12 Dec 2018

introducing the trigg life mapper

Bullet journals are increasing in popularity and though the system does not work for me, I can see why it appeals to so many. Bullet journals are customisable, enable you to brain dump if you needed to and also record anything else you wish. How good would it be if you could have a planner which also enables you to brain dump, work towards your goals and aim to become a better person within a year but would not require you to set up each week as a chore?

Well, here's where Trigg's Life Mapper comes in. And I can tell you it's not for the faint-hearted. Trigg's Life Mapper is a day-per-page planner and has prompts every week for you to review different parts of your life. I can see this being especially good for mental health in general because there is ample space for noting down deep, dark thoughts and feelings. Because of the day-per-page layout, the planner is very thick. However, there is an elasticated band in lime green to keep all of your pages together.

The personal page is a good space to put your pledges for the year. These are akin to new year resolutions and below you can see some of mine. I'm not the most patient person, hence why that one is on the list and working as a doctor means I often flake on plans if I'm tired or have had a long shift - I am trying to change this!

There is a year to view too which can be useful for all sorts of things.

Some introduction pages can aid the user in getting the most out of their Trigg planner. Very useful as it can appear overwhelming with all of the added features.

Next, there is a space to note down the values most important to you in the next few years and also assess how happy you are with different parts of your life. I have blurred mine out as these two pages are very personal!

Month to view pages! Each month has a different focus. For example, you can see July's is willpower, and August's is mindfulness.

At the beginning of the year, you can write down your goals for each part of your life: self, relationships, passions and work.

Each day has its own dedicated page where you can write down tasks which absolutely need to be done that day, a plan for the day and other tasks which can be deferred if time does not allow them to be achieved within those twenty four hours. At the bottom, there is a space for appointments or whatever else you wish. There is plenty of free space for each day.

At the beginning of each week, you review each of the four sections of your life along with a reflective note or two.

And half-way through the year, there is a six-month review of each section too.

At the end of the year, you do another visual assessment of each part of your life and record how satisfied you are with each of them again.

And each area is again reviewed in more depth as twelve months have now passed.

There is ample notepaper at the back which is plain so can be used for drawings, diagrams or just text.

The paper is of a high quality and takes fountain pen extremely well. I used a Lamy Safari fountain pen with an EF nib in it and it took it well. The cover is thick and seems durable enough to last a whole year of being bashed around (which it most certainly will be if used consistently!). My only critique of it is that there is only one page marker where there should be, perhaps, another one at the very least.

Overall, this is a very impressive planner and definitely not for the faint-hearted.

Disclaimer: though this product was provided free of charge, it has been reviewed as honestly as possible and as if I had paid for it.

5 Dec 2018

leuchtturm 1917 diary review

This is my first Leuchtturm 1917 planner and now that three quarters of the year have gone by, I thought it would be good to review it properly. Here is the original post from almost a year ago now where I introduce it.

This planner has taken a lot of battering. It has endured my first year as a qualified doctor where there was a lot of paperwork and through some life events requiring copious organisational skills. You can see how battered it is in the photos below.

The weekly page spread leaves me more than enough space to plan each day and little more. It means that most of the planning happens on the blank page on the right. I like to record what I wore that day too - one of the reasons is so that I know which clothes haven't been worn for a while and should be sent to charity.

Some weeks, my to-do list took up half of the page on the right side. Other weeks (where I was mostly working), I was careful not to make too long a to-do list. Things that don't get checked off just make me feel uncomfortable!

One of the pros is definitely how much notepaper space there is at the back. I have only used about seven sides so far (out of the 23!).

I tried to use Tippex to write the date on the spine but didn't like how I did it (as you can see!). I then wrote it on with a permanent marker and the mess doesn't seem to bother me too much. What I hadn't realised is that the year is actually embossed on the spine at the bottom. Doh!

The one negative is there is no month planner - this is something I've really missed as it's quite nice to see my schedule on a monthly basis. This especially helps for planning my life around work and I have had to use a calendar on my phone for this.

However, the positives far outweigh the negatives. The weekly spreads give me ample space to write anything I wish (there has not been a week where I have ran out of space) and the planner itself is light enough to carry around without being a burden. I have chosen a cornflower blue colour for 2019 and I'm beginning to think that colour is a bit too muted compared to 2018's choice of emerald green! I have no one to blame but myself for this choice though!

All in all, the fact that I have since bought the same planner for 2019 means that it is the planner that has suited me most, out of all the ones I have tried. Here's to another year of feeling organised :)

21 Nov 2018

introducing: hero 359 extra fine fountain pens in white and pastel colours

As a sucker for all things pastel and pretty, these Hero 359 pens were victim to an impulse click on eBay. I cannot remember their exact cost but I think it was something like £5 for all seven including postage. Though cheap, they actually write pretty well. When stored nib up, however, they can take a while to start writing.

To me, these pens would be if the Lamy Safari/Al-Star mated with a Pilot Kakuno. The pastel coloured caps with the white barrel remind me of the Pilot Kakuno whereas the clear pen grip area reminds me of the Lamy Al Star whilst the plastic design and the pen clip remind me of the Lamy Safari. They all come with an international converter which is an added bonus considering the low price of them.

What these pens will come in useful for are testing out new inks/ink samples which I do not want to risk in my more loved/expensive pens. Other useful uses include being desk pens for those in desk jobs because there will be people who will want to borrow a pen. Instead of loaning out your beloved Montblanc/Pilot/Sailor, etc, you can lend one of these out instead! Especially to those not used to fountain pens. Also, if you're prone to losing pens, these are inexpensive and come in a pack of seven which should last a while!

Overall, these pens are perfect for beginners and the advanced user. Beginners because of the cost and how well they write for the cost; advanced users because they are ideal for testing out inks in.