Friday, January 22, 2010

Speaking of Planners...

I figured this will be better noticed in a new post as opposed to the post I just made, hence the double-post. The blog Traveling with Baby is currently hosting a giveaway for a Quo Vadis Equology Minister planner! All you have to do is answer the question, "What works for you to keep track of your family’s schedule and your to-do list?" in the comments section to win. Detailed information about the planner is also in the blog post, so go check it out!

Signing out,

- Emily

On the Hunt for the Perfect Planner

For those who have seen my recent Twitter update, I am currently unsatisfied with my current, mundane and inadequate planner, and on the hunt for a better one. However, my mind works in strange and mysterious ways, so finding a planner is both a big deal and very difficult for me. Here is a list of planners that have caught my eye thus far (in no particular order):

1. Quo Vadis Trinote: What I especially like about this planner is that the layout is organized by time, which would allow me to write in each appointment in the appropriate time and better plan out my day. There is also room at the bottom of each column and at the end of the week for extra assignments and such.

2. Rhodia Weekly: A very fashionable layout, and contemporary design. However, the graph paper note section might make reading what you write more difficult.

3. Quo Vadis Notor: I really liked this daily planner when I saw it. However, I don't know how anyone is supposed to write in that tiny little header area at the top of each page where the hours are listed.

4. Moleskine 12 months Daily Planner: Really cute, and the layout is so simple that it might be just perfect - the thickness and the somewhat insane price tag turn me off, though.

5. Busy Body Book: I actually found this in a post on how parents can help kids be more organized in school. The different block areas, combined with a to-do list on the side, seem very appealing.

As of now, I have not decided on a planner to test out. If anyone has used any of these and has a recommendation, I would love to hear it.

Signing out,

- Emily

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hello Kitty Hi-Tec-C 0.3 mm


Price: $27.00 (9-color set)

Overall: I am a HUGE Hello Kitty fan - plushies, stationery, bedspread, you name it, I've got it. So I was overjoyed when JetPens was kind enough to send me this pen for testing. Thanks, JetPens!

My thoughts? This pen is very bright, a sort of orange-y red (or reddish orange, I should say). Writing-wise it takes a little time to get started, and can be scratch-y when it first hits the paper. The Hello Kitty charm on the cap can apparently come off and be put on different pens in the Hi-Tec-C line, but I most likely won't do that.

I've never tried a Hi-Tec-C before, but other than the Hello Kitty cap, this pen isn't blowing me away. I think I'll stick with my Signo DX's.


- adorable cap

- very fine point


- ink is hard to read

- the charm on the cap throws off the weight of the pen

- tip is scratchy

Detail: As mentioned, this pen has a 0.3 mm. One thing I like is that the top is especially fine - finer than my 0.28 mm Signo DX - and the needle point makes it great for people trying to cram a lot of writing into a small space. The orange ink is sort of hard to see, making this particular pen best for discreet notes and such. However, if you want to purchase this pen, JetPens only sells it in a set along with all the other Hello Kitty Hi-Tec-C's, so you'd have a chance to experiment with all the different ink colors. Personally, I kind of wish I had requested the black pen so I could compare it alongside my Black Signo DX to really get a full evaluation.

Rating: 6.5/10

(to be fair, I was considering a higher rating, but I took into consideration the level of utility for this pen, which is not very high at all)

Note: What do you think of the new rating style? I thought the old format got overly rambling at times, so I am trying out this new format. Basically, if you want to read the overview in my handwriting from the photo, go ahead and you can skip right to the pros/cons afterwards. I only typed out the overview below the photo for those who don't want to read from a photo or for those with impairments that require screen readers to view web pages. I want to make sure this blog is as user-friendly and accessible as possible so please leave me your feedback if you have any! Thank you for reading!

Signing out,

- Emily

Friday, January 15, 2010

Uni-ball Alpha Gel Slim UPDATE

For those of you who are interested in the Uni-ball Alpha Gel Slim mechanical pencil I previously blogged about, but are not very interested in the 0.3 mm lead, Jetpens now has the black version of this pencil in 0.5 mm lead as well. Both versions retail for the same $12.00.

Just a brief update. Stick around for more pen reviews coming soon (I am currently proofreading one to be released in the near future and making another order from Jetpens soon).

Signing out,


Monday, November 23, 2009

Uni-ball Alpha Gel Pencil Slim

After much time away, I am finally back! It's been a while since I've visited this blog, but I hope to slowly get some long-overdue reviews back up so please be patient with me.

The first of a long list is my lovely Uni A-Gel Slim...


Overview: FYI, this pencil writes with 0.3 mm lead, not the usual 0.5 mm. This means that the lines will be both thinner and not as dark. I originally purchased this pencil to do my Chinese homework with, which makes sense because Chinese characters are fairly complex to write, therefore thinner pencils help a lot. For regular writing, the lead might write a bit too light for general writing. However, I do have a friend who prefers 0.3 mm lead even for general note-taking so I wouldn't disregard it right away. I will have some photos up next month for people to compare 0.3 mm and 0.5 mm lead.

If you are looking for a 0.3 mm pencil, this one's worth a try, although it may not be the best out there. It's comfortable to write with, thanks to the squishy gel grip, stylish, and is available in many colors through JetPens. However, it may not be worth the $12 price tag. Although the body looks metal from the photos on Jetpens, it's actually plastic with metal parts. As long as you're not throwing your writing utensils all over the place though, durability shouldn't be a problem. Design-wise, the body is a very attractive silver, but my favorite parts are the glossy plastic pink parts because they're just so pretty.

- lightweight
- stylish
- many different color options available
- comfortable to write with (very squishy grip!)

- a bit overpriced in my opinion (only $3 less than my Jetstream multi-pen, which feels much heftier and has 4 pen colors + pencil)
- plastic body feels a bit cheap
- grip attracts dust easily

Overall: A pretty, comfortable, and lightweight pencil. If you have never used a 0.3 mm lead before, you might want to try a cheaper pencil that uses this size lead first before buying this one. For instance, the Kuru Toga comes in a 0.3 version and is little more than half the price of this pencil (I'm actually a bit curious about trying it myself!). Some drafting pencils also take 0.3 mm, and might have more weight for those who prefer some heft (the same friend I mentioned above loves her Pentel Graphgear 1000, which is $15 on JetPens). I am providing these other suggestions in this review because when I pick up this pencil, I would imagine it as cheaper than $12. That being said, I am satisfied with mine.

Rating: 8/10 cookies

I read in a review on the JetPens page for this product that the 0.3 mm lead can be hard to find. I actually bought a whole bunch at my local Utrecht art supply store. They were even on sale at the time so I only paid 75 cents per pack! So if you want to try 0.3 mm lead, check Utrecht or anywhere that sells supplies for architecture students, because you will definitely find a plentiful variety of lead there.

Signing out,

- Emily

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Uni-ball Signo DX 0.28 mm



Overview: Despite looking fragile at first (this pen writes VERY thin!) this pen has actually proved to be pretty hearty. Of course, if you drop it and it lands on its tip, that is a different matter altogether, but I've been using it on a regular basis to take notes during 70-minute classes and it has never skipped or clogged yet. The tip is made of steel, making it very sturdy. It is also more of a cone shape, rather than the needle tip you get with Hi-Tec-C's and Slicci's. The ink is very dark and visible, despite the thinness of the lines. The grip is comfortable - not too hard or soft, with light circular dimples - and when the pen is posted, the weight is very even. All in all, a wonderful value!

- VERY thin lines
- sturdy tip
- has not clogged yet for me, although I've heard that it does
- good, clean design
- rubber grip makes lengthy writing comfortable

- I've heard that it clogs from time to time - if this happens, try submerging the tip in rubbing alcohol (if it happens to me, I will document the cleaning process for you to see)

Overall: A $2.25 pen with only one downside? Obviously a must-have. The ink is dark and the body is very durable. If you plan on buying this thickness, I advise either blue, blue-black, black, or red because the lighter ink colors will be virtually invisible with such thin lines. Personally, I'm getting another black and a blue-black once my next paycheck comes in!

Rating: 9.5/10 special turnips

Signing out,

- Emily

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Pen Addict's Giveaway

Want to win a 6-pack of Pilot FriXion Color-Pencil-Like Erasable Gel Ink Pens? Then go over to The Pen Addict and leave a comment. It might also be nice if you mentioned that I referred you so people know this blog exists, but of course that's optional. *winkwink*

Signing out,

- Emily