31 Aug 2012

guest post: Becca's travel journal

Today, I'm featuring a guest post. This is not part of the Philofaxy All Stars' tour; it's a guest post from someone on Twitter who shares my obsession love of stationery and we actually have a lot in common when it comes to it! Her name is Becca, though you might recognise her as beccatiendoh on Twitter. She is lovely and she also takes really awesome photos, and if that isn't enough, her flickr has more too!

Thank you, Becca, for writing this post and showing us your travel journal :) I turned green with envy when I saw how creative it was and I have a feeling some of you readers might too!

Without further ado, here it is...


I really wanted to make sure I had the perfect travel journal for my trip, and I couldn't find anything *quite* right, so I ended up customising my uncle's (unused) 1978 journal (pictured below, with the pen on top of it). I really loved the vintage feel of it, particularly the closely packed lines (I have v small handwriting). I split it into a scheduler, a diary/journal, and general notes.

Inside it I customised it a couple of ways, using homemade washi tape and watercolour. This can be seen in the next picture, which is the 'overall schedule' but basically turned out to be an aide memoir of what we did when. I got the dates a bit messed up!

Next is a journal extract from Las Vegas. Most of the journal part is pretty text heavy but I broke it up a bit with some cute Korean stickers.

In the following picture is the journal log I designed on Photoshop to keep a track of the road trip, modelled after a flying log (I'm a big airsports fan). I've shown a blank one because my maths is too embarrassing on the bit we filled out...I stuck it in using the same technique as below.

The next picture shows the 'notes' part of the journal. I found the 1978 dates too distracting for the notes part, so using some homemade tape (an A4-size label and some internet-sourced vintage graphics) I got rid of them.

Finally, the photo below shows the envelope I made to put over the expense account bit, to keep little bits and pieces safe for the scrapbook (airplane tickets, etc).

I've also just got into Scrapbooking this summer, which can be seen below. It's pink, flowery and Cath Kidston, with brown paper interior and I'm using it for my whole summer. There's a small photo of the American Trip (called 'Route 666' because I think I'm funny) title page as well just for kicks. Stickers mostly from Cavallini.

There are some photo sets from the trip here if you're interested:


Personally, I loved this sneak peek into Becca's travel journal. Her handwriting is so pretty and she is clearly very creative! All of this makes me want to keep a travel journal like this so that in years to come, I can look at it and take pleasure in re-reading what I got up to in the summer of 2012. 

Thanks, once again, to Becca for allowing us to take a peek into her journal! It's a pleasure to share this with you all as this is scrapbooking/journaling at its finest.

29 Aug 2012

all stars guest post: pennybridge as a travel filo

Today's post is an All Stars guest post courtesy of Carou from Wandrrlust.org. It's an honour to feature her today as her blog is her blog is well written, has a lovely design and the content is varied but relevant!

She has done a post on how she has used her Pennybridge as a Travel Filo.


Hi everyone!~ I’m Carou from wandrrlust.org, and I’m so honored to be writing a guest post for Angela as part of the Philofaxy All Stars Tour 2012. Angela left the topic of the post up to me, and of course I grabbed the opportunity to show off (yet again!) my brand spankin’ new compact Pennybridge in purple (which has very unoriginally been dubbed Penny).

I read that Penny isn’t made of real leather, and being a leather snob, I was a little worried that I wouldn’t like the material. But all fears were unfounded when I finally received her – the “leather” (or whatever material it is!) feels as good as real, and is heavenly to touch!

The plan has always been for Penny to be my travel Filo – to plan trips, packing lists, shopping lists and any other details. I plan to use her in conjunction with my Moleskine city notebooks; Penny will fill the gap for all general travel information and details.

The above picture was taken before I formally moved into Penny – she holds my frequent flyer cards, Priority Pass lounge cards and my Krisflyer co-brand credit card. I’m still undecided on how to decorate the “dashboard” – right now, I just have a plain sticky with notes on what to wear in winter (I’m planning a trip this winter, and being from a tropical country where it’s summer all year round, I’m at quite a loss as to what materials suit a winter climate best. Hence the research.)

Pre-moving in: A temporary list of things I want to include inside Penny – including a photocopy of my passport, all important info like Frequent Flyer numbers, and of course, itinerary and packing lists.

After the Filofax registration page, I have a central information page which lists passport information, frequent flyer numbers and hotel loyalty program numbers. On the reverse, I list the 24-hour hotline for my Foreign ministry (I decided against having specific embassy numbers here, since that will go under Trip Details. The 24-hour numbers work for anywhere in the world) and phone numbers for my various banks in case I lose my credit cards or phone while overseas.

Planning the sections inside Penny. I’m still undecided if I should separate them based on function (e.g. packing lists in one section, trip details in another, etc) or if they should be divided according to trip (e.g. packing list + trip details etc together). For now, they are split according to the former, because I can just re-use packing lists for different trips. I don’t want to have a separate divider for each trip, but that might change in the future.

An overview of my dividers and how each individual divider looks like (they’re all on different paper). I made the dividers from scratch again as I can’t stand using the standard dividers (more on that in a separate post on my blog). I also used a trick I learned from Angela – each divider title is written on washi tape, which allows for some flexibility in changing their use if or when I decide I want to separate things based on trip.

An overview of how my sections look like – itinerary, packing list and outfit list. The pages are still pretty empty cos the trip is currently in the planning stage, but they should start getting filled quite soon.
And that’s how my Pennybridge looks like for now. Thanks again Angela for letting me write a guest post! 



Thank you so much, Carou, for agreeing to write this post for Paper Lovestory :) It was a pleasure and honestly, isn't her handwriting so beautiful? I love how she has organised it as well and it really makes me hope that I'll be going on holiday later this year!

What do you guys think?

27 Aug 2012

I converted my sister to a Filofax diary!

My sister came home on Friday for the bank holiday weekend and that night, we ended up talking about diaries. She confessed that she had actually been thinking about getting a Filofax as her diary for the next academic year and obviously, I jumped onto this idea of hers.

I offered her one of the organisers that are currently not in use and she opted for my personal Finsbury in Raspberry - one that I had only used for two weeks - and I promptly began spouting out everything that might be useful for her. (I'm such a good sister, right?)

The next day, we ventured into Paperchase where she bought a Paperchase mid-year 2012 − 2013 week on two pages diary. Later that night, I took some pictures of the pack itself (seriously, it’s so much better value for money than the Filofax diaries) which included the diary, tabs, notepaper, timetable refills, year planner refills and more! And it was only £5. I think I paid £8 for my 2013 Filofax week on two pages refills and it doesn’t have all of those features either!

Anyway, after all this, I dug out my whole stash of spare inserts to find that I actually had some 2012 and 2013 inserts which she could have had! Never mind, at least this way, I could also get a sneak peek at the Paperchase inserts, eh?

I offered to give her loads of spare notepaper sheets (I have so many - I only realised this after getting all of my spare inserts out!); but she declined saying that she wouldn’t use it as there was plenty in the Paperchase pack anyway.

During our visit to Paperchase, I also bought a pack of stickers. These ‘animal face’ ones - I already have the ones from Artbox but then I realised these were actually the same but cheaper too! They have both versions of them and because I only have one of them, I just had to get this one too.

Look out for a Paperchase diary review - scheduled for the 14th of September as I have had so many blog post ideas lately - so stay tuned! Unfortunately, my sister won’t be the one writing it because she’s currently doing working in a lab over the summer (she’ll be heading into her third year of university in October) and she’ll be on her way back to London later this afternoon too, sob!

26 Aug 2012

my filofax week #19

Having kept busy this week, a lot of my days were filled with irrelevant details. However, I made it an effort to look like I had been busy (which wasn't too hard as I was!) to make myself forget the emotional events of the previous week.

Anyway, it worked and with my sister here for the weekend, I spent most of the week preparing surprises for her and also doing some 'blog stuff' too. Sit tight for that - I have so many posts lined up for the next few weeks!

How has your week been?

If you'd like to be featured as next week's 'filofax week', do drop me an email at paperlovestoryblog [@] gmail.com - I will be more than willing to display your week for everyone to see :) It's nice to see how other people plan and manage their weeks and stuff!

25 Aug 2012

not all it's cracked up to be? The Moleskine brand?

I read this link yesterday evening (I know I'm a bit late on the uptake considering it was posted back in mid-June).

It made me wonder things about the Moleskine brand.

Having used a Moleskine diary for about 9 months back in 2011, I found that they were nothing to shout about. The minimalist design is nice, yes, but the paper quality is a bit lacking. Especially when you take the price of one of those badboys into account.

In a way, I agree with the article above that the marketing of the notebooks have been very clever but I don't agree that they are the best that money can buy. I don't want to agree with that when I have yet to try Rhodia and Leuchtturm notebooks; both of which are held in high regard within the stationery world. Moreover, there are other brands out there, which, I am sure may well be better than the Moleskine branded ones!

What do you think? Moleskine = overhyped and over-glorified, or do you think they have a justifiable reputation?

23 Aug 2012

simplicity is the key for GTD?

In terms of ‘Getting Things Done’ or GTD, there are many ‘systems’ out there. However, I’ve found that the best way is not to use someone else’s system but to find, through trial and error, the one that really works for you.

I don’t have any experience of any of the GTD systems out there so I can’t say what was successful and what wasn’t and I don’t claim to be an expert on this topic. This is purely a post to show what has worked for me; but that’s not to say it will work for you. I’m just hoping that there will be one little thing, no matter how small, that will appeal to you and make you think, “oh yes, now that might work for me”.

Now for me, I find simplicity is the best. No dashboard, no need to move things about. The key is to be simple and realistic. Although I am simple in my way of time management, I am by no means simple and minimalistic with decorating my diary! It is important to note that I don’t decorate my pages until the day has passed. This ensures that there is enough space to write in my to-do list and also any timetabled events for that day. The less you need to move about = the less effort needed to manage your time = the less it seems like you have to do (psychologically speaking).

For every day, I will have a few things to do along with a tick box next to each of them. So as not to complicate things, I only have a maximum of two or three; but sometimes I sneak a few extra in if some of my to-dos are quite simple, straightforward and not as time-consuming as usual. 

I keep my to-do description as short and simple as possible. This means that space is conserved, and also makes the task seem less time-consuming and tedious. I’m thinking of colour coding my tasks (personal, work, study, sport, etc) but if it ain’t broke, why fix it, eh? And it must be emphasised, my current system definitely isn’t broken. In fact, it seems to work perfectly for me.

Next, how to monitor the progress of these tasks. This is simple for me. There are three possible states a task can be in at the end of the day: done, cancelled or postponed. If it is done, a tick goes in the box (you have no idea how satisfying this is after a long day). If it is cancelled, a cross goes through the box. Tasks get cancelled if they no longer need doing, if I have changed my mind and deem the task an unnecessary waste of energy or if it has to be changed slightly. And finally, if a task is to be postponed, a horizontal arrow goes through the box.

My second, and final, method of task organisation is to use washi tape. I use washi tape to highlight important tasks that have a definitive time limit and ocassionally for decoration too!

Using washi tape, or even a bit of colour if you prefer, allows the more important things relating to that week to catch your eye first. I sell a lot of my unwanted clothes on eBay and I have to make sure I package efficiently and dispatch quickly so washi tape gives me a method of reminding me to do this in order to keep my feedback profile at a high level.

One final word, though. Although it is all well and good to organise tasks for the next day/week/month, you have to motivated in order to get them done. It is no good having a daily inbox with tasks to-do and leaving them in that state. Sometimes, it may seem tedious or pointless to get a task done but don’t you feel better once you’ve ticked that box? I certainly do, and I know that all my tasks lead to some form of happiness at the end and this, for me, is how I motivate myself when it comes to these task lists. 

Remember, an efficient to-do list = better time management = more free time to do whatever you want once everything important/more urgent is out of the way. And even though my system may seem overly simple, it works for me. For me, this is just further evidence in that one system does not fit all and that sometimes, simple may be better.

However, this may all change once I find full-time employment but for now, this works fine for me.

21 Aug 2012

martha stewart for avery (at staples)

That is one hell of a collaboration. Martha Stewart for Avery at Staples. But I suppose this is justified. Why? Read on to find out why I think so.

Having read a lot about this range on Twitter and from some stationery addicts from the U.S., I knew that I had to get my hands one some of this range as soon as it hit British land. And here is what I chose to order from the range:

Two packs of the larger NoteTabs, three packs of the smaller ones and a pack of 'ultrahold sticky notes'. The last one, I just had to order to test out how true the 'ultrahold' word was within the title. I'm still yet to test this though as I can't bear to open the packet and just use that first sheet!

Here are the larger tabs, up close and personal:

I just love how it forms a little sort of curly bracket on the side, at the top. And I love the colour choice too: pink, yellow and green? And if you don't already know by now, I'm a huge fan of pastels so this is completely up my street!

Next, a closer look at the smaller NoteTabs.

Again, I love the design and the colours used for the tabs.

Then, I opted to try out one of the 'StackFit' range. I had no idea it was this big in real life, but then again, I'm not complaining as it fits well on one of the shelves of my desk. Both the top bit and the slide out drawer can hold A4 pages - just to give you an indication of just how big it is!

Notice how I am reading Philofaxy on my laptop (in the background!).

And with the drawer slid out...

I just love the colours used for this range but now I have a problem. I have invested in so many NoteTabs, what on earth will I use them all for? I'm planning to use the smaller ones as top tabs for my Filofax (I've seen this work for quite a few people and would like to try this too) but what about the larger ones? And I have such an abundance of the smaller ones that I can't possibly use them all up in one Filofax!

Suggestions? :)

How do you like this range, and can you see yourself buying any and using any of the goods? The range also includes pen pots, more StackFit home office accessories, some other storage stuff, such as a magazine storage folder, notepads and paper, but also labels and stuff. It really is quite an extensive range, but for me personally, I could only see myself utilising the items I bought above.

19 Aug 2012

filofax week #18

A lot has been blanked out this week and this week is also considerably barer than previous ones. I've had quite a few stressful days where it felt like I was riding an emotional rollercoaster but I'm okay now. 

Here's to the next week - where hopefully, my week will be much more interesting like before.

17 Aug 2012

review: kindle k4

Having had my Kindle for a month now, I thought I'd do a review on it. Although this is a slight detour from the usual stationery, organisation and Filofax posts, I feel that this would still appeal to some of you! These pictures were taken a week after I got it, but the post was written today.

So here is the Kindle K4, in all its glory; with a screensaver.

The buttons at the bottom:

The buttons are fine for navigation and all that. The keyboard is a bit annoying to use as it's just SO slow and sometimes selecting a book right at a bottom of a page can be a bit long winded too. However, they are fine for someone like me; who is just seeking an e-reader on which to read books; as opposed to a tablet-like gadget that would allow me to go online and browse websites and such.

The buttons at the side are also very easy to use. There are a pair on each side, both serve the same function - to turn pages. The bigger one on the bottom is for going forward a page, whereas the one on top is for going back a page.

And finally, the back of the Kindle. I accidentally got some pen marks on it due to a leaking pen. The pen leaked all over my table and I foolishly put my Kindle on the ink splodges (without realising that they weren't dry!).

Now, onto the bulk of the post. I've opted to do a pros and cons list so that it is easier to read.

First, the negatives.

- the navigation and buttons at the bottom can be a bit long-winded to use. This was particularly evident when I was setting it up, as I needed to connect to my home wi-fi network. Because our wi-fi network has a password with letters and numbers all over the place, it was a bit...challenging to use the keyboard with only the arrows and middle 'enter' button available for use.

- how fragile it feels! It's very light (but that's also a positive!) and sometimes, I worry that it might just snap in half if I hold it in a certain way!

- the screensavers. To put it politely, they are a bit of a refined taste. I know that, being the way it is, it's hard to be able to put on my own screensaver and whatnot, but they could have allowed us the option of changing them from a selection that clearly came with the Kindle. I'm not sure if this is possible though as I haven't bothered to investigate!

- the price! It costed my mum £89 (she bought the Kindle for me as a sort of 'graduation' present) whereas, if I'm not wrong, it's a lot cheaper in the US. 

And then, onto the positives:

- the weight! It's so portable and so easy to hold as well. I've had incidents in the past, where I've been playing on my phone while lying down and have had the unfortunate experience of dropping it onto my chin or face. It hurts. Whereas, with this Kindle, because it's so easy to hold, I don't envisage that happening anytime soon. Fingers crossed!

Moreover, carrying around ebooks is a lot lighter than carrying around a heavy novel - for instance, the weight of the complete series, 1Q84, is quite heavy; whereas on my Kindle K4, I'm only really carrying around 170g, even if I have 1,000 books on it! Win.

- How much cheaper some ebooks are in comparison to their print form.

- the technology is fantastic. They weren't lying when they said that you can still read in broad daylight and with a sun shining on it!

Overall, I would recommend this to someone who had similar wants for an e-reader as I did.

What I was looking for was:

- a portable e-reader. The lighter, the better.
- basic features, as essentially, it was just an e-reader to me. Not a tablet, or tablet-esque gadget.
- something that had long battery life, but could also hold a considerable number of books.

If that sounds like you, the Kindle K4 would be ideal for you. If, however, you love other features, such as a physical keyboard or a touchscreen, you might want to consider forking out the extra for one of the heavier models.

15 Aug 2012

review: Oxford campus notebook

I was quite lucky in that I won one of these from a Facebook comp about a month ago. I've been a long advocate of Oxford notepaper but they have changed how the notebooks look. They have rebranded them as 'Campus Notebooks':

And when you open the notebook: 

And then overleaf of that is a sheet where you can write in your timetable. In my opinion, this is more relevant to high school students because in my time at uni, I have never had more than one week which were identical.

A closer look at the paper now:

But is it still as high quality as what the previous Oxford paper was like? Well, here is how the paper takes some of my pens:

I made a few errors on the way, which called for Tippex but other than that, the paper took all pens pretty well! No feathering. But more importantly, is there show through on the other side?

As it happens, no. For the majority of pens. All of my Muji pens were fine and some had a tiny bit of show-through. The one that was most prominent on the other side of the page were my Staedtler Lumocolour pens. Hardly surprising, considering that the ink is permanent! 

Overall, these notepads are good. They are A4 in size, come hole-punched and have perforations so that they can be torn out cleanly, ready for its insertion into an A4 binder. The paper quality is still of a high quality. Unfortunately, I don't know how much they will retail for but even with a re-brand, they are still brilliant.

12 Aug 2012

all stars guest post: your filofax week #17

This week, I'm featuring Deborah from Thoughts and Exploration's week! Her blog is definitely one to check out as, I think I've mentioned this before, but she has blogged about a handbag I covet.

Anyway, this is what she had to say:

"Thank you, Angela, for featuring me as part of the Philofaxy All Stars Tour!  I'm a bit shy to show you all my week because it pales in comparison to Angela's lovely posts and pictures.  But here it is, nonetheless.  I love Angela's blog and can spend hours just looking at her gorgeous pictures and reading her posts!  So, I'm honored to be featured here.  Angela did a guest post on my blog as well - a what's in my bag post!  Please take a look at it here.  

So here is my week…rather typical:

I color code as well as use a quadrant system.  Red = work, blue = me, green = family, black = misc; top left = work, bottom left = family, top right = me, and bottom right = misc stuff.  The system works really well for me."

Unfortunately, due to a technical glitch, the image can't be increased in size but that's not a problem. You can still see how Deborah has used her Filofax this week. Plenty of to-dos and tick boxes (my favourite), what looks like washi tape and colour coding! Plus, she writes in the weather - love it!

Thank you to Deborah (and a very big thank you at that) for this guest post. It has been a pleasure :)

How has your week looked? Has it been busy or have you just been working and relaxing?

9 Aug 2012

a peek into my journal

To be quite honest, I don't 'journal' in the traditional sense; nor do I do it often at all. But I still thought it would be interesting for those of you that do, to see a few pages from someone who isn't as dedicated to it!

Basically, all I do is stick in bits that remind me of good things. So here we go:

Top left: Two Wimbledon ground pass tickets. To remind me of the day my boyfriend and I went; as it was a good day!

Bottom left: a lucky red packet from my parents for Chinese New Year. As you can see, the order in which I stick things in is completely random!

Middle: A Harrods Laduree receipt - for, what else? Macarons! And surprisingly, they appear to be gluten-free as I've never had a reaction to them.

Top right: A Laduree leaflet that comes with their macarons.

Middle right: my boyfriend's business card - why not?

Bottom right: My ticket to the Harry Potter studio tour - cos it was a.m.a.z.i.n.g. Maybe it was cos I grew up with it but I honestly thought that it was great. Not worth the ticket price though, but I enjoyed the experience all the same.

So, no washi tape, no stickers and no fancy writing or coloured pens to be seen.

How do you journal?

8 Aug 2012

guest post on thoughts and explorations

Today, I've done a guest post on Deborah's blog: Thoughts and Explorations as part of the Philofaxy All Stars tour.

For those of you who love handbags, you definitely need to check out her post on the Modalu Pippa bags. That post made my lust for that model grow even more (I wanted one prior to that anyway!) and that post made me want one even more!

Anyway, she's quite new to the blogging world so do go take a look :)

7 Aug 2012

spare diary note pages

Whilst decluttering my room, I found some old diaries I used a few years back. I came across this one:

And I remember it being well-loved and also well used. I also remember loving the illustrations and the paper quality! It was bought during my month-long holiday to Hong Kong in the summer of 2009 and it was only about $10 (HK dollars), which equates to less than a British pound. Yep, you heard right; and I'm not lying to you! This low price of stationery honestly makes me consider moving to Hong Kong sometime in my life.

Before I state the point of this post, let me just show you a week spread from my first year at uni (before I reverted to a Filofax!).

Within this diary, there were a lot of blank pages for note-taking. A lot of these pages weren't used so I decided to rip them out and trim them down to size. After doing that, I hole punched them so that they will fit into my Filofax. Here are a few photos showing some of the pages.

Some pages, pre-lined:

Check out the lovely illustration shown in the next picture:

And more illustrated pages:

At the back of the diary were pages for addresses and details of friends, family, etc. I also ripped these out and trimmed them down to size. I'm not sure I will ever use them (as I don't really write letters anymore due to the ease of e-mail).

And a close-up of the latter half of the address page:

I'm planning on going to Hong Kong again in a few months time (or maybe even next month) but only if I save up enough through selling on eBay! If I do go, I will definitely be stocking up on cute stationery and maybe even cute diaries which have the potential to have their pages ripped out and punched for use in my Filofax.

Sometimes I wish that Filofax did a cuter range of inserts too. This would also be a decent marketing ploy as it could encourage more teenagers to use the Filofax brand; but also allow it to tap significantly into the East Asian market. Just saying!