Bagasse Paper By The Ream?

by Steve on March 20, 2015

Why isn’t bagasse (made from sugar cane) paper not available as plain old copier paper? They do sell a bagasse paper by the ream, it’s just not the bagasse paper. I know because I finally ordered a ream to try it out.

The good stuff they sell as composition books. As legal pads, and as little note pads. Not as plain paper.

The good stuff is pretty similar to Tomoe River paper, it takes ink about as well, and it’s about the same weight. But it is a lot cheaper. At least, it could be, and probably still plenty profitable for the manufacturer.

I call it Bagasse paper, although it goes by the brand Sustainable Earth at Staples. I’ve used both the legal pads (nice, but horrible perforations) and the composition notebooks. A Bagasse comp book and a Mitsubishi Hi-Uni handwriting pencil have to be the fastest combination I’ve ever tried. Awesome for freewriting. The paper in general is very well behaved, thin, and has a nice crispness to it. The books are cheap enough to fill without a thought, and very pleasant to write on.

Still, it would be nice to have plain paper available.

So, how about it Staples? Can you do this for me?

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Using Ulysses for iPad

by Steve on March 13, 2015

Yes, I wrote just a week or so ago about using IA Writer. Then I tried Byword, then I went back to Scrivener, and then, in a peak of frustration at trying to find a workable portable writing solution, I got Ulysses III for my Mac and Daedalus for the iPad.

Then I actually started doing a lot more writing. Those two apps – really Daedalus – got me going. I had a few bumps, was pretty impressed with the support I received, and kept going. It was strange at first, the concept of sheets, and so on. After a while I realized that when I was writing if I had an idea for another part, a scene, another book, or whatever, I could just type a cmd-N and get a new sheet and type away. Then option-cmd up arrow got me back to what I had been working on. For me, this is golden.

One thing that had me a bit queasy at first, and still gives me a little pause, is iCloud. Ulysses and Daedalus store everything there. Sometimes it has taken a while to sync. But, I now know where to find the actual files that are being saved on the mac, and I know they are being backed up by time machine. So I have the ability to go back in time to restore things if they go to hell.

I kept meaning to write up my experiences with the two apps, but I kept getting distracted by other things to write. Yesterday the new version of Ulysses for the mac came out, and also Ulysses for the iPad. So far, I’m happy. Quite happy. And, since I so rarely am ahead of the curve, I thought I’d better write this now!

Overall Ulysses on the iPad is pretty much the same as Ulysses on mac, but with some navigation changes and a few unimplemented features. I like it more than Daedalus, I think. I have to be careful because I’m still working out how to consolidate the stuff that I had in both apps into one set of files, and that sort of problem always unnerves me a bit and it might be clouding my judgement here.

One downside is that Daedalus is available on the phone, but Ulysses is not. So when using Daedalus I can see everything everywhere, but now it’s just iPad and Mac, unless I put something in Daedalus. But seriously, writing on the phone isn’t really a solution for me, and I can live without it. 

I figure Scrivener will come out with their iPad app just about the time I get fully immersed in Ulysses, but by then it may be too late. This app gets me writing.

If you’re looking for a good way to write long form work on your iPad along with your Mac, have a look at Ulysses. Together the two apps will cost \~$65, which is not much for tools like these. If you’re not looking for all the features of Ulysses, Daedalus is still very good, and it has most of the magic I’ve found here, at a much lower cost.

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The incredibly resistant ink I should be using

March 13, 2015

Many folks have made a substantial investment in pens and ink to ensure that their journal last through the ages. I certainly have, but there aren’t many fountain pen inks that really last, behave well, and are commonly available. There aren’t many disposable pen choices either – even fewer if you hate felt tip pens […]

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Space pens: AG7 vs. Shuttle

March 12, 2015

I’ve written a few times about how I like the Fisher refill, and while other pens hold this cartridge, some very versatile pens, I usually ended up back with the AG7(affiliate link) or the Shuttle (bottom). It’s hard to find a ballpoint made as nicely as these. Both are fundamentally brass pens. A push-button design […]

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