Process vs. Products // Trina O'Gorman

Process vs. Products // Trina O'Gorman

The Kokuyo Perpanep in the Tsuru Tsuru texture, which is ultra-smooth and just delicious to write on with my Pilot Custom 823, was a new discovery just this past September. The fine nib of my fountain pen glides across the paper like butter, and though I use the darkest of black inks, I can see shading that I don’t get to see on other paper that I use. That is a treat. Of course, I chose the grid-ruled version. I always use grid-ruled paper. Baum-kuchen carries the 4mm grid, and the spacing is perfect. The notebook itself lays flat, which is something that I never knew I needed until I was experiencing it with this notebook, and boy, do I love it. And the simple grey cover with its cheesecloth binding is minimal and simple, which I find soothing. It is a chunky notebook with 60 sheets of paper, which means 120 pages. That’s nearly twice as many pages as that of the TN #002 grid refill that I used for years before I fell in love with the BK x TRC Grid Notebook, which was recently out of stock but had 128 pages. I’m not sure there’s anything more pleasurable to me than a notebook thick with writing, tangible evidence of my thoughts and ideas. 

As you can probably tell, I love the Kokuyo Perpanep notebook, but there is just one drawback, and that is that the Perpanep notebook doesn’t really fit well in my beloved TSL A5 Zip Organizer(s). At first, I tried to just deal with it snagging in the zipper, but I began to worry that it would damage the zipper. It was already chewing up the edge of the cheesecloth binding. A member of my Instagram community suggested I cut it down, so I took the notebook to the FedEx Office store and had about an inch cut off. That helped with the zipper catching on the bind, but then I found myself missing that extra real estate. I didn’t realize how much I’d appreciated the extra width of the A5 page. For years I’d used a Traveler’s Notebook and was so accustomed to writing on the narrower page of the TN paper. 

Missing the extra width, I made my way back to the BK website the other day to order another Perpanep notebook. I clicked on the “New Items” tab because I knew it was a recent addition to BK’s product line, and I figured I could just order it from there. That’s when I saw it. It is a new limited-edition Sun Yellow Roterfaden Taschenbegleiter notebook with the turquoise interior, described as a generous A5 format. All I could think about was the fact that I wouldn’t need to cut down this next notebook. I added both the Perpanep notebook and the Roterfaden notebook cover to my cart and clicked “Checkout.” It wasn’t until the transaction was complete that I sat and thought about what I’d done. 

It’s no secret that I adore The Superior Labor artifacts. At last count, I have 14 TSL artifacts, ranging from brass charms that are sewn onto the TN that my boys gave to me two years ago for Christmas to the amazing Navy Stripe Engineer Shoulder Bag XS I got this spring. I think my oldest TSL artifact is the leather pen roll that I got some time in 2016. The nude color has aged beautifully and is now a rich, honey brown. My TSL artifacts had played nicely with my TRC Traveler’s Notebooks for years, until October of last year, when I moved out of my TN and into the TSL Zip Organizer. That was a big move. I have used a Traveler’s Notebook since 2014 and didn’t think I’d ever switch to another notebook. I think it came as a surprise to a lot of my Instagram community. 

There’s nothing not to love about the TN unless you’re craving the use of a larger format notebook, which my writing projects seemed to be crying out for. As much as I love the simple design and rustic leather of the TRC Traveler’s Notebook, TSL A5 Zip Organizers are gorgeous to me. The design is smart and practical, and the craftsmanship lives up to the name. It is superior. I fell in love with the beautiful leather exterior and the well-designed natural leather interior. Somehow my impulses compelled me to buy more than just the first yellow one, as my love of yellow competes with my love of blue, and I’ve ended up with two different blue organizers, in addition to the yellow one. If the TSL A5 Zip Organizer was just a hair bigger, larger enough to comfortably fit the full-size A5 notebooks, then I honestly don’t think I would have clicked “Add to Cart” when I saw the Sun Yellow Roterfaden. 

I guess, ultimately, what I want to convey is that I love my TSL Zip Organizers so much that it was hard for me to accept that they don’t really meet my current needs. When I originally purchased them, I was only using my notebook for journaling. But then, in November, I started working on a larger writing project, and it wasn’t long before my analogue needs changed. Still, I tried to make my organizers work. In the end, I was limited by the constraints and which A5 notebooks it could accommodate. I think it’s important to understand and accept that our needs sometimes change. For a while, my emotional connection and loyalty to the TSL brand really deterred me from looking for something that might better suit my needs as a daily everyday carry. And so, my new Sun Yellow Roterfaden Taschenbegleiter arrives on Monday, November 1st, and I start a new analogue adventure. I will keep you posted.



  • Zheng Zhu: January 16, 2023
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    Hello! May I ask will the TSL Navy Stripe Engineer Shoulder Bag XS be restock? Thank you.

  • Diana Patrick: November 21, 2021
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    I have had my eye on that yellow Roterfaden too! I know I’ll be ordering one soon. I cannot wait to see it in your hands and hear your thoughts on it! Always so fun to read your posts! :)


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