22 Jul 2020

a trial by error: a bullet journal for 2020 using a papier notebook!

This post has two parts to it. First, an introduction to Papier notebooks (this is not a sponsored post -  I'm just a very happy customer) and then an introduction to my bullet journal for 2021... Yes, I've finally done it and bit the bullet (pun intended).

Papier offer personalised notebooks in three different layouts: dot grid, lined or plain. I bought three: one was a gift for my sister and the other two were (naturally) for myself. The floral one is lined and the Miffy one is a dot-grid layout. Both come with 90gsm paper, a hardback cover, one ribbon page marker and contain 192 pages. They don't have a pen loop or a back pocket.

I decided to use the Miffy one for my 2021 bullet journal and here comes the second part of this blog post. My bullet journal all set-up, ready to go! (Name not blurred out here as my Instagram and Twitter now have it freely on show.)

My first page was a difficult one to commit to paper. It's a common feeling so not wanting to ruin a new notebook and I decided to take the plunge and just go for it. It's not perfect but it'll do!

The all important index, all ready to be filled in as the journal itself gets filled. 

Next, a mood tracker based on how my day went. We'll see if I tend to be a pessimist or an optimist with this spread...

A future log for any events that are coming up but cannot yet my filled into the monthly or weekly spreads as they are so far in advance. I quite like this view as I can see the upcoming year at a glance.

This year is a big one for me. I have a few goals: one of which include moving into my own house. Having not been abroad since October 2019, I would also like to take a small holiday at some point in 2021 so saving for that is another priority. We'll see how this pans out!

A work checklist here. It is based on the most recent checklist I could find and it keeps me accountable and productive in work-related activities.

With my yearly goal of reading as many books as possible (I read about one book a week at the moment - much slower than when I was at medical school!), I like to keep track of books completed. Another thing I don't do often enough is watch films so that is something I want to do more of this year. This tracker will surely help.

I'm always on the quest to improve myself in all aspects of my life so my own 'personal development plan' (PDP) will hopefully help me with this. PDPs are common in my line of work but I try and make my own so much more, including my personal life and goals in there too. Obviously, the personal side of things don't get documented on my work portfolio.

And onto my first monthly spread! I am going to try a linear vertical monthly spread for January and see how it goes before potentially trying something different for February.

And onto my first weekly spread! I am doing a week to one page to start off with and as my week's start on a Monday, I've included the last week of 2019 in there. This also means I get to start this journal sooner so, win win?

This is all still very new to me but it'll be good to try something different and out of my comfort zone.  Once this journal is filled, I think my next one will have to be one of my Leuchtturms or an Archer and Olive journal. We'll see how this all goes!


In a plot twist, I decided to give bullet journaling a go earlier this month. I've posted a few snippets over on my Instagram already but a full blog post will follow at some point once things calm down in a few weeks' time!

1 Jul 2020

dreaming of better days through my travel journal

During lockdown, I was meant to be on holiday for a few weeks, traveling Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Obviously, this never happened. But if it had, it would all have been planned in this notebook. This notebook has been with me to a number of places already and my hope is to fill it before long.

My most recent holiday was a long weekend in Lisbon back in October. It was a reward for passing an exam and it was also nice to get out of the country for a bit!

Planning the trip, I always start by noting a rough guide for each day. Sometimes things change depending on my mood which is fine - but I do like to have a skeleton plan for every holiday I take. I'm not the type to fly somewhere spontaneously and just make plans on the day. Maybe that will change one day!

The next bit is an outfit plan so that I know what to pack. And then comes the packing list. This helps to ensure I don't leave any essentials behind here in the UK and also helps for when I pack to come home (to ensure nothing gets left there too!).

I then write a brief list of things I want to see. I work with a some lovely Portuguese nurses who were amazing in giving me a list of 'must-see' attractions. I went to every single one of their recommendations!

Every night, I wrote a journal entry detailing the events of that day and also what I ate (very important information). I don't usually travel with a fountain pen just in case they leak. Therefore, a Muji gel pen accompanied me on this trip.

In the top right corner, you'll see that there is a circular sticker I have folded in half in line with the page. This is a marker for the end of that 'chapter' of the notebook and the beginning of another trip.

I'm not sure where and when my next trip will be but it'll definitely be planned in this notebook. Australia is on my bucket list so that is a possibility if I can get a stretch of annual leave long enough to make the most of a trip there. Fingers crossed!

10 Jun 2020

pretty things: Leuchtturm 1917 A5 notebooks in bellini, powder and sage!

As mentioned in my previous post, I do like pretty things. So when I saw that these Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks were available for purchase.... Well.... You can pretty much guess what happened.

These are destined to be my future journals and over the last few months, my journaling habits have changed. I now write in my journal most days - it's good for a brain dump, helps my mental health and ensures I get a restful sleep most nights. Doing this enables me to write about the good things that have happened, the things that have irked me or have resulted in negative thoughts and also the random nuances of my day that I will read about in the future and (hopefully) have a chuckle about. 

The only question is... In which order do I use these beauties?!

20 May 2020

the twsbi eco rose gold in an extra fiiiiiine nib

Those of you who know me will know that I like a pretty fountain pen (or two....hundred... kidding, kinda). So when TWSBI announced that this year would be a rose gold year, I knew I wanted in on the action. The first rose gold offering is this Eco. The previous rose gold fountain pen TWSBI made had anything but raving reviews - the plating was allegedly of a poor quality and some buyers were left disappointed. However, they have assured customers that they have worked on this and the rose gold releases from this year will hopefully not be plagued with the same problems.

Anyway, here is the pen! I already have an Eco and know of its many benefits: the huuuuuuuge ink capacity, the demonstrator design so that you can see exactly how much ink is left, how lightweight it is in hand and its simplistic design.

One difference about the other Ecos and this one is the packaging. It came with this lovely cardboard sleeve which has the TWSBI logo in a rose gold hue. To me, this sleeve just looks that bit more elegant. The frosted plastic box is the same as always.

The rose gold accents complement the white elements beautifully.... If you like rose gold that is (I know it's not everyone's cup of tea!). The first ink I chose for mine? J. Herbin's Rouille d'Ancre. I love this ink but haven't had much opportunity to use it as work calls for a darker ink.

This is a beauty of a pen and it'll be a regular in my 'constantly inked' arsenal of pens. It currently has Robert Oster's Tranquility in it (an aptly named ink for the current times) but once that runs dry, who knows what I opt for next? All I know is, it will most definitely be inked.