After a busy 2016 I felt it was only right that I spend some time looking at the notebooks and planners that I have used over the past year. The idea was to figure out what has worked and what changes I need to make for the coming year.
2016 - What I used.
I used a lot, too much in fact. I was tracking lots of different things but I ended up doing it in too many places as I cobbled together different notebooks and planners. Below is a run down of the systems and notebooks I have used over the course of 2016 and how I have used them.
Hobonichi Techo 2016 - English version
I started the year with the Hobonichi Techo after a successful experience with my first one in 2015. I had been using my Techo to record the days events and enjoying the gorgeous tomoe river paper paired with my fountain pens. This had worked really well and the plan was to continue this into 2016 with a very minor tweak. I would take a photo a day and add this into the Techo, but I soon stopped once I realised how much it bulked out the planner.
After this bad idea I reverted back to what I had been doing in 2015 but as I reached May I was really bored with my Techo. I wasn’t enjoying the Techo and it felt like a chore to complete the days entry. Once I felt like that I cast it aside.
However after a quite successful foray into Bullet Journaling I decided in October to start using the Techo but this time as a planner. Shocking I know. For the past three months I have basically been planning my months and days in the Techo and it works really well. It’s a really simple set up, there is nothing that fancy here. On some days I may add a doodle to decorate the page but mostly it is a simple way to capture tasks and to dos.
Midori 019 free weekly refill
In 2016 I completed two of these notebooks. I have stuck to the same format throughout adding a snippet of my day on the left page.
On the grid page I capture anything interesting that has happened during that week. These could be letters, doodles, attempts at lettering or books I have been reading. When I have flicked back through these refills it has been really nice to see what happened week by week. It’s can be a very visual and simple reflective tool.
Travelers Notebook plus 1 refill
During my pregnancy and after my son was born I have been using a Travelers Notebook insert to journal. I keep this journal specific to documenting only personal memories. I am so pleased that I started this before my son was born and think that over the years I will enjoy looking back in these notebooks. I include photographs, ephemera from places we have visited and decorate them to make them a little bit more exciting. Lately I have started playing around with lettering in my most recent notebook using a number of different brush pens. These journals have become a place for me to experiment and to include lots of different journaling techniques.
Midori free monthly refill
The monthly refill has been used to track any of my blog or studying related tasks. In this refill I add in when posts are published, when assignments are due and when I have dedicated time to one of these activities. I have found this a useful way to keep track of time spent on my extra curricular activities.
Midori passport monthly calendar 2016
As I had been enjoying the monthly calendar for tracking my extra curricular activities I decided to reintroduce a paper calendar for my personal planning. I opted for the passport size as portability was key and have been using this in a passport Travelers Notebook throughout the year.
I used a Bullet Journal for about two months this year and actually really enjoyed it. I liked setting out my months and weeks experimenting with different layouts and adding in decoration. Including different ‘selections’ such as books read was a bit of a novelty as I had never tracked anything in this way before. But with a small person to look after it became impossible to maintain and I very quickly ditched this planning method. I think at some point in the future I may revisit this.
2016 Notebook and Planning summary
As you can see my 2016 planning and paper world was a bit hectic. It was too much and too busy, no question about that. I was trying to manage and track lots of different things but struggled to find one way to do this and as a result ended the year with several different notebooks. 2016 has undoubtedly been a year when I have really developed my planning processes but there is refinement needed in 2017.
I have made a short video running through my 2016 notebooks and planners which can be found below.
Next week I will be sharing a post outlining my 2017 planner and notebook set-up.