How to save time formatting in Word by using styles

Whether you use Google Docs, Libre Office Writer, Abi Word, Microsoft Word, Apple Pages …. whatever it is, you can save so much time (not to mention your sanity) if you use preset styles.

Lets assume for example that you want every heading to be red. The long way of doing this is to select every heading then select red. Instead if you use the preset styles this process becomes a lot easier and faster if you can just specify the colour you want to use once and then have that change apply to every heading.

One of the little known things about the preset styles you see for headings, paragraphs is that they can look any way you want within reason and you don’t to individually style every one as you go along. As you might have experienced, what you think might good initially can be something you later change your mind about.

My opinion is that styling the way your text looks it too much of a distraction from the content you are writing. Good writing doesn’t come from picking colours or fonts, it comes from words. So focus on getting those words written while using appropriate preset styles (headings for heading text, paragraphs for paragraph text), then leave sexing up the presentation of your document until last. You will save yourself so much time and get more done faster.

Writing with fountain pens

A recent trip to the Birmingham pen museum has got me hooked on fountain pens.

Maybe now I’m 31 (at the time of writing) I’m at a time of my life where I start to notice more the small details of the everyday things I use. I’ve written before about why I carry a notebook and this is one case where the more you use something the more you notice the little things which aren’t really important. Until they are.

My experience of fountain pens in the past has been using the cheap scratchy kind I tried several years ago during my school days. I notice there’s actually quite a community around fountain pens and even a few popular podcasts, believe it or not. I didn’t get it.

My assumption in the past was that people like fountain pens because they look nice and also there may be some element of nostalgia. I know they became quite the status symbol many years ago, what came to mind was a  business executive douche with a Montblanc they might have to write with while using their pocket calculator when that was a thing.

What changed was using a fountain pen provided for use with writing in the visitor book at the pen museum. Then it suddenly clicked. The writing experience was WAY better than expected. The smoothness was superior to what I’ve experienced with the cheap fountain pens.

I noticed the pen I used available in the gift shop so of course, I purchased it. This is the one if you’re interested

I’ve also noticed an interesting side effect of using fountain pens is that my handwriting looks better. Not sure exactly why, though maybe because the nib is different since it’s more flat, which might make me adopt a better writing position which I don’t normally think about.