I’ve been thinking quite a bit about my analogue system for next year – it’s always nice to be able to start a year fresh with clean white pages and, in my case, hope for the best.
It’s very similar to my system from this past year (here’s my blog post at the end of last year looking forward), with just some minor tweaking.
To keep me organized and next year, I will be using:
- A new Camel Midori Traveler’s Notebook, regular size for my agenda + planning.
- Stalogy A5 Notebook for my personal journal, inside an A5 Midori MD Leather Notebook.
- Life Noble Note B5 work notebook for notes and keeping track of projects.
- Hobonichi Techo for daily gratitude writing, inside an A6 Midori MD Leather Cover.
- Stalogy B6 as a pocket book, for daily notes and random scribbles.
I haven’t quite retired my Pan Am Blue Traveler’s Notebook, but it currently has my notebook from our train trip and days in Vancouver, which I keep meaning to finally get to finishing up. It felt like a good time for a change.
I chose the camel colour because it’s my favourite, and because I’m going to be retiring my camel passport for this upcoming year.
As life has gotten busier, and we’re also starting to balance more appointments and classes and workshops and trips to the cottage, I think it’s finally time for me to formally organize my life into an agenda format.
I have historically not been terrific at keeping up with agenda in this format – life has sometimes gotten in the way, and I sometimes end up relying on scraps of paper, or trying to remember where I wrote that appointment time, and so I think it’s about time I really commit to this.
I’ve also been reading here and there about how people enjoy this sort of time, both to plan ahead and to fill up the pages with what’s happened as a keepsake or journal on its own. I’m not sure how I’ll manage with that, but I can imagine it to be a very relaxing and reflective time of day.
I’ve considering also using this for meal planning, as I’ve found that it’s really, really, really helpful to plan your meals. I always thought it was a sort of myth, but it turns out that life is a million times easier during the week if you take care of all your decision fatigue in one really painful half hour of planning.
I started using this for journaling about halfway through the year – I thought I liked the larger size and I had been using a larger, almost B5 size for a while, but it was a bit too cumbersome for taking out to cafe’s, especially with my bag now often full with other books and things for errands.
I was excited to start using the Stalogy notebook even before we finally got it in, because I had heard such good things about the paper – thin and fountain pen friendly – and I have loved writing it over the last few months. I think I will continue using it for the foreseeable future.
The leather cover came into my personal use after a short but meaningful existence as our display model. It has an unfortunate encounter with someone’s coffee, but Jon was kind enough to scrub it off with some dish soap and water before giving it to me. Now that the entire cover has darkened a bit, you can’t even tell its sordid history.
Often times people are a bit worried about how it will darken over time, as it starts out as a lighter pink. You can darken it with oils or by leaving it out in the sun, but both of these MD leather covers were darkened simply with use and from my hands – I’ve had the A6 for one year (with the Hobonichi), and the A5 for around half a year, although it spent another half a year out in the shop).
They still have a hint of their original pinkish colour, but I’m loving the warmer brown hue they’ve taken – especially compared to how they look brand new covers, like in the product shots here. In fact, a blog reader once commented on how light my Hobonichi cover looked after being in use, as though it never sees the sun! And to be honest, they actually rarely do see the sun – they’re mostly indoor creatures.
The B5 may have been too big for me as a personal journal, but it turns out to be the perfect amount of space for me to do brainstorming and check lists and notes for projects. If you’ve been following along with this blog for a while, you’ll probably recognize it as the notebook for ink swabs and writing samples.
I’m continuing on with my daily gratitude writing, three thoughts a day. I’ve been a bit scattered over the last few weeks, as I’ve been sharing my Hobonichi with our daily ink swabs, but 2017 I hope to get back on track. The leather cover is also wearing in nicely.
And lastly, my Stalogy B6 notebook:
I use this for random notes, including some that happen to be work related, although usually that’s because I always have this notebook with me. It’s mostly for throw-away notes and ideas, something I might write down because it’s important and I need to do something about it.
Grocery lists or reminders, lists of Christmas gifts I’ve purchased online and am expecting to come, or appointment dates are just trash after the fact, but sometimes if I’m out and I have an idea for the blog or come across an interesting quotation, I’ll write it down in here, and hopefully I manage to transfer it accordingly whenever I get back home. Jon and I seem to do a lot of brainstorming in the car, and this is usually the notebook I have on hand to pull out.
So this notebook sometimes does end up holding notes related to work, but it’s more just a catch-all for everything.
I also use this a lot for random doodling. I’m absolutely not precious about it – I have scribbles and test writing of pens, although I try to reign it in a bit when it starts to get really out of hand. It’s great because then I can just write whatever comes to mind. Every once in a while my doodling come in handy, like when I’m trying to remember exactly what ink I put in which pen, but 99% of my scribbles are just embarrassing.
Other small notebooks that I’m using, mostly ones that have been carrying over for a while, include:
- A B6 Life Vermilion to keep track of my correspondence. I think I may fill it up this year!
- A4 Midori MD notebook, which I’m still using to document Caleb’s funny moments, although I haven’t been as faithful as I wish I could be.
- A notebook with a dog on it I’ve had for the last decade, in which I keep track of the books I’ve read.
- Another B6 Stalogy notebook for ink swabs and keeping track of what’s in my pens. I just started this notebook in November 2016, so it’s only got a few pages filled, but I’m loving how crinkly it’s getting already. I tell it apart from my pocket notebook because it has a burn mark on its front cover from when I was doing wax seals and things got a little out of hand.
As we wrap up the year and the holiday season comes to an end, I have a whole host of blog posts in mind for that quiet time between Christmas and the first day of 2017: maybe more updated photos on how the Midori MD leather cover wears in and warms up over time, reflections on another year in business, my pen artillery for 2016 and which ones I tended to use the most, a very vague and faint hope of a few photos of a completed travel journal from our train trip this summer.
With only a few days left until the new year, time is ticking, but I think it feels more like that as these final hectic shopping days clamber on in the shop.
9I always really look forward to the time right after Christmas, when there’s time to take a breath and clean up the boxes, and maybe to enjoy a few new Christmas toys with some hot chocolate.