Let's get straight to the prompt right away this month: What's in your everyday carry?? Share with us on social media with tag #PencilPrompt.
As an analog obsessive, it's difficult for me to part with my tools even if I am only going out for a cup of coffee. At any given time, I am usually carrying a fat pile of letter writing materials and a pencil case filled with my favorite utensils (and we'll just pretend that my bag doesn't also have at least 6 lipsticks in it).
We call these set ups an "Everyday Carry." While ours tend to involve mainly just pencils and related stationery supplies, EDC is also most often associated with survival kits that include knives, flashlights, multi-tools, fidget spinners and more.
Let's just focus on the stationery, shall we? (Though, having lived in earthquake country most of my life, I am a HUGE advocate for the emergency EDC. #BePrepared.)
Here's a couple especially satisfying blogs and stores that focus on the art of the EDC:
This is Ground
The Finer Point
On a regular day, I carry a pencil case and a Kokuyo Systemic. I'm currently using the CWPE Leather Case in Cognac, but I am also terribly, terribly fond of my childhood SpaceMaker (because it holds SO MANY pens and pencils!). I've picked these carriers as my usual set ups because they fit in the backpacks and tote bags I use regularly.
Here's a peek at my "regular" set up:
In my case:
- One pencil (more on this below)
- Two to three pens or markers, particularly Papermate Flair Pens or a fountain pen like the very new CdA 849 fountain pen!
- Pilot Juice 0.38mm*
- A very slim eraser, like the Mono Zero or Seed Slendy
- Architect Alumicolor Scale Ruler
In my Kokuyo:
- Baron Fig Vanguard in Flagship
- Letters to respond to.
- Ephemera: Stickers, stationery, washi tape, loose bits of magazine clippings...
Thoughts on one pencil
In last month's prompt, we talked about SABLE, a status which I am well past. I've been trying to whittle down my stash by using only one pencil at a time (a practice we also talked about back in January). It gives me anxiety from time to time because I feel tempted to switch when I come across something new or desire the comfort of an old favorite, but it's really helped me stronger opinions on pencils (for example, this process has helped me discover that I am one of the few that does not like the Swiss Wood at CWPE).
Do you go for one pencil at a time, or prefer multiple pencils for your EDC? Luckily, at my place of work I'm never more than 6 inches away from a pencil at any given moment, should I need to "cheat" on my current work horse...
How I curate my EDC
- Purpose: My analog needs include three things: planning/journaling, letter writing, and illustration. What I carry changes depending on my mood and how ambitious I feel for a day, but I generally try to boil it down to the minimal (hah!) amount of items I can use to accomplish all three. And then, you know, just things I like having around. What's your ideal amount of EDC items?
- Want vs. Need: Lots of these EDC blogs seem to favor color-coordinated sets with nary a janky short pencil among them. I love the idea of carrying around a sleek leather case with coordinating utensils with identical brass fittings, but that method always leaves me wanting to add something else. On the flip side, if I am curating my case simply based on what I think I "need," my case quickly overflows with too many extras because I bizarrely think I'm going to miss having something (Caitlin, do you need to carry around four scented highlighters at all times?). Any frivolous items in your EDC?
- Sharpening on the go: We have much discussion about this when recommending sharpeners in the shop. I think my new favorite is the Castell 9000 sharpener because it so mess-free, but it's kind of bulky for a pencil case. The brass bullet with key ring is superb, because you'll lose it as often as you lose your keys (which hopefully isn't too often!), but there's no reservoir so you're often searching for a dumping ground for shavings. My ultimate solution is actually a Masterpiece, sans neoprene case. The little plastic case it comes with is great in a pinch to host shavings until a receptacle can be found. AND you don't need to sharpen so often with a nice long point.
- Size vs. function: Weight and bulk are both things I think about when packing my everyday bag. I may be a fanatic, but I am all for lightweight when I pack. Pocket notebooks are perfect for lists and notes and take up minimal space, but I personally detest them because I find them hard to write in. I think A5 notebooks are the jam, however, especially ones like the Baron Fig Vanguard or the Emilio Braga stitch-bound notebooks. Perfectly sized for tossing in a bag, nicely flexible covers, and exceptional paper that takes both pen and pencil very well. Function comes before form for me, however, so I definitely prefer a notebook I can fill up with bullet journaling and lots of doodles.
- That one weird item: There's always something I don't really need every day, but I like to have anyway because it makes me happy. This is probably my Muji business card holder full of stamps. Do I need my entire stamp collection with me always? No, definitely not. But the holder fits in my Kokuyo, weighs almost nothing, and periodically, I like to sort my stamps when I'm bored or anxious. What's your odd EDC item?
So how do you put together your EDC? What does it go into? How do you weed out the excess? Does yours include non-stationery items? Share us your thoughts below, or show us your EDC on social media with tag #PencilPrompt! Stay tuned later this month, when our lovely pencil crew will share what goes into their daily carry.
*This is my all-time favorite pen, which is why it's noted separately from the rest of the pens.The precision is so good! I use it for everything from addressing letters to outlining my watercolor illustrations.