Buying new stationery pieces is definitely not something that I need to be doing, I own an abundance of notepads that will probably see me through the next 10 years of my life. However, starting a new journal is something that I try and do at the beginning of every year as well as starting a new diary and none of the options I had already were cutting it. I didn't pick up this mint cream dream from the Urban Outfitters sale until a few days into 2017 and upon first use, I knew it was going to change the way I worked and it only took a few days for it give me the productive kick up the bum that I needed. So here's a little tour of how I use it and why it makes for the perfect everyday work tool.
TO PLAN OR NOT TO PLAN
I'm a big believer in planning and writing to do lists for just about every aspect of my life because that's something that really works for me. However, right now as it's a new year and there is a huge influx of organisation posts online it made me realise just how militant they can be. Some people don't like having a diary or a planner at all or their lives just don't require it and that's fine. It doesn't mean you're not a productive person and just like every other aspect of life it's very much a personal choice. Just like for me, the idea of a bullet journal is my worst nightmare as I'm someone who loves structure [in some sort of fashion]. It's all too easy to get swept up in the idea that you need 20 notepads to look like you're doing everything you should be in life but it's not the case.
So the planner in question is from Urban Outfitters and it's part of their collaboration with Ohh Deer. I'd seen this planner around for months across the web and I loved the idea of it as it's something you can use every day to plan your day but it doesn't have the date in so you're not confined to having to use it every day if you don't want to which is perfect as I'm sure we all miss a day here or there at some point. It's a full A5 page containing a timetable, to-do list, doodle space and then a space for general notes. It's perfect for combining everything in your day into one place. And because it has so much space you can create different lists within one list so you're not scattering between more than one notepad. Which is something that I've always done so that I wasn't so overwhelmed by what I had to do but having it in one place has made me so much more productive.
The planner itself is lovely, I probably won't be taking it out and about just in case it gets damaged and it's pretty thick and weighty so not friendly on the shoulders. As we all know I'm slightly neurotic about stationery and I'm pretty picky when it comes to something that I'm going to be using every day. I need the pages to be weighty enough and thankfully this has a thicker than normal paper GSM so you don't have to worry about things tearing easily and your pen doesn't show through the other side. Upon writing that sentence I realise that sounds seriously boring but if you're a stationery enthusiast like myself you'll be on my wavelength and know the struggle of your pen coming through paper and ruining the other side. The only thing that is a little irritating is the thickness of the page marker, again sounds strange but it doesn't quite slot into the binding that well.
Of course, being a big lover of paper products it's probably obvious that I have a soft spot for pens too. And to some they might think well a pens a pen but using a good writing tool is something that really adds joy to my workday. I'm a sucker for the Muji 0.7 gel pens as well as a good ball point that isn't too scratchy and Livework, as well as Kikki.K, sell beautiful ballpoint pens. The pen I really want to tell you about is the Papermate Flair pens, they're the everyday notepad users answer to the sharpie I think. I love to use them for headings as they're bold enough to differentiate between the biro but they're not so thick that they ruin the paper and they have a dreamy colour selection.
AND HOW IT MAKES ME MORE PRODUCTIVE + A LOOK AT MY WORK DAY
It seems silly that a notepad could completely change the way my work day goes but this planner has. Having something where I can see each hour planned means that I don't tend to procrastinate anymore, especially in the middle of the afternoon as that when I always fall into a slump and either faff around or have a nap. But because I can physically see that hour in front of me it means I'm much less likely to waste it. I'm in a good groove with work at the moment, I've got a really good routine going and that's something no-one seems to like to tell you about being self-employed. Things constantly change and each week you find something new that works. Just because it might not look like anyone else's work day that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with it.
My work day currently looks a little like;
- 6am: Get up, have breakfast and have around an hour to myself [do my skincare routine and get ready for the day etc]
- 7am: Proof read or write any posts that are ready to be drafted.
- 10am: Go to the gym or go for a walk, I've realised that getting out in the morning before I really get stuck into work for the day works so much better for my routine and gives me a really clear head. It's something that's helped me immensely with getting a lot less anxious and wound up throughout the day.
- 12pm: Lunch, mostly likely a grilled cheese because right now I'm a fully committed relationship with them.
- 12.30pm: Photograph any upcoming blog posts/brand work.
- 2.30pm: Edit and upload
- 4pm: Admin & emails.
- 5pm: Dinner, I know this is stupidly early for a lot of people but I go to bed at 9 mostly and eating late doesn't work well for my body.
- 6.30pm: Organising tomorrows to-do list and give my office a good tidy before finishing work.
Of course, I don't stick to this every single day and I would be a complete liar if I tried to tell you otherwise but this is how I generally like my work day to go.
What stationery are you loving right now?
Check out: The Gilded Teapot