Midori Passport as Wallet

When I got the Blue, I immediately moved in to it from my previous setup in the Passport. That left me with the Passport not really doing anything, so I decided to see if I can turn it into a wallet. I’ve seen many others in the internet do something similar, and I was tickled with the idea that my notebook is actually my wallet. Here’s how it is currently set up as of July 2015.

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One of the easiest components was the money-holder part. I knew that my Midori Refill 004 (zip pocket + card holder) would become the heart of the wallet: the zip pocket will hold the cash, and the card holder will hold, well, the cards. The challenge is determining what else I wanted in this wallet.

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I ended up with basically two parts. The top (left) part is the wallet component and the bottom (right) part is the notebook component.

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The wallet component is basically just two inserts. The inner one is the aforementioned Midori Refill 004, which holds my cash in the zip pocket and a couple of cards and some loose paper and a travel magnifying glass in the card holder.

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The outer insert that is wrapped around the Midori Refill 004 is a felt 4-pocket card holder that I got with my Alunsina traveler’s notebook. It is actually a field notes sized TN, so this felt card holder is slightly too tall for the Passport, but I thought it’s not such a big deal. I wanted additional space for extra cards, so this went into the setup. It holds my driver’s license, my health card, and most-used merchant rewards cards.

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The notebook component of the wallet is again composed of two inserts. The outer one is a yellow kraft folder that I got from a Planners and Journals kit, and it contains my medicine prescriptions (left pocket) and a set of neon page flags and some random loose paper (right pocket).

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The inner insert is a Midori Refill 006, a monthly diary layout for the passport size TN. Here is where I use those neon page flags for events that are not yet 100% scheduled. I make sure to keep this updated from the larger monthly diary I have in the Blue, since this is the one that I carry everywhere. I also put a larger page flag on the side to denote the current month.

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And that’s basically it! I am at present quite happy with the setup, and all in all these make for a TN wallet that is a smidge less than 1 inch thick. I also make sure I carry a small pen which is usually just slotted into the elastic band by its clip. I’m enjoying the fact that it does not look like a wallet from the outside, and yet it carries everything I need inside it in a very compact package.

I’d love to see your TN wallet setup as well! Drop your links to your photos or blog posts in the comments below!

Planners and Journals July Planner Kit

It’s that time of the month! I received my PnJ July Planner Kit just in the nick of time, on the last day of June. It gave me just enough time to set up my planner for July. These are the contents of the July Planner Kit.

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July’s theme is Japanese, which I absolutely love. I’m a huge fan of anything Japanese. This month’s kit came in the usual kraft box, and the kit contents are neatly wrapped in this wax paper bag sealed with a washi tape. I like that the PnJ kits are starting to be similarly packaged as the popular international planner kits that I’ve been seeing around the internet.

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Inside that big wax bag are these. Some of the contents are wrapped in smaller wax bags, which are a nice touch.

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Here are the contents, in no particular order. First we have a duo of products from the instagram shop @dolcesonline: a Pilot Juice 0.5 pen in Baby Pink and an MT slim washi tape. It’s my first experience with a Juice pen, and I’ve been hearing a lot of good feedback about this pen so I’m very happy to get to try one. I’m also a huge fan of MT brand washi tape, and also of slim washi in general, so this MT slim washi tape just hits the spot!

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Next we have a super cute planner charm from @genndesigns. It’s a tiny wooden kokeshi doll decorated with a few beads. I love kokeshi dolls and this was immediately attached to my Midori Blue.

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Next we have a handmade bookmark from @bookmarks.planners, who is a paper recycling advocate. This ningyogami (Japanese paper dolls) bookmark is absolutely stunning, and made with different paper products.

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I just also wanted to show the back of the bookmark. The detail work is just awesome, as you can see that her hair goes all the way down her back, and still shows the back of her kimono. I’m a little afraid to use this because it’s just so beautiful!

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The next ones are a couple of cardstocks designed by the PnJ team. I always appreciate the cardstocks as I can always use them for all sorts of things such as pencil boards and bookmarks. This month we have origami designs on pale backgrounds.

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There is of course the insert. This month I got the regular sized insert for my Midori Blue (as opposed to the previous months’ passport sized inserts). The cover is a beautiful blue wave design with a cute kokeshi doll in the corner. That writing on the side is actually my name written in katakana, such a great touch!

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What was interesting about this month’s insert is that it’s printed! It has an undated day-on-two-pages layout, which is similar to my June insert layout. I love the overall Japanese aesthetics, and the boxes all seem to be things I can use and there are still enough space to add my own decorations.

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It also included a flyleaf filled with kokeshi themed transparent stickers! Stickers are of course always welcome, and I really love the theme here!

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Lastly we have the contents of the second small wax bag, which is from Planners and Journals themselves. It has a couple of nicely designed pockets that can be used for various purposes such as project life or even for planners. One is a pink floral square pocket with a string closure mechanism and the other is a blue and white wave pattern pocket. Pictured with these are a pack of cute printed origami sheets that can be used for many things as well, and a Fullmark Japanese gluey tape (!!!).  I love this glue tape to bits! I have a few backups of this already, and am quite happy to add one more to my stash!

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There we have it! I can see myself using all of the items in this box, and in fact I have already settled myself in the July insert. I’ll show you my July setup in a separate post. Here again are all the contents of the July kit.

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I paid a total of Php830 for my box, which is broken down as follows: Php700 (standard TN size, trial subscription) + Php80 shipping fee + Php50 Paypal fee. I really feel that this box is super worth it with all the cute contents, and the theme is absolutely lovely. You can check out more about Planners and Journals and their products at their Facebook page.

Midori Blue Edition Initial Setup

It’s pretty clear at this point: I’m addicted to Midori! About a few weeks ago I got myself the regular sized Midori, the limited release Blue Edition. Here she is.

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My first impression is immediate surprise at just how much larger it is compared to the passport sized one. I’ve been used to the passport size for so long that the much bigger regular sized one seemed gigantic. Here’s how it compares to the passport one.

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It took me quite a while to determine what I wanted to use the Blue for, since I thought I already had everything I needed in the passport one. For the initial setup and basically taking it out for a spin, I decided on two inserts and I’ll show them to you. The first one is a daily planner. Since I got all the extra space, I decided to see if I can work better with a daily layout instead of a weekly one. There are a lot of available free printables for Midori inserts, but I picked out this one from Wendaful.com.

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I specifically chose this because of the little boxes for different things, most especially the dedicated box for journaling, and also for the nice brush calligraphy font that she used. To make this insert, I basically just downloaded the file, printed it out on regular letter sized paper, and trimmed it to the proper size. I actually didn’t even bind this insert, I just left it as is and trust that the elastic will keep the pages together. My main issue with this layout is that it’s actually a day-on-two-pages (DO2P) layout, which means this whole thing is just for one single day. Which means, there are around 30 pages in total for a whole month’s worth of planning.

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The whole June planner insert is this thick. I don’t really mind it but I would like a thinner insert so I would have the option of adding more books in the Blue if I wanted to. As it is, with two inserts (plus a few extras), the Blue is pretty much packed.

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My second insert is the included blank notebook when I got the Blue. I decided it will be a journal, with the caveat that I will not be so hung up about the neatness or contents. If I wanted to put stickers in it, or maybe use it for brush calligraphy practice, or attach things in it ala scrapbook, anything goes! The only decoration I’ve done to the cover so far is to stick my name in the corner. Just a quick note, that’s another one of my DIY clear card case inserts (this time I made it for the regular sized Midori) and it’s holding a bookmark from a Korean stationery brand called Choo Choo Cats (Jetoy). I really love the art style and I have a whole set of these bookmarks and also stickers.

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And look, I put another one of these bookmarks at the back because why not. The calendar is a free printable from Ray Blake, and the back of it is another one of his printables called a writing guide. I laminated it myself, and it’s pretty much in use every time I write in my journal.

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Here’s a sample page from my journal that I just wrote today in fact. As I said I like putting random quotes in brush calligraphy in there, and journal around it. I love the bigger area in which I can write in, and I can attach all sorts of things in here (like movie tickets, etc) without worrying about them jutting out.

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Aside from these two inserts, I also put in a zip pocket insert that I DIY’d. The front is a pink Lihit Lab plastic zip case that is the exact size of a regular Midori. I put mood stickers, post it sticky notes, and some cash in this pocket.

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The back is a pink pencil case that I found at National Bookstore. It’s slightly smaller than the Lihit Lab zip case. This one has an actual zipper, and has some mesh partitions inside. I have a set of page flags, a sticker, refills for my Muji multipen, and some random paper in there. I also put in the Muji multipen in there near the zipper. One of these days I’ll take the time to write a tutorial on how to assemble this insert and the clear card case insert.

At the moment I’m content with this setup, since it’s working. I’m not entirely happy about the thickness of the planner insert, so I have plans to either find a similar layout but a day-on-one-page (DO1P) instead or design my own layout. If you know of a nice DO1P printable (doesn’t need to be free), please leave me a link in the comments below, I appreciate your help!

Planner Tour: Midori in May

Let me bring you on a tour around my Midori passport setup this May.

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Let’s start with the cover. This right here is a planner bag that I ordered from Pink Paper Box, and it’s customized to my specifications. I asked for a bag for a passport-sized planner with a 1-inch thickness, and I got to choose the fabric. I’m very happy with this planner bag in general as it’s very sturdily built and holds my very-full Midori very well. My silver charms that are actually on the elastic that normally goes around the Midori are peaking out at the bottom.

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As you can see, it doesn’t lay flat anymore when opened up. It only has three notebooks in it! I have a Muji multipen in those pen loops that I sewed myself, as the planner bag didn’t come with any. The second loop is loose enough for a fountain pen.

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At the very front of the Midori is an A7 clear card file that I made into an insert (I’ll show you what’s on the other side of it in a bit). Inside this card file is a cute anime bookmark that I got from Landmark. I have a bunch of different designs so I can swap it out anytime, but I especially like this one because she reminds me so much of myself and how I used to dress a few years ago.

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Right behind my mascot is the first book, which is a Planners and Journals insert from the May Planner Kit. This notebook serves as my brain dump and catch all.

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Behind my brain dump notebook is a Midori Refill 004, which is a zip pocket on one side and a card holder on the other. This is the zip pocket side and it holds an ID card and some money, which is basically an attempt of incorporating my wallet into my Midori. I’m not quite sure yet if I’ll continue with this idea. You can see the yellow file folder insert, again from the Planners and Journals May Planner Kit, behind this zip pocket. The front is undecorated as of this writing, as I’m not yet sure what I want to put on it.

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The front part of the yellow file folder holds some medical papers that I need with me all of the time. The other side is the front of the second book, which is a Midori Refill 003 (unlined) and serves as my week-on-two-pages planner. The front cover holds some sticky notes.

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I just wanted to show you quickly what’s inside the inside of the front cover. It’s Pichu! I “commissioned” this from my daughter. I basically cut out a small piece of paper that I know will fit the cover, and asked her to draw me a Pichu.

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Here we have the back cover of the planner book, and the back pocket of the yellow file folder, both of which hold even more stick notes. Inside the actual pocket is my portable ruler with translucent sticky flags (bought from Daiso).

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Finally here we have the other side of the Midori Refill 004 which is the card holder. It holds my health card and a spare sim card sealed in with washi tape. There are some miscellaneous paper in the pocket behind the card holders. The opposite page is the front of yet another clear card case insert that I made. This is B7 sized, but I had to trim a bit on the top and side so it would fit so instead of a side-opening slip it now is some sort of secretarial pocket. I have in here a Midori passport pencil board.

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We have now arrived at the third and final book in my Midori, which is the second insert from the Planners and Journals May Planner Kit. This is my #listersgottalist book, which I’m pretty sure will be enough for both May and June challenges.

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At the back of the third book is the included bookmark/charm of the planner bag itself. I chose this teacup design, which I thought is apt for a coffeeholic like me. The opposite side is the other half of the B7 card case, which holds my May goals list.

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Behind that is my period tracker, and the other half of the A7 card case (which held the anime bookmark). Inside this A7 card case is a couple of cute cardstock that I cut down to the correct size, and in between that is a couple of band aids (because I always seem to have issues with my cuticles recently).

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In the inside of the back cover of the planner bag is a pack of Muji multipen refills, because I’m almost out of one of them and I want to make sure I have extras with me. There is also a brief glimpse of the Midori bookmark, which is that thin piece of cord. And there we have it! The very very full setup of my Midori this May.

Planners and Journals May Planner Kit

Yes, I found yet another planner subscription service! Planners and Journals is an online store specializing in customized planner inserts for ringed planners (Filofax, Kikki K, Franklin Covey, etc) as well as fauxdoris (non-Midori traveler’s notebooks) and their refills. They have recently expanded to planner kits, and this May Planner Kit is their first. I was a little confused at first, because I was expecting to get my kit in May (as the name suggested), but apparently it was so named because it will give you the inserts you will use for the month of May! Naturally it arrived before May so that you have enough time to set up your planner with the included stuff.

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My kit arrived in this nice kraft box, with a twine and a thank you tag. I have a very good idea of what was going to be included, because they released the list of contents on their facebook page. The only surprise I had was what form my refills were going to be, since I had a traveler’s notebook instead of a ringed planner; the inserts they previewed were for a ringed planner.

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What greeted me upon opening the box was a pretty lengthy welcome letter personally signed by Summer. Here are the rest of the contents, in order of my favorites.

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Review: Pink Paper Box Spring Summer Fling (April)

Heads up, there’s a new subscription box in town! This is Pink Paper Box, a planner and crafting oriented monthly subscription box, and it’s very new. This month’s box titled Spring Summer Fling is only the second, but I’m already quite hooked!

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How does Pink Paper Box work? Sign ups happen over at the Pink Paper Box website (Facebook) and submitted through a google form. The subscriptions cost Php500 (1 month), Php1450 (3 months) or Php2850 (6 months), and this fee already includes the shipping. Owner and main girl Marrien is very hands-on and personal, and will keep in touch with you regarding your subscription.

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Want to know what’s in this intriguing April box? Read on ahead! (Warning, a LOT of images ahead!)

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Free Printable: Pocket Monthly Calendar

I’ve shown you a glimpse of my planner setup in the Alunsina Kislap Traveler’s Notebook. My planner is completely DIY, using a blank Alunsina notebook. I hand-draw the weekly layouts. At the beginning of each month, I put in that month’s calendar on one page and the opposite page is meant to be the receptacle for my monthly reminders.

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The monthly calendar is something I made on my own, as I wanted a nice clean layout that is clearly readable but will fit in a pocket notebook. I came up with this.

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This layout is entirely made in Excel, and exported to a pdf format. I just basically print it out on an A4 (or letter) paper, manually cut it out, and tape it to the appropriate page in my planner. Today I wanted to share with you the pocket monthly calendar layout that I made, completely free!

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Each of these is 13.3cm x 7.3cm, so you can judge if it will fit into your planner before you print and cut. I only included April until December since the first quarter is already done. You are free to share this as long as you don’t make money off it, and attribution is always appreciated!

Click the link to download the pocket monthly calendar! Pocket-Calendar-April-Dec-2015.pdf

If you used my printable, I would love to hear your feedback!

My Current Alunsina Kislap Traveler’s Notebook Setup

It has not even been two months since I posted about my Moleskine planner setup, and now I’m writing about another planner setup. This time I finally got myself an Alunsina Kislap traveler’s notebook! It took a bit of time to ease into my current setup, as I tried out some combinations of books before I settled into this one. Here’s my Kislap:

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I got the distressed brown leather cover and I had my name stamped in the lower right as well as the letter P in the middle center. I thought it was the most neutral of the available colors, and I am intending to bring this one everywhere, including into meetings so it needs to look business-like (note: the other two available colors at the time I ordered it are pink and sea green). I also chose the tree charm to go with the traveler’s notebook because it looked the most elegant of the four available charms. Do not be fooled by the photo above! This is actually quite small, about the size of the Moleskine pocket planner. Check out the size compared to my grip.

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Warning: This is going to be pretty image-intensive as I go into a detailed tour of my current setup!

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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?

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.