I purchased these super-cute notecards from a local retailer, Sally Mack. Eighty-five cards come to a package, and I bought 3 packages. So I will be using these for a while. They are the perfect size for a quick note to a friend, a kind thought packaged in a lunch box or a note left on someone's pillow. I decided to package 5 of the cards with a bow and send them to some friends. I'm hoping it's a nice "pick me up" for the recipients. The cards are made by efrancespaper.com.
As many of you know, I visited France in June. The first few days of the trip I was in Paris. And I was able to visit a number of stationery stores. It was pure Heaven. During one of my visits to Melodies Graphiques, I picked up this beauty. It's a 100% cotton notepad made by Amatruda (La Carta di Amalfi) in Italy.
The paper is exquisite. Almost too good to write on. I haven't used it yet, because I don't want to blemish it. I love looking at it in a pristine condition.
But the real reason I purchased it is the cover. It's an old map of parts of Paris. I thought it would be a perfect memento to remember the trip.
I am loving this portfolio from Leatherology. Not only is the color divine, but the leather feels incredibly soft. And the texture is a bit pebbly. When you open it, there are two larger pockets for 8 1/2 x 11 documents, as well as three smaller pockets. Two are perfect for business cards (yes, I still use them!) and the other is a nice size for receipts, etc. I use this portfolio to hold my rose-colored MacBook Air. And the portfolio/laptop fit comfortably in my handbag when I am traveling to and from work. The portfolio protects my laptop, but it also houses any 8 1/2 x 11 documents that I need to transport.
I continue to use my LV agenda, and I love how the two pieces compliment one another. The agenda is my work horse. It holds my calendar, project lists, notetaking journal, my pen, my todo list and any important bills/receipts that I need to keep track of. But my agenda doesn't accommodate 8 1/2 x 11 documents, so the portfolio is a perfect place for those things.
I love carrying, wearing and being around beautiful things. I definitely believe what Helena Bonham Carter said, "I think everything in life is art. What you do. How you dress. The way you love someone, and how you talk. Your smile and your personality. What you believe in, and all your dreams. The way you drink your tea. How you decorate your home. Or party. Your grocery list. The food you make. How your writing looks. And the way you feel. Life is art."
It's been a week since I received my large LV agenda. And I LOVE it. Prior to receiving it, I was worried about the following:
-It would be too large to carry in my handbag (I carry my agenda everywhere!).
-It would be heavy.
-The agenda wouldn't lay flat.
I am happy to report that none of these things are true. It comfortably fits in my LV MM Neverfull and doesn't considerably increase the weight of my bag. And it lays flat on my desk. As you can see in the above photo, it isn't too chunky either. I keep a fair amount of information in the agenda, but not enough to make it difficult to carry around.
When I open my agenda, the first thing I see is a business card holder from Cloth & Paper. Instead of using it for business cards, I use it to store stamps, highlighter stickers, and a variety of other stickers.
The next section of my agenda is my daily calendar. It's a week on two pages format. I ordered some Cloth & Paper undated calendar pages, but I think I am going to go back to my L'Agenda Moderne a week on two pages format. I prefer the paper stock and the design of the pages. The only unfortunate thing is that I have to order them from Paris. My weekly todo list is on a Cloth & Paper template. I place my weekly todo list in between my week on two pages inserts. That way, I have my calendar and my todos all together.
After my calendar, I have five dividers from 8Lotus. The dividers are frosted plastic. They add a nice elegance to the agenda, as opposed to a clear or paper divider. My dividers include "school calendar", "projects", "passwords", "letters to write" and "blog planning." I ordered a passwords insert from 8Lotus. It is a well-designed format and perfect for someone (like me) who needs to carry around a number of passwords.
Next, I have some fun L'Agenda Moderne maps. I enjoy looking at these when I travel. And the maps are followed by Filofax business card holders. This is where I keep any business cards that I need regular access to, as well as photos of my family, ID cards, etc.
I like to carry colored pens with me. I use them to address my handwritten letters (I strive to send at least one a week.). And I use a colored pen to cross of my todos as I do them. My favorite brand is Le Pen. I like the variety of colors and the fine tip. The zippered pouch has 3 Le Pens and also some of my favorite family photos. Originally, I had this pouch, as well as the other business card holders in the front of my agenda. However, when I closed my agenda, they would stick out of the agenda. They were too long. So, I moved them to the back of my planner. And the agenda looks much neater now when it is closed.
The last thing in my agenda is a Cloth & Paper notebook. I use this in both my work and personal meetings to take notes. The notebook cover is incredibly smooth and has a high quality paper with a dot grid format. And my Pilot Decimo pen fits snugly in the pen loop.
I am really enjoying this agenda. It is a beautiful piece and I genuinely enjoy carrying it.
I spend a lot of time thinking about the set up of my planner. Over the years I've used primarily a personal size, an A5 size or an A6 size. Most recently, I have been using a really wonderful agenda from L'Agenda Moderne, a French planner company. The top photo shows this brand. I visited Bon Marche in Paris last month and took this photo in the store. I ended up buying the orange planner in the bottom left corner. The size is not quite an A5. It's a bit shorter, but the same width as an A5. And I am loving it. It fits very nicely in my handbag, and the inserts are beautifully designed. I love having the extra space to write and take notes. The size accommodates the phase of life I'm in right now. I have a lot going on -- I'm managing an existing business, launching a new business, getting ready for my daughter's senior year in high school and eventual departure for college, spending time growing my Paper, Pens & Planners passion and exploring the next phase of life with my husband. I was using an A6 planner, but found that it didn't provide enough space for my notes, appointments (not just for me, but for my kids too) and the assortment of odds and ends I need to carry with me each day. The only downside is that the company doesn't market to the US. And getting inserts to fit this particular size of planner is very difficult. While I would welcome the chance to order additional planners and inserts for this brand of agenda, it is not at all convenient and is proving to be more difficult than I realized it would be.
So, on Friday I ordered a preowned Louis Vuitton large agenda from Fashionphile. It was $200 off the retail price and is in very good condition. It is supposed to arrive tomorrow. I decided to go with this model for a variety of reasons: 1-a number of IG planners carry this model and give rave reviews; 2-the LV large agenda keeps its value quite well; 3-the LV canvas and monogram are beautiful; 4-the agenda accommodates Cloth & Paper inserts which I am really into right now. The biggest downsides I anticipate are: 1-the size (I hear it is a very large agenda); 2- based on photos I've seen, some of the LV agendas don't lay flat (I'm hopeful the large one does); 3- it doesn't have business card slots, but I've ordered business card sleeves, so that shouldn't be too much of a problem.
Over the next week or so, I will set up the new LV planner and do a blog post showing my set up. I have ordered a bunch of materials from Cloth and Paper for this agenda: a week on two pages vertical layout inserts (this is my day to day planning tool for appointments); frosted plastic dividers for the 5-6 sections I use in a planner -- Cleaning, Letters to Write, Passwords, Blog Planning, Todo Templates; a few business card sleeves since the agenda doesn't have a place for business cards; a chic black folder to put at the front of the agenda for receipts and other pieces of random paper that need to be kept; a plastic sleeve for my various stickers, stamps and other planning tools; and two writing journals (one for business notes and the other for personal items).
Stay tuned to hear how it all comes together.
I love handwriting. It's been important to me since I was in middle school. I've always cared how my handwriting looks. So, I've always been on the search for the perfect pen. And over the years, prior to discovering fountain pens, I gravitated to rollerballs and gel pens. I also enjoyed using Le Pens due to their fine writing points.
But a few years ago, I was introduced to fountain pens at Crazy Alan's Emporium, a local stationery/pen/planner/office supply shop. He carries a large supply of fountain pens from manufacturers Pilot, Lamy, Cross and many more. He also has both new and preowned fountain pens. Some vintage, some just old. But I love going in there and learning about the new releases.
I believe I purchased my first fountain pen from this store, and I've been hooked ever since. My go-to daily pen is a Pilot Decimo. It is part of the vanishing point line and is the perfect size for my relatively small hands. Here is a great article that summarizes both the Vanishing Point and Decimo.
If you are tempted to try a fountain pen for your everyday carry, I highly suggest you give this line a try. The Decimo is reasonably priced (approximately $125-$150), and you can use a converter or ink cartridge. I prefer to fill a converter with the ink of my choosing, but if you haven't done it before, it can take a little time. And be prepared to get ink on your fingers! But for me, that is part of the fun.
Another reason I enjoy fountain pens is the large array of inks to choose from. Currently, I am using the Namiki 100th anniversary mini bottle ink set. And I'm using the violet ink. Every time I write, it makes me smile.
While in Paris earlier this summer, I was introduced to Louise Carmen traveler's notebooks. The company had a kiosk in Bon Marche, and it was hard not to fall in love with the product.
Above is the notebook I purchased. Even after less than two months, the patina is beautiful. I've decided that this notebook will be used when I travel. It's the perfect set up for travel documents, passports and note taking.
On the left side of the notebook, my boarding passes fit perfectly. And they are easily accessible when I'm in line at the airport.
On the right side, there is a deep pocket (underneath the flap). It holds my passport perfectly. And I like that there is a thin traveler's notebook in the middle to take quick notes while I'm in a new place. It's all right there for me...easily accessible and well-organized.
And to top it off, I had the notebook personalized with my initials. It's the perfect souvenir to remember my Parisian travels.
Today I decided to use two older A5 notebooks for uses other than my daily planner. I am excited because I love using such beautiful pieces for other areas of my life.
In the above photo, the top planner is an A5 Van der Spek Touch Me in black. I've had it for a few years, but haven't used it for a while. Initially, I ordered it as my daily planner, but I found it a bit too big for my daily use. So it's been sitting on my shelf. Until today! Now I have made it my reference library for my office. It houses business cards that I need to keep, but don't need to carry with me every day. Gift ideas for the holidays. And my Thanksgiving shopping list and the menu for dinner (always good to plan early). It includes all the things I need to keep track of, but don't need in my daily planner. It sits on my desk and is easy to reference.
The second planner I have put into use is an A5 Filofax Malden in fuschia. I have always loved this planner, but it's too big for my daily planner. Now, it is the notebook I use for my Bible study, which I do each morning and evening. It also houses words of inspiration from my kids, verses I want to memorize and anything I want to study when reading the Bible.
In the above photo, you can see the A5 Malden, my Bible (blue) and my Five-Minute Journal. I highly recommend the Five-Minute Journal. It is to be completed each morning and night. It forces you to focus on what you are thankful for, what good things happened during the day and what you would have changed if given the chance. I find it reminds me of all the wonderful blessings in my life.
I am happy to announce that my online store is open and ready for business. These four Filofax Malden beauties (personal size) are the first four items for sale. And the black one has already sold!
I will be posting another planner to the store site later today. It is a Gillio Giramondo in navy blue (photo above).
This past week I met with Sophia, handle Excessive_planner on Instagram, for a planner meet-up. This was my first meet-up and I learned a great deal. Sophia is a fan of Gillio and Van der Spek and brought a few of her planners for me to see. The one I fell in love with is below.
This is a Special Nomad (Travelers Notebook) from VDS. The material is Touch Me Noir. @inkimperfections created this special edition and it is brilliant. It is meant to be used as a wallet, journal and planner. Sophia shared her set up with me, and I have to admit I was envious. How convenient to have one item that serves three purposes. Currently, I have my planner (a L'Agenda Moderne in close to an A5 size), my Louis Vuitton wallet and I have a separate Gillio Apunto planner that I use to take notes (personal and business uses). That's a lot to carry in one handbag. I think the biggest question for me is whether I could adapt from a true planner set up to a nomad set up for planning purposes. And I wonder if having my wallet incorporated into my planner is the best set-up for me. I like to compartmentalize things, and combining two very important parts of my life might be more unsettling than helpful.
Above is a photo of the planners Sophia and I brought to the meet-up. The VDS Special Nomad is in the upper left corner. And my current L'Agenda Moderne planner is the orange one to the right of the Nomad. The others include a number of Gillios and VDS planners, as well as a Louise Carmen traveler notebook that I recently purchased during my trip to Paris (orange notebook at the bottom of the photo with my initials - PJZ). The Louise Carmen traveler notebook is only used when I travel. It houses my passports, boarding passes and other travel documents. It also includes a journal that I can use to capture thoughts/ideas while I'm visiting new places. And it's a wonderful keepsake from my travels to Paris.
And here is Sophia. I'm thrilled to meet someone else who is as passionate and interested in the planner world as I am. And our hope is to get together again next month and share more planner insights. Thank you for taking the time to meet, Sophia.