December is mostly about the holidays, but of course as the 2015 comes barreling to a close, I'm thinking about what notebooks and planning system I'm going to be using in 2016. I've been thinking about this for a long time, mainly because I want to start the year off right. I think it must be my OCD that says pressure's on if I've got the opportunity to start on January 1st and do the whole year off.
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I'm mainly going to be using four things: 1. Midori Traveler's Notebook Regular Size 2. Hobonichi Techo 3. Quo Vadis Habana (+possibly others) for journaling 4. Midori MD Notebook A4 "This is a lot..." you say. I can only agree. What can I say. It's what got me into this hot mess to begin with. You know, opening a stationery shop. And then moving in behind it. Here's the breakdown: My Midori Traveler's Regular Size Notebook (happens to be the Pan Am Blue, which was a special edition run that's now out of stock) 
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- 019 Calendar Refill for everyday planning, to-do lists, appointments, and what's happening in the shop. I like this diary insert that has the week on one side and a grid page on the facing side, so I can make a "weekly" to-do list that conveniently follows along with the path of time as it gets longer, so it sort of matches up with the general day of the week. - Grid Refill for organizing larger scale projects, or planning out blog ideas: this is great when I have a blog idea, but it needs a week or a month to really percolate, and I can write notes that occur to me on the page as I go about my day.* - Plain Refill for messing around with (doodling, random notes, testing out pens and inks customers bring in, ripping out sheets for notes) *Actually, this is what I tell myself is happening, but what really happens is I have a blog idea, and I write some notes about it, and then I forget about it completely, and in a month I come back to the page and think, hmm, maybe I'll write about this blog idea. My Hobonichi Techo in a Midori A6 Goatskin Leather Cover I think I'm going to use this as a bit of a reflection or gratitude journal. I'm still going to have my regular journal (see below), but I'm going to use this to pause and think about what's great in the day. It might be quotations or an interesting thought that I've come across in my day, or just a few things to be thankful for. I told Jon about this plan, and he asked if he was going to be number one. We'll see.
Hobonichi Techo Leather Cover Wonder Pens Toronto Canada
The format of having just one A6 size page a day will be good (I think/hope) for reflecting on just the highlight of the day, just the one or two or maybe three thoughts that I really want to think about. Maybe I'll break out one of my flex nibs. I would love to be able to (washi-)tape in some photos, but I'm worried that the thin paper, which already wrinkles and thickens up the notebook as you write in it, will become uncontrollable with the addition of photos. We'll see. The leather is new and a bit stiff, but I'm excited to work it in. There are covers made by Hobonichi, which are also nice and come in a few different colours, but I figured I want to try the Hobonichi out long-term, so I'm investing in something a bit more durable and also natural. It's hard to resist leather. My Quo Vadis Habana "Daily" Journal I don't think I've ever really shared what I use for my own personal journal! Many moons ago, I started a series On Journal Writing, but it's been a bit busy in the shop, and unfortunately I've let it go by the wayside. The series looked at other people's journals, and I have a list of journals and diaries I want to explore in 2016, so stay tuned and excited!
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However, I don't think I've ever mentioned my own journaling supplies. I'm currently using a Quo Vadis Habana. I used a Rhodia Webnotebook in the past, but switched to the Habana for a slightly larger page size (Webnotebook is truer to A5, Habana is between A5 and B5). I think next I'm going to try a Life B5 notebook (possibly the Noble Note, or possibly the KB4), as it's softcover, so it's lighter to carry. This I'm using to continue on with my daily grumblings and aspirations and discoveries. I say daily a bit euphemistically because it's not always daily, although I wish it was.
Traveler's Notebook on top, Midori A4 MD Notebook on bottom
Midori MD A4 Notebook with a Midori A4 Goatskin Leather Cover I'm using this to make note of funny and interesting memories of Caleb, along with a few photos. I'm definitely no scrapbooker, although not for lack of trying. I've seen YouTube videos where they show you how, but I think I'm missing a few of the crafting genes.
The thicker MD paper is great for being able to hold up Instax photos as well as actual photos we've had developed. I also occasionally tape mementos in, but I don't really have any! Or I guess I should say I'm not identifying them appropriately as items to be taped in.


So these are my notebooks for 2016! While this is all subject to changing over the year, this is what I'm going to start 2016 with. I wouldn't say that I'm necessarily terrible or not terrible at keeping New Years' Resolutions, but this isn't so much a resolution as it is just what I'm going to be using next year. I'm actually already using the Traveler's Notebook, my journal, and my notebook for Caleb, but I'm going to try to be a bit more organized about it all. And I'm hoping my life will get itself organized, too. It's always great to see what others are doing with their paper and analogue systems, and I would love to hear if you've got plans for how you're going to organize 2016, whether it's on paper or in something tech-y!

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wonderpens said:

Thanks so much for reading, and for taking the time to comment! It seems like your system is working for you very well – it took me a long time to figure out what notebooks I needed for what, but of course for me, it always changes. I don’t use technology as much as I could, I think, and I’ve heard really good things about Evernote, which is something I will have to look into a bit more! Thanks so much for following along with us on the blog and on Instagram! I’m so glad to hear you are enjoying everything so much :)


ปั้มไลค์ said:

Like!! I blog frequently and I really thank you for your content. The article has truly peaked my interest.


Liz said:

Sounds great!! I loved hearing all about your notebooks. The Leuchtturm paper is great, and the softcover A6 pocket Leuchtturms are some of my favourite pocket notebooks because of their size and bendiness, while also still being very good paper and quality. I sometimes think about replacing my Passport Midori TN with one, because the Leuchtturm pockets will fit into my pocket. I haven’t made the change yet because I love my TN leather!

I hope you will also like the A5 MD Notebook! Midori makes some of my favourite paper. And, I’m glad to hear you are enjoying the Kappan notebooks! We’ll hope to see you here on this side of the city when you run out!! :) Good luck with all of your writing projects, too!

(And also, we can special order you a cap if you need one, so you don’t have to get a whole new pen!).

R Kolewe

R Kolewe said:

Yes, the problem with those luscious leather covers for the Passport Midori TN is that the notebook no longer fits in a pocket. Without the cover it’s just a bit smaller than the Leuchtturm A6: the perfect size!

Good to know about the Safari cap. I’ll be in touch.


Shubhranshu said:

I’m a late come to journals and journaling… i started one journal, the nanami standard, for “things I have learned/read about” and one , Midori MD, for my “daily rants/ soapbox lectures”… I am habituated to using a calendar for my work and now including my personal tasks as well…. also … using a Midori Passport for jotting down my daily tasks etc.. it’s easy to carry and to take very short notes, aide-memoire, track my pen, ink and paper purchases… supported by my mobile and Evernote…too much? I really enjoy reading your blog and your IG feed… best of luck for 2016… all happiness and success to you…


Liz said:

HAHAHA. Oh, no. This is crazy! An inkless printer of photo stickers from my phone, on sale! … :)

Thomas Xavier

Thomas Xavier said:

Loving the Hobonichi I got from you guys this year, committed to a daily dose of creativity for 2016.


Liz said:

Glad to hear it! I am also enjoying mine, and I’m hoping 2016 will train a newer and more consistent me ;)

R Kolewe

R Kolewe said:

Four seems just about right to me. I use four on a regular basis myself. And then, of course, there are a few others, one for each writing project I’m in the middle of…

The details:

My daily (more or less) journal is a regular sized Moleskine. I bought a pile of these in Boulder Colorado years ago when they were hard to find here. Now I wish they had better paper, and were better made, so maybe when this one is full (in a couple of weeks, probably) I’ll switch to something else (the A5 Quo Vadis Habana, maybe) and give away the couple I still have in shrink-wrap. Vintage!

I use an A5 Leuchtturm softcover for notes on books I’m reading. There’s a strange, unsystematic overlap between this notebook and my annotations in ebooks and pdfs. Sometimes this makes me anxious, but then I tell myself, I don’t need to be that organized! Do I?

I use an A6 Leuchtturm softcover for ideas. It’s either on my desk, beside my chair, or in my jacket pocket or bag, nearby.

Finally, I use a Midori Passport Travellers Notebook as a log of what I actually do every day, to remind myself that I actually did do something today. (You know, those days when you think, at 9pm, good lord, I haven’t done a thing!? It’s usually not true.) It lives beside the Ideas notebook in my jacket pocket or wherever. I love the way the blue cover contrasts with the red Safari pen I use to write in it. (Sadly, the cap on that pen has broken. I will have to get a new one.)

I’m in the midst of three writing projects right now, and that’s another three notebooks. There’s a Life Kappan Note A5; that project is now well into its fifth notebook. It might never have gotten started without the store on Dundas West. I don’t know how many more notebooks it will take.Then there’s a Life Vermillion B6 notebook; that project isn’t allowed to get bigger than the notebook (constraint! 64 pages) so it’s almost done. And finally, I just got an A5 MD notebook for a new project, which, as yet, is just scribbled Ideas and scraps that haven’t yet condensed onto the first page…

As for planners, I’ve never managed to make a paper planner work for me. I use a number of interconnected Google calendars, for reminders and to-dos and such. My life is pretty simple these days, so this is a bit of overkill, but it’s left over from when things were more complicated. It still works.

Now don’t get me started on pens that go along with these notebooks…


Liz said:

I’ve been thinking about 2016 since…October?? Now that it’s December, I’ve finally made my declarations. I also can’t wait to start in on my Hobonichi – I think it’s great that they give you a few days in December to warm up before January first, haha! Let me know how it all goes! :)


Lilith said:

I actually came here to say you should consider the Polaroid Zip, but I see someone else has beat me to it! It’s small and sleek and prints on Zink paper. The images come out immediately so I guess you lose some of that fun polaroid picture feel of waiting for it to develop, but the photos are a lot thinner and already a sticker for putting into your journal!


Liz said:

I think I might seriously get one! Especially because they are thin and basically photo stickers!! Haha. I guess I don’t really mind using tape or glue, but the Instax film is just a bit heavy and thick sometimes. Thanks for the tip! :)


Lilith said:

I’m gonna go ahead and be terrible, but as of today’s Canadian Tire Flyer, the Polaroid Zip is listed in there in all it’s shiny glory for $149… which is a great deal!


Heidi said:

I’ve got a planner build up happening too! I’ve got an A5 Filofax, a regular sized Midori, a hobonichi, and a Leuchtturm for journaling. I’ve got some kind of image of myself as this organization queen with all my tools – we’ll see when February rolls around.


Liz said:

Haha, I know the feeling! I think I might try to focus on the Midori TN as my only official “organizing” tool, the rest will be more for writing, reflecting, keeping track of past time, rather than planning for future, if that makes sense. Can’t wait to see how 2016 turns out for you on paper! :)


Liz said:

I know well the feeling of dropping hints!! Although I think I may be dropping so many different hints it’s sometimes hard to know where to focus ;) It’s good that you already have some notebooks you’re using and liking, so you have some time before you “need” the Midori TN. Let me know how it all goes, especially what you open up on Christmas Day! :)


thyna said:

love the selection here! i’m still not too sure what i’m going to go with for next year… i have a delfonics agenda that includes monthly calendars till april 2016, and i’ll continue to use as my agenda until then. for my personal journalling, i’ve been using a quo vadis in a6 that i picked up from your shop! it’s still only about a 20% filled so i think it’ll last me for a bit longer yet.

because my agenda goes until april 2016, i’ll be holding off of the hobonichi for this year (as sad as that is… maybe next year!) but i’ve been dropping several hints about the regular size midori, so we’ll see if i get lucky at christmas (; otherwise i might have to buy it myself once the new year comes!

Sunday Notes and Links | Fountain Pen Quest

Sunday Notes and Links | Fountain Pen Quest said:

[…] Notebooks I’m Using for 2016 – Wonder Pens […]


Liz said:

I used to use a pocket notebook for just my quick notes and thoughts, too, but ever since I got the Midori, I’ve been using that instead. It’s quite a bit larger than a pocket notebook, but it’s also my wallet, so I’ve got everything in one place. I’ve heard lots of good things about the Seven Seas Writer! Of course it’s the paper as well. I may have to try one out myself :)
Good luck with the planner! Let me know how it goes. You are a faithful steward of your pens, rotating through them all! I always say I need to try using pens that having been inked in a while, but I can’t help playing favourites! :)


Liz said:

I’ve thought about using a Hobonichi for Caleb, too! I was a bit daunted because I’m not sure I’ll have something to say everyday, haha! I’ve been using my Midori in a very haphazard and disorganized way to write down what inks are in what pens. You’d think I’d be better at telling the difference, but most of my inks are blues or browns, and sometimes I end up inking the different pens with the same ink because I’ve forgotten…and then they look a bit different because of wetness or nib size!
Wow, I think I definitely need to look into your Polaroid Zink! I’ve heard a lot of people printing off their phones, and also Instagram pictures, and I would love to be able to do that. The Instax film I’m using is a bit thick and heavy, so it really adds to the weight of the paper.
I never even though of keeping the cover closed! I will have to see how it goes with my Midori cover for my Hobo, and see whether or not I need to switch. Let me know how yours goes! :)
And! We’re on the same playground :)

Jessica W (@jwrekso)

Jessica W (@jwrekso) said:

Wow, you’re super lucky (and organized) that you’ve managed to narrow down your choices! I’m still trying to figure out what I’m planning on using next year! So far, the only definite is the Hobonichi (which can be used officially starting from Wednesday December 16! I’m a bit excited about this!) and Rhodia webbie (both A6).

I’m planning to add a Midori traveler’s journal system into the mix for ongoing projects/event planning I’m going to be doing in the new years to keep things organized.


Liz said:

Oh, Mark – haha!! Rhodia and Leuchtturm are both good papers, so I think you might be alright with the two, but of course I know the temptation of the thin paper too well. It’s those inky fountain pens making me do it!! :)


Elaine said:

I’ve been using my hobonichi in the past two years for pretty much the same thing that you outlined. So, recently, almost all my entries are about my boy. I also use it to take stock of which pen is inked up with what ink every so often, either when I want to try a whole bunch of new inks or when I lose track of what pen has what! I keep wanting to doodle in the book, but end up writing an essay. Oh, also, I use the Polaroid Zink ink paper for photos because they are STICKERS!!! And I can print photos off my phone. Oh, and I soak stamps off envelopes I receive and stick them in there too. I got that midori cover from you guys, but I’m wavering between keeping my hobonichi cover or using the midori because the hobonichi has those pen loops that hold the book together. Maybe I’ll start the year off with the midori and switch back as the book thickens through the year. Omg, I sound like a little kid showing off a new toy in the playground! Such fun!


Graeme said:

I use a Field Notes memo book as my commonplace book (I used to use the regular books, but I’ve switched to the Colours series because I’m a nerd). It’s where all my quotations and stray ideas go. I use a planner for scheduling and event journaling- next year will be my first one doing this in a Hobo, thanks to Wonderpens! For longer writing (including chunks of my dissertation), I have been using the Clairefontaine spiral bounds, but I’m switching to the Seven Seas Writer from Nanami Paper ( Highly reviewed, and full of Tomoe River. Excited to see how that goes. As for pens, I have a couple of TWSBI’s, a few pilots, and two safaris. I try to rotate them all through.mi find myself using a let of red inks these days.


Liz said:

I will have to try the glue paste! I don’t know if I have my heart set on including photos, but it’s always nice to have the option :) Thanks for the tip!
And good luck with your Hobonichi- let me know how it goes!! :)


Liz said:

We have yet to need a family calendar! I guess maybe because we’re all in the same place, but more likely because Caleb is still too young to have too many of his own “events” :)
Leuchtturm makes a good notebook, so I hope you will enjoy it! And I’m so glad to hear both you and your husband are enjoying the Safari’s – they are definitely some of my favourite pens, and I have a few!!

Thanks so much for reading and following along with us, and for sharing! All the best for 2016 :)


bureaumishka said:

Wowza that’s a big commitment! :) I am going for Hobo next year – my first one :) But I also have monthly insert for Midori Traveler’s blue notebook – that one seems handy for birthdays etc :) BTW Azizah tested Coccoina glue paste and it did not crinkle Hobo at all, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it :D All the best, Mishka

Kath Stewart

Kath Stewart said:

I don’t live behind the shop yet I find myself sitting on the couch suffering the same angst. The 2016 moleskine, red, week to a page sits on my desk. The family kitchen calendar is a new month to a page style this year. I still use my dollarama spiral notebooks for morning pages so that I can throw them away at the end of the year guilt free. My new bullet, life notebook is a Leuchturn 1917 purchased for me as a Christmas gift by my sister. And heaven knows what else will come in to play, I have a small book at my bedside for gratitude but I seldom think to write in it. And pens, I had two Lamy safari pens from your store, one went with my blessing off with my husband to work one day, so now I use the lime green one exclusively. The rest of the pens, oh if I started now and wrote for two years I doubt I could run them dry. I so enjoy your posts Liz, thank you. I am now going to sit and enjoy reading your musings on journaling.


Mark said:

I don’t know what to do! I have two planners already – Leuchtturm and Rhodia, but I can’t stop eying that Hobonichi planner with those amazing thin pages. Sigh. I think I’ll end up with all three.

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