There seems to be a repeat in my habits. Last year was not a great year for blogging – my focus was on buying a house, getting married and getting a new job.
So once again I am resolving to put the SPARK back into my blogging (yes I have bought a SPARK notebook on Kickstarter) but to help with my Blogging I am once again returning to using a Moleskine Monthly Planner to plan my blogging and social media strategy as well as record my goals using my How to Organise your Blog method from 2012 with a few modifications.
Keeping on Schedule
Since ‘growing up’ I have found it hard to blog regularly and consistently. I hope that my Moleskine Monthly Planner will help with this as the Month on two page spread allows you to get an overall picture. If you want you can work out when you have time to blog and when you might want to (or need to schedule posts). I hate scheduling posts (probably one of the reasons why my blogging has become so sporadic). Usually the only time I schedule posts is when I am doing the A to Z Challenge. The monthly view helps you plan ahead, spread your posts out evenly, and work out where you might find some time to dedicate to blogging.
Setting Goals (and tracking goals)
In 2012 I set a lot of goals & objectives. That didn’t work out. I didn’t track them, I didn’t review them. They stayed at the front of my Planner which I never looked at as I would reach straight for the bookmark and miss them completely. This year I am intending to use the ‘Notes’ Column in the Monthly View to help track progress and will record any measurable ‘stats’ at the beginning and end of the month – mailing list subscribers, twitter followers and blog views etc.
For example this is what the end of January looks like.
One of the reasons I keep coming back to this planner again and again is that there are a so few monthly planners on the market (i.e. with JUST a monthly view and pages). If you have any suggestions please let me know, otherwise, share how you plan your blog posts?
The Pukka Pad Project Notebook is a cheap and easy notebook to use on the go. I bought this one in WH Smith in an airport – as I felt like writing on the plane.
This Pukka Pad Project Notebook is part of pukka pad’s stripes range.
- A5 (but is available in other sizes)
- 250 pages of 80 gsm paper
- Perforated Pages
- Moveable Dividers
The feature that makes this a ‘project notebook’ is the dividers. This means that you can split the use of the notebook. For example I have a section for Ideas and Things to do List, a section for Free-Writing, a section for content and a section for resources. The dividers can be moved so not all your sections need to be the same size and this is a great function that not all project notebooks have.
Overall, this notebook made a great addition to my monthly notebooks collection. It was suitable for scribbles and random notebooks and for tearing out pages when I needed a page on the go.
However, I was disappointed by the paper. It lacked something. My favourite pens did not glide over it and I did not enjoy the experience. I write because I enjoy to write and this was a disappointment.
I also found that some of my highlighters would be visible on the other side of page while some inky pens could be used (such as Stabilo Fineliners) others most certainly could not (a Sharpie bled through two pages).
If you are looking for a notebook to organise your writing and make you more productive – this project notebook has potential. It performs well as a notebook, with the useful features like the moveable dividers and perforated pages ranking it above other affordable options. However, as a notebook to use to enjoy the experience of writing – give this one a miss.
A couple of months back I backed The Field Assistant Project on Kickstarter. It was shipped as promised very promptly and has now arrived.
I chose the Hummingbird design – and I have to say that it looks even better in real life. I simply love the design. The Field Assistant is made out of titanium and primarily acts as a Notebook Cover and is capable of holding multiple notebooks – although I am still getting used to using the elastic band to open and close it as I find this quite slow and frustrating.
That said, the product provides great protection for notebooks on the move and doesn’t really add anything to the size/weight of the memo notebook so it is still easy to carry around. It also doubles up as a phone stand which I must admit I have found a very useful feature.
I have not started using the Field Notes memo book that the product included yet and will post about this sometime soon.
Don’t forget there is still time to back other great notebook products on kickstarter such as the Magnote (which still needs a little bit of love) and the Hard Work Notebook. I am a proud backer of both.
Last weekend I went to Maker Faire UK.
Maker Faire UK is described as ” a two-day family friendly festival of invention and creativity, bringing together over 300 hackers, crafters, coders, DIYers and garden shed inventors from across the globe – people who love to make stuff and who want to share their passion with the public.”
Now I thought that was worth supporting and worth going to. It was a great fun day out and I met loads of interesting people and saw loads of cool inventions and tricks. I also had an opportunity to attend some great talks.
You may have noted that during the A to Z Challenge I wrote about Inventor’s notebooks. Well now I have another to add to the list the Maker’s Notebook which I bought at the Maker Faire (and which can also be bought online from Make). What was really great was the a lot of the participants and makers at the event all had these notebooks.
The notebook itself is 165 pages (all numbered). Pages 1-146 are engineering graph paper. Every page has a blank heading to list project name, date, sign or note, and a place to link project/related pages (“From Page___, to Page___). The rest of the pages at the back of the notebook are reference pages with lots in useful information for makers.
There is also a pocket at the back of the notebook with lots of stickers.
I’ve not started using this notebook yet and will write again once I have been using it for a while.
Quadrille Notebooks are notebooks with squared paper. Quadrille Notebooks are great for sketching, drawing and writing.
Quadrille Notebooks I have previously blogged about include:
Do you prefer using lined, squared or plain paper?
Last Month I wrote about Revisiting your Monthly Notebook and making it an actionable to do list. I have been busy with the A to Z Challenge among other things but I have now finished reviewing this particular monthly notebook.
This monthly notebook had really been used as a disposable to-do list so once I finished highlighting the extra to-dos, I then checked them off and folded over the pages that I had completely finished, so I had a physical way of tracking my progress and didn’t miss out on any of the single items on a random page.
When I was approaching the end it also provided motivation to work on the to-dos as I wanted to get the notebook finished.
Now I can successfully say I completed yet another monthly notebook.
Last A to Z I did D is for Diary. I did not want to repeat this entry. Today I have chosen to do ‘D is for… Dream Journal”. When I was younger I always used to be fascinated with dreams. In adulthood, this fascination has waned, but I still keep a notebook beside my bed for moments when I can’t sleep or have inspiration in my dreams: but I don’t like to dwell on the bad things.
This inspiration for this blog post came from The Bedside Dream Journal (Chronicle Books) which I have recently seen in a lot of local book stores. The journal entry has space for a dream description, themes/symbols and interpretative notes. It also includes a dream glossary. Similar options which guide your journal entries include the Fortune Telling Book of Dreams (similar to one of the Birthday Books from my B post) and the Knock Knock Dream Journal.
But what if you are like me and want a dream journal / bedside book with less emphasis on dreams and interpretation and more emphasis on inspiration and self-discovery. I actually favour Knock Knock’s I Can’t Sleep Journal which simply prompts ‘ why can’t I sleep tonight’. Leaving you to write about your dreams, hopes, inspiration and loves when you wake up.I love this notebook.
A similar option is Can’t Sleep Write Now another Chronicle Books Notebook with quick prompts for writers.
Of course you could simply stick to the basics and use any old notebook. I am not stopping you.
Do you write at night-time? If so, what do you use?