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  1. #1
    Volunteer Moderator Ilkyway's Avatar
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    Field Journal Notebook

    When I bough my first bag from Tom Bihn back in summer 2013 I of cause had browsed the hole product pages for what else would interest me. The Field Journal Notebook (FJN) emidiatly cought my eyes because I am one of these stationary geeks.
    As a child I spent literarly hours at the stationalry part of a major shop near my home to look at all the pens, all the pencilcases, planners...

    Since at that time bags where kind of my priority and I than had not understood how highly demanded Tom Bihn products are... I did not buy one right away. By the time I wanted to I had to find out, that they had solled out, and that are currently unavailable. I stalked that product page a LONG TIME. Some day I got lucky and could trade for one, and I was very impressed esspecially by the quality of the rings. But I am getting ahead of myself.

    A while later Darcy posted a mouthwatering picture of her Red Blend FJN with a cookie and a cup of tea. This was the prelude to the long anticipated next production of it. BUT it also was emidatily explained: a last production. So when they came out I had to buy two more which makes the owner of an older one in purple and two out of that last production in grey and red blend.

    I never did a review on this for this reason: showing of and highlighting something that can't be optained anymore (or only by luck and second hand) did not feel comptable. Discontinued colors can be sad enough but at least people have the chance to find another color they like and get that design. But a discontinued design... I could not do that.

    Than this happened: Field Journal Notebook - Notebook ideal for those who watercolor or use fountain pens - TOM BIHN

    So long story short: I thought I start of a bit of FJN talk by telling/showing about mine and hope that people who either also have one or might want one joyn in on the fun.

    Field Journal Notebook-img_6636-jpg

    I have devided this one in three sections:
    1. Planner section (currently not in use because I am "planning" in a different typ of book right now) but set up anyway so if need be, I could move right in. Also since I have undated daily pages in there I can use them for tuff days to get a better grip on everything. Normaly I plan on a month on two pages.

    2. My mom always discriped me as uncreativ as they come. And in a way she is right: I can't sing AT ALL and my drawing abilitys are at the stage of a 14 year old (an untallented one of cause). But I set up a section for drawing/painting anyway because I am stubborn too.

    Field Journal Notebook-img_6633-jpg

    3. Lettering/Calligraphy, again not a tallent of mine but something I allways admired and since I wright down everything anyway I can as well try and find an estaticly appealing tecnique.

    Field Journal Notebook-img_6635-jpg

    For all these purposes the rings are great as I can move things around or take my most horrible attempts out or add in helpfull instructions as I like.
    The Rings on the FJN are outstanding. I own ringbinders both from Filofax and Gillio and neither comes even near the precition of these rings. And the D-shape makes this very stuffable.
    The layout is great too: you get two smallish penslots on on one side, than a whider pocket for a phone or watercolor pallet or in my case a deck of cards (don't as ;-), than THE perfect slot for a ruler and guess what: that is included. And on the other side you get three whider penslots for either lager pens or in my case watercolor-brushes with water in them for on the go usage.

    Field Journal Notebook-img_6632-jpg

    And on the outside there is one zipped pocket with a bit of room build in and a top open pocket that is more narrow. I can fit either my ebook reader in the ziped pocket or my lates gadged: a fouldable keyboard.
    In the slide-in pocket I carry an A5 school booklet that I snatched from my daughter (no worries: I took it from the "new" stuck we have around in case a Sunday evening Mom-I-need-a-fresh-booklet-to-wright-in-by-tomorrow-morning incedent). The cool thing is: in frist grade she uses the exact same lines that I need right now, to get my Italic letters sorted out.
    A bonus: behind all the paper I have enough room left to put my iPad mini so this can be a very neet, very portable analog-digital unit for planning, entertaining and educating myself.

    Field Journal Notebook-img_6642-jpg

    Looking very forward to the next production of this gourgous tool,
    Ilkyway

    PS: had one more picture to share...

    Field Journal Notebook-img_6641-jpg
    “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

    By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator Ilkyway's Avatar
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    Here are some links to other threads that feature the FJN:

    Moose talking about being left-handed and how that works out with a FJN: http://forums.tombihn.com/photos-vid...efty-love.html

    nsh doing a Field review on the FJN: http://forums.tombihn.com/photos-vid...urnal+Notebook

    Carl R. showing his FJN and actual bears: http://forums.tombihn.com/photos-vid...urnal+Notebook

    Ilkyway
    “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

    By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

  3. #3
    Forum Member threeteez's Avatar
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    I have two FJNs which I thankfully rehomed from Ravelry users since they weren't available at the time I first discovered TB (and developed this inexplicable bag frenzy) last year. The curved seams in the FJN (and the Imago) are so appealing to me...like a smile.

    I use one daily in my EDC (currently a Maker's Bag) with monthly calendar planner pages and the included lined paper for jotting notes down. The second one is my "command central" at home. The first section is for websites for home/health/financial/online accounts/passwords, an address book section, and another section for contact info for home maintenance folks or any other sort of business card. I store it in the same place as my will/advance directive (VIPs...Very Important Papers) and it could easily be a grab and go item. So my FJNs aren't used in a creative fashion at all, but I'm more than happy with how they function for me.

  4. #4
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    Red face

    I had a similar experience to yours, Ilkyway, in that I always loved the design of the FJN but could not quite rationalize getting one if I wasn't going out in a "field". :) Plus, I wanted Plum and it was out of stock. Then came that dreaded announcement - to be discontinued! oh no!! - and so I promptly ordered a Red Blend. It was not love, however, and I just kept looking at the Red Blend and never using it.

    Lo, a Plum appeared on Ravelry and so I rehomed my Red Blend. Now my Plum FJN sees lots of use!! threeteez, I love your description, "command central". That's pretty much how I use mine. It doesn't leave the house much, but it's the perfect size and layout for keeping my most important notes together, and with various pens/tools close at hand for color-coding. And I think it might actually start seeing a little field action later this year - we need to have some work done on our house, so I can envision wearing the FJN as designed, while surveying the work, with the strap to brace it against arm and back while writing.

    It makes me think of college and grad school, with my various iterations of three-ring binders. This is a much more manageable size for me now than a Trapper Keeper though! Just a friendly little assistant, to keep me (somewhat) organized and focused. :)

  5. #5
    Forum Member brendabethman's Avatar
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    I bought an FJN when the retirement announcement was made. While I liked it, I found it a bit heavy to carry around on a daily basis, so ended up rehoming it.

    Today I ordered a loom and am going to make the leap to weaving. The first thing the Craftsy class instructor says is "you need a notebook to record all your weaving projects." So I hope the new FJN comes soon as I want one to use as a weaving notebook!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    The FJN is, without a doubt, the best Tom Bihn design ever, for an organizer, portable notebook, sketchbook or journal.

    Its size is perfect for letter or A4 size paper folded in half and punched, it is very handy for making filler paper for writing fast
    and without fuss, a bunch of references during an interesting TV program, ideas, directions, outlines, etc... Or use yummy Rhodia for calligraphy.

    It can also house easy to find watercolor, pencil, charcoal, sepia, etc sketch books.
    And I can look impressive with the most wonderful and classy paper from TB.

    There are all sorts of compatible accessories to be found from various sources.


    I was lucky to snag one in Steel Parapack and I am still wondering why I didn't snag its Navy Parapack twin.
    Parapack is lighter and softer, which is great to slip in EDCs.

    I could write chapters after chapters about the FJN but I am really sleepy, so good night all.

  7. #7
    Volunteer Moderator Ilkyway's Avatar
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    I totally agree backpack! And the compartibility to European DIN size A5 and (when foulded) A4 was a huge plus for me.



    This is something I very easily did my self with Exel: I drafted this for A4 (my standard format equvivalent to riffly Letter size) and than printed two per pahe and cut them in half.

    This way you can have easy do it your self templates for whatever: finance tracking, weekly or monthly view, mealplanner...

    But as brendabethman saied above: for me this is too large for a daily carry. I use it around the house and garden and have taken it on car trips.

    Ilkyway


    Sent from my phone
    “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

    By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

  8. #8
    Volunteer Moderator Ilkyway's Avatar
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    Field Journal Notebook

    I have invested into an ajustable punch so I can punch whatever I want in there. This one is BIG and could even be accesoriced with more holepunching-thingys.



    It comes with four punch-thingys and I simply moved one out of the way.



    This one is from Leitz but I am sure there are other options out there.

    The yellow paper is A5 the off-white paper I ordered from Tom Bihn just to show the slight difference in sizes:



    And here you have A4 (cream) than A5 (yellow) and than a postcard from bottom to top to show some mix and match of sizes.



    Of cause: to close the Journal I habe to fould the A4 (or letter size) to fit:



    I hope this was usefull
    Ilkyway


    Sent from my phone
    Last edited by Ilkyway; 01-31-2016 at 03:55 AM.
    “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

    By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

  9. #9
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    Thank you so much Ilkyway! (you know, I first read you name Illykway and I have to check the spelling every single time I write it)

    I have a question about the pens you use with the FJN, are the 3 ones on top of the open FJN Lamy Studios and the pink one in the picture below, a pink Lamy Safari?

    I thank you so much for sharing your ideas!

    You are very creative indeed!

    I love to draw and color but I have no talent to do it whatsoever, but, years ago, I found little coloring books from Dover which are sold in the children department in art and bookstores.

    I used plain paper and now, the better suited tracing paper to reproduce the outline of the simple designs.

    Inspired by Dan Bransfeld and encouraged by Darcy's watercolor picture, I found the same portable brush you have, watercolor pencils and paper and started to make watercolors.

    I also found a Coptic markers which are refillable and wonderfully smooth.

    Both medium give a beautiful evenly colored surface, I always had problems with traditional pencils and markers about this issue.

    Since the lining of the Market Tote is in Navy Parapack, let's hope that the Future FJN and the Daylight Briefcase will be made in that fabric (strong and smooth).
    Last edited by backpack; 02-01-2016 at 10:33 PM.

  10. #10
    TB Ravelry Moderator Mausermama's Avatar
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    I just love seeing all these lovely photos! I want to grab my much-loved Red Blend FJN and add to the fun. Mine started out running along as my side kick during the day, but I found I couldn't handle the extra weight. It now is my go-to command center for all important documents. I keep track of my invoicing for my students, lists for my college-bound son, prayers, dreams, receipts, and more. It has a section that serves as my knitting journal as well. I keep stickers and stamps, pens and pencils, tools and tabs corralled inside it. It makes me a much more effective person!

    For my general out-on-the-town use, I typically rely on my Filofax notebook. It's not nearly as functional nor as pretty, but it doesn't weigh nearly as much, either. I simply use it as a to-do and schedule reminder list.

  11. #11
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    I love my FJN. I almost didn't get one--I put it off and put it off, and then they were going to be discontinued! So I bit and got one, but wasn't fully sure how I'd use it. Oh how wrong I was.

    It's become my constant companion in class. I alternate between taking notes on it and notes on my laptop (some classes work better if I can draw diagrams). I've outlined a couple of conference papers on it, and I keep notes on my bi-weekly D&D sessions. I even got an iPad Mini, which fits perfectly inside of it within its keyboard case--it makes the FJN into a perfect workstation-bag for long conferences, when messenger bags would hurt my shoulder and backpacks look a little unprofessional.

    So glad I got one. I'm toying with the idea of getting one for my niece, who loves to crayon/marker. I'm just kind of hoping for one in a brighter color (preferably pink--she loves pink). That way maybe my tall brother can stop carrying around a Frozen backpack all the time...

  12. #12
    Forum Member adalangdon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    The FJN is, without a doubt, the best Tom Bihn design ever, for an organizer, portable notebook, sketchbook or journal.

    Its size is perfect for letter or A4 size paper folded in half and punched, it is very handy for making filler paper for writing fast
    and without fuss, a bunch of references during an interesting TV program, ideas, directions, outlines, etc... Or use yummy Rhodia for calligraphy.
    Yeah, all this and more. I've been switching between organisational layouts (either 2, 3 or 5 tabs; now it's 3) for the past half year and that's only been possible because of the handy binder system. Now I have one section for clean note-taking paper, another section for scrap paper, and a final section for paper with notes taken on it. Because I am also teaching myself a bit of calligraphy for fun, I also have a couple of exemplars that I scanned from one of my books and sized to A5 paper inside my FJN. Best of all, if I messed up a drawing or something else, I can recycle that sheet of paper without any of the sickening guilt that I feel when I tear paper from a notebook. Oh, and you don't have worry about that random note you took getting lost, because it's all in a bin~der~!

    Back when I was a student with more free time, drawing in my FJN was a great way to pass the time. Fortunately that still is true, even though circumstances have changed.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by adalangdon View Post
    Yeah, all this and more. I've been switching between organisational layouts (either 2, 3 or 5 tabs; now it's 3) for the past half year and that's only been possible because of the handy binder system. Now I have one section for clean note-taking paper, another section for scrap paper, and a final section for paper with notes taken on it. Because I am also teaching myself a bit of calligraphy for fun, I also have a couple of exemplars that I scanned from one of my books and sized to A5 paper inside my FJN. Best of all, if I messed up a drawing or something else, I can recycle that sheet of paper without any of the sickening guilt that I feel when I tear paper from a notebook. Oh, and you don't have worry about that random note you took getting lost, because it's all in a bin~der~!

    Back when I was a student with more free time, drawing in my FJN was a great way to pass the time. Fortunately that still is true, even though circumstances have changed.
    I agree with you 100%!

    Notes in the binder, so they stay there until it is time to file them with others paperwork in a Large OP.

    I use 5 tabs, it gives me a way to organize by color and/or subject, any more than 5 tabs and too much filler paper (printer paper folded in half) and the FJN is too heavy.
    But... I can place around 10 double pages of this filler paper, in a Medium OP, which I have pre-punched, in case I need more space to write.

  14. #14
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    @Ilkyway, I love this thread. It gives me hope and inspiration. You see, I can't draw stick people. Seriously. I have always wished for any artistic talent and, unfortunately, I have none. As a result, I never considered a FJN. And now looking at your pictures and reading this thread makes me rethink that decision. So when the FJN returns, I hope to throw caution to the wind and get one.

  15. #15
    Volunteer Moderator Ilkyway's Avatar
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    Backpack, thanks for the kind words. I would NEVER describe myself as creative. My middle-daughter (8) draws better than I. But like you, I like having some fun even in fields I do not master ;-)

    Yes Studios and a Safari, good eye. I like the Studios way better as they do not force me into a grip-position. Never could cope with the Safaris for longer wrighting even so we did use them back at school.

    I too hope for a parapack-FJN because I much prefear the soft touch. The colors of the cordura are lovely and the tuffness will be handy over time, but something I take into my hands so often... I'd prefear the smooth and soft touch of the parapack.

    Ilkyway

    PS: since my name is Ilka a friend of mine back at school used the choclatbar Milkyway and formed that into Ilkyway. We are not longer friends due to cercumstances but I miss her and using her nickname for me kind of keeps her in my mind and in my heard. But I would NEVER be offended should someone misspell it. I try and doublecheck on names but I too hope, should I misspell someone... It is no disrespect.
    “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

    By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

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