Discover the best selection of paper products from around the world!

Archive | March, 2012

This Saturday Switch Off with Earth Hour

30 Mar

Being “eco” is a daily choice, and one of the best things about creating a greener lifestyle (and better world), is that it can be made in the smallest choices.  Buying alternative fiber journals, keeping an eye out for eco paper features,  and using stationery created from sustainable practices are just a few examples.

But one of the absolute easiest things you can do is flick the switch … off, that is, in support of Earth Hour. Join millions of others around the world who will turn off the lights this Saturday, March 31 at 8.30pm-9.30pm (wherever you are in the world). Earth Hour is an annual global event (since 2006) organized by the World Wildlife Fund and made possible by teams in 135 countries.

It can be quite inspirational to see your city go dark knowing the intention behind each flick of the switch. Will you participate? Whether you do or don’t, we’d love to know your thoughts.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FovYv8vf5_E]

Made in the USA: Noodler’s Ink

29 Mar

Shop all Noodler's Inks on EuropeanPaper.com

 Created in Massachusetts, U.S.A., by Nathan Tardif, Noodler’s Ink is the “smallest ink company in the world with the largest color selection.” Not only does Nathan make Noodler’s Ink 100% in the USA from cap to glass to ink, the labels are even printed with Noodler’s own formulas.

Providing archival quality, Noodler’s Inks are heralded by fountain pen enthusiasts for their variety and reliability. Noodler’s is quite economically focused (as you’ll find via the ink’s stories) and you’ll never find an ink cartridge pre-filled with Noodler’s ink. Straight from Noodler’s website: “Noodler’s refuses to manufacture ink cartridges due to the egregious economics these disposable bits of plastic form as an illusion of value until compared with the economics of the glass bottle.” Therefore, Noodler’s 3-ounce glass bottles stand proud and come filled to the brim so you get every penny’s worth of the ink you love!

Noodler’s Standard Inks

Noodler's Standard Inks (3 oz.)With a wide variety of colors from which to choose, Noodler’s Standard Inks are very saturated, giving you a rich, clean line as you write, and as an added bonus, there is less feathering and bleedthrough. Each ink has a high dye concentration (giving you that saturated color), yet with a neutral pH so they won’t affect your fountain pens. Nathan at Noodler’s aims to make all his inks the most economical on the market. He epitomizes that on the label as “the catfish symbolizes a southern sport that attempts to equalize the struggle between man and animal in the quest for a sense of fair play – and thus a fair price.”

Choose from Noodler’s Antietam, Army Green, Blue, Forest Green, Habanero, Midnight Blue, Navajo Turquoise, Purple, Red, and Standard Green.

Noodler’s Bernanke Inks

Noodler's Bernanke Inks (3 oz.)What drew us to Noodler’s (other than the brilliant variety of inks, of course) was Nathan’s animated nature toward ink creation. In our research, it’s quite obvious his passion for ink and politics leads to the creation of several of the best inks on the market – not simply for the ink, but for the story.  Noodler’s Bernanke Ink is a perfect example.

Created specifically for those who require a fast drying ink, such as left-handed writers and sketchers, it’s available in two colors – Bernanke Blue and Bernanke Black. The ink is directly named for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in reference to how quickly Bernanke prints new money (thus he must need such a fast-drying ink!).  Noodler’s Bernanke Ink has a dry time of .5 – 1.5 seconds, living up to its creator’s dream and the delight of fountain pen enthusiasts.
Noodler's Baystate Inks (3 oz.)

Noodler’s Baystate Inks

One specific heralded waterproof ink from Noodler’s is Baystate Blue, based on a classic colonial cobalt ink. Baystate Blue has a slightly more alkaline pH than other Noodler’s inks, but still produces an extremely saturated blue, appearing almost electric on paper.

Noodler’s aims to be the most economical ink on the market and provides not only archival quality with Baystate Blue, but also waterproof quality when dry. Just be careful not to get it on clothes or other items that may stain as it dries quickly!

Noodler’s Bulletproof Inks

Noodler's Bulletproof Inks (3 oz.)
Available in Noodler’s Black or No. 41 Brown, Noodler’s Bulletproof Inks are forgery-resistant, water-resistant, and everlasting. Their durability is a testament to Noodler’s special ink properties that continue to be refined with each batch. Noodler’s Bulletproof inks are free-flowing meaning both Noodler’s Black and No. 41 Brown put down a strong, steady line when writing, without feathering or bleedthrough.

Noodler’s No. 41 Brown is a rich and deeply saturated brown ink with warm tones (named for Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts). And Noodler’s Black is a truly deep black, showing no shades of grey or the like. Just don’t mix either ink with conventional inks as the fraud-proof properties will be negated. And with such perfect inks to begin with, we’re sure these will both quickly become regulars in your ink supply.

The Legends of Moleskine & LEGO Unite

28 Mar

Moleskine LEGO Notebooks on EuropeanPaper.com

Many Moleskine and LEGO fans let out a sigh of relief  and muttered online “Finally!” when the new Moleskine LEGO Limited Edition Notebook series came out. But why are they saying that now? Moleskine has collaborated with the likes of Star Wars, Pac-Man, Le Petit Prince, among others. Surely LEGO fits in with those grandmasters? Well, they do, but they also stand apart slightly. LEGO inextricably aligns with Moleskine’s well-known mantra of the customer’s constantly evolving creative personal identity (while the others mentioned already have their stories established). It really is a match made in heaven to have Moleskine and LEGO – two incredibly creative brands with strong histories – come together in this new series of notebooks where you can “Think With Your Hands.”

And did you know? LEGO is a contraction of the Danish words “leg” and “godt,” which means “play well” in Danish. Coincidentally, the word LEGO in Latin loosely translates to “I study” and “I put together.” LEGO began with humble beginnings in 1916 in Denmark in the workshop of Ole Kirk Christiansen. After a fire consumed the workshop in 1924, Christiansen rebuilt and began constructing wooden toys in 1932, only moving to plastic in 1947 after purchasing a plastic injection molding machine.

LEGO’s plastic bricks really took hold in the 1960′s and soon LEGO was experiencing exponential growth in multiple markets. Today, LEGO produces a massive amount of blocks, as evidenced in this neat fact: “Every year, about 19 billion LEGO bricks are produced. That translates to 2.16 million LEGO elements are molded every hour, or 36,000 per minute! The LEGO manufacturing process is so precise that only 18 out of 1 million LEGO bricks produced is considered defective.” (10 Neatest LEGO Facts.)

LEGO has continued to evolve over time, and still has a strong hold on the toy market today. Combined with the strong evocations of Moleskine notebooks, this is an instant classic not to be missed. Like the Moleskine Classic Journals, Moleskine LEGO Notebooks have a sewn binding, acid-free paper, rounded edges, elastic closure, cloth ribbon placeholder, and a rear expandable inner pocket. All the Moleskine features you’ve come to know and love, bound together with the excitement of LEGO.

Moleskine LEGO Pocket Ruled Notebook (3.5 x 5.5)

The legends of Moleskine and LEGO finally meet in this instant notebook classic. The Moleskine LEGO Pocket Ruled Notebook combines two of the most iconic creative mediums to encourage the potential of unlimited thought. The themed black cover is debossed with a yellow LEGO screenprint and the real yellow LEGO brick embedded in the cover is perfect for any Lego enthusiast. Arrange your words, sketches, and thoughts to construct a world of your own in this pocket-sized notebook for free expression. Let your ideas flow on all 192 lined pages (96 leaves) while using the yellow cloth ribbon placeholder and themed adhesive labels to stay organized. Look to the inside cover and be inspired through the colorfully designed axiom “Think With Your Hands”.

Moleskine LEGO Pocket Ruled Notebook available on EuropeanPaper.com

Moleskine LEGO Large Ruled Notebook (5 x 8.25)

The Moleskine LEGO Large Ruled Notebook is perfect for a traditional Moleskine aficionado. The themed black cover, debossed with a black LEGO screenprint and embedded with a real black LEGO brick, along with the original cloth ribbon placeholder make for a characteristic Moleskine notebook. Arrange your words, sketches, and thoughts to construct a world of your own in all 240 lined pages (120 leaves) of this large-sized notebook. The combination of two iconic creative mediums encourages the potential of unlimited thought, as emphasized by the colorfully designed axiom “Think With Your Hands” on the inside cover. This notebook is sure to be an instant classic in any Moleskine collection.

Moleskine Lego Large Ruled Notebook (5 x 8.25)

Moleskine LEGO Large Ruled Notebook available on EuropeanPaper.com

Fountain Pen Water Painting

27 Mar

Isn’t it great when you find a new use for something? For those of us who love (and purchase) nice pens, it’s especially great because it makes your already valuable tools even more valuable. 

The particular use I’m going to share with you today works with any fountain pen no matter how expensive (or inexpensive) it may be. And for those of you with a creative aptitude, you’ll really like this.

Fountain Pen Water Painting is a very simple technique. Draw a line with your fountain pen, inked with a favorite color of course, and then come along with a wet brush to make it bleed.

It creates a lovely effect and really highlights your inks.

In the images of the orange flower, I’m using a Lamy Safari Fountain Pen with a Fine nib and Diamine Ink in Pumpkin. I’m using a Kuretake Waterbrush, but you can use any water brush and for that matter, any paintbrush at all. What makes a waterbrush nice is that you can house the water in the barrel of the brush itself.

 

Do you see in the progression of the flower being colored in how much variation there is in the color of the ink? This technique really gives a lot of dimension to the piece and it looks lovely too.

I stumbled into this technique a few years ago. It was spring and I was sitting outside with some postcard-sized pieces of cardstock, a fountain pen and a waterbrush. I drew a simple outline of a manatee and then ran back over the lines with my water brush. The ink didn’t bleed, but rather I was able to spread the ink around to exactly the spot I wanted it. My simple line drawing of a manatee became a nicely shaded illustration in just a few seconds with very few tools.

Here’s the original manatee, it was done with a LAMY Safari as well and I used Diamine ink in Damson.

This method became my method of choice as time went on. All I needed was paper, a fountain pen (which I already carried in my purse) and a water brush. No need for paintbrushes, cups of water, mixing dishes, blotting towels … the simplicity of the technique and the portability of the items needed is what has kept me coming back.

This technique lends itself well to lettering. The effect created when you add a little water to ink is beautiful. I’ve used this on the front of notecards myself and I always surprise the recipient when I tell them it’s just a little ink and water and a few minutes of time.

Here is the front of a notecard. Just lines.

Now, with my waterbrush, I trace over the letters. And I go over the letters once more, making them even thicker.

This technique can include actual watercolors too. You follow the same procedure as above, except you fill in or highlight specific areas with watercolors, acrylics, inks, marker or otherwise. Don’t be afraid to add more than one additional color.

Aside from being fun, this technique is incredibly relaxing. Since you don’t have to fuss with many materials, your focus can entirely be on the illustration. And for those of you who enjoy scrapbooking, journaling or writing letters, you can probably see how the addition of a waterbrush might be a worthwhile one. The options are as endless as your inks!

~~~

Meet the Writer: Cole Imperi is a business owner and a proponent of the handwritten word. When not at Doth Brands, a Branding & Identity firm catering to the health, wellness & deathcare professions where Cole works as Owner and Creative Director, you might find her on her yoga mat teaching yoga or behind a laptop writing for Simplicity Embellished, a letter-writing and lifestyle blog.

~~~

 

“Do We Know Who We Are?”

26 Mar

“The more we write, the more we need to define who we are. Does it get murkier, or is it becoming clearer the more we evaluate ourselves, our stories, and our internal struggles?” MJ Monaghan

MJ is one of our favorite writers/bloggers to follow and we love to share his work! (In our opinion, MJ is at the level of Seth Godin‘s style.)

His post today “Do We Know Who We Are?” popped up for us at a very auspicious time. We’re actively working to communicate our passion for paper, connect with the larger community, and provide insightful tips and interesting reads for you every day. But while we blog, we’re an online retailer at the same time. So we’re constantly defining European Paper Company to best serve YOU!

Let us know if you have comments, questions, or feedback in general. You can post up a comment here or email us at info@europeanpaper.com

Monday Morning Review Round-up

26 Mar

Ink Reviews

Stationery Traffic: Noodler’s #41 Brown Ink

Inkophile: I’m In The Mood For Green – Ink That Is

Pen/Pencil Reviews

Rhonda Eudaly: The TomBow Airpress Ballpoint Pen

Leigh Reyes: Platinum Kanazawa-Haku Goldfish

FPGeeks: Graf von Faber-Castell 2012 Pen of the Year

From The Pen Cup: Pilot Plumix Fountain Pen

East, West, Everywhere: Platinum Kanazawa Leaf Maki-e

Multi Pen Dimensions: Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen

No Pen Intended: Ohto Comfort Sharp Lead Holder

Writing Wrong-Handed: Tombow Object Rollerball

Well-Appointed Desk: AutoPoint TwinPoint Mechanical Pencil

A Penchant for Paper: Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.3mm Kurikawa

Stamp Reviews

Your Postal Blog: Work Like a Dog

Pen Thief: St. Patrick’s Day

 

Friday Blogger Tuck-ins

23 Mar

1 –>  Our Moleskine Haiku Contest winner Sandra is still doling out the love with a wonderful review of the Moleskine Passions Wine Journal!

2 –> Gourmet Pens: Call for Submissions for the April Carnival of Pen & Paper

3 –> Journal Addict: Meet Journal Keeper Lynn Fisher …This sums it up quite nicely, but you still should click over to read it all! “I have now amassed what most people would regard as a fire hazard of journals in a variety of sizes, shapes, handmade, or store-bought. All reflect the joy and heartache of the examined life in a way that most precisely mirrors what and who I am as a person right now.”

4 –> Letter Writers Alliance: Cherry Blossom Centennial Stamp Release and Party

5 –> Writing Instruments: Writing Instruments are the Voice of Desire

6 –> Missive Maven: A letter to a favorite writer, hand-delivered

7 –> R Scribbling Glue: That’s Not a Tea Cup, It’s a Post Office Box!

8 –> Rhodia Drive: Creative Prompt: Your Favorite Things

9 –> Plannerisms: Preparing for the Planner Drought


Finding the Fountain Pen Nib That’s Right for You

22 Mar

Image provided by Cole Imperi.

A smattering of nibs to ogle. Image provided by Cole Imperi. Click to enlarge.

A fountain pen nib exists for every style of writer. Whether you press hard and dig deep into the page or prefer to elegantly draw loops and curls, there is a perfect nib waiting for you. The tricky part is looking objectively at the way you write and from that determining what style of nib is best for you.

Actually, the tricky part is probably that there is no global standardization of nib sizes. Your best bet? Become familiar with terminology, find a brand you like and work from that brand as your ‘base.’ Below, you’ll see commonly accepted definitions and descriptions for nib sizes and types (however, there is dispute within the community).

Nib Sizes

All nibs come in different sizes whether you are purchasing a flex nib, an italic nib, a stub nib or any other kind of nib. The most common width sizes include Extra Fine (EF), Fine (F), Medium (M), Broad (B), and Double Broad (BB). You can also find nibs that come in EEF-BBB, but they’re traditionally harder to come by.

Nib Types

Needle & Accountant Nibs

Sailor Desk Pen [EF Nib]

Image provided by Cole Imperi. Click to enlarge.

These are basically EF (Extra Fine) nibs. The Sailor Desk Pen in the photos would be considered by most to be a needle nib. Most people would agree that the thinnest, finest nibs come from Japan. If you’re looking for a needle nib/accountant nib, go for a Japanese-made pen in either EF or EEF.

Stub Nibs

A stub nib is like writing on a thin oval. Imagine that the tip of the nib (the part that makes contact with the paper) is an oval shape. The lines that you create from writing will show this slight variation. (A round tipped nib, which is known as a standard nib will not show variation in writing much like a ballpoint pen doesn’t show variation.)

Italic Nibs & Calligraphy Nibs

Image provided by Cole Imperi.

Kaweco Sport Calligraphy 1.1 image provided by Cole Imperi. Click to enlarge.

An italic nib is like a stub nib, but the oval is longer, thereby producing more variation in line width as you write. Many use the terms ‘calligraphy nib’ and ‘italic nib’ interchangeably. The basic gist of what makes an italic and calligraphy nib different from others is that the nib will have sharper corners. The sharper corners create very clean, crisp lines in line strokes. The stub nib does too, but those corners tend to be ground to rounded points so the stub is less likely to ‘catch’ or scratch the paper when you write quickly. Calligraphy nibs also tend to come in wider sizes. With an italic or calligraphy nib you will likely need to write slower than you do normally because they tend to catch or skip more by design.

Oblique Nibs

An oblique nib is exactly the same as an italic or a calligraphy nib, except the nib is cut on a slant (or angle), rather than straight across.

Music Nib

Music nibs (designed for the purpose of writing music) traditionally have two slits in the nib rather than just one, but not always. They are made so the user can produce lines crosswise and longwise easily.

Flex Nibs

Image provided by Cole Imperi.

Prosperity Pen, Medium Flex Nib image provided by Cole Imperi. Click to enlarge.

Flex nibs have some amount of ‘flex’ in the nib itself so when the user presses down on it variation in the width of the stroke is produced. Flex nibs can be found in various amounts of ‘flexiness,’ from slight flex to super flex. Vintage flex pens produce some of the greatest flex around. What makes flex nibs unique is that they can be combined with other types of fountain pens. You could find an Italic Flex Nib for example, or a Needle Flex Nib. Flex nibs have a bit of a learning curve but produce lovely, unique results. The flexibility of the nib highlights the natural nuances of each person’s handwriting.

This brief overview of the most common types of nibs should help you on your way in determining what nib might be for you. Personally, my absolute favorite nib type is a standard flex nib. Second choice is a calligraphy nib. To me, being able to highlight the unique way I naturally write is most important, especially when I write letters by hand. If you’ve never even held a fountain pen, I strongly suggest trying out multiple types first. Just pick the pen up in your hand, dip the tip of the nib in some ink (no need to fuss with cartridges or full refills here), and write a little with it. You’ll be able to immediately determine if you like one or not.

Writing with Whitelines

21 Mar

Shop all Whitelines Notebooks on EuropeanPaper.com

We’ve been jazzed behind the scenes for a month now in anticipation of introducing our newest brand on EuropeanPaper.com, Whitelines!! When we asked YOU which brands you wanted to see added on EPC, you spoke so loudly for Whitelines (well over 50% of the votes), it was a no-brainer to welcome them into the family here at EuropeanPaper.com. Everyone at Whitelines is simply a joy and we’ve learned so much about Whitelines, we’ve just got to share!

Whitelines’ Concept

Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Whitelines was founded in January 2006 by three friends with one ambition: “to make a contribution to a better world, no matter how small.”

A closer look at the innovative Whitelines paper.

Whitelines is incredibly innovative with their take on writing paper. Their concept is quite simple, yet effective across writing, sketching, doodling, etc. Whitelines posits that dark lines distract, and quite frankly, Whitelines don’t. Pen markings are dark and become jumbled with the traditional dark lines of ordinary paper.  Whitelines’ paper is slightly toned, meaning that not only is there no visual interference between the lines and the pen markings, strong light also doesn’t gleam in your eyes when it gets reflected off the paper as what happens with ordinary paper.

Easy on the eyes, Whitelines has one more trick up its sleeve: When you photocopy, scan, or fax Whitelines paper all you see on the copy is your crisp, clear handwriting or drawing. Once again, no distractions.

Eco & Innovative

Whitelines Side Spiralbound A5 Notebook 5.8 x 8.25

Whitelines was perhaps the first paper company in the world to mark their products with a Carbon Footprint label, which soon became a Zero Carbon Footprint label. Whitelines uses MultiCopy paper produced in an integrated mill in southern Sweden where all carbon dioxide is reused during the production process. Not only that, but Whitelines is located close to the mill to reduce transport, and the paper is guaranteed chlorine and acid-free.

As Whitelines is an incredibly well-rounded eco paper company – and unique, to say the least – we now offer several Whitelines products on EPC! Check out Whitelines’ sweet and simple Perfect Bound A5 and A4 Notebooks; Soft Cover Spiral Bound A5 and A4 Notebooks; and their Hard Cover Wire Bound A5, and A4 Notebooks! Each is available in black or white covers, and ruled or graphed page styling.

 

European Paper Co.’s Eco-Glossary

20 Mar

Acid Free

Acid-free paper is paper that has a neutral or basic pH (7 or slightly greater) and is lignin- and sulfur-free. Acid-free paper production neutralizes the acids that occur in wood pulp to create longer-lasting paper that won’t yellow over time. The paper itself can last from 500 to 1,000 years, which has made it appealing to archivists and scrapbookers. The process to make acid-free paper is significantly more environmentally friendly than the process to produce standard paper as waste water and byproducts of the papermaking process can be recycled; energy can be saved in the drying and refining process; and alkaline paper can be more easily recycled. However, acid-free paper is an industry standard now, so don’t choose paper simply because it’s acid free; choose a paper that is environmentally responsible in some other way and is acid-free.

ACID-FREE BRANDS: Moleskine, Rhodia, Leuchtturm1917

Carbon Neutral

“Carbon Neutral” is a term used when referencing offsetting or eliminating those production processes that release carbon dioxide.  Carbon neutrality, or having a net zero carbon footprint, refers to achieving net zero carbon emissions by balancing carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels with renewable energy that creates a similar amount of useful energy (or just using all renewable energy sources like wind or solar power), or buying enough carbon credits to make up the difference.

CARBON NEUTRAL BRANDS: Quotable Cards, Whitelines

Chlorine Free

You might see a number of chlorine-related claims on paper products. The bottom line: The chlorine bleaching process produces tons of toxins that may disrupt our immune systems. If you’re looking for top-shelf eco-friendly paper products, you want to find the “100% chlorine free” claim, which means the virgin paper wasn’t bleached with chlorine at any point, or – even better – the “processed chlorine free” claim, which indicates that the recycled content wasn’t bleached with chlorine. In researching chlorine-free paper further, you’ll find the following chlorine-free related terms:

“Elemental chlorine free (ECF) is a technique that uses chlorine dioxide for the bleaching of wood pulp. It does not use elemental chlorine gas during the bleaching process and prevents the formation of dioxins and dioxin-like compounds, carcinogens. Totally chlorine free (TCF) is a technique that uses no chlorine compounds for the bleaching of wood pulp for paper production. This prevents the formation of dioxins, highly carcinogenic pollutants.” [Wikipedia]

Recycled Content

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), paper labeled as “recycled” must be made from at least 30% post-consumer waste. That means that 30% has been used by a consumer, turned into a recycling program, and then reused to make new paper. Pre-consumer waste, on the other hand, uses paper materials that were discarded before they reached the consumer. A third term you don’t hear often is Mill Broke, which is paper trimmings and other scraps collected during the paper manufacturing process, and is recycled internally in a paper mill. While it’s good to use up that pre-consumer and mill broke waste, it’s even better to eliminate it from the paper production process altogether (since those are still using virgin paper), which means buying recycled paper with the highest post-consumer waste content that you can find is the most ideal situation. For example, Mudlark notecards are made with 80% post-consumer content and Quotable Cards boast 100% post consumer content, both very eco-friendly choices for writing that thank you note!

You might find paper products labeled with a “recycled content” or “contains recycled content” claim. In these cases, the product usually has less than 30% post-consumer waste or contains only pre-consumer waste. While it’s great to buy products that use any amount of recycled content, these paper options are on the low-end of the eco-friendly paper scale.

RECYCLED CONTENT BRANDS: Mudlark, Quotable Cards

Soy-Based Ink

Traditional ink is petroleum-based, so soy and vegetable based inks are a gentler alternative. Soy crops take considerably less impact on the environment, they are available in bright colors, and make the paper they are printed on easier to recycle. To make soy ink, soybean oil is slightly refined and then blended with pigment, resins, and waxes. Even though soybean oil is an edible vegetable oil, soy ink is not edible or 100% biodegradable because the pigments and other additives that are mixed with the oil are the same as those used in petroleum-based inks.

SOY-BASED INK BRANDS: Quotable CardsMudlark, Rite in the Rain

Sustainable Certifications

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC) are both non-profit, non-governmental organizations that promote responsible forest management. Seals from these organizations indicate that paper has been approved in their certification processes. As is the case whenever multiple organizations provide the same function, there is significant debate over which certification is better; in North America, it seems the preference is for the FSC seal.

FSC Certified: The Forest Stewardship Council is an international non-profit promoting responsible forest management through its developed principles and wood tracking system. This logo identifies products that contain wood from responsibly managed forests that have been independently certified according to the rules of the FSC.

FSC CERTIFIED BRANDS: Moleskine, Rite in the Rain, Paperblanks

PEFC Certified: The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes is an international non-profit that incorporates multiple national forest certifications intended to make the forest certification easier and more applicable to different types of forests.

PEFC CERTIFIED BRANDS: Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Exacompta

Tree-Free Fiber

A tree-free fiber claim on a paper product means that material was derived from a source other than trees. These tree-free options are usually a little more expensive but provide you with the most sustainable paper option over the product’s life cycle. The benefits of using non-wood sources are much more than just saving the world’s forests. Tree-free paper production processes are also more environmentally sound, requiring fewer chemicals and less energy. Traditionally, the plant sources of tree-free fibers regrow rapidly and the harvesting of the plants does not disrupt natural ecosystems (a perfect example is the lokta bush).

Tree-free paper comes from four main sources: Agricultural Residues (bamboo, straw, wheat, etc.), Fiber Crops (hemp, soybeans, etc.), Textiles (cotton, textile scraps), and Vegetable or Fruit Fiber (banana stalk, mango leaf, pineapple husk, etc.).  A notable fifth source has only recently been established – that of animal dung with PooPooPaper at the forefront.

TREE-FREE BRANDS: Nepali Lokta Paper, Lama Li, PooPooPaper

 ~~~

Editor’s Note: The eco icons you see in this article are the exact logos you will see on products on EuropeanPaper.com – so you can clearly identify eco products to aid you in your green shopping! Check out the PooPooPaper Elephant Journal and Moleskine Classic Pocket Ruled Notebook for two examples. This eco-glossary includes content from Maggie Marton’s Guide to Recycled Paper, published here on European Paper Company’s Blog.

Monday Morning Review Round-up

19 Mar

Ink Reviews

Pocket Blonde: De Atramentis Australian Red

East, West, Everywhere: Ink Organization Part Deux: Cataloging

Notebook/Planner Reviews

Pencil Talk: Field Notes Brand vs. the office supply cabinet

A Penchant for Paper: Field Notes Memo Books

Pen/Pencil Reviews

Gourmet Pens: Pentel EnerGel Euro Black 0.5 mm Needle Point

Daydreamers Welcome: PaperMate InkJoy 300 RT 1.0mm

A Penchant for Paper: Uni-ball Signo DX 0.28mm Emerald Green

Ms. Logica: A Look at Lamy’s Interchangeable Nibs

PenInkCillin: Pilot Varsity and Noodler’s HoD revisited

Does This Pen Write: Change of Heart: Barnes & Noble Colored Pencils

Recording Thoughts: Uni Kuru Toga .5mm with Auto Rotate

 

Get Organized: Take Charge of Your To-Do Lists

15 Mar

Are you a chronic compiler of sticky notes? Is your wallet stuffed with small scraps of paper? Do scrawl-covered napkins flutter around in your car? If that sounds like you, you might just be a to-do list hoarder.

To-do lists are good. Usually. They help us remember the innumerable tasks we have to tackle for work, home, committees, kids, and more. But if managing – or finding – your to-do lists takes over actually completing the tasks, your lists aren’t helping. Unless you organize or consolidate your responsibilities into a more streamlined system, you’re not being as efficient as you could be.

Here, based on personality types, are a handful of the best ways to organize to-do lists from various aspects of your life – and the products to facilitate your newfound sense of organization.

Separatist

If you strive to keep your professional life separate from your personal life, institute a system that encourages that separation. To help you compartmentalize your various roles and responsibilities, pick up a set of Moleskine Volant notebooks. Dedicate one to work and one to life, and clearly label the two notebooks so that you’re not tempted to grab whichever is closer.

Rhodia Spiralbound Square Reverse Book (8.25 x 8.25)

Rhodia Spiralbound Square Reverse Book (8.25 x 8.25)

Minimalist

Not everyone can achieve it, but if your goal is simplicity, consolidate all your to-do lists into one single notebook. The trick is to create a habit of always carrying that one notebook with you since everything will be housed together. A side spiral Rhodia will help you keep all your lists in one place. With a sturdy cover and side binding, a Rhodia can be taken in and out of your bag, tossed in your car, and lugged on an airplane and still keep your to-dos together.

Moleskine Classic Large Ruled Notebook (5 x 8.25)

Moleskine Classic Large Ruled Notebook (5 x 8.25)

Traditionalist

Those who love the Moleskine tradition may balk at the idea of replacing their do-it-all notebook for a different system. With a simple hack, convert your Moleskine into a to-do list organizer. Use your favorite size notebook, and divide it into sections for each task area, like work, life, home, goals, and so on. Tabs can be made from almost anything. For example, fold a small sticky tab in half, write the title on the edge, and tape it into place, or cut up expired gift cards for durable tabulating.

Clairefontaine Classic Extra Large Side Spiralbound Notebook (8.5 x 11)

Clairefontaine X Large Side Spiral Notebook (8.5 x 11)

Goal-Getter

For those with many goals, many tasks, and many to-dos, a large notebook is a must. The Clairefontaine Classic Extra Large Spiralbound Notepad is 8.5- by 11-inches, which gives you enough space to outline all your tasks and related notes. Plus, since the pages are perforated, you can tear them out to file as needed.

Multi-Tasking Mom

For the busy mom on the go, the Exacompta Exafolio Executive will keep all your lists organized in one place. Six file compartments accompany a notebook, which allows you to keep like items – errands, grocery lists, kid-related to-dos, and so on – together.

Whichever product you choose to manage your to-do lists, the ACME Sing Sing 4-Function Pen is the perfect complement to keep your organization streamlined. Instead of cramming multiple implements in your bag or notebook, this one piece has a stylus for your PDA, a pencil, a pen, and a highlighter for convenient note-jotting.

Whatever your personality, there’s a product that can help you organize that never-ending flow of to-dos. Now, if only there was a product to complete those to-dos for you!

~~~

 Meet the Writer:Maggie Marton is a freelance writer who lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with her husband and their three darling dogs. View more of Maggie’s work at MaggieMarton.com

~~~