29 Apr 2014

review: daycraft animal pals x aberdeen movie collab notebooks

One of my guilty pleasures is watching a Hong Kong movie in bed with snacks (Brazil nuts are my current favourite). In the past, movies were quite conservative and rarely broached more controversial (for want of a better word) subjects but recently, films and TV series seem to have adopted a more Western attitude towards intimate scenes/issues and the like.

Anyway, the notebooks shown above are to promote a film that will be released on the 8th of May and its English title is Aberdeen. The Chinese symbols for the film literally translates to 'little Hong Kong' which is the Chinese name for Aberdeen - a real place in Hong Kong. You can read more about the film here or you can watch the trailer here (it has English subtitles).

So what do a whale and a chameleon have to do with a film about a family living in Hong Kong? Well, they are two characters (if I can call them that) within the film. These notebooks are by Daycraft and they have helpfully constructed a page to explain the concept behind these notebooks. The notebooks are approximately A6 in size.


Each notebook comes with a set of three postcards that help promote the film.

Inside, you are greeted with the signature Daycraft cream paper (100gsm!) and they also have an illustration, either relating to a chameleon or whale, depending on which notebook you opt for.

There is also a ribbon page marker within these notebooks but I forgot to take a picture of them. The whale one has a pale blue one and the chameleon one has an emerald green one.

At the back, there is a pocket where you can slip in receipts or any other bits you want to keep safe.

The lovely design at the front continues at the back, where you can see the name of the film printed in both English and Traditional Chinese.

Overall, I really love these notebooks. They are cute and different to the normal plain notebooks I use. In terms of quality, the covers are very thick but still easily manipulated. They are well designed notebooks and the varying textures felt on the cover gives it that extra oomph. You can kind of the see the textures in the pictures above - the whale teeth are textured (not so obvious) and the stitching adds to that too.

If you'd like to see more, do visit the Daycraft site. Even if you don't, they have other Animal Pals notebooks on offer and I can definitely see them making great gifts or stocking fillers (bit early for that, I know but this is a blog about being organised!).

Thank you, Shadow from Daycraft, for sending me these notebooks to review :)

NB: Although I received these products as review samples, I have reviewed them just as I would have if I had paid for them.

27 Apr 2014

my week #106

This week is the only break I will get before my summer holiday starts at the beginning of July. However, my diary pages are more filled than ever. Each day is filled with a mammoth to-do list and also plans to meet people or do things. 

The highlight of my week was definitely on Thursday night when I saw McBusted at the O2 in London. For those who don't know, McBusted is the sum of two bands called McFly and Busted and I have been fans of both bands ever since they burst onto the music scene. No one was more excited than myself and my sister when we heard they would be going on tour so when we got tickets back in November, April the 24th seemed a long time away!

Anyway, it was amazing and I would definitely call it the best night of my life so far. All of my teenage dreams came true in one night and I wish the night could have lasted forever.

How has your week been?

24 Apr 2014

back to my Smythson!

I looked at my blog archive and found that the last time I was in my Smythson was back in 'my week #73'. Whilst I enjoyed my time in my compact orange Metropol, it just didn't compare to the feel (and smell!) of leather but also, the quality of my Smythson.

I'm still in the process of tweaking its set-up so once that is done, I will do an updated post of how it has been organised. In the meantime, here is a picture of what you'll be greeted with if you open up my binder:

Page flags, ready to highlight pages in textbooks and my notes that need attention; dot stickers to colour code certain events and heart stickers just because.

20 Apr 2014

my week #105

I now have a week off from the craziness but it will be a week where I am rushing all over the place and seeing friends who I've not seen in a while.

Last week, I was due to go out for dinner twice but one of the dinners was postponed until after the week's break. Luckily, I had written this dinner on a sticky tab so I can just peel it off this week and transfer it to the new date it has been booked for. Other than that, it has been a busy week (again) - especially as we lose the Friday due to it being a bank holiday. I took advantage of the four day week by (finally) watching Frozen - I might be 23 years of age but I still enjoy a good Disney movie!

This bank holiday weekend is one where I will be sorting out my notes, catching up on anything I might have missed and catching up on sleep!

How has your week been? Do you have anything interesting planned for the week ahead?

17 Apr 2014

term two's essentials

My second term comes to an end today and I thought it would be a good time to review my 'studying essentials'. These are the items that have been invaluable for me and I will explain why and how I used them to my advantage.

First up, the above picture shoes a to-do list pad, some sticky flags and post-it notes. I only started using the to-do list during my revision week for fine little details that needed my immediate attention before the imminent exam. The two lots of sticky flags were useful for highlighting pages of conditions in various medical textbooks and also for separating the non-science lectures from my more clinical/science ones in my folder (as the sections are assessed in different ways in the exam).

For group work, I use an A4 spiral bound notebook and the one of choice this term was this pink one from Oxford. The paper is lovely and thick and the notebook means I don't have to lug an impossibly heavy A4 folder to uni twice a week (though I ended up doing that in the run-up to exams where I stayed late at uni to revise).

Of course, I couldn't live without my diary and for most of this term, I was in a compact orange Filofax Metropol but I moved back into my Smythson binder for the remaining few weeks. 

In terms of pens, I couldn't keep my hands off the Pilot Juice ones I impulse bought in Hong Kong (definitely one of my better impulse buys) and Muji gels. The blue pens I used were a Uniball Protech, Uniball Eye Needle, Muji gel and a Zebra Hyper Jell.

As I was all about mind maps and diagrams this term, I found these Papermate Flair pens invaluable. I won these in a competition Porsche, over at Coffee and Stationery (thank you, Porsche!), held a few months' ago and although they are felt-tip pens, they are thin nibbled enough to be used as normal pens.

I bought some folders while in Hong Kong and these Kaweco ones were great. They can each hold 300 sheets and I found that this capacity was only just enough for the two modules this term.

Finally, these Martha Stewart x Avery x Staples plastic tabs were great for separating my work because each week, we do a patient case (the name being made up but the case is based on a real life scenario) and one week's case can be vastly different to another's.

This term, I tried a completely different approach to my work and study and I think it has worked better for me. Of course, it was probably helped by the cute essentials I used in this post :)

13 Apr 2014

my week #104 - 2 year anniversary!

This week marks the two-year anniversary of this feature. Unfortunately, there is nothing special about this week! Aside from a lot of work and study (hello leaving the house at 7:20am and not getting home til 6:30pm if I'm lucky...), I've not really done much else. However, I'm on top of all of my work so I guess these long hours at uni have been worth it. There's a lot of anatomy to learn for this module and I'm actually enjoying learning it all!

Only one more week until I get ten days off. Although ten days sounds like nothing, I'll be grateful for a bit of a rest! This term started in the first week of January and ends next week. Longest. Term. Ever.

What have you been up to? Hope your week has been good!

10 Apr 2014

my preparation for exams (term two)

For this second lot of exams, I took a different approach to revision. I decided to use mind maps, hand-drawn diagrams and flashcards as my main modes of revision and I decided not to write out lecture notes as I found it time-consuming and really not that helpful.

An example of a hand-drawn diagram I made is this one:

In the above diagram, I also colour coded - for example, Na+ is in orange, H2O is in blue, etc.

Mind maps were useful for anatomy and for more complex concepts. For example, I attended a lecture on the digestive system and I wanted to condense the sheer amount of information I needed to learn for the exam. In order to do this, I connected all of the clinically relevant things in one mind map. I made it a bit more interesting by adding some colour but there was no colour coding on this occasion.

With my bus journey being one hour each morning and each evening (sometimes more if traffic is bad - it was ninety minutes throughout March due to roadworks), instead of spending that time staring into space, I made flashcards to use for my commute.

The flashcards are very boring and not exactly aesthetically pleasing but they do the job. I only made flashcards for things I found it hard to remember and the condensation of information on each card means that learning big chunks of information isn't as intimidating as they could be than if I was just reading them off some lecture slides.

In terms of organising my revision, I allocated two days to each condition studied (so, two days for each week) and this allowed me to decide when to start hardcore revision and also ensured that I got everything done in time for the exams. Of course, I revised at the end of each week too so I managed to avoid cramming (something I'm not a massive fan of but did a lot in my first degree!).

Finally, I made use of practice questions I found online, in books or supplied by my uni. They were invaluable in showing me where the holes in my knowledge were but also helped me learn new things. In fact, some practice questions I did came up in the real exams so this is one thing I'll definitely do again next time.

6 Apr 2014

my week #103

This is the first week of my new module and I thought it would be a good idea to schedule in a few events where I catch up with people I hadn't seen for a while due to exams at the end of the last module. This has resulted in a significant dent to my bank account and probably a few kilograms in weight gained too. Back to some running it is then...

How has your week been?

3 Apr 2014

term two lecture notes

This term, I've opted not to write out every single lecture because it is just too time-consuming. As a result, my term two notes looked considerably different to my term one notes.

I am still using washi tape to highlight titles and sub-sections. For example, I have a 'handover' guide:

After each week, I summarise that week's work on a single side of A4 (sometimes, it turns into both sides of A4 if it's a week with a lot of content). This helps me look back at the week quickly and allow me to decide what to concentrate revision on because this summary helps me pinpoint what things I struggled with.

I also decided to start summarising things on A3 paper. This condenses the information and makes learning it all more manageable.

If I struggled with any lecture content, I would write the difficult bits out instead and then annotate it with scribblings that help me make sense of things.

On the actual lecture slides, I would put a sticky note at the front, referring to the clinically significant slides:

Each week, I have an anatomy session in the dissection room and we get given some anatomy sheets. I download these sheets and then stick in some pictures and diagrams that aid my learning. I then go back to these notes and highlight things that I kept forgetting.

After each tutorial, I summarised the content and broke it down into smaller chunks. Here is an example:

I am still using coloured pens as I find that colour aids my learning.

All in all, I just condensed information and summarised everything. It's easy to get bogged down in the minute detail of everything but that's not required for this course. I quickly learnt that breadth easily trumps depth on this course!

If you have any questions about these notes and how I organise them, please do leave a comment or email me and I will try my best to respond in a timely manner. However, please bear in mind that my time is severely stretched at the moment and it might take me a few days to a few weeks to answer sometimes! (Apologies to those who have already experienced this!)