This Just In: Nanami Cafe Note – 7mm Rule

Nanami Paper Cafe Note Slipcase

While browsing the Nanami Paper website recently, I came across a new notebook from them. They created a mini-me version of my favorite Seven Seas Writer and called it the Cafe Note.

The Cafe Note is a B6 sized notebook (the Seven Seas is A5). There’s a lined 7mm ruled version and a grid ruled version with a 3.7mm grid. I got the ruled version. The B6 pages are 110mm X 176mm (about 4” X 7”). There are 385 pages in each version. By comparison the A5 sized Writer is 148mm X 210mm and has 480 pages.

It’s the same 52gsm white Tomoe River paper as the Writer. The lines are light blue. Like the Seven Seas, the cover is coated paper. I like that the paper is thin, so there’s a lot of it. It’s a little too fountain pen friendly for my tastes making it slow drying. The thin paper can also be subject to show-through. I typically use thin nibs so show-through usually isn’t an issue for me. I like to get the most out of my notebooks and write on both sides of the page. The slow drying bothers me much more as I do get more smudges than I would like. The notebook comes with a sheet of blotter paper so I use that before turning a page.

The paper is thin, so if you have a heavy hand you could leave an imprint of the page below the one you’re writing on. You could always use the included blotter paper under the page you’re writing on. The blotter paper also helps cut down on the show through when it’s under the page I’m writing on.

In addition to the pink blotter paper, cut to the size of the notebook, a cardboard slipcase for protection and storage is included.

While I like the Seven Seas Writer a lot, it’s too big and heavy for a daily carry notebook. At least for me. While the Cafe Note is a much more manageable size and weight. That said, I haven’t given the Note a workout yet so it may not travel as well as I expect it to.

The notebook does a good job of lying flat when opened. I haven’t found a notebook, other than wire bound notebooks, that are truly flat when opened. The Cafe Note is better than most. Once I bend the covers back on themselves to loosen the binding it’s better (so much for pristine notebooks). I do this regularly with the Seven Seas and the binding itself isn’t damaged and I expect the Cafe Note to hold up just as well. In the beginning I put something like my phone under the left side to provide a flat writing surface, but after about 10 pages it’s easier to flatter the notebook.

The Cafe Note is currently in stock a Nanami Paper at $16 each (plus shipping). The ruled version is also listed, but currently unavailable, on Amazon.

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log

The week began with the first snow of the season, at least in my part of Connecticut. Just a dusting, but enough to be noticeable and require a few hours of sun to vanish. The week ended with long Thanksgiving weekend, at least here in the U.S., with temperatures up to the mid-50’s on Saturday.

I’ve still got a lot of pens inked as my usage continues to be low. I’m looking to change things up so I’ll probably flush a couple pens and ink up some new ones.

The same inked pens as November began
The same ink as the month began

Cross (and Sheaffer along with it) went from one investment company to another. Not sure much will change other than the coast where the owners live. The only positive comments in the article are quotes from the press release. Their new owners have a portfolio of 11 other brands, none stationery related. Even though the new owners have no overlapping stationery brands there were some employees let go as part of the sale and the new owners used the phrase “Transom and Cross executives developed a comprehensive restructuring plan…” in the article. So if I had to guess, the brands will continue to languish, especially in their fountain pen related product lines.

Liz from Wonder Pens shows us what’s in her pen role.

Down to a one pen rotation at And All Other Tasks.

Off-topic – OK, I’m old but I do remember using CompuServe, although I had moved on before the humiliation of their acquisition by AOL. I didn’t realize any part of them was still around and called “CompuServe” (but owned by Verizon), but as of December 15th the last remnants will leave us.

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – Nov. 13, 2017

Karas Pen Co. Decograph 1702 Elektron - uncapped

Ink Decluttering

My fountain pen usage ticked up a bit this week. I started journalling again at night. My goal is at least one A5 page every day. I missed two days and only did half a page a third day. But I did manage to do seven pages over the entire week. Not much, but seven pages more than the week before. I always have trouble finding a good time to write. I’ll probably try doing the journalling at lunch rather than at the end of the day when I’m tired, or maybe in a addition to the end of the day.

It’s been awhile, but I finally wrote another pen review (although just a quick look) of the Karas Pen Decograph 1702 Elektron pictured above.

I’ve finished going through my ink drawers and I’m getting rid of ink I haven’t used in awhile and may never use.   Two more medium flat rate boxes are available to U.S. addresses for $30/each. I still have more ink than I’ll ever use (unless I start spilling it) but I think this will end my ink decluttering for now.

I cleaned out my desk this week and was shocked by how much fits in those drawers. I had several packages of wood-cased pencils and partially filled pocket notebooks. Now when I miss my Field Notes subscription (which I didn’t renew) I’ll just think about all those notebooks with one or two pages of writing.

Taking Pens Apart to Clean

The latest Anderson Pens podcast (#249) covered the question about taking pens apart (pull the nib) to clean (at about the 27:30 mark). I couldn’t agree more for all the reasons they mention and I don’t understand what seems to be a growing feeling that pens must be taken apart to clean. I don’t disable my pens to clean for all the reasons they mention. If I have to take apart a pen to clean I consider it my failure (such as being lazy) or a failure of the ink and I should avoid using it.

Marlen Aleph Fountain Pen Review – Pens! Paper! Pencils! – Ian’s review caught my attention because I never heard of the brand. After reading the review I can understand why. The “Con” is a bit of a show-stopper.

Matthew reviews my favorite paper line. Doane Paper is probably my most used paper. The large writing pads are a standard as are the large utility notebook. The large flap jotter is a favorite for a steno sized notebook but it’s been awhile since I used one.

Dr. Deans has a new job (congratulations!) so the Pen Economics blog will be on hiatus. Nows a good time to catch up on his unique point of view.

The Wancher Penfolium 13 Pen Portfolio took inspiration (to put it generously) from the Franklin-Christoph Lucky 13 Penvelope but does have one solid improvement. I love my Penvelopes but this one does address one shortcoming (the rigid pen slots) although I do wonder what that will do to the protection it provides.

A bit off topic but worth reading if you’re a Quicken user. You’ll be paying more if you upgrade this year, although you may not realize it. While the owners are new, this type of deceiving money grab is ingrained in the company’s DNA and why I stopped using this years ago. (FYI – Turbo Tax is owned by the same company, something to consider at tax time.)

Another off-topic link, but one that fascinated me is about the Giant Magellan Telescope. How “Giant”? Hint: The mirrors are made under a football field and each mirror starts with 20 tons of glass and takes about 5 years to make. There will be 7 mirrors when it’s done.

Ink Decluttering #3 & #4

I’ve got some more ink to clear out. This will probably be the last batch for awhile so I’m going to pick the recipients slightly differently although the rest will be the same since it seemed to work well.

I’ve filled a medium flat rate box with some ink and will send it out (U.S. only) to someone who agrees to pay $30 upon successful arrival of the ink. While $30 is a good price for the ink (covers shipping with a little for my time) it is not a giveaway.

All bottles are at least 75% full except the R&K Sepia which suffered a spill and has more air than ink in it.

I’ve included photos below but I have to say I think I might have switched the ink up a bit since taking the photos. Since the boxes are sealed I’m not opening them, just be aware that the inks may be slightly different or swapped around.

To enter a claim for one of the boxes:

  1. Agree to pay $30 via PayPal send money to friends or Square Cash upon successful arrival and inspection of one box of ink.
  2. Shipping addresses in the United States only.
  3. Enter a comment below and include you favorite ink color (a basic color such as “red” or specific such as “Pilot Blue”). Meant as a small speed bump to require reading the post, not a trick question.
  4. One entry (comment) per person. No entries via contact form this time, comments only.
  5. Please use a valid email in the comment’s email field, it will not be visible or given to anyone else. I will use it to contact you for the shipping address. Do not include your address or email in the comment itself.
  6. Entries must be in by 10PM US Eastern Time on Sunday Nov. 12th. Some comments may be held for moderation, comments in the moderation queue by 10PM are valid, even if not yet approved.
  7. Once you receive the ink safely please pay $30 to me via PayPal or Square Cash.


  • Two recipients selected, one box per recipient, using
  • The box you get is random. They’re already sealed and I’ve lost track of which is which.
  • I probably won’t pick the recipients until Sunday Monday and will contact the recipients by email at that time. Response within 48 hours is required, otherwise I’ll pick someone else.
Batch of ink for decluttering
Batch of ink for decluttering