Planning Dilemma: Hobonichi Weeks Vs Pocket Planning

I am honestly having a lot of trouble with my planning system right now, and not because it’s not working. It actually works! I find that I work best with a weekly view, with the days of the week on one side and a notes page on the opposite side. My dilemma is as follows: I am a huge fan of Hobonichi Weeks, and I’ve found a great planning system with its weekly views and the other features of the planner. In fact, I was able to spend about five months of continuous planning in it.

hoboafter3months2

On the other hand, I have recently discovered that I work just as well with the pocket size version of the Hobonichi Weeks. And by this I mean the weekly planner insert of CN Papercrafts works really well for me. As long as I have an accompanying bullet journal to help document my days, I can use with the smaller amount of space for my day to day planning needs.

macatasetup4

Now that the 2017 release of Hobonichi has come out, I am starting to again think that the Weeks is the planner for me. The moment I saw the Meow Meow Meow Weeks, I felt a really huge pull to get it (the cats were such a tease too!). To make things even harder for me (or easier, depends on how you look at it), there are several merchants who offer preorder service so I don’t really even have to mess with customs or post office. Perhaps the only disadvantage of this is the relatively steep price of the Weeks to begin with. It’s really quite the investment.

Image credits: 1101.com
Image credits: 1101.com

On the other hand again, I have a tremendous amount of pocket TNs that will remain unused. For the most part, I only have one in active use; maybe two at most, if I am feeling a lot of writing mojo. If I used the pocket size weekly planner insert as my main planner, then I would be able to really put into use my pocket TNs and it would justify the original purchase of them instead of just sitting pretty on the shelf. At least this way too, I don’t have to shell out a huge amount of money for planning for next year, since my current insert can handle 7 months already. If I really stretch, I could even use up my pocket insert stash and hand-draw the weekly layouts myself!

Pocket TNs, charms, and a lone fountain pen

A post shared by Becoming Sleek (@becomingsleek) on

 

I’m not really sure what I should do! What do you think?

 

Gutsy Artdori A6 TNs

When I heard that Airees of Aireescreates was coming out with a new collection, I was immediately intrigued. When it was revealed that for the first time, she was going to be offering the A6 size, I knew that I had to get one. If you don’t remember, Airees released a previous collection entitled Musings in Color and I got myself the Words TN, which remains in my collection as a revered holder of journal inserts.

Gutsy, the new collection, has a crinkled effect but still uses the same leather-strong abaca paper formula. Read more about this collection here. For now, let me show you what I got!

gutsyartdori1

Does it surprise you to discover that I got the red one? I actually got two A6 TNs from the Gutsy line: the Rojo (red) and the Camello (camel). You can really see the crinkled paper but let me assure you that this does not at all give the feeling of fragility. The material feels like it can take a lot of abuse!

gutsyartdori2

The Rojo A6 comes with cream stitching and red elastics. I might switch out the red outer elastic for a black one later on for better contrast.

gutsyartdori3

It comes with pockets made of the same material, in a full-length style on both sides.

gutsyartdori4

It also comes with two A6 inserts. These inserts are pretty awesome! They have 120gsm weight paper inside with 32 pages, enclosed with special handmade covers with interesting plant ephemera embedded in it. These two inserts fill up the TN nicely.

gutsyartdori5

Here is the Rojo Artdori beside my pocket-size Chicsparrow Outlander. They have roughly the same height, but the Artdori is a bit wider.

gutsyartdori9

The Camello has much of the same features. It comes with cream stitching and brown elastics, and also two A6 inserts.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Overall I’m really quite pleased with these two. I can’t wait to start using them! They seem really perfect for art journaling or artistic uses, and the pockets are a great way to hold various journaling stuff.

The Gutsy Collection is available at Airees’ online store and I think she has also started stocking at Common Room. The A6 costs Php450 while the Standard size costs Php550, although I got mine for slightly less because I was able to catch the preorder period in early August. Artdoris are perfect for those who prefer non-animal derived products, and those who, like me, enjoy supporting local makers.

 

Setup of TN Wallet (September 2016)

I’m really enjoying using my Dark Brown Macata as a TN Wallet. I’ve moved in and have been using it for the past two weeks and so far it’s been going great! Here’s how I set it up.

macatasetup1

The wallet part of the TN wallet is mostly the same as the one in my Blue Passport Macata. I’m going straight to the planner part.

macatasetup2

My first insert is the weekly insert by CN Papercrafts. I decorated the front with alpha stickers and a cute little sticker by @kraftrina.

macatasetup3

Right inside the planner I stuck a sheet of decorative paper and a motivational sticker on the front page. On the back of the cover I stuck a pocket from the Tiny Stickers that I found before, with a sheet of glitter stars in it. In front of it I stuck on a sticky note with my shopping list.

macatasetup4

The bulk of the insert is of course the weekly planner, with the days of the week on one side situated horizontally, and grid paper on the opposite side. This is basically how the Hobonichi Weeks is laid out, so it’s not a huge adjustment to move here for me. The only thing the insert was missing was a monthly view, which was easily remedied with a simple print out of a calendar that I searched online. I tipped it in at the start of the month with some washi.

macatasetup5

The back of the weekly planner holds my favorite Post Its, and another pocket that holds a small sheet of marker stickers. This is also where I installed a penloop substitute that holds my go-to pen of the moment (Pilot Prera).

macatasetup6

The second insert is the 100gsm cream unlined insert by CN Papercrafts, and I assigned this to be my Bullet Journal. This is actually something new for me, and I am still trying to get used to it. Prior to moving to this TN Wallet, I had incorporated some sort of bullet journaling into my Hobonichi Weeks since I did have a lot of space in the grid area opposite the weekly layout. Since I am using a much reduced size, I needed to transfer the short-hand journaling to another form, and this is how I chose to try it.

macatasetup7

I decorated the inside of the cover again with some nice decorative paper and another motivational sticker, and below that I have a sticky note with my current bullet journal bullet code. I started on the first page right away, and I find that I mostly use it to log events that happen that are not in my standard routine.

macatasetup8

The back of the journal is currently blank except for another pocket that holds another small sheet of stickers, this time of cute little colorful flags.

macatasetup9

Which brings us to the end of the TN Wallet. To summarize, I have my wallet inserts and two notebooks inside this TN Wallet, and it brings me to a nice, compact, chunky package that I can chuck into my purse easily.

I filmed a flip through of my TN Wallet, and it shows a bit more of the wallet inserts here in case you want to see it in detail.

 

Will I be staying with this setup? I sure hope so! I really do like the pocket size a lot, and I’m quite happy to be back to this size even though I really liked Hobonichi Weeks.

 

Unboxing the Dark Brown Macata by CN Papercrafts

One of the first local makers of traveler’s notebooks that I’ve tried is CN Papercrafts, and their Macata still remains one of my favorite brands. It’s been interesting to watch just how much they have grown in the year since I first got my first Macata, and I am happy to announce a blog collaboration with them! Nissan, a planner-passionate like me, and her supportive boyfriend Christian, set up their own two-person company to sell their handmade traveler’s notebooks and inserts. They specialize in good quality faux leather notebooks and inserts that are affordable. Shopping is now made easy with the launch of their new online store at CNPapercrafts.com, do check them out!

I have the honor to try out any product in their lineup, and I chose the Dark Brown in pocket size as that is something I haven’t tried yet. The notebook came wrapped in bubble packaging, and I have to say that I really like how neat and professional this looks! They have also updated their logo and business card, and I appreciate the little touch about the watercolor.

darkbrownmacata1

This is what the notebook looks like, unwrapped. Dark Brown Macata has interesting striations that suggest texture, and I could feel it when running my fingers across the surface. It is quite different from the other Macata notebooks that I have, which are smooth-surfaced. This one came with matching dark brown elastics, a small strip of dark brown faux leather for the closure, gold eyelets, and charms with gold hardware. Overall, it looks quite professional and classy.

darkbrownmacata2

Check out this beautiful piece of material. I still can’t believe it isn’t leather! The closing elastic originates from the spine as is standard. I love that my notebook’s corners are rounded! The faux leather is quite a bit more pliable than my other Macata notebooks, and seems to hug the inserts better.

darkbrownmacata4

The inside is some sort of felt-like material that reminds me of the linings of bags. It feels nice to the touch! The eyelets are installed expertly and securely. This notebook comes double-stringed, which ends up giving me four inner elastics to string my inserts on. The Macata holds four inserts quite comfortably without overhang, and looks like it may have room for up to six.

darkbrownmacata5

My notebook came with four inserts. Each have kraft covers and branded with the CN Papercrafts logo at the back. I like this so I can remember which maker made the inserts I am currently using.

darkbrownmacata6

Three of my inserts are a 70gsm white unlined insert (top), a 100gsm cream unlined insert (middle), and a 100gsm white dotted insert (bottom). Each are staple-bound and have 32 pages each and have square corners.

darkbrownmacata7

The fourth insert is a weekly insert with 100gsm white paper, also staple-bound and has 32 pages. This is the insert I’m really excited about, as it has the same format as my Weeks! The week is on the left side and the right is a grid area for notes. This and the dotted insert are CN Papercrafts’ own design, which is why they have their name printed discreetly at the bottom right corner.

darkbrownmacata8

My Dark Brown Macata also came with this cute little charm with a gold wing and a cream tassel. It goes really well with my notebook and gives personality to an otherwise very serious book.

darkbrownmacata9

The notebook stands up by itself when fully loaded. It’s a compact package that holds quite a lot!

darkbrownmacata3

I’m setting up this Dark Brown Macata to be my main planner and wallet for the next few weeks to give it the full trial, and I’ll be posting about the setup. Watch this space as I #WriteBeautifully with my Macata!

All items in the Macata package were sent free of charge as part of the collaboration.

 

Loridori Pocket TN

It has come to my attention that I have not yet talked about this very nice traveler’s notebook that I have had for some time now. Let me present to you the Loridori!

loridori1

The Loridori is a handmade leather traveler’s notebook by Lorraine of @calligraphyspot. I had gotten this particular pocket TN in a raffle in one of the Calligraphy groups.

loridori2

The leather is thick and on the rather stiff side, much like a Midori leather. In fact, I would consider this TN the closest one I have to a Midori TN. The surface of the leather is a bit suede-like, and feels very luxurious. It also has that incredible leather scent! It also came with that beautiful little charm.

loridori5

The inside of the leather is rough, and the TN is stringed in the same manner as a Midori (single strand). The TN itself is not cut too large, and I expect it can hold maybe 3 inserts.

loridori4

At the moment I use the Loridori to hold my traveling journal (which I will show in another post!). It’s still a work in progress, but its travels have been completed. I feel like the Loridori really matches the insert.

loridori3

It’s a very classy pocket TN and will definitely remain in my collection!

 

 

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.

imajicatassel1

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!

imajicatassel2

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.

imajicatassel3

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!

imajicatassel4

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!

imajicatassel5

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

imajicatassel6

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!

 

EDC TN: July 2016

It’s been nearly a month since I got my Sunday Leather Craft Hobonichi Weeks wallet cover, and I’ve been carrying it ever since. It’s such a convenient piece since it’s able to hold my phone (and various other stuff) in the gusseted pocket.

 

Shades of brown

A post shared by Becoming Sleek (@becomingsleek) on

 

I also switched over to the Zenkraft Rustic Roadie A6 for my pocket inserts because I’ve been missing it, and I also brought out the Midori Passport Camel for something I’m currently testing.

What’s your July carry?

 

TN Setup: July 2016

As I have mentioned in my last EDC post, I have moved back into the Foxyfix Wanderlust in Espresso. I have decided to streamline my carry and only bring along the most active of my pocket inserts. Let me show you how my TN is currently set up.

tnsetupjuly2016-1

As you can see from the photos, the TN has gotten a lot more dings and indentations in the leather. It’s starting to show use and character! Here’s a view of the top of the TN, where my tabs and bookmarks are shown.

tnsetupjuly2016-2

When first opened, the Foxyfix vinyl dashboard is revealed. In the front part I have a scrap piece of decorated cardstock as well as my car maintenance booklet whose front cover fits just right in the dashboard.

tnsetupjuly2016-3

Inside the dashboard, after the car maintenance booklet, is my first insert. This Word. notebook serves as my current Book of Lists, and holds stuff like wishlists, addresses, package tracker, quotes, and things like that.

tnsetupjuly2016-4

The back of the vinyl dashboard is yet another piece of scrap cardstock. The next insert is an Alunsina lined insert which serves as a record of my hobby expenses. I used a pink paperclip to denote my current place in this book.

tnsetupjuly2016-5

The next insert is my blog planner, which is a small unlined Moleskine cahier notebook. I’m still continuing in my current format, which I find to be really how I like planning my blog.

tnsetupjuly2016-6

The last insert is an Alunsina graph insert which is my current journal insert. I’m nearly to the end of this book, and I’m already considering what my next one will be.

tnsetupjuly2016-7

And here is the very back of the TN. I’ve started decorating the journal insert since I’m about to finish it, and I really like how this vintage-y sticker looks against the bright blue of the insert.

tnsetupjuly2016-8

At this point I’m very happy with my current setup. This will probably change as soon as I feel uncomfortable with one part of it or another, but at the moment this is what works for me.

 

After 1 Year of Traveler’s Notebooks

This post is about two months late, but I’d like to share my thoughts after a year of delving deep into the world of traveler’s notebooks.

How It All Started

My very first TN was actually the Alunsina Mini-Kislap, a local maker of beautiful hand-tooled leather journals, and I got it around February of 2015. It was my first foray into traveler’s notebooks. Shortly after that, I got my first Midori (brown passport size). From there it went pretty much downhill.

Settling Into A Preferred Size

At some point around the middle of that first year, I went on a buying spree and basically tried out all the locally produced brands of TN in standard size. It was after doing the write-up that I realized standard size was not really something I was comfortable with. It took me about a month to finally accept that pocket size is my preferred size.

Venturing International

Once I had determined my preferred size, I started looking to try out international brands as well. I was able to try out Speckled Fawns, Zenkraft (although not pocket size), Jot, Chic Sparrow, and Foxyfix. My main conclusion from this is that there are really a lot of leather variations out there, and at this point there aren’t a lot of variety available locally.

My Current Collection

At this point, I really do have quite a lot of traveler’s notebooks of various sizes. I honestly cannot really keep them all in rotation, and while I do need a few to hold my completed journals, I probably have too many for comfort and sanity.

Happy national notebook day!

A post shared by Becoming Sleek (@becomingsleek) on

 

I’m looking at a future downsize at some point. I really need to evaluate my needs against my wants, and whittle down the collection into a more manageable size.

 

Creative Journaling: Pocket Size Edition

Instagram can really provide lots of beautiful inspiration, and the field of creative journaling is not exempt. I really love looking at other people’s journaling pages, and for some time I was hesitant to try it on my own. I just mostly did haphazard layouts without an overall theme to the page, and attached my ephemera randomly. This week I decided to try out layouts with specific themes, in my pocket sized journal (Alunsina Graph insert).

Before the ink: decorated a journal spread with a washi tape I got from @beehappycrafts. Loving all the envelopes!

A post shared by Becoming Sleek (@becomingsleek) on

Today's journal spread, before the ink.

A post shared by Becoming Sleek (@becomingsleek) on

 

My first two attempts took advantage of two of my newest washi tapes of envelopes and tickets. It’s basically just a series of different prints of envelopes and tickets, and I cut them up individually and interspersed them throughout the page.

 

Today's journal spread. Loving that cute sticker up top!

A post shared by Becoming Sleek (@becomingsleek) on

 

At some point I also incorporated some kawaii elements such as this adorable anime-ish sticker which served as the focal point of the layout.

creativejournaling1

In my latest vacation I printed out some photos and attempted a bit of scrapbooking. I find it hilarious that I journaled about my journal in my journal.

I really enjoyed this little experiment, and I think I will continue doing themed spreads and scrapbook photos. I am planning to incorporate other techniques such as brush calligraphy and mixed media.