How I use my Notebooks - June 2017 Edition

I have always found it interesting to see how people use their notebooks and I have shared my own uses on the blog before (see here and here. Today I have another mega post sharing my current notebooks and how I am using them.

Regular size Travelers Notebook

I have three Travelers Notebooks which I admit does seem like a lot. One of these I use everyday and does move around with me, the other two stay on my desk and hold refills that are used less often and for specific purposes.

Black, Blue and Brown trio of Travelers Notebooks

Black, Blue and Brown trio of Travelers Notebooks

Travelers Company 019 Free Weekly refill - this is a refill I have used in the past but at the beginning of this year I chose to use the Hobonichi Techo as a replacement. The Techo didn’t work in the way I’d hoped, so I have returned to the free weekly refill. In this refill I make a few small notes on my day and decorate the pages a little. Its great to look back through these refills once they are completed because it really helps you appreciate everything you have done over a period of time.

019 Free Weekly Refill

019 Free Weekly Refill

Travelers Company 017 Free Monthly refill - I use this insert to plan out my month and keep track of any appointments. This is a very functional insert with a lot less decoration.

Soukime A5 Slim notebook - I am using the olive/khaki slim Travelers Notebook style refill with plain paper. This refill is dedicated to anything related to the blog and includes post ideas, lists, video ideas and secret plans.

Soukime A5 Slim Travelers Notebook friendly refill

Soukime A5 Slim Travelers Notebook friendly refill

Travelers Company 003 Plain Refill - this refill sits in its own Travelers Notebook because as I work my way through it, it becomes quite bulky. It has become a sort of scrapbook where I keep photographs and ephemera related to my little one. I don’t use this refill everyday just when there is something noteworthy that I want to record.

Over the past year I have filled three of these refills and they have become one of my prized possessions. I store the completed refills in the Travelers Company 10th Anniversary edition tins.

Passport Travelers Notebook

To add to my regular size Travelers Notebooks I also have the camel passport size Travelers Notebook which I love. In here I have one notebook for my general notes. At the moment this is the Travelers Company 005 lightweight paper refill.

I also have a 007 free weekly refill which I use to doodle and jot down notes from my day.

Some dodgey doodling

Some dodgey doodling

Baron Fig Metamorphosis Flagship Confidant

This is my long hand, morning pages style journal. I write in this once a day, sometimes twice. This notebook is a way for me to empty my mind and organise my thoughts. I usually have my current pocket notebook with me when I am writing in the morning so that I can jot down any relevant notes that come out during this brain dump session.

The beautiful Baron Fig Metamorphosis notebook

The beautiful Baron Fig Metamorphosis notebook

Leuchtturm1917 A5 Notebook

This is my bullet journal notebook. The Leuchtturm1917 is a popular bullet journal notebook because of its numbered pages, two bookmarks, and ready made index. At the moment I use a double page to plan out my full week. At the start of the week I create each new spread and plan out my tasks. Each day I review, add and move around my to dos. I don’t really decorate this at all and like to keep this functional and simple.

Hobonichi Techo Cousin

This is my work notebook. Originally I did buy this thinking I would try my hand at art journaling and emulate the lovely pages I see on Instagram and YouTube, but it didn’t really work out. I found it very hard to keep decorate each daily page.

My early attempts at some form of art journaling

My early attempts at some form of art journaling

I didn’t want to waste such a lovely notebook so I decided to use this for my work notes. The dated pages work well for this and help me to keep track of when tasks need to be done or when I started a task or project. I use the bullet point section at the top of the notebook to add important tasks for that date. I use the weekend days for overspill notes if I need to.

For a while I did try out Mike Rhode’s daily plan bar on the daily pages but I found it didn’t leave me a lot of room for any notes. I plan on using the weekly spread pages at the front of the Techo for a variation of the same thing.

Mike Rhodes daily plan bar in action

Mike Rhodes daily plan bar in action

In the front cover of my Techo I have a blank Field Notes tucked away just in case I need a bit of additional room, not that I’m paranoid or anything.

In Summary

I always have a few notebooks in use at one time. Every notebook has a purpose and I like having notebooks for specific projects. Over the years the Travelers Notebook system has worked really well for me because of the flexibility of the system, the quality of the paper and the number of different refill options available. That’s the main reason I have so many of these in use at one time.

I hope you’ve enjoyed peeking into my notebooks in today’s post. I love to seeing how people use their notebooks so please share any interesting information in the comments below.

Lamy Safari Petrol 2017 Limited Edition Review

Every year Lamy release a limited edition colour set of pens and ink in their Safari and AL Star lines. This year’s Safari limited edition was a petrol coloured pen and a matching ink. I have written about the Lamy Safari fountain pen before and my opinions have not changed, if anything my liking for the Safari has increased.

The 2017 fountain pen

When Lamy announced this years limited edition I was immediately drawn to the fountain pen. The matte finish dark teal is a great colour and looks smart with the blackout clip and nib. There is an underlying shimmer to the barrel which you notice in bright light.

Black trim on fountain pens can be rare but it works really well on this Safari edition. It compliments the matte finish and the barrel colour but it also makes it stand out. Also a chrome finish on the petrol barrel would have looked awful so this was a wise move from Lamy.

I find this colour very similar to the charcoal Lamy Safari. This was the first fountain pen I bought years ago because I really liked the minimalist look and the blackout finishes. The petrol Safari feels similar but the subtle colour makes it that little bit special.

The 2017 limited edition ink

Initially I wasn’t going to try the petrol ink as I have quite a few teal inks that I really enjoy using, but…before long I was tempted into giving this a try and rather than buy another bottle of ink I opted for cartridges.

The teal shade is really dark, almost black and doesn’t really have a lot of depth to it. When looking at the ink closely you do get some subtle shading on certain paper stocks such as tomoe river paper and midori paper but it isn’t visible on everything. In terms of use I have found it to be quite a wet ink with a good flow even using a fine nib.

The petrol colour is nice but it’s not an ink shade that is particularly exciting. If you enjoy dark or teal inks then you won’t be disappointed with this ink. It has already sold out in most places, but if you know where to look in the UK (cough Paperchase cough) you can still find some ink there with relative ease.

Final thoughts

I think this has been a very successful 2017 limited edition from Lamy. Last years Dark Lilac was a big hit, I passed on the pen but bought some ink cartridges and enjoyed the colours a lot. This year seems to be another big winner gaining a lot of buzz with the stationery community.

I’d love to see some variation next year from Lamy. There have been a lot of greens and blues over the years and personally I’d like to see some other colours. Saying that, this years Lamy Safari is a great release and one I have thoroughly enjoyed.

Six years of studying complete

Today marks the end of a six year journey. I have handed in my last ever (maybe) piece of homework. Over the last month specifically I have had to put all my spare time into writing which has meant that the blog has suffered.

This year I took a creative writing course which meant that I got to use a lot of paper, ink and pencils. Whilst I have no real measurement for the amount of ink and pencils consumed over this time, I do have a selection of used notebooks. I always enjoy seeing peoples used stationery items moreso than the new stuff and thought I would share some photos here with you.

On the whole I have used A5 composition style notebooks from a number of different brands. I found these a great size to carry around and the slim-line nature was far more comfortable to write in for longer stretches of time.

The majority of the notebook I used were ruled, my preferred grid. The last few notebooks I used were Baron Figs that only had a dot grid.

Some of these have been used for note taking from course materials while the remainder were used solely for drafting and editing some of my creative writing.

Normal blog service will resume over the next week after I have had time to enjoy some celebratory drinks and catch my breath.

Baron Fig Metamorphosis Limited Edition Confidant Notebook

It’s not the biggest secret that I am really enjoying Baron Fig products at the moment. Their range of notebooks have become my preferred choice in both the pocket and flagship sizes. I am currently in my last Infinity Edition notebook which is perhaps the first time I’ve used a whole 3-pack of notebooks after I bought them. But this review is concentrating on the latest Confidant limited edition, the Metamorphosis.

Presentation that feels a little bit special.

Metamorphosis presentation box

Metamorphosis presentation box

When you buy a standard Confidant notebook it arrives in a lovely presentation box that does a good job of making you feel like there is something a little bit special with this notebook. The Metamorphosis edition comes in a pink presentation box with the idea behind this edition printed on the front.

Inside you get a nice info sheet that includes a Van Gogh quote ‘great things are done by a series of small things brought together’. I really liked the idea of this and the colours used so it is currently taped on my office wall.

Whilst the presentation boxes could be seen as an unnecessary addition, that we are paying for, they do serve a purpose of protecting my notebook while it’s on its way to me from the US. I hang onto these boxes and use them to store my used notebooks.

Limited edition design.

The Metamorphosis has a Millennial pink cover and a gorgeous royal blue bookmark. The choice of colours for this edition compliment each other really well. The trendy Millennial pink is subtle and looks really nice on Baron Fig’s signature fabric cover.

The original Confidant and the limited edition Metamorphosis

The original Confidant and the limited edition Metamorphosis

The paper stock inside is dot grid. This isn’t my favourite grid and with Baron Figs paper I do find the dots quite large, but once you start using the paper they quickly fade into the background. I’d really love to see a limited edition Confidant with ruled lines, but I know this wouldn’t be the most popular choice among the masses.

The paper works well.

At some point Baron Fig have improved their paper. I can now use most fountain pens which I love, but the paper suits almost any standard writing tool. It works well with pencils, gel pens, rollerballs and ballpoints and fine liners. That makes the Baron Fig paper versatile and enables me to use this notebook in most situations without having to consider what pen or pencil I may be carrying with me.

Overall Thoughts.

I love the size of Baron Figs notebooks, they are slightly smaller than standard notebook sizes but I like this subtle difference. The Metamorphosis Confidant is a really beautiful edition and I am thoroughly enjoying using my notebook. In general the limited editions that Baron Fig are releasing on their paper products are interesting and have a simplicity to them. I haven’t bought half of what they have released but I like what they are doing and the direction they seem to be taking.