P is for… Paperblanks

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Usually I choose a notebook for a functional purpose or because the are cheap (because I fill notebooks so quickly). Paperblank Notebooks are the exception to the rule. I buy them because a particular design catches my eye.

paperblanks

Paperblanks® are beautiful writing journals that celebrate human artistry and craft. From French textile design to Persian Safavid binding art, from Japanese Lacquer box patterns to the traditional embroidery from India’s Gujurat region, each Paperblanks® design honours the beauty of artistic creation. Our notebooks are a connection to the richness discovered within centuries of world art and culture.

At Paperblanks® we have been producing superb writing journals and everyday objects for over twenty years. At the heart of everything we create is our belief that art matters. Above all, we are people who love to create and who appreciate the rich artistic history of human culture. We are also committed to being responsible global citizens; by utilising acid-free, sustainable forest paper and 100% recycled binder boards we advocate for social and environmental responsibility and support organisations that do the same. Our global citizenry goes hand in hand with our exacting standards of quality and design. We take painstaking care with every detail of the creative process, from the individual product components to the well-being of the craftspeople who put them together.

Innovative design, careful handiwork and conscientious manufacturing practices all go into the creation of every Paperblanks® product, resulting in functional art objects that we can all feel good about using and owning. Whether recording your thoughts, ideas, stories, poems or memories, our product line offers a perfect marriage of imagination and art, always inspiring a unique experience.

Paperblanks Website

At the moment I am after this one because I love the design and of course their 10 year journal is also on my wishlist.

Quality/Paper, Cover Design or Function? What do you go for?

O is for… O-check

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O-Check Design Graphics designed my current monthly notebook so I thought I deserve a mention for such a simple exercise book with a lovely owl sketch.

Established in 2000 in Seoul, Korea, O-Check Design Graphics produce a wide range of notebooks and stationery products. As well as their exercise books which are cheap and surprisingly sturdy for an exercise book (although mine has got a little dirty) they have a lovely practical range of planner products.

o-check

O-Check was established in 2000 in Seoul, Korea and quickly developed a reputation for stationery that is both beautiful and functional.

Derived from the Korean word gongcheck, which translates to a book with nothing inside, the name O-Check captures the essence of its notebooks – items which upon creation are empty, but come alive when filled with words, thoughts, feelings and drawings.

Telegram Paper Goods – O-Check Design Graphic Page

Other stockists include: Notemaker (AU) and Fox & Star (UK)

M is for… Midori

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For our M post we are taken a look at Midori. Midori create all types of stationery products but in the notebook world they are famous for the Midori Traveler’s Notebook (MTN).

The MIDORI brand creates paper products, including letters, greetings cards, colored papers and stickers, and creative design stationery with sophisticated designs.

Since its establishment in 1950, the Midori brand has been popular with many customers and has produced many hit products and long sellers.In addition to sophisticated designs, we manufacture goods that combine both beauty and functionality by paying special attention to beauty and materials used.

About Midori

The MTN is all about customisation. Its cover, made of cowhide. You can then choose refills (and swap and change the refills) to suit your own personal needs. The pages are simple, made for easy writing – being Japanese the paper is of course fantastic and suitable for fountain pens.

In the UK you get get all your Midori Notebooks from the Journal Shop.

B is for… Black n’ Red

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Black n Red Notebooks from Oxford Notebooks are the top UK choice for Professional Notebooks. They come in a wide range of styles – including casebound notebooks, wirebound notebooks, Project and Meeting Notebooks all of which come in a variety of sizes. As a professional I love these notebooks and have written about their Keynote range and their A7 Polynotes which are perfect for popping in your pocket.

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As a professional I love these notebooks. What notebooks do you use for your job – as a professional, writer, designer or otherwise?

Moleskine Monthly Planner 2015

moleskinemonthlyplanner

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.

moleskine planner (inside)

   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?

Pukka Pad Project Book

pukkapad notebook

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.

Specification:

  • A5 (but is available in other sizes)
  • 250 pages of 80 gsm paper
  • Perforated Pages
  • Moveable Dividers
  • Wirebound

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.

Travel Passport Sized Notebook from Paperchase

paperchase

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.