We are now half way through the year now and I have changed so much about how I organise and plan my time in general, my blog things and other aspects of my life that I thought I would do another re-cap on my diaries, planners and journals that I am currently using.
I started out the year with 6 different planners and diaries that I was using ( you can read all the posts here or click the tag in the word cloud on the right of the screen).
At the start of the Year 2019
As of March 2019
Along the way I have been working out what works for me and what doesn’t. While I loved the idea of the spiral bound home planner (similar here from Hobbycraft) I found that it was not really working for me as it was just too big to carry around with me. I realised that, as I was back in work and spent a fair deal of time away from home, that having a planner that I could only add to when I was indoors was not the best option for me. I found that I was thinking of household things that I needed to do and writing them on post-it notes and sticking them into my Filofax and never getting around to adding them to my home planner. I do have a few ideas of things I can do with this planner though so that it doesn’t just go to waste…I’ve been thinking of making it into a kind of scrapbook of memories for the year.
I am also not really using my “the Bright Side” diary either. I started using this diary as my blog diary, so I could keep track of my posts and blog schedule and it worked for a time. I have found though, that while I loved the size of it as the time, it’s now a bit too small for my needs. I still love the format though and would consider buying another one next year for general dates and birthdays and reminders instead of for blog management!
Anyway, enough about what I am not using… let’s take a look at what I am moving forward with…
My Filofax Malden in personal size is something that has stuck with me and I don’t envisage that going anywhere soon! I like that you can add pages and take them away, have sections for notes, add dividers and all manner of other things. It is such a flexible system that can work in so many ways! It comes everywhere with me and I use it to record appointments, make notes, write in my household chores, everything that is important goes into this.
I have also switched to a bullet journal for all my blog things. (You can read about my set up here). I used to use a bullet journal a few years ago (I had a dedicated Instagram page for it) but it all got a bit too overwhelming for me as I was pushing myself to be creative on all the pages and make them all arty and pretty. I did love the flexibility that it allowed me, adding different trackers, space for notes and planning and lots of other things too, and this flexibility is perfect for what I wanted in a blog planner.
Today I’m sharing with you the things that I carry around with me in my bag on a day-to-day basis. I believe that a lot can be learned about a person and the content of their bag, plus I thought it would be fun to share the content of my bag. I may make this into a quarterly post as it may be interesting to see if what is in my bag changes from season to season or from bag to bag, what do you think?
My bag is from Artsac. I bought it a few months ago, at the end of January along with another bag (which I wrote about here). Despite that the bag is nylon it has been my go to bag since I purchased it, originally I didn’t want a bag that was nylon as I was worried about how long it would last and how it would wear but I’m pleased to report that it’s not showing any marks or scuffs at all! What has surprised me is how much I can fit into it and still have room for more! There are 2 main zip compartments that span the width of the bag and are accessible from the top, one has 2 little slip pockets inside it, the other has a small, zipped pocket which has a square, red Artsac label stitched to it. At the back of the bag there is a zipped pocket that runs the length of the bag and would accommodate important documents. At the front of the bag is a flap that has 2 zippered compartments, the right side pocket has Artsac branding in the form of a colour coordinated rubber square on it. Under the flap is another zippered section that is about an inch shorter than the height of the bag but runs the full length.
First is a look into what I keep in the 2 main zippered compartments…
In the back main compartment is my kindle. In the other main compartment I have my Filofax Malden, my Kate Spade pencil-case, a Minions Moleskine notebook, and my Bright Side blog and social media planner.
The front flap pockets usually hold my business card holder and my entry fob for work (not shown).
In the compartment under the flap top I keep my purse, lipsticks, lip balm, perfume, a pouch with gemstones in it (currently moonstone, blue lace agate, rose quartz and hematite), hand warmers and a lip crayon. Not shown are my mobile which I was using to take these photos, or my house or car keys.
I don’t tend to use the pocket across the back of the bag very much though I find it useful for letters that need sending, any important info I need with me for the day and for keeping my repeat prescription in before I take it to the pharmacy. I also don’t really use the inside slip pockets that much, or the zipped inside pocket though they are useful for putting tissues in or my trolley token when I am planning to go shopping.
At the beginning of this post I said that I believed a lot could be learned about a person and the contents of their bag, what do you think you have learned about me? What could be learned about the contents of your bag?
I’m one of those people who can never seem to get excited about Christmas and tend to roll my eyes at the hoards of people that want to get into the Christmas spirit, haul out the decorations and put up the tree as soon as Halloween is over. I even feel a bit disheartened when heading to the supermarket at the beginning of October and see the start of the Christmas stock being put out on shelves. It all just feels like one massive hype for one day, and the preparation seems to go on longer and longer than before…its just so tiresome to me.
There are, however, 2 times in the year that I do look forward to and get a bit excited about (aside from my Birthday!) and they are when the shops start preparing for “Back to School”, around the first week in August, and October time, both for the same reason – new stationery and new diaries! I am a sucker for all things stationery related, whether it’s a new notebook, pens, pencils or filing system and I’m an even bigger sucker for a new diary or planner.
To me, there is nothing better than the promise of starting a new year (whether it’s a school or calendar year) with a new, blank diary of sorts, that is waiting to receive your notes, ideas and plans for the year ahead. I always get a feeling of wonder when I recieve a new diary, the year is so full of promise and things to come, a perfect way to schedule your future and make new dreams along the way.
I’ve used several kinds of diary in the past, from pre-printed tiny little things, to filofaxes of many different shapes and sizes, bullet journals and just plain note books in which to map my future in. I’ve tried spiral bound books, lay flat designs, ring planners, the list is almost never-ending, and this year (I know… It’s still October…2019 is Monnntttthhhhsss away….) coming is no exception… I currently have 5 different diaries for different purposes that I am going to be using….
At the start of the Year 2019
Filofax Malden with Stripes Illustrated Inserts (this is an affiliated link, by clicking on it and purchasing I may get a small commission fee and no cost to you) as my carry around, everything organiser. I love my Malden and that it is so portable and contains so much in it, I am able to carry around note paper, a diary, telephone numbers and addresses, sticky notes, all sorts of things! And the size of it means I can use it for shopping lists, making notes on the go, having it out on my desk at work, it seems to fit everywhere.
A planner similar to this (the one I purchased was in the sale, the layout is the same but the illustrations are butterflies) which will be my home planner. I bought this with my Birthday voucher from my brother and his family for my Birthday, the layout of the pages caught my attention… there is a monthly overview, places for thoughts and ideas as well as space for plans each week, not to mention that the months are divided out with their own tabs (which always makes me happy!) It is a fairly hefty planner which I wouldn’t like to carry around with me for several reasons – it would be too heavy, I’d need a huge bag all the time and I’d probably end up spoiling it. I decided that this would be perfect for keeping at home, the monthly overview pages will be useful to track my household bills and appointments, the thoughts and ideas pages can be used to make notes of any meals I’d like to cook, things I’d like to see and places I’d like to go to, along with the weekly sections serving as household “to do”, reminders (like which bins get emptied and when), and chores that need to be done…)
This hard backed book diary , of which I owned a previous years one and loved it! This diary has a monthly overview and a 2 weeks to view layout which will be perfect as my blog and social media planner. It is pretty small and takes up hardly any room so it is perfect for carrying around if necessary to jot things into. The one I had a few years ago was used for the same thing and it was perfect for this job!
This soft cover diary which I totally fell in love with on a recent trip to London. I am unsure whether to use this one as my work diary (I like to keep a log of all the different tasks I do on a day-to-day basis in work) or as my “a few lines a day” personal journal though I’m swayed more towards using it as my personal journal, there are sections for “Must Do”, “Will Do Soon” and “Next Week” which would lend itself nicely to using as a personal journal or for work purposes, though the daily section, which is a week on a page format, might be a bit too small for all the tasks I usually complete daily in work.
This teeny, tiny, cute diary that I bought partly because of how cute it looked but also to get me back into drawing every day. I have several sketchbooks that I have started and never quite managed to get into a proper routine of using daily. When I was in college and uni I drew pretty much all day, every day and I sort of miss it. So, in purchasing this, I’m hoping that it will force me into a routine of at least doodling something each day and working on getting back the skills that have, not so much gotten lost, but maybe gotten a little rusty over time.
THE BONUS DIARY… this is the one that I have owned for several years now and never used as I’ve been too worried about spoiling it or forgetting about it or whatever…I don’t really know…I love it. I bought it from Ohh Deer and is by illustrator Gemma Correll though I can’t find it on the site anymore (there are other, similarly laid out versions here if you fancy similar…), its undated and has a to do/done check list, a doodle section and a notes section. Technically, it isn’t really a diary as its undated…it’s more of a project book…and more to the point, I have a really good use for it this year…I am going to use it in conjunction with my Bright Side blog and social media diary 🙂 Its main function will be to plan out blog content, using the notes section to write a synopsis of the blog post, the to do/done section to track what I need to do in order to get the post published (like research certain things, take photos, upload photos etc) and the doodle bit I can use to plan the layout of the post and decide what goes where!
I’m itching to start the New Year already and start planning my year out but I have a tradition that I like to stick to and always look forward to once all the main festivities are over, and that is on Boxing Day and New Years Eve I will make myself a cup of hot chocolate (a dash of Baileys or kahlua optional), sit down in a quiet place, in my comfiest pjs with a box of chocolates and my favorite pens and start writing out my New Years Resolutions, filling in the information sheets, start making plans for the first few weeks of January and adding in all the celebrations that I have to look forward to like Anniversaries and Birthdays.