How important are the tools?

Some of us are self-confessed stationery hoarders like me. We buy whatever we like, be it pens, inks, notebooks, stickers, paper, washi…and the list goes on. It is a thrill beyond compare to have stationery to play with. The hobby, as you will agree, in itself is an uplifting experience because in our hands we have tools to create! Many creators and journaling enthusiasts are also adventurers. They love to buy new things and show them off. It is a good thing because otherwise we wouldn’t know where to find them, right?

But there is a flip side to it. Don’t get overwhelmed. You don’t need 15 notebooks like the others have. You don’t 200 rolls of washi tape to decorate a wall. You don’t have to buy the most expensive inks or pens because they make for good photo ops! What you really need is a few beautiful things, things you love, and which fill your heart with joy, which make you want to write, and you are set!

Before I started ADORI, I spent a ton of money trying to stock up from stationery stores based abroad because I loved the quality and the designs. Over the last 3.5 years, I have bought hundreds of dollars’ worth of stationery items for journaling, and yet I haven’t had the time or energy to use all of them. So, my biggest takeaway from my own experience is that you don’t need a ton of stationery from expensive stores abroad. You can buy some that you love, but in general your focus should be on choosing the tools that are necessary, and not just good to have.

With a notebook and a pen, some old cards or photographs and scrap paper, you can embellish or decorate writing. If you want to add some stickers or wax seals, go for it. You can buy a couple of washi tapes if you like them. The whole idea is to start with what you have and maybe buy a few things. Enjoy the process, discover what is there, what is your style, what kind of diary or notebook you love to use. Go for quality over quantity, choose themes you would love to use, right with inks or pens that you want to keep using forever! I prefer the great Indian notebooks from Williampen called Quikrite, because they are a compact size, made of Faux Leather, and you can buy refills. The other is the famous erstwhile Midori, now called the Traveler’s Company Notebook with Standard size inserts that are taller than the Quikrite ones. Some others you could check out are Rhodia, Leuchtturm 1917, Moleskine and the most beautiful of all, Paperblanks.

Some of the highly affordable pens that write beautifully are Pilot and Sheaffer fountain pens. You can also use Lamy which has a wide range and is in the mid-price range. Then of course, if you love inks and pens, you could graduate to other more expensive brands like Pelikan, Monteverde, Conklin, etc. Some who love calligraphy could also use Quills (as shown in the photos) with nibs.

So, don’t get hung up about the tools and not begin. You may already own many of such things. The tools are important I agree, because they make the ‘journaling’ journey exciting, but they are not everything. You are!

Photo credit: Wirestock – Freepik.com