Paper Notebook Intentions for 2018

The final week of December is a good time for planning. I spend the week organizing things, tidying up my desk and files, and laying out…

Paper Notebook Intentions for 2018

The final week of December is a good time for planning. I spend the week organizing things, tidying up my desk and files, and laying out plans for the year.

One thing I evaluate each year is how I intend to use my paper notebooks. This doesn’t mean I don’t allow myself to change things up, but I at least go through the exercise of thinking through my intentions.

2018 looks much the same as 2017. Here’s the plan.

Leuchtturm1917 (Medium, Dotted)

The Leuchtturm1917 is my Bullet Journal. I’ve been using a Bullet Journal for several years and have found no better system for managing my personal life. Tasks, lists, quotes, and ideas all go in mine. I don’t use a BuJo for work projects, but for personal stuff it’s a terrific system. I use a Quiver to hold whatever pens I’m favoring at the moment.

Epica Classic Leather Journal

The Bullet Journal is messy and random, so I use a fancy Epica leather journal for my personal journal (aka Diary). I try to write at least a page or two every day, but typically only use it once or twice a week. I am hoping to get closer my goal of writing in it daily this year. A personal journal is priceless and will be kept forever so I forgive myself the luxury. The paper in these books isn’t my favorite for fountain pens so I typically use a pencil.

Hobonichi Techo

Paper calendars remain my favorite way to plan my life, and the Hobonichi Techo is full of them. Monthly, yearly, weekly, daily, you name it. The Techo uses Tomoe River paper, which is tissue thin yet handles anything thrown at it. As with my journal, I try to add something to the Techo every day. Usually this is a small drawing or a note about the weather or a fun quote or just splash of watercolor. It also contains vertical calendar pages that work well for habit tracking, so I don’t need to create them by hand in my Bullet Journal. I’ve been using these cute little notebooks since 2013. They’re fun and useful and I intend to use mine often in 2018.

Field Notes (with Bellroy cover)

I don’t carry my larger notebooks everywhere, so I always keep a Field Notes notebook in my back pocket. I find that capturing a quick note in a paper notebook to be much faster than using my phone. It takes a while for me to go through one, and the covers tend to degrade and come off over time. To prevent this I keep mine in a Bellroy Notebook Cover. The Bellroy feels and works great. I review my notes every few days and copy anything important to somewhere more permanent.

Other miscellaneous notebooks

I use a few other notebooks for various tasks.

There are times I want to consolidate everything into just one or two notebooks but this feels like a pretty good setup for next year.

Originally published at on December 26, 2017.