26 December 2011

Reader Question: Filofax paper, which pen?

We have frequently seen comments about the (poor) quality of Filofax white paper, particularly how it doesn't like fountain pen ink. The Filofax cotton cream paper seems a lot better and higher quality.

So a reader asked me this week. 'Which gel pens or rollerball pens work with ordinary Filofax paper? I can't use cotton cream paper as they don't sell A5 diary inserts in A5 size'

The later point is true, they don't do cotton cream in A5, shame really. So which gel pens and roller ball pens work with ordinary Filofax paper? And I suppose which ones fit the pen loop should also be taken in to consideration.

As a supplementary question I was wondering what paper people use if they print their own inserts? 

32 comments:

  1. Good question. I've found it impossible to use a fountain pen on standard Filofax paper, unless I use an XF nib, which isn't me at all. I have a Frixion in the pen loop, which is the only pen I use in the Filofax Personal. Although it contains many sheets I have printed myself, I can't be doing with having to choose different pens for different pages. In my A5, all the sheets are from my own printer, on good 80gsm laser printer paper and I generally save my fountain pens for that.

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  2. Another vote for Frixion. I like that I can change entries in my diary without it looking a mess.

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  3. I am using a Pilot Frixion Slim. I love that I can change the entries.

    Greetz from Germany

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  4. Two Frixions Turquoise and Pink.

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  5. I use my own printed pages in my A5 other than the diary (in my work one) and use either straightforward copier paper or cream Clairefontaine A4 paper - either of which are fountain pen happy.
    I've given up using fountain pen, gel pens or anything like that in my personal filofax which has filofax paper in it. I use a pencil/pen Zebra Shrabo diary combo which is slim enough for the tiny filofax pen loops. I also have the clip of a Coleto 4-colour pen tucked into one of the card slots (as it won't fit in the loop) and that works okay without too much bleed-through.
    Filofax paper is just SO rubbish though!

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  6. I prefer fountain pens to biros etc. I use Parker fountain pens. I currently have two, an ordinary nib and an italic nib. I have used both of these pens on various Filofax pages with no bleeding including the normal white lined personal sheets and diary sheets. The ink I use is the 'washable blue' Parker cartridges. Many people I have met don't like to write with blue ink, but this particular blue has been Filofax friendly for me.

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  7. Just-Jenny, good news, thanks. Will try these cartridges.

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  8. Ray, how do you use your personal and A5. What contents do you carry in each??? Interested in this combo. Thanks.

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  9. I don't carry the A5. It has a diary in it, but mostly it contains business notes and A5 printed copies of reports, proposals and client materials. The Personal goes everywhere I do - it's my main diary and notebook.

    If I'm away on business I'll fill and use a special A5 for the purpose. You can see how my travelling A5 currently looks here:
    http://mylifeallinoneplace.blogspot.com/2011/12/a5-business-setup-and-tabs.html

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  10. Although the Filofax paper isn't great, I have found it usable with a fountain pen. There's some show through but no bleeding. I usually use Lamy Black ink.

    The white paper works better than the Filofax coloured paper. The latter does not seem to absorb ink, but leaves it sitting on top of the paper. It's weird.

    All that said, I usually use a pencil in my Filo as it's more practical for quick notes, and just use the FP at home.

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  11. I just use one of my fountain pens and live with the bleed.

    Imagine if you will, a partnership between Filofax and say, Clairefontaine... Imagine opening up your filo and find good quality 90g Clairefontaine paper in it.

    ...One can only dream.

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  12. I cycle through the types of pens I like to use. A ballpoint seems to be fine with the white Filo paper. But I'm not in a "ballpoint" phase right now.

    I did a test some weeks back of the pens I have and like to use vs. the white Filo paper: http://filofaxfixation.wordpress.com/2011/10/22/penink-test-on-filo-paper/

    The Pilot FriXion (all nib sizes) and the Uni-Ball Signo 207 seem to be the best for non-show-through on my test.

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  13. is it not a good idea to use a pencil in ur filofax ? plans change and all tht ? im waiting on delivery of my fliofax and is new to all this.. any tips?

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  14. @Unknown
    In my A5 filofaxes I DO have that joy of opening up my filofax and joyously finding 90gsm Clairefontaine (cream) paper, since that's what I use to make my own inserts with.
    Sadly, this delightful dream is only reality with the A5 - it would indeed be fantastic to be able to open my personal size filofax and find the same quality. I draw the line at cutting the paper up in advance of printing (though it *has* crossed my mind!).

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  15. I found out that it might depends on the pen and ink. I had the bleeding problem before with Diamane ink. But since I got my Waterman Carene with Waterman Florida blue, there is no bleeding problem at all, on both cream and white paper. However, it doesn't writes well on the colored paper for some reason, it feels like writing on some waxed paper. Very odd. :(

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  16. The coloured paper is dreadful! It has a shiny finish on it which makes writing in almost any pen awful, other than biro! Even my Frixion has beaded up and sat on the surface of the coloured paper.
    I used to like Frixion pens for using in my filofax, but have gone off them after some really smudgy, messy erasing.

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  17. It's NOT quite true about A5 diary pages not being available in cream! As I only want to carry a few current week-to-a-view pages (rather than the whole year), I've carefully dismantled an A5 Flex diary pad. This just involves slitting the stiching with a modelling kife and then putting the A4 sheets through a guillotine and punching the holes. It works perfectly! Past and future weeks can be filed/ held ready in the Flex diary pad cover in my desk and I only have to carry three or four weeks in my binder at a time, Long term plans just go on the Planner pages. By the way, I use Frixion pens too - based on recommendation here! (I was still using Tippex before that!)

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  18. I really like the pilor G-2 pens a lot http://www.pilotpen.us/ProductGroup/35-G2.aspx) and I also use a lamy Joy (calligraphy point) with a lamy ink cart. with okay results for a fountain pen. No big problems... But the pilots are great

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  19. @Tim I've tried that myself and I've got a post coming up in the New Year about using Flex diary inserts in Filofax organisers....

    Lots of posts coming up! I'm about 2 weeks ahead at the moment...

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  20. @eva2525 Yes you can use a pencil in your Filofax (welcome to the club BTW) but some of us prefer to use coloured ink (I use different coloured inks for each member of the family). The Pilot Frixion pens are coloured and erasable so when your plans change, you can just rub it out. http://cultpens.com/acatalog/Pilot-Frixion-Pens.html

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  21. I used to love Pilot Frixion pens them I rang the manufacturer and asked about archival qualities and they said they are not designed for long term storage and also be careful if left in hot places as the ink could fade! It will come back sort of if put on the fridge! I am about to buy a slim multi pen for my Filofax and if needs crossing out so be it, as it shows how my day changed!

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  22. Agreed Sharon - my 13 year old daughter recently completed a project on The Great War (World War I). She had to make a journal to look as if it was almost 100 years old. It was all written with a Frixion. She then used the old technique of a used wet tea bag to make the paper look old and left it dry and go "crinkly" overnight on the Aga.

    The next morning she found the paper looked great - just like an old manuscript but, to her horror, her entire written Frixion efforts had literally disappeared overnight!

    You have been warned!

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  23. Thanks Ray! Useful idea that. x

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  24. hey all. i use two pilot coleto 5s - .04mm multi-pen hi-tech inks for my colour coding pleasure. my main instrument in the loop is a kura toga roulette pencil. i'm one of those who still loves to write in pencil and erase pencil. recently, my newest acquisition is a pilot vanishing point (black matte; fine point) LOVE it but yeah, i experience all the bleed etc, however, i don't really like the idea of writing appointments and such with a pen...it's got to be pencil. (not sure what that's about) but the kura toga is a good one to write with so it's all good. for 2012 i'm switching things around a bit and doing dailies in a large daily moleskine so i'll probably use the vanishing pont there as that's more like journal writing. i'll be doing a blog post this week sometime. anyway, happy new year

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  25. I love the zebra f-301 ballpoint pens. They write very smoothly and have a fine tip- and not even any show through on the other side of the page. Also they're a great fit in my finchley loop, have a stainless steel barrel so they look good, and they're cheap enough to lose or give away.

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  26. Firstly thanks for all your great feedback so far, keep it coming.

    I think for my 2 diary insert set up (Planner and Journal) I will use the Frixion pens for the planner (easy to change etc) but a conventional pen for the Journal.

    This will avoid any problems with the archiving of the journal at the end of the year, I'm less concerned about archiving the planner side of my Filofax.

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  27. I've been using a Lamy 2000 Fine point nib with Pelikan black ink, some ghosting on stock Filofax A5 calendar paper but no bleed-through. I can write small enough for marginalia. I appreciate the dark line that stands out on the page - biro ink looks pale and washed by comparison.

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  28. SNARLing, FYI I moved away from Moleskine partly because the paper was too thin for writing with a fountain pen. The Vanishing Point (of which I have the black "carbonesque", with both F and a custom XXF nib unit) writes a pretty rich, wet line, which aggravated the issue. Let me know what your experience is. . .

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  29. I likewise find FP inks problematic with FF paper. Whilst I'm not always a fan of ballpoints, I do find the waxy finish of a lot of FF papers do make the feel of writing with a ballpoint much smoother and almost pleasurable - I tend to us ethe Zebra sharbo pen in mine which writes nicely

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  30. Thank you all! I know this is an old post, but it was a great reference for me last week. I went with the Pilot Frixion Point (finer line) and I couldn't be happier. No more shadowing or bleed and the ability to erase and correct is a bonus.

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  31. Plain old copier paper. Takes ballpens, gel pens beautifully. As I'm a lefty, no fountain pens. Yes, I know there are left handed nibs, but why bother. My planner is a tool. Ok, Kate Spade binder, but it's still a tool.

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  32. Hello, just thought I would chip in here to mention the pilo hi tec-c colleto pen as its a multi pen available in two, three or four slots and is customizable. I have one I use for college that has a black pen a Mechanical pencil a pink pen and an eraser. Lots of different refills on eBay. I'm sure it will scratch that custom itch and is great for adding sitter end colours to you planner without carrying multiple pens. You just buy the pen body( different versions and makes available) and fill it with whatever refills take your fancy.

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