Last year keeping track of the ink in my collection became a haphazard affair. That is not a good thing for an inkophile. Finally it dawned on me that I wasn’t using my system because it wasn’t getting the job done. After ten years, it was time for a change.
For flexibility the Mnemosyne Word Book is a good fit for ink swatches and I started using it several weeks ago. Squiggles and the name written with a dip pen is a simple format to view the color though it says little about the properties. The back of each card, which has less tooth than the front, will get a written sample from any fountain pen that gets filled with that ink. This will remind me of bad matches as well as good ones. No need to repeat past mistakes.
Eventually, there will be sets organized by color categories further divided by neutral, cool or warm bias. Just in the brief time I’ve used this system, my preference for neutral to warm colors has emerged as a significant factor in my rotation. That’s useful information when I cannot decide between colors that are similar.
Pens need written samples, so I’ve started a new system for them, too. Arc notebooks from Staples have fountain pen friendly paper that is attached to the notebook with discs making it easy to reorder or remove pages. (There are other companies that make a similar product, but Staples is located nearby. Convenience counts.) In the past, I used a spiral notebook that resulted in the order being based on date of acquisition. While historically interesting, an alphabetic arrangement makes more sense.
Getting started with my new system was easy. However, cataloging all of my inks and pens is daunting, but will happen eventually. No rush since I intend to enjoy the process.