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,

Em 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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Saturday planning inspiration

Happy Saturday to you! Thank you for stopping by and having a quick read to today’s blog post. I decided to plan my day today with my Filofax Original in Navy. This is one of the first Filofaxes that I bought. I remember I kept going to my local stationery store in Boston and kept looking at how beautiful it is until I bought it!

This is a classic Filofax, and the navy color just adds character to it. I love carrying it around.

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Together with my Hobonichi in A6, these two have helped me carry on today, a busy Saturday, as always. If you ordered a Hobonichi for this year and your book is sitting on your desk waiting for 2017, I am sure you are still as impatient as I am to start using your new book. Mine looks like this and is my work planner/journal. Completely functional!

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This is a brief post today, thank you for reading and stay tuned for an amazing post that I will be uploading tomorrow, where I will be featuring Kayla Ocampo from Rainbowholic. Stay tuned!

Happy Saturday!

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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

2016 planner reflections

It’s almost October, and for all planner people out there, this is about the time you start thinking about what planner you will be getting for next year. For me, this has been a year where I found myself spending very little money on planner goods – I had to, or I’d be broke!.

I didn’t buy any ring planners at all this year because I found myself using them very little. I did try out the new covers for traveler’s notebooks that Webster’s pages launched this year, I bought one of the covers and I have written about it here on my blog. I also bought the Passion Planner because I wanted to try it out. I used it weekly until I found myself writing the same thing over and over because mostly my schedule looks the same week by week. This planner is nice but not for me.

This year was the first year I also started using my Hobonichi in A6. I used it as a work planner and I loved it until I decided that, maybe, I should try something else, I used it every day and it was working fine. The problem was that the A6 Hobonichi doesn’t have a weekly layout, and I realized that I was forgetting things.  I needed to have that weekly view of my time. I stopped using it in July and changed it for a Day Designer planner that I bought at Target for $12. The Day Designer has a day on one page but I ran into the same problem, the lack of a weekly view doesn’t work for me. Especially for work!

I absolutely love the Hobonichi techo  planner! Towards the end of last month, I started using my hobonichi more consistently again. After all, it always worked for me as a planner, except not for work. I continued using it as a diary or journal, to keep track of things and to note down reminders or things that I didn’t want to forget. It kind of became my on the go planner/notebook/journal. I carry it back and forth between work and home.

With the new year coming and the fact that Hobonichis are yearly planners I started thinking about what planner(s) I will be using next year. One thing I know is that I don’t want to use multiple planners because I find myself losing information or not remembering where I wrote certain things down. Right now, I have too many things to remember and my mind has no more storage space, so I decided that I need only ONE PLANNER.

After much thinking and even considering buying a set of DIYFish inserts, I also thought of buying a set of Franklin Covey inserts for my Franklin Covey planner which has huge rings. I want to have a planner that has enough space to have a weekly, monthly and daily overview, and I thought that the Franklin Covey planners could be a great option. After looking into which one to buy I couldn’t decide. Mostly, I think I am tired of using ring planners. It is not working for me because I don’t have time to be setting it up, changing the pages, perforating inserts and so on. Even if I buy pre-made inserts I still don’t see myself feeling as productive as I do with a bound planner.

This said, this year I went ahead and bought ALL THREE sizes of the Hobonichi techo 2017! Yes, all three sizes! I will be downsizing this coming year and I don’t want to keep jumping from notebook to notebook or planner to planner, I find myself losing things and also losing inspiration to continue using either my journals or notebooks. The hobonichi planner is the one book that I actually use every day because I love everything about it. The paper is fantastic, the layout, the flexibility and how quirky it is.

In conclusion, after using probably most planners out there in the market, after using ring planners for many many years and especially, using a hobonichi book for one year, I have realized that I am a hobonichi person! Just because right now, this planner seems to be the one I am most excited about using, even after suspending its use for work for a month or two I still went back and continued using it for different things. I couldn’t give it up.

So for for now, I have sold many of the planners that I had and kept my most loved binders, the ones I continue using for different purposes. I won’t be buying new ring bound planners, just because even this week I realized how little I use the day designer and how little I like it. I have kept three Filofax binders, the ones I absolutely love and use for other things, I have two Franklin Covey planners that I want to have because of the size of the rings, I have two traveler’s notebooks – one large and one field notes size – and my hobonichis. I use the Martha Stewart notebooks for various uses for work.

2017 will be a one planner for all year, I have no idea how it will go but I am willing to try, in fact, I can’t wait to try. My hope is that one book will house my different lists, tasks and notes and that I will stop losing notes just because I can’t remember where I wrote them down!

What are your planner plans for 2017? Have you bought your 2017 planner or have you decided which one you will be using?

I’d love to hear so please leave me a comment with your thoughts!

Happy plans!

Em Jorden

 

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Having multiple planners – Effective or confusing?

If you read my blog – thanks so much if you do – you will notice that I haven’t posted much lately, and the reason is simple. I am reaching the point where I am reassessing my planning system and how I want to go forward from here on.

I use multiple planners like many of you, for so long I thought that this system was working for me, using a planner for my home management, another for work, another for journaling and also another planner for my personal stuff. It did work, for many months it worked. Now, half way through 2016 I am finding myself feeling overwhelmed with so many planners and I am starting to question whether having just one or two planners should actually be enough.

If I had to choose only a planner or two I think I would use my hobonichi, and my A5 Filofax ring planner, or maybe my day designer. fI do see no that having multiple planners can be ineffective because I forget things or I can’t remember in which planner I wrote them down! That defeats the purpose of having a planner.

For now, I am still pondering my options and what is it that I will be doing, but for now I am leaning towards considering having a planner or two. Anyway, stay tuned fore more news on how the second half of the year goes by with the dilemmas of planner systems.

How’s your half of the year going so far and how’s your planning system working for you?

Do let me know, I’d love to know!

Thank you for reading!

Em J

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5 simple steps to help you get on track: Use your planner!

For the past weeks, I have not been adding content to my blog mostly because I have been too busy. Usually, I am busy — normal busy — but these past days life has almost been out of control. First, I had to travel to Chicago for work, came back exhausted and had mom over visiting. Then she left and I found myself unable to go back to my routine. Then I took some days off but that didn’t do the trick. Once I was back to the office I had to stay at the office longer hours because of some yearly activities that we have, when the weekend came I was done and didn’t feel like sitting in front of the computer.

Now, slowly I am going back to getting back on track with this blog. This said while I was absent from my blog a few things happened:

  1. I realized I just don’t feel like using some of the planners anymore
  2. I also realized that I am not sure I want to continue using my hobonichi planner as my work planner
  3. I bought two more planners! (Both are from Day Designer and Blue Sky)
  4. I lost motivation and inspiration to go back to my yearly goals
  5. I just don’t feel like sitting at my desk and plan

Because all of this happened I also realized one thing: In moments of crisis, it is time to sit down, reflect and reassess your plans, your methods, your goals and your habits. I realized that in moments where your mind starts to wander and you have gotten off track, the best way to re-focus is by following a few simple steps:

  1. Revisit your initial goals, go back a few months and read how your weeks and your days looked like. This will help you find focus or change the few things that need to be changed before you can go on.
  2. Find some inspiration in your past entries: Usually you will find key information in things you wrote previously. At least when I go back to other months, I remember why I started something and what drove me to do it in the first place.
  3. Find information that appears constantly, circle it and reflect on it. You will start remembering why you decided to set that goal and it will help you focus again
  4. Reflect on what your goals were in January. When we begin a new year we tend to do feel hopeful and set up goals that are not always very achievable right away. Then as the year goes by we start losing track because we didn’t change things from scratch.
  5. Assess your current habits and why you have fallen into your current routine. You will find many answers when you simply reflect on this.

What happens next? You will realize that there are things that you can change and habits you can adjust if you only try a little harder.

After doing some of these things you will realize that you no longer feel you want to do something or you don’t find a strong reason to continue working on a project. This would be a great time to sit down and think of how you can change those projects or goals and reinvent them before you go completely off track and lose your motivation altogether.

I will be using my new day designer planner and my traveler’s notebook, to work on this and I will also start thinking about how I can change things so that I keep going. It’s half the year and usually one tends to start thinking “Why did I think I could do this?” You will find a good reason and you will adjust your life right now, set new goals and go on!

I will use my day designer because of the layout and I think I will retire my Hobonichi to be used as a journal but I am not 100% yet.

Let me know if you have felt this way and what your plans are to end the year feeling like you actually reached your goals!

Thank you for reading!

Em J

 

 

Maximize your time, use it wisely

It is no secret that I use several planners at the same time. Why you may ask!? For me, it works! Using several planners allows me to sort of “divide” my life into the different realms that I need to differentiate to be most effective. I am a working mom that also handles a lot of things at home, for instance, our bills, financial matters, shopping lists, doctors/vets appointments and so on. Having one single planner for everything just doesn’t do the trick, hence, the various planners that I have.

One of these planners is my passion planner, which is a simple but very effective bound planner that I use for all things related to my family, my personal time management and it helps me have an overview of how we spend our time, our days and what needs to get done. Th reason why I love my passion planner is because not only does it help you have a road map if you entire year but also, by organizing each day and having a visual overview of how you spend each day, you are able to manage your time better. The layout of this planner is simple, and it also has space for being creative and decorate it if you want to. Each day in this planner is divided into time slots, with room for goals, focus, personal lists, work lists, and a reflection are of positive things that happened in the past.

When I started using this planner I realized how helpful it was because it actually lets you see what you do with your days. By coloring or marking your tasks and placing them where they belong – assigned to a particular time during your day – you are able to see, for example that from 1 PM to 3 PM you spent your time cleaning – or doing nothing – or that between 8am and 6pm all you did was just work and in between you squeeze in some time to read. Or actually, see when you can squeeze in some time to read when you are at the office.

This planner gives you space to see what tasks you need to do for work and for your personal life, for me, even though I use one planner for work – my hobonichi techo – and one planner for all things home and persona, it still helps me see what’s what I need to do that week specifically for work (whether it will be a regular work week or whether I need to go somewhere other than the office).

By having a visual division of your days you can easily see where your time goes, whether you spent too much time watching TV or where you actually should have been at the gym instead of laying on the couch.

Obviously, you don’t have to use a Passion planner but I am using this example to illustrate how, by using your planner, you can have a better idea of how you spend your days and actually your life and whether you need to adjust that if you are working toward a goal. Also, there are various tools that can help you visualize what you do with your time, one of these ways is using a spiraldez or chronodex insert.

The chronodex y a great tool designed by Patrick Ng and adjusted by Kent from Oz  this great tool will also help you see how you manage your time, what you do during the day what you need to adjust if you want to become more productive and achieve those goals that have been on your planner. The chronodex y actually very easy to use once you get the hand of it and here Patrick Ng explains all about it. You can also look for videos on You Tube where various amazing planner ladies-men teach you how to best use this great tool.

Here you have it, a few thoughts on how to use visual tools and planner layouts to best know how you spend your time and make adjustments so you can be your most productive self.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments box if you have ever used any of these tools or also let me know what tools you use to be productive and get things done.

Have a great week!

Em Jorden

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Make your own Traveler’s Notebooks, three ideas

I am not exactly the most crafty person, I do make some inserts myself and I try to come up with ideas but I am not very handy or crafty when it comes to  making big projects. I admire people who do and I so wished I was the creative kind. This is also why sometimes I also force myself to make things because I believe that it will stimulate my creativity, the one that once upon a time was very active.

This said before I bought the traveler’s notebook that I have right now by Webster’s Pages I thought of making my own cover. I gave up! I still watched many videos about how to make my own and about how to make a cover without all the craftiness. While searching I actually found a few ideas that I am sure will help you create your own fauxdori if you are interested. Even if you don’t want to spend money on a cover – which I understand – I encourage you to watch these videos and try to make your own. These ideas go from very simple, for example, I love the idea by Journalingmylife in Youtube where she made a fauxdori out of a Filofax flex! Her set up is brilliant and I enjoy her videos a lot. Also, she is based in India and I just think it is great to have a fellow stationery lover from across the oceans! Check out her videos and enjoy them, she has some amazing ideas for different set ups!  You will fine her under her handle journalingmylife  and her video is here .

Last year, I remember what came super popular was buying a passport cover by Kate spade and turning it into a fauxdori which I thought was brilliant too. Ms. Wendaful has a great video where she shows her “Katedori” and I find it so fun to watch. You will find the video here  and of course, don’t forget to check out her blog where you will find some beautiful inserts and more ideas.

Last, we have the highest level of being crafty which to me is this video made by  Craft Made Simple where she teaches us how to make a fauxdori cover with fabric which I love love love. You will find the video here . This fauxdori cover that she shows is so pretty and I love it! If you have the tools and the energy to create one fauxdori from scratch, check out her video! It’s so neat!

And these are all the ideas I have for a traveler’s notebook without being super crafty – like myself – so check them out and let me know what you think!

I am really loving this traveler’s notebook fever and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I am!

Thank you for reading! Happy end of the week.

Em J

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Planner adventures: My new traveler’s notebook

For the longest time, I have thought of buying a traveler’s notebook regular size, also known by the original traveler’s notebooks created by Midori. But because this year I made the promise to myself that I would not buy planners this year I simply wrote this wish on my list of “planners to dream of” LOL.

This year, I think around February, I learned about the fact that Webster’s Pages will be selling traveler’s notebooks as well as their ring bound planners. I have bought planners from Webster’s pages and I wasn’t impressed by the quality, especially because my planner came with uneven rings. When I saw that they were going to make traveler’s notebooks, I was excited because these were great options for those of us who didn’t want to invest in buying a new Midori or Fauxdori buts till wanted to try these planners.

These new traveler’s notebooks range between $30 and $24 depending on where you buy it and depending if they are on sale. I bought mine through Blitsy.com which is a craft store that sells planners and other craft materials usually at lower prices. I am very excited with this new traveler’s notebook and I can’t wait to set it up! The cover itself looks great, it does have a small stain of what seems to be glue but I can live with that, for the price I think it’s fine. The cover has pockets which are something I love and it also comes a little wider than the regular Midori.

I am planning on either buying some inserts from the Midori brand or buying some of the Moleskine inserts and cutting them down to size. I am not sure how much bigger or wider they are but I have read reviews from other planner women who have said that they fit.

I will keep you posted on how this cover turns out to be! For now, I am very excited that I can experience the “magic” of the traveler’s notebooks and start setting mine up to be used as a planner, journal, and personal assistant or what not.

This is my traveler’s notebook.

Thank you for reading and if you use these covers, do let me know how you like them!

Em J