Current Pocket Sized Inserts: January 2016

As I’ve said in a previous post, my preferred TN size these days is the pocket size. Here are the inserts that I am currently using in my pocket size TN.

Braindump/Lists

This Word. notebook is used mainly as a place for dumping random things such as quotes, notes on various things, and price checks, as well as a place to put my lists such as my current TN lineup, my wishlists, and a package tracker for my online orders.

Blog Planner

I’ve shown you my current blog planner, which now resides in this Moleskine cahier notebook.

Prompted Journal

This DIY insert is my prompted journal, and is made of Tomoe River paper. A prompted journal is different from my daily journal in that it has a specific prompt or topic that I write about, as opposed to just the daily happenings written in my daily journal. I get my prompts from various sources online.

Hobby Expenses

In an attempt to curb my hobby spending, I have been using an insert to track my hobby expenses. I use this lined Alunsina insert with very narrow rulings, which I really like.

Letters To My Daughter

In an unlined Bencab notebook I put letters that I address to my daughter, with the intention that I will be giving this to her when she’s older (like maybe when she’s 18, or when she gets married, or some such milestone). I make sure to only focus on positives, and I am hoping that she will find this inspirational in the future.

Brush Calligraphy Practice Book

Okay, this is not really pocket size, but I house this in with the rest of the inserts in the same TN. This is one of my earlier DIY projects where I used a combination of cream and black calligraphy paper from @calligrapads on IG to serve as a place to practice my brush calligraphy. Once I have fully used this one up (which is soon!) I will make another one in the proper size.

I hope this post gave you some ideas of what to use your inserts for.

New Blog Planner in Pocket Size

As I mentioned in previous posts, I’m slowly transitioning to an exclusively pocket size TN collection. This means all of my previous inserts needed to be converted into that size, and that includes my blog planner. Previously it was in a regular size insert. I decided that the start of a new year is a great time to switch to a new insert, which is what I did.

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This is my new blog planner. I used a pocket size (3.5×5.5″) blank Moleskine cahier, which allowed me to use my own layout for the planner pages. For January, I decided to keep to my old format. I used clear stamps to label the first page of the planner.

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The monthly page is again hand-drawn, except for the daily headings and the month name which are stamped. I decided to do a unified color scheme per month, and as you can see here, January is orange.

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The weekly pages are in the same color scheme (orange for January), but each week only has the three days corresponding to my scheduled publishing days. There’s enough space to put either a task list relating to the assigned post, or a draft, or post notes, or all three. There is of course less space compared to a regular size insert, but I can work with this since I have small handwriting.

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I have drawn in the monthly page of the next month (violet for February!), but haven’t done the weekly spreads yet. As I had an extra page at the end of the January weekly pages (I wanted to have the monthly page at the right hand side), I decided to use that for a place to put in some blog post ideas. Here’s a sneak peek of my future blog posts!

I’m so far pleased by how the blog planner looks. Perhaps the only complaint is that the paper of Moleskine is notoriously unfriendly to fountain pens which is why I’m using just my Coletos here. I also wanted to start using up my pocket notebooks so I decided to go with the Moleskine despite that handicap instead of making a new insert.

What I Packed: Crafting (Caribbean 2015)

This is the last of my What I Packed series for my latest Caribbean trip. I can’t go on without talking about what I brought for my crafting and writing needs.

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Most of these are packed in my checked in luggage, especially the green mesh bag as it contains my scissors. It had a too-long blade which means I can’t bring it with me on the plane cabin. In any case let’s start with the notebooks.

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As you can see I brought a lot. Clockwise from the top left: Alunsina Kislap Traveler’s Notebook (which came with me in my purse), an Acryl Ringnotes refillable notebook (I think this is A5 sized) which was for my work notes, a black lined Moleskine notebook which is my personal journal, a black dot-grid Copelle notebook which is my art journal, and two unopened sets of Venzi Flexy2 notebook refills for my traveler’s notebook. Only the first three were actually used. I had underestimated just how busy I was going to be in this trip that I simply didn’t have the time to try any lettering (in the Copelle) or do as much journaling as I wanted. Let’s move on to my pencil cases.

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This first one is the pencil case part of the Filed pen roll I recently bought. In it are, from the top: three Frixion stamps, a magnetic bookmark, a black Pilot G-Tec-C3, a black Pilot Drawing Pen, a black Daiso marker, three colored Frixion Point pens, a Faber-Castell eraser pen, a Staedtler pencil, and an extendable plastic ruler. Again, most of these were left unused, except for the Frixion pens, the magnetic bookmark, and the G-Tec.

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The other pencil case is a very slim Bear Huggs pencil case and contained only three Frixion Point pens. These came with me in my purse, and was used mainly with my traveler’s notebook. Lastly, we come to my craft bag.

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This is a green mesh bag that I borrowed from my daughter. In it are a pack of stickers (most are from Toys R Us), my long-bladed scissors, seven rolls of medium-width washi tape, six rolls of slim washi tape, and three planner clips. Now these were all used, I think, since I did have time to play with my planner. As I mentioned earlier, these were packed in my checked in bag because of the scissors.

There we have it! Thanks for checking out what I packed in my trip!

February Journaling Challenge Week 1

I’ve upped my paper game this year, and part of it is to write a journal entry every day. So far I am able to do so with fair regularity. I wanted to lean towards something more creative though, so I joined the February Journaling Challenge (by @my_planner) in instagram. This is basically just a set of journaling prompts for each day of February, and I just need to take a photo of each day’s journal entry and upload it to instagram with the hashtag #febjournalingchallengelove.

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Here are my entries for the first week.

Day 1. This Month’s Wish

Day 1 of the #febjournalingchallengelove: This month's wish

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Day 2. I Can’t Live Without

Day 2: I can't live without #febjournalingchallengelove

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Day 3. Happiness Is..

Day 3: Happiness is… #febjournalingchallengelove

A post shared by Becoming Sleek (@becomingsleek) on

 

Day 4. Pretty Colors

Day 4: Pretty colors #febjournalingchallengelove

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Day 5. On My To Read List

Day 5: On my To-read list #febjournalingchallengelove

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Day 6. Movies I Love

Day 6: Movies I love #febjournalingchallengelove

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Day 7. Pink

Day 7: Pink #febjournalingchallengelove

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I’m loving this challenge so far! My journal has become much more colorful, which was my original intention. These entries are written (or drawn) in my current journal, a black lined Moleskine, using Pilot Frixion Point pens.

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?