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.
If you love Colour. You will LOVE Campo Marzio Design Notebooks.
They are so beautiful and distinctive – I had to buy a whole collection all at once.
I ended up with 3 pack of A6 sized notebooks and two A5 exercise notebooks. All with different dual colour combinations. Red and Pink, Blue and Grey, Pink and Green, Lime and Green and Grey and Red.
On the Campo Marzio Design website they seem to promote their leather goods and luxury goods for working professionals which are lush and vibrant and well worth a look – unfortunately while they say they are a paper company – there is not much evidence of their paper goods online – only some of their country specific websites and stores include their calligraphy and paper products.
These notebooks have been a perfect addition to my monthly notebook collection. They easily slip in my bag, in my filofax or wherever I need it, all colours of pens, ink and pencils work well on the plain (no lines) and vibrant coloured pages.
These notebooks are FUN! and that is what inspires you to get writing, drawing, sketching, designing or whatever it is that you use notebooks for.
Another monthly notebook from earlier in the year which I had not got round to writing about yet because I hated it. The Travel Passport Sized Notebook from Paperchase with Front Pocket was the usual bargain price for an A6 notebook at £1.75 but the paper inside the notebook was just wrong.
Unfortunately when the notebooks are wrapped in plastic in store you cannot see the paper to make a proper judgment on whether you want to make the purchase. So when I bought the notebook I was simply tempted by the purple colouring and the front pocket and cute fastening. The paper is squared (which I normally love) but the squares were just too large (1cm) and when writing in this notebook I just could not seem to get what I wanted on the page. It is rare for me to get exasperated by a notebook – but I did – and it is just as equally exasperating as I can’t seem to explain why.
So simply put, ignore this one and opt for the plain paper version instead – it is much more satisfying. Of course if you like large squares (1cm) this might be just want you need.
I bought my first A6 Rosehip notebooks back in 2009. Back then the full range was on plain white paper with bright patterned covers. Some lovely designs but after 5 or 6 notebooks I moved on to new things.
Earlier this year I spotted a few Rosehips in a local museum shop, there was an element of nostalgia and I thought I must buy one of these again. To my surprise when I unwrapped the notebook the paper inside had been upgraded. It was lined and a beige colour with white lines. It was beautiful so I wrote on the whole thing in pencil – I couldn’t bear to deface it. The only downside was the lines were quite thin so I had to keep my writing small.
The fact that it is a pocket notebook (a6) means that it slips easily in your bag, you back pocket, or your filofax. It is a great notebook to have with you on the go. A fantastic re-addition to the Monthly Notebook Collection.
You can find their full range of products on their website.
I bought this British Lioncrest Brand notebook as a single A5 notebook (or rather exercise book or workshop book) from Waterstones for £1.75. However, I have seen that they are available in a lot of independent stationery shops as a 3 pack (of 3 slightly different designs) and are available to buy online for £3.95 at dotcomgiftshop who have a whole range of Vintage Lioncrest products.
I loved this notebook so much that I blasted through it as one of my monthly notebooks.
In less than a month.
It is described as a 30 paged lined white notebook (although I felt the paper has a better quality and more cotton cream than white. One of the best quality papers I had seen for an exercise book and using my fountain pen to fill the notebook it only had a slight bled-through / feathering.
Absolute bargain of a notebook if you ask me.
Although it is a really simple notebook the cover is also quirky, The front is a typical exercise book for office, home and workshop. The back cover (of the green edition) has Common Wire Nail Sizes on the back. While it is not something I use often it is a handy guide for my DIY loving other half.
Today is a bit of an odd one. An address book.
Who uses those anymore I hear you ask.
Well, I got it as a gift from my grandparents and thought I would add it to the blogging pile. The cover has a velvety feel (the black lines and magnetic closure are velvety) and personally I find the swirling patterns rather beautiful.
If it was an ordinary notebook I would be using it in a flash, without a second thought. Now I have to come up with a way to use an address book without using it as an address book…
Maybe password and logins? or a LinkedIn backup?
Last month I wrote about my monthly notebook for May the Leuchtturm 1917 Jottbook.
At the time of writing this was a fresh and new notebook, now it is almost full (and I am not even half way through the month yet). That is clearly a good sign.
If I like it, I use it.
I have found myself speed through the pages during a quiet moment. I have also taken the opportunity to carry out a quick ink test (although I fear my fountain pens seem to have gone walkies as people keep borrowing my pens).
As you can see very little bleeding – in fact the only bleed through is the permanent marker. My writing instrument of choice appears to be a mechanical pencil at the moment despite the pots (and pots) of pens I seem to have on my desk.
The to-do list notebook from Printed Portal is the latest addition in their organisational notebooks for professionals and the latest addition to my collection of work notebooks.
I have started working in a new department at work and I thought that this might be the most appropriate notebook for managing my task list. The work I do is very client based and there are several standard steps that are carried out in relation to each client (the emphasis is on getting it right for the client and not on deadlines and/or efficiency) therefore a client driven task list sounded perfect.
The style of this pocket-sized notebook (10.8 x 17.48 ) is in keeping with the rest of the professional range and is deep red in colour. Each of the 120 pages of the notebook is a list for a client and includes space for tasks or items, due date, draft and done. I use these pages by listing the client at the top and then having the list of tasks down the left hand column – this will include things like meetings, attendance notes, letters and documents. Where there is a due date I will fill this in but quite often I do not have a due date and I will put in the date I send something to the client instead.
The next two columns are labelled D and D (for draft and done). I tend to do a lot of drafts as well so I will use both of these columns as check boxes and tick them off. We usually have our own checklist procedure at work for checking draft documents so I usually tick the first column when it enters the checklist procedure, then a few days later when I get them back a second tick goes in the done column to show that the document has been finished and sent to the client.
The thing that is lacking in this notebook is how to sort information by client when you can’t reorder the pages. I came up with 3 possibilities:
- Enter the work into the notebook as you receive it – but then it is harder to find the client list when you need it again.
- Enter in all your clients at once and arrange them as you please – but as a trainee I do not have a set client list.
- Alphabetical Order
I have gone for alphabetical order. This I did myself by putting a tiny letter in the top right hand corner of each page (4x pages per letter with spare pages at the back). You can easily find the letter you need by using the top corner of the notebook like a flip book. Simple and easy.
So far the notebook has worked well and is keeping track of the work I am doing for each client. As always I will review again as time passes.
I am kicking off my return to blogging with a quick look at the Leuchtturm 1917 Jottbook an alternative to Moleskine. Leuchtturm is by no means new to the stationery world with over 90 years of experience but it is the first time I have ever purchased one of their notebooks. It was on offer (30% off) and was the last lavender one in store – so how could I resist. It is 90 x 150mm – so it is still bigger than my iphone (Part of me continues to want a notebook I can strap to my iphone but more on those ponderings another day).
Recently I have become more addicted to Squared Paper which seems to appeal to my scribblings more. So I was thrilled to find out that it came with squared paper. This will be my Monthly Notebook for May and I shall report in again at the end of the month.
- Squared Paper
- 60 Numbered Pages
- Blank Table of Contents
- 32 Perforated and detachable pages
- Thread bound notebook opens flat
- Stickers for labelling
- Ink Proof Paper
- Acid Free Paper