Easy Pen Loop Substitute for Planners and Journals

Not all of planners or journals have their own built-in pen loops, and not all of the time we are willing to bring along a separate pen case. While there are available adhesive pen loops out there, it’s either hard to find, expensive, or does not entirely work with our chosen pens. Here is a quick and easy substitute for pen loops: binder clips!

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Binder clips are quite versatile, and come in different sizes and designs. What I do is to choose an appropriately sized binder clip that would match both my intended pen and the planner or journal that needs the pen loop. I would attach it somewhere in the upper third to halfway down the planner/journal, and not push it all the way in. I would then hook the pen’s clip into the exposed area of the binder clip, and there! Instant pen loop!

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The disadvantage to using binder clips as pen loops is that this won’t work for pens without clips. In this case, a proper elastic pen loop would really be necessary.

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The biggest advantage to binder clips as pen loop is the wide availability, and in addition it would be easy to swap out and change on a whim. Have you tried using binder clips to hold your pens?

 

Imajica Custom Tassel

I like putting planner charms on my traveler’s notebooks. When a tassel maker opened up custom orders, I immediately pounced and got in on the action. Before that, let me tell you about Imajica. Imajica is run by an awesome artist named Carissa, and she makes all sorts of cute planner accessories such as the aforementioned tassels, planner clips, dashboards, page flags, and other similar things. About two weeks ago, she opened up an experimental pre-order for custom tassels where she will work closely with the client to jointly create the tassel of their dreams. How could I resist that chance?

Carissa was very responsive and kept me updated on each step of the creation of my dream tassel. It was shortly finished and I was on bated breath for its arrival. It came in this really cute packaging.

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Inside was my tassel, and a matching planner clip. I had told Carissa that I wanted something that’s black and red as that’s my favorite color combination, and that it would somehow be gothic. She was excited to work on it because it was completely different from her usual tassel style (pastels, mermaids, that sort of thing). Let me tell you: I am absolutely floored when I saw this. It is beautiful, and looks so much better in person!

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I was actually taken aback by the sheer size of it. It was much larger than I had anticipated, and thought it would not look good with my pocket sized TN. To test it out, I brought out my black Midori TN and the tassel looked pretty good against the black leather.

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I really wanted it on a pocket TN though, so I immediately moved into my Foxyfix Wanderlust in Licorice. It still matched and look awesome against the textured black leather. It can be observed though that the tassel is in fact slightly longer than the length of the pocket TN but I didn’t really care. It was still beautiful!

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Here is a shot of the tassel, arrayed out. I really like all the different ribbons that Carissa was able to find for me, and every time I look through the tassel I seem to be finding something new. I love the touch of the beads and crystals, and the silver metal heart fit so well with the theme. I am simply smitten!

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She did a great job with the matching clip as well!

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What can I say, I am really in love with my custom tassel! It was awesome to work with Carissa, and I hope that she does continue to offer the custom tassel service. The second batch just closed, so watch her Instagram for the opening of more batches if you want to get your own. You’ll have to fight me for a slot, for I intend to get more!

 

Stamp Favorites: July 2016

I’m a big fan of stamps, and I use a lot of them for both planning and journaling. Let me show you what I’ve been using the most for this month.

1. Hero Arts Clearly Kelly Coffee and Donuts Rubber Stamp Set

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I’m a huge coffee addict, and it’s no surprise that I was drawn to this set. As you can see here, I only have the “coffee” half of the stamp set since that’s really what I’m after. I love how nice and small the images come out, and work well with even the small spaces of the Hobonichi Weeks. I use the coffee bean stamps for crafting too. I bought this from Bee Happy.

2. Bo Bunny Postale Clear Stamp Set

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This is a snail mailer’s dream stamp set! I love how there are so many variations of stamps here, and there’s even a couple of choices for postmarks. I also got this set from Bee Happy.

3. Vintage Stamp Rubber Cling Stamp Set

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Okay, I have to confess that I have forgotten what this stamp set is named, but I love how vintage the stamps are. I got this from a sale at Living Well at SM Aura, and I really wanted to get something else (the typography set!) but I only ended up with this one. I don’t really mind, as I’ve been using this a lot to decorate my snail mail and journals.

4. Mommy Lhey Best Year Yet 2016 Clear Stamps

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This should really be used at the start of the year on New Year spreads and similar stuff, but I really like the sentiments and they are mostly timeless. I use them to decorate my journals and I really like how the script looks on the page. I got this on preorder from @lionachinky at IG.

5. Uppercase Alphabet Rubber Stamps

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This is perhaps my most-used set this month. Any alphabet stamp set is really versatile, and can be used as highlights or titles in journals and snail mail. It’s a pretty neutral serif font that goes well with anything. Perhaps my only complaint about this set is that the actual stamp is situated somehow on the right of the holders. I bought this at Common Room.

What are your favorite stamp sets recently?

 

Cool Finds For My Planner

I’m a big fan of stationery, but it’s especially so if it’s stationery specifically meant for my planner. I found three things that go really well with my Hobonichi Weeks.

1.Tiny Stickers

The first is this pair of tiny stickers, which I got at Powerbooks for Php190 for the glittered stars and Php150 for the transparent circles. The glittered stars comes with two sheets while the transparent circles have three, but what’s really great is that both sets come with a plastic pocket that you can stick onto anything. I felt that these were really nice for marking dates on the monthly view, or for marking special events in the case of the glittered stars.

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Here is what the pocket looks like, and how one sheet of the transparent circles looks like. You can really see underneath the circles which is exactly how I wanted it! There are several other variations of these stickers available: there are hearts, squares, etc in various color combinations and even sizes.

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2. Cat Page Marker

I found this cute little cat page marker at a temporary bazaar at my workplace, for Php100. I suspect that might have been a bit overpriced, but I thought it was not too bad. It’s basically just a long copper chain with a cute cat charm at the end. I felt it looked really good with my SLC Weeks Cover.

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The other end of the chain has a pretty sturdy clip that’s supposed to anchor the page marker. As you can see the chain was actually quite longer than the Weeks, but I fastened the clip to the pocket underneath the Weeks to adjust for the extra length.

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3. Metal Stencil/Ruler/Bookmark

Lastly, I found this interesting looking stencil at National Bookstore. If I recall correctly it costed PHp85. It’s a clock themed stencil with a nice 8-bit one that comes in really handy even outside of telling time. There’s actually a ruler on the other side of this stencil, and the clock at the top also functions as a bookmark/clip. It’s quite a multitasker and I really like it!

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What are some of your interesting planner finds lately?

 

More Pilot Pens in Rotation

It is no secret that I love Pilot pens, both fountain and otherwise. It should not come as a surprise, therefore, that I got a few more Pilot pens that found themselves in my current rotation.

These pens are the following, pictured from top to bottom in the photo below: Pilot G-Tec-C Maica, Pilot Birdie Ballpoint, and Pilot Fineliner.

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The Pilot G-Tec-C Maica, as the name suggests, takes G-Tec-C refills and packages them in a slightly more interesting barrel. It is all plastic except for the part that unscrews and reveals the refill. The cap has no clip, but has a tiny protrusion to keep the pen from rolling off the table. I think this protrusion is meant to look like the handle of a teacup. The end of the cap also has some shiny material that makes it look like a gem, and the overall feel of the pen is something royal or princessy. It also comes in a good range of colors.

The Pilot Birdie Ballpoint is an all-metal pen and is really slim and tiny. I bought this mostly to fit in a Leuchtturm penloop, but it turns out that it actually writes pretty well. The tip is revealed by clicking on the knocker. The clip is quite serviceable.

Both the Maica and the Birdie Ballpoint are available at National Bookstore. The Birdie is only available in select branches, and you have to ask over the counter for it. Refills are also readily available for both pens.

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The Pilot Fineliner is one of the items that I got in a Maker Monthly box. It is a felt tip marker that has a certain amount of give, and you can actually achieve a sort of brush calligraphy with this pen because of that. The pen is made mostly of plastic, except for the clip. As far as I know, this pen is not available locally.

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All three pens write beautifully. As I mentioned earlier, I am a big fan of fine tipped pens, and both the Maica and the Birdie produce a tolerably fine line. I think the Maica comes in a narrower tip, but the 0.4 works pretty well for me. The G-Tec-C refill is excellent and rarely skips. The Birdie on the other hand has some starting issues, and can sometimes skip.

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The Fineliner produces a pretty pigmented black, and with my regular hand can even produce a relatively fine line. I like using this marker for writing addresses on snail mail, and for making small brush calligraphy.

 

Sunday Leather Craft Custom Hobonichi Weeks Cover

While I was quite content with my SLC TN Wallet, there was still the fact that I carried my planner (Hobonichi Weeks) separately. I still felt that my setup could be improved, and it was either I changed my planner into a pocket sized insert or get a cover for the Hobonichi Weeks that could also function as wallet. Hobonichi Weeks was working quite well for me for a few months now, and I was unwilling to change it while it was still working. That left finding the right cover that could work with my Weeks. Unfortunately none of the existing Weeks covers were made to also be a wallet, or I didn’t feel like they would work for me. There was only one solution I could see: commission one!

Sunday Leather Craft was of course my favored leather artisan, and I felt that they could make me the perfect Hobonichi Weeks cover that I desired. I sent them a rough design, and emphasized that it was to be the cover for my Weeks, and waited for them to perform their magic. And my custom Hobonichi Weeks cover is born!

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It is made of this luscious dark brown leather that looks almost black, and stitched with a lighter brown thread for contrast. The closing elastic is black. This is such a wonderfully professional looking package that went beyond my expectations!

And yes, one of my cats immediately made his/her mark on it. As I mentioned several times, I don’t actually mind this and I feel that those marks makes this piece really mine.

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The cover is pretty big, much bigger than I expected. I was afraid I would immediately hate it because of that, as I do prefer smaller packages! The whole thing is just one awesome cover that I can’t help but fall in love with it!

Let’s take a look inside!

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Card pockets galore!

One of the first requirements I had was that it needed to hold all the cards that I bring everyday. On the front flap there are four vertically-oriented card pockets and one ID pocket with a window. All the inside parts are made of a smooth brown leather that matches the interior of the dark brown cover.

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Right underneath the card pockets is a secretarial pocket where I keep my bills. This can also be used to hold boarding passes when traveling. Under that is a full-length pocket that is quite roomy, and I currently use this to hold my miscellaneous papers (medicine prescriptions, the odd receipt, bandaids, promo cards and discount vouchers).

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More card pockets!

Over on the back flap I have another seven card slots, now oriented horizontally, bringing my total to 11 card slots plus one ID pocket in my custom Hobonichi Weeks cover. By the by, each of these pockets is loose enough to hold two cards each. Under this row of card slots there is a full-length pocket which I slide in my Weeks. It fits perfectly!

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And here’s the most amazing part: under that is a gusseted full-length pocket that can hold anything from a small book or my cellphone or even the actual Weeks! I don’t use this pocket most of the time, especially when I’m perusing the planner on a desk, but when out and about this is a great secure place to carry my phone. I don’t actually need to bring my purse on short errands with this around!

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Here is the whole of the cover laid flat. Beautiful piece! I am in love!

This cover cannot be considered a traveler’s notebook, because the inner elastics are not present. I suppose I could have specified that feature to be added, but I specifically wanted this to be for my Weeks. Without the Weeks, this works quite well as a travel wallet. Perhaps the only thing I forgot to request is a penloop, but it’s not a deal-breaker for me. You could also point out that this does not have any way to store coins, but again it’s not really a deal-breaker since I don’t like carrying coins around anyway. In an emergency, the gusseted pocket can temporarily hold the coins. This is my most expensive SLC piece to date, and rightly so!

Kudos again to Sunday Leather Craft for a wonderful masterpiece!

 

Stationery Haul from BeeHappy Crafts

Shopping is a major weakness of mine, and it was almost inevitable that I would find BeeHappy Crafts irresistible. They have such a large selection of crafty things, and they have not neglected the stationery lovers. Here’s what I got for my first order.

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Washi tapes and stickers are a no-brainer, and I am quite happy with my finds. In addition I got an Amy Tangerine clear stamp set, mostly because I wanted a stamp of a world map. I also took this opportunity to get two sets of postcards and finally try out a Distress Stain (shade name is Brushed Corduroy). I finally bit the bullet when I saw that the map stamp was about to run out of stock. Ironically, that stamp set is the only one I have yet to use in this haul!

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At the end of the same month, I could not help but get yet another order. Again, it was because my target stamp set was about to run out of stock, and in this case it was the Bo Bunny postage clear stamp set. While I was making the order anyway, I also got this Kelly Purkey Coffee and Donuts rubber stamp set, which I had been eyeing for a long time now. I also got a second Distress Stain since I was really happy with the first; this one is called Weathered Wood. The tags and that cute little cow thing at the corner are freebies (I also got freebies from the first order, but I neglected to include it in the photo).

I’m really happy with BeeHappy (ha!), and it’s taking all my willpower to stop browsing the store again. There’s still a lot there that I want to buy!

 

After 3 Months of Hobonichi Weeks

In my last Hobonichi Weeks post, I showed how I used the Weeks for planning. I’m now in my fourth month of using the Weeks as my main work and personal planner, and so far it seems to be working well. I wanted to update you on how I am using the various sections after three months of planning with the Weeks.

Monthly View

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I use the monthly view in much the same way as I did for these three months. I just write in notable events or major meetings on the boxes. The list boxes on the lower right side holds my monthly tasks or goals. The circles mark the days when I was able to avoid spending money on hobby stuff (notebooks, TNs, stickers, washi, pens). I am almost out of these nice transparent circle stickers, hence the hodgepodge of colors used in this month. Lastly, I still have not found any use for the left margin.

Weekly View

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Nothing has changed much in my use of the weekly pages. The left side holds my events and meetings as well as my coffee and meal trackers, while the right side holds my task list (squares) and bullet journal (circles). I added reminders on both the bottom of the left side and the top of the right side, although on most weeks it does not really help me remember and I need a better way to highlight these areas.

Brain Dump

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A new section had come up suddenly, the Brain Dump section, and it went into the blank pages before April. I don’t really brain dump everyday, but I do this whenever I feel particularly disorganized at work. In a future Weeks book this will probably be transferred to the Notes pages at the end of the book.

Wishlist

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In the hopes of controlling my spending, I dedicated a page in the Notes area to be my wishlist.

Snail Mail

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Lastly, I added another page to be my Snail Mail tracker. This is where I try to keep track of which penpals I have not yet replied to, so I know how much behind I am with my correspondences.

At this point in my Weeks use, I feel like I really may have found my planner peace. I love how compact and light the Weeks is, and how tolerant the paper is to most gel pens and fountain pens. At the beginning of the second half of the year, I feel pretty confident that I will be staying with the Weeks for planning my 2017.

 

What I Packed: Cebu 2016

My family went on a very delayed beach vacation to Mactan, Cebu last weekend, and as per my habit I take photos of what I took with me in the stationery department. While I had my Hobonichi Weeks and my TN Wallet as is expected, I also brought along my Chicsparrow Outlander with journal inserts as well as the Midori Mini. I felt that I wanted to journal while at the resort, and I wanted TNs that could stand the rigors of travel.

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My pencase contained only regular and brush pens, because I did not want to have to worry about fountain pens and flying. I brought along my cute little Crayola gel pens (which did not get used), a Sharpie (also unused), a Coleto (unused), two dual-ended markers, a brush pen, and a mechanical pencil. The rest of the case contained much of the same contents as in this post.

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I’m glad that I actually did get to journal during the three-day vacation, and even while waiting for our delayed flight. Having a journal is really quite handy and comforting!

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Tiny Stationery

Aside from my fascination with stationery, I am especially attracted to miniature or tiny stationery items. It’s not easy to find, but there are a few out there available that are quite functional.

 

 

For example, there are tiny binder clips, clothes pegs, even traveler’s notebooks and inserts, and scissors. Some are difficult to find or expensive, but the rest are easily available at bookstores. Another fun find is this set of Crayola brand mini gel markers.

 

Look what I found! Teeny tiny Crayola gel markers! Aren't they adorable??

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Why am I so taken with these miniature things? I just think they are adorable and the fact that they are functional really tickles my fancy. Have you any tiny stationery in your collection?