First Glance: Read & Write Journal

On my holiday I ventured into Paper Source – there was a lot of beautiful things – a lot of which I wish I could have justified buying.

One notebook I did indulge in was a new notebook for the August Commute: Electonote Read & Write Journal from Uppercase. The notebooks are handmade using vintage papers and repurposed books. Each item is completely one-of-a-kind! I chose the one I bought because it has pages from the Tempest, N pages from a Legal Dictionary and a page on note-taking. Three things I have read/would read anyway.

The problem is building up the courage to write in it. I would love to make a more personalised notebook like this. It really is inspiring.

More from me in August when I begin to use notebook properly.

How to Keep Track of Job Applications

I always get asked how do you keep track of your job applications. There are several methods that I use:

  1. On Paper: The progress journal – which I have mentioned in passing to a few friends and regular readers. (Which is an updated version of this method)
  2. On the Computer: Superstars and inbox organisation
  3. On the Go: Iphone App – My Jobs: Job Search Organiser.

Today I am looking at this third option.

Image: My Job App

My Job App is an application available for the iphone/ipod touch. There is both a free version and a pro version for £1.19.

The start page is the dashboard shown in the screenshot above. It shows the summary of your jobs, broken up as follows:

  • active jobs – all the jobs you have entered will remain on this list until you close them.
  • closing jobs – if you have put in the deadline for the job. They will appear on this list when the deadline is approaching.
  • Jobs to follow up – Again you can put in a follow up date. For example if they say if you have not heard from us my X date, you have not been successful. Or if they suggest that you will hear back from them by a certain date you can stick it in here. I use two follow up dates – the date for hearing if I have an interview and one for hearing back about the interview.
  • Jobs with interviews – these will be the jobs you’ve been successful with for interview. You can insert the interview date, time and location

For each job you have the ability to keep a lot of information in the same place: The job name, the employer and any agent (although I use this for the employer if applying direct as you can add contact details). Then of course there are the key dates – the closing date, the follow up dates and the interview date and the start date for the job. There is room for you to enter your own notes about the job – this helps you remember the key points of the job, why you want to apply. Later you can use it to store info on interviewer etc. Another button is the progress one which allows you to select the status of the application. Options include: applied, filled internally, follow-up sent, interview, interview unsuccessful etc. I personally didn’t find this particularly helpful, other than applied – so I could remember which I had actually sent off the application for as I usually inputted jobs I was interested in, or was in the process of applying.

Another handy thing is that if you are unsuccessful you can close the job, but it keeps a list of not active jobs. It helps you know who you have applied for before and maintain a list of contacts etc for future reference. Particularly if you narrowly missed out – this information is good to have.

The rest of the lists: employers, agencies and agents, I’ve not found particularly useful – but if overlooked this because I do like the way the job section of the app works. Besides it complicates things.

When I want to keep track of job applications I need to know the following key things:

  1. The deadline for applying? Am I going to miss it?
  2. Have I applied? / How many open jobs do I have?
  3. When should I hear about an Interview? (follow up)
  4. When is the interview?
  5. Post Interview – When should I hear if I got the job? (follow up)
  6. Close the job / clear it off the list.

This app can do all of this.The app is good, but I prefer to integrate all 3 methods – my progress journal as I can tie my job hunt in with my goals (besides I love paper), the gmail method keeps track of the actual emails which send the job application and the actual responses from the Firm I apply for as most are done electronically and it is important that you maintain organisation in your inbox and finally the iphone app, is a handy little extra dedicated to this purpose. Everything in one place and you won’t forget any information that you *should* note down because it asks you. A simple way for those of us who don’t always keep on top of our organisation.

My pile of goodies

If you are a regular reader you may have noticed that I went over to the US for a flying visit. Unfortunately I didn’t have much time dedicated to shopping. However, I did indulge in two notebook shopping trips:

  • one to “Giant” the supermarket, to get my hands on some cheap but good stationery.
  • the second to Papersource (which reminds me in every way of paperchase) for the pretty stuff.

(I also went to Paperchase but the selection was more limited than what we have here in the UK, so didn’t buy anything).

Reviews and thoughts will come soon when I’ve had the chance to indulge in them properly.

One Notebook: One Week Later

So I am now refreshed, revitalised and raring to go after a week’s holiday. Unfortunately right now my Jet lag has my head in a spin and I can’t sleep – only 5 hours until I am due to get up for work. Not the best for the “smart on my return” attitude I hoped to have.

So in an attempt to feel more drowsy, I thought I post further commentary to last week’s post. The flexible journal has now survived a trip to the states and back. I was in two minds about the whole experience.

As cute and chunky as the 300 page a5 notebook is – at times I did find it a bit on the heavy side to go everywhere with me and found myself peach iced tea in hand but no proper notebook…. a rather disappointing situation to find myself in. In part I believe this is mainly because I am used to carrying round a number of thin and light exercise books and this was something of a change. And secondly because walking from place to place in America is no easy feat – the heat, the distances and the weight of your bag, seem more of a burden compare to my usual brisk 20 minute walk to the train station.

On the other hand, the notebook itself works well. it holds together nicely, lies flattish with a bit of persuasion, the gridded paper is a delight to write on, giving you the freedom of sketching and writing. I know in the future I will lean continuously towards grid notepaper for my “mess-books”.

Overall the book works a charm. However,  I may suggest you opt for the 200 page version should you be braving walking over interstates.

One notebook: Soft Flexible Journal (Paperchase)

I’m about to set off on my travels again. One location, One week this time round – so no need for a detailed travel journal. Last time a created a specific and detailed travel planner using the Alfie Planner.

The objective this time round is to have one notebook – that I can carry round and use for everything. Yes, I know I have my monthly rosehips (a6) and monthly exercise/thin spiral bound books which each serve a different purpose. But for the holiday I want one for everything. So I got another notebook from Paperchase.

I have chosen an a5 book (so it can fit in my bag) squared pages (as lines will force me to write smaller and double-spaced(great for editing) but at the same time I can doodle and draw when bored), and 300 pages (so there is no chance of running out).

I was thinking of getting one with tabs, so I could have different categories, but I thought in the long run it would be more creative to just have it all-one-free-flowing. This is in part what this holiday is about for me – reconnecting with my creative side – so hopefully, lots of writing and lots of reading.

The notebook will not be opened until I hit the airport – so I will do a proper review of it on my return.

Leather Wrap Journal (Paperchase)

Last year I mentioned the Kiki James Tuscan Wrap Journals during my search for a new diary. Unfortunately I never purchased one.

However, on my recent trip to Paperchase I spotted a similar style journal of their own: called a leather wrap journal.

I bought the beautiful bright red one, but it also comes in black. It is reasonably priced at £9. The leather is smooth and smells lovely – the strap wraps round easily, and there is room to slip a pen/pencil in and for it to stay secure.

Inside, the ruled pages are reasonably spaced, but you can zip quite quickly through them if you have large rounded handwriting like myself. It is easy and free flowing to write on.

The only downside is that the notebook doesn’t really lie flat (which I am hoping will improve with use) and that the wrap around can get in the way if you don’t tuck it away properly. But all in all, first impressions have been good.