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2017 Planners – This is what I am using

Hi there! I hope you’re enjoying the last few days of 2016, which has been an outstanding, fulfilling and interesting year, to say the least. But, tell me, how was this year for you? For me, if I can describe it with one word it would be “GROWTH” in many aspects of my life. It has been crazy at times but also, a great year overall. I can’t complain, I really can’t!

From here on I move on with gratefulness in my heart, but also with high hopes that this year will be even better. Where I will continuing growing spiritually, mentally and also, emotionally. But anyway, a great tool to help us move forward and stay focused is our planners. Whatever it is that inspires you to write it down, set goals, subgoals and write about your progress, I encourage you to do it! Use paper and pens, use your planners, look at them every day, read your notes but most important, capture what sparks creativity, reflection, and ideas. These are great ways to stay in spired and on track.

Now, I would love to show you the planners and journals I will be using for 2017. This is a collection of planners, but also notebooks that I find necessary for me to work on the different aspects of my life. Especially the ones I have decided need more work.

Now, while I definitely recommend you to buy a planner for this upcoming year, you don’t have to — at all — have as many planners or notebooks as I am. This is what works for me and these are the planners that I have carefully selected among a plethora of binders, books, notebooks, new planners and much more. I will show you the pictures I have taken and also describe their purposes one by one. I hope this is helpful but please, let me know your thoughts and also, let me know what planners are you using this year?

My planners are:

  1. Hobonichi Cousin in A5 – This will be the meat and potatoes of my planner system. This is a planner that will house all my future plans and day to day activities pertaining to my personal life — as individual, wife, mom and pup-mom –, my work life, and will help me keep track of everything I need to keep in mind, do, foresee and plan on a daily basis but also in the future. This will serve as both, a life and work planner.
  2.  My hobonichi techo in A6 – This will be my art journal or creative journal. Everything will go for this planner. I used to have a notebook that I used for this purpose but it was getting chunky and I ended up not using it. This small but mighty planner will do better and it is more portable.
  3. Hobonichi weeks — When you are a mom, you realize that there are a few things that are important to keep at hand, such as doctor’s appointments, doctor’s phone numbers, dates, vaccines, school dates, and everything that comes with the lives of little ones. Because I realized that at times I was losing track of what vaccines my child had had or what phone numbers belonged to who — yes I have them on my phone but it is easier to have them written, at least for me — I decided to use a hobonichi weeks, especially to keep memories, milestones and other highlights of my son’s life. This will be a planner that I can take with me on a quick trip to the hospital if need be.
  4. My pocket moleskine — This will be a place for me to write, write, write and write. It helps me stay sane to write things down, when I am overwhelmed, happy, sad, to reflect, to meditate, to ponder, to just let it go. This will be a great way to write things and have this small notebook with me. I can’t wait to use it!
  5. My Filofax pink fluoro in A5 — With inserts from yellow paper house and miscellaneous, this will be my financial planner.
  6. My kikki.K cute daily diary in A5 — This planner, honestly, I bought it because it was cute! It was a complete impulse purchase but I still plan on using it. We might be relocating to another country so I decided to keep this planner as a way to write down things that must get done and keep track of our timeline, especially to know that all things related to our move are in there.

This is it! I am ready to tackle 2017 and make it a year of rennovation, growth and happiness! Next time I will cover how to find your word of the year. I have not found mine yet but I am looking!

Thanks for reading and happy planning for 2017!

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This is my 2016 A6 Hobonichi, it has been with me through all this year. 

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When in doubt, be a unicorn – Happy Monday!

Stationery Mondays

The other day I went to Black Ink, which is a store that sells Japanese goods, including stationery. They have a great variety of all-paper things, and I could easily spend HOURS there! I have written about this store before and you can read about it here

The shop has a great variety of erasers. I was looking into the bowl full of cute erasers and i found this one. I love it and for some reason, this little guy makes me smile so he lives on my desk. I hope it’ll make you smile too! Have a great Monday and a great week. Leave me your comments below and let me know if you like cute erasers.

Thanks for reading this short post,

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unicorn

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Planner stories from around the world

Meet Isabel from Mexico

Hi everyone, today’s story comes from Mexico, please share it and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog, that way you will be notified whenever I upload a new post.
Thank you for reading!

Who are you? What is your name or instagram name if you don’t want to display your name, where are you from and where do you live?

My name is Isabel, I’m from Mexico and I live in Mexico City; my Instagram name is Issyfrage and I mostly post about my love for stationery, planners, colorful things, positive quotes and sometimes I also post about my everyday life.

What notebooks do you currently use, what for and why these particular notebooks?

I currently use 4 planners which are the following:

  1. This month I’m using a Royal Purple Dokibook with zip as my Main Planner (since I have collected a lot of planners throughout the year, I switch the binder every month, although my sections remain the same) I have 5 different sections:
    1. Yearly and Monthly overview, here I have all the important appointments, due dates, holidays, vacation days, birthdays, concert dates, Netflix premières hahaha!.
    2. Bullet Journal, this is the section I use the most, I jot down all of the things I have to do every single day, from remembering to check my email to meetings with friends, I have a terrible memory, so this section is basically my life saver.
    3. Week at a glance, since my bullet journal contains a lot of important information, I don’t like to decorate too much and get distracted from my tasks, however we Planner Girls love planning because it’s a way of expressing our creativity so in this section I get to use all my beautiful supplies: color pens, washi tape, stickers, stamps, sticky notes etc.
    4. Contacts, in this Planner Community you’re always sending and receiving “happy mail” from your friends around the world, either planners, supplies, anything you can’t find in your country or sometimes even Birthday/ Valentine’s /Christmas surprise packages
    5. Brain Dump, because I always need a blank page where I can write down whatever without worrying about ruining my pretty layouts
  2. A Fluro Pink Original Filofax  as my Fitness Planner: Fitness has always been an important part of my life, so I had to dedicate an entire planner to it; in here I basically track the meals and exercise I do every day and I also have other fun  sections such as: Healthy Recipes, Tips &Tricks, Motivation and Challenges
  3. A Turquoise Domino Filofax as my work binder: This isn’t a planner exactly, but when you’re a Planner Girl, you always want to find a purpose for all the beautiful binders you own, so I decided to use this one for my work. I’m an English teacher, so I always need to have in hand information about my groups, my classes, extra activities, the school activities and so on.
  4. A Neendori traveler’s notebookThis one isn’t a binder so I wanted to use it for something different than organization, inside it I have a notebook I use as my everyday journal, another notebook for gratitude and a third notebook as a creative journal, where I can draw, paint, make doodles, just whatever my soul needs in that moment.

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Why do you plan?

I started planning since I was in the University because I’ve always have had a bad memory and I needed something to keep me on top of things, however, I started “Pretty Planning” almost 2 years ago.

Why did you decide to start posting pictures of your planners?

I can’t remember how I came across the Planner Community on Instagram, but if you check this hashtag, you can immediately feel drawn to it, I knew I wanted to be part of this wonderful community! What better thing that lovely girls and pretty stationary?

What drives you to continue using journals or planners?

I think for a lot of girls, this is the only creative outlet we have time to explore or we feel secure in, I continue to use planners and journals because is the best of both worlds: Something you can use to relax and develop your creative self and also something that helps improve your everyday life and deal with your obligations and responsibilities.

 

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What is your dream and what would you say to people who are working to achieve their own dreams?

I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs in life and I’ve learned that the most important thing is to feel at peace with yourself, to love yourself before anything and anyone else and by achieving this, anything you have ever wanted can become a reality… So my advice is: Be brave enough to love yourself in order to acknowledge that you deserve the realization of your dreams.

Planner related dreams? Free worldwide shipping!

What are your favorite stationery shops?

Kikki k, The Ink Road Shop, The Idea Owl, Hello Papercat, Lovely Scrolling (one of my Mexican friends), YupiYeiPapers and LetsPaperUp (Colombian friends) and Target, unfortunately, we don’t have Target here in Mexico, but everybody knows it’s basically Planner Heaven.

Who are your favorite journalers, entrepreneurs or people that you look up to?

I truly admire and love all the women in the Planner/Journal Community, lately these ladies have been some of my favorite journalers:

My dear friend Tina @pastelpaperplane

My sweet friend Amy @amiecrux

The amazing Sophie @plannerphie

How did you learn to journal the way you do, and what keeps you inspired?

I don’t think you can learn how to journal or even decorate a planner, we all have different styles and perspectives,  we get inspiration from each other and we share our methods for anyone who needs them but at the end you eventually end up finding your own style… Besides, it is extremely frustrating to try to journal or plan or decorate as someone else.

Oh! And there isn’t any better way to continue to be inspired than to check all the planner posts on Instagram, Pinterest and You Tube, I can always get inspired and motivated in these sites.

Tell us about 2017, what are the next steps and how do your journals help you get there?

I’m pretty excited for 2017, I have the feeling it’s going to be a year that will change the direction of my life and in order to do so I know it’s important to continue in this intimidating but so rewarding journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance and I know my journals and planners will be there with me every step of the way because I do need them to continue being this place where I can shelter myself from the outside world and concentrate on only colorful pens, pretty papers, and cute stickers.

As of right now, I’m setting a “Well-Being” Planner/Journal, a binder where I can gather all the beautiful things that cross my path that help me enjoy life even more, a binder where I can turn to every time I need information to become a better person or information that reminds me the valuable being I am whenever is imperative.

Thank you for reading!

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Thank you so much to Isabel for accepting being featured on my blog. Note that all photos belong to Isabel. If you want to borrow any, ask for permission from her.

And of course, don’t forget to follow her on Instagram as @Issyfrage

xox

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Best pens to use on your Hobonichi

Choosing a pen for your Hobonichi Techo books 

Often, I see this question being asked by (new) Hobonichi users “What pens are best for the Hobonichi Techo?”. This is a bit of a relative question where the answers can vary a lot. There’s a myriad of pens and also a myriad of answers. Choosing a pen is a personal choice and choosing one for a particular type of paper depends on so many factors, for example:

  • Paper thickness
  • Width of the pen that you like
  • the boldness of the pen
  • Colors
  • Ink type
  • Fountain, roller ball or felt tip
  • and so on…

Personally, I like pens that are smooth, that are on the thin side and that have super dark ink, usually black. My favorite brands are Pilot, Papermate gel joy, Faber Castell and Staedlers triplus fine liners. I do love some fountain pains but my collection is not huge so I wouldn’t dare to recommend one for you because I am still learning about these. I do have a couple of Lammy pens and Faber Castell but I don’t know yet what I love — fountain pen wise.

Because the Hobonichi Techo is made out of Tomoe River paper which is a very special kind of paper — and the main reason why many of us love the Hobonichi books — Not all pens write the same and not all pens will offer the same experience. Personally, I have also used normal rollerball pens and I find that the glide. It is hard to get traction with them, and also because the paper is a grid kind, you can’t really write smaller with these pens.

I think I have tried all kinds of pens on my Hobonichis, from the cheapest to the fancy Lammy fountain pens and Faber Castell. I find that the ink needs to be on the liquid side, but not too much like the jelly rolls, otherwise it will smudge. From my experience the best pens to use on a Hobonichi techo are these and I hope you will find it useful, at least until you find THE pen that you love to use.

  • Faber Castell basic black rollerball pen
  • Staedlers triplus fine liners
  • Pilot pens, usually the most basic ones are amazing
  • Ink joy gel pens in 0.3 by paper mate
  • Paper mate flairs – although if your handwriting is large, you’ll end up using a lot of space on your notenook with these pens
  • Jetstream uniball in 0.5
  • Lamy safari

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Thanks for reading, let me know which pens are you favorite.

E. J.

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Planner stories from around the world

On the second installment of Planner stories from around the world, a new section that I started blogging about a couple of weeks ago, today I am featuring  My Summer Touch. Initially, I called this section “Dream chasers” but I am still undecided about the name so, for now, let’s call these stories “Planner stories from around the world”. As a reminder, this is a section where I will be featuring stories from people within the planner community, who are writing their own stories. People who have the courage to be creative, act on their own dreams, be happy and write new beginnings with YouTube channels, online stores, blogs, planner systems and so on.

Enjoy Clara’s story and please, share it widely. Thank you for reading and if you have suggestions about someone I should reach out to, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments section. Enjoy!

Planner stories MySummerTouch

1. What is your name, where are you from and where do you live?
My name is Clara,  people know me as MySummerTouch on YouTube,  Instagram,  blogger, Twitter,  Tumblr,  periscope.  I realize that it’s  a lot.  And I am Marusya Ivanova on Facebook! Ha ha!  A whole another story about this name! I’m from Russia,  lived for several years in the US  and then I came back to a different part of Russia where I am right now.

2. What notebooks do you currently use, what for and why these particular notebooks?
I have quite a  long history of using different planners and journals. Originally I “came out” on YouTube as a planner lover,  showed a lot of Filofaxes,  and then my love explored in using Franklin Covey,  Midori Traveler’s notebooks,  Hobonichi,  Lovedoki.  Fairly recently I started to show my journals,  and this love turned out into the love of art journaling, which I am yet to show.

3. Why do you journal or plan?
I just recently realized that I have always loved planners and journals, loved to collect books on time management,  artist journals,  traveler’s notebooks,  sketchbooks,  and have always watched those on the Internet,  on YouTube particularly. I love to be organized,  love to organize,  and love to write things down.  Even poured out myself on paper,  and I love beautiful things,  so it all came into what I’m doing today.  I’m on Instagram every day,  and I try to post out videos on my YouTube channel MySummerTouch every week on weekends.

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4. Why did you decide to open your youtube channel?
After some time after getting back from the US, I realized that I forgot my English,  and started to listen and read books in English.  It wasn’t enough,  I wanted a real chat with people from all over the world.  I always loved YouTube,  and the main thing that I was watching on it were planner videos,  so it was a no-brainer to start a YouTube channel about planners and productivity in English.

5. What drives you to continue working on your channel?
I have the need to share my joy and my happiness with other people,  and I enjoy the interaction with people literally from all parts of the world.  It makes me happy.

6.What is your dream and what would you say to people who are working to achieve their own dreams?
I’d say,  there is no failing,  just not enough attempts.  If you won’t stop achieving your dreams,  you will get what you want! Don’t ever stop,  it’s worth it to continue to pursue your dream! My only dream right now is to be happy, I’m getting there,  I’m much happier now than before!

7. What are your favorite stationery shops?
I like to visit one of the big towns that are closest to where I live, there they have a huge bookstore that sells stationery and art supplies,  and I spend there half a day just choosing things I love to try out.

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8. Who are your favorite journalers, entrepreneurs or people that you look up to?
My absolute favorite instagrammer is @janethecrazy, I enjoy beautiful Midori Traveler’s Notebooks that she writes in,  her style is absolutely perfect,  I would say,  it’s  creative mess.  And I consider my art journaling teachers Mary Ann Moss and Teesha Moore,  love their color sense and artistic expression!

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9. How did you learn to journal the way you do, and what keeps you inspired?
I started to journal because I needed to clear out the mess in my head.  It’s almost necessary,  I’d even say it’s necessary to keep me thinking clear. Then I was bored with just plain pages,  then I bought my Midori Traveler’s notebooks in China,  and started to decorate my journals with magazine clippings and writing over them.  Now I am fully into painting and sketching.  There is nothing more inspiring than an artistic journal to me.  Just yesterday I received two  private messages on Instagram,  one said that my all my work is just amazing,  another one said that my journals inspired the person to make her own artistic journals.  I was surprised and pleased.  I’m glad I get to inspire people!

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10. Tell us about 2017, what are the next steps and how do your journals help you get there?
I hope to turn my journals into something more beautiful and pleasing to my own eyes.  I am my own harsh critic,  I try not to destroy pages when I don’t like them.  My next steps will be improving my calligraphy and to combine my art journaling and journaling together in one place,  even to combine it all with a planner,  all into one place,  so it will be one journal for everything – journal,  art journal,  sketchbook,  commonplace book.  I also want to learn to paint as a professional that will be a lot of work,  but I’m willing to go there.  Just recently I have drawn a model’s face in my Hobonichi,  and I was so immersed in it,  that I almost physically felt happy.  I completely forgot about time,  and I had something to show as a result! I want to draw more faces and people in general.  It makes me relaxed  and feels like meditation. I encourage you to try it too!

Thank you! 

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You can find Clara at:
Blogspot: mysummertouch1.blogspot.com
Instagram: @mysummertouch
Tumblr: Mysummertouch
YouTube: youtube.com/MySummerTouch

Thanks so much Clara for sharing your story with us and for inspiring us to do what makes us happy!

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Four differences, one hobonichi

If you are new to hobonichi and want to get a book for 2017 but you are not sure which size is the best for you to buy, keep on reading. Here, you will find a brief explanation of the three different hobonichi sizes and their main differences. Hopefully, this post will be useful to you!

Hobonichi techo is a Japanese book that translated means “life book”. It is made in Japan and one of its main characteristics is that tomoe river paper. This paper is special because it is very thin, yet resistant and strong in a way that can even be used with fountain pens and water colors. When wet, it will wrinkle but there won’t be transfer to the other side of the page. It is a fantastic paper, and if you are a stationery enthusiast like I am, you will love this paper because it is smooth, yet thin and mighty.

The hobonichi techo comes in three different sizes and four kinds of books

  • A6 (4.1”x 5.8”x 0.6”) known as Hobonichi Techo original; Weight: 210g this book comes in Japanese and English
  • A5, also known as Hobonichi cousin only comes in Japanese (148 × 210 mm)
  • A weeks hobonichi book, Wallet-Size (3.75”x 7.4”x 0.4”); Weight: 135g
  • Hobonichi cousin avec, equivalent to A5 (148 × 210 mm), these are two books each one carrying six months which means it is a lighter version than the cousin

All of them have the same following characteristics:

  • Tomoe river paper
  • all of them lay flat, except the weeks book which needs a little bit of training
  • All of them lay flat, 180 degrees binding
  • Quotes on each page
  • January start or April
  • Tons of covers to choose from, and all of them can have a cover on cover

The main differences between the four books are:

  • Hobonichi techo A6
    – Has monthly, yearly and daily, and a few blank pages to plan, but this book
    doesn’t have a weekly       overview
  • A5 cousin 
    – Has yearly, monthly, weekly and daily pages in addition to blank pages for notes in
    the back
  • Weeks hobonichi
    – It only has monthly and a week on one-page overview, the beauty of this book is that it has over 30 blank pages to take notes on and it is narrow and taller than all the other books. It fits a traveler’s notebook cover.
  • Avec cousin hobonichi
    This book only comes in A5 size like the cousin, the different is that it comes in a pair and each book has only six months each, one from January to June, the other from July to December. It has a yearly, monthly and weekly view of the days.

Personally, I love all of the books and each can be destined for different uses depending on your planning system and lifestyle, it also depends on whether you want to carry the planner with you every day or if it will stay at your workplace or at home. All of them except the cousin are very easy to carry. The cousin can be a bit heavy because of its size, none the less, I still plan to take it with me sometimes.

Here you go, I hope this has been helpful and please don’t forget to check out the hobonichi site for more info on sizes and differences if you’re still undecided.

Happy plans!

Em Jorden

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Jetpens online shop – review

 

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Jetpens.com 

 

When I ordered my Hobonichi cousin from the Hobonichi store in Japan, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to also order the hobonichi techo in A6. Once I placed my order for the A5 I realized that I did want to have the smaller Hobonichi but it was too late because my order had already been shipped. I didn’t want to pay $24 shipping costs again so I went ahead and looked into other online stores where I knew I could find the hobonichi techo.

I know that jetpens.com sells the Hobonichi planners but I wasn’t sure if I was going to find the 2017 planners already. I logged in and voilá, they had them! I then ordered because also, it was free shipping! I ended up also buying a Pentel Tradio Stylo pen which I am new to, a pencil board and the Hobonichi techo (no cover).

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I have to say that everything worked out! From having experienced other stationery online shops, I was impressed by how quick, easy and effective jetpens was. My order was placed without fuss, and it was shipped quickly, it was free shipping with the cost of the planner and I got it in about a week time.

Jetpens has my admiration for the great service, great selection of pens and other stationery items, especially because they are one of the few online shops in the US that carry such wide variety of Japanese stationery items, including my beloved Hobonichi techo.

Great work to jetpens! and to all my readers, I highly recommend this online stationery shop for your writing instruments and planner goodies.

Thanks for reading and happy shopping!

Em Jorden