Confession: The Ten Notebooks I’m Currently Using

I absolutely adore buying new notebooks. I love picking up a notebook in a shop, looking at its elegant design, hearing the soothing flutter of its crisp pages and feeling its weight in my hand.

Each new project I start *needs* a new notebook, I hardly ever fill one completely. I was thinking about this as I was clearing up my desk and realising how many in-use notebooks were lying around. Perhaps this is a bit too many. What do you think?

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I’ll start with the most obvious one: my bullet journal. Even though we’re nearing the end of January I haven’t completely transitioned from last year’s bullet journal into my fresh new set up yet, so that makes two. Continue reading “Confession: The Ten Notebooks I’m Currently Using”

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Three Unwritten Journaling Rules to Ditch

I’ve kept a journal for most of my life. At some points I have been more successful than others, but overall I kept quite a good streak going. I notice that whenever I hit a low point in my writing, it’s usually because I have unknowingly started following one of the following three rules. Fortunately, as soon as I realize this I can ditch it again and fire up the old pen & paper (or, to be completely honest, more likely the closest pen and the shiny new notebook I bought for the occasion).

1. A journal entry should be a complete account of the day and/or everything you’re feeling.

My biggest pitfall is starting with a lot of context before writing what I actually sat down for. This is unnecessary: the journal is only for me and I know what I am taking about. Get straight to it!

Similarly, don’t feel like you have to give a complete overview of your emotions. If you want to write down some happy thoughts to motivate yourself, this doesn’t mean that you’re only or always happy. The same goes for writing down sad things. We humans are way too complex to be captured in a single journal anyway, so don’t worry about what yours says about you.

2. You are not allowed to write ‘backwards’.

Sometimes I think of something I want to write down for a previous day, but I feel like I have to write down a ‘disclaimer’ or put today’s date above it. Not having written it on that day makes it feel “unauthentic”. Nonsense. I’m still me. (And who cares anyway.)

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3. It is important to write elegant sentences that impress your great-grand children.

For starters, I don’t think I will allow my great-grand children to read my diaries. Some of the stories in there are plain embarrassing, and I want to feel like I can write those down without anyone reading them. And remember what I said about humans being too complex for a diary to give a good impression of them?

Moreover, sometimes I just want to jot down a few things to remember without having to write an essay about it. A few bullet points or a picture can work wonders in triggering my memory later on and they save so much time.

In short, I urge you to remember that your journal is serving you, so if there is anything that is making it feel like a chore, change it! Have a think about what your goal is and how you could reach it faster. Or don’t keep a journal at all, if it’s not your thing. Just keep yourself happy :).

Always Date Your Letters | An Ode to Snailmail

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I love living in countries with red post boxes – can you guess them both?

This January I removed Whatsapp and Facebook messenger from my phone and told everyone that they could reach me via short text messages, phone or post. I am blessed with family and friends who indulge my crazy whims so I’ve received an extraordinary amount of postcards and letters this month. It’s been wonderful!

Personally, I love writing snailmail. It allows me to leave a few days to respond to a message and give it proper attention. Writing back becomes a delight rather than another to-do. I can use pretty stationary, take my time and write something long that does justice to the topic. (I just sent my grandfather a full page essay on my re-reading of Emma). But also from the people who aren’t as paper-chatty as me, receiving post felt extra special. I was touched that my uncle sat down to write me a few lines about his holiday, or that my brother sent me a touristy card from his city with his commentary on the odd pictures they had chosen for it. (De apenrots, anyone?!) Somehow, this means much more to me than a quick ‘hi’ on Facebook. Continue reading “Always Date Your Letters | An Ode to Snailmail”

Immortalizing Our TO DO Lists

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I am a huge sucker for lists: groceries, to dos for the week, what to bring on holiday… you name it. I used to make these on scraps of paper (or do still when there is nothing better around) but as I’m also very much into notebooks and organization, I have had many different books of lists, including the popular bullet journal. However, I have recently started to wonder: is it really good for me to keep my to do lists in notebooks? Continue reading “Immortalizing Our TO DO Lists”