Very cool new Schneider pens

Schneider LinkIt! pen set

A new concept in drawing and writing has arrived on the shelves of Walmart – the Schneider LinkIt! pen set.

You can take any two pens and snap them together to make a handy two-sided two-color pen. Mix-and-match is the name of the game – they easily snap apart too.

Another cool thing about these pens is that they are BioBased. Schneider has introduced the first fineliner and felt tip pens on the market made of bio-based materials. The plastic is produced from renewable raw materials – agricultural by-products such as vegetable fats and oils, corn starch, or microbiota. The LinkIt! has 88% bio-based plastics, as certified by DINCERTCO, an independent certification body of DIN German Institute for Standardization.

Like all Schneider pens, they are super-high quality. The tips are very durable and smooth-writing. Colors are bright. Each 16-pen set has 8 thin-tip pens and 8 broad-point pens.

Schneider LinkIt! pen set

Writing a personal letter with multiple colors adds variety and interest. (I wrote my sister and her family in Belgium a few days back – definitely more fun than normal blue or black ink.)

Schneider has a contest that you should enter. If you buy a set of Schneider LinkIt! pens from Walmart and take a photo, you might win $80 worth of Schneider pens!

  • Details on the contest: here
  • First check the list of Walmart stores that carry these pens: here
  • The contest expires June 30th.
  • Note that you may have to look a bit to find the pen set. (Apparently, Walmart has put them high on the shelves.)

If there is not a Walmart near you, you can buy them from Amazon.

My favorite part of buying Schneider pens is that the US distributor is Stride, a New Mexico-based company that employs several people in the special needs spectrum. I love this report that tells some of the story:

Stride Inc., featured on KOB-TV

So when you buy Schneider pens, not only do you get the best pens made on this planet, you will benefit a company that brings new life to many with special needs.

Finally, a secret tip: you can buy Parker- and Cross-compatible Schneider refills for your favorite fancy pens and have much better performance than the factory refills. Passion4Pens is my favorite source.

Disclosure: Stride provided the pen set for my review, and my unbiased opinion is that the pens are great. But I get nothing from the sale of these pens other than the satisfaction of knowing that you have benefited a great company and are writing with excellent pens.


Writing vs Typing

picture of handwriting compared to typesetting

Beautiful expensive pens.

The Wall Street Journal often features luxury items that are out of the range of all but the upper .001%. The New Status Symbol? Think Ink featured Marc Newson Pens by Hermès for a mere $1,670 and the $400 El Casco Stapler.

Since I love pens, I read the article with gusto. I am not attracted to hand-made solid gold fountain pens, but I do appreciate fine art.

Besides digging into the hardware, the writers also delved a bit into why writing a message by hand is more meaningful than typing off an email.

I agree.

The article includes an interview with Tom Dixon, whose London-based furniture, lighting and interior design firm also sells fine pens and pencils. I disagreed with part of his thought in reference to those who handwrite, “Maybe superior communication is a more thoughtfully, artfully and carefully constructed message.”

When I write a personal email, I spend time going back and editing the content, such that my final thought truly says what I mean.

I do love writing letters by hand. My brother, who lives in Texas, is the recipient of the bulk of my handwriting.

As he could attest, few of those letters contain anything of great significance. But I enjoy the experience of dragging a smooth ballpoint across the back of a scrap letter-sized piece of paper. The resulting letters are more me than Helvetica or Myriad.



hand-written note on the back of an old postcard

Write with your hand.

This old postcard is one my dad left me, before he left.

Putting a pen (or pencil) to paper is an entirely different experience than typing on a keyboard. Feeling the pen tip (or graphite) move across paper produces a deeper feeling than hitting keys. Every character you produce is a small act of creation.

I have a bunch more of my dad’s postcards. I’d love to write to you on one. Just leave a comment on this post. I’ll send you an email to get your address, and then a postcard will magically appear in your mailbox, at the speed of snailmail.

Sending one back is completely optional.


Wall Street Journal vs. Motor Trend

Wall-Street-Journal-vs-Motor-TrendFine wine or MD 20/20? You spend your money and take your choice.

I enjoy reading a variety of publications to observe writing styles, and there’s good and bad writing. I was delighted to see reviews of the new Nissan Versa Note in both Motor Trend (MT) and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). One was sublime, and the other was – well – ridiculous:

“Versa-tile: The Note’s aero-friendly exterior may not boost its speed, but provides a comfortable and airy interior” (MT).

“And no, the Nissan Versa Note isn’t a great inexpensive car. Actually, it is a shambles, a car so out of step with the best in its segment, it almost has an early 1970s East German vibe to it” (WSJ).

I am sure that the WSJ’s Dan Neil makes quite a bit more money per word than the MT writer. You do get what you pay for – at least in this instance.

Reading the WSJ review was so fun that I laughed out loud at least three times. Well done, Mr. Neil. In contrast, I winced several times while reading the MT review.

My friends, take care in what you do today. If possible, bring others delight rather than pain.

1. I like the appearance of the Nissan Versa Note, but Mr. Neil’s review made it clear that I will never own one, no matter how inexpensive it may be.

2. The bad grammar reflected by the wrong use of a comma in the MT quote did occur in that article.
3. I left out the name of the MT writer, as an act of mercy.