All posts filed under “Stationary & Office

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Behold, The Planning Station

Well, since I blew off money on my early Christmas present, I might as well keep blogging about it until I feel satisfied that’s it’s been thoroughly blogged, LOL. For the past few days, the bottom left corner of my desk seems to have transformed into a “Planning Station.” It’s amazing how, with the right motivation, I can be so resourceful after going on a shopping binge in an effort to soften the blow to my expenses. I was pleasantly surprised to find stationary I forgot I had. Anyway, here are some photos of the setup so far. I’m really loving the grid on these Hobonichi Techos. I have a shoebox full of washi tape that sadly didn’t make it to my station, but it’s right under my desk on the same side. 😆

Fuji X-T2 • 16mm f1.4

Inside the planner  (to see the grid and get an idea of the size)

I’ve barely started writing inside, but so far I can see myself writing in this everyday—granted I don’t have any pain in my hands. The grids are definitely useful and I especially love the weekly spread because each day has its own block and on the right side is free space. It’s super portable and doesn’t make me feel pressured to fill up so much space.

This morning I was able to submit my first ever order to Hobonichi’s online store. I’m so excited. I ordered a few things, mainly an acrylic cover thing for my A6, underlays, and some other stationary doodads. Their site says delivery takes 1–3 business days. Their shopping site is surprisingly English-friendly and the majority of their products can be shipped overseas. No wonder they run out of stock so quickly because not only are Japanese people buying this stuff, but so are so many other people around the world (mainly US, Canada, and Australia I think).

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Sushi and the plan

I bought sushi for my lunch today from UberEats. I love this service. For 12 quality pieces of fatty salmon, I only paid ¥1,350 (delivery and service fee included) plus ¥200 tip. So in total I ate a healthy meal for about $15, delivered to my door. Not too shabby. I only buy lunch 2–3 days out of the week, and the rest of the days I eat whatever we have at home. When I used to work at the office, I remember spending $10-$20 a day for lunch, and half the time they were fast food (I’m lookin’ at you PopEyes). Until I can get the hang of making myself lunch Monday–Friday, I think UberEats and Demaecan (this other food delivery service) are going to get along just fine. 🙂

The Plan

After staring at and leafing through my new planners, it looks like I am gravitating slightly toward the Weekly as my main. Despite the odd dimensions, I just really like and prefer the weekly setup, because that’s how I “journal” in my Goodnotes at the moment (kind of).

Main planner Goals (60%)

For the Weekly, I plan on using it as my main planner because that’s how I like to organize my time—by weeks. I like how this planner has pretty much everything that the Original (A6) has, but that the layout condenses the time by week and adds extra blank space for that particular week. I’m really sad at the moment that I can’t find a nice zip cover for it though. The first week that I can “move in” is the week of November 29. It’s perfect because it gives me a chance to organize December.

Secondary Planner Goals (40%), Memory/Art/Japanese journal

For the Original A6, my plan is to use it as a daily log/memory keeper/bullet/gratitude/art/Japanese notes journal type of thing. I love how there is plenty of space for each day, but I just can’t see myself organizing my time daily. So, I think it will serve better as a log or repository of some sort.

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To plan, or not to plan

How I got here

I think it started in late middle school when I began writing in my school-issued agenda every day. When I got to high school, my creativity bloomed and I remember fondly coloring in my day blocks with colored pencils, gel pens, (and sometimes markers) and making every day and week look pretty. It gave me so much satisfaction when I had created the layout of my week ahead in advance. I felt so organized and clean. My classmates and friends, whenever they caught a glimpse of me jotting my homework assignments down, would always fawn over how cool my planner looked, and would always say, “How’d you do that?!”

Fast forward to adulthood—I ditched the concept of keeping a planner completely. High school was over and I had pretty much forgotten about it because it was no longer mandatory for me to have one. But even now, almost two decades later, I find myself longing to write in a planner of some kind. It’s why I collect odd bits and bobs of random stationary. It’s why my eyes are immediately drawn to calligraphy and pens, highlighters, stickers, and washi tape. It’s why I watch random YouTube videos of hardcore planners and their plethora of shiny stationary tools and collections, with envy.

The dilemma

The problem for me is that writing in a planner takes a significant amount of time, not to mention accumulates space over the years. The act of it requires consistency and dedication—something I have a hard time doing outside of menial house chores. What’s more, I’m torn between digital and traditional paper. I love the ultimate flexibility and control of digital, but hate how ephemeral it feels. I love the sensation of ink and paper (smell, touch, sight)  and how it feels so solidifying, but hate the anxiety that comes with making mistakes.

The nice thing about planning in my iPad Pro 12.9″ is that the screen is nicely sized and all of my writings and journals are at my fingertips. My major issue with it is that sometimes writing on it doesn’t feel “real,” and the idea of accidentally deleting something important by mistake terrifies me (or even just plain mechanical data loss). There’s some psychological disconnect happening there somewhere. The nice thing about paper is that seeing ink on the page is extremely satisfying. Touching the pages and the excitement of using stationary is such a pleasant experience for a creative person like myself. My biggest point of anxiety for this method is making mistakes and wanting to make changes. I’m terribly OCD in this arena. When it comes to design, I can be very fickle and change my mind on a whim of how something looks and feels. There’s also the space factor. How many journals will I accumulate in a year? Will I have to throw my precious journals away at some point to make room for new ones? The thought of that makes me cringe.

My outlook

To some degree, I do enjoy planning, but too much of it sucks the fun out of living for me. If I’m going to do this, I need to remember that God laughs at our plans. By the same token, I also need to remember that there is absolutely nothing wrong with putting in the effort to organizing and managing my time. Doing it in a fun and creative way would just help the process  be a little more enjoyable. And as I’m getting older, I’m finding that truly…little things, little moments of joy…are what matter the most, now more than ever.

I think maybe I’ll experiment. My MCTD issues don’t discriminate between paper and digital when it comes to writing. The biomechanics of my hands and fingers while inflamed will make writing difficult and painful, period. So in that regard, digital or paper won’t matter.  I’ll just try both methods and see which one I like the best. Who knows, maybe I can do a hybrid of both. Wish me luck!

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This is basically my view when I get off work in our home office. Miyu watches TV pretty much all day, 90% of the time. Sometimes I manage to make some activities for her like painting or drawing. But usually it’s like this. Today, during my lunch, I decided to have her experiment with stationary crafting.


Sigh. I’m looking forward to her starting school in June. I’d like to see her make friends…because I know she’s really lonely.  (T_T)