Midori TNs, Field Notes, and more notebook crazyness

I honestly didn't know how to start this post. I guess my creative writing side has gone on vacation. Makes sense as I'm doing more than one thing at a time right now.
Anyhow, I am writing it as I promised the MTN Facebook community that I would let them know what that recent voting I had asked them to do was all about.

It is about my notebook setup, and how I got confused between using, or trying to, different formats at the same time.

Normally this was my setup:
- Mark’s Tokyo Edge Week in columns planner (Sept ’12 – Dec ’13)
- Field Notes to carry everywhere, for notes, sketches, doodling with friends whilst sharing some beers, finances, planning, thinking, designing, lists, to do’s, etc. You get the idea.
- My Sidekick, I would change it as soon as it was filled, and depending on the mood I was, it could either be a bound notebook or any of my Midoris.

It was going well, and then I just stopped using my Sidekick. I think this happened when I was using my large Midori for the third or fourth time, and stopped carrying it because it was too large, and leaned more towards my Field Notes.

Then, I decided to try the Passport instead. But between that and the FN, plus the fact that I wasn't writing much, I just couldn't stay constant.

At least my planner was working well!

So last week I decided to sit down and really think why my system wasn't working and came up with the following, which I have transcribed from my FN to share with you.

Reasons for my confusion about my sidekick/notebook situation:
  • I  want to use the Midori
  • I love Field Notes
  • I miss a larger format for sketching
  • Don’t want to carry too many books
  • Want to keep all info in one place, chronologically
Thought Process:

Field Notes
I can continue using FN, and get a leather cover for them; the one I've been coveting from Zenok.



I love this bunch!

Midori
I really love them, but the large isn’t very portable, which leaves the Passport size.
If I stick with Midori, this could be a great time to use the new Limited Edition.

I will have to make some inserts for myself.
I can start using it as soon as this FN is full (5 sheets left!)

+ Save money as I would postpone buying the leather cover for the FN
+ Make inserts any way I want them
+ Share with the group on Facebook
+ I get to use a brand new Midori :D

- Passport size can be too small at times
- Would have to stop using FN
- Many inserts can create more confusion
- Would have to cut FN so they can fit (done this in the past and I don’t like it)

The next day I had
More doubts:
I have many non FN or TN’s just waiting to be used, such as:
1.       My first A6 Rhodia Webbie:
used since Jan ’10 to write about stationery and handmade requests, but hasn’t really worked out.

2.       My second A6 Webbie:
With dot grid, the paper is more yellow than the previous and I don’t like it as much. Currently designated as Blog Design and Code book. Very few pages used.

3.       Midori Spiral Ring notebook:
Bought in Japan, with absolutely gorgeous blank paper. Slightly taller than the Rhodias, about the size of Leuchtturm1917.

4.       My lime green Leuchtturm1917:
With dot grid, off white pages. Quality is good, although not as good as Rhodia. Currently being used as watercolouring notebook.

5.       Spiralbound basic Clairefontaine:
Larger than Leuchtturm1917. Has pocket pages in between for mementos. As expected from CF, the paper is awesome, but maybe too white? Never used.

6.       Spiralbound A6 with cover:
Present from a friend who got it as a company gift, so it has the company’s logo on the pages. These are lined, off white and seem good quality. Really nice construction, with an elastic band.

7.       Clairefontaine A6 stapled:
96 lined pages, high quality. FN size, but thicker. Lines are too contrasting.

8.       MUJI A6 stitchbound, black:
72 pages, lined, off white. Beautiful paper. Started/bought to record notes from recent job training (no longer needed, only a few pages used).

9.       MUJI A6 ringbound, black:
Great paper, light lines. Book a bit too thin?

10.   Paperchase A6 beige + kraft:
Lots of pages, fun format, as two thirds are cream/off white, and the other third, which is placed in the middle of the two, is kraft paper. Bought recently for sketching Proxy’s stories.

11.   A5 Rhodia black:
Hard cover, lined pages. Usual Rhodia high quality paper.

12.   Japanese bound journal with fabric cover in black with contrasting Chinese characters in matte gold:
Beautiful. Smaller than an A5. Pages are cream. Was a birthday present from DH many years ago. Never used.
After much thought, I managed to come up with three semifinalists from the above list:

Dotgrid Rhodia Webbie A6, Midori Spiralbound and MUJI A6 Stitchbound.

From that I eliminated the Midori, I think I want to use it later on for something more special.
That left me with the Rhodia and the Muji. 









Since I liked both choices equally, I decided to ask the group to help me decide, by voting blindly for options A or I.




After two days, I knew which one was going to be the winner...

But, I won't tell you just yet. Which one do you think won? and why? please comment with your answer.
The one with the correct answer will get a prize. In case there's more than one, I will select the winner using a randomizer.

For all those who voted, thank you very much for taking part in this even without knowing what it was for!

Using the Aqua Mini Finsbury as my wallet

For nearly three weeks now, I have been using the Mini Finsbury Filofax I won on eBay as my wallet and back-up planner, and sadly, it is not working out as I had hoped.

For starters, I have already invested quite some time recording useful information inside my Mark's 18 month planner, and I'm already duplicating events and appointments into the Mini, so I do not wish to also copy things like postage prices, past events, lists, etc.



Because of this I have been carrying both my Mark's and my Mini, thus adding weight and volume to my bag.

My previous setup was much more simple and convenient. I wasn't carrying a wallet, instead I was using a cardholder from Bimba & Lola, that doesn't use up space and is also easy to use; I can pull and stash my cards without hassle, I can carry about 6, and also some bills, although not more than 5. And due to its tiny size, I was able to even carry it in my pocket.



The Mini allows me to carry more money bills, but I hardly ever need to. It only has three card slots that are too tight and I often find myself struggling to get my cards out.
Another thing that irks me is the fact that when I open it, people near me, like at a queue, are able to peek inside. Surely I do not have anything on the first page, but nevertheless I do not like others looking at my personal things.



Another detail I noticed now whilst paying for my coffee, is that it is more cumbersome to stash my bills, as I have to open the Mini once again.



Not to mention that the tiny zippered pocket is a hassle to use for coins! Unless you have a flat surface to lay the Mini on, it's nearly impossible to open it enough to get them.



Because I really like the Mini purely for aesthetic reasons, I want to keep on using it, but I'm not sure if its looks are going to be enough for me to be more patient and get used to it. For the time being, it still comes with me in my bag. Only time will tell if it's worth the hassle or not.

Planner Indecision

It's mid year and as many other planner or diary obsessed dedicated people, I have been thinking about the next planner that will ideally make life perfect, or something close.

I'm currently back to my Mark's Tokyo Edge planner, in a bound, week in columns format, pocket size. And I'm quite comfortable and happy with it.

So this morning I was browsing through sites that offer this brand as well as Leuchtturm1917. I have a notebook from them and I really like it!
But it turns out that the column format I like isn't available in other colours besides black, and those that are, aren't 18 month planners.
Which isn't a problem for me. I can very well start January 2014.

All was good until I saw what was in the mail today.

A friend got me a surprise present for my birthday. An 18 month, hard cover Star Wars Moleskine, pocket size. Because she remembered that I had been wanting one last year, albeit not necessarily the Star Wars edition!



So now I don't know what to do!
I start work tomorrow and most of my shifts will be on the weekend. The fact that there are columns make it visually easier to see the hours I worked and even add related notes, as well as other appointments. Plus, it's also got a pen loop.

Yet I really love the week + notes spread from the Moleskine. I can even be creative and do the occasional doodle or add stickers, mementos, etc.
Plus, I don't mind that the cover is black for I have the Star Wars stickers that came with it to customise it. But I would need to buy a pen loop Leuchtturm1917, which could be any colour I want.

Should I stick with my Mark's until December, with the days in columns and doesn't have the weekend sharing the space, or should I start with the Moleskine now?

The answer seems pretty clear. But I have been using the Mark's since September last year and I miss that awesome feeling of starting a brand new planner, especially when it's the Moleskine I like!

Have any of you also been in a similar situation? What did you do in the end?

posted from Bloggeroid

Cheating on Mark

Although I really love my Mark's Tokyo Edge planner, with its lush paper and its awesome and stylish colour, I've been left feeling a bit unsatisfied as of late.

I miss the Moleskine week with notes layout because of the extra space I had for notes and doodles. As a matter of fact, before I got the Mark's I was going to get another 18 month planner because I felt it had worked quite well last time. But of course, the allure of trying a new, Japanese planner in lime green was too hard to resist. And although I do like the weekly layout in columns, I've grudgingly had to accept that the day columns just aren't wide enough for me.

Mark's Layout

I really  hate not finishing a planner, switching to a new one at a random date, especially when we're only in April. So I considered trying a Filofax with planner inserts designed by me. I could just create inserts for April, see how it goes. If I like it, and don't mind using the Filofax, I can stick with it for a month, while at the same time still using the Mark's as a backup, in case the Filo doesn't work. Once the month is up I can either create more inserts or go back to my Japanese.

This past weekend, perfect as it was the start of the month, I designed the inserts with the mole's layout in mind, made the paper size bigger for more space. The day spaces are the same in height, but narrower due to the smaller page size and the spacing for the rings. The weekend slot is shared, I personally don't mind that as I don't need more space.

My layout for Filofax

I have started using it last Monday (1st of April) and am only carrying this month's inserts and a few lined pages for notes. It makes the Filo quite thin. I am also being good and updating it every day, writing down my daily tasks and future appointments. So far it's going well.

April

But there is one thing that bugs me A LOT:
The rings!
Because I like the week on the left page, when writing, the rings get in the way, making my handwriting crooked. I do not want to swap the layout, and I don't want to be opening and closing the rings non-stop to take the page out every time I want to write something down. (Yeah, I know I'm nuts!)

I honestly can't remember how I managed to use a Filofax a few years back without any problem, maybe because the day spaces were much bigger, it wasn't such an issue, or the fact that it was always quite fat, made the rings less protruding? If the latter is the case, I will try adding extra inserts and see how it goes.

I will keep you all updated on how this little tryout is going next week.

Hope you had a lovely weekend,
Oni