Diary, Planner and Journal Update

Diary

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I last wrote my Diary, Planner and Journal Review, and given that it was just 3 months ago not much time has really passed.  The last time I wrote about my planner, journal and diary I wrote about how I was still using my Filofax Malden and had also been using a bullet journal for all my blogging and life needs and not much has changed in that time.

I am still loving using my bullet journal which has become my main planner for all things blog and life related and my Filofax seems to be getting used a little less than before, its main use now is to accompany me to doctors appointments and when I go shopping.

I am really liking my bullet journal more and more every day and think I may have found the best thing for me to use for all of my needs, aside from my blog schedule, blog notes and other social media ideas I don’t have much that I need to keep track of day to day.

I really like that I can change around the layout from one month to the next, I have trackers to help me manage everything blog related, from writing a post, creating an image and even keeping track of when it has been scheduled which is a great help.

I have enough space in it to write down any thoughts and ideas that I have, space to write down reminders of things I need to do and a place to keep a list of things that I would like to do.

I know which layout I prefer and what sort of things I like to have on hand, which pages and layouts I use the most and the ones which don’t work for me.  And, I am fairly sure this is the type of planner I will be using next year too…in fact, I am so sure that I have already got my 2020 Bullet Journal 80% set up already!  The only thing I am not too sure about is whether I am able to resist buying any other planners for next year…only time will tell I guess?

What planners, journal or diary have you been using this year?  Has it suited all of your needs?  Let me know in the comments!

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Diary, Planner and Journal Review

I wrote about the diaries and planners that I would be taking into 2019 with me way back in October (Preparing for 2019…) and, today I thought it would be nice to do a little review of how they are still working for me (or not…).

Back when I wrote that post I had 6 journals and planners that I was hoping to use for the year.

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This is what I started out with for 2019, from left to right – Hobbycraft Spiral Bound Planner, Ohh Deer Gemma Correll Planner, Paperchase Organise Me A5 Soft Cover Diary, Filofax Malden with Stripes Illustrated Inserts, The Bright Side Diary and a tiny Doodle a Day Journal.

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This is the pile I am currently using!  As you can see the diaries and planners are still the same as I started out with, with the exception of one…. I have added The Happiness Project One Line a Day 5 Year Diary to the list!

My Filofax Malden comes everywhere with me and has been really handy with writing down appointments as I make them, my work hours and other things that are important.  I have a section that contains lined note paper which I have been using to jot down ideas for blog posts, shopping lists and things I need to do and I reach for this so regularly that it sits on my desk in eye sight most of the day.

The doodle journal I started with great enthusiasm in January but, along the way, I have stopped adding to this daily.  I found that sometimes I just don’t have the energy or creativity to draw every day.  That said, I have still been adding to it when I feel like it and it is still helping me to exercise my drawing muscles.  I have also been looking at monthly drawing prompts and am thinking about undertaking one of those and see how it goes.

The Happiness Project Journal is something I write each day.  It sits beside my bed and I write in it before I go to sleep.  I’m hoping to keep up with this and fill the whole journal with a snippet from each day.  it would be lovely to look back on in years to come.

The Brightside Journal is something I use regularly still, I plan out my months blog posts into the monthly overview section and then make notes of what I need to do before the post can be published and also what I need to do on the days that the posts go live.

The Paperchase Organise Me A5 Soft Cover Diary isn’t getting used much, I decided to use it for home and recording any events in it that take up more space and can’t get recorded in my Happiness Project Journal.  I have recorded things like the outcome of drs appointments, things I have been doing, things I have done and notes on life in general.  Though it is not really getting much use I find it really handy to have something available to record things in that I may need to refer back to but that I don’t want recorded in my Filofax or other diaries and journals.

The Ohh Deer Gemma Correll journal is still being used as my blog ideas keeper!  I write down all my post ideas into it along with a few lines about what I’d like to cover in the post and a list of things I would need for the post such as any image ideas I may have.  This gets used a few times a week, either I am adding to it or flicking through it to find ideas for future posts.  I’m just over half way through it and I have no idea what I will use once it is full!

Finally, my Hobbycraft Spiral Bound Planner which I intended to use as my home planner.  I still use this, but not as much as I used to, I tend to rely on my Filofax to keep all my dates and information in.  I do sit down once a month and map out my month and what I would like to achieve in that month, things I want to do and things I need to do but aside from that I feel that it is not being utilised to its fullest.  In all honesty, I cn see myself not using this much at all in the future.  It was a nice idea, and if there were more than me in my household tracking the families appointments, classes and social activities along with any household tasks and bills etc, then this planner would be ideal as the stay home planner.

What journals, diaries and planners are you currently using?  And are they the same or different to the ones you started the New Year with?

Handmade Christmas Gifts

Now that Christmas is over and the presents have been given I can share with you the things I made as gifts this year!

Wax Melts

I made these for my Mum using left over candle wax, they are scented with cherry Bakewell scent.  I used silicone ice moulds to create them and, while it was an experiment to see if it would work, they turned out perfect so I was really pleased to be able to gift them to my Mum.

Candles

The purple one is baby powder scented and I made that for my lovely neighbour.  The red jar one is cherry Bakewell which I made for myself, the layered one in the same picture is bubblegum scented (which I also kept as it was leftover wax from another candle), the candles in the glass mugs are scented with Tranquility, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Cornish Coastline and Cherry Bakewell which I gave to my brother Ben and his wife Egle.  The three jar candles are vanilla custard and cherry bakewell scented which I made for my 3 step daughters.  The jar candle on its own is bubblegum scented which I made for my little brother Richard.

Pencil Boxes

I made these for my twin niece and nephew James and Ellie.  I had bought them time telling watches in pink for Ellie and blue for James to help them learn to tell the time but when they arrived they were just in plastic sleeves.  I wanted to be able to gift them in something that was a bit more special so I purchased a load of gems and plain wooden pencil boxes from Hobbycraft along with some Modpodge and set about creating them.  I already had the Hello Kitty and Nemo flat back bits in my stash along with glitter so it was applying the modpodge and glitter, another layer of modpodge, gems and another coat of modpodge and leaving to dry before placing their watches inside and wrapping.

Journal

I made this bullet journal/diary thing for Mum because she is never without her diary.  Even when I was small I remember her always having her diary to hand and writing all sorts of memos and things into it.  I made her this so she can log everything she needs to and carry it about day-to-day.  I included a future log, a monthly overview for each month, weekly shopping and to do lists, a recipe for each month, a section for reflections on each month and lots of other things.  I even included a different holiday for each day using images that I found online (though I can’t seem to find a link…) I think she really liked it!

What did you make as gifts for people this Christmas?

Preparing for 2019

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….

 

  1. 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.
  2. 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…)
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.