Saturday, 30 April 2016

Triplus Fineliners

As part of my foray into bullet journalling, I have bought a set of Staedtler Triplus Fineliners. The set I bought has 12 colours in a magnetic 'magic' case. More on the case in a moment.

The pens:
The colours in the set I bought are a nice selection:

They (as expected) have both vibrant colours and a fine line. Here are the colours written out on ~A6 Clairefontaine paper, which shows off their colours well (and after all, I am mostly using Clairefontaine in my bullet journalling).

The case:
The case is a strange thing. I find the catch to open it very stiff (and on a couple of occasions have jemmied it open with a ruler). Once it's open, it can be folded back on itself so that the top and the base are now in contact and then you can keep rotating the two bits and open it out and the pens are now on the other sides.

Back to back
Opened - with the two sides swapped

While this is quite fun, I do find getting the pens in and out of the case difficult as the clips for the pens are quite firm. It also takes up a lot of real-estate and so I've transferred all of the pens into my pencil case. The case they came in is okay, but it's too bulky and stiff for my taste. However, the pens were the cheapest in this form!

I'm using them for colour-coding the to-do/next actions in my journal/planner, but if you have been bitten by the adult colouring books craze, they would be fabulous as the ink flows well, the tip is very fine and the colours are generally strong.

All in all, I think they were a good purchase and have helped with the colour-coding in my bullet journal.

[If you buy them from the link below, I get a few pennies.]

Thursday, 7 April 2016

More playing with bullet journalling

The bit of my planning that's been falling down recently has been my day planning/weekly list (which is another reason why I'm contemplating a shift towards more bullet journalling type stuff).

I've been using the ABP2 day per page from Quo Vadis as my day planner. It sucks. I've tried to like it, I really have (see here for the most positive I've been...), but those teeny tiny spaces (3.5mm to a line... 3.5!) are defeating me. When I get back from my holiday, I'm going to move to using a pocket (9cm x 14cm) grid Clairefontaine and do a combination of bullet journalling and day planning in a view. I shall do my morning brain dump into the RHS (which I will also use as general bullet journalling space) and then plan my day in the LHS, using time-boxing. The grid is 5mm so I shall have 10mm per hour instead of 7mm - only a small difference, but a significant one!

Image taken from

It's a much smaller footprint on my desk too - 14cm x 18cm c.f. 17cm x4cm - but with pretty much double the usable space. In my weekly planning session, I'll add tasks to the appropriate day (the way I used to with the ABP2). Each morning I'll then do a brain dump, adding to that list, before planning my day on the LHS. The A6 Clairefontaine is also small enough for me to shove in a pocket if I do actually move away from my desk (which, in fairness, doesn't happen all that often).

Planning on the LHS; space for bullet journal/lists on RHS

In the past, I've bought these little books from Bureau Direct (no affiliation just a perennially happy customer!). You used to be able to buy them singly, but it seems as if they are only available in packs of 10 now, which is a shame for those wanting to just try them out. They have 96 pages, are fountain pen friendly and really cheap! See the listing here. I'm not really one to keep day to day planning - once the day is gone, I don't need the plan, so I won't feel at all upset to toss these once they're full. My writing buddy (Stuart) gifted me 30 of these small notebooks (Go Stu!!) so I have some to be working my way through!

I may possibly have (as in, I have) bought a pack of Staedtler Triplus pens too, in an attempt to pretty the thing up in some way... more on it all when I come back from my holidays!

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Bullet Journalling... the notebook

In my last post (you can read it here... it opens in a new window) I said that I was going to try out a modified form of bullet journalling as a way to try and keep track of long-term goals and plans. I finished the post saying I now just needed to choose a notebook for this.

It probably won't come as any great surprise to those who know me, that I've gone for an A5 Leuchtturm notebook. There are a number of reasons:
  1. I have a few of them in the stationery emporium, waiting to be used
  2. They have space for an index at the front, ready made
  3. The pages are numbered already
  4. There is a space for filling in the date on each page (though I may not always use it for that, but for indicating the topic instead)
  5. They are fairly fountain pen friendly (though there is always some ghosting/show through)

I've not done much with it yet, as I am about to go on holiday (before the madness of the book launch starts...), other than label up the life-areas and fill in the index for the pages used so far. I'm going to take it away on holiday with me and fill in some of it there.

Pictures when I come back!

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Dipping my toe into Bullet Journalling...

Hello all you lovely patient people who amazingly still follow this blog, even though I haven't posted anything like as much as I've wanted to recently... It's all The Wrong Kind of Clouds' fault, and my author blog over at!

Anyway, recently, I've been chatting to my lovely friend Helen (*waves*) about my lack of ability to manage my long term plans. I drew up a plan for the year, way back in January, which charted, week by week, what I was hoping to get done. The big problems have been that a) I'm evidently rubbish at guestimating time for projects, b) a whole heap of other stuff came up that I hadn't budgeted for, c) I only put writing plans on it and none of the other life-areas (which were still getting done and still taking up time...) so it wasn't a great representation of life, and d) my levels of productivity and levels of procrastination have swapped roles and I've been b*ggering about too much!

This has really struck home now that Q1 is finished and I'm supposed to be drawing up Q2 plans and thinking about something other than publishing The Wrong Kind of Clouds (which, admittedly, has taken over my life a bit...). I genuinely have no real idea what I'm supposed to be trying to do in Q2, beyond my writing goals and wishing I were a bit thinner and a bit faster at running.

My current planning system (I use the term loosely!) is working okay (ish!) for week to week stuff, but isn't really doing much beyond that and is getting a bit scattered, too. I know how to fix that (and more on that in another post) but I'm really not doing well on my longer-term goals.


I may have a go at a modified version of bullet journalling. Modified in that it will really only be long-term stuff in it and not the daily log aspects.

The sorts of things I think I will have in the notebook are:
  • Index
  • Year goals for each life area on a LHS with quarterly goals arising from these on the RHS of a spread (one double spread for each life area)
  • Monthly goals (broken down into life areas; drawn up month by month, rather than in advance)
  • Monthly reviews (done just before drawing up the goals for the next month)
  • Quarterly reviews 

There probably won't be any weekly planning in there, because that will still get done in my week + notes diary in my TN, using my long term goals as guidance. That said, if I get into the bullet journalling, maybe I will embrace the whole lot and do yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly and day stuff in there.

Now... just have to choose which of the zillion notebooks I have, to use as my bullet journal!