Review by Tina Koyama
I’ve been keeping a journal since third grade, and my journal format has changed as my needs have. The past decade or so, I’ve simplified my journal to more of a log: On most days, I write only a few notes to document places I’ve sketched, friends I’ve seen, books I’ve read, movies and TV shows I’ve watched, restaurants I’ve dined in and any noteworthy weather. To make this log, I use an unruled A5-size notebook (for 2020, it will be a Leuchtturm 1917, but I also like Rhodia) and pre-date the first half of the book with a year’s worth of weekly spreads. Occasionally, I need more space to pursue thoughts or ideas, and I’ll use the remaining freeform pages in the second half of the book to write at length. I also use the freeform pages to glue in photos and other ephemera. I usually fill an A5 notebook nicely in a year. Shown below is a page spread from my current journal.
This DIY format continues to serve me well, but the DIY part – ruling the pages in a weekly page spread and filling in the 365 dates – can be tedious and time-consuming. I know I can easily buy planners with a weekly page spread, but usually commercial planners shortchange the weekend by making Saturday and Sunday share a space (a pet peeve). I’d also miss the space for freeform writing following the log. I had been wishing I had some dated stickers that would serve the double duty of dating the spaces while also being prominent enough that ruling the pages would be unnecessary.
My wish was fulfilled by the Himekuri Sticky Calendar ($24) that I spotted on Yoseka Stationery’s Instagram feed recently. The repositionable stickers come on a cardboard backing that can be folded into an easel for desktop display. I chose the colorful and adorable Cat theme. Other themes available from Yoseka are Gray/White, Stamps, and Stationery, which features iconic Japanese stationery brands like Tombow. (Oh, I went back and forth several times between Stationery and Cat!) Apparently other years have featured different themes.
My first thought was to stick the whole year of stickers onto my journal pages before the year began, one week per spread, as I’ve done with my DIY journals. But after preparing the first two weeks, it occurred to me that it would be much more fun to stick one day at a time as I wrote the notes for that day. It’s almost like an advent calendar that lasts all year! On days when I need a bit more space than usual, I could use that space and simply place the next day’s sticker slightly lower on the page. Since they are repositionable, I could also change my mind about their placement as needed.
I’m already looking forward to journaling in 2020!
Yoseka is the only US store where I’ve found Himekuri offered, but Sumthings of Mine in Malaysia carries it, too.
(Products in this review were purchased with my own funds.)