Kickstarter: ClickTape

(Also available in GREEN!)

(Turquoise ClickTape pictured. Also available in GREEN!)

I see a lot of pen projects on Kickstarter so when I heard about the ClickTape tape dispenser, I was pretty stoked. Its time for folks to start innovating other office supply stndards. And the CLickTape is a great idea with a cool design. Modern but classic.

The cost of entry is minimal: just €10 for a blue version and it include worldwide shipping (I just shipped a 2 oz package to the UK and it cost me over $7 so you’re basically paying for postage at this point). To get the coveted green version, I’ll have to jump up to the Triple Pack and get the turquoise and blue one as well for €25.

There’s only a few days left in the Kickstarter campaign and the project is shy about €1000 of reaching the goal. I’d really like this project to get funded (for my own selfish need to have a green one) so please consider this project.

Desk Accessory du Jour: House Mugs and Coasters

House Heath Leather Coaster

Every desk needs a little something-something to make it special. Have you considered the coffee cup or mug you use? Is it something beautiful and appealing to you? What about protecting your work surface with a coaster instead of using an index card or scrap of paper?

House Industries Leather Ornament Coasters

Here’s where typographic legends House Industries might have what you need. They’ve just announced their beautiful type ornament-mandala leather coasters, currently available through Heath Ceramics in San Francisco but soon available on their web site.

black Heath House Hasami Mug

In the meantime, you can cool your heels while keeping your coffee cozy in the House/Heath Hasami coffee mug ($35). Retro cool never kept your beverage so warm.

Link Love: Official Mascot and more catch-up

Link Love Link MascotFirst, I’d like you to all admire my new and fully customized Link mascot thanks to my pal and co-worker Adan who, clearly, is a fabulous illustrator. I think I need Link on a t-shirt!

Now, on to the links:







Ask The Desk: Tea Cup Pen Caddy

Tea Cup Caddy

Lynda sent an email asking where she might find the Tea Cup Caddy featured on the blog back in January 2012.

I tried to email Lynda back directly but the email address must have been mistyped so I’m posting the reply here.

The tea cup caddy was sold through Black + Blum and is listed in their Design Archive so, as far as I can tell, the item is no longer available. For other interesting pen cups, you might check on Modcloth or at Anthropologie.

10 Tools I Can’t Live Without


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the tools I use everyday, my absolute must-haves. While I love having an assortment of gel pens, fountain pens and a bevvy of different notebooks, I realized that there are a few tools I use everyday, without fail. I also have some tools very specific to my job that might not be of interest to readers but I thought I’d share the everyday go-to tools, in no particular order.

  1. Hobonichi Planner ¥2,500 for the planner, covers start at ¥1,500
  2. 3×5 blank index cards $1.49/100 cards
  3. Field Notes $9.95/3-pack (or comparable pocket-sized notebook. I always have one on me)
  4. Kaweco Sports Fountain Pen $23.50
  5. Staedtler Mars Plastic eraser $1.25 THE eraser by which all other erasers are measured.
  6. Marvy LePen $1.15 (could potentially substitute a standard Sharpie marker here though I’m more likely to use the LePen everyday than a Sharpie)
  7. Palomino Blackwing 602 $19.95/dozen
  8. Tombow Mono Adhesive Permanent $7.29, refills $11.99/3-pack (I know this seems odd but it’s excellent for sealing envelopes and a much tidier way to attach scraps to my planner or notebook)
  9. Evernote FREE (I am now storing all sorts of text bits, digital detritus, links and blog starters here. I can access the content on all my digital devices)
  10. Alfred FREE (Until you’ve used the Alfred App, you don’t know what you’re missing. I hate working on someone else’s computer that doesn’t have Alfred installed. It’s free, go try it)

What are the tools you can’t live without?

TOT Staples Solution

Vintage TOT stapler and MAX No. 10 staples

I love vintage staplers. They are good looking and often still work after all these years. Some of my favorite vintage staplers take the difficult-to-find TOT staples. Well, I took a chance and got a packet of Max No. 10 staples in green (of course) and lo and behold they fit and work perfectly in TOT staplers. They are also available in red and blue. All colors are available for $3.30 per box. If colored staples are not to your taste, plain silver No. 10 staples can be purchased in a box of 1000 from Jet Pens for $1.50.

Vintage TOT stapler and MAX No. 10 staples

Office Supply Whimsy

office-y accessories from modcloth

While surfing around ModCloth looking for stationery, I found some other goodies for the office and for the office supply geek.

First, there is the cookie-inspired USB cup warmer. I’ve been grumbling about my coffee or tea cooling off and I have one open USB port left on my office computer. Solution? At $14.99, it just might be.

In the middle image is the vintage-inspired, ceramic dachshund paper organizer. Display your incoming post, letters and photos in the coils. It’s hot dog cool for your desk. Just $12.99.

And what paper nerd wouldn’t want to curl up under a sheet of notebook paper with the Free Verse Reveries duvet cover? Dream sweet pen and ink dreams. $89.99


And the Pencil Me In shoes are back in stock. It’s the perfect shoe for the teacher, librarian or office supply geek in your life. $109.99. If you’re feeling generous, I wear a 6.5.

Eyecandy from San Francisco

Happy Heart Mailbox

While I could not get Flickr to upload my travel photos, at least it saved my goodies, so I shall share those with you today. I did not buy a lot of goodies knowing so many things could be purchased later via Jet Pens and other vendors’  online shops so I limited myself to must-haves and small items that would fit in my carry-on bag.

Above, Melissa of Craftgasm and the Smithsonian Postal Museum shared the postal love with a little pink mail box filled with paper treats.

Red & Blue Goodies

If you put red-and-blue airmail stripes on anything, I’m likely to buy it. Maybe that’s why I love red/blue pencils so much? The pencil pictured above came from the epic Patrick & Co. stationery shop for a mere $0.39. Patrick’s is a classic stationery shop that’s been in business for over 100 years with an endless array of legal pads in every color imaginable, pens and pencils in jars to be purchased individually and so much more. There are two locations in downtown San Francisco, both near Union Square and should not be missed. The Dennison Airmail seals and the gummed labels came from Saturday Morning Vintage who had a stellar booth at the vendor market at Ex Postal Facto. The G. Lalo Verge de France stationery pad came from Patrick & Co. while the Air Mail stationery and envelopes came from Maido.

Red and Kraft is good

I purchased a few Pilot Hi-Tec C refills and a Hi-Uni HB pencil in the Maido shop in the Westfield Mall in Union Square. I also visited the Maido shop in Japantown and picked up a few more goodies. The postcard set tied with twine came from the 826 Collective Pirate Shop in the Mission. What fun! The Ohto Dude pen was compliments on Jet Pens along with a couple Morning Glory Mach 3 pens.

For the love of green

And of course, no trip would be complete without a little green. I got a word cards deck, some green gel pens, a “beans” cutter and itty bitty green staples from Maido. There will be more details about these purchases in the near future but I wanted to give a little taste of the stationery bounty available in San Francisco, should you find yourself there.

Winter Session + Doane Paper = Lustworthy

WS + DP pouch

Doane Paper has once again created a limited edition team-up product, this time with Winter Session out of Denver. The team created a heavyweight waxed canvas pouch to fit into a 3-ring binder to go along with Doane’s 3-ring loose leaf paper. The pouch measures 11×7.5 and include an industrial zipper, heavy-duty grommets and an unstated leather tag. It’s simple, modern and enviably covetable. $45

WS + DP pouch

Make a Mark Stationery Box

Little Low Laser Etched Wood Pencil Box $48 (via Etsy)

Little Low Laser Etched Wood Pencil Box $48 (via Etsy)

Each beautifully laser-etched stationery box ($48) from Little Low on Etsy comes filled with a Marvy Le Pen (assorted colors), a wood-barreled calligraphy pen with nib, a Zebra #2 mechanical pencil and a roll of washi tape. The lid slides and inside is two compartments — one for writing tools and one for smaller bits. Be sure to check out their other products too. Hint, hint there are some great Valentine’s ideas in here.

MINE! Sticky Notes

KnockKnock MINE sticky notes

Need to keep the snack-stealing, pencil-nabbing, cube-dwelling troglodytes from running away with your beloved office supplies or snacks? The KnockKnock MINE! sticky notes might do the trick. They are standard 3×3″ squares with removable adhesive and a place to clearly establish your ownership. $3.99 for a 100-sheet pad. Just in time for Valentine’s Day.

I have a CRAP sticky notes pad and, while they are not the stickiest sticky notes in the world, I always get comments on how fun they are.

Review: Bird Letter Opener


A dear friend sent me this beautiful bird letter opener for Christmas. Its made of a hard plastic with a matte finish. It’s sculpted shape feels good in the hand and the tail is curved to tuck under the edge of an envelope. It can stand on its own like a little bird perched on my desk.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve put it through its paces the last couple weeks. It works pretty well but is not as sharp as a blade sharpener like my favorite old school letter openers. It has decided to take up residence on my work desk where it can be called upon to open the occasional letter versus the abuse my home openers endure.

(available via Walker Art Center Shop for $16 each, seven color options)


Link Love: The Deja Vu Edition

A lot of topics I’ve mentioned in the past, have made appearances on other blogs this week. I thought I’d start with those…

Note: In this section, the first link is my original post and the links in parentheses are the posts from other bloggers.

And now back to our regularly scheduled Link Love:


Pencils, Pens & Ink:


The Paperclip and WWII


Johan Vaaler, a Norwegian inventor, is credited with inventing the paperclip. It was patented in the US as were several other variations but it wasn’t until the English company GEM streamlined the design to the double oval we know today and an American, William Middlebrook, of Waterbury, Connecticut, patented a machine for making paper clips of the Gem design in 1899. The design for the GEM paperclip was never patented.

During WWII, Norwegians were prohibited from wearing any insignia on their clothing with the king’s likeness so they wore paperclips in their lapels as a symbol of resistance to the Nazi occupation.

Alternately, after WWII, the Americans started a project called Operation Paperclip to recruit former-Nazi scientists to work in the US after the war.

Oh, little paper clip, what an intersting life you lead!

Wireless Speakers (and other sound options)


As the holidays swiftly approach, I’ve noticed a plethora of ads (televised, paper and digital) for wireless speakers. This seems like the go-to gift this holiday season — something to plus-up an existing digital device like a phone, tablet, laptop, etc. There are lots of options from the colorful Jambox by Jawbone to the descriptive, if uninspiringly-named, Sony Bluetooth Wireless Speaker. There’s also the Bose SoundLink Mini which has a pleasing design look as well as the respectability of the Bose brand name behind it. All three of these device come in around $200. The Jambox offers three sizes that range in price from $149 to $299; the model comparable to the SoundLink and Sony model selling for $179.

The Sonos Play1 is also a wireless speaker but without the built-in rechargeable batteries of the other models.

I currently own a Tivoli Model One which I keep in the kitchen to listen to NPR or  I use the auxiliary port to plug in an iPod. It has extremely good sound quality for such a small device. Tivoli now offers a bluetooth version of the Model One for $260.

I think anyone of these speaker units would be a great desk accessory. Both the Jambox and the Sony Speaker include built-in microphones to double as a device for conference calls. If you intend to use a wireless speaker in your home or office exclusively, the Sonos or Tivoli models might work well though neither have a built-in mic either. While I prefer the understated looks of the SoundLink Mini (and I already own the stunning Tivoli Model One), I would be inclined to purchase a device with a built-in mic, especially for in-office use.

Do you use wireless speakers? Have you tried any of these devices? Are you adding wireless speakers to your holiday wish list?


Video: Staplers and Glass Pen

My husband stumbled across this video of  staplers found in Japan by this colorful Brit from The Grand Illusions web site, a site that sells toys, illusions and other novelty items.

I dug through his videos in search of other tidbits that might be interesting to readers and also found his glass pen demo. He comments that washing the tip with a little soapy water helps to make the ink adhere much better. Good tip!

Review: The Groove from Dudek Modern Products

The Groove by Dudek Modern Products

For months now, I’ve seen all the pen dudes raving about the Dudek Modern Products The Groove ($55) — this gorgeous solid wood walnut block with holes for pens and a slot for the ubiquitous Field Notes books (or similar) and I thought “Wow, that’s a pretty manly product.” I confess, I thought it was a “Guy Thing”. Then Mr. Mike Dudek kindly sent me one and, holy smokes, was I ever impressed! It is beautifully finished with a smooth satin stain, the edges are ever-so-slightly rounded in a way that makes you want to touch this block, to fill it with your favorite notebooks and writing tools and set it proudly on your desk.

The Groove by Dudek Modern Products

As soon as it arrived, I filled it with a few of my favorite things. My vintage Esterbrooks (and my lone Parker Duofold) look fantastic against the warm wood block. The Field Notes Salesman Edition is almost a perfect match for the color finish on The Groove.

The Groove by Dudek Modern Products

I was able to fit four Field Notes into the “groove” comfortably and Mike sent me The Groove model with 0.5″ holes for pens. Mike also offers a version of The Groove with three 0.675″ holes in the center row for larger diameter pens. All the fountain pens, my Karas Kustoms RETRAKT and Retro 51 all fit easily into the 0.5″ holes. The only pen I had that is large enough to require a larger diameter hole is the Kaweco Student.

If you are not interested in storing pocket notebooks, Mike also makes The Cube ($40) which is just a 9-hole walnut wood cube and is also gorgeous.

I knew The Groove would be well-crafted and perfectly created for its task but I didn’t realize how much I would like it. It really is fabulously beautifully and suitable for any well-appointed desk. Just just for dudes!

Now, for the giveaway! Mike has graciously offered one Groove to a lucky reader here at The Well-Appointed Desk. To enter, leave a comment and tell me which of your pens or pencils are worthy of such a classy home.

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Friday, November 1, 2013. All entries must be submitted at, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? One entry per person, please. Winner will be announced on Saturday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 30 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Fulfillment will be handled through Clicky Post/Dudek Modern Goods and this giveaway is open to US and international readers.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Dudek Modern Products AKA Clicky Post for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Neatography: A Subscription-Based Paper Goods Shop

Neatography Subscription

Neatography is a subscription-based paper goods company from outside Chattanooga, TN. As a former resident of Chattanooga, I was really excited to see what kinds of products Neatography would offer and to have a chance to offer support to a hometown girl. The package was wrapped in lovely grey-and-white twine with a hand-stamped tag. It felt like a delightful little present!

In the package, Lindsey includes an assortment of products that value at least $25. Since the monthly subscription rate is $23 +$4 shipping, that seems more than fair. My kit included a letterpress fill-in-the-blank card from Ruff House Art; a set of fabric-covered, polka dot thumbtacks in grey and orange from Girl of All Work; an “Old School” notepad, also from Ruff House Art; a roll  washi-style masking tape with arrow pattern from Side Show Press; and four US Forever stamps with the heart wax seal from this year. Neatography also includes a self-address, stamped reply postcard to send back to Lindsey with your comments about the set.

Details of Neatography Subscription


I think this is one of the nicest collections I’ve received from a paper good subscription and I particularly liked the inclusion of a block of stamps. Its a very thoughtful way to make keeping in touch quick and easy. All of the products seemed to come from small, independent companies and none were products I’d seen or purchased before which was quite a treat.

The notepad is lovely offset printed tablet of 50 lined sheets and I look forward to using it. I’m about to move offices at work again and I think the cloth thumbtacks will be nice on my plain office pinboards. And, seriously, who doesn’t love a roll of washi/masking tape? Its a giant roll!

The Neatography subscriptions are available in a limited quantity and can be purchased as a one-time shipment, monthly or on a quarterly basis. The price is the same per shipment regardless of which option you choose. A single one-time purchase would be a great gift for a friend. Sadly, it doesn’t look as if international shipping is currently available.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Neatography for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

The Desk Looks Good On European Paper


The folks over at European Paper, an online paper goods shop located in Colorado (not really Europe at all!), have taken some of my desk and office pins from Pinterest and combined them with some of their lovely paper goods and featured them on their blog. Click on the images to see EP’s product recommendations that coordinate with these work spaces.

And stay tuned, their shall be more collaborations between The Desk and European Paper. Are you excited? I am!


Desk Accessories for Cubicle Hell

Thames Desk Set Close-Up

Thames Desk Set Close-Up $54 (via Modcloth)

If you, like me, are trapped in daily beige cubicle hell at work, desk accessories are a great way to bring some color and personality into a workspace you might not have a lot of aethetic control over otherwise. The easiest items to add to your space are a personally chosen pencil cup(s), stapler and/or tape dispenser, a paper tray, file folders and items for decor like photographs, artwork or a desk calendar.

"Tape" Dispenser Desk Caddy £10 (via Tate)

“Tape” Dispenser Desk Caddy £10 (via Tate)

I believe in collecting desk items that are both functional and appeal to you aesthetically. For pen cups, you could purchase an assortment of drinking glasses or coffee mugs that appeal to you.

If you are a fan of vintage products, scour your local antique malls and thrift shops (or check out The Desk shop) for classic tape dispensers, staplers and desk trays. Estate sales and yard sales are also great opportunities to find old office supplies. Many retirees bring home their box of old drafting tools and desk items that languish for years. I’ve scored great metal rulers, staplers and bags of old pencils this way. I found a set of vintage coffee mugs that, while being slender, are perfect for sorting out my various pens and pencils: gel pens in one cup, pencils in another, etc.

If you are looking for something clean and modern, Poppin’s coordinated desk items may be just the ticket for you. Container Store also sells lots of clear acrylic and colored plastic containers that might be just right for your desk.

set includes pen cup, tape dispenser, stapler and a box of color coordinated black ballpoint pens. $40 (via Poppin)

set includes pen cup, tape dispenser, stapler and a box of color coordinated black ballpoint pens. $40 (via Poppin)

$14 for set of two trays (via Poppin)

$14 for set of two trays (via Poppin)

clear acrylic file collator $44 (via Russell + Hazel)

clear acrylic file collator $44 (via Russell + Hazel)

Day of the Week File Folders $9 (via KnockKnock)

Day of the Week File Folders $9 (via KnockKnock)

Assorted sizes Lego boxes $5-15 (via Container Store)

Assorted sizes Lego boxes $5-15 (via Container Store)

Handmade walnut pen and pocket notebook holder $55. Other configurations available (via Clicky Post)

Handmade walnut pen and pocket notebook holder $55. Other configurations available (via Clicky Post)

There are also lots of options to use found objects and apply some DIY craftiness to them. I posted about a shoebox converted to a large pen holder when filled with cut paper tubes of various sizes.

I think its important to make your workspace appealing to you whether its a small desk tucked in the corner of an industrial warehouse or a vintage Herman Miller AO2 cubicle. In the same way that its worth it to spend a few extra dollars on a pen or a notebook you like, finding desk items you like will make your work surroundings feel more appealing and conducive to those big ideas.

Good places to look for desk accessories:

(for inspiration, visit my Pinterest board Desk Accessories or skim through previous posts tagged Desk Accessory)

Link Love: Long Labor Day Weekend Edition

I’m taking off for the Labor Day weekend but will be back, re-inked, freshly sharpened and opened to a clean page on Tuesday. In the meantime, enjoy the diverse collection of links this week and feel free to explore the archives! Happy Labor Day!



Paper and Notebooks:


House Industries Goes to the Desk

 13_journal_animation-1   15_journal_lineup_image

I have been a loyal supporter of the type design gurus at House Industries since the early 90s. They have a flair for the vintage and an eye for detail seldom rivaled so when I heard they were introducing a line of office supplies to their already extensive repertoire, I knew it would be good.



House Industries has partnered with Chronicle Books to create a box set of 100 letter-centric postcards ($19.95), a set of four pocket notebooks ($9.95) featuring their graphics on the covers and a set of die cut labels and stickers ($10.95).

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(via Chronicle Books and House Industries)