2018 Setup Part 2: Journal Choices

I’m currently basking in my own indecision around my 2018 diary and daily journal choices. Part 1 of this two-part series looked at the choices I’ve narrowed down for my diary setup, where I record my day-to-day activities, things to remember, upcoming tasks, the occasional list and any other necessary jottings that help me keep life organised. Part 2 today is looking at my daily journaling options, where I record more detail and experiences that I want to remember.

Daily journal preferences

I keep my journal at home and fill it out on a daily basis, noting what I did that day, anything interesting that happened or thoughts that I’ve had. This means that I’m looking for a day-to-page journal. Over the past two years, I like to include photos that I print with my Polaroid ZIP photo printer. Good paper is critical with a daily journal because I’ll spend so much time in the year writing in it. Any journal I choose has to be able to offer an enjoyable writing experience with fountain pens. Finally, I’m looking for something relatively compact. I don’t want to look back on a journal full of empty space on pages at the end of the year. This year’s Hobonichi Techo has proved to be a good size for that reason. So, here are the contenders! FYI – I’ve already narrowed these down from more choices, ruling some out simply because of cost or designs that I’m not really interested in using.

Journaling: Contenders

Hobonichi Techo

Is there a stationery fan anywhere that hasn’t considered the Hobonichi Techo? It has been my journaling choice for the past two years. In 2016, my Techo was my constant companion (in fact, I singled it out as a stationery constant in life). My attention to my 2017 Techo has been pitiful in comparison. I’m not sure whether this is because the wedding was a focal point this year and if I felt like I had less time and less to write on a daily basis. I definitely felt in the lead-up to the wedding that I was overwhelmed with things to do and I de-prioritised journaling and creative projects generally. Unfortunately since the wedding I haven’t consistently resumed using it; in my mind I think I’ve put the Techo to bed this year hoping to start afresh with daily journaling next year. I hope it’s not a signal that I have fallen out of love with this system.

An example of a journaling layout in my 2016 Hobonichi Techo. I love the Hobo’s overall aesthetic when I use it properly.

I very much enjoy the writing experience, design and philosophy behind the Techo, and it has become much more readily available in the UK from a variety of sellers than it was even two years ago. The paper is a big selling point, and I do enjoy the flexibility of graph paper, as it looks particularly neat with a daily photo. It’s £40, which I think is good value for such a beautiful piece of stationery.

My 2016 Hobonichi Techo (look how chunky and well-used it was!) compared to my new 2017 Hobonichi Techo.

Hope House Press Personalised Diary

This British company produces beautiful leather notebook and journals. The one I have my eye on comes in a variety of sizes ranging from pocket to large, and is personalised with a lovely, simple serif font. The colours are lovely (I am particularly drawn to Heritage Green) and comes with a day-to-page view, although there are choices for weekly and monthly diary-style insides. The “small” size is A6, the same as the Hobonichi Techo, which would make storage easy. It is comparable in price to the Techo too, coming in at £46.

An example of a personalised Hope House Press diary. Lovely isn’t it? Shout out to the Staedtler Noris pencils too! (Photo credit: Hope House Press)

I am seriously tempted by this notebook. The only drawback is that it is lined, which I find the most unflexible of paper formats. The creamy paper looks lovely, I like the simple layout design, it looks very sturdy and it looks like it will develop an attractive patina over the year, and it is British made, which is a big selling point. As I mentioned with the Mark + Fold diary in my last post, I feel like I am often overlooking or simply unaware of British stationery, and I would like to make more of a point to explore what we have to offer here.

The daily view in the Hope House Press journal. (Photo source: Hope House Press)

A Field Notes setup

Just throwing this one out there. I am SABLE (Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy) on almost all stationery products, particularly with Field Notes. Perhaps I should convert away from a one-year journal and use my Field Notes stash for daily journaling. I could still do one-day to a page (or longer if I so wished) and the paper size is perfect for a daily photo. They would look great at the end of the year all stacked up (I already take a lot of satisfaction seeing all of my used Field Notes at the end of the year). I could match my notebook choice to the season (I’m thinking Cold Horizon for January, Red Blooded for February, Shenandoah for March, etc…) and it would effectively cost nothing. Well, it’s less a cost saved and more of a cost avoided, given that I would not be buying a 2018 journal. I would stick with graph-paper Field Notes for the flexibility it offers, although they wouldn’t be ideal for fountain pen use.

Ah Field Notes. Are you my daily journaling choice for 2018?

In summary

My journal choices are more limited than my diary options. This is partly because, unfortunately, I can find very few journal options that genuinely meet my needs. Both the Hobonichi Techo and Hope House Press journals have day to a page views and are a compact size. I really like the personalisation of the Hope House Press journal. Over the course of the year, you’re recording all of your daily pursuits and thoughts, it’s almost like a little part of your identity. So I like the idea of having my name on it. I also like the idea of using up my Field Notes for journaling though – I enjoy using them and I could do with thinning out my stash. Sigh! Your suggestions and recommendations are welcome – find me on Twitter @londonparchment, Instagram @floydy, comment on this post or feel free to email me at priya@thelondonparchment.co.uk.

One thought on “2018 Setup Part 2: Journal Choices

  1. How is the paper in the Hope House Press journal? The description on their website doesn’t mention anything about the paper, which I find a bit concerning. You know exactly what you’re getting with a Hobonichi or Field Notes.

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