Posts in Organization
Experiment 20: Unpacking Four Use Cases for the Nock Lanier
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When I first backed the Nock Lanier on Kickstarter, I was most excited about one particular use case: carrying it with me to conferences and academic meetings. I have yet to go to a conference since I received my Lanier, but that hasn't stopped me from using it in all kinds of other ways. In fact, I have been carrying it almost every day, and one of my favorite aspects of the bag is the modular nature. I have carried the larger bag without the smaller inner pouch, the inner pouch alone, and both bags together. I have carried it for work and for school and for play. So, I thought I would break down the full carry for each of my four favorite use cases:

  1. In the Office Carry
  2. Out of Office Carry
  3. Creative Carry
  4. Travel Carry
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I've been carrying the the Lanier with me to work nearly every day. I have a bulky Windows laptop and dock to deal with at the office, and I tend to carry that around in a big ugly shoulder bag when I must. I also have a job where I move from site to site, sometimes multiple times per day. The gigantic laptop is not always needed for these site visits, so the Lanier gives me a way to carry a smaller sub-section of items with me throughout the day when I need to leave my main office/desk. If I'm headed to a meeting, the A5 pouch is always ready-to-go with sticky notes, notecards, a Field Notes, my planner, and of course writing utensils. The ability to quickly grab my A5 pouch, plus or minus my laptop, and head down the hall to a meeting is one of my favorite use cases for the Lanier.

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Full carry: 

  1. Mini Nock Fodderstack with Kaweco fountain pen, ID, debit cards, Costco card etc. 
  2. Apple Pencil with dbrand pencil skin
  3. Ipad Pro 9.7
  4. Hi-Tec-C Coleto
  5. Blackwing 530
  6. Uniball-Signo Needlepoint
  7. Papermate Flair
  8. Franklin Cristoph Model 45
  9. Revlon Lip Stain
  10. Slice Planner
  11. Field Notes in Bellroy Everyday Inspiration Cover
  12. Baron Fig Nomad Sticky Notes
  13. Nock DotDash Petite Note Cards
The "Meeting Carry"

The "Meeting Carry"

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In this configuration, I have found it to be a little more sleek and less bulky when I carry the IPad Pro in the front pocket, and the A5 pouch in the main compartment. I try to convince myself that two fountain pens are plenty to get through the day, but when I lose that battle I often carry a full Nock Brasstown in the main compartment as well.

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Along with my usual work, I'm also finishing my dissertation work. Whether I'm going out in the field to collect data, or headed to a coffee shop all-day to analyze data and write, I typically opt to carry my Macbook in place of my Ipad Pro. This adds some weight and bulk to my carry, but the Lanier still remains one of the most compact possible ways to carry what I need along with me. 

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An unneccessary number of writing utentials 

An unneccessary number of writing utentials 

Full carry:

  1. Macbook
  2. Macbook Charger
  3. Macbook Dongle
  4. Portable Power Bank
  5. Slice Planner
  6. Field Notes in Bellroy Everyday Inspiration Cover
  7. Baron Fig Nomad Sticky Notes
  8. Nock DotDash Petite Note Cards
  9. Full Nock Brasstown
  10. Various Pencils with Caps
  11. Mono Zero Eraser
  12. Various Non-Fountain Pens
  13. Rickshaw Utility Pouch
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For this carry, I again tend to carry the A5 pouch in the main compartment, opting to carry the Rickshaw Utility pouch full writing utensils in the front pocket instead.

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If I'm headed out for the sole purpose of doing art or being creative or relaxing, I have also found the Lanier to the the ideal carry. A Rhodia Pad fits perfectly in the larger compartment. This is one case where I usually choose to leave my A5 pouch at home. 

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Full carry: 

  1. Travel water color brushes
  2. Travel brush cleaner
  3. Watercolors
  4. Various Brush Pens
  5. A Water Brush
  6. A Blackwing
  7. An Eraser
  8. A Sketchbook (in this case: Tomoe River Paper)
  9. A Nock Brasstown full of Fountain Pens
  10. A Rhodia Pad
  11. Field Notes in Bellroy Everyday Inspiration Cover
  12. Ipad Pro 9.7 (Usually to listen to Skillshare classes, or look up inspiration)
  13. Apple Pencil with dbrand pencil skin
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I also packed my Lanier inside my carry-on on my recent trip to New York. My goal was to pack everything I wanted or needed during the flight inside the Lanier, so I could pull it off as I got on the plane, and not worry about digging around in my carry-on for the rest of the flight. It worked like a dream. I never find the time on a plane to be super productive for major work projects, but I do enjoy reading, writing, and thinking in that small electronic-free space. 

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Full carry: 

  1. One-two Pencils
  2. One-two Non-fountain pens
  3. One Eraser
  4. Baron Fig Confidant
  5. Ipad Pro 9.7
  6. Apple Pencil with dbrand sticker
  7. An analog book- in this case, The Pencil Perfect
  8. Field Notes in Bellroy Everyday Inspiration Cover
  9. Mini Nock Fodderstack with Kaweco fountain pen, ID, debit cards, Costco card etc. 
  10. NYX Lip Stain
  11. A lint roller (more on this in a second)
  12. Not pictured: A snack
Nock in a Nock in a Nock...

Nock in a Nock in a Nock...

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My only "wish" for the Lanier is that it didn't like my dog's hair so much. It's just the nature of this type of black fabric, but it has a tendency to pick up dust etc. very easily. As such, I have been making use of my travel lint roller a lot more recently!

Sometimes you have a specific use case in mind when you make an investment in a product. Other times, it's not until you start using the product that you find the ways it fits your daily carry. It doesn't matter if I'm going to work, taking a creative break, or traveling- I will always have a tendency to over-pack. For me, the Lanier strikes the perfect balance between forcing me to reduce my carry and giving me enough room to bring it all.

Experiment 6: Organization & Accessibility

Less than a month into trying to incorporate more analog creativity and writing into my day-to-day, I encountered my first major obstacle. 

Organization.

More precisely, lack of organization.

I had two main problems:

1) Nearly all of the art and craft supplies I had acquired over the years were shoved into my closet in various boxes, drawers, and shelves. While this got them out of the way, they were not easily accessible. Heck, I barely even knew what I had in there. 

2) My newest pens, pencils, and notebooks were scattered and taking over my main workspace. There was no rhyme or reason to where any particular item landed on a given day. I found myself either searching for things or overwhelmed by them.

In my one bedroom apartment, there isn't room for a separate office space. So instead, I have divided things into two desk areas. One lives in the bedroom and is meant to house a majority of the supplies. The other is a very large bar height work space in the living area. Ideally, this minimizes the number of items in my actual work/ creative space. Clearly, the system was failing- as my work space was messy and cluttered and my supplies were almost exclusively hidden away in the closet.

It was time for a reboot.  

I turned on the Art Supply Posse podcast for inspiration, dug to the bottom of my closet, and cleaned more than half of everything out to give away or throw away. Then, once I knew what I had- I prioritized. I knew I wanted my writing tools (gel pens, markers, pencils, colored pencils, fountain pens, etc.) to be most readily available. Going to the internet for inspiration, I repurposed a pegboard I already had and cleared the way for a series of mason jars.

Pegboard Iteration One

Pegboard Iteration One

Pegboard Iteration Two

Pegboard Iteration Two

I was able to neatly organize the remainder of my art supplies in two large, labeled plastic totes. This left my workspace mostly clear with only my fountain pen collection and a small selection of contained notebooks.

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Importantly, I also made room for one of my favorite pieces of art by Ella Luna to live on my desk.

Art from Ella Luna

Art from Ella Luna

It's not a perfect system, but by releasing some excess supplies and organizing the rest in a way that is accessible, I eliminated one barrier to implementing and maintaining a creative habit.

And maybe even more importantly, I created spaces that are less likely to overwhelm me and more inclined to inspire me. 

 “It is here, standing at the crossroads of Should and Must, that we feel the enormous reality of our fears, and this is the moment when many of us decide against following our intuition, turning away from that place where nothing is guaranteed, nothing is known, and everything is possible.” ― Elle Luna, The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion

 

Visual inspiration for supply organization: 

 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/70720656626017779/sent/?sender=32158722247623211&invite_code=e2624047d7bb9c9c3a680ef860c4fbb8

http://www.thebudgetdecorator.com/decorating-with-collections/

 

 Tips for organizing creative spaces:

 https://www.google.com/amp/lifehacker.com/5577279/embrace-organization-to-foster-creativity/amp?client=safari

http://www.thekeeperofthememories.com/2015/11/5-biggest-mistakes-i-made-when-organizing-my-creative-space/2/

 

More from Ella Luna: 

 https://unmistakablecreative.com/podcast/a-journey-to-the-crossroads-of-should-and-must-with-elle-luna