Thursday, December 15, 2011

My 2012 planner

So, we are finally close to year's end! honestly, I can't wait until the new year starts as I've been itching to use my new cat planner.

Also, because I've decided not to use a Filofax in 2012.

The reason for this is that life, at least mine, is quite monotonous. Monday to Friday is work, and weekends relaxing and going out for walks.
I don't have a busy social life, let alone a social life!
To tell you the truth, I don't mind. I like it like this, just having few friends.

So yes, a Filofax is not useful to me no more. Especially after a nice friend sent me that beautiful cat planner.

Choo Choo diary cover

It's an A5 bound planner, loaded with lovely cat pictures. It is also undated, so if I wanted, I could save it for another year (but I won't). This means I can handwrite each date into the spaces with the ink/language/font I choose.

Monthly spread

It has a double spread for the monthly view, with the days as squares, and following the spread, a week on two pages.

Weekly spread

Since it's undated, there are 5 of these weekly spreads in between the monthly views.

Notes section

And after the year, there are lined pages for notes, that also have those cute cat pictures.

Envelope with elastic

The planner comes in a transparent plastic sleeve, and there is also a decorated envelope for mementos, with a round elastic attached to one side. By keeping the envelope inside the book, the elastic will act as a closure.

In November I started to pencil in the dates, but I didn't finish. Once I have all the way I want them to, I will proceed to ink them.

I am very excited about this planner, I think that the fact that it is a fun planner, rather than a plain Filofax, will make me use it more. The weight is also a factor; as it is slightly lighter than my current pocket Filo, I will be able to bring it with me more often.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

My work setup

Work system

A few days ago I told you it had been a very busy week at work and that I needed to be very organised to keep up with the various projects I would be working on for this month.

Work system

Well, this is the system I created for work quite a while ago.

It consists of Work sheets which I print out every week. I tend to play around with the layout and contents depending on how the week will be, but it usually has a To Do list, a Pending Tasks area as well as another for emails, a Current Project section, a space for Notes and also one for the date. These particular weeks I needed a bigger To Do list, so I added an extra one to the page and made the other sections smaller.

Work system

But since that wouldn't be enough to keep everything organised, I also needed to use my Muji notebook to save important information related to each project, which I will need from now on.

And because I'm such a stationery geek and cannot use 'any' pen, I decided that a ballpen would fit the bill. So I also got one from Muji which I must say, writes very well. It doesn't "dribble" like your regular bic and the ink flow is always consistent, without having thick and thin lines.

Work system

Honestly, I am convinced that if I hadn't had everything so neatly organised, last week would've been a total disaster for me. Not to mention that it was a great way to start the week by going stationery shopping!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Stationery crazy!!

Lately, I've been in a very stationery-hungry mood, it is probably due to the end of year approaching.
I can't wait to start using the new diary a friend sent me, but also after using the Traveler Midori for the first time on my trip to Mallorca in September, I am wanting to travel only so I have an excuse to use it again!

And since I decided not to get the large Midori until next year, I've not been able to resist shopping for stationery. Only this Monday I got quite a stash from Paperchase and Muji:
- Rhodia Dot webbie (they finally have it at Paperchase!!!)
- Travel notebook (Paperchase)
- Kraft ruled sheets for Filo (Paperchase)
- To Do sheets for Filo (Paperchase)
- Cute sticky notes (Paperchase)
- Kimono fabric bookmarks (Muji)
- Blue ink ballpen (Muji)
- Leads (Muji)
- Tiny blocknote (Muji)
- Orange gel pen (Muji)

The last 4 Muji items are meant for work and that is where I have them. I guess I decided since this was going to be an extremely busy week for me, I needed to keep organised in a tidy way.
I have to say that I'm liking Muji stationery more every time. The paper might not be Clairefontaine/Rhodia, but it is very good, and I've always been happy with their writing tools (I never use ballpoints but Muji is exceptional).

As I mentioned earlier, this week has been crazy so I haven't been able to take any pictures from my hauling, but I will try to post some this weekend.
Goodnight everybody!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bored watercolours

There they sit, in a corner inside a cabinet, waiting to be used again.
But inspiration just won't come, she's been avoiding me for quite a while now.

I need her kind words to help keep me sane during times of stress, deadlines and "cannedsardined" commutes, of xmas campaigns, stupid giveaways and obtuse coworkers.

I think she decided to stay at warmer and quieter meadows.
Or it could simply be my notebook's paper water-unfriendly characteristics.

Originally uploaded by Onigiri-sama!

Friday, September 02, 2011

September ramblings

So, September already. How time flies (and not necessarily when you’re having fun)!

Over here in London the weather is already miserable and cold, winter already! Like a good friend pointed out: “Were we ever in summer?” He’s right, you know? We didn’t have summer this year.
And because of that in my mind I’ve been stuck in March/April. Which is why when I read on Philofaxy about some people already getting their calendars for next year, I thought  they were crazy, they wouldn’t find them yet! But of course, two minutes (maybe even two hours) later I realised we’re already on the second semester of the year.
The same thought hit me when I walked in to Paperchase two days ago on my lunch break. They had all sorts of diaries or planners, sprawled across their tables, tantalising with their beautiful layouts and the promise of leading an organised life once 01.01.2012 hits.

You and I both know it’s a lie. In my case at least. This year, due to change of work and interests and mindset, my calendar tracking has suffered tremendously.
Last year around November I started using another Filofax, besides my trusty Pocket, for work. The Personal Scanda would stay at the office and only hold work related stuff on its Quovadis inserts. But since that work was a stressful, never-stopping job, I also didn’t have time to set it up properly. I just used the WOTP. I would sometimes try to create a Notes section, but because I needed to have my calendar view at all times, it was just pointless. So, for all that note-taking (I am a scribbler at heart!) I turned to a spiral bound A5 Rhodia, a brand I love more and more every time. That too, would sleep in the office.

At home the situation was different. I was running my usual set up on the Rasberi, but I was also aching to use the cute A6, Week+Notes, 18-month diary from Moleskine. So, mid December I gave in and tried running that simultaneously with the Rasberi. Two days later I knew it was a fail, and I had to find another way of using the Mole I decided. To make matters worse, my cousin brought me the Midori Traveler from Japan. Such a thing of beauty!! In my head I felt something go –crack- . I was going to go crazy trying to figure out when and how to use such gorgeous notebook, with its undated calendars on such smooth, smooth paper.
So I just put it away in a drawer, waiting for the right moment.
During the first two months of the year, I sort of managed to keep my Rasberi and the Mole running at the same time. By March I had already quit the job I hated so much, and started preparing for moving house to an area we both enjoyed much more, a flat with even bigger space and better distribution.
This meant I could use the Rasberi again to its full potential and still have time to use the Mole.
Having so much time in my hands meant I could dedicate it to the things I enjoy (and that I can afford!), like stationery, painting, videogames, and trying new things, like knitting.
Since the Rasberi was more ‘fact-oriented’ I felt I needed a place where I could be creative, and not need a set frame or box to specific stuff. That is how I started using the Notebook. (I’ve already talked about it in here). This was a wonderful idea as I could use it wherever, whenever, and not worry about it getting dirty or anything. I could write grocery lists next to my watercolouring attempts and not feel I was ‘wasting’ paper. I even customised the cover without having a set idea, I just pasted stuff I felt like.
But in July I started working again, so I was left with little time to dedicate to both the Rasberi and the Mole. Even my usage of The Notebook became less frequent.
I have been carrying my Mini Fisnbury as my wallet, though, and it comes in quite handy for writing down quick appointments and reminders.

So, now September. My Notebook is almost full and I have already been thinking which replacement to use for it: an A5 QuoVadis Habana, which was kindly sent to me by Karen at Exaclair to try. Although my Notebook is squared, this one is lined, and I am a bit doubtful about how that will look when painting on it with my watercolours. I guess I will have to try nevertheless.
Then again, knowing how easily attracted I am by fancier notebooks, who knows if I'll stick with my decision. 
Hopefully,I shall be able to decide tonight.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Travel light

Tomorrow I am off to Spain for a few days and I am trying to travel as lightly as possible.

Considering that I haven't been using my Pocket Rasberi much, and concentrating more on my new Mini Green, she will be the only Filo I take with me this time.
Travel light
So far so good, my euros and pounds are sorted, I have space for my two bank cards and my ID, and I have even stashed a few band aids (I tend to get blisters at the most inconvenient times!!).

The only thing I can't fit in there is my passport. Not even inside the wallet pocket (of course not, you silly kitten, it's a MINI, not a Pocket anymore!!). This makes me very sad. 
I will just have to be extra careful when I'm at the airport. 

Have a nice weekend all of you!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

May update: the notebook

my notebook
The notebook is just a run of the mill type which I found at the first flat we lived in here. About two months ago, I was looking for an ordinary piece of paper to jot down a shopping list, and the only thing I found readily available was this notebook. After that I just left it in the kitchen for future reference.
Later that evening, I felt like doing some doodling, nothing serious, so I just grabbed the notebook while I watched TV.
my notebook
A few weeks later, noticing that I was using it more often, I decided to practice my drawing in it. The first thing I did was cover up the hideous design (Tweety) it had on the hard covers with some kraft paper I had lying about.
my notebook
Gradually I started using it not only for sketching, but also for writing lists of any sort and even watercolouring. 
My relationship with this notebook got serious when I trusted it with my MAIN TO DO LIST. I needed a place outside my filofax to write it, without thinking about the when and what of every task, more like a 'brain dump'.
my notebook
And so I would get into the right mindset and little by little, take care of those pending tasks.  The list also began to grow as I would add new items as they came to my mind.

Two days ago, the space on the double spread ran out, so I had to relocate the undone items into a new list, which is also getting longer as I keep on adding more stuff to it.
The feeling of accomplishment I get whenever I look at my first list, with so many striked out tasks, is very rewarding and it motivates me to keep on track and not be lazy.

Even though I use different tools for it, my weapon of choice is my new Rhodia pencil.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

May update: Moleskine 18 month weekly notebook

I started using the Moleskine just before the year's end, but only two weeks into it I put it down. Keeping up with my Filo and trying to use it at the same time, was time consuming, not to mention that the lack of space in the Mole wouldn't allow a complete switchover.

moleskine planner
Nevertheless, I really liked it and tried to at least write one thing in it, maybe a thought or a note to myself on the page opposite to the calendar.
Inside Moleskine
Gradually I noticed a few patterns emerging: on the top space above the calendar, I'd write a brief description of the week: "Rollercoaster hectic busy week" or "This has also been Problem Week!" Actually, on that particular week I had taken one day off work and was really glad I did, as it helped me unwind and see things from a different perspective. That is also when I started drawing, painting and glueing things on it.
Inside Moleskine 

And so it became an activity, to update it on the weekend, looking back at the week, write my thoughts down.
Inside Moleskine
But I have avoided using it for appointments. That way it stays fun.

May update: Filofaxes

Filofaxes. Plural, as in two. My pocket Raspberry Finsbury (aka Rasberi), and my mini Urban. 

For a while I had been neglecting my Rasberi more and more in favour of my Moleskine. I thought the best was to simply stop using it. But I'd still find myself updating it weekly, because I missed the beautiful QV inserts and also because I didn't want to start using the Mole for my appointments yet.
So, my actual setup consists of W2P from QV and DPP. Notes, To Do and Financial are still in there, but inactive.

Rasberi Week on Two Pages

Rasberi day per page

About a month ago, I decided I would go back to using one of my minis as a wallet, that way I get to leave the Rasberi at home and carry less weight. Inside it I carry a Week on One Page calendar, addresses and notes, as well as a Tube Map, not from Filofax, but from London Underground.
my writing instrument of choice is a small, aluminum mechanical pencil from MUJI (love!!).
Mini Urban

May update

It has been a while without a proper update from my part; a lot has changed and honestly, I don't know where to start.
I could start yapping about the changes and the reasons behind them, but I thought I'd spare you the boredom, also this isn't the place for that.
So I will simply tell you about my current system/planner situation. Please take a seat, so you're sure you didn't misread the following.

I am using two Filofaxes, one Moleskine planner and one notebook. Simultaneously.

Three more posts will follow, in order to go more in depth into each one. Read on!

Monday, March 07, 2011

New Filofax Range

My thoughts on the new Filofax range.
Dull, tacky and incredibly overpriced!

not happy.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Fountain pen and the Cotton Cream...

Yesterday, while browsing the Flickr Philofaxy group, I noticed a discussion topic asking about the behaviour of the Cotton Cream refills from Filofax with fountain pen ink. Some readers said that it was good, while others (myself included) weren't too satisfied with it.

Well, it just so happens that last week, not knowing about this discussion, I decided to do a comparison of the QuoVadis Prestige, which I'm currently using in my Scanda, and the FF Cotton Cream, by trying out 4 fountain pens.

So, the arsenal I used was:
-Lamy Vista w/ Lamy blue ink, M nib
-Lamy Safari w/Lamy blue ink, M nib
-Parker Vector w/Quink in black, M nib
-Pilot Vpen (known as Varsity in the US), w/black ink, M nib

The page on the left is the QuoVadis Prestige, the one to the right the FF Cotton Cream, and above them, my pens.

On the left: the Vista and the Safari on the QV. As you can see, they don't show any feathering.
On the right: Both Lamys on the FFCC. The Vista is slightly thicker and the edges not as fine as in the QV, but it is hardly noticeable. The Safari is still quite thin and it seems darker.

On the left: the Parker and the Pilot on the QV. The Parker comes with a thicker nib than the Lamy, being a bit wet at times. But using Quink this shouldn't be a problem, as this ink is known for its fast-drying capabilities. There is no feathering. The Pilot on the other hand, has a very thin nib and is quite wet, taking a bit longer to dry. Still, no feathering, and the lines remain thin.
On the right: the Parker and the Pilot on the FFCC. The Parker's thick nib is more evident and the ink remained wet longer.The feathering is barely noticeable. The Pilot was very wet, and the line was also much thicker. Feathering was quite noticeable.

This is the backside of the QV. No bleedthrough whatsoever, even from the Pilot, which is the wettest pen I have and doesn't perform well on thin papers.

The reverse of the FFCC, on the other hand, tells a different story. Although the Lamys didn't bleed through at all (which is why that part isn't pictured), both the Parker and the Pilot do show through. Even using Quink! 

One other thing that I also noticed was that when I was writing on the FFCC, the paper would buckle sightly due to the wetness of the inks. This didn't happen with the QV. Nevertheless, by putting the paper under some weight, like keeping your binder closed, it will flatten out again.

In conclusion, although it is obvious that the QV is the clear winner here, the Cotton Cream only performed badly with the Parker and the Pilot. For those of you who plan on using a fountain pen, particularly the Lamy with its own ink, you should be fine. There won't be any feathering nor bleedthrough.

As for me, I fell in love with the QuoVadis paper the moment I tried out their planners!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Paperblanks collection

Last week I got lucky at the Paperblanks Planner giveaway on the Plannerisms blog and won the Black Moroccan Daily Planner. Laurie very kindly sent to it to me right after announcing the winners on her blog, so that made my week (which will forever be known in my book as Problem Week!)
Paperblanks is maybe* my favourite notebook brand. Not only are they beautifully decorated, but their quality is also impeccable! They are not cheap, mind you, but they are similar (the same in most shops) in price to the overrated Moleskines, and they surpass by far their quality!
To start, they are VERY fountain pen friendly. I have only tried a few ink+pen combinations (I only have those), but everytime the paper hasn’t buckled a bit. Even when I used markers, there hasn’t been any feathering nor bleed-through. My watercolours have been the only thing that have made the paper ‘bubble’ a bit, but that is perfectly normal for a paper not meant for them.
The colour of the paper is also a very beautiful, soft, off-white, which is whiter than the Mole’s, and more like the Rhodia’s Webbie.
I like these notebooks so much, that in only two years my collection has grown from one to eight!!
  • 3 Journals in midi format, coptic binding, both lined and unlined: Used as personal journals, all full now. (the first one only appears in the second picture; the second one in none)
  • 2 journals in mini format, smythe sewn, with magnetic closure and ribbon, lined+unlined: Used as personal journals, just started a week ago.
  • 1 journal in ultra format, coptic binding, unlined: Used as my favourite sketchbook
  • 1 journal in slim format, magnetic closure and ribbon, lined: Brand new, to be my next journal
  • 1 Daily planner in midi format, smythe sewn with two ribbons and elastic closure: My Prize!! I am still trying to figure out what to use it for…

My first Paperblanks

Unfortunately, I haven’t found any models with the coptic binding this year. I hope they’re not discontinued, as I really love them!
I have also noticed that in my midi coptic journals, the paper is slightly thicker than in the rest of the notebooks, including the coptic ultra. Could it be that they were from an older batch, and now they have changed the paper and the other one is discontinued?
* Paperblanks is sharing first place with Rhodia and Clairefontaine, so I can't really say which one I prefer over the other as they are different

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Mole: a short-lived love affair

So, I guess it's time for another update from my part, especially considering that we just started a new year and how important that is for us planner addicts.

Last month saw me trying out my Moleskine Planner, and quite enjoying it. I even had moments when I would daydream about just sticking with it all year long.
But just like when you are fantasizing about someone, finally get to make out with them, you don't want them anymore, I stopped enjoying the Mole. I simply realised it was no match to my always loyal and submissive Filofax!

I'm not saying that I now dislike the Mole, I just stopped being blinded by its novelty and noticed all it was lacking.
Here is the list of all the requirements it just didn't met, in order to be 'Favourite planner of the year'

- it was a 'Week on a page' format, with the next page being ruled. I extended the days horizontally across the lined page in order to make my day spaces bigger, but even so,
- the small daily space had me cramming all info in a very tiny handwriting. This ended up mixing stuff to do and stuff done, thus creating confusion.
- Not having a Notes section meant I had to write them on the daily space I had created, and it also intermingled with my other stuff... so I couldn't figure out my Notes from my Done things.
- there was absolutely no place for keeping my Financial Tracking, so I still had to use my Filofax for that. Planner redundancy!
- No Pockets for me to keep my post-its, my receipts, nail file, small sketchbook, forced me to carry all these separately, so my bag was messier and I didn't even use the sketchbook.
- Without a pen loop I had to carry my pen in my bag pocket, which sometimes I would forget.

These are  all specific features,easy to pinpoint and describe.

But how do I explain the feeling I got when I pulled the Mole out in the train, for instance, and just felt like yet another person using a Mole, which I didn't feel with my Filofax?
Or that 'chill-out' mood of a Mole against the more serious and professional approach of the Filofax? I mean 'chill-out guy' is cool for strolls along the beach, in the summer, without a care in the world, but let's face it. My life isn't like that. Especially in this lousy weather, and the hustle and bustle of a big city. So yes, the Filofax's reliability and professionalism is what suits me best here. (Even though my Filofax is rasperry coloured, with quite a lot of pictures of my cats, and cat stickers, and drawings inside the notes section, etc.).

I have not archived the Mole though. I still have it at home and write in it occasionally depending on my mood. And when I do, I really like it!

(Note: I will add pictures later on, as I'm writing this during my lunch break at work.)