Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Tuesday Talk Back: Do different color inks help you to stay organized?


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Do you like to use different colored inks for different tasks? Or do you have a specific system of color coding for your handwritten notes?

If yes, how does using these colors make your process easier or more enjoyable?

A few years back when I was helping a friend to write a book, my process was to first type out the interviews as we spoke over the phone. After making any quick and easy corrections, I would print out the interview and then begin marking changes and adding notations in red ink. (At the time, I was using a red Lamy Safari with a CI nib that Pendemonium cut for me. It was filled with Diamine Poppy Red ink.)

After my notes were in order, I’d typically re-write the pieces longhand in a different color ink and then later type them up. The next piece I’d re-write, would be in a different color. For whatever reason, using the different inks and pens made the process more enjoyable. Part of these re-writes were in a Rhodia 4-Color Notebook and I loved flipping through the book and seeing all of the ink colors (which to me meant progress) in contrast to the colored edges of the paper.


10 thoughts on “Tuesday Talk Back: Do different color inks help you to stay organized?

  1. The military has their own system of using colors particularly in regards to classified communication. Each rung of the command has their own color for indicating their “chop” on the communication. As lowly, slimy enlisted I was the mere carrier, author, and editor but I was regulated to black ink only.

    Since I retired, I M rebellious and use all different colors of ink. Except for when I am editing a text, I do not have any particular ink color that I use. I tend to favor the darker primary colors. Lately, I have been using a vividly-dark purple ink that my eldest daughter gave me a few months ago.

    I had to put the purple ink away because the paper in all of my heapo-cheapo steno pads is so thin, the purple ink bleeds through two or more pages at a time. I tried writing with a small, thin sheet of cardboard underneath, but it was not very comfortable.

    Then I discovered Rhodia products, and out came the rebellious purple ink!

  2. A resounding yes. I work with legal contracts and when I markup a contract for review, I use a different ink for each version. It makes it easy to identify my comments and the date I wrote them. Lots of red…I generally use black for meeting notes and since all printers default to black I can then use red or blue to annotate later. So, red for changes, blue for notes and second change versions and green for action items.

  3. I write with all different colors in my journals. I used to do a different color for each entry, but then I just started changing colors within entries, sometimes even within paragraphs. It can become eyeball searing but it’s fun.

  4. On my Rhodia Weekly Note, I’m using my 4 FP, so 4 ink colors. The Red for urgent things to do. My TWSBI 1.1 nib with blue-black for special accomplishment, or info I want to retrieve easily. My Blue-black Kaweco ink for special issues, and my pure black for regular ideas, quick notes, etc.
    But frankly I have to admit this is just a way to use my inks, use my FP, and please myself. Except maybe for the red.
    But as I’m visual, I tend to record the type of ink used to write an information I want to retrieve. So the system works pretty good for me.

  5. I have used different color inks for years, but fountain pens have made it so much easier for me to get the color I like and organize myself to my own taste. I journal in a different ink every day, sometimes according to mood, other times because it is just fun. Because I do a form of sketch-note taking, color is important as my artistic abilities are not that great.

  6. I use various ink colors at the office, marking up documents with colors indicating different processes. My personal use is a completely different matter and purely depends on my mood. I keep around 10-20 pens inked with different colors at a time just for the sake of variety, but I’m a fountain pen nut, so what can I say?

  7. I use one color ink to write notes when preparing for a meeting. Then use another color ink to take notes during the meeting. If I use the material in subsequent meetings I change colors again. This helps me keep track of what happened when. I think my max was 4 colors.

  8. I should try to use some system. New segments of my novel: new ink. New short story: new ink. I only edit in either pink or orange ink. Most other colors get lost on the page for me. But otherwise, I’ve never tried any other system. Hm…

  9. So far at least, changing inks is merely for variety and enjoyment. A “new” color is a treat for my eyes. Rhodia paper is wonderful with every fountain and dip pen and every ink I’ve tried. I’m partial to 80 gsm white as in the Dotpads.

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