Countdown to 2010 #6: Moleskine Colour-a –month planner

(Photo Credit: Notebook Stories)

I’ve had my eye on one of these for a while and have of course been waiting for the new year to debate whether to make such a purchase. However, help is on the way if you are like me and lust after one of these babies:

Notebook Stories has done a great another great review of this planner and even has some to give away. So check it out if you haven’t done so already.

Good Luck Everyone.

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Countdown to 2010 #5: Amnesty People Diary

(Photo Credit: Amnesty International UK website)

Another gorgeous diary. Beautiful colourful and vibrant photographs of people, make this a charming 2010 diary. The photos act as month dividers to the A5 sized diary. The cover is made from recycled leather and is a mottled black colour, but a smooth feel. There is also an elastic band that wraps tightly round the book (across the centre rather than down the side).

Available at the UK Amnesty shop for £9.95 (although I originally saw it in the Shared Earth shop).

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The Lost Art of Letter Writing

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Dear fellow paper enthusiast,

I write to you from the far reaches of the internet to remind you are about the great stocking filler and fall-back Christmas gift that died out somewhere back in the 90s: the note-writing gift set.

Recently I’ve found that people end up using all sorts of scraps of paper for their correspondence – anything from torn up envelopes to the back of receipts. At best people use file paper or printer paper for what should be a professional letter. Professionalism aside, I believe there is nothing more personal and satisfying as a handwritten letter –in many ways, a perfect gift, and guaranteed to put a smile on someone’s face.

Recently I’ve been voicing a campaign among friends to bring writing back, and I think it is something everyone should do to. How am I doing this?

  1. By writing letters to others to encourage them to send letters back;
  2. Returning to giving proper birthday cards (instead of dropping them a wall message on facebook);
  3. Using Old-fashioned Christmas cards; and
  4. giving out writing related presents in the hope that others will pick up on my enthusiasm.

The recent blog post from Tiger Pens: Letter writing shouldn’t vanish really hit home and it has made me even more determined to include a few paper related gifts in this years presents.

One thing I don’t understand is that it is not like there is no great writing kits out there, there is plenty of amazing stationery to make anyone drool.

UntitledWaterstone’s Social Stationery Collection!!

Between this and the likes of the cute and cheap Rosehip notebooks (and note sets) I think my Christmas shopping plans are almost complete. For more inspiration gift wise check out: Boo Vake’s Paper gift guide which looks pretty fantastic.(I hope to put together my own gift guide list at some point over the next week, so keep a look out for that).

Pass on the inspiration yourself and get letter writing back on the map even if it is just within your circle of friends – after all it means more excuses for you to write more letters yourself.



The Wanderlust Travel Journal

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One of my colleagues is going to Australia travelling for 9 weeks. I got her a Wanderlust Travel Journal as a going away gift. In part I thought that this beautifully designed notebook would get her inspired to write something, or at least treasure her memories.

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This A5 notebook is vibrant, and colourful with the travel theme playing throughout the whole book rather than simply being an image on the cover, making it a notebook with a difference. See more photos here. There is a mixture of blank and squared pages as well as space for addresses in the back. Great for getting someone who has turned their back on the written word into notebooks.

I bought my notebook at Waterstones for £10, but the notebook can also be purchased online at Amazon.

In use: My Sign Language Books

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I’m currently on week four of my Sign Language Level One classes and therefore all the notebooks that I bought for the purpose of these classes are now in use.


I am using three notebooks: Puss in Boots Ladybird book for vocabulary, Large Brown Signature Notebook for sentences structure and Small Mulberry Signature Notebook for my Logbook.

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Oh how I love these notebooks.

With the Ladybird, I had agonised over what to do with a plain paged notebook (when I had been expecting a lined one) – but it worked out suitable for drawing diagrams for sign language as can be seen in the first picture with little annotations.

The Small Mulberry Signature notebook is my logbook, where I write down what I have learned and practiced during the course. Everyone’s immediate reaction was that’s a posh notebook – when in reality Signature (as I’ve mentioned before) is WH Smiths attempt at a moleskine style notebook. Both Signature notebooks look and feel the same (other than the size and colour of course). I will also add that I find the Mulberry a much more interesting colour and prefer it. As previously mentioned the paper is 80gsm, smooth to touch and great to write on. My feelings about this haven’t changed. The smaller notebook is much neater and easy to carry about, the larger notebook, although not overly large and still a relatively permanent addition to my bag, I find quite clunky and heavy to handle at times.

That said, I would definitely continue to recommend all three of these notebooks.

Countdown to 2010 #4: Life Book

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A while back while perusing my local John Lewis I spotted a range of diaries from Organised Mum known as Life Books. The Life Book diaries come in a range of colours and sizes, my favourite is the one below – the A5 week to view diary (although some people may prefer the pocket/purse version:

(Photo Credit: Organised Mum website)

The life book looks like an ordinary diary, but it is actually quite clever and very organised – aimed at keeping family life under control (there are also family planners and calendars available in the same range).

Although the diary is a week to view diary, there are also monthly and yearly planning pages, as well as extra pages for planning Christmas and the holiday. But the key feature which I love about these diaries are the perforated weekly shopping lists, menu planners and to-do lists. Not to mention the beautiful blue colour. 🙂

Countdown to 2010 #3: Sarah Raven Grow Your own

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A bright and colourful diary from Sarah Raven that immediately caught my eye even though it wasn’t elegantly displayed in the shop.

There are bright vibrant photography of food and flowers throughout the diary which is a5 in size and spiral bound. A week is spread over 2 pages with plenty of space to jot down notes.

The attractive thing about this diary (as well as the stunning photography) is the tips for the garden and cooking if you are a “grow your own” enthusiast. Well put together and a great purchase if you are a fan of the garden, alternatively may make a great present idea at £12.

(Photo Credit: Sarah Raven’s Website).