29 Jan 2016

Keeping the Flow | Thinking Better with Parker

Words were never my strong point, and with the aim to improve on that weakness I started Buckets & Spades back in 2008, to try to brush up my language skills and creative writing. Over the years I've become used to using a pen to jot down my thoughts daily; through endless notetaking, and organising my life using a diary. I actually have a love/hate relationship with words, as I find it all-to-easy to compare myself to the whitty and expressive folk I come across in magazines + on Twitter. This doesn't come from a place of jealous, far from it, as it inspires my writing style to be more open and natural.

I find Yasumi's unique perspective on life, and the way she tackles words to be hugely inspiring.

Wearing - Whistles Denim Shirt | Albam Jeans | Harry Stedman T-Shirt | Red Wing Boots | Paulin Watch

One constant throughout my whole growing up was having to write things down, as a way of collecting my thoughts, relaying ideas and organising my life. This is one side of modern technology that Apple hasn't been able to affect; I need a pen, notebook and diary to feel like I'm on top of accomplishing the day's tasks, and never leave the house without them. I make a to-do list every single day, and when the day is finally over I look back at my diary to make sure I'm set for the day ahead. There's also the odd doddle thrown in (Hollie didn't appreciate the Picaso-inspired drawing of her...), of ideas that pop into my head, intriguing things I see on my travels, or ideas for outfit combinations.

The Better Thinking campaign by Parker got me questioning just how important the humble pen is to my life, and how invaluable it is to my own personal experiences. For me, a beautiful pen is as important as the thoughts themselves. And Parker is helping us unlock a better way of thinking; by helping us discover exciting ways to create new content, and to keep our ideas fresh.

The concept behind the Better Thinking campaign follows the process of picking up a well-designed pen, which enables you to write down your thoughts at a slower pace, giving your mind more time to form natural, creative idea. What's the rush? You can't force creativity - just think back to when you were a kid, there were no rules, ideas just came naturally.

I often write down posts in a note pad when I'm on the move, revising and adding as I go, so they're ready to type on when I'm back at my computer. Picking up a pen, on the train or at a coffee shop, to hash out ideas is one of those experiences I wouldn't take away from my week. They say "it's the small things in life", but it's those quick ideas and thoughts I get while on the move that make a huge difference to my work - and a Parker pen just enhances that experience tenfold.

Parker have recently relaunched two of their most prestigious collections; a classic design, in the Sonnet (as seen in this post), and the luxury Duofold Prestige.

How does the act of writing fit into your everyday routine? Do you feel using a pen helps to generate better ideas and have a clearer thought process? I'd love to hear your thoughts, and if it's something you see as invaluable to your life, or something more fun.

Photography by Jake Millers. Frind him on Instagram here.

This post is in partnership with Parker. All themes and words are my own. Thank you for taking the time to support the brands + businesses that make this blog happen.


  1. Omg that pen - it's gorgeous! Need immediately.

  2. Darwin16:54

    This brand has a very reliable quality. I’ve been using Parker for more than a decade.

  3. This is such a great post, and that pen is gorgeous! I definitely need to jot down ideas by pen more often! I use my electronic devices way too much to complete these tasks!


  4. Stuart10:55

    That's a cracking pen,but that watch is beautiful...great post as always.

  5. This is one of the best posts I've read in a while, I'm the same when it comes to writing, its definitely not my strong point, and something I'm slowly working on. It is pretty bizarre how wrapped up in technology we can be, but we all revert back to handwritten notes for creative thinking and idea generation - nothing can compete with pen to paper. Making lists is something that always helps me focus; breakfast, a cup of tea and a list, is how I aim to start most mornings. Great post Mat!


  6. I am the same, making to do lists every single day I prefer the physical thing than using technology to make to do list. I have a lot of notebooks dedicated to blogging, ideas, goals and such so I do find writing (and drawing!) helps me to process with things better. Being a long time reader of your blog, I definitely can say that your writing style has grown confident every year.

    Katrina Sophia

  7. Beautiful indeed. Thanks.

  8. Got to keep it quality.

  9. Thanks for the feedback, Stuart.

  10. I use both but for some reason I always return back to using a note pad, even if I've wrote it on my iPad. Just feels more official to me.

  11. Thank you Aaron, that means a lot, it took a while to write as I wanted to try get my thoughts across as honestly and true as possible. Too true, handwritten lists and just AOK for me, even the small tasks make the cut, leading to a more organised day. Win!

  12. Spot on, that's how I feel too. I helps me process the ideas and what I need to do in a much easier way. I appreciate that a lot, Kat, and I know how we've both seen each other change over these years. I still remember your original style posts!

  13. Writing stuff in a note pad has become a real habit for me and I'm like you you, constantly making notes of ideas. It actually seems to make me more productive. Great post as always Matt and Jake never fails with the pictures!

    James | www.getyourbronon.com

  14. i have to agree with you. Keeping a diary or agenda improves your organizing skills.

    Greets Jon

    Jon The Gold - A Men's Style Blog

  15. I can't handle my day without one.

  16. First off, Jake's photos as always are spot on. I know, I can't really do without it, it just doesn't feel right and I can't keep on top of it on my phone. Thanks man.


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