I’m not a big fan of pencil-cases. I’m not sure why. Maybe they remind me of school (which I largely loathed). I much prefer either tucking a pen into a horizontal closure on a notebook (e.g. on the Ciak notebooks) or having a stick-on pen holder (e.g. the Leuchtturm 1917 pen loops) or something like this: the Papelote elastic pen holder/notebook strap.
I have a number of A4 notebooks with no elastic closure on them and thought this would be a great combination for keeping the book closed and also carrying a variety of pens. I bought this one before I went to Malawi and road-tested it there and am now using it on the Clairefontaine Age Bag book (which I reviewed here).
I bought mine from The Journal Shop. I got mine in grey so that it would go with a number of notebooks but the band comes in lots of different colours.
Here it is loaded with some of my go-to pens:
Left to right:
Pilot V5 hi-tecpoint 0.5, Parker Vector fountain pen, standard pencil, a Bic crystal biro (don’t all kill me at once – they have their uses!) and a Parker Esprit fountain pen.
As you can see, despite the variety in size of writing implement (the pencil being the slimmest, to the Parker Esprit being the chunkiest), they are all held well by the elastic holder. Even when you take the elastic holder off the book, the pens are held together well. The band fits beautifully over the A4 notebook (which is about 1cm thick, but it would easily stretch to fit thicker ones) and holds it closed perfectly.
As I say, this got road-tested well out in Malawi and it stood up superbly to the rigours of being wrapped around a notebook and lobbed into a bag. No pen or pencil ever fell out and the band never slipped off the book by accident. All in all it worked exactly as you would hope and expect.