Friday, 10 July 2015

Creating a week + notes diary for my Traveller's Journal

In my last post I said I had been trialling a week + notes diary, mocked up in a (hateful) Moleskine cahier, to ultimately use the system in my glorious Stamford Notebook Company's Traveller's Journal. The eagle-eyed amongst you will spot that I hate Moleskine cahiers as the paper is stupendously terrible. Instead, I have used a Rhodia cahier. Infinitely better and cheaper than the (hateful) Moleskines. I got mine from Cult Pens (no affiliation, just a happy customer) and reviewed them here.

There are 48 pages (96 sheets) per booklet - not enough for a full year, so I opened the staples at the centre of two books, removed some sheets from one and slipped them onto the staples of the other, so that there were 54 pages in the book, then closed the staples back up. Then I trimmed the whole booklet to 12.5cm using a rotary cutter.

After trimming (R) - clip is just to hold the book closed for the photo

Now, call me picky, but the Traveller's Journal has rounded corners and now that I had trimmed the book, it had squared edges, so I bought a cheap 10mm diameter corner cutter and punched all of the pages and the cover so that the book now has rounded corners.

After the corners have been rounded
Inside, I will divide each page into 8 blocks and on the LHS have the 7 days of the week plus a 'tracking' block (as indicated in the trial version - see here). On the RHS I will have 6 of the blocks labelled with life-areas and the next actions for that life-area noted in the block; plus an 'other' block and a 'next week' block (again, as in the trial version). The week + notes diary is to be used in conjunction with a day per page plan and I will use either another squared Rhodia cahier or a lined one for that. I have trimmed all the Rhodia cahiers I bought and rounded their corners, in readiness!

What do people think?


  1. Hi Amanda. This looks like quite a departure from the Filofaxes, is this a new experiment? I have to say, it also looks like quite a lot of work! The leather cover is beautiful, though, and I can see why you were tempted. The only corner cutters I have seen previously were quite expensive, considering that they only carry out one function, so I gave them a miss. Which one did you buy, was it an online one? The paper quality on the Rhodia blocks is pretty special, isn't it? the Moleskines are dreadful by comparison and I cannot for the life of me understand the cult following. Especially as in the old days, everyone would have used a fountain pen, and it is just horrendous.

    I'm glad the surgery went well and its good to see you back writing about organisers and paper again. I just read your review of the Compacts, teh Cavendish v the Belgravia.I'm still toying with the idea of whether I could get away with a Compact for a daily organiser. I've used the Belgravia Personal (wasn't keen on the leather) and I have the 5/4 Cavendish but with my current job I no longer need the capacity of 5/4 rings.I haven't tried a Compact ever, and I'm very curious to see if one would fit inside a men's jacket inner pocket. I think I'd need to be more disciplined to use a Compact, but I reckon it should be feasible. If you ever decide to get rid of the compact de villiers, let me know. Its absence of a clasp should make it more pocket-friendly. Or if you ever fancy swapping the compact Cavendish for a 5/4 Cavendish, again I'd be interested.The compact is the only size I have never used or seen in the flesh, but it does make me think that it might be the Goldilocks size!

    The main resistance I have to TN-style notebooks is that I need the ability to move pages around, and remove and insert as my projects develop and progress. I couldn't cope with having to carry a load of superfluous notes around, just because they were fixed in the notebook. How do you reconcile this issue yourself? Hope you're fully recovered now, and best wishes.

    1. Hi Paul,
      Great to hear from you.
      I'm still using a filofax but yes, this is a bit of an experiment to see if I can manage to use the TJ instead. I've found that I don't really add/remove pages other than notes pages from my filofax so the bound notebooks will be okay for me. I certainly don't ever need to add/remove pages from the diary, other than to add in the next month of diary when I'm in a slimline/compact as I can't quite fit the whole year in. I don't really use my diary/planner to make notes on projects - I have my goals to projects to next actions kept elsewhere (for the same reason as you - I don't need to cart them around with me) and work on them there.

      It is a bit of work I guess to make the diary, but it's actually quite soothing (well, to me - my DH wouldn't find it so!). The corner punch was bought online (from eBay) and was very reasonable - less than £5 including p+p as I recall (though delivery was fairly slow as it was from overseas but I was in no hurry).

      Ah - I have a full-size Cavendish as well as the compact and I'm afraid it's already spoken for. I'm not sure I can bear to part with the de Villiers. I've certainly found the compact/slimline a pretty good size (and as the page size is the same as a standard personal, if you need to up-size it's easy peasy; much easier than swapping between pocket and personal size!). I don't know if they would fit inside an inside jacket pocket - they might, but then they might make the jacket look distorted? Maybe other gents can comment?? I just lob whatever I'm using into a handbag!

      Why ANYONE buys Moleskine notebooks is beyond me. They are utterly awful and more expensive than the excellent Rhodia.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Thanks, I'll have a look on eBay at the corner cutting thing. The ones I saw were about £28 and all they do is one function!! I'm using a SLimline at the moment which fits in the inside jacket pocket, not sure how much thicker a Compact would be, but the difference in ring size isn't that great, so maybe it would work. The PhD is finally over, so I'll soon have more time, hopefully, and might look for an older compact to experiment with. The new ones all seem to have puffy covers which make them as fat as a Personal. Baffling, and annoying, but if I can find an older one with just standard leather, I'll give it a go. good luck with your diary experimentations!

    1. Good luck with your search for an older compact. And congratulations on your PhD, Dr Paul! [been there... know how hard it is! SERIOUSLY well done! What was your subject btw??]
      And yeah - £28 is a bit much! Have a look on eBay - there were loads when I got mine. If you're as picky as me, make sure that you know the diameter of the curve as there are both 10mm and 5mm corner-cutters available (and probably other sizes too!). I got a 10mm one.
      Keep me posted on the search? (guest post??)