2017 Planning

Bullet Journal Update - September 2017

My Hobonichi Techo Cousin in a Midori MD notebook cover

My Hobonichi Techo Cousin in a Midori MD notebook cover

Bullet Journaling has become a thing for me. I have watched numerous videos and read a lot of posts about how people set up and use their bullet journals with the aim of finding my own style. I think after all this time I have found the solution that works for me.

The 2017 bullet journal plan

When I started out the year I had a clear idea of how I would be bullet journalling. I ordered the A6 Hobonichi Techo avec which is the smaller size of the Techos and the avec is two half year books.

My A6 Hobonichi Techo bullet journal

My A6 Hobonichi Techo bullet journal

The Hobonichi Techo has the essential elements of a bullet journal - monthly pages, pre-dated daily pages and pages that are suitable for future planning. Using the Techo as my bullet journal meant that I had a planner that was literally ready to go.

By March my mind started to wander and I was pining after my old Leuchtturm1917 bullet journal. Binge watching YouTube bullet journal videos pushed me towards the DIY option giving me the flexibility to change things regularly and having space to be creative.

Experimenting with daily layouts 

Experimenting with daily layouts 

Time for a change

In March I set up the second half of the month creating only weekly and daily spreads and using the time to try out additional ideas such as a reading tracker and a home to do list.

My reading list tracker 

My reading list tracker 

From April I set up the bullet journal properly and quickly found a layout from YouTuber Amanda Rach Lee that worked as I wanted it to. It was a double page spread that showed a small weekly overview on the left hand side and the remainder of the page contained my daily to dos. This weekly overview was exactly what I was looking for and it remained unchanged right through until August.

The weekly spread that worked so well for me

The weekly spread that worked so well for me

There were some pages that I found I wasn’t using and I very quickly dropped. The habit tracker, time log and project pages were discarded as I wasn’t using them and they became tiresome to create.

Despite being happy with the weekly layouts I found it a chore to set this up week after week and my notebook quickly started to look messy and unorganised.

Todays bullet journal set-up

In August I decided to go back into my Hobonichi Techo but this time use the Cousin. I like the A5 size and appreciate the extra room but I also like the week on two-page view that you don’t get in the A6 size. I have been using these pages as a rough time tracker to monitor where my time is spent each day. I still haven’t perfected this and feel like I am trying to find the right way to use these pages but for the time being they serve a functional purpose.

Weekly pages in the A5 Techo Cousin 

Weekly pages in the A5 Techo Cousin 

I use the monthly spreads as designed, to plan and note down everything that I need to remember for the month.

Monthly overview pages 

Monthly overview pages 

The daily pages are the most important aspect of the bullet journal for me. I use this as a practical planner and therefore really appreciate the pre-dated pages. I use the right hand side of the page to create my to do list. Everything gets dumped in here, mostly the night before but sometimes I plan ahead and add in to do’s for further on in the week.

How I set up my daily pages and how I use the page that starts off a new month

How I set up my daily pages and how I use the page that starts off a new month

On the left hand side of the page there is a time planning area. Most days I don’t really use this but sometimes I note down appointments here to show a loose structure to my day.

Things I still deliberate about

It seems a little silly to deliberate how to use my planner but I love using stationery and want a system that works for me. Over the course of my bullet journaling I have come to the conclusion that I am not a decorative bullet journaler. I use this as a tool to get my life in order and dump all my to dos in one place. Because of this the Techo is perfect for me. The tomoe river paper lets me use all my fountain pens and gorgeous inks. I have found that the Cousin is the perfect size and I like having everything in one notebook.

As the 2018 Hobonichi Techo planners have just been released I am now thinking about how I improve on this set-up and what I will need for next year. I am in no rush to order and will continue to see if my Techo bullet journaling sticks, but I really think I have found the best solution for me and as the cool kids say ‘planner peace’.

January Stationery Usage

This year I have decided to play closer attention to the tools I am using to try and fulfil one of my 2017 stationery resolutions, to consume more of what I own. Therefore this month I thought I would share with you what I have used.

Januarys Notebooks

This month I have flown through three pocket notebooks, all of which have been Field Notes. Completing three pocket notebooks in a month is not usual for me, I am lucky if I work my way through two. I have been scribbling down lots of different notes as part of my studying and I think that has contributed to higher than normal use. This month I decided to use up some of my Field Notes stash which has the added bonus of meaning I can use my Foxy Fix Wanderlust leather notebook cover.

This month I also finished my morning journal notebook. I have been using the Life Vermilion A5 notebook which has been really lovely to use. It handles all my fountain pens and inks really well and I love the cream coloured paper. I will start February with a new morning journal, which will be a Midori TN insert.

Januarys Inks

Earlier on in the month I shared a photo on Instagram showing the inks that I am using this month. Taking inspiration from Priya at The London Parchment I have gone for a wintery theme with lots of muted tones. I am recording these colours in my Hobonichi Techo on the monthly preview page. At the end of the year this could be a nice way to see what inks I have used each month and where there are gaps in my colour palette.

I have really enjoyed my January colours but I do have some clear favourites. Pilot Iroshizuku Syo-ro is a lovely dark green ink colour that I find perfect for this time of year. It provides a little colour in my notebooks but keeps on the winters theme reminding me of Christmas and evergreen trees.

J.Herbin’s Lie de The is a firm favourite of mine. I use this in my Kaweco ART Sport snd I love it, so much so that I have actually used up all my cartridges.

The one ink I actually don’t think I like at all is Diamines Ancient Copper. When I bought this ink I thought it would easily be an ink I would enjoy but its been the opposite. To give it some credit it has great shading but there is something about this ink that I really dislike. This will definitely be one for the February rotation.

Planner progress

My planning system is going pretty well so far. My A6 Hobonichi Techo is working perfectly as a bullet journal. As this is a pre-dated planner I am finding it very easy to plan out my week. I do feel like this format means I am less creative with the pages than when I used a Leuchtturm1917 notebook, but it’s a small compromise.

The larger Avec Techo has been working as an art journal to a point. I don’t find that I have enough time or energy at the end of the day to really use this as I want to, so for February I need to try and find ways of being more creative. I think I need some more inspiration so I shall be digging around online.

Alongside this I have been recording my studying and blog activity on the monthly calendar. I like the additional space that the Avec provides.

Using the week on two pages view I simply record what I am doing. For February I am going to try and use this spread as a time management tool. I think space could be an issue here, but I am interested to see how I am spending my time and as I cannot find an app that works for me I am resorting to pen and paper.

In Summary

Spending some time thinking about my stationery January I feel like I have done quite well at consuming existing items. I did make one purchase this month, but this is tied to InCoWriMo prep for February.

February also marks my first attempt to take part in InCoWriMo. I will do my best to send a letter, postcard or card each day of the month and hopefully I will be able to get most days completed. I will of course be sharing my InCoWriMo journey here on the blog, so be sure to come back and check it out.