If you have ever kept a notebook and wrote notes about your day or lists of ideas and things to do, you would know a little about what gets people into journaling. Then there is a point when this habit becomes a hobby.
Sometimes a hobby can be a borderline obsession.
I’ve come to the conclusion that stationery and journaling as a concept has become an obsession that I need an intervention for. It’s one of those things that with an enough income available, you start spending on the really nice stuff. But then again the really nice stuff isn’t what you want or what you need. When the nice stuff is just overkill because journaling doesn’t require much at all.
I may toss in the ole social media trope with this one. Spending way too many hours on Instagram or Youtube without a real need for information has become one of those bad habits. I made a new account because I just didn’t want to use my old one with the intention of posting stuff. The most popular accounts will post page spreads. I’ve found that I don’t want to post that much because it’s just too personal. But… I did just use it to buy some custom fountain pens.
At this point, it’s also an obsession because I have a surplus of stuff. It’s not hoarding… yet. But when I’ve got so much ink, pens, pencils, markers, stickers and notebooks that I don’t think I’ll be able to get through them in my lifetime (I’m seriously looking at putting the collection in my will), it’s a bit of a problem.
I’ve got to tell myself I’m done acquiring anything new. And I’ve got to stick to it. The resolution before the new year. ;_;
It’s that time again. This is actually the midpoint and it’s been a fun challenge again this year.
This time around, I am utilizing an application called Dabble. I tried this application last year during the trial period in an attempt to writing for NaNoWriMo. It was a good distraction, but I did not make much progress to that 50k goal. This year has actually gone a lot smoother for when I do have time to write because I actually did some plotting ahead of time with Dabble’s plot grid. *shock*
Next year, I think I’ll do a National Plotting Month in September (Halloween is too important to eat into for October).
The best part about Dabble is that it works seamlessly between my mobile device and my desktop. I’ve been able to write via desktop and then if I needed to go somewhere away from my desktop, I can pick it right up using my phone browser.
Then when it comes to writing distractions, I’ve been having fun with Canva to make book covers. Unsplash is a great place to grab images that could be used for free. I had this lofty idea a long time ago of drawing my own covers but never really made the time to do that. But Canva definitely helps with just getting the concept out.
Check out a couple of the covers I put together for this year and past stories…
Sometimes we all need a time to think out loud. Writing down our thoughts and decisions to emotions and anxieties can provide clarity or even release from stress. I’ve gone through so many different approaches to writing things down over the years, it’s become a hobby. I’m hoping to share the ones I’ve tried to help inspire others to express themselves. 2020 is turning out to be fairly stressful, so let’s talk about ways to take care of ourselves 🙂
Bottom line up front, this is my defacto medium for journaling. A simple notebook can be pretty inconspicuous in most social situations, or when you can’t bring along your own phone or computer.
– Offers the most flexibility to express oneself by using any writing medium, stickers, pasting things in, drawing, etc – Doesn’t need batteries – Any size and shape book, you can even make your own
– In a digital world, we take a ton of photos. Finding ways to print them and paste them into your notebook isn’t that easy – Will need a flashlight or lamp to write at night – Paper can get heavy if you’re trying to travel light
Examples: composition notebook (the ones you used in school), sketchbooks, pocket books, etc.
I’ve had a few blogs over the years. I still have one now that I self host, but once I started working and friends when off and Facebook took over people’s lives, it doesn’t fit the same as it used to.
– A lot of free options, or can self host – You can find communities of other people who talk about the same things you do – Easier to accommodate digital assets like photos and links – Might have a phone or tablet app for on the go posting/socializing – Searchable (if you can’t remember what day you wrote something)
– Not inherently private depending on the site, more value in community than privacy – When writing longform, you’ll probably want a full size keyboard which could hamper your traveling light style – Some of those freebie sites, depending on who owns them, sees the user as an asset (think about what you write before you post because they are watching) – When you write for an audience other than yourself, you may not write as freely as you think – You can customize to the extent of the application
Examples: livejournal, wordpress (hosted and self host options), blogger (google owned but kind of neglected), tumblr (now owned by verizon)
At this point, almost everyone has a sort of smartphone. Naturally, most people don’t leave home without it.
– A lot of free options and paid options – Easiest to accommodate digital assets like photos and links if you do most of your photography on your phone and internetting – Can post at any time in almost any environment since a phone has backlighting – Depending on the application, there may be ties back to desktop apps and web versions – Searchable (if you can’t remember what day you wrote something) – Some have reminder features to poke you to write everyday
– When writing longform, you’ll probably want a full size keyboard which could hamper your traveling light style – Some of those freebie sites, depending on who owns them, sees the user as an asset (think about what you write before you post because they are watching) – You can customize to the extent of the application – Some apps want you to pay subscription for most features – Be careful about getting your data locked into an app, look for export as an included feature
Examples: Notes (this one is Mac, but pretty much any note taking app can become an impromptu journal), Day One (iphone and android), Journey, 5 Minute Journal, Momento (iphone only and geared towards social media aggregation)
Now I avoided mentioning social media apps as they aren’t really inherently geared towards journaling. But there are plenty of people using facebook, instagram and twitter as “journals”. Personally, I’d advise against using those mediums as a personal journal unless you like shouting on rooftops. It’s too easy to get sucked in to what everyone else is posting rather than focusing on your own thoughts which undermines the whole point.
If I didn’t find the most flexibility with a notebook, my top fave for each would be WordPress and Day One. Honorable mention to 5 Minute Journal, but it’s really not a full fledged journaling app.
A new year is upon our doorstep, and for some people that means trying to find the right planner to start the year off right. Sometimes, it’s just not that easy if you don’t know what you’re going to need for a whole year.
There are a hell of a lot of planner communities and people out there. Wow. Instagram, Reddit and Youtube have been the best resources I found. I’ve spent plenty of time checking out reviews and opinions and ultimately when I plan, I go for what’s the easiest.
For me the weekly format has been my favorite time and again. If I can’t carry the planner with me, it’s almost pointless for me to have one. It’s about being able to reference and update on the fly. If you manage everything on your phone in a calendar app or something, that’s awesome. On the other hand, I just don’t always have my phone with me, so paper is still a manageable medium.
This is the planner I chose for next year – the Hobonichi Weeks. I’ve used the Weeks a few years now. I really loved this special edition design from the mt washi tape company. The size is close to a Pocket notebook width plus a few inches for height (similar to a long wallet size).
The fact that the planner has Japanese does not impede the usage at all. I did have to adjust to a Monday start for the monthly and weekly pages. I still prefer Sunday start overall and might consider that again for 2021.
For decoration, some folks sticker the hell out of their planners. If I have some stickers, I like to use them but just for fun little designs. My intention is to stick to highlighters and pens this coming year… and maybe some washi tape.
If you’re also looking on what’s out there, JetPens has some awesome informational videos of the products they sell. This is their latest vid that has a neat little overview of different types out there. Beware… the options can be overwhelming. 😀
Sometimes going back to old fashioned physical media can be kinda cool. I hadn’t heard of this system before but I like it for the simplicity. Sometimes we don’t need to over complicate a system to get things done.
As I’m beginning a new year creating a new playlist for 2019, every so often I go back and listen to my previous playlists. This is my Party-pop 2011; created when I first got my Spotify account. Enjoy.
Welcome to the last year for this decade! Cue every time I write the date down with the wrong year for a few weeks. Haha!
What does this new chapter mean? Well, it means continuing the story of what every year before meant. I’ve got new goals this year, some are the same from last, but the point is just having something to work towards. And I’ve done that every year I new I was capable of deciding my own life. As a kid, I just went along with whatever came because that’s what being a kid was like 😙
I won’t go into all my goals; there’s many and they sound simple but they can become complex. This one goal is something I’ve already started and will be a goal into following years – owning my online self.
The net is a playground and a tool and it’s taken over the world. As much as I consciously get dressed and curate my image before I walk out my house, that is the maintenance that should go into my projected self, my internet self. Just like the clothes that I’ve given away because fashion changes, how I want to dress changes, cleaning and maintaining my closet translates digitally. Spring cleaning isn’t just for spring and it feels good to do anytime of the year.