Conversations on Fall Planner Season

We have a fairly well documented obsession with planners here, particularly between Lissa and Jackie. Last fall we couldn’t stop talking about our new Midori Traveler’s Notebooks, and Jackie even made this unboxing video after buying hers.

Since then a bunch of Glittersquids have jumped on the Midori bandwagon. But, we still can’t stop talking about paper. Especially in the fall, with a new school year starting. Since last year, we’ve brought Hobonichi, Erin Condren, and Filofax into the fold, and we’re still like planner evangelicals. We were talking about this recently during one of our Slack chats. Also, two of us have daughters named Hannah, for extra confusion.

Jackie: I want another planner because September. It would make planner number four, I am seriously justifying it. I need a separate planner for Hannah [Jackie’s four-year-old], to keep track of projects and field trips so I don’t repeat too many too often. And just to document. See? Justified!

Lissa: I think that’s a lovely idea, a Hannah planner. And don’t Inkwells go on sale today…?

I am trying SO HARD not to buy a new Hobonichi. My April-start Cousin (the larger size) is my dream planner and all I’ll ever need. Midori for notebooks and Hobo Cousin for bullet journal/planner. So naturally I’m just DYING to buy a Hobo Techo January start. Because: no legit reason whatsoever. A6 is really too small for my tastes, and those Techos get really chunky by midyear if you’re filling every page. I have a Jan start Weeks for 2016 that I used heavily until I got the April Cousin. Not really using it now, except as a sketchbook. That makes zero reasons on the NEED side of the list for a Techo. I’ve been strong so far. For, you know, like 14 whole days since it launched.

Jackie: I still haven’t bought a Hobonichi. I am still pondering it. I’m kind of amazed how well I’m managing multiple planners. Since my Life Planner is basically a scrapbook, I’m so tempted to ask for a Polaroid zip printer for Christmas.

But Inkwells are gorgeous! I didn’t realize it was launch day.

[Hours later]
Yeah, I can’t decide what I want.

Lissa: I’m kind of glad I didn’t manage to grab an Inkwell last fall — by the time I logged on that day, all the covers I liked where gone. So I wound up in Hobo land instead and ERMAGERD, the paper. It’s just perfection. I actively look forward to writing in it every day. I go out of my way to do tasks for the pleasure of writing them down. I even found some Tomoe River paper inserts for my Midori. And since I’m more into bujo than planner stickers, the Hobo format is a great fit for me.

But Inkwells really are swoon, and if I wanted a planner-planner, that’d be my first choice. I’ve thought about using Hobo Techo as a sketchbook, but that’s hard to justify with a stack of sketchbooks in my closet that I picked up on a 50% off sale at Michaels.

Jackie: I just had to google bujo, there is so much lingo.

I’m actually surprised how much I LOVE the erin Condren life planner. I have joined the cult. I thought I’d be all sophisticated with the Midori, but it turns out I love a spiral bound planner I can lay flat and decorate. I am very, very into adorable, kawaii stickers.

The Filofax has been so great for tracking my freelance hours, deadlines, general work stuff. And I do write down tasks I’ve finished there and stuff we’ve done so I remember what to put in the EC.

Ruth: I would feel very Mad Men with a Filofax. I didn’t even know they still existed!

Jackie: Ruth, I feel extremely corner office when I use it, which is possibly exactly what I need to stay on top of work stuff. But since it has a Union Jack cover, I feel more feisty-corporate than Joe Vs. the Volcano-corporate.

Jackie's Filofax

I want to track books we’re reading to Hannah, too. We’re doing the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program at our library, but I can never remember when I go to enter them.

Ruth: At some point it occurred to me that it would be really cool to have a list of all the books the kids have ever read. Unfortunately, I had this idea well after Hannah was plowing through chapter books like they’re cookies.

Jackie: Yeah, I so wish I’d kept something as a kid. Because I constantly come across books that I just don’t remember if I ever read. Sometimes as a kid I would race myself to finish and read as much as possible, but then some of those books just got completely lost in my memory.

Andrea: Facebook just sent me a link to Dragontree’s Rituals for Living notebooks because Facebook sees everything I do. I’m not a lotus leaf journal gal, though. I like the hexagonal mission boards in the Inkwell planners. But I’m really more of a notebook girl…could be convinced to bujo. I wonder if anyone makes mission board stickers that I could just paste in a bullet journal….

Jackie: Believe me when I say, all stickers are possible on Etsy.

Andrea: LOL I was just down that rabbit hole. Silly me for doubting.

Jackie: Drooling over Inkwells. Classic or Flex?

Lissa: I went back and forth between Classic and Flex layouts about fifty times before being unable to nab either one last year. I will say that I like the vertical weekday columns in the weekly section of my Hobo. Works great for recording our homeschooling stuff.

And good luck on recording All the Books. I have tried. And tried. And tried. They simply read too much. I make my high-schoolers keep a reading log (Goodreads is fine), and I intermittently log picture book read-alouds for the littles, but it’s maybe a fifth of our actual reading. I can barely manage to track my own.

Also, I just realized I’m worse than useless on the Classic vs. Flex topic because my favorite Midori insert is the weekly calendar — a week in horizontal rows down the left page with a blank grid page for notes on the right. My god, I love that thing. I copy my major appointments and assignments into it and prop it on my desk where I can see it at a glance. I jot to-dos on the grid page and move those items into my bujo (Hobo) on appropriate individual days. This may sound like a lot of duplication but it isn’t really. Big picture / week at a glance / visible on desk -> drills down to daily bullet tasks in the Hobo.


Jackie: Yeah, same problem! I love the vertical columns on my life planner, and I also love the horizontal boxes in my Filofax. I loved that Midori insert, too.

Kikki K is having a midseason sale.


Jackie: So I just made a decision and bought the Inkwell midyear planner.

Lissa: !!!! Can’t wait to hear all about it.



Jackie's new Inkwell

Inkwell sticker

I love the planner while also sort of simultaneously hating this sticker that was on the bag. Why does life have to be pretty? (Says the kawaii sticker decorating obsessed planner girl).

Lissa: So what’s the verdict? You like? Did you see Inkwell is going to start being carried at…hmm, I forget where. Target or something.

Jackie: I like the paper, I need some appropriately sized stickers. I like the layout, and the vertical columns. I got a midyear because I think the new verticals were only being offered at Office Max, or wherever they’re selling them.
But, it’s gorgeous. I love the hard cover! And, midyear format is better for my needs anyway.

Lissa: Midyear as in it’s six months? Or academic calendar.

Jackie: Academic calendar.

I think I bujo without even realizing that I bujo.

Andrea:  I was bujo before bujo was bujo.

Jackie: Also, I’m just sitting here watching planner videos, looking at new stickers, and organizing all of my stuff. And this is my idea of heaven after a busy Saturday.



[Top photo: Jackie Reeve]

Jackie Reeve

Jackie is a writer, maker, and former school librarian. She's a founding editor of GlitterSquid. Her writing has appeared all over the place, including BuzzFeed, Hello Giggles, and The Sweethome. She believes in craftiness over chores, turtlenecks if it's below 70, orange whenever possible, cheese for dessert, hot chocolate for lunch, and having far too many stickers in her life. She lives in New Jersey with her English husband and dinosaur-loving young daughter.

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