It’s that time of year! When all the planners start coming in.
Hobonichi boxes started arriving a few weeks ago, and we just received another shipment, but another exciting one is when the Traveler’s Notebooks calendar inserts start coming in. There’s a lot that goes into picking just the right format, especially when you’re committing for the whole year, rather than picking an open-dated insert, where you fill in the dates as you go.
We’ve got the usual selection of regular and passport size monthly and weekly planners. This year, we’re also carrying the bundled Traveler’s Notebook Cover + Dated Insert sets, where you can choose which colour leather cover you’d like and which format of calendar you’d like.
The theme for this year’s accessories is music, and you can tell when people come in and they just gravitate towards it. I’ve got a tendency to be reluctant to use the stickers, but I’ve decided that my goal will be to use the stickers by the end of 2019, and each year going forward to continue to do so. If I can’t find a good place to use them myself, I’ll send them off to a pen pal.
In 2019, like this past year, I’m going to use the weekly vertical to organize my days. I think the more popular one is the standard weekly one with the days all along the left page, and a blank page on the right, which gives you room for a little planning day by day, but a bigger space for a view of what’s important overall on a weekly basis.
However, especially now with “Toy Day” at school, going back and forth to the main shop, appointments, meetings with the printer, workshops… I find it easier for me to stay organized when I can get a visual gauge on when things are happening – being able to jot in something I need to do in the morning, and just at a glance being able to see that I have a morning engagement. When I used the standard weekly one, if I needed to squeeze something in but the box was filled, it could get lost in the shuffle since it wasn’t as clearly organized by time.
For me this is much more of a practical, functional planner than something with notes or quotes or beautiful lettering – remembering times and dates and parent council meetings.
As we head into 2019, I’m trying to pare down my notebooks and the things I use to keep me organized (ho ho who hasn’t heard me say that before), although I’ve been finding over time the notebooks that I use regularly demand less and less organization and instead become part of my routine and habit, like brushing my teeth.
However, a new one that I’m excited about is the other insert that’s going to go inside my Traveler’s Notebook, along with my dated insert, one for notes on books.
A wise and readerly pen pal who routinely sends me all sorts of lovely and serendipitous things in the mail sent me Pamela Paul’s My Life with Bob – a memoir by the editor of the New York Times Book Review. In My Life with Bob, Paul writes about her experiences reading, and in particular, the notebook she keeps, her Book of Books, in which she lists all the books she reads. Coincidentally, since around 2013, I have been keeping such a book, and I love it: I can see the ebbs and flows, years when I read lots and lots, and years when I seem to have forgotten where the library was.
I love looking through it and recalling where I was (at the cottage? in Leslieville? at our shop on the west end?) or what season we were in (summer? Christmas? newborn Caleb?) when I was reading it. I see a lot of familiar authors and favourite titles, although it’s funny, sometimes I remember more about where I was in my life than I do about the details of the plot.
My pen pal, though, is one step above the rest, and she keeps a notebook with her notes and thoughts on the books she reads. Along with My Life with Bob, she sent some beautiful pages of her own book notebook, where she has sketches and illustrations, thoughts, quotes and brilliant insights. When I read books, I occasionally copy out quotes, or make a note in my notebook about something interesting, but I previously was a bit hesitant to start a notebook like my pen pal’s. After all, what do I have to say?
However, I’ve decided to just forge on. New year, new Liz.
I’m starting this insert, and instead of worrying about whether or not I’ve got anything brilliant to say, I’m just going to worry about filling it up. I realize it might seem a bit non-productive, to write for the sake of writing, but I’m a big believer that sometimes you have to just write (or force yourself to write) and see what comes out.
I’m going to use two facing pages for each book. I’m noting title, author, library book or my own or borrowed, when I started a book and when/if I finish it. I may use it to copy out quotes or to make a few notes, and otherwise I’m going to fill up both pages with whatever ramblings I may have on the book when I’m done, a la Julie Cameron’s morning pages, stream of consciousness. Things I’ve googled about the author, things I liked about the book or didn’t, things I may have researched (historical context, things I missed). Very likely it will all be nonsense garbage, but perhaps within the pages one or two interesting things will come up.
I was originally going to use a Leuchtturm with its pre-numbered pages and table of contents, but I chose to use the insert instead because it could just fit into my Traveler’s Notebook, and additionally, with fewer pages, I’ll feel a little bolstered filling up a notebook faster. I’m going to have to use a hand written table of contents, numbering the pages myself. As you can see in the photo below, I already had a hard time with the page numbering. Go figure.
In any case, these are two of the pieces that are coming together as I think about what’s ahead for 2019. More to come.