Martha and Ink Joy: Two Product Reviews

Last week I ventured into Staples—it had been a long time since I stepped foot in an office supply store.  Why, I don’t know.  I chose Staples because I wanted to check out the new office supply line by Martha Stewart.  While she has some great organizing tips and techniques, I’m not an avid fan/follower of hers.  But office supplies are office supplies, and I had to look into it.  She has teamed up with Avery to create a new line of supplies.

The display was located all the way at the back of this particular store.  To me, if you want to advertise something new, this is not the best place to do it.  But that’s just my opinion—perhaps they didn’t have room anywhere else.  As for the products: there are some great items that I could imagine purchasing for my organizational use—tabs, dividers, labels, folders, etc.  I especially like the desk organizers and drawers—pieces are sold individually and are stackable, allowing you to create your own version of desk organizer.  There are even notebooks and journals and accessories for both, which might be usable for the beloved Filofax.  I was hoping to find something I could use as decorative paper for my tabs but I didn’t find anything.  Also, I was hoping that there might be some diary inserts.  One can find such things, but they are all fit for the A5 size (or larger), not the personal size, which is what I use.  Bummer.

Overall, while I thought the products were nice and served a purpose, I felt they were a little overpriced (probably because it’s Martha) and that you can easily find many of the products in Avery’s main line, just without Martha’s name attached.  Also, all of the products are quite flowery and of a pastel color scheme, ultimately geared toward the female buyer and leaving out the male buyer altogether.  (Though, I’m sure most of Martha’s followers are female to begin with.)  I didn’t purchase anything from this new line, but I’ll continue to watch it to see if anything new might appear in the lineup.

While in Staples I found myself wandering to the pen aisle, mainly because I wanted to check out Papermate’s new Ink Joy pens.  I love my Frixion erasable pens, but after hearing other people’s concerns about the longevity of their visibility, specifically one case in which the ink faded, I began to wonder if it was time to move on.  I had seen a commercial for the Ink Joy pens on television so my interest was piqued. 

Did I purchase these pens?

Why, yes I did!  This huge pack contains all of the colors I use and was on sale—couldn’t beat it.

Now for the color test:

But do they bleed through the paper, I hear you ask.

They do not (at least not the 300, which is what I bought).

After trying them out, I have decided that I like them.  But I’m not sure I can part with my Frixions.  I love the erasing feature, which was the whole point of buying them to begin with.  I have found that I now keep more detailed records of my work schedule simply because I can erase something if it changes, which it often does.  True, I can use white out.  But because I put a line down the page from beginning to end time, white out would just drive me crazy if I had to use it down the page.  Plus, I like the way the Frixions write.  I am concerned about their possible fading over time, but I have yet to experience that for myself.

I have not yet decided what I will do in the end.  Right now I’m thinking that I will continue to use the Frixions until they run out of ink, at which time I will obviously need to decide which pens to use.  I will keep the Ink Joy pens as a backup to the Frixions and move to using them if I decide not to purchase new Frixion pens in the future.

If you’d like to read more about the Ink Joy pens, Office Supply Geek happened to do a review on the 700 series just the other day.  In the end, OSG recommended the Uniball Inkjet pen over the Ink Joy pen, which is my favorite all-around-use pen.  Despite my emailing the company and asking them to produce this pen in an array of colors, they have yet to do so.  Ah, well.  I am used to the disappointment of companies’ whose products I use ignoring my requests.

But that’s another story altogether…


  1. Thanks for the link! I also was intrigued by Martha's new collection, but have yet to buy anything. I agree- it's all a bit too pastel for my liking.

    The Inkjoy pens seem interesting- I did try one out on a store display, but wasn't too impressed. They seemed like a nice pen, just nothing special. I still prefer my Pilot V5s!

    1. Yes, I agree with you, that the InkJoy pens are nice but nothing special. They may have better glide than other pens and start more easily but they didn't wow me. I'll probably hold off on using them for now. I may end up taking them to work as a backup set for when I'm there.


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