Welcome to our first guest blog here on the Hope House Press website. And it's a good one! Nickie O'Hara is a fellow stationery fiend. She was the very first person we sent a notebook to, for review, when we took on Hope House Press in March. Nickie writes on a prodigious number of topics over on I Am Typecast - once in there, you'll be there for some time! Here's her blog for us, on how she is choosing her 2017 diary.
It’s interesting to see when people start their planning and their diary as there are so many options - calendar year (January to December), financial year (April to March), academic year (September to August) - it a lifestyle choice in many ways.
We are in the final quarter of the year and it’s time for me to start thinking about next year’s diary already. This is always a tough decision because it’s a full 12-month commitment to something that has to keep my life in check.
Now I don’t work for myself any more, and my current job is one that doesn’t take me away from an office situation, I have found that I don’t need to plan as much from day to do so I can afford to downsize from an A5 size book however I do need to ensure that there is room on the page to write notes.
I’m not sure there is such a thing as the perfect planner - just one that works for you. I’m a bullet journal fan - a really handy way to ensure that your day-to-day to-do list is being completed - and it’s how I stay focused. In a traditional diary, there isn’t usually room to make notes to this extent and add in those reminders you need such as birthdays, appointments and parent/school dates.
On the other side of the coin, the pure bullet journal system isn’t designed for forward planning. The one system that does work well for me the Hobonichi as it provides a yearly, monthly and weekly plan which gives you a great overview at a glance. I much prefer to have my planner and bullet journal in one book too
One layout I do like - and one that is provided by Hope House Press - is the vertical ‘week on one page’ layout. This pleases me greatly for a couple of reasons; I find it’s a fabulous way to bullet journal on a specific day which helps me to Get Things Done and also to write down the important appointments or activities for each day. This only works because it’s a week-to-view layout and (for me) definitely wouldn’t work if I had to flip through a few pages.
So, when I’m choosing a planner, having a layout that works for me is the first place I start. Of course, paper quality, size and cover aesthetics are also a huge factor. The paper has to hold ‘heavy’ ink such as fountain pen ink or ‘wet’ roller ball ink and I’m a huge lover of grid or dot-grid paper for my notes. The cover of the book has to be something that I’m going to enjoy holding and opening for a whole year - and this is one of the reasons that I appreciate leather notebooks or diaries - they patina over the year and become part of the ‘story’ that your diary and bullet journal are taking with you.
I’m currently using a Filofax at the moment but I really think that going back to a diary/bullet journal system is one that is going to take me forward into 2017.
What do you think to Nickie's planning for next year? Which is your perfect diary? Is there any one thing that could be perfect? Tell us about it in the comments!