How I Use My Moleskine Planner

Let me segue into some non-beauty stuff for a while. It’s quite well into 2015, but let me drone on a bit about my planner setup for this year. Last year I used my BDJ Planner quite religiously and I was able to stick with it for the most part. My main issue with it is that it’s too big and bulky, and I couldn’t really drag it around with me which is how I want it with my planner. This year, I decided to get a pocket-sized (or A6) planner to keep it very portable, no matter the size of bag I used. I ended up getting this red Moleskine Weekly Notebook Diary/Planner.

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I thought that the size is perfect; smaller than a standard pocketbook, but without me being forced to use unusually small handwriting. It had the standard planner features in it, for the most part. It has a hard cover, which I thought was essential in protecting the pages inside. It also has an elastic to keep it closed when not in use. Let me show you the tweaks I did to this planner to suit my purposes.

Weekly Spread

It had a week spread out on one page, and a space for notes on the opposite. My hugest issue with this is that it treats Saturdays and Sundays as half of a weekday. When one works in the BPO industry as I do, weekends are sometimes more important than weekdays. To compensate for this inconsiderate layout, I added a space for Sunday on the notes side, and the Saturday gets to keep the whole of that bottom.

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At the beginning of the months I also have a section for my monthly goals and reminders. Moleskine doesn’t really separate the months, having a continuous weekly setup all year long (hence the need for the page flags as well to mark the months). I needed to have a space to put in my monthly reminders to help me with planning for the coming month, so I created a space in the first week of every month especially for that.

Sticky Note Repository

I need a lot of sticky notes in my planning, for items or tasks that I expect to be moving around in my schedule or will generally not be needed to get inked in. Instead of carrying a separate pack of sticky notes for this, I dedicated a spread in an unused part in the front pages of the planner to hold just a few sheets each of my differently sized sticky notes.

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To be honest some of these sticky notes are too large for a pocket planner. I’m considering swapping out some of the bigger ones for tinier sticky notes.

Period Tracker

This is one of the things I really liked about the BDJ planner is the dedicated page to track periods. For a woman this is essential. Since Moleskine does not natively have one, I made a custom one for myself and just pasted it on another one of the unused front pages.

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As you can see there are no month names, so I’ll just have to remember which month is which. At least I remembered to have alternating white and black for the months!

Read List and Wishlist

I also wanted a place to put lists, but without cluttering up the rest of my planner. I printed out some blank pages from a Moleskine template, and pasted it on even more of those unused front pages. A simple label with a pen and I now have a place to put wishlists and a place to track the books I finished reading.

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I feel a little sad that I have not even a single book on that list yet. On the other hand, I seem to have already filled up my wishlist! Strangely enough most of these are pens and notebooks and stuff, and not much on the makeup front.

Corkboard

For things that do not fit in the read list and wishlist categories, I have another couple of pages for my “corkboard”. It’s like a catch all for other lists, and is designed to hold lists in sticky notes.

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Here I have my goals (personal and blogging) that I have considered so far. I also use this corkboard to hold project planning notes such as this one about a visa application. I marked this corkboard with a pink page flag so I can always find my way quickly back here.

Typical Week

Here is an example of a typical week for me. As you can see this is the week I realized the Saturday/Sunday issue. I use the notes page on the right as my weekly task list/reminder, and from there I distribute the tasks on specific days. The space for the daily tasks are just enough I think.

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I eventually ditched the shopping list, and gone digital on that (using the Color Note app for Android). You can also see my love for stickers. I also use a system of colored pens to let me know which ones are for work, etc.

What I didn’t like about the Moleskine planner

One of my biggest beefs against the Moleskine planner is the fact that it cannot take fountain pens. I would like to eventually transition to a planner that loves fountain pens but for now I’m sticking to using Pilot ballpens for this. It’s also rather expensive; I think this costs something over Php900, for such a tiny planner. Lastly the size is also working a bit against me, since I wanted this to also be some sort of daily snapshot journaling. As seen by my typical week, I can barely fit everything in it with just the tasks and reminders!

The Future of My Planning

For now I see no reason to change planners, but I am seriously considering two: the Alunsina Kislap system (similar to Midoris; Philippine-made) and the Hobonichi Techo (Japanese-made). Both have the size range that I want, and both are friendly to fountain pens. I might try out the Kislap anyway since it is refillable and more accessible in general.

For daily snapshot journaling, I have gotten some discounted Moleskine notebooks to serve as a catch-all for my thoughts, notes, and other such things. This has increased my daily notebook carry to two, which is bad! Hence I really want to transition to either of the two mentioned above.

Have you used Moleskine planners? What planner system do you use?

Review: Filed Pocket Wallet

One of the things I’m also passionate about, outside of makeup and nails, is containers. Any kind of container makes my heart flutter. I think I inherited this passion from my dad, who would also appreciate the container more than the contents like me. One of my recent acquisitions is this Filed Pocket Wallet. This is the wallet’s size compared to my eyeglasses.

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It is a wallet that contains an essential requirement I have for wallets and bags: compartments. And compartments it has aplenty! Check out the inside.

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It has compartments for cards, receipts, paper bills, and others. It even has a snap button for added security. Here it is with the snap button closed.

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One of the unique features of the Pocket Wallet is the external slot for coins. You don’t have to open the wallet just to put in coins. This is especially useful for commuters.

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Inside, the coins go into this expandable bin. It’s actually pretty large, and can hold a lot of coins.

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There is also a small slot at the back for easy access. You can put here your parking tickets or something that needs to be accessed quickly.

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One of my favorite features of this wallet is the quality leatherette material. It looks and feels pretty sturdy and does not look cheap at all. There is the feeling that this is very well made, and that includes the stitching and zipper. According to their website, they use Lacoste Leatherette for their folders and Ripstop for bags and cases, and all products are made in the Philippines.

Would you believe that this costs only Php295? It’s unbelievably affordable for the quality and function that it provides! This can be bought from Filed’s online store, and Fully Booked branches. It’s available in 8 colors. It’s a little hard to hunt for the specific color that you like though, at Fully Booked, as they don’t stock regularly. I think I got this red one at Fully Booked Eastwood. If you want a specific color, it’s better to buy from the online store.

Pros: topnotch quality and functionality; affordable; locally made

Cons: specific colors are sometimes not available at Fully Booked

 

Belle de Jour Power Planner

A surprise came in the mail for me a few days ago that got me really really excited. Say hello to my very first Belle de Jour Power Planner!

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Isn’t she beautiful? I’ve always wanted to get my own BDJ planner since last year, but I never had the chance to get one. Thanks to BDJ, I get to try this much praised planner for 2014. I received the hardbound version with the iconic BDJ girl illustration in front. There are two more versions available: the executive gray leather and the spiral bound with the BDJ girl illustration. I really like the version I got because it looks very professional and chic, and at the same time it still looks fun!

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Belle de Jour planner has tons of features! Here are my favorite ones.

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My Blog Ideas – This is one of the first feature pages, and it’s already something I can specifically use! No more need for scattered pieces of paper when the inspiration hits me, I can put it all here!

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2014 Goals – Goal setting is very important to make sure that I won’t lose sight of what I want to achieve in life. This page will keep me reminded of those goals, and keep me aligned to the path I want to take.

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Dream Board – I’ve never done anything like this before! I want to see how my dreams develop, and this is such a great place to keep a record of.

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Coupons/Vouchers – I have to say that this is one of the reasons I initially wanted a BDJ planner. The sheer amount of vouchers and the value is just staggering! The nice thing about this is that the selection is mostly something I can use.

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Events Tracker – As someone with many roles to fill, I sometimes overlook some events that I need to set aside time for. This is a great way to keep track of all of them!

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Spacious calendar pages – The main meat of the planner is of course the calendar pages. I am glad to see that it is very spacious and unlined, as I tend to be a little messy when it comes to listing itineraries. My only complaint is, as usual, the weekends are smashed together into one column. As someone who works on weekends, I wanted a planner that have separate columns for Saturday and Sunday. Then again, I’ve never really seen a planner with that specific feature yet.

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Emergency information – Towards the end of the planner, there is a page with a list of emergency numbers. This is always useful and practical, kudos to the BDJ team for including this.

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Stickers and voucher sleeve – Last but not the least, I love this very useful detail. I’m a huge fan of stickers and this sheet is just so fab! The voucher sleeve is very useful as well, and it lets me bring the vouchers without toting the entire planner when I go out.

All in all, I am so happy to have gotten this planner. There is just so much attention to detail that the BDJ team put here, and I can’t help but admire their dedication. Thank you so much for letting me try this!

You can get your own BDJ planner here. The exclusive gray leather version costs Php680, while both the hardbound and the spiral bound with the BDJ girl costs Php598 each. Each order of the BDJ planner comes with the BDJ Lifestyle card which gives access to awesome deals and events.

Disclaimer: I have received the product as a gift from the BDJ team. All opinions are mine and I was not required to write anything about the products.

Review: KeepCup

What is a KeepCup? It’s basically a reusable coffee cup, but what distinguishes it from the rest is that it is barista-standard. This means that you can give this to your regular coffeeshop barista, and he/she would be able to fit it under the standard espresso spouts. It also fits in standard cup holders. As a bonus, it comes in exciting colors!

I won my KeepCup from House of Flair‘s holiday contest in Facebook. I could not believe my luck! This is such a perfect item for the coffee addict that I am. It comes in an eye-catching purple-and-red color scheme. Check it out:

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KeepCup in box
Check out these colors!
Check out these colors!
Close up of lid
Close up of lid

House of Flair is KeepCup’s official distributor here in the Philippines. This is a medium size cup (12oz/340ml) and goes for $14 in KeepCup’s store. For HoF’s pricing, check here. [EDIT: HoF’s KeepCups repriced to Php850! Check out their on hand stock here.] It can fit a Tall-sized Starbucks drink.

And to Starbucks I did go for my buena mano drink, just a regular latte. It looks really good with my Cup!

First cuppa!
First cuppa! (And yes that’s Chocnut in the background..)

Pros: very chic and unique; environment-friendly; barista-standard and fits standard cup holders; lightweight

Cons: a little expensive