State of the journal.

Hot on the heels of my last Bullet Journal post, I feel like I need to mention where I am now with this whole journalling and keeping lists thing that I do. Mainly because I’m slightly obsessed at the moment. At the end of the last post I showed a picture of a cute little case that is Field Note size. It was one that my friend Adrian made for me. I’ve been carrying that around with my A5 Rhodia for a while. I take notes, little things I want to remember and I wanted to keep separate. Yet, it hadn’t dawned on me that that size journal could be my one and only.

In walked Beth and all her pins for the Midori journal. The Midori comes in 2 sizes and Beth is all about the regular larger size which she just wrote about HERE. I had this little green leather cover and lots of Field Notes sized things already so I decided to go with the “Passport” size. I didn’t want to have to really buy much. Ok, honesty check in; I wanted to buy a ton of paper things but my budget said I wasn’t allowed to do that. I decided not to have a complete drag out fight with the budget.
Top L to R: Word Notebooks, Moleskine Volant XS, Midori Blank. Bottom L to R: Yellow Paper House, and Field Notes.

I did end up getting a new simple basic cover from ChicSparrow. The little green one just wasn’t big enough (don’t worry, I’m still using it, my farm journal is now in it and it rests at my desk). If you’re curious about exactly what I got, its the Classic Maverick in Brown. It’s just about the most perfect cover. I love it and I’ll go back there if I need another cover.
It’s perfect and as you can see, I loaded it up. However, because of it’s “Passport” size it’s still really manageable. It’s fat and happy but still really easy to hold in my hand.

Do you want to take a tour to see what’s in it? Sure you do.

First and foremost is my planner. I didn’t like the one that I purchased for this task so I printed out some pages, cut up a watercolor I had started and stapled them together into one book. I like how this works (at least for today). The 2nd half of the week – the days of the week are lost in the spine, I will need to put this over to the right in the next printing. I’ll also add a square or circle as a spot to put the date. If these turn out good, I’ll eventually share them.

Then I have my Field Notes books. One has just general notes, typical journal kind of stuff, things I want to remember. The other one has biznessy stuff. This is the one that will take the things (once full) that I will keep at my desk until I have exhausted it. Design ideas, article notes, book stuff… those kinds of things that are important to me to be at hand easily. The biggest reason I’ve felt I needed to change my journal.

The next 2 books are kind of combined on one string. I wanted to use a Moleskine Volant for a daily exercise that I do. I have used Volants for this for quite some time and it’s always been a separate book that I’ve had to carry around. What a revelation if I could have it all in one. If you’re familiar with the Volant books you would know that it’s bound different than all the other books I’m using for this. The Midori system is based on everything being held by the spine elastics. If you don’t know what I mean, there are links below on how the Midori system works. I had to come up with a way to make this work if I wanted to use it. Paper clips are the key here. Or at least it was for me.
I bent the clip up into a large eye hook with about 1.5 inches straight going into the spine of the book. I did 2 clips, one for each end of the book and inserted them.
Then I untied the elastic string that would hold it all together, fed them through the hooks and retied it.
This method and the size of the Volant allows me to still have use of that string with a smaller sized book like the Midori passport. That’s exactly what I did. I inserted a Midori sketch (blank) book in this spot.

The final inserts are my folders.
The clear plastic one is a purchased Midori folder that has a ziploc type bag on one side and a space for business cards on the other. The blue folder is a file folder that I made into a 6 pocket folder using a tutorial to make my own 6 pocket folder. I happen to have a minor love of washi tape. This is why you can see the edges on mine and the one in the video doesn’t show. The video is for the regular size Midori but obviously, I made it work with the smaller size. I just had to cut off a bit more of the folder to make it work.

We’re almost at the end here….I have a binder clip at final edge of the journal cover.
Turns out the ChicSparrow journal is the right size for a regular sheet of paper to be fed through and under the bands at the back spine. This binder clip is also great to clip my pen too. You can see in the closed journal pictures that the outer band also helps hold the pen. The pen itself is not a fountain pen because I don’t have one that fits with the journal as I would like it to. This pen is a refillable one, though. It’s a J. Herbin ball point. It’s less wet than a fountain pen too, which is great if you have cheaper paper that might bleed through. I still often carry a Lamy Safari with me so don’t worry, I’m not without a fountain pen most of the time.

Finally, the last touch I’ve added are the book marks. Some cover systems come with a book mark, this did not. I had some 4 ply silk that I spun so I cut a double long length, attached it to the the bands at the spine, added a few beads and voila, book marks.
I’m not sure how well the silk will wear and I feel its a little thinner than I really wanted. Also, because of that, I didn’t do a great job with the beads. If the silk holds out, I’ll spin some thicker stuff or cable ply 2 of these together. If it doesn’t I’ll spin some linen to go in there. Either way, the book marks will be getting an upgrade.

I’ve been dabbling with this system for a couple of weeks but only serious about it in the past week and I’ve finally set aside my A5 and started to only carry this. Of course, time will tell if this is the system for me. Right now, I’m loving it. I love how it fits in my hand, my bag, and I can still clip it open on my desk so the planner part is visible. It’s all New Relationship infatuation at the moment. I’ll be sure to check back in when the honeymoon is over to let you know what I really think. I’m also pretty sure the books will change so we’ll see how all that goes.

I want to give out one word of caution to anyone getting into the Midori’s and especially this size. Research the books you are using and the size. Not all “Passport” sized books are the same size. The Midori passport is smaller than the field notes, Volant XS, Word Notebooks, etc. If you buy the Midori cover, these things will stick out some, even if you put in only 1 book. Watch the Ink Nouveau video that I’ve linked below so you will have an idea of how that works out. ChicSparrow covers, as you can see above, fit all these sizes perfectly. I know there are others that are making good covers that fit and they aren’t all leather. I’ve not linked to them because I’m not using them personally. I have some in my Pinterest though, and you can find others that talk about other covers. Just be mindful of the size or you might be surprised.

Midori at Jetpens
Midori at Goulet
My Pinterest on Journals
Ink Nouveau’s video on the Midori journal system
Video that convinced me the Passport size would work for me
There’s also a ton of links up there in the writing.

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3 Responses to State of the journal.

  1. whimsyknits says:

    I live my ChicSparrow Creme Brûlée cover. I use cahier sized inserts. Journaling and lists are the best!!! Enjoying your posts.

  2. Pingback: Bizness – Lists. | Amy King

  3. Pingback: The Journal. Again. | Amy King

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