Let’s admit it, organization can be a pain.  It is also necessary to organize, otherwise, a collection can become result of hoarding.  After finding a suitable place for my inks, now it comes to cataloging them.  It could be a occupational hazard that I just want to put everything in order, but making a record of what I have will benefit me in two ways.  One, it might prevent purchasing colors that are similar in shades; two, to witness just how many bottles of inks I have accumulated in a short period of time.

At first, I contemplated on creating an Excel document that include all the inks I have, but if I would like to include swabs, this approach might not be feasible.  Plus, it could be a bit ironic to use a computer generated document to record handwriting related products.   My next thought was using an A6 Rhodia Webnotebook for the cataloging purpose, but just right before reasoning overcame by elation,  I thought, “what kind of information would I include in this project, besides the ink’s name?  How should I organize these inks?  By brand or color?” Azizah at Gourmet Pens pointed out that color might not be a straightforward approach because of in-between colors.  Would you put purplish red under purple, red, or both?  So brand it is.   As for included information, I thought of several categories I can incorporate to create an at-a-glance type of cataloging:  color, price, volume, vendor, scented, water resistance, normap paper friendly, drying time, selective to pen, and a swab.  Why the category on selective to pen?  From my observation, some inks work better with certain pens (i.e. Noodler’s Baystate Blue works beautifully with a Platinum Preppy, but not in Parker).  A swab will register colors in my brain, so while I am on my impulse shopping, I will not lose sight.

Unlike other more dedicated and serious ink aficionado, I do not have an established collection development plan in mind, thus I cannot foretell which brand I would acquire more inks from, and which ones I will give up.  Because of this fluidity, as well as the information I want to include, the A6 Rhodia I is not befitting for this project.  Imagine a page for an ink!  In my vision, a notebook with ring system would work best, such as Clairefontaine Clairing notebook or Circa from Levenger, but the prices plus shipping for both are a bit steep for my pocket, so I turn to what I already have. Since swabs are involved, a notebook with heavier papers is required.  A Clairefontaine wirebound notebook in Séyès ruled (French ruled) was acquired awhile back, so it might be a good alternative to my original conception sans rings and neatly removable pages.

Séyès ruled paper is great for this organization project in particular to the extra columns on the side and top of the page.  As you can see in the photo, I put the categories on the top of the page, and list out the inks on the side panel.  The extra grids in the center will keep my writings neat, and keep the swab contained.  Given that this notebook is not a multisubject one, I utilized the 3M Post-it® Tabs to differentiate each brand. 

How do you organize your inks?

4 thoughts on “Ink Organization Part Deux: cataloging

  1. Buahaha ink hoarding! I love the criteria you picked – it's a very good point about which pen is preferred… I have some inks that are the same – they work really well in some pens and are a pain in others. Plus, I love the orange notebook cover… and the tabs… and the paper… and your inks… and your writing… have you completed the catalog?


  2. I am far from completing because I will log each color as I fill them into the fountain pen. A bad system, isn't it? Plus, it is more fun to do it one at the time, instead of rushing to get all of them in. Rhodia is the product that got me into orange… my writing? It was rather messy in the catalog. So how are you going to catalog all of your 40 something bottles? 🙂


  3. Hey. You are publicly identifying me as an ink collector of sorts… I have concerns about using bottles up… what do I do then? Do I replace the bottle? Do I get a new one and not replace that same color?! GAH!


  4. haha… you are an ink collector! Well, it is okay to use ink up because that means you have experimented with them with different nibs and paper. If you start to pine for a missing bottle, then yes, you need to replace it!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s