A Look Into Our Notebooks – Week 38 of 2020

My 2021 notebook angst continues! I’m at a crossroads this week and am working through two formats. Keep reading to take a peek at what I’ve been working on.

I’ll start out by saying that my journaling streak is now one week longer (today is Day 169)! And I’ve continued using my Hobonichi Weeks for habit tracking and meal planning, but I’ve definitely lost some of my earlier gusto with this system. I think this will be my last week with this notebook because….

Mary’s post last week reminded me how much I enjoyed tracking activities throughout the day. I ordered the same notebook she uses (this TN insert) and it arrived on Thursday. I immediately put it into my Travelers Notebook and began making notes throughout the day. And then I thought: color coding! That could be fun. So I picked out a couple of Crayola Twistables that spoke to me and started assigning colors to activities (pink = personal reading; purple = Blackberry Bluff School; turquoise = writing; blue = outside; yellow = stitching). And then all of a sudden, this felt familiar.

2018 Hobonichi Cousin spread

I pulled out my Hobonichi Cousin from 2018 and realized that I was using nearly the same color coding system back then! Pink for reading, green for writing, yellow for work. I used purple for stitching time rather than homeschooling, but I was clearly consistent with my color palette. And flipping back through this old notebook crystallized my desire to return to the Hobonichi Cousin for 2021. For now. And here’s why:

  • there’s dedicated room for the day to start by 4am
  • there’s plenty of space for lists. You can see in this picture that I utilized the far left column and the end of each day for to-do lists and notes.
  • After the weekly layouts, there are daily layouts that are perfect for daily journaling.
  • The notebook lays flat, so it’s easy to plunk it down anywhere and use it as needed.
  • The paper, y’all. The font. The layout. This notebook is beautiful.

A few weeks ago I wrote that I wasn’t going to order a Hobonichi notebook this year and was at peace with that decision. And then last week I said that I would order a Hobonichi Weeks, but that’s it. And now I’m back to justifying ordering The Cousin. The ultimate notebook. Why is this process so hard for me??! And it’s not even October; there’s still over a quarter of the year left. Am I the only one who struggles with this?

I’d like to invite you to share a recent post about your own notebooks. Are you experiencing the same sort of angst as I am? What are the factors that help you make your decision? I’d love to learn from your wisdom! Please feel free to leave a link to your post to share some inspiration and encouragement with other notebook lovers.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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12 thoughts on “A Look Into Our Notebooks – Week 38 of 2020

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  1. I love colour coding and can see why with homeschooling and a family to organise that it would be really helpful. I posted another one of my notebooks today- having got different ones for different functions. Good luck deciding what you will go for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just saw your post! Yours are the BEST. Thank you so much for writing them… I’m really enjoying it!

      More than anything, I get excited by how PRETTY color coding is. And I like that I can take a quick glance and see how long I’m spending on various things that I enjoy, like reading, learning, stitching, etc. And it’s especially lovely to see big stretches of blue – which is time spent playing outside!


  2. You are not alone! I have been chatting via IG messages with another notebook friend and every time we chat, I change my mind. She ordered her Cousin and her Weeks. I am waiting to see if the weeks become available from Jet Pens. For the first half of this year I used a Jibun Techo that has that same layout at the cousin but in a B6slim – probably my favorite size. I go back and forth because the TN insert is a good option too. I did get a Day Free Hobonichi in the A5 for a project that I am planning for next year (showed it on my blog today but couldn’t get the link to work). The best part is that it is still September so there is time to contemplate!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yay for Hobonichis!! And I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only who keeps changing their mind. I think I’m pretty settled on the Cousin because I’ve decided to just splurge and get exactly what I want. I talk myself OUT of the Cousin when I think of the price and the shipping from Japan (which, relatively, isn’t that bad considering that the package is coming from JAPAN).

      HOWEVER – I’m now looking at how pretty the Jibun Techno is and… oh no. It’s happening all over again!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve got me considering whether to be more organized and use a daytime planner. But I’m afraid the planner would just become another thing to do before I head off to bed. Like you say, there is time to think about it. For now I normally have a list of to do jobs (daily & weekly) written on the back of an old envelope. I cross them off as they’re completed then toss the envelope in the trash. Have a great week!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It sounds like your strategy is working for you AND you’re being kind to the environment by recycling! For me, the planners are less about organization and more about documenting how I spend my life.

      I like being able to flip through my old notebooks that put my life into context. To be reminded, for example, that I was reading The Great Alone in the hallway upstairs when my middle child learned to open doorknobs and I stayed awake ALL NIGHT for multiple weeks trying to teach him to stay in his bedroom at night. It all came flooding back when I opened my 2018 notebook this weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love these peeks into a more organized life than mine! You inspire me! And there are little tweaks that I can easily make.

    This morning I spent a LONG time setting up my “trial run” of my phrenology wheel. Oh boy, I am wondering if I have it in me for that kind of a commitment! But, forward we go! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so happy to hear you’re working on the wheel! And you’re right – the set up takes FOREVER, especially the first few times when you’re re-learning how to use a compass and protractor 😉 But once you have the wheel set up, it’s not a HUGE time commitment if you don’t want it to be.

      And trust me – I’m not THAT organized. Don’t let the color coding fool you! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Okay, so I have my “rough wheel” done. And, yesterday I took the extra time to fill in the moon phase ring – is that how you do it every month? My journal is not perfect, and I hope to remedy that this week for November’s attempt. (although Amazon was out of the Arteza journal you use, I am hoping it will be back in stock soon!)

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I think any notebook will do! I’ve seen some people use a5 notebooks and use the entire spread for their wheel, like this one: https://www.instagram.com/p/CEr5UMKBDfU/ Truly – anything works!

        And yes, I fill in the moon phases while I’m setting up my wheel. I also fill in the sunrise/sunset times because I think that’s pretty set in stone 🙂 And everyday I would just write down the weather and low/high temp of the day in my journal and would use that to fill in my wheel whenever I sat down to work on it (which definitely wasn’t every day). I’m a little sad that I won’t have one this month, but I’m excited to see yours!!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. ooohhh, the Cousins is pretty, but I’m committed to a TN-sized insert (in spite of its crazy-lazy 8am start 😉 I love the colored pencil idea, too. oh boy. so much to think about … which is so much FUN! thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank YOU for inspiring me start tracking with the TN insert! It’s given me permission to go for the Cousin, which is my dream notebook that I gave up a few years ago. I’m so excited!

      Liked by 1 person

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