2019 Analogue System
Writing in my December Daily journal feels just like yesterday, but here we are - already more than a week into the new year. I hope all of you are having a great start to 2019!
If I’m being completely honest, I had this particular post in my drafts for months. Even though I decided on my analogue system a long time ago, I was reluctant to share it in fear that it would be too boring. I didn’t have any brand new covers to showcase or a brilliant tracking system to summarize my day. (In a not-so-secret confession between you and me: I personally find habit trackers stifling and don’t enjoy using them very much.)
And then, as the weeks passed by in December, I realized how well this system was working for me. I wasn’t looking at other journals like I normally would, wishing my notebooks had that one extra feature or another type of layout. I didn’t have to overthink it, and it felt great.
That’s exactly why I picked up this post from the drafts section of the blog again. My setup may not be glamorous or new to you - especially if you already follow me on Instagram - but I’m loving this system to bits and want to share what’s working for my current lifestyle.
Midori MD Diary (B6 Slim)
The monthly/weekly MD diary in the B6 slim size is my everyday carry. The lined pages in the middle of the journal are what I use the most, where I write to-do lists and the occasional one-sentence reflections. I also highlight any important meetings or deadlines I have for the day, although I prefer to keep that to a minimum (if every meeting is important, is any meeting really important?). I like that it allows the same amount of room for weekends as the weekdays, since most of my creative tasks are planned for Saturdays and Sundays.
At the back of the journal are 32 blank pages, which I’m using for various purposes. Here, I placed the MD diary sticker for the month of December on the left side and kept a record of what topics I wrote about for December Daily. On the right side of the spread, I noted down some happy mail exchange and brainstormed ideas for this blog. Right now, I’m using January’s MD diary sticker to see how much creative time I allot myself in a month. It’s an interesting way to see what I’ve done for that month and fun to look back on.
The actual monthly pages at the front of the journal house appointments, time off, get-togethers with friends - the usual stuff. In addition, I place a tiny Stalogy circle sticker at the top right corner for the day when I post content (e.g. a picture or a video on Instagram, a post on this blog, etc.) It’s nice to have a quick visual reference of how actively I’ve been creating.
The MD diary will have its “pretty” pages here and there, but my main goal for this journal is strictly functional. Everyday planners work best for me when I don’t have to worry about the appearance of each page. At first I thought it would feel strange to combine my work and personal life in here, but it’s surprisingly refreshing. Now I only have one notebook to pick up for all my planning needs.
Traveler’s notebooks were one of the first journals that called me back to stationery a year and half ago, and I still feel a pull towards them to this day. My olive TN that you’ve probably seen more times than you can count is currently away, getting customized with leather pockets from The Superior Labor (with Baum-kuchen’s Truly Yours service).
While I wait for the olive TN’s return, I was afraid I would give into the temptation of buying another regular size TN to fill the void. Instead, I happily discovered the beauty of the passport size.
I purchased this blue passport TN about two months ago and used it for daily journaling in December. I loved the compact size so much that I plan to take it with me later this year to Korea! It was perfect to keep up with during December Daily and never felt stressful. After placing a few stamps, washi tapes and stickers, there was just enough room to scribble daily happenings. I imagine it’ll work just as well for a two-week international trip, filled with ephemera, photos and quotes for memories.
Once I have the olive TN back at my desk, I want to continue memory-keeping in it and writing freely. Traveler’s notebooks are the epitome of experimentation with their endless combination of setups and ways of usage, so I’m not worried about how exactly I’ll be using the two different sizes in conjunction. I will most likely use one TN at a time on a regular basis and no more.
Midori MD Notebook (A5)
Last but not least are A5 size notebooks, arguably my favorite for at-home journaling due to the ample room their pages provide. I’m currently using the Midori MD 10th anniversary sketch journal and have made it about halfway through. It contains a combination of travel journaling and art - I plan to use it more for drawing from now on.
I love the brown leather cover I have on it as well. I may or may not reuse this cover in 2020 for bullet journaling, but we shall see if I’m up for the challenge.
The paper in this journal is great for different types of media. The pages crinkle up if I put too much water on them, but I haven’t experienced any bleed-through to the next page from casual watercolor usage. Using the A5 size makes me appreciate the beauty of white space when my other notebooks are filled to the corners with writing and stickers. I feel like the blank space lets the colors of the drawings breathe, no matter how amateur my doodles and sketches might be.
I know my own preferences and tendencies, which means it’s time for another confession: my brain maxes out at three notebooks. Any more than that means I get overwhelmed, feeling guilty that I’m not using what I have often enough to justify it as a part of my analogue system. No one knows what the rest of the year may bring, but for now, I can say that I’m truly content with what I’m using!
What are you using for this year? Are you continuing with the same setup from previous years, or trying something new? I would love to know in the comments below. I’ll keep you updated on how this setup works for me down the road! Thanks for reading.