Mishmash

Compartmentalising with Notebooks

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I have always been someone who has a lot of notebooks on the go at once, boarding on the ridiculous, but somehow it works for me. I find that using multiple notebooks helps me to compartmentalise my thoughts and tasks, keep track of my ideas and link themes together.

I have tried to use one notebook for everything but I found it very muddled, hard to locate notes and felt I moved through a notebook too quickly and therefore lost all the information I needed. So I’ve come to settle on my way of working with lots of different notebooks.

Below is the list of notebooks I use the majority of the time.

Journal.

This started off as a morning pages journal and I do still write most mornings, but I felt like this restricted my use of this journal. I really like emptying my head in the evening and getting everything out on the page. I definitely think this helps me unwind and ultimately sleep better. This journal has evolved over time and I tend to write whenever I need to.

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I like to write using one of my fountain pens therefore paper quality is important. At the moment I am using the Nomad Notebooks Travelers Notebook, with the ruled refill acting as my journal, but other notebooks I’ve used are Baron Fig Confidants and Leuchtturm1917 notebooks.

Jibun Techo.

The Jibun Techo is my functional notebook/planner. I keep track of how I spend my days, planning out my month and keeping track of my habits. I really like this notebook and the functional role it plays in my life. I wrote a full blown review on this planner recently which you can find here.

Blog bullet journal.

Having my ideas in a bullet journal just for my blog is one of the best ways I have found to use the bullet journal system. This is a side project, it takes time, organisation and planning to get these posts online.

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My bullet journal is very simplistic. I use a Baron Fig Train of Thought notebook and plan by month creating a calendar to show how much time I am spending on the blog and when I plan on getting posts live.

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I have ideas sections, sample lists and future plans all thrown into the blog bullet journal.

I also brain dump any post ideas. I don’t always work like this but sometimes spending the time to jot down notes on a post really helps.

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Work bullet journal.

This is a very stripped down version of a bullet journal and really is a notebook of daily to do lists, future planning and weekly tasks all captured in one notebook. I don’t take notes related to my work in this notebook, it only houses my tasks. Having these things in separate notebooks really helps. General notes are thrown in a Field Notes notebook.

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Field Notes - to do list.

I have been using my Field Notes Resolution edition as a daily task list. One day per page with everything thrown in. It works really well and keeps me organised with anything and everything that I need to do.

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Field Notes note book.

I have another Field Notes on the go which I throw my random notes in. At the moment this is the crazy beautiful Coastal edition. I don’t burn through these very quickly anymore but I have to have one with me, without it I would be lost.

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Travelers Notebook.

My Travelers Notebook acts as my memory keeping space. I use my weekly + memo refill to note down interesting things from my day, decorate and play around with. I love these refills and really can’t see anything replacing it.

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I also have a mishmash Travelers Notebook size ruled refill in my TN which I use more creatively and throw in pages when I am feeling crafty.

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Sketchbook.

The latest notebook that I use is a sketchbook. My previous post showed my first completed sketchbook but I am now using the Moleskine Watercolour sketchbook. I really love the size of the Moleskine sketchbooks and the hard back covers give it some strength.

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Overall thoughts.

I have learnt over time that I use my notebooks to compartmentalise my life. Each notebook has a purpose and a reason for being used. I couldn’t strip this back and reduce down the number of notebooks I use without sacrificing something. I don’t use each notebook everyday but they all hold a purpose and perform an important task for me.

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My First Steps into Bullet Journaling

During May I decided to try Bullet Journaling. I had thought Bullet Journaling was a restrictive planning tool more suited to my working life than personal life, however after looking at a few YouTube videos it was more than I had initially thought. It was a chance to be creative, use colour and doodle as well as actually being a useful system. For the month of May my rationale was if I used the Bullet Journal and didn’t see it as a chore then I would continue on into June on a more permanent basis.

How I got started?

Boho Berry is the queen of helpful Bullet Journal YouTube videos. When I first entertained the idea of a Bullet Journal I had watched several of her videos which really gave me a good foundation for how you can Bullet Journal. I found these videos helpful as they showed a more creative version of Bullet Journaling. It wasn’t the original format that I was familiar with created by Ryder Carroll which I felt was more functional, the Boho Berry format seem prettier.

Below are links to several useful Bullet Journal videos and articles that I wanted to share if you are considering Bullet Journaling.

Bullet Journal Flip Through - Boho Berry

June Plan with me - Boho Berry

We are all bullet journalists - Boho Berry

My Blog and Business Bullet Journal - Tiny Ray of Sunshine

Bullet Journals - Bureau Direct’s May run down of all things Bullet Journaling

Mays Bullet Journaling tools 

Mays Bullet Journaling tools 

My May Bullet Journal Tools

For May I used a Mishmash Stretch Me notebook. It was sat unused on my desk and the size was perfect.

For pens I have been using the Uni-Pin drawing pen in 0.3mm, a few of my Stablio Point 88 fine liners and my TWSBI 580 RB with an EF nib and Pilot Iroshizuku Syo-ro ink.

These tools have worked well. They are not part of my usual everyday stationery toolkit so it has been a chance to use more of my stationery. I can carry them with me without risk of spills and quickly scribble down notes on the page. The fine liners are great for doodling and drawing adding a lovely pop of colour to each page.

My first couple of Bullet Journal pages - May log and Projects 

My first couple of Bullet Journal pages - May log and Projects 

My May Set-Up

I opted to set the Bullet Journal up in the most simple format. I included a May Log, a Projects page, May memories, a habit tracker and then my weekly and daily pages. I didn’t include anything too detailed or specific as I wasn’t sure what I would and wouldn’t like, or what I wanted to see in there.

My weekly pages view 

My weekly pages view 

A view of my dailies 

A view of my dailies 

What I liked?

A lot of the Bullet Journal system is functional. It has been about planning out my to do’s and trying to find the best way to fit them into my week. This has been valuable, but actually this hasn’t been the reason I have liked the Bullet Journal system.

May's habit tracker 

May's habit tracker 

Some of the elements I really liked from my May Bullet Journal are the habit tracker and the memories page. The habit tracker is a great visual representation of what I want I feel I should be doing each day and what I have actually managed to achieve. By filling this in at the end of each day I can see where I am spending time, what I am actually doing and what gets pushed to one side. You can also include some simple reminders on there to prompt you to do something through the day, such as drink fluids, something I am very bad at.

A view of May's memories 

A view of May's memories 

With the memories page it was really nice to add small snippets of my month onto this page. In our busy lives it’s easy to forget what you do and achieve in any given month. Looking back at this page now I am genuinely surprised by how much I was able to include on this page. I was a bit skeptical at the beginning of the month when I added this page in, but it turns out it’s quite easy to fill. I can imagine looking back over a period of months this could be a really nice way to review a year and remember everything you have done.

Monday close up

Monday close up

I have also enjoyed including Boho Berry’s hourly view of my day. It’s not a big thing and takes seconds to scribble out with my dailies but it gives me a view of how my day is split. With a very simple colour coded scheme I can see how much I sleep, work and carry out tasks such as blogging.

What I haven’t enjoyed so much…

My first complaint is actually nothing to do with Bullet Journaling but about the tools I used. One thing I noticed from using the Mishmash Stretch Me notebook is that you need some sort of grid system notebook. The Mishmash notebook has blank pages which really didn't work well. For certain page set-ups such as the habit tracker having a grid system would have made filling this in a bit easier.

I have found the planning of my week helpful through the Bullet Journal system. It has forced me to consider what activities need to get done, where I may be that week and find space for the smaller things. I am still a little skeptical as to whether I will be able to keep this up in the long term. Sometimes it feels like this level of detail and planning is a little restrictive.

Moving into June

I will be continuing on with the Bullet Journal in June. So far I am enjoying the the format and have found it quite a good way to organise my tasks for the week. I really like playing around with different headers and banners, using a different range of my stationery tools and it’s become another excuse to play. I am by no means an avid Bullet Journaler and this may not last, however I am happy to push on a little longer and see if during June I find new ways to adapt and change things. There are some changes I have already decided on and I have begun to plan the layouts I would like to use. Later on this week I will publish a part 2 of this post showing you how I have set up my June Bullet Journal.

Mishmash Stretch Me Notebook

The Mishmash Stretch Me Notebook was sent to me for the purposes of this review by Paper and Light. The thoughts expressed in this review are my own and are not influenced in any way by Paper and Light. Now that the official stuff is out of the way on with the review.

I have been using the Mishmash Stretch Me notebook for a few weeks. Before Paper and Light contacted me about reviewing a Mishmash notebook I was not aware of the brand but I dug around a little online and thought they looked really interesting. Mishmash notebooks are produced in Portugal and come in a variety of unique formats and sizes. I chose the Stretch Me notebook because it looked really pretty and I was intrigued by its unique format.

What does it do?

The Stretch Me notebook is a little larger than A5 size. It comes with a gorgeous apricot coloured cover which was one of the things that caught my eye straight away. It has a grey piece of elastic that holds the notebook together, in essence acting as the binding. The idea is that you can move pages around, swap them with other people who also use this notebook and change the ordering of the pages. To take it a step further you could in theory add in pieces of paper and really make this notebook your own. This format means your in total control of how this notebook is used.

A view of the elastic binding

A view of the elastic binding

My Stretch Me notebook in pieces  

My Stretch Me notebook in pieces  

Things I like with the Mishmash Stretch Me

There are several features with this notebook that I really enjoy. Firstly I like the unique and lose format. It's kind of a cross between a Travelers Notebook and a perfect bound notebook. The flexibility of moving around sheets of paper is unique and actually quite handy but it doesn't feel like the integrity of the notebook has been sacrificed, everything feels secure.

The slightly larger than A5 size is great. The additional width and height means you get a touch more room that is really noticable.

Size comparison with an A5 notebook

Size comparison with an A5 notebook

And then lastly the paper is really good. I have used a range of different writing utensils in this book including testing out my Winsor and Newton watercolours and the paper handles it all well. Fountain pens work really nicely. There is no bleed through, ghosting or feathering with one small exception. There is a mixture of white and recycled paper in the Stretch Me notebook. The plain paper performs better with inks tests than the recycled stock. I did notice a little bit of bleed through on the recycled stock when using fountain pens.

The inclusion of different types of paper stock seems to be a patter with Mishmash notebooks in general. Having both plain and recycled paper stock in the Stretch Me notebook seems a little strange however it does not bother me in any way.

The pen test page

The pen test page

What's lacking?

I don't have many negative thoughts about this notebook. One small downside is this is the only option available. There are no alternative sizes or colours available. There is also only one paper option with no alternative ruling options. It would be nice to have a version of this with lined or grid ruling as well.

Plain and recycled paper stock view  

Plain and recycled paper stock view  

Lastly the elastic that holds the notebook together is actually more like an over sized hairband. With the pages that sit in the middle of the notebook there is some marking from the metal section that joins in the elastic together. But that's it. Like I said no real negatives.

The elastic binding  

The elastic binding  

Final thoughts

I would definitely buy these notebooks. They are really well made, I like the paper quality and the design is different. From what I have seen online the other Mishmash notebook offerings also look really interesting. I am particularly intrigued by the mishmash notebook that shares the brands name.

The icing on the cake is that the Mishmash Stretch Me notebook has a great design but also has good paper stock. This suggests to me that Mishmash have spent time thinking about this notebook as a whole rather than focusing on one aspect.

Finally I would like to thank Paper and Light for sending me the Stretch Me notebook for this review. It's a fab notebook!

The only sign of branding on the Stretch Me notebook can be found in the bottom right hand corner

The only sign of branding on the Stretch Me notebook can be found in the bottom right hand corner