2018 Planner Setup

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It's a new year, which means a new planner setup! Although I found my groove with the traveler's notebook last year, I decided to go a little simpler this year. I've taken a few side projects, which means I need something portable that packs a punch, and is also aesthetically pleasing without me having to overdecorate the heck out of it. 

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DAILY PLANNER

In 2018, my everyday carry (EDC) will be the Hobonichi Weeks

  • It is wallet sized and compact. With 240 pages, it weighs under 140g.
  • The pages are Tomoe River Paper, which are so thin and beautiful, yet take on inks and watercolors very well.
  • It lays flat on its spine without me having to use a hand to hold it down.
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The first two pages of the Hobonichi Weeks is a perpetual calendar. I plan to use this to document my workouts by highlighting each day where I've been active.

The next few pages are a month-on-two-pages layout. I use this to track high-level appointments, holidays, and events. I'm testing out a color-coding system where I designate certain highlighter colors for personal events, finance reminders and bills, holidays, and major work events. I have tabbed each month for easy access.

The bulk of the Hobonichi Weeks is made up of week-on-two-page layouts. The week is displayed in a horizontal layout on the left page and the right page is a light grid for extra notes. I use the horizontal weekly layout to jot down appointments and anything else that has been scheduled, including blog posts. On the right, I have a running To Do list. Oftentimes, I have tasks that need to be done by the end of that week but not necessarily on a specific day. If something is time sensitive, however, I'll list it as a task on the left.

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The Hobonichi Weeks also contains 68 square grid memo pages. These could be used for bullet journaling or storing collections. I've started using them for the latter! So far, I listed the books I read last year in 2017, cooking measurement conversions, a guide to aromatherapy essential oils, and a packing list for my recent trip to Washington D.C. I have tons of pages left!

The back of the planner contains references- but they're all in Japanese so not of much use to me. I used the Hobonichi Weeks throughout December 2017 and I loved how light it was. The only thing that irked me was that my beloved Muji gel pens did not take well to the Tomoe River paper. While inks will not bleed through the paper, I had to wait for the ink to dry first. The way I use my daily planner doesn't give room for that. I typically jot things down and then close my book and store it right away. After much trial and error, I've settled on the Papermate Inkjoy 550RT 1.0 as my planner pen. It also does not smudge with highlighters.

Dissecting my EDC:

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JOURNAL

One of my 2018 intentions is to commit to daily journaling. I realized that the reason I've been struggling so much with daily journaling is because I try too hard to force it. I try to look for some eloquent to write about, something truly reflective and poignant. But you know what? Some days, nothing happens. I wake up, go to work, come home, pet my dog, and go to sleep. And that's okay. And even the mundane is worth documenting. 

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This year, I aim to be less harsh on myself and just commit moments to paper, however big or small they might be. I'm starting the year with this beautiful Peter Pauper Press celestial journal that I purchased at the National Air and Space Museum. But lucky you- you can find this notebook, and other designs, easily on Amazon. The paper is archival quality and my fountain pen glides so smoothly over it. There is no smudging or bleeding.

The pages are gold gilded on the edges and the cover is beautifully designed. It feels like a work of art! I love that I'm satisfied by this journal and don't feel like I need to embellish at all- just simply ink on paper. 

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MEMORY JOURNAL

Aside from my daily journal, I am also keeping a scrapbook of sorts, which I prefer to call my "memory journal." In it, I paste scraps and ephemera from trips or events and document those special moments for me to look back on. In this notebook, I allow myself to be a little crazier with markers, stickers, and washi tape, so it acts as a creative outlet for me. 

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I am currently using a softcover Midori MD Notebook with A5 grid paper. The pages are so smooth and beautiful and every pen I've tried glides smoothly over it. The dots are also very faint and useful for drawing geometric shapes or writing, but not very noticeable otherwise. 

My memory journal is housed in a leather notebook cover by HandmadeStudioUA. They shipped the cover quickly and it's really quite beautiful. The green is a deep forest green and marks easily, which gives it a nice rustic character.

And there you have it- my 2018 planner lineup! For now, at least, this is the setup that suits my needs. What are you planning in this year? Let me know in the comments below. I'm always on the hunt for new planning methods and strategies!