I make extensive use of apps on my tablets for all sorts of purposes. I use ToDoist, Evernote, OneNote, Notability and iThoughts for many tasks. However, I also like to put pen to paper. I don’t always have an electronic device on me - sometimes it’s just not practical. Ok, I usually have my phone, but that's only any good for offline notes, thanks to it’s general state of uselessness and the poor mobile signal in the countryside. 3G is a luxury round here.
In September I bought a couple of Leuchtturm 1917 Whitelines books. They are very nice, although in low light I find it difficult to see the lines. I have an A5 book that I use for jotting down blog/writing ideas. I also started using it from the back to jot down notes of things I wished I could tell my Mum and times I thought about her. Maybe that use will fade over time, as the memory of her death becomes less painful. I’m told it will. The small notebook is in my handbag, for jotting down “stuff”, which will generally get transferred to one of my electronic devices later in the day. I like the ability to photgraph the page and have it upload automatically into Evernote. That's very handy.
The problem with the hardback books is that I agonise over what to write, and where. Also, to my surprise, they don’t seem to like fountain pen ink. Writing with any of my pens comes out pale and washy. Not ideal.
Putting all this together and I wondered if perhaps I should go back to a Filoxfax. Ring-bound pages which can be moved around as I choose. I used Filofaxes of various sizes for many years, but I couldn’t find my old one. I also don’t think it was A5 size, which is the size I have decided I want. While I was browsing various journal-related sites I came across the Midori Traveler’s Notebook. Simple, cheaper than a Filofax and a reasonable compromise. OK, paper comes in small books, rather than single sheets, but notebooks can be removed once finished with. Plus, they aren’t/don’t have to be hole-punched. Filofax paper is also too thin for my taste. It didn’t take me long to make my decision and I have ordered a Midori Traveler’s Notebook. I ordered a couple of bits to go with it, but they didn’t have the connecting bands available. All being well I might manage to get hold of some large rubber bands which will do the job just as well. If not, I'll think of something. The notebook comes with a plain refill and not many refils seem to be available in the UK, so I started to investigate the possibility of making my own. I found a website devoted to this subject - mylifeallinoneplace.com - which contains some excellent downloads and advice. I have to say I have struggled massively with printing out a diary in “booklet” format. Allegedly my printer supports it, but let’s just say it didn’t go well and in the end I gave up. Having said that, I already have a diary, so I might slip that into a walllet pocket anyway. I have successfully made my own notebooks; one containing a mixture of blank and lined pages and another which is a bullet journal. I covered them with card which I had embossed. Just a little bit of embellishment, seeing as I don’t even have the TN yet. Once I do, I hope my usage will evolve over time and I will settle on the inserts that suit me best.