My new Filofax – Part 2!

So the Metropol went back to the Filofax factory for a bit of a re-fit. Having had a feel of it, I decided I wasn’t much of a fan of the PU cover. Clearly I went the wrong way in having gone from a gorgeous leather Chameleon down to the most basic of binders, but it just felt a bit cheap. I ummed and aaahed over splashing out on a Finsbury, and then had some crazy credit-card bending thoughts of an Osterley, but in the end the bank account won and I ordered another non-leather binder. 

Slimline also seemed a no-go for me – it was just a downsize too far! This time, it was all about the compact. The tab closure makes me feel far more comfortable about throwing it in my handbag as well! 

So, what did I get? 

 

An aqua Saffiano! I’d been a bit dismissive of these when they first came out, but after much trawling through websites I found it was growing on me. The textured cover – it’s kind of rough cross-hatching – gives it a bit of character and a nice feel, and the aqua colour isn’t quite as bright as it could be. 

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Next to my Chameleon, there’s not much in the depth overall, even though the ring size difference is pretty big – 15mm vs 23mm! There’s some space saved on the width as with the slimline, and the pen sits nicely outside the pages within the closure tab. There’s a smidgen less height too. I think the main difference is in how much you can stuff it – the tab on the personal is much longer than the compact one. 

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I was too excited to move in to take pictures of it empty, but there’s a flap pocket on the left, with two card holder slots, and a vertical pocket on the right. It comes with 1-6 coloured dividers, a 2014 Wo2P diary, and a whole variety of to-do/contacts/lined/squared/plain paper. 

 

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The one negative is that it’s still not perfect. The rings are neatly aligned with no gaps, but the buttons to open them are rattly. But I don’t have time (or immediate funds) for a third filofax delivery in the space of a week, so rattly ring tabs it is. 

Update: This has been in my drafts box for yonks. The ring tabs still rattle, but it’s not an issue – the rings are perfect *touch wood* and it’s being well used! I’ll post soon to show how I’m using it in 2014…

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Top tips for journalling

Paperblanks midi journal

I’ve got a brand new journal ready to start along with my first final year placement, so I thought I’d share some tips of how to get started, and keep going, with journalling.

– Get something you love to write in. 

Whatever you use to journal in, you’re going to be seeing it often so make sure it’s something you love. I’m using a Paperblanks midi notebook this term – the paper quality is amazing and the cover art is just beautiful. 

– Keep your journal to hand.

Some people carry their journal with them all the time to note down anything they think of during the day; others keep it at home to write in once a day.  If your journal’s close to hand, you’re more likely to remember to write in it. I keep mine on my bedside table, so I remember to write before I go to sleep each night. 

– Put pen to paper! 

It seems simple, but that’s it! Don’t get hung up on making sure what you’re writing is perfect – it’s not a novel, it’s just your journal. Start writing about anything and the words will start flowing. 

– Get round writer’s block

It happens to everyone, so don’t give up just because you’re struggling for words one day. Either take a few days out and then see where you’re at, or just plow on – go back to the basics and just make a note of what you’ve been up to and what you’ve been thinking. This is the same if you’re rushed for time; make a little list of what you’d want to write about if you had the time, so you can come back to it later if you do find time and if you don’t you’ve still got a little record of your life right then. 

 

 

So, those are my top tips for journalling. Do you have any tips you’d add? Share them below!

Oxford Campus notebooks

Somehow I came home for summer with no notebooks. This is totally out of character for me as I usually have at least a couple of spares to hand! It meant a quick trip to the stationery aisle of Sainsburys during the weekly shop, and I came away with these lovely A4 Oxford Campus notebooks – and they were on BOGOF!

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I was in a bit of a rush, so I just grabbed the first two notebooks off the shelf, and am pretty pleased with the ones I got – a vibrant but not fluorescent pink, and a deep black. Both have glossy card covers that mean the notebooks bend a little but not excessively. They have identical designs on the front, with a line about the paper quality blah blah blah, but I love the lion crest! Especially on the pink one, it looks really cute but smart.

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Inside is a personal page for your contact details. Fairly standard, but there’s also a space for little doodles or notes – such a nice idea! Just having a separate page at the start for details really sets these Oxford notebooks above others that simply give you a wirebound pad of paper. These would be perfect for school or college.

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A slight hint that these might actually be designed for students is the space to fill in your timetable, on the back of the personal details page. As an aside – I totally envy people who actually have a fixed timetable; mine varies every week! I’m using these notebooks to study a little over summer though, so I’m going to use the six rows to plan my study schedule for the holiday weeks. It’s nice that it includes weekends in the timetable too.

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Above you can see the seriously awesome paper that everyone raves about – this is quality paper! Crisp, white, already perforated and punched to pull out and file away, with a pink margin (this isn’t exclusive to the pink notebook, they’ve all got it) for neatness. You get 140 sheets per notebook, which makes them around a centimetre thick – not too bulky, but enough paper to keep going for a while.

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The reason people adore this paper? 90gsm, thick enough to write on in proper ink without show-through, bleeding or feathering. The notes above are in gel ink (I don’t own a fountain pen to test this stuff out with!) that usually has pretty bad issues with show through on normal paper. I’ve written on both sides of that sheet, and you can barely see a hint of a shadow of the text on the other side. Brilliant.

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And a little bonus… Buy any three A4 or A5 promo Oxford Campus notebooks before October, and you can send off for a free superhero/stuntwoman t-shirt! I’m definitely doing this – bagsy that superhero shirt!

I seriously love these notebooks, think you could officially call me an Oxford Campus convert! It’s been pointed out to me that while the Sainsbury’s BOGOF deal is good (I got these two for around £3), Amazon tend to have multipacks of 5 or so of these notebooks for even less money per notebook (though not right now, rather inconveniently).

Are these notebooks your stationery superhero? Or is there something even better out there in the paper stakes? Let me know in the comments!

A little bit of Muji love

I seem to be able to credit the blogging world for everything I buy at the moment! My first Muji purchase was entirely down to reading about the gel pens on Paperlovestory – they seemed ideal for writing in my filofax and a slightly more grown-up and stylish version of the glittery, smelly gel pens I had as a teenager. So when I happened across the Muji store in Birmingham whilst on a whistle-stop trip cross-country for a meeting, I had to pop in and feed my growing addiction.

Having already got the purple and black 0.5mm pens, I went for a bigger range of colours. I’d been planning on getting the multipack of 12 pens, but there seemed to be a disproportionate number of pink shades in there, so I opted for buying individual pens in a bit of rainbow!

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Black, purple, green, pink, blue & red!

I just love the frosted barrel, colour-coordinated tip and mostly incomprehensible Japanese labels! The inks are brilliantly pigmented colours and really accurately matched to the pen tops, so you always know what it’ll look like before you hit the page.

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Colour testing

Excuse my awful scrawly handwriting in the picture above – you can tell I’m not far off qualifying as a doctor now! The paper shown is my other little Muji addiction: passport notebooks. I’ve written about this stationery gem before, when I showed you how I used one tucked into the front of my Filofax as a to-do list book. This time I opted to stock up on the navy blue rather than the dark red.

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Muji passport notebooks

It’s the middle of summer for me right now, so I’m using these less as to-do lists and more just as a handy jotter to have in the pocket of my filo for notes. It means I don’t have one-off phone numbers or figures clogging up my filo pages, and I’m also using it as a record of what I spend this month so it’s useful to have such a tiny book for these things. At just 24 pages, it really is super slim.

ImageAs you can see, they’re pretty flexible, but without being overly soft and prone to damage. I’d be happy chucking one in the bottom of my handbag by itself, but it fits so perfectly in the secretarial flap of my personal Filo that it’s not going anywhere else!

So, that was what I got from Muji recently. I’m slightly gutted that I didn’t spot this fantastic desk tidy in store though!

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London desk tidy from Muji – how adorable?!

Have you been stationery shopping recently? Bought anything awesome?

A mini stationery haul!

I checked out the Paperchase sale recently and came away with a few little things that I just couldn’t resist!

ImageI’ve been after some index tabs for a while, to organise my Filofax a little better without adding more side tabs, and these little bus tabs were just too cute to resist. They’re stickers that fold in half to sit on each side of a page, and mine show the front and back of different coloured buses! They’re not quite firm enough to be able to flip to a section easily, but they’re great as page markers – I’ve got them marking out the end of my summer holidays, and the page where my blog planning starts, as that’s within a bigger ‘Projects’ tab. Blog planning was also why I needed more ‘to-do’ pages!

ImageI’m using a to-do page to plan out my blog posts, with little spaces to show when it’s written, the photos are done, it’s scheduled to post and on what date, with the tick box at the end to show that it’s gone online. I got the idea off of Practically Pretty, but mine’s a bit less neat and colourful! The ‘To-Do’ section in my Filo houses the rest of my to-do pages, with one per month to list all the tasks I have to complete that month – projects, booking travel for future months, renewing insurance – as well as reminders of things I’ve ordered to tick off when they arrive. Tasks that are date-specific or likely to be done really soon, like sending emails or taking ebay items to the Post Office, just go in my diary on the relevant day to save space.

I also picked up some cards from Paperchase. I tend to buy all my cards from there anyway as I love the designs, so this was just an opportunity to stock up a little bit for upcoming birthdays. As much as I’m trying not to buy things unless I need them, having a supply of discounted cards at home is definitely a good cost saving measure and means I’ll never miss a friend’s birthday from not having time to go out and buy a card.

The one thing I deliberated over loads in the shop was this gorgeous jewellery holder!ImageIt’s so cute! I love that it has lots of space for hanging necklaces and bracelets but also the tray at the base for earrings. It’s painted metal, so fairly sturdy but lightweight. And did I mention that it’s cute? The red hearts are so lovely!

I really did umm and ahh over it but it stayed in the shop… Couldn’t convince myself that red was the right colour accessory for my new bedroom. Still on the lookout for a nice jewellery holder then!

Did anyone else get anything nice in the Paperchase sale?

Planning nirvana, maybe?

Since my last post, I’ve been looking at other peoples’ ways of organising their task lists, from using daily and weekly planners side by side, monthly planners, uncalendars… I was getting a bit overwhelmed by how many ways there are to plan your life!

As an aside, in my search I came across loads of people using Moleskines, and then stumbled on the Evernote/Moleskine crossover – I’m intrigued. And for only £14 with free delivery, I might even give this a try in the new academic year. Watch this space!

Back to this planning business. I was going through old Plannerisms posts and came across this post which referenced ‘Getting Sh*t Done’. Now that sounds like my kind of strategy, so I found the original idea on Bill Westerman’s site. It’s really simple, and it looks like it could work really well!

So here’s the plan. I have my Master List, which is just my original To-Do list, now removed from my diary pages and behind its own Filofax tab.

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Master list

Then my daily list is in a little Muji notebook that’s the size of a passport. As per the GSD guidelines, this is a completely randomly ordered list of stuff I need to do today, and can feasibly do. No more million-item lists. Just specific tasks that are clear how I can achieve them – not just “build my CAL package”, but “write a topic list for my CAL package”, then once that’s complete I can put the next step to reaching the overall goal onto tomorrow’s list. The idea is that you put a dot in the box to prioritise a task, and once you’ve done it, tick it off and put dots in the next few tasks to do.

Tomorrow, anything I didn’t get done will have a diagonal slash through it and get moved onto the new daily list, so there’s only ever one list to deal with (with reference to the master list to see if anything from there can be achieved that day).

The number in the right corner is how many days it is til I see my boyfriend; sad, I know, but I like seeing the numbers go down as the end of term gets closer!

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The notebook tucks into the front pocket of my Filofax perfectly! This means I can carry it around with me to refer to or add things.

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My Muji passport book tucked into the secretarial flap of my Filo

It’s only a 90-page notebook, but given that I only really need to be able to see today and yesterday at any one time, I don’t need an entire year’s capacity with me. Any bigger and it would push against the rings or make my binder really bulky, so it’s perfect! I think I might go for the navy version next time though, the dark red almost blends with the red of my Filofax but it’s just a shade or two darker. Navy would be a nice contrast.

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Muji book inside my Filo, not adding any width

The best bit about it being tucked into the front pocket is that it falls open when I open the Filofax, so I can tuck all the previous pages into the pocket and get it to always open on today for easy reference. And no, my Filofax doesn’t lay flat! It has one ever-s0-slightly dodgy ring (like nanometres out of alignment) so I’m being really careful not to overstretch it too sign and disrupt the rings, so the flattening process is gonna take a while.

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First thing I see on opening my planner.

I’m really looking forward to seeing whether this new system works! Three weeks before finals is probably not the time to be getting distracted by forgetting to do stuff… Having everything written down is part of my finals masterplan anyway, to give my brain a break from remembering day-to-day stuff so it has space for all the medicine instead!