Thursday, April 16th, 2015

The Art of Journaling: For Lefties



Are you left handed? What do you think is the best notebook format for people who write with their left hand? Does Rhodia make a product that suits your needs?

If you are a lefty fountain pen user, do you have problems with smudging? Do you use a blotter? Or do you have a favorite fast drying ink?

If you are a pencil person, what grade pencil do you prefer? Is a 2B too apt to smudge?

A student from the local university just told me that she was born a leftie, but forced as a child to use her right hand as her dominant hand. I knew that this practice was common in the 70s and prior, but wasn’t expecting to meet anyone born later who’d had this experience.

In the article On the Left Hand, There Are No Easy Answers from the New York Times, it states: “Over the centuries, left-handers have been accused of criminality and dealings with the devil, and children have been subjected to “re-education.” In recent years the stigma has largely vanished; among other things, four of our last seven presidents — Ford, the elder Bush, Clinton, Obama — have been left-handed.”

Are you a lefty? Were you ever taught to use your right hand? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Check out these articles on left-handed fountain pen writers:

Fountain Pen Guide For The Left-Handed Writer at The Cramped

Left-handed Writers and Fountain Pens at

8 thoughts on “The Art of Journaling: For Lefties

  1. Also a lefty and use mainly Rhoda #13 pads for lists and notes. In the first grade in 1960’s the teacher tried to get me to write with my right hand but she quickly gave up. I hate spiral notebooks as the spiral gets in the way as others have noted. I use fountain pens and have no smudging issues and for pencils prefer Staedler B and HB ones.

  2. I am also a lefty fountain pen user. I learned to write with a pencil or ballpoint, so I never learned the “correct” way to write with a fountain pen. I picked them up in my early 20’s and I suppose I naturally modify my hand position to avoid smudging. For binding, I prefer a side, stich or staple bound book. If I need to remove pages, the top staple or spiral bound books work best. I don’t typically use side spiral bound books, but this is largely because the staple and top bound pads have a wider availability. I really want to like the disc bound systems (Levenger Circa, Staples Arc, Atoma, etc.) but the rings tend to get in my way and I eventually go back to simpler books.

  3. I attended a private school in the seventies and had a session or two with both the speech therapist and the Spanish teacher, who tried to “correct ” my lisp and left handedness. I guess I was a “strong willed” child. They quickly gave up and I carry these characteristics today. (Little secret, the boys always like my lisp. Including my husband.) Do wish I didn’t smudge ink.

  4. KUM the sharpener peole make a desk mat with guidelines to help left handed children learn a comfortable and smudge free writing position.
    My wife’s a lefty and she always has written with the paper pointing towards 2 o’clock and writing “downhill”. She says she learned when she learned shorthand.

  5. I’m a lefty and also a fountain pen user. When I was younger I used to drag my hand through my writing smearing it. But over time I just naturally corrected it and now do not drag. As far as journals I despise side spiral. Top bound is fine (I am actually currently using a Rhodia top staple pad as my journal b/c I got them on an amazing deal on a bundle; I just don’t tear out the pages, just flip and use the next). My ideal journal is side staple or stitched bound without many pages; 80 or less. My next book to try as a journal will be a side stapled Rhodia. It sounds fantastic for what I like! =)

  6. I love Rhodia for the paper and the dot grid, and use the stapled dotPad for quick notes (I have some of the the spiral bound, but I need to rest my hand on the spirals binding to write, so it’s uncomfortable). For journaling, however, I use the Moleskine Cahier large, because it opens flat and the pages are a good size for me. I suspect the Rhodia A5 side-stapled notebook is what I want, but it’s hard to find in Canada.

  7. Lefty here and also a fountain pen user. It helped me correct my grip problem (I used to hold my pens tightly when writing).

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