There’s nothing like starting a new year with a fresh diary. All those empty pages, waiting to be filled with the dreams and designs and fun of an unfolding year.
Despite being digital-calendar-dependent, I still revert to a hard-copy scheduler for month-to-month planning. There’s something about the act of writing it down that helps me macro-manage my time, and I like the bird’s-eye view of a whole month spread out in front of me. It’s an essential tool for writers and bloggers as far as I’m concerned.
Last year, I used MochiThings‘s Iconic Desk pad. Each page of the dateless pad has a blank monthly grid and an elegant design down the right side. I use that space to write summaries of the past month and alerts for the month ahead.
Fine (.28) gel pens, petite deco stickers, and washi tape turn the blank calendar into a colourful,effective planning tool.
The transparent deco stickers are a fun way to keep track of writing progress. Yellow spots mark my Spilling Ink posts and pink ones mark e-Quipped. The book-spine washi tape (pictured below and sold here) highlights literary events, while other washi tape indicates important dates, like submission deadlines and holidays. At the end of the month, I archive the sheet for record keeping.
The one downfall of the Iconic pad is that it’s meant to use on a desk, so it wasn’t the best thing to carry to meetings and so forth. I decided I’d upgrade to a more portable planner.
I went straight back to the MochiThings website because of their enormous selection and fantastic website. They have something for everyone, even über-picky shoppers like me. Here’s my planner checklist:
- Big enough for info and stickers
- Small enough to fit in my laptop sleeve
- Room for notes
- Heavy duty cover
- Rounded corners to prevent dog-earing
- Protective sleeve for portability
- Able open flat
- Stitched binding (Spiral binding makes hard to write on the left page, and spines prevent the page lying flat)
- No distracting graphics or weird sayings
- Stylish design — not too plain, not too prissy
Ahem…Like I said: über-picky. (You should see my specs for notebooks and pens!)
A Foxy 2016 Scheduler
After losing half a day to browsing the MochiThings website and blog, I found the perfect scheduler for this year. The 2016 Ardium MonthlyPlanner for US$14.95. Out of an array of gorgeous designs, I chose the Mustard Fox. Very cute, and it ticks all the boxes above—especially the style box. Foxes AND mustard. Gah…
A close runner-up was the Molang Scheduler. It includes weekly as well as monthly pages, and it comes with a set of cute stickers of Molang (a cuddly monster or a fat bunny?). The spiral binding sits at the top of the calendar, where it won’t get in the way. In the end it was a tiny bit too small for my handwriting, so I picked the slightly larger Ardium. Molang is a blank calendar, so it can be started any month of any year. A set of bright date stickers will make it pop.
My third pick was the Scheduler Kit for $19.95. It comes with a Medium Monthly Planner (below), a sticky note set, a stick-on diary pocket, a set of date stickers, and a 2015/2016 calendar sticker set. All of the items can be bought separately, and the Medium Monthly Planner comes in a variety of sizes. I prefer large one.
Whooo Needs Accessories?
My 2015 Panda calendar stickers are going into retirement to make way for the Owls of 2016. These Owl Deco Stickers are a hoot. They’re probably a little large for use in a planning calendar, but Whooo cares?
And these little Owl Index Stickers are adorable.
Back to School Bonanza
The end of January means it’s back-to-school time in Australia. For first time in nearly twenty years, I didn’t have to order a huge haul of stationery for the school year. It’s a good thing, because I’d have a hard time resisting MochiThings’s School Collection. Look at the adorable fringed backpack stuffed with all kinds of goodies–pretty notebooks, a whole Roy-G-Biv of gel pens, stickers, pencil cases, and more. $199.
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Stationery Fiends, Anyone?
Does new stationery make you weak in the knees? Tell us what desk-cessory or paper product you can’t do without.
MochiThings images used with permission