Col-o-dex Review


A little while ago I got an email from Vanness Pens stating that a reader had sent me a gift card just to be nice. So whoever you are, thank you! I’ve wanted to try these Skylab Letterpress Col-o-dex cards since they came out, and decided to use the gift card to try them out. I love the Col-o-ring and use it everyday so I really wanted to try this new set. You can find the cards online at Vanness Pens or The Well-Appointed Desk.


Top to bottom, the Col-o-dex Tab Accessory Pack, the Col-o-ring, and the Col-o-dex Rotary Cards. I use the Col-o-ring for all of my inks, but decided to create a separate set of swabs for the inks I have full bottles of. That’s where the Col-o-dex comes in.


On the left is the standard ‘dex cards and on the right is the tab accessory pack. The tabs come in this kraft, a Blue Raspberry and a Limeade Green. The cards have the same 100lb/160gsm bright white paper as the Col-o-ring, but the cards are 4”x2.625” to fit in the average Rolodex. Each pack contains 100 cards. The tabs pack contains 20 cards.


I did some testing to see which swatch method would work the best for me. I did six different swabs and posted them on Instagram so readers could vote. The left middle was the most popular, so that’s the one I stuck with. Ana from The Well-Appointed Desk also has some different styles on her site, you can find them here.


I use a number 2 Master’s Touch Watercolor Round brush, and a Pelikan 400N. Right now I have the swabs grouped by color and shimmer inks on their own in the back. I’ve found the shimmer usually rubs off onto the surrounding swabs, so I stick them in their own category.

Ana recommended this Heidi Swapp Memorydex Card Tray, and it works perfectly for the cards. I keep my swabs in my desk drawer so the light doesn’t degrade the colors, and the tray fits perfectly in my drawer. I’m keeping an eye out for a vintage rolodex that I love, but I haven’t found the perfect one yet.


My daughter helped hold the cards at one end. There are 100 cards in there right now, so this box can hold quite a few cards.


I love these little cards. They are perfect for swabbing inks, and the rotary style is very helpful. I need to get a few more sets so I can finish swabbing all of my bottles, but I would absolutely recommend them.

Disclaimer: I purchased this product with a gift card. All photos and opinions are my own. This post does contain an affiliate link, but is not sponsored in any way. 

Apica CD Notebook Review


I love notebooks. I’m one of those crazy people that always has a few empty ones on the shelf just in case. I purchased the Apica CD Spiral Notebook when I visited Paperquirks a few months ago. They don’t have it available on their website yet, but you can find it online at Vanness Pens.


The B5 notebook measures 9.9" x 7" and holds 50 lined sheets of paper. The top and bottom lines have dots to help you make graphs or diagrams. The notebook cost $6. The cover is very sturdy. B5 size notebooks can be hard to find in the United States, but it’s my favorite size for my school notes.


The Spine

The spiral binding seems strong, I haven’t had any bending issues.


The paper behaves pretty similar to Rhodia, and shows shimmer without issues. The ink dries pretty quickly.

The paper handles fountain pens pretty well, no feathering or bleeding, and even shows just a little bit of shading.


The only issue with fountain pens on this paper is that it’s a bit sensitive to hand oils. On the right hand side of the picture above you can see where the ink didn’t take because the paper had already soaked up oil. My hands aren’t unusually oily, but the paper seemed rather oil sensitive. The paper works best if you keep an extra sheet under your hand as you write.

The paper did handle highlighters and gel pens well. The paper is very slick, so it’s not the best for pencils, but it does ok.

Overall, this paper performs pretty well for fountain pens, and great for gel pens. If you like Rhodia, give this one a shot. It’s pretty affordable, a great size, and performs well.

Disclaimer: I purchased this product myself, and all photos and opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links on this page.