T is for… Travel


Travel. Who does not love travelling. More and More of us are taking time out from our lives to do some travelling. Time passes so quickly when we are having fun and a travel journal (or variation) is a perfect way of keeping a memento of your trip.

If you are a foodie, you may wish to record the restaurants you visited. If you like Bikes/Cycling – a bike watchers journal to record your travels. If you love the arts and visit many museums and cultural events: The Arts Observations and Discoveries Notebook.

If you are not a big writer but like collecting tickets you may be best with a Travel Stub Diary or Ticket Sub Diary or if you want a more traditional travel journal why not check out one of the ones below:

Even if you are not travelling far and staying in your own city or country you may enjoy Side Walks.

Finally you could always simply create your own travel journal like I did here.

C is for… Career Development Notebook


I have just completed my first FULL Career Development Goals Notebook. I bought this notebook last year from fellow A to Z challenge participant Cori and have just ordered my second. Over the last year this notebook help me to plan and action 12 goals to help progress my career development which ended with a job offer to start a fantastic new role with a new company this month. The new notebook I have on order will help me to look forward to new achievements in my new role.


The Career Development Goals Notebook is a slimline pocket notebook, with room for 13 Goals each of which you are prompted to break down into bite size “Next Steps”.

For example my goal might be Goal: Attend [Course] and the next steps would be – (1) research possible courses (2) enroll on course/pay (3) pick classes (4) read prep information (5) coursework (6) attend course [dates] (7) homework (8) revision  (9) exam (10) get results (11) certificate (12) inform employer / add to CV. This particular goal was spread over a six month period (and ran alongside other goals).

All 13 Goals would start and progress at different speeds over the course of the year (and not all the next steps would be pre-determined I could add these as and when I needed to). The Progress Tracker and Reviews contained in the second half of the notebook were an essential part of this notebook.


I coloured coded my progress tracker with the reviews. For example my first review was completed in light blue (this can be seen in the right hand corner of the top image) and on the Progress Tracker the light blue shaded boxes where the next steps I had completed  at the time of the review. G2 had been completed (and the last next steps were not needed (symbolised by the ‘X’)). The Progress Tracker and Reviews were a fantastic way to keep on track with the goals, revitalise after a quiet period and work out what you had to do next or improve on (if falling behind) or give you a sense of achievement (if progressing well).

Do you have any notebooks dedicated to career or even to your goals? Share yours in the comments.


A is for… Address Books


Address Books are traditionally a notebook for storing contact names, addresses and phone numbers. Address books have changed with the time and instead of “Fax Number” we are seeing entries like “twitter” “@” “email” or “Website”. I love my paper address books and still use my regularly even though HOW I use my address book has changed over the years as well.

When I first started writing this blog I was a nomad moving every 6 months, a lot of my friends did the same so I needed a solution for constantly changing address (while still keeping a paper copy). At the time I wrote about the so-called Everlasting Address Book from Padblocks which contained preprinted address stickers for neatly updating contact details. This of course can easily be DIY’d with your own stickers or labels (or even frixion pens) but I thought it was a great way of keeping the address book tidy.

My favourite paper bound address books include: Paperblanks Slimline Address Book and the Moleskine Volant Address Book (pocket). But more recently I have been frustrated by bound address notebooks when trying to keep my contacts in a nice alphabetical order.

Now I have two address books.

The first forms part of my birthday/special occasions and cards binder. This contains the address for those people I still physically write letters or cards to. Naturally my card binder where I keep my spare cards is the best place for this address book (and birthdays – but more on Birthdays tomorrow). The contacts are mainly family and close friends.

The second is for all the rest of my contacts (and business cards) – friends, colleagues, people I meet at events etc. I use a filofax and not a bound notebook. A Binder Insert System allows you to swap and change, update and reorder your pages in any way you like. I like to print my own and top up when I need them but I use a range of inserts depending on my needs including:

Other alternatives include Organised Mum (Pick n Mix Pack) – Personal Address Book (which includes smartly designed ‘family’ inserts) but I have not personally used these yet – but they are on my wishlist.

Thank you for joining us for the first day of the challenge. Share in the comments your favourite address book online, offline, or paper-based.

Campo Marzio Design

If you love Colour. You will LOVE Campo Marzio Design Notebooks.

notesinabook.wordpress.com // Campo Marzio

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.

Desk Pad or Mouse Pad?


A few years ago I wrote about using a mousepad as my to do list using the Knock Knock 5 days a week mouse pad which has since my original post become readily available in the UK. (Yay!!)

However, I have now bought a Woodlands Desk Planner from Paperchase.  This one is not a mousepad but rather a desk planner pad and is about twice the size as the Knock Knock Mouse Pad which is the size of the standard mousepad.  I am still using it as a mouse pad which works very well (and saves precious desk space as it takes the place of both my mouse pad and acts as my to do list (with extra writing space)).

The weekly desk planner is great for work as it brightens up my desk and includes all the things I need from notes, to-do list, email and call back list, daily blocks, key info and cute sticky notes. Yes – it includes sticky notes. What is not to love.

Other Desk Planners available from paperchase at the moment include:

Why would you ever want to use a regular old mouse pad ever again? Use a mouse pad as your to do list instead.

Impulse Buy: Airport Shopping

For me there is something about hanging around airports bored that makes me make impulse buys. Sometimes I think i do it because it cheers me up and I usually have some leftover foreign money.

Last year I bought my metropol Filofax among other great notebooks in an airport. This time I bought a pencil case.


Mainly because it was cute!!


But also because I thought it was a great solution for my many pens floating round my bag. It will save me digging through its multiple pockets, stop the pens staining the lining and make them easy to find. After all, it is so streamed it won’t take up any more space.

The brand of the case is called Nici and it is stocked by many different stockists but plush paws seems to have the biggest collection for UK readers.

Yay! Stickies!!

My latest purchases:



Would you believe I have never bought Filofax branded inserts for my Filofax? (other than those that came with it of course). Every thing I use is homemade, but I saw these stickies and was tempted. Many Filofax users on the web have beautifully organised and decorated filofaxes that include stickies… So I though why not enjoy 🙂

Squared notes – my Filofax mini lists

A couple of years ago I went on a shopping binge in the states one of the items I bought was a rainbow spiral notepad of square post-it sized paper. I had 5 minutes before the shop closed and bought it thinking they were sticky notes. No such luck.

Nevertheless they proved a great addition to my desk and handy for writing quick notes down on in the office (and also quite funny watching people steal them thinking they were sticky notes and try to stick them).


One great thing is they are perfect for slotting into my personal Filofax. I tend to use them for the additional mini Iists that I need, whether it is my todo list for the week (to make me look at it) or a list to things to pack like in the one pictured.


Bright, vibrant and eye catching. I do keep a running to do list towards the back of my Filofax, but it is nice to put the immediate or important todos right at the front where I will see them – after all the thing I use the Filofax for most is checking my diary.

What is your Canvas?

The sky is your canvas with the skywriting journal, it is similar to the walls notebook which is perfect for graffiti doodles. The pictures in these notebooks are your pages, your canvas. Unfortunately for me they more likely to inspire me to doodle, than write but i find them inspiring nonetheless (and relaxing in the case of the sky journal).

Pictures and photos make a great canvas or backdrop for a notebook, and a recycled or up cycled notebook is frequently made up of such images. Ideally what pictures do you think make the best canvas?

Personally I love postcards. Postcards as a canvas are great, provide inspiration but leave room to write and you get so many classic images on postcards. My favourite postcards as landscape scenes, quirky sketches and vintage art.

Book Review: Books Make a Home

An eye catching book, filled with book eye candy, what could go wrong? Books make a home: Elegant ideas for storing and displaying books by Damian Thompson makes a fantastic “coffee table book” the pictures are enough to make any book lover drool, by the sheer amount of shelving and books pictured.

However, there was a distinct lack of creativity, if I actually wanted ideas regarding shelving and creative storing ideas, google is my friend. Just browsing generally I have creative ideas to use when I have my own house etc. The book is a handy guide, all in one place, but some of it is just common sense.

That said the love of books comes though in this e-dominant world and it is an enjoyable read. The pictures are great, and I am sure that everyone who reads this will take something away.

This is a borrow rather than buy book. But books do make a home (yes, books shelves surround me) and I probably will keep adding to the collection so there is inspiration to be drawn.