Grad School Tools

Grad school requires that I write, a lot. I’m not a computerized notetaker, I prefer pen and paper because it helps me to learn and remember. I thought I’d write up a post about what I’m using for notes as well as drawing. Yes, drawing! The great thing about getting a graduate degree in art therapy is that art is part of the program.

First, notebooks.

I’m almost exclusively using Staples brand composition notebooks that are made in Brazil. I purchased a bunch of these when they were on sale for 50 cents. 20 of them to be exact. Why so many? After being burned on the Staples Sustainable Earth composition notebooks, I really didn’t want to get into the depth of the semester and have to search out another decent composition notebook. Once I did the work in figuring out what composition notebook I liked with the inks I planned on using, I didn’t want to be frustrated with notebooks. It looks as though I’m going to fill one per class and more for classes where I’m doing more reflection. I’ll have to write up a post about how I use my notebooks, because it’s different than how I thought I’d use them. I also carry a no name sketechbook from Artist and Craftsman that I need to review at some point. It's heavy, but the paper is great.

IMAG1247Writing Pens

I’m almost exclusively using one of 4 pens, depending on my mood, color desired, and what I’m writing.I take 2 of these with me to school as well as an assortment of pens to draw with.


First I have a TWSBI 530 medium nib, I change the ink up as I feel like I want to change it. Right now it’s loaded with Diamine Chocolate. I love this ink and pen combination. The flow is just amazing, the color is like writing with semi-sweet chocolate, and it has lovely shading with this nib. Awesome.

Second I have a TWSBI 540 fine nib that I have loaded with my Scribal Workshop blend of Siren Blue. Now that I have this ink flowing well, it’s just awesome. It flows well, looks great and has nice shading, plus it’s not a boring blue. I also use this for margin notes on my readings.

Third I have my Kaweco Sport Classic in clear with a medium nib. I’ve converted it back to eyedropper since the sack conversion left it leaking into the cap, which it doesn’t do when eyedropper. I’ve got it filled with Private Reserve DC Supershow blue. I love this ink, even with it’s long drying time. I use this for my short reflections on my readings.

Fourth I have a Platinum Preppy medium converted to eyedropper loaded up with a 50/50 mix of Noodler’s Nikita and Red Fox. The Nikita lends it’s bloody red color and the fox gives some water resistance. I use this for reflections for classes on the opposite side of the page. (This is where I need to explain my note taking and reflection  method. I’ll get  a post up about that soon.) I also use it to reflect on my reading notes, again on the opposite side of the page. I will also use it to circle or underline stuff in my notes.


I exclusively use refillable highlighters. I’ve written about my Platinum Preppy highlighters and my mix of ink previously, so I won’t here. I’ll just point out I have 2, one that I take to school with me and one that stays on my desk at home, so I always have one filled.

I’ll get to the pens I use for drawing tomorrow.