I sometimes think that my entire life is written down in one way, shape or form. I blog. I tweet. I email incessantly. It might be the digital age but I still like to write as well and it's an odd day when I'm not lugging around one of my 9000 notebooks. I use the notes function on my phone every now and then but let's be honest here, deleting something you've done is NOT as fun as drawing a big line through it. All the to-do list apps seem to tick things off and that's just not right.
The bulk of my life goes in my diary. When I say diary, I mean writing-down-your-thoughts-diary, not appointment diary. I don't like to call them journals as it always seems a bit American and annoying but you know what I mean. The stack of notebooks in the above photo contains my life for the past 5 years or so. I started writing a diary a few years before that (in the pre-blogging era) after reading a lot of autobiographies and books of diaries/letters. It really struck me that we don't have that sense of physical documentation any more. I really don't think anyone will ever want to write an autobiography about a normal girl in Liverpool but if they did, what would they have as a document of my life? A load of scribbled notes and an overflowing email inbox?
I don't write it with any grand sense of purpose. It's just there as a way of clearing my head at the end of the day and recording what's happened. It's also very useful for recording what I've read that day - I'd have no chance of remembering them otherwise. It takes up a certain chunk of time each evening but it's part of my night time routine now and life would be weird without it.
I'm fussy though. My diaries must be A5 sized and have plain pages. You wouldn't think they were that difficult to find but the A5 notebook market is about 98% occupied by ruled pages and I hate ruled lines for proper diary writing. My current one is a beautiful Rob Ryan design.
When it comes to appointment-type diaries, I swear by Paperblanks. I've tried a few different designs and they're all really beautiful. One constant is the size. I struggle with A5 sized diaries for everyday life but these mini ones are big enough to write everything in, small enough to fit in my handbag and deliciously chunky to hold.
Oh work. So chaotic at the moment that I'm running two massive A4 notebooks full of stuff to do. The green one, as you can probably tell from the above photo, contains my daily to-do lists. The stripy one is full of slightly longer term planning type stuff. I'll get it all done one day.
For sheer kitsch value I have also this one. It contains all my novel writing-related ideas and lots of middle of the night scrawls! Does anyone else get their best ideas when they're drifiting off to sleep?
The only thing I didn't have a special notebook for was my blog. I'm trying to be more organised with it this year but up until a couple of weeks ago that organisation consisted of some scrappy bits of paper, vague ideas in my brain and some draft blog posts with just a title and a sentence written. Must do better.
I saw Rosie's post about personalised planners at the end of January and it spurred me into ordering one for myself. A short while later this arrived:
The size I chose and the length of my blog name don't quite mesh, but I like the simplicity of it this way.
I chose the beautiful illustration that Sarah did for me on the front cover.
And an Instagram snap of one of my best ever charity shop moments for the back cover. I ninja swooped these Georgette Heyer hardbacks off the shelf in the Oxfam shop in Harrogate last autumn. They were SO cheap!
A little bit of personalisation on the contact info page...
And a pretty starry header for the top of the pages, and it was done! Well, almost. I also added in a to-do list at the bottom of the other page (we have established that I love a to-do list, right?) and chose the address option for the back pages in the hopes that I might finally get round to writing them all down in the same place.
I'm super pleased with it.