...yes, it's a strange addiction.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Link Roundup

I probably won't get around to much more blogging before the end of the year, so this might be my last link roundup for 2012.  Have to see how things go, and how much time I have for surfing the 'net next week.

This week's list is heavy on websites that offer advice/templates/discussions about blog planners. I'm trying to come up with one of my own, so I've been looking for ideas.  Lots of good ones out there, but so far none of them suit my needs exactly, so I'll just have to keep thinking about it.






Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Plannerisms Planner Giveaway

Just a heads-up: Over at the Plannerisms blog, the amazing Laurie is hosting a worldwide giveaway of one of her new Going Places planners. You can see photos and read all about the planners and the giveaway here. Great opportunity to try one of these lovely-looking new items.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Weekly Link Roundup

I've been keeping my own private "links of interest" list for a while now -- a little roundup of the interesting blog posts, videos, articles, and websites I find each week. This week, I thought I'd go ahead and share it.  I'm hoping to make this a regular blog feature in the new year.
  1. Fossil wallet plus DayTimer 2PPD (@Sense of Gravity)
  2. Using the Plannerisms planner as a Goals workbook (@Plannerisms)
  3. Old Art Journals Rediscovered: Collage Journal (@A Penchant for Paper)
  4. A Virgin Planner (@Bits of Me)
  5. I Will Catch Up (@My Supply Room)
  6. New Premium Line of TUL Pens from OfficeMax (@No Pen Intended)
  7. Notebook Addict of the Week (again) -- Kara (@Notebook Stories)
  8. Review: Bound Custom Journals (@Notebook Stories)
  9. Avery NoteTabs Heart and Apple Shape (@OfficeSupplyGeek)
  10. Web Finds -- 8 December 2012 (@Philofaxy)
  11. Beyond Transportation and Stationery (@Scription)
  12. Going to give my personal size a go...Again (@Planning Is Nirvana)
  13. Permanent Apparently Doesn’t Mean Forever – Sharpies Fade (@Tiger Pens Blog)
  14. Finally! Tabbed Inserts for the Compact (@Well Planned Life)
  15. The Tell-All Planner (@Well Planned Life)
  16. DIY Planner Cover-First Look! (@School Supply Dance)
  17. Diary testing: 2PPD (@Living with Liisa)
  18. Free 2013 Calendar Inserts Available for Download (@Journaling Arts)
  19. ARC Customizable Notebook System From Staples (@Inkophile)
  20. Raider of the (not really Lost) Arc (@the zeitgeist of zoe) 
  21. Cahier Bookmark (@My Moleskine)
  22. Living With A Traveler’s Notebook (@Recording Thoughts)
  23. DIY Planner (@Stellaire)
  24. Blog planner (@Little Lovelies)
  25. DIY Planner (@The Tiny Nest in China)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

New Filofax Set-Up (What, Again?)

Just spent a very pleasant morning organizing the new set-up in my Personal size Finsbury.

I've gone back to Finny after a torrid but brief love affair with the Erin Condren Life Planner. The Condren planner is gorgeous...

and really fun to use (love all those colors and pithy quotes):

But it weighs a ton and is just a little too big to conveniently throw into my handbag and take along.  And at $50 plus shipping charges, it really does require complete commitment. Ultimately, though, I just got frustrated with not being able to move things around in it. Same problem I always have with bound planners -- I'm attracted to them, but in the end they always let me down. Planner love hurts.

Which reminds me -- I need to do a blog post about all the planners I've tried this year.  More on that later.

Right now, I just want to do a little Filo show and tell.  For my 2013 system, I'm going with both monthly (month on two pages)

and weekly (week on two pages, horizontal spread) diary pages.

That seemed to work pretty well this year, so thought I'd try it again.  And next year, for the first time, I'm going to give these Filofax day-planner pages a try:

That means monthly, weekly, AND daily scheduling and notes, which definitely could be overkill. Especially if I'm going to go on keeping my separate daily diary, too. So -- not sure how long that will last.

And I finally decided to go ahead and do a little tab editing.

Up to now I've just used the tabs that came with the Filo (Diary, Notes, Projects, Information, Financial, Addresses), but I've never been really satisfied with those designations (I never really used the Financial tab at all, since I don't keep financial info in my planner). So I got out my trusty P-Touch and printed up some labels with my own categories, and pasted them on. 

"Monthly" and "Weekly" are obvious. The "Daily" tab will house those day-planner pages (at least until I figure out if they're usable or not).  "Lists/Info" is also self-explanatory; I've cleared out all the old lists, so right now all I've got is a list of movies I want to watch, and a few shopping notes.

The "Projects" section is a bit of a catch-all area. At the moment it's mostly taken up with lists of household projects and plans. But I'm hoping to use it for various craft projects too, when I get around to doing crafty things again.

And the "Addresses" section remains the same.  Won't show any photos of that, since I'm using it to store a few passwords and personal info, too.  All in code, of course, but even so....

One of these days, I really want to make my own tabbed dividers using decorative papers or cards -- something a little more colorful and interesting than these generic manila dividers. But that's a project (and a blog post!) for another day.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Paper Mate Flair Ultra Fine Point Pens

These Paper Mate Flair felt tip pens in Ultra Fine Point are becoming my favorite go-to pens for everyday use. I bought a pack of eight from Amazon -- all the local shops seem to carry only the medium point variety.  They're probably not perfect for every sort of paper, but on the fairly heavy-weight paper in these ECOeverywhere notebooks, they work very nicely.

I don't notice much feathering -- well, maybe just a bit.  And hardly any show-through on the back of the page -- actually, none that I can see.  As I say, thinner paper might prove more of a problem (haven't tried them in my Filofax yet).

I'm not an artist, so I don't know how they'd be for drawing with -- but I know they're pretty good for doodling:

Note: I have no affiliation with Paper Mate, ECOeverywhere, or Amazon; these opinions are my own and were not solicited or encouraged by any commercial entity.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Enough With the Diaries Already!

Following up on my last post, about my search for diaries for next year and the last two months of this year....

(Yes, I know you've all been on the edge of your seats out there, just waiting breathlessly for the next installment. The excitement in the air is positively tangible!)

Seriously folks, I have devoted an annoyingly huge amount of my time to this problem these last few weeks.  Finally found the elusive daily diary for 2013 (see the post about it here), but that still left me with two months of 2012 to cover (my current diary only made it to the end of October).  So I was in something of a quandary.  (Which is right next to a kankedort, and a painful position in which to find oneself, believe me.)

But (drum roll, please) after much searching and comparing and hemming and hawing -- I think I've found my book. When I was surfing Amazon, I discovered ECOeverywhere, a line of journals, sketchbooks, and photo albums created by Sun Graphix.  All recycled material (which is good), and made in the USA (which is even better).  Dozens of gorgeous cover designs available, and the journals were the perfect size (about 7.5 by 8.5 inches).  And they were really inexpensive, too!  Couldn't resist that, so I ordered a few just to test.

That one on top is adorable, isn't it?  Haven't decided on a use for it yet.  And the one pictured below, I bought just because I collect Alice in Wonderland books and ephemera, so I had to have this one:

And here's the one I'll be using as my diary for November and December (called "Autumn Leaves"):

The back cover is just as cute as the front (the back says 2011, Helen Dardik, so I'm assuming that's the designer's name):

They have a Smyth sewn binding so they lay pretty flat for writing, and the spine is a nice coordinating color:
Here's a shot of the inside pages:

Each page has the little green leaf graphic down in the corner at the bottom -- cute, but I think I'd rather have that space for writing.  Also, the paper seems OK -- not quite as smooth as I'd like, but the Quo Vadis diary I've been using has probably made me over-finicky about paper quality.  This should be fine.  The specs on Amazon say it's acid free, but I can't find anything in the actual product that makes that claim -- just that it's 100% recycled.  Each one has 80 sheets, making them 160 pages, front and back.  And the lines are made of light green dots -- not sure how I'm going to like that.  I think I'm OK with the green -- the dots...maybe not so much.

Anyway, at $4 apiece, I thought they were a great buy.  I checked Amazon just now and found that they've gone up to more than double that price, which is way more than I'd pay for one.  So I guess I just got lucky with these.  Now I just need to do something interesting enough to write about!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dear Diary: Gotcha!

Well, I think at last I've found it.  After weeks (many, many weeks) of searching online and in the local shops, I've finally found what I believe is going to be my daily diary for 2013.  Here's a photo:

It's an "It's about time" page-per-day diary from Brownline.  Haven't used this particular product before, but when I was still working we used a lot of Brownline office supplies, and I was always pretty satisfied with their quality. It's approximately the same size as the At-a-Glance Standard Diary, which is what I figured I'd go with -- until I found the Brownline.  For some reason, I find this one a little more esthetically pleasing than the Standard Diary -- might just be that slightly Deco-looking logo on the front.

Also, the Brownline was a little less expensive (I ordered mine from Amazon), making it even more attractive!  Here's a shot comparing it to what I've been using for the last couple of years, an undated Exacompta Forum Journal in the 5"x7" size. 

I absolutely love the cover shade of the Exacompta (it's a Quo Vadis Club Cover), the size of the journal, and the paper quality (yummy!).  But I found that I was frequently using more than one page per day, so I really wanted something just a tad larger.  And, at 8-and-a-half-inches by almost 6-inches, the Brownline fills that requirement perfectly. 

It also has a lot of other features I really like.  For instance, each month's section begins with a two-page monthly calendar spread, with nice big squares (over an inch tall) to write in. 

Each two-day spread includes mini calendars (for last month, current month, and coming months).  And major holidays are printed at the top of the pages, small and out of the way.

I didn't take a photo of this, but most months have a "memorandum" page following the last day's page, for notes or to-do lists.  There's a four-page planner for 2014 at the back of the diary (again, no photo -- sorry).  And the inside back cover includes calendars for 1800 to 2050!

So, with all that going for it, I'm hoping this is going to be fun and efficient to use.  The only possibly negative feature I've found is that the paper is a little thin.  But it seems to take a variety of ink very well, without a lot of show-through.  And since I generally use gel ink or ballpoint, I don't think that's going to be a problem.  And face it, after the Exacompta, any other paper is going to feel like a falling-off.

Well, I think that's it for now.  I keep saying this (and I keep meaning it, but don't seem to be able to follow through), but I really do want to get this blog going.  Which means I really need to try to post a little more frequently than twice a year!

Oh, and before I sign off, I want to say something about my search.  As I said, it's taken me a long, long time to find the (fingers crossed) perfect diary.  I'm not sure why it should be so difficult to find a simple one-page-per-day diary in the US.  I found plenty online, for sale in Europe and the UK.  I guess Americans just don't buy diaries anymore.  And here I'm not talking about planners or organizers or agendas or appointment books or journals (although I use those, too!).  What I wanted was just a simple daily diary with one page for each day of the year. With the dates pre-printed, but without hours and minutes pre-printed (I'm not going to use it to keep track of appointments).  And at a reasonable price -- say, less than a hundred bucks.  Make that much less than a hundred bucks!

I did find tons of gorgeous journals available at our local Barnes & Noble. But none of them had the requisite 365-page format, so I would have ended up using two (or more likely, one and a half) for the year.  Not optimal.  

Now I just need to figure out what I'm going to do about November and December.  The Exacompta will get me through October, but I'll need something to use for those last two months of 2012 until I can start using the new diary on January 1st.  So I guess I'm heading out on yet another search!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dear Diary: Where Are You?

This is something I'd like to expand on later. But for now, I just have to ask: Why is it so *&^%-ing hard to find a reasonably-priced, one-page-per-day diary?

Not a planner. Not a calendar. Not an appointment book or engagement book or agenda or organizer. Just a simple journal or notebook with good paper, and at least 365 empty pages, for under a hundred bucks?

Is that really too much to wish for?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Blog Fail?

Can't believe how I've neglected this blog. Haven't posted anything for six months! Just got it started and then abandoned the poor thing. And it's not that I've conquered my addiction to office supplies, diaries, planners, etc. -- far from it. No, it's just that the last few months have been really hectic around here, and I've had all I can handle just keeping up with my book blog.

But I didn't want the new year to get too far along without posting something here -- nothing earth-shaking, just a post to get me re-started. Maybe that will be the nudge I need.

So here's my latest haul from JetPens (it's becoming my favorite place to hang out):

Starting over on the far right, we have:
  • 1 Uni-ball Jetstream Color Ink Series Ballpoint, 0.5mm, Blue Black Ink
  • 1 Uni-ball Jetstream Ballpoint--Basic Series, 0.5mm, Blue Ink
  • 1 Zebra Techno Line Limited Edition Ballpoint, Light Green Body, 0.4mm, Black Ink
  • 3 Zebra Sarasa Push Clip Gel Ink Pens, all 0.4mm: Viridian Green; Cobalt Blue; and Blue Black
  • 3 Uni Signo 207 Retractable Gel Ink Pens, all 0.38mm: Blue Body/Blue Ink; Light Blue Body/Light Blue Ink; and Black Body/Black Ink
    and finally:
  • 1 Rotring Tikky Graphic Drawing Pen, 0.3mm, Black Pigment Ink
And here's a little writing sample/test (click on photo to get a little better view). Sorry the photo isn't as clear as it might be -- it was hard to get a good shot today because of the weather. Also sorry about that dotted "e" in Jetstream!

I went a little overboard on the ballpoints, I'm afraid. I don't really use ballpoints that much, but once in a while they do come in handy; and these looked so tempting. I ordered the Limited Edition Zebra Techno pen because it's tiny and I was looking for something small to carry in my handbag. It's not terribly easy to handle, but it writes an extra-fine line that I like a lot; and since I won't be doing a great deal of writing with it, I think it'll work. Of the three, I believe the Basic Series Jetstream is my favorite -- writes really smoothly, even on cheap paper, and seems not to blot or smear as much as the other two.

I've only recently discovered the Zebra Sarasa Push Clips. So far, I do like the feel of the pens and the variety of colors. Not sure they're going to replace my favorite Signo RT's, though. Lately, I've been using one of the 207s with light blue ink for just about all my everyday writing. I love that the pen is slightly chunky (good for arthritic fingers) and yet very lightweight (ditto), and the ink color is almost a turquoise (which is, of course, the loveliest shade of ink).

Not sure exactly why I thought I had to have the Tikky Graphic Drawing Pen. I'm not an artist and don't do a lot of drawing, so I'll probably end up using it as a marker pen more than an artist's tool. But it's definitely a great little drawing pen -- feels very solid and lays down a nice smooth, even, very black line. Doesn't seem to have that "sticky" feeling on the page that a lot of drawing pens have. Not much feathering that I can see, and only a slight amount of bleed-through on the back of the page; but I used a Levenger's Circa notebook for the test, and the paper is pretty thick. I was expecting the 0.3mm pen to provide a slightly finer line, but that's the only quibble I have with it. Maybe I need to order another one in a different size, hmmmm?