Saturday 19 April 2014

Free Bullet Journal insert for your Midori Traveler's Notebook

The Bullet Journal system seems to be becoming popular in planning circles. First described by Ryder Carroll at, it constitutes an effective system for organising the notes you make in your daily notebook.

Today I am offering for free download a Midori Traveler's Notebook insert designed to make it easy to use Bullet Journalling.

The opening page lets you note the date range of the book, allowing for easy archiving when it's finished. Turning over, you'll find the book index.

The index is a crucial part of the system, as Bullet Journal users will know. It lets you organise your special pages - those that don't relate simply to the current day.

Then come 52 pages of the Bullet Journal daily template I've designed.

Although there's no rule that says you have to, Bullet Journallers tend to use a grid to lay out their notes. I've included a standard 5mm grid background with a system of date signifiers at the page edges. You can use a pen or a highlighter to quickly identify the date for each page, as shown below.

If you'd rather not use the signifiers, they're fairly unobtrusive and won't get in your way. The pages are numbered, of course, to make it easy to use the index.

Finally, the the very back of the insert, I've added a key to the Bullet Journal systems and structures:

You can download this insert here.

What you'll download is a PDF file. This is ready to print straight away, without any need to use booklet format on your printer. Just print this straight to A4, with duplex set to flip on the short edge (I'd recommend you print just one or two pages first to make sure your printer deals with this correctly and make adjustments as necessary.)

Once you've printed out the pages, you can bind them into a booklet and cut to size using these instructions or these ones.

And if you'd like to roll your sleeves up and play with the source Word file, here it is.

UPDATE: North American users should lobby their authorities to join the rest of the world adopt the international standard for paper sizing. In the meantime, they can download their own version formatted for Letter paper: PDF version or Word version. Since landscape Letter paper is taller than the required 210mm, a little extra trimming will be required.

Thursday 17 April 2014

Making multi-pocket file folders for the Midori and other systems

I like using kraft folders in my Midori Traveler's Notebook to hold loose papers, and I've shown more than one way to make them before. But recently I saw Marianne Kensington's fantastic multiple-pocket folders, which represent true genius.

Marianne is behind the PocketfullOfVintage YouTube channel and has given me permission to share her fantastic videos.

Watch this one first. This was Marianne's mark 1 version and this remains the basic method.

I made a few of these, but didn't like the tape. I came up with a method that used glue instead of tape. That's when I made these:

I found that sparing use of Distress Ink to pick out the pocket edges looked pretty good.

But then Marianne released her mark 2 method, a better tape-free solution:

I've made these in full size and in Field Notes size, but you can make pretty much any size you like. Marianne's tutorials make it so easy to make these yourself and I'd recommend anyone to have a go.

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Midori booklet banners and how to make them

It all started with a book called 'Sticker Nation 2'.

I noted that the big banner stickers in the book were just the right size for Midori booklets, and I had a little fun decorating my home made booklets with them:

I resolved to make my own versions too and to use other fonts as well:

These are easy and fun to make - in Word, Publisher or any similar application. You can print on regular paper or photo paper and use a glue stick to fix these on your booklet covers. If you don't want to make your own, you can just download my ones as PDF files - Dymo banners and other banners.

Thursday 10 April 2014

I've won a Liebster award

Jordan of The Crazy Life of J has nominated me for a Liebster Award.

There are some rules:

1. Answer the 11 questions asked by the person that nominated you.
2. Pick an additional 11 people to nominate with under 200 followers.
3. Create a list of 11 new questions to ask your nominees.
4. Inform your nominees of the award!
Jordan consciously broke the 200 followers rule and I'm going to ignore it too. None of my nominations will be anything other than small blogs, but the followers count seems arbitrary.
Anyway to start, here are the questions from Jordan along with my answers:
1. Pick your poison: beer, wine, liquor (or none of the above)?
None of the above. I don’t drink alcohol. Diet Coke is good, as are tea and coffee. Having eliminated sugar from my drinks ten years ago I’m now doing the same with milk, and coming to appreciate the different pleasures of black coffee and black/green tea.

2. What is your proudest moment?
I have three great children, so I regularly enjoy proud moments. But if we’re talking about personal achievements then seeing a book with my name on the cover was pretty good.

3. If you could pick a spirit/totem animal, what would it be?
People who know me will be rolling their eyes, because I’m known for my scorn of spiritual and new age guff. But then, of course, I’m a Leo.

4. What is your one tip for staying organized?
Write things down. Always. Straight away.

5. Pick your theme song
My son used to watch TV wrestling and I always thought the theme tunes those chaps had were quite fun. The trouble was, you knew that one of them was going to leave the ring defeated, and the brash music would at that point sound fairly hollow. So I think I’d go for something a little more modest that doesn’t create an unreasonable expectation. On the other hand, stuff it. I want Morrissey’s Last of the Famous International Playboys.

6. If you could build your dream house tomorrow, would it be in the mountains or by the ocean?
It would be in the mountains. It would have an indoor monorail system and I’d have a uniformed staff. There would be chrome and leather and natural stone everywhere. Oh, and a really big opening roof so I could launch missiles look at the stars. A volcano is basically a mountain, right?

7. What is one food you absolutely detest?
It’s not so much that I detest it, but I just don’t see the point of cucumber. I mean, really, it’s just little slices of off-tasting nothing, isn’t it?

8. You are handed one million dollars cash. What is the FIRST thing you do with the money?
Convert it into Pounds. But the SECOND thing I would do with it is invest it all in residential property. It’s the last decent investment left, and the only realistic way that my generation will be able to afford to retire. And yes, I’d want to be buying cars and fancy dinners, just like anyone else, but I’ll buy those when the rent starts coming in.

9. If you could instantly know any language without having to learn it, what would it be?
Urdu. Because then I could understand what my wife’s saying to her mother that she doesn’t want me to hear.

10. What does your perfect day look like?
It’s a Friday in December. I finish work early. I have tickets for a winnable Arsenal match at the weekend. We’re having fish and chips for dinner. Simple pleasures.

11. You enter a team triathlon. Which activity do you sign up for?
What, you mean voluntarily? Wouldn’t happen. My motto when it comes to physical exercise is, “No pain - great.” I suppose if I had to choose one of the three activities it would be cycling, because that involves sitting down.  

I'm nominating these blogs:

  1. Planet Millie
  2. Thoughts & Exploration
  3. Rhomany's Realm
  4. Paper Lovestory
  5. Cloudberry Musings
  6. Filofancy
  7. Notes in a Book
  8. Fennell Books
  9. Filofax Filosophy
  10. Onigiri Sama & her 21Kittens
  11. The Life of the Perpetual Student

And here are their questions:

  1. What do you think is the best thing about blogging?
  2. You can have a ticket for any organised event this evening – sport, comedy, theatre, music, whatever. What will you go to see?
  3. What were you best at when you were at school?
  4. If you could have the life of any movie character, whose would you have and why?
  5. Cats, kids or gadgets?
  6. What new skill would you love to learn?
  7. What is your favourite breakfast?
  8. You have the power to commission more episodes of one cancelled TV series. Which would you choose? (Hint: the correct answer is, of course, Firefly.)
  9. Swimming with dolphins, running with wolves or swinging with apes?
  10. If you could edit yesterday, what would you cut?
  11. You can have any fictional character from a book as your best friend. Who would you select?  

Friday 4 April 2014

Download free Midori Traveler's Notebook writing guides

You can either write on blank paper or you can't. A plain page filled with writing looks so much more distinguished than a lined one - unless the writing is wonky and uneven.

If you'd like to write like a pro on your Midori or other plain paper insert, then make yourself one of these:

This is a writing guide. When you slip it behind a plain page, the lines and other guides show through allowing you to use them as guides. Here's are the various features explained:

You can download your own guide here as a PDF file. Print onto card stock (laminate it if you like, but that's optional) and tuck it into your Midori booklet so it's always available. 

Oh, and the file contains two guides that will print on one sheet of card - one with narrow line spacing and the other with wider spacing:


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