I’m not an artist, can’t draw a stick figure with any realism. But I do love decorating my journal entries. Considering my doodles are even hit or miss I’d never be able to capture the scenes where I travel so I’ve invested in another option: Polaroid’s Pogo printer. I say invested because I’ve had to purchase two of these puppies after losing the original power cord but at less than $50 each I can say these have been the best purchases ever to liven up my journal.
There are tons of reviews out there for the Pogo series and I’m not going to bore you with another of those. There are arguments against it (picture quality, price of Zink paper, size, etc) and then those of us who absolutely adore them. Sure, photo quality could be better but for my purposes I’ve never been disappointed in the prints: perfect size, stickered backs and good (although not perfect) color quality. I am still using the original series Pogos. The newer version has a larger print size but doesn’t have a sticky back which sort of defeats the purpose for me so I’ve never wanted to change.
A lot of people utilize their Pogo to print out pics for friends at events or to decorate their journal as they write. Being not a people person and unwilling to carry it around everywhere, I use mine a bit differently. While on a trip, I’ll write in my journal and then, using the blue Zink card (you’ll end up with tons of these) I mark a spot off where I want to put a photo. Then, once I return home I’ll print out my photos all at once and stick them where they belong in my journal. I don’t have to carry anything more traveling and since I keep it charging as I print I never have the low battery issue that many people complain of.
Since I started using the Pogo my journaling has branched out. Instead of just the Pogo prints, I’ve started including items that I picked up in my travels: brochures, ticket stubs and the like. I usually tuck away photo corners in my journal and affix the mementos in as I’m writing each evening. If I remember to take a glue stick I’ll go ahead and glue them in as well. When added to the photos, it makes my journal come alive with the events of my trip.
I’ve only run into two issues with the Pogo. My camera takes photos at 16.2 megapixels which, on default, equates to something like 4608 pixels…way, way too much for the Pogo to handle. Sending something that large to the printer will inevitably cause it to time out. I simply resize to 300 pixels (even if I crop the photo) with locked dimensions and the photo comes out crystal clear and perfect each time. The other problem I’ve run into is the Zink paper. Most stores around me don’t carry it and those that do want an outrageous amount of money. I buy mine on amazon or ebay (the whole out of date issue you may read on google is a load of bunk, by the way) which ends up being cheaper even if I have to pay shipping. The problem being, of course, I have to try and plan ahead on how much I will use and have, more than once, found myself running out so make sure you try and plan ahead.
Note: The journal shown is my go-to travel journal. A Rhodia webbie with 90g Clair Fontaine off white paper. All entries written in Noodler’s Blue Nose Bear ink