Hanging with Ryan from Brassing Adds Character

Pen TestBeen a very busy day so far and is only getting more so. Therefore, just a quick post for now…

Had the great pleasure of hanging out for a few with Ryan Roossinck from Brassing Adds Character last night. What a treat it was. We spent hours geeking out over his massive collection of Pens, my hefty collection of notebooks and our mutual eclectic music tastes. I honestly think this kid (yes, I am enough his senior to use that term) is my brother from another mother because we have so much in common it is scary.

The highlight for me though was having the chance to play with a ton of different pens, nibs and ink types. Ryan is a real serious pen freak and has many custom nibs and rare models. He is a deep abyss of knowledge when it comes to pens and their histories so it was fascinating to just sit back and listen to each story behind the pens. His writing is even smaller than mine so he is also a fan of very fine nibs making each pen absolutly drool worthy to use. By the time it was all said and done, Imanaged to fill up a nice sized page of test doodles. Good times…

If I have not said it firmly enough before, Ryan’s blog is a fantastic read and there are more great things to come. If you have any fascination at all with analog capture tools, this is a must add to your daily web reads list.

TaskPaper 1.0

As I have mentioned before, I have been really enjoying a new list management product called TaskPaper which has been in development for a little while now. It is officially released as of today and it is a decidedly simple but stunning effective little app. Not too hard on the wallet either.

What I love about it is that it is basically just an simple interface wrapped around a text file. The features are minimal but effective. It has everything you need and nothing it does not (which seems so rare these days). There are just tasks and projects. Items can have context tags. You can open those contexts and projects in tabs and/or narrow them down with a search. Being that it is basically just a text file, you can easily change the extension and then open it up with any text editor which makes it highly portable.

Larger projects require more levels of detail, so I have not entirely given up on OmniFocus (still in alpha but also very good). I have a couple of “Big P’s” with “Sub P’s” and “Baby P’s” that I still manage there. But for the basics, TaskPaper is just what I need right now.

The Levenger Store – Chicago

This past weekend, I was in Chicago for the wedding of a good friend. It has been many years since I was last in Chicago and being there with Princess Bethany was even better. Now, we did not have much time in Chicago proper but there was a nice gap in between the wedding, which was near Irvine Park and the reception which was downtown. This gave us a good hour or so of time to wander around downtown for a quick sightseeing. During this little foray we decided to walk through the famous flagship location of Marshall Fields ( note: I refuse to call it by it’s current name so don’t bother correcting me). I was not quite prepared for the treat that laid before me upon entering the door and what a treat it was. There, in Chicago, in Marshall Fields, was a fully stocked and staffed Levenger “store-whithin-a-store”. How did I not know about this before?

I was just floored. Astounded. Dumbfounded… For me, this was Mecca.

The store was stocked with, from what I could tell, the full catalog of Levenger goodness. The staff was amazingly knowledgeable and helpful. They even had a table where they helped you build a free Circa notebook. You could choose which page types, ring colors and add ons you wanted in it. Obviously this is simply a gateway drug to get you hooked on the product (as I already am) but it sure was effective. I built one in the Junior size (half letter size) with a nice mix of gridded pages, cornell style pages, some daily agenda pages and a pocket in the back. The staff person who helped me even mentioned that, if I called him directly, he can ship me anything in the store. Thereby avoiding Levenger’s onerous shipping fees. So, basically, I now have a personal shopper at Levenger. How cool is that!?

So, if you are in the Chicago area, and have a fetish for fine paper pr0n as I do, make a stop by. It will be well worth the time and may even be as religious of an experience as I had.

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