I’ve been experimenting with paper planning and it’s all because of this bad boy.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not giving up my digital planning, with all of its todoist and Evernote beauty. But paper and a pen is certainly something that adds a whole extra layer of creativity to my plans.
I’m keeping it simple. Three sections. Goals. Year. Schedule.
The goals have my 2016 goals to keep my focus.
Year includes a “handmade” calendar made with Paislee Press digital stamps.
Schedule includes one page a day for my daily focus – my three most important tasks and anything else that comes up.
I’m enjoying seeing everything at a glance in the digital planning, and being able to draw, doodle, and explore plans beyond the screen.
Products: Filofax Personal (Butterflies)
When you have the right tools, it just makes things so much easier and less stressy. I’m in love with my digital photography tools for organisation, backup, and editing, and I’m excited to share them with you…
My Fave Digital Photography Tools
Photo Organisation Tools
Adobe Bridge CC
This free tool has amazing organisational functionality. It’s preferred over Adobe Lightroom, because Bridge is an organisational system first, while Lightroom is an image processor first, and organisational system second.
15GB for free / 1TB for $9.99 per month
Google Drive is the ultimate option for backing up to the cloud. Play Music, Google Docs, and photos smaller than 2048x2048px (6×6” printed) do not count towards your limit (yay!).
2GB for free / 1TB for $9.99 per month
Dropbox is a good alternative to Google Drive. There is no advantage of one over the other except for how they “feel” and that one is developed by Google.
about $60 for 1TB from Amazon
If you are not always online and/or would like a physical backup, harddrives are inexpensive and the right choice. While CDs and DVDs look really pretty, they are not stable over time.
Photo Editing Tools
Adobe Photoshop CC
$9.99 per month with the Creative Cloud Photography plan
The ultimate in photo editing. Relatively steep learning curve, but there is so much free knowledge on the internet, and it’s totally worth it.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC
$9.99 per month with the Creative Cloud Photography plan
An “image management application database which helps in viewing, editing, and managing digital photos”.
Photoshop is for editing in great detail at pixel level (intermediate to advanced), and Lightroom is for editing high volumes of raw files (beginner level).
Read more about the difference
Incredibly intuitive basic photo editor. Also has a great design section with great templates for blog images, and eBook covers.
Online basic photo editor that allows you to edit and retouch photos, create collages, and create designs.
PS: you can download this in PDF form to print and read or stick up on your wall.
I have been using one particular way of organising my digital (and physical!) photos since 2003. I’m not cocky about a lot of things but I am cocky about this system. It’s the best. Organising my photos in this way means that I don’t have anxiety over trying to find a certain photo, and it means that my scrap process is even smoother. For the past thirteen years, these have been my organising rules, and I cover these ten commandments in my new course, Photo Organisation 101.
The 10 Commandments of Digital Photo Organisation
1. thou shalt backup
Cats love knocking over computers and coffee is naturally drawn to a laptop keyboard. Your memories are important, and so you should treat them as such.
2. thou shalt not backup too much
There is no need to have five kinds of backup unless you are a wedding photographer. Back photos to the cloud where it’s their job to look after your data. Along with the photos being stored on your own computer, this is enough.
3. thou shalt minimise storage USAGE
Delete photo duplicates. Delete blurry photos. Delete nineteen out of twenty photos of your dog eating a slipper in which he has pretty much the exact same expression. Don’t keep photos that you will never look at with fondness again.
4. thou shalt keep all photos in one place
Keep photos from your Big Camera (DSLR), iPhone, GoPro, family photos, and scanned in images under one big Photos folder on your computer. Don’t have bits and pieces on eight different SD cards.
5. thou shalt be consistent
Use the same naming template for folders and photo files so that it’s easier to find something.
6. thou shalt have a hierarchy
Hierarchies are the key to a well-organised photo system.
7. thou shalt make it your own
Allow your photo organisation to fit your style.
8. thou shalt have a processing plan
Have a plan so that when something pops up, you have a list of objective “rules” for how to deal with it.
9. thou shalt schedule
Make it a priority to update your photo backup. It’s no good having a backup system without actually being backed up.
10. thou shalt streamline
Make it as easy as possible for yourself to stay organised so that you do, indeed, stay organised.
Photo Organisation 101 is now open!
Europe has turned me into a travel animal. I currently have all the freedom (thanks, entrepreneurship), and all the places (thanks, Europe tininess). I’ve been doing a lot of trips. As a creative person, this is wonderful. As a perfectionist, this has the grand opportunity to be stressful. But I have Evernote. This is how I manage to go on spontaneous weekend vacations, or month long adventures and still manage to be in the moment and not go crazy (or be deported).
1. Maintain a Travel notebook stack in Evernote
I have four Evernote notebooks related to traveling.
- Upcoming Trips – titled with an underscore to make sure it’s at the top. In this notebook is only trips that will be happening within a month.
- Archived Trips – trips that have been planned for and passed (saved as reference for when we visit the place again)
- Future Travel – plans for travel happening within the year, or that have a few things already booked
- Travel Ideas – any ideas for travel that can be acted upon (included in there are notes on UNESCO sites in Europe, places with their distance from where we are, opportunities for day trips, a list of castles in Germany, and interesting AirBNB places)
2. Start an Evernote note
I always start my trip labels with the starting date, it’s the easiest way for me to refer to or quickly find them. Usually it just gets the name, but since I was meeting someone pretty fantastic, I included her name in there.
3. Decide on details
My trip booking process is usually:
- decide on the place and any travel partners (if applicable)
- decide on dates
- brainstorming for possible itineraries and which makes the most sense if we’re doing more than one place (this involves staring at Google Maps and figuring out the most efficient route)
- transport (I use SkyScanner to find the cheapest options for flying, Rome2Rio if I’m unsure of the best method of transport, and Deutsche Bahn online for train tickets)
- accommodation (with AirBNB, almost exclusively)
4. Add Basic Details to the Note
As I make decisions, they are added to the note with as much detail as possible (but not overwhelmingly so).
A Thin Image at the Top
At the top of the note to make it fancy, I include the panorama image from Wikivoyage. Since I had already been to Paris and used that image before, I found a lovely sketchbook image of Paris and used that.
Accomodation. Transport. Anything important (in this case, V’s cellphone number).
I put the exact details for the train or flight because that’s the most important to me.
Overview for the itinerary with one line per day, and then a bit more in depth after that.
Any ideas that I have for the visit. Duh.
5. Save Booking Emails or PDFs
Use Evernote’s Clipper for this and save it directly as a note. Then delete the email cause you don’t need that anymore.
6. Do a Bit of Research
When I travel, I like to get the “feel” for a place, rather than check off all the big touristy places. I like drinking coffee, sketching, and people watching. I like to wander the small streets. I also really like planning. I have never been to most of the places I put down in my ideas, but googling a place and exploring it that way is almost as fun as the trip itself.
My favourite places to figure out what to do (in order):
7. Download Apps
If I’m in a big city that has public transport (Paris, Berlin, London, Brussels, Rome, Barcelona), I will download CityMapper. That app helps you decide which is quicker – walking, metro, or catapult.
For walking around and getting a feel of the place
Spotted by Locals
If Spotted by Locals has a guide for the city, it’s going to be coming with me. The guides are written by local people only, and include the BEST travel tips I’ve ever read. It’s how I found out about the best view in Paris.
PS: I was alone when I took this shot.
8. Screenshot Important Bits
I’m not always guaranteed cellphone reception, and even though my Evernote notebooks are available offline, I can’t take the risk. If I don’t think I’m going to have cellphone battery, I’ll put the very important bits in my travel journal too.
GO ON HOLIDAY AND ENJOY EVERY SECOND OF IT
See how happy I am? That’s cause I’m not stressed about the details. Visit tiny shops, spend time in cafes, wander, get lost, and know that when you forget where you’re staying, or you’re not sure of the platform your train arrives at… you have it all in Evernote.
Don’t forget to Archive once you get back
To save your sanity, put your trip note into the Archived notebook. If you’d like to keep your tickets as reference, add them to the bottom of the note. I liked seeing how much more I paid for my Paris train ticket that I booked three days before the time compared to the one I booked last year in advance.
A Look Into Archived Trips (and some extra planning tips)
The archived trips become a sort of memory keeping form. I wish I had have started this process in 2013, but I only found a need for it for my first trip to Paris since I was going alone. Here are some tips from other trips:
For a bigger trip, create a calendar
For a road trip, link to the Google Maps directions
Include Costs for a budget holiday
Link for more information
Do you have any tips for planning trips? I’d love to hear them!
I haven’t found much information on the Hobonichi Techo 2016 through Google, so I took it into my own hands and photographed it as thoroughly as I was able to. They’re available at the Hobonichi Techo 2016 website (every year they have a new site).
This is how the package arrived. I paid €6.42 in customs in Germany.
Open the yellow bag and this is what’s inside it.
More stuff I can’t read.
And finally, after playing pass the parcel with myself, I spot her.
I ordered the English version because I’m uncultured and can only understand the Latin alphabet.
More pass the parcel packaging to take off.
Close up of the texture. The cover is solid. You’re going to have to put effort into hurting it.
Grey inside pages. YES.
Sundays are marked in red ink.
Month at a glance from Jan 2016 to March 2017, with four checkboxes to the side. The 2017 pages have a “2017” watermark.
And then the day pages start with 16 to 31 December 2015 as half pages. At the end, Jan 1 – 8 also gets half page days.
Each month starts with a “Coming Up!” page, and then each 2016 page gets it’s own full page. The month number is written on the right of the page in a block.
Each double spread has a calendar with the days highlighted. It also has a small column which can be used for time (see the “12” and dinner symbol), but I love it for checkboxes.
There is a quote per double spread, sometimes they are weird.
After the dates is 17 pages of red grid for notes, then all the extras happen.
This ruler is awesome! And the Conversion Table for any non-American who hasn’t already memorised metric/imperial already.
And some more pages that I won’t spoil for you reading yourself. I know you’ll be buying it for the tips on Japanese cuisine, right?
South Africa is not included on this list, but Germany is (national, not state holidays).
Each has it’s own serial number. To make you feel special.
- 2200 yen (currently around $23) excluding shipping
- A6 (10.5 x 15cm / basically 6×4″)
- Tomoe River paper (smooth, thin and heaven)
- true lay-flat binding
- black and white, with orangey-red for Sundays
- graph paper
- minimalist design
- the 2016 version is far prettier than the 2015
- 216g (!) and 464 pages
Pros of the Hobonichi Techo 2016
- the paper is like writing on candy floss, I’m not sure how it doesn’t tear since it’s the thinnest paper I’ve ever had the privilege of writing on – similar to Bible paper
- there is slight ghosting, but the ink doesn’t seep through (it is also fountain pen friendly)
- each weekend day gets its own page
Cons of the Hobonichi Techo 2016
- cost – it’s rather expensive for such a tiny planner. As someone who believes that Moleskines are well-priced, the fact that I think this guy is overpriced should tell you something.
- size – I’m uncomfortable using something so small. I purchased it simply for my three main tasks for the day, but I still feel limited. I don’t think it’s suited for anything else that a small daily habit (another nice use for it is one drawing per day). You are able to purchase the A5 size, which is double the size and called the Cousin, but is only available in Japanese and is blue. If you have a lot of planning to do, you shouldn’t use this.
- cover – in case you wanted a cover for your notebook to keep it as pristine as when it arrived, you’re going to be paying a lot. They have a nice selection of mostly limited edition options in the store, but I chose to go with a gold, glittery one from Etsy.
There’s an entire Tumblog devoted to the ways people use their Hobonichi, and the hashtag is just as much fun. Just in case you wanted to feel bad about how amateurishly you’re using yours.
In the end, this is just another notebook. The design is pretty, but there isn’t anything life changing about it. I won’t be purchasing this next year, and will be going back to my Moleskine. I am glad I purchased it, though, and will enjoy it in 2016. It’s fun to try something different. And the paper really is magnificent and an experience in itself. I’ll share again once I’ve written in it for a while.
After hearing so much about the Hobonichi Techo, I made the plunge to get one and replace my standard annual Moleskine Calendar. I purchased it on the first day that the 2016 ones were available directly from the online store in Japan.
More importantly, I also made sure to get a cover. After seeing Selwynn Traveler‘s gold glittery covers, there was no way I could use anything else. I contacted Vanessa about having a Hobonichi sized one made up and when it arrived it was even more glorious than I ever expected. The glitter doesn’t shed. It’s just the right shade, and the inside is a beautiful, wedding-ring-matching rose gold. Yay!
I’ve also started using the Simple Stories – Carpe Diem collection from Scrapbook Werkstatt for adding some love to my planner. The pocket in the collection is perfect for keeping everything together.
And the lovely acrylic place holder – I just cut it down to fit the tiny Hobonichi.
I’ll share an unboxing and a page through of the Hobonichi right on the blog on Wednesday if that’s what you’re into.
Happy new year, glittery one.
Thanks to Felicitas, I have become obsessed with stamps. Well, her stamps, really. Stamps have also been the worst things for me to store in my studio. They come in different sized packaging, in different sizes. It’s all very inconsistent.
Enter the Avery Elle Stamp Storage Pockets. Someone mentioned them on Instagram for another use and I fell in love with these immediately. I searched the internet for a basic template, or at least a printing guideline, but there were none. So I’m sharing the one I made with you. The printing template works perfectly for Avery Elle Stamp Storage Pockets as long as you keep the size at 100%.
I print mine on kraft, and cut them to size with my trimmer. The exact size of the cardboard needs to be 5 1/4″ x 7 1/8″. You don’t need to pre-print, you could hand write the names or keep it blank but I really like this look. My Ikea boxes have the same formatted labels and my heart beats for consistency.
Slip it in the plastic envelope.
And add the gorgeous stamps.
I store my stamp collection in a wooden box I found on Amazon. The kraft holds the envelopes up well.
When I’m searching for a specific set of stamps I can quickly flip through the top of the envelopes. I love this way of doing it. How do you store your stamps?
I also have the files for you to make your own stamp organisation immediately. Just sign up for Glitter Mail to download the .psd or .pdf file. Make sure that you print at 100%.