Atoma


Highway to pen 1

It’s always nice to drive through Belgium as it gives me a chance to refill my Atoma reserves. As you might know, I’m a big fan of Atoma notebooks.

Stationery in a Carrefour Hypermarket

With such a choice to tempt me (see photo above) I couldn’t resist getting a BIC multi-pen with a pencil to add to my multi-pen plus pencil collection.

BIC in Belgium

Carrefour had an offer on the Pelikano junior for under €10. It’s a great pen. When I bought mine in 2008 I paid £6.80, but these prices are long gone and today €10 seems like a steal.

Pelikano junior, probably bigger in Japan than in Europe

The reason I really stopped was to get more Atoma notebooks. Unfortunately they didn’t have the Bio Atoma which I love. Even Atomas with cardboard covers were rare. Most had thick plastic covers which seem unnecessarily plasticy and not as nice as the cardboard variety. The similar Adoc notebooks were however available with cardboard covers.

No Bio Atomas. Sniff.

When I drove on, into Germany, I noticed another nice stationery surprise. Kids get the excellent Noris colour pencils with a kids meal. Chicken fillets, fries, orange juice and Staedtler Noris for €3.99. The Noris is certainly the star in this combo.

I wish I was a kid

Other companies at Insights X 2016 3

To finish my Insights X posts off: a quick look at who else was at Insights X.

Atoma

Atoma was also present at Insights X 2016. I first wrote about them in 2012 and this blog post is to this day the most popular post on my blog.

Atoma at Insights X

When I asked if they have any new products they showed me their new diary system.

Atoma at Insights XAtoma at Insights X
Atoma at Insights XAtoma at Insights X

Please open in a new tab to see the images in high resolution. They come with holder for business cards etc.

Atoma at Insights X

Atoma at Insights X

Platinum

Also at Insights X was Platinum.

Platinum at Insights X

The brought some of their posh fountain pens along, including some with Urushi lacquer.

Platinum at Insights X

Platinum at Insights X

When I asked about mechanical pencils they showed me their OLEeNU+ but weren’t able to give me more information (there clearly was a language barrier, even though they brought a staff who spoke English). The normal OLEeNU (not the plus version presented at the stand) uses the lead up to the last 0.5mm, similar to the Staedtler Integrity mentioned here and reviewed here. It also has a spring to help prevent lead breakage and a sliding ‘sleeve’. The staff from the Platinum counter told me that the OLEeNU+ doesn’t have a sliding sleeve, though.

Platinum at Insights X

Platinum at Insights X

Stabilo

Stabilo presented some new products at Insights X, too. In terms of non-pencil products I liked their pastel coloured pens – the pastel Boss markers looked really good (not sure how it looks on paper though).

The touch smart pencil

The touch smart pencil

In terms of pencils I found their touch smart pencil very innovative. Their ‘touch-screen function adapter’, the red item in the photo above, makes a normal pencil touch screen ready. You touch the screen with the pencil point, but through the clear plastic. It will then register on touch screens. I wonder whether it will work better than existing touch screen technologies, which often need a lot of force to work.

Stabilo at Insights XStabilo at Insights X

 

Other companies

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to visit the Clairefontaine/Exacompta/Quo Vadis, Koh-I-Noor, KUM or any of the other companies. What a shame.

clairefontaine

 

 


Using the Staples puncher with the Atoma system 7

M by Staples arc desktop punch

After my 2012 blog post about the Atoma and the M by Staples’ Arc notebooks1 I have been asked more than once whether the Staples ‘desktop punch’ can be used for the Atoma system.

 

The short answer is that it works well.

Locked for transport

Locked for transport

Why would you want to use a hole puncher2 not designed for your system? Well, it is much cheaper. The Atoma hole punch currently sells for around £140 (~$205; €185), the Staples one can be bought for around £35 (~$50; €45).3

Unlocked

Unlocked

Not surprisingly holes punched with the Staples desktop punch, when used with Atoma discs, seem a bit worse than the original Atoma holes4 – but in my opinion Atoma makes the better notebooks, while Staples makes the affordable paper puncher, so I will stick with this combination.

Atoma punched paper

Atoma punched paper

 

M by Staples Arc punched paper

M by Staples Arc punched paper

The M by Staples arc desktop punch is sturdy and well made in Taiwan and can officially punch up to 8 sheets in one go.

If you want to read more about Staples’ Atoma clone have a look at the Arc It Blog (not updated anymore).

Atoma left, Staples right

Atoma left, Staples right


Price and exchange rates: May 2016

As usual: open in a new tab/window to see the images in high resolution (except the last image).

  1. …to my surprise it is still by far(!) the most popular blog post at Bleistift, even though it is a few years old. []
  2. I know they are not holes, but I will stick to this name for now as it is commonly used. []
  3. I got my Staples desktop punch for my birthday many years ago, so I am not sure, but I think prices were pretty similar at the time. []
  4. I assume that Atoma punched paper, used with a Staples discs, would also be slightly worse than Staples punched paper. []

Staedtler’s posh pencil and Atoma’s posh notebook 12

Expensive pencil purchases

There are two pencil purchases I’ve been thinking about for a while. One of them is a Rotring 800+, but with a price tag of more than £40 I haven’t been able to convince myself to buy it yet1.

Every now and then I check whether I find a good offer for this pencil in online stores, on Amazon and on eBay. Earlier this week I was just checking CultPens again (so far they have been the cheapest store for the Rotring 800+ when taking postage  into account) when I saw an offer I couldn’t resist: Lots, really lots, of ‘free’ items if you buy a Staedtler Initium pen.

 

cultpens-initium

So many ‘free’ add-ons…

The Atoma leather notebook

The most tempting of these ‘free’ add-ons was Atoma’s Leather notebook2. Most tempting for two reasons:

  • I am using my Atoma notebooks on a daily basis, at work and at home, and I really like it
  • and I really like the look and the graceful ageing of tanned leather3

…so this notebook was the reason why I went ahead and ordered the Staedtler Initium pencil.

I think I was probably even more interested than I otherwise would have been because of the recent flood of blog posts about William Hannah’s similar notebook after they sent free samples and discounted samples to many bloggers4.

Drool, so much nice stationery

Drool, so much nice stationery

Staedtler’s premium line

I do love Staedtler products, you might have noticed that this blog has more articles about Staedtler than about any other manufacturer5 but so far I haven’t been very excited about their foray into the world of more expensive stationery, their Initium line. Based on the photos I have seen online I think the Initium fountain pens look like cheap ‘own brand’ pens from a high street stationery chain – I might revise my opinion when I see one in reality, though, photos can be deceptive. The pencil on the other hand looks nice to me, but maybe not >£60 nice. So I went with the mechanical pencil instead. On the photos it looks better than the fountain pen, but I couldn’t really imagine how the clip works – is there a spring like in the Lamy 2000?

staedtler-atoma2

Arrived!

Well, my purchase has arrived now, I just unpacked the items. First impression: The body of the Staedtler pencil looks a bit more plasticy than expected, but overall it looks good. The Atoma leather notebook looks just amazingly beautiful!

staedtler-atoma1

I’m very much looking forward to trying all the items out.

staedtler-atoma3

 


You can read more about Atoma in my 2012 blog post about this system.

  1. I guess I should buy it. In a recent Pen Addict podcast they were talking about a similar situation https://www.relay.fm/penaddict/204 , it all reminds me of a Bavarian movie called ‘The sooner you die, the longer you are dead’ []
  2. Mady by Belgium’s Ruitertassen. []
  3. Think Yo no bi, which reminds me: I just hope my Rustico notebook doesn’t get too dark over time, but based on experience with a leather bag I think I will be fine []
  4. including Scribble, Philofaxy, Pen Paper Pencil and Gourmet Pens []
  5. So fat there are 50 Staetdler articles. Faber-Castell, the number two only has  39 articles at Bleistift. []

Quiet 7

Sorry for the recent inactivity on my blog. I had a few days off over Easter and work as well as the baby (or should I say the toddler) have kept me very busy, too. There are a few half finished blog posts I hope to complete soon.

Work wise a new task / project will start soon. It will probably go on indefinitely, so I am just thinking which of my unused Atoma notebooks I should start using for that task.

I want to go with Atoma as I have often regretted using a Red’n’Black notebook for another project, which meant I couldn’t add sheets afterwards, or add printouts in a meaningful way.

Atoma notebooks

The A5 like size has been very useful in the past, but this time there might be benefits to be gained from being able to squeeze more information on a page – to give a better overview of things – but A4 seems a bit big and imposing for meetings etc. There are also the posh Atoma notebooks (including the Alain Berteau version) I got for my birthday in 2013, but I guess at work they would be a bit out of place…

Any advice?