Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Filofax - storing new paper refills for my A5 and personals filofaxes

NOTE: If you are interested in reading more about filofaxes and how people use their organisers I encourage you to visit Philofaxy
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I am a stationery addict - I admit it. I really find joy in using beautifully made paper, colourful pens, fountain pens, pencils, water colour paints, and using paper based task management and information systems.

I often buy paper when I see it on special, or in a design or type that I just know will be great in one of my many Filofax / other brand binders. This created the  challenge <'first world problem'> of where to store the new paper refills while they wait to be used?

Enter these amazing PVC ring binders I bought from eBay for a teeny tiny cost. I am happy to find who the seller was and share their store link with anyone who wants it - just comment if you want that info.

I bought one in A5 and one in personal size - as they are transparent PVC I found them a wee bit difficult to photograph, I altered the white balance a bit so the PVC is tinged yellow to make them easier for you all to see. In reality they are almost as transparent as water. The photo shows the A5 size and the personal size together with paper in them.

(C) http://empressbat.blogspot.com.au
The binder rings are about 20mm and are in the standard distance as in Filofax binders. The front cover has a lengthwise vertical pocket inside, which you can see by the slightly stronger shadowy line in the above photo.

My refill paper stash fits neatly in the binders and I think the PVC is strong enough that I could actually even use them as every day carries if I wanted to. I have also thought that they could be used as a base to make a personalised cover.

(C) http://empressbat.blogspot.com.au
How do you store your new, yet to be used, refill paper for your filofaxes/binders? I would be interested to know your storage ideas!


(c) empressbat.blogspot.com 2018

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Plan with me - Hobonichi Techo Cousin A5 daily layout

Last week I shared with you how I use the weekly pages in my Hobonichi Tech Cousin A5, you can read that post >> here <<. I still use Filofaxes, including an A5 Malden in purple that I use for work and of course Little Purple, however I am really enjoying using the Hobonichi and will probably use one again next year.


Speaking of Filofaxes, If you are interested in reading about filofaxes and how people use their organisers I encourage you to visitPhilofaxy
For anyone who has not seen the daily page of a Hobonichi Techo Cousin A5, this is what it looks like before the pen. I like the Tome River paper which is thin but sturdy and is really smooth to write on and fountain pen friendly.

(c) empressbat.blogspot.com

I like function first in organisers and diaries as they are productivity tools that I rely on to ensure I do not forget all the things I need to do. I like to add some creativity to the pages as well to brighten my day.

The first thing I do is add some time line washi tape over the top of the times printed on the page. I like the times easy to see and I find this washi tape just right for a time line,


(c) empressbat.blogspot.com

I then lightly block out areas on the page, for the schedule, a to do list, a memo and my journal/scrapbook.


(c) empressbat.blogspot.com

I have a great sticker book I bought from Spotlight (you can see a bit of it in the below photo. It has bullet point strip stickers which are ideal for the to do list section on my daily page.

(c) empressbat.blogspot.com

From the same sticker book I add a fun quote sticker on the top right, and a note to self sticker as a header to the note or memo section of the page.
(c) empressbat.blogspot.com

With days of the week Washi tape I bought from Chiyogami Designs I added 'Wednesday' - days are printed on the page but just as for the printed times the print is very light and I prefer the day name to be more prominent.

I finish setting up the page by ruling lines and shading every second hour on the schedule section, rule the pencil lines with a thin tipped black felt pen, add the journal heading and some more stickers.

(c) empressbat.blogspot.com

The page is ready for me to use and I had fun setting it up. Please note that when I am really busy I do not necessarily set the page up as tidily but the general layout with these sections is how I usually set up each week day. On weekends I use the pages in a different way, for shopping lists, recipes and notes.

In the journal section I will write a short note about the day, add some pictures I draw and colour with watercolour paint or photos I have printed out. 

I am interested to know how other people use their Hobonichi planners and I am happy to promote blogs as well. Leave me a note in the comments section.




Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Plan with me - Hobonichi Techo Cousin A5 weekly layout

Since one Book July I have been using the Hobonichi Techo Cousin A5 for my every day carry planner. Don't worry that does not mean that my favourite Filofax, Little Purple, has been relegated to a dusty corner of my over flowing book shelves! 

I am using Little Purple as an information storage system, in the File of Facts manner at the moment and if I could get the exact Hobonichi style layout on Tomoe River paper pre-made for a personal sized filofax I would be using Little Purple for everything!  (Yes I could print my own inserts on the Tomoe River paper, but last time I tried that the printer ate the paper as it is so thin!). I will do a post in the future of Little Purple as a 'file of facts' set up ...

Which reminds me . ..If you are interested in reading about filofaxes and how people use their organisers I encourage you to visit Philofaxy. Say hi to them from me!

Anyway, back to the Hobonichi.


I have been working out how best to use this organisation tool and have watched so many videos and flicked through so many images of how people use their Hobos (apparently that is what the cool kids call the Hobonichi diaries). I really need my organiser to be functional first, and if I can make it also aesthetically pleasing that is a bonus. I do like both function and beauty, but overall an organiser is a tool and so its function is important.

I added stick on tabs to differentiate sections in the Hobonichi as I found it difficult to use quickly if I could not find the right section fast. This is how the week spread looks before I add things to it.

(c) empressbat.blogspot.com
I am starting to get in the swing of using this book as my every day carry organiser and am contemplating using one all of next year. Again, if I can obtain pre-printed Hobonichi style, cut and punched Tomoe River paper for Little Purple, I would use my filofax, but I have been unsuccessful in that search so far.

I use the weekly pages to give an overview of the week ahead and future planning. As I do also like things to be aesthetically pleasing and cheerful, I do add some stickers and washi tape to the layout! \

The washi tape I use is from Chiyogami Designs - I purchase from them as they have a huge range of tape, are a local Aussie small business and, have the most amazing friendly reliable customer service.

So back to the weekly spread.


I work fulltime and under a flexi time system meaning my start and finish times are not always the same. At the top of each day column I leave room for my work times which is a back up record in case the electronic record I have to use for work has a conniption!

On the far left column I have an overview of things coming up, list days off and also if I am on call that week I will not only add it to the week (using washing tape) but also note it on the side. Can't forget if it is written everywhere, right? ..right?!?

I then draw (or tape) a horizontal line about two thirds of the way down the page. This leaves the top part of the columns for my schedule where I add meetings and appointments and the bottom part of each column for noting tasks as they come in against the day they need to be done. I use a kind of bullet journal system with the tasks and will add an arrow to something if I did not get to it and it needs to carry over to another day.

I mark the weekend off with stickers - when a week is tiring it gives me a moment of joy to see the decorative weekend columns ahead! 

On the bottom of the weekend columns I leave room to note anything coming up the next week that I need to remember and maybe prepare for.



(c) empressbat.blogspot.com
This is how I use the weekly pages in the Hobonichi Cousin Techo A5. My scheduling and task system sits on these pages so decoration is minimal and functionality is the focus.

I would be interested in hearing how others use their Hobonichi planners or if they have found someone who sells a similar set up on Tomoe River paper prepunched for a filofax personal!






Saturday, 4 August 2018

Art Journal - line and wash - pets

Chloe, our three year old Staffy cross recently had a knee operation. She is a gentle affectionate dog with a sweet nature. The vet wrapped her leg in a pink happy face bandage and she is holding her leg out awkwardly partly because of the pain and also because the bandage is bulky.


Friday, 20 July 2018

A glimpse of my Filofax Topaz mini as a wallet

If you want to see more posts about Filofaxes and planners please see the index to those topics in my blog  here>> planners and filofax << and also I highly recommend you visit Philofaxy.

I had been after  a Filofax in the mini size for a long time. I really wanted one to use as a wallet but Filofax does not appear to make the mini size anymore, with their smallest being the pocket. I finally discovered one that was not only new, but affordable, from Pen City So in December last year I ordered this gorgeous Filofax Topax mini, I think the colour is burgundy.

Beware there are a lot of photos in this post! I wanted to show you all how I use this Filofax and give you plenty of pictures that I am happy for you to 'Pinterest' or use for your own inspiration.



It is an ideal size for me to use as a wallet with the added advantage of having the rings for me to add clear plastic card holders and calendar and note pages. 



I added some sticky notes I purchased from Kikki K and stuck them to a piece of card which I then hole punched and added to the rings.
I bought some clear card holder plastic inserts that are meant for a personal sized business card binder and cut them to fit the mini. Putting my store cards, bank account cards and discount cards in here meant that I can easily flip through my wallet to find the one I want. Additionally with cards that have bar codes, I do not even have to take them out of the plastic sleeves as I just flip the sleeve over to show the reverse of the card for the retailer to scan. I did not get a ruler with this Filofax so I cut down one from a personal sized organiser.

I cut down a cardboard pocket meant for a pocket sized organiser to use to stash my postage stamps and a small magnifier sheet.

I have inserted a small plastic zip pouch that was made for a pocket sized but actually works well in the mini with only a slight over hang at the top. In there I stash receipts and sometimes a coin that I get in change that is not valid currency here and nobody else will accept it!


In the front pockets I have my Medicare card (in Australia we have Government supplied health insurance called Medicare), the bank account card I use most often and my public transport card. There is a double sided opening slot in the front with the Filofax model information on it, I use that to put a paperclip in case i need one.


There is a zip pocket at the back of the Topaz where I store coins, but it cannot take too many so the overflow goes into my lilac coloured piggy bank! I have a small pen in the pen loop as well so I can write down notes or shopping reminders.


There is an open pocket along the back of the Filofax where I put bank note currency, (as opposed to coin currency, as not sure how to describe it.... polymer dollars??? )


I have been using the Filofax Topaz mini as a wallet for six months, and I am really pleased with it. The size is just right for me, it has all the pockets and inserts I need, and it is sturdy.

The leather is like faux crocodile texture and has a mottled burgundy and black colour. The only thing that I think would make it perfect, is if it was purple.....







Monday, 16 July 2018

One Book July - Hobonichi Cousin - week day layout

Are you doing One Book July? Let me know how you are going and if you blog feel free to share your blog link in the comments.

As I mentioned in a post a few days ago I am attempting One Book July. Although I am maintaining the use of my purple A5 Filofax Malden as my work organiser, I am keeping everything else in a Hobonichi Techo Cousin A5.

That means that the Hobonichi needs to have my daily schedule, my to do lists, my memos and notes and my journal. How is it holding up?

Using washi tape I purchased from Chiyogami Designs, as well as Tombow pens, Papermate Flair, Uni Pin black pen and some stickers I think I have managed to get a layout for the day that will actually be able to fit in everything!

For me functional has to take precedence over pretty for a planner, so any aesthetic additions are added as part of or after my functional layout.

Have a look here I am happy with this page and think I can fit my Monday in here quite well!



Although I am thinking that layout is a bit busy - so maybe more how I have set out Tuesday or the more minimalist Wednesday

I will let you know how I go with these pages!





Meanwhile where is Little Purple, my favourite Filofax?

I am taking the time to sort out my purple Malden personal sized and getting rid of superfluous bits of paper and sections I do not use anymore.

Starting at the front pockets, there is so much junk in there! This may take some time!



Hope everyone has a great week.

Friday, 13 July 2018

One Book July - Hobonichi Cousin - shopping list

I use a lot of different planners, notebooks and filofaxes to keep track of everything I do and want to remember. I also need to keep a separate work notebook, which is an purple A5 Malden, but I do not need to have all my other things in different books, I just find it easier to stay organised that way. 

You can see a brief post about all of the different filofaxes I use over in the Philofaxy blog.

Despite a set up of books that works well for me, I am keen to try the One Book July challenge, and I have decided to use my Hobonichi Cousin A5 for this.

I usually do shopping lists in a separate filofax that has my budget and receipts in, however for One Book July I decided the shopping list can easily go in my Hobonichi.

We are shopping on the weekend, so I have used the Saturday page, which has ample room, to write down our grocery list. 


The Hobonichi Cousin has an abbreviation of the day of the week, but I prefer it more obvious, so I have used days of the week washi tape that I have bought from Chiyogami Designs to add the day name to the page.



I do not always decorate pages as to me a diary/planner is a tool to keep me organised. Sometimes though I may sketch on a page, and sometimes just because I feel I need the extra inspiration I will decorate a page with stickers and washi tape and other ephemera. On this page, for example, I have added star washi tape and a gold foil sticker to remind me to make time to relax this weekend!

I have not finished writing out our shopping list, but as you can see there is plenty of room left over on the page for a To Do list, notes, journalling and a brain dump.

Don't worry, Little Purple has not been forgotten, it is just having a little holiday on my desk!





Monday, 9 July 2018

Brain Dumps in Filofax

This post first appeared in full on the Australian Women in Security Network blog. The following is an excerpt. Please go to the AWSN blog to read it in full.


We have one life to live, let's live it!

Those who know me are aware of how eclectic, many and time consuming my interests are. How do I juggle all the things I do? How do I have time to read a few novels a week? How do I sleep with all these ideas hurtling through my brain! How do I not forget what I need to do!

I go 'old school'. I use hard copy note books, diaries and planners to manage all the many things I do. I also use electronic calendars for meeting reminders at work and back them up by ensuring my trusty Filofax, 'Little Purple' has them all noted as well.  In fact I am bit of a stationery addict, as can be seen by a post featuring me over at Philofaxyrecently! .... but I use all of my binders, notebooks and planners to ensure I have a good system to get everything done.

Brains are amazing. The down side to these amazing brains is that sometimes you can become overwhelmed with all the ideas and tasks and thoughts! Idea overload can stop you being effective. You are overwhelmed with ideas and things you have to do for work, for home, for someone else, to buy, to clean, to read .... and are becoming anxious in case you forget something important that you need to do.

Enter the magic of the brain dump.

My filofax is the hub of operations, my little brain companion. Everything is loaded into it and it contains an index to let me know which notebook I need to go to for any specific topic. I cart it with me everywhere and have pages just for brain dumps.


Little Purple


If an idea, task or thought is niggling at your brain and you are worried you will forget, write it down. Brain dumps do not have to be neat, they are just places to capture ideas as they fly across your brain. Put them on paper, email them to yourself, use an electronic note system, something that works for you to dump the thoughts down so you can relax!
Everyone needs to find the way that suits them to ensure their time is managed well and their random thoughts of tasks to do are captured. I like aesthetically pleasing, creative and functional paper based products, others may prefer to use Google Calendar or their phone reminder apps. Let us know in the comments how you manage your time and capture your ideas.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Around the interwebz - diary, art and planning - July 2018


Hi everyone!

Some great finds on the interwebz in June/July 2018, I have had some free time since I finished my latest degree and have settled into my new job. I have been snooping around the webz looking for great planner, stationery, organiser, filofax, art, ... stuffs to share with you all.

Here are my recent finds, enjoy!


Michaela, from Between the Steps, - AN ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE of mine!!!  - flips through her Hobonichi and Leuchtturm see the video >> here <<

Kayla, from Microscope Beauty, talks about planner things she used to hate but having tried them likes them! >> here <<

Nik the Booksmith shows how to make notebooks from old postcards >> here <<

Kendra Bork shows her July planner lay out >> here <<



Philofaxy, features me!!! I love that blog and am honoured to be in it >> here <<

Creator of one book July, Rhomany, has a great blog >> here <<

Dina Wakley, renowned art journal creator shows us how to do paint pouring art >> here <<

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Hobonichi Techo Avec A6 - unboxing

UPDATE - I love the layout and the paper, so I have ordered the Cousin in A5. I will be using this A6 one to experiment with layouts and to note ideas for putting in the larger Hobonichi!

This is a picture heavy post!

I have seen different videos of Hobonichi diaries/planners and wanted to try the Tomoe River paper and simplified planner pages myself. So I purchased a six month A6 version to try, from etsy seller danika58, to see if I am a Hobonichi convert BEFORE I commit to a more expensive A5 12 month version.

The package arrived from Japan very fast, within a week of purchasing, I was impressed with this as Aussie domestic post can take a loooong time so to have an International post arrive so fast (and free postage) was amazing.

When it arrived, even though I knew it was A6, I was still surprised how tiny it is!  Despite its small size it has a day to a page, month pages, a year overview/index and other pages. The Tomoe River Paper can pack a lot of pages in small space. In some of the pictures here you will also see how easy the pages are to read and use despite the small size.





Compared to my A5 Filofax Malden it is very small!


The Techo Avec comes with a small pamphlet, it is in Japanese so I have no idea what is in it, but from the illustrations it appears to be ideas about how to use the planner. 


Sorry this photo has the shadow of my phone on it! Despite the photo bombing from my phone,you can see how clearly the day on a page information is printed, the checklist boxes and the grid ruling.


Time table page at the back of the book - I like this it could be used for daily tasks that are repeated.


There is a two page spread at the back with an enumerated list of 100 lines to add your top 100 lists of ... something. I like this it could be used for 100 blog topics, journal prompts, favourite things.


There are two pages of exercises you can do in the office, I cannot read the Japanese but the illustrations are well done and I can understand what the exercises are.


There are two pages with useful phrases in different languages - this is quite a useful and education feature.


More photo bombing from my phone here ... but if you ignore the phone shadow you can see a page where you can list gift ideas to buy or make for people and, a page that can list up to six addresses.



I think this next page is for your details, in Filofax the page is usually put at the front of the pages in the binder.


The pages have months shown by coloured rectangles printed on the pages, like tabs, as you can see by this side view.




Each Hobonichi has a seal with a unique number. 
This is a really nice touch, makes the book special!



I will do another blog later on how I am using the book.