January 31, 2018

2018 PLANS

So, this was meant to be available at the beginning of the year, but alas, life always gets in the way. Not to mention, it took a while before I finally settled into a regular planning pattern. I'd have to be honest though, even now I still feel like I'm missing some concrete concepts I'd much rather have in my regular planning. I'm sure I'll be refining my system as the days / weeks / months go on, but currently, I'm glad to say that I have settled on these current two:
  1. Regular MTN
  2. Passport MTN

Yep, just two, but trust me, it took a lot of trial and error with a few different diaries / planners (naturally) before I decided that simplicity is the way to go.

I've always needed a place to write my thoughts out, hold random notes / quotes from books, and document the highlights of my day, expenses and work schedule. I needed something portable, but big enough to scribble down thought processes. I also wanted something on the go and somewhat private. I realised that not everything needed to be in one place - although it would be much more preferable to have it so. I'm currently still tossing up uses and portability issues between the two sizes, but I've decided that the regular and passport MTN would be my companions for the year.

As I am continuously swapping between both sizes depending on their usage, both planners currently hold similar things in case I need to pick either one of them up at a moment's notice. I hold a maximum of two notebooks in each size (as any more than that makes it too bulky for my liking). However, that doesn't limit me to just using two notebooks. The additional notebooks just gets rotated around depending on their usage. A list of what each size carries is as follows:

1- 2018 Weekly Diary
2- Blank Notebook x 2

When it comes to the Passport size, I absolutely love its portability. I love that its small size enables me to carry it in my back pocket (when I’m desperate), or in my scrubs pocket when I’m at work, and it’s not too heavy to do so. I can whip it out on the train when space is limited, and not need two hands to balance it while I write. But of course, this size does have its limitation, which mostly comes down to scribble space. The Regular size is great when it comes to brainstorming, random doodles and just general planning which needs more space than what a Passport size can offer. Therefore when it comes to the Passport size, a weekly grid planner with my to-do lists allocated to each day is sufficient. And when events come up for the week, there'll definitely be a Polaroid picture attached to the allocated week for quick memory keeping. Together with stickers I get from Kaisercraft, a jazzed up planner spread is ready with enough space to properly list all the things I need to get done.

The two other blank notebooks I use are for personal and general notes, with one notebook for each category. One is entirely private, and therefore, are only limited to my eyes, whilst the other is free to roam the grounds of the Earth as all it will ever contain are random notes / quotes / information.

The Passport size is great for passing thoughts - ideas you don't want to forget, but would rather not scribble on a napkin. It's a great size to whip out wherever I am, and the fact that it's small and light means that it's never a trouble to carry around.

1- 2018 Weekly Vertical
2- Grid Notebook
3- Craft Notebook

My regular size is my absolute everything planner. It's where thoughts and ideas develop after its initial conception in my Passport notebook, it's where I list the things I have to do, and it contains little snippets of my day worth documenting. When it comes to the planner, I've religiously used my vertical 2018 planner refill for a month now, and I'm actually surprised at how great it's been. It's everything I never knew I needed! I used to think that the narrow columns of each day would annoy and hinder me from writing absolutely anything, but I've come to realise that I don't actually need much space, after all.

The one thing I love about this refill is the year in review planner at the front which I use to document the shifts I'm working. I've always wanted a diary that can show me my working shifts at a glance and still have space to differentiate between that and my to-do lists, but I've never really settled on a suitable layout. Well, I'm glad to say that I've now found it!

My weekly view varies with each week depending on the day's happenings. It's been nice adding little notes / conversations I have into each column as it becomes an entertaining way to preserve snippets of memories. But of course, not every day holds something special, as as such, I've come to embrace empty spaces when the day holds nothing of note.

I guess it's helped that I've decided that this planner will hold no frills or fancy bits - no stickers, no photos, no stamps, etc - with everything written in with only a single black fountain pen. And I can tell you that it's made the whole process of documenting things a whole lot less pressuring because I can finally write on the go. I don't need to bring a thousand little stamps / stickers / highlighters / pens in the hopes that it will make my planner prettier. After all, it's meant to be a working planner, not a pretty one!

The next notebook that my MTN houses is just a plain grid notebook. I've taken the cover of a regular grid refill and changed it to the PANAM refill cover (just because it makes it look a bit prettier and more in the vintage style I want it to have). Inside holds anything and everything. It currently holds notes from a book called Creative Strategies (by Fridolin of Baum Kuchen!) that inspired me as I read it. I plan to make it hold little every day notes like plans of future road-trips, work / drug information etc. The possibility is endless! I just need to kick my fear of keeping things neat (again!) so that I can use it to its full potential.

The last notebook is my craft notebook which will contain anything memorable of 2018. I've decided that I won't be able to scrapbook every day / month, and there is no point creating a notebook specifically for this. Therefore, I've created a kraft notebook filled with varying pages (grid, blank, tracing etc) that will be filled with events in chronological order but with no limits as to when each memory has to be documented. I don't carry it around with me in my normal MTN holder as it does not get used on a regular basis, and is therefore just stored at home. Here's an example of a spread I did to document a day out I had with a friend of mine:

And that's it for my 2018 planners. I've needed to keep things simple this year (mostly for the sake of my sanity!). But I love that everything is working out for me one month into 2018!

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