Midori MD Notebook cover

This year, I’ve decided to try the One Book July challenge. The purpose of the challenge is to use one book for planning, journaling or whatever for the entire month of July. I heard about the challenge last year but it was well after July so I put it on my calendar for this year. I wanted a chance to pick one book and focus on my system rather than the book for a change. Originally, it was set up to be a one book and one pen challenge but, in watching the videos and following along, the challenge is flexible to challenge yourself to find way to simplify your personal planning system, journaling or whatever will help you to personally find a way to streamline.

Midori MD Notebook Pen and Pencil Tests

In order to make this work, I wanted to find a book that was clean and  simple but with good paper so I chose the Midori MD with blank pages.  I knew it had good quality paper but was won over by the complete lack of ornamentation. The cover of the book is plain ivory cardstock that matches the thick, smooth ivory paper inside. I printed out guide sheets in both grid and lined to use with it and decided I’d try the Bullet Journal system that would let me plan, list, journal or do whatever — all in one book. I’ve never really figured out how to use the Bullet Journal system before so this has been a bit of an adventure for me and I’ve done a lot of research to figure out how to best utilize it for myself. Basically, I ended up having to watch Ryder Carroll’s video about ten times and then just jumping in with both feet and hoping for the best. I’m using the book for my planning, notetaking and as my logbook.

The only thing this book can’t handle is a lot of water media like watercolor so it wasn’t up to doubling as a full-blown sketchbook. Since I also want to participate in the World Watercolor Month project, I’m allowing myself a second book — one sketchbook to use specifically for this project. I haven’t chosen which specific sketchbook I’ll use but I have a couple more days to decide.

For me, my biggest issue was to stop carrying around FIVE or SIX notebooks and planners at one time and reduce down to just two books is a huge reduction. Along with this, I pared down my daily carry to a smaller zipper pouch, carrying a reduced selection of colored pencils, a mechanical pencil, a few felt tip pen, a  brush pen, a couple fountain pens and a small set of watercolors and a travel brush plus a back-up waterbrush, which is considerable downsizing from the 100 Pen Case.

Midori MD Notebook Monthly Bullet Journal

The goal of this project is to focus more on making this month with what I have rather than wasting time trying to decide which tool I should use. I’m looking forward to spending a month focusing on content and filling notebooks.

For more information about One Book July, check out the videos posted by Rhomany and Carie Harling, two of the hosts for the online challenge this year.

Note: This challenge will not affect product reviews. I will continue to review notebooks, pens and other products throughout the month but my personal planning and notetaking will all take place in the Midori MD. I will try to do a couple updates throughout the month to update how I’m doing in the challenge as well.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

3 Comments on One Book July Challenge

  1. Not journaling for months has finally paid off! I’m already just using one book! Maybe I’ll start journaling in my Hobonichi again next month just to be contrary 😀

    Looking forward to seeing what you decide to use for World Watercolor Month!

  2. I’m personally thinking of going from 1 to 2 books instead, since my journalling keeps getting in the way of my planning, when there’s a journal entry I didn’t finish yet while it’s already time to plan my next day/week. But having just one book for everything (I barely ever watercolour) is just so convenient.

    Looking forward to seeing how you’re doing with this!

  3. I’ll be interested to see if you’re converted to only use one notebook from here on out. I pretty much just use one notebook at a time until it’s filled up.

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