought it so I was a tad disappointed when it arrived and was so small (it's really tiny - it's about half the height of a postcard) as I was imagining something more similar to the A4 Paperchase weekly planners. But it does the job and it takes up hardly any room on my desk!

The list pad

staples to do list

Purple is one of my favourite colours so when I spotted this list pad in Staples for just 83p I knew I wanted it! It has 100 sheets of paper each in the same style and it sits on the side of my desk so I can jot down anything that comes to mind whilst I'm working away. I currently have three different pages on the go and I haven't pulled any off - they're really well bound at the top so they're all on fine even though I've been flipping between them. One page has to-do lists for uni work, one has random uni work notes, and one has 'other' to do lists on it. Typically, all my to-do lists here are long term assignment related ones. The notes section at the bottom is really handy too.
I'll let you into a secret - I actually bought this with the idea of cutting it down for filofax inserts, but in the end I decided it worked just fine as it was. And I'm pretty happy I kept it that way :)

The post it

post it notes

Ok, this actually a new addition to my organisation - normally I keep my post-it to do lists on my dashboard in my FF. But as I'm using my filofax every day now it's impossible to have it open on two pages and therefore the to-do list gets ignored! So I've taken to sticking the post-it on the side of my desk where I can see it from across the room and know that it should not be ignored ;) Currently my post-it to do list has a simple outline of all the things I have to do over the next month as I keep forgetting what is actually coming up uni assignment wise; when you have so many things to do it gets confusing! Admittedly this is probably a step too far and doesn't really need to be in my organisation system but I enjoy it being there.

Finally... the big Daddy of the system...


filofax week

My filo is always very messy - I tend to write as I think of things and I just can't seem to get the hang of making it all pretty and lovely. Plus when I'm rushed I write like a child so half the handwriting is neat and half is grossly untidy... It makes me sad. Anyway. In my organisation system, my filofax is where I write down basically everything; if I need to know about it or do then it's probably on these pages! I have planned meals for the week, written in all my appointments (well, almost all), to do tasks, places I'm going, things I want to achieve and occasionally a nice quote or pretty bit of washi tape. I carry it with me wherever I go even though it's getting a bit heavy now :/ When I finish uni I honestly don't know what I'm going to do with my FF, as when I've not got deadlines and things to do I don't bother writing in it. I'm transitioning the back section into a job hunting guide (based on Paper Lovestory's amazing guide here) but I don't know how much more I will be able to use it for... That's another post though that I will write in a few weeks time!

So that's basically how I organise myself now that I have a lot of appointments to keep up with! The temptation is to spend my time organising but I guess at some point I will need to actually do the work on the to do lists, haha. If you're heading to uni then getting organised is a great idea and if you're leaving it like I am soon, then good luck!