With the start of the new year, it’s time to look at the planners that worked and the planners that didn’t. Some techniques worked better than others.
Out with the Old
The Mark’s Edit had nice paper but I don’t think the format worked as well as I’d hoped. As you can see from the photo above, I didn’t really fill in much each week. I occasionally included some daily logging info to transpose into my Hobonichi. But clearly, this was not an effective tool for me. My work calendar is held hostage in Outlook and meetings get shceduled and rescheduled and moved so frequently that within a month or so, it became pointless to write them down. I ended up jotting the occasional note and list but mostly, the calendar was left blank.
The grey ribbon book mark indicates where the calendar ends and the blank “notes” pages begin. I didn’t use even one of the blank pages so I carried around a half-used notebook. I decided not to buy another one.
For the last month or so, I’ve been carrying my Hobonichi in a new Coal Creek leather cover. The material is lovely and the cover is well-constructed. The interior pen loop is not very effective. Even with a thin pen like the Caran D’ache 849, the cover doesn’t close. A pen loop on the right side would probably be more effective. The tolerances on the cover are really tight. If you over-stuff the Hobonichi, the cover will not lay flat either. It might work better with the Avec version as it splits the year into two smaller books. Cover aside, I actually logged my daily activities with the Hobonichi with very good regularity. I only ever missed a day or two and was usually able to back track and add in the activities from those days. I used Austin Kleon’s logging method to track my daily activities. Rather than using the Hobonichi for journaling or daily scheduling, I used it to write down things I did, what I watched or listened to and if I did anything or spent time with anyone. I like the method a lot and plan to pursue the same technique again this year.
In with the New
For my planner this year, I found this Simplicity Vintage Sewing Planner at Joanns. It caught my eye because of the vintage sewing illustrations on the cover and the discbound rings. The covers are thick plastic. I swapped out the plastic discs with more durable copper metallic rings. The calendars are undated but include the months at the top of each page. There are also pattern planning pages, swatch pages and a few other craft/sewing specific pages. The pages are half-letter/A5-ish in size. The tabs and cover extend further out so it’s definitely a larger planner than I used last year. The advantage of this planner is that I can remove pages I’m not using and add in new pages. The tab divider pages are inspiring to me with vintage illustrations and pithy quotes which I find super inspiring. I pulled out the weekly pages for the last half of the year and just left the monthly calendars to lighten the weight of the planner.
I don’t normally like spiral binding but there’s something super appealing about the discbound system. I have a hole punch I can use to add different pages and additional papers too. This means I can adjust the system as needed throughout the year.
As a replacement to my Hobonichi, I found this Knock Knock “You Got This” Journal. I had intended to buy another Hobonichi but when I saw this book, I couldn’t resist. The top of each page has a place to write the date and each page has dot grid in fluorescent orange. In the bottom corner is a “Productive Procrastination” square with a fill-in-the-blank question or word search, etc. Between the grey-on-grey, paper-covered hardcover with orange elastic and the puzzles, I was willing to take a chance on this notebook.
When I tested my favorite everyday pens, I was thrilled to discover that the book withstood fountain pen ink as well as an assortment of felt tip, rollerball and pencil.
No bleeding on the reverse of stock and I discovered a cache of inspirational quote stickers. Hopefully, this book will be as inspiring to use as the hobonichi. The pages are a little larger than the Hobonichi so I’ll have more room to log my daily activities.
What is your planner set-up for 2020?