Saturday, 4 February 2012

Fountain pen ink on Day Timer paper in my Filofax

This is a quick post for Joshua, who commented on Twitter about how poorly Day Timer pages take fountain pen ink with his medium-nibbed Lamy. Rori suggested that he try a finer nib, and I have medium, fine and extra fine nibs on my Lamys, and Day Timer pages, so I thought I would conduct an experiment!

When I tried to write with my beloved fountain pens in my new Day Timer diary at the start of this year, I also noticed the terrible bleed-through on the pages. This surprised me because in other ways the Day Timer paper seems generally better than other paper I have used in my Filofax. Even my Registrars' ink, which doesn't even bleed through on thin paper, bleeds through Day Timer!
So here's the test I did with my different nibs and different inks.

It doesn't look too bad on this side, and you can only see the minor feathering if you look closely. But on the other side of the page...

Really bad bleed through, which makes the other side of the page practically unusable!!

That's why I use biros in my agenda... I would love to use my fountain pens, but the paper just can't handle it! Filofax paper repels the ink, and Day Timer paper just sucks it in too much! I haven't tried other wet inks such as my V5s, but I might soon, although I'm quite happy with my 4-colour pens at the moment!


  1. Holy WOW. Nevermind what I said about a finer nib...this paper is just SUPER absorbent!
    Thanks for the blog post!! :D

  2. Ah, see I was going to say it was the Nib too. I have a medium and extra fine, the medium is much worse. I assumed it was the nib size which it is on filofax paper ...


  3. I have a Lamy 4 colour ballpoint pen which I use in my Filo as I cant use my fountain pen de to ble through. It is the best rollerball I have every used by a long way. Perhaps one of those might suit instead?

    1. Good idea Nellie, can you tell me what it's called and I'll have a look on the website!

    2. I performed a similar test last night using my fountain pens (a Shaeffer medium point with blue-black ink, a Levenger fine point with brown ink, and a Levenger medium point also with brown ink), several colors of Uniball micro point gel pens, and the markers that I normally use. My results from best to worst as far as no bleed through were: DodoPad, Franklin and Filofax cotton cream (tie), DayRunner, Filofax white, and finally the dreaded DayTimer, which was the worst.

  4. I use fountain pens in my filofax(s), and two things help to stop bleed through. Fine nibs - Japanese 'fine' are very fine, thinner than Lamy's EF in fact. And use light color ink - I use Herbin Gris Nuage (very light gray), but others would work too. Hope this helps.

  5. I found the Pilot V Ball 0.5 in black ink was okay, but the coloured inks (especially that lovely blue/teal) in the same size and range bled like crazy through to the other side - sad, because I like to add custom fields in colour at the top of each page. Luckily I'm a biro fan, so just bought refills in green off e-Bay and use those instead!

  6. Also made the experience that Fountain pen (used Lamy with F nib) bleeds like crazy on Daytimer pages. While on the coloured Filofax note paper, it just doesn't settle? As if there's a fatty layer on the paper or something?

    Both very annoying, thus I'm staying with my Frixion Balls!