We’re less than a week into the new month and I’ve been in the mood to change things up. I finished the journal that I had started back in April, the one in which I’d chosen to use only shades of brown ink. I enjoyed that discipline, and I do like the cohesive look of the completed book. Now, though, I’m ready to head back to the blue inks that I love so much. I shall be writing my journal in one of the A5 Clairefontaine 1951 notebooks I stashed a little while ago. And I’ve pressed my William Hannah notebook into service as my daily carry planner/note repository.


I’ve been toying with a move back into the discbound planner for a while and part of the reason is that I feel guilty if I leave the fabulous William Hannah leather cover unused for any length of time. I ordered the matching pen sleeve which serves to keep the planner securely closed when it’s in your bag as well as keeping a pen to hand. The cover is more compact than my A5 Filofax whilst still containing A5 paper and the discs are less intrusive than rings as you’re writing. I particularly like how simple it is to archive these discbound pages using loose discs (plastic ones are pretty inexpensive) and a card cover. William Hannah makes it even easier by offering archive sets containing the rings and covers, but you can improvise your own if you feel the urge.

I was intending to set this up at the beginning of October, but didn’t have suitable diary pages so I scuttled back to the A5 Filofax for my trip to London and then I’ve been using my Personal Filofax since I got back. Today I hit on an idea for the diary pages which I should have thought of back then: I simply reversed the orientation of my remaining Stamford Notebook Company pages which are sold punched to suit the A5 ring planner, and punched the disc holes on the opposite edge. In the ring planner, the week on one page sits to the left whilst the ruled page sits on the right. Now this is reversed. It isn’t pretty – as you can see above, the holes are a bit of an eyesore – but it works and 2 months of things not being very pretty is hardly an ordeal. I’ve ordered the week to page diary from William Hannah for next year which I will interleave with lined sheets to give a similar effect.


And so to inks. My initial blue ink choices give me a decent range of light to dark and all three are pretty well-behaved. I’m adoring the Montblanc Midnight Blue with the fine, smooth nib of the Montblanc Slim Line pen. Graf von Faber-Castell’s Cobalt has a red sheen if laid down thick and, though I don’t see it much from my fine nibs, it does lend a purple edge to the blue of this ink. I’m not quite ready yet to start using Montblanc’s William Shakespeare Velvet Red, but I’ll probably be pressing it into service when I set up my 2023 diary. I shall pad out this selection with more blues from my collection as I amble along.

There are definitely more productive things I could have done with my weekend, but faffing about with pens and paper has been relaxing and entertaining. It has even prompted some much-needed tidying as I searched high and low for assorted paper products and rationalised some of my unused sheets from a variety of planners.

6 thoughts on “Old ideas for a new month

  1. Interesting as always but particularly as I have been bouncing between William Hannah and my Travelers Notebook as my daily planner. Like you I do feel the need to use WH more frequently though have to say the TN (regular/standard size) is extremely portable and although I never really thought I would adapt to using a series of notebooks (TN) I have become very used to it and enjoy using it…………The WH is at the moment my desk planner at home and the TN goes with me but I do feel the need to take the WH every now and then!!.

    1. I’ve been so disciplined about not venturing into the Travelers Notebook realm. I fear I’d be lost forever if I added another format. I tell myself that the notebooks would be more annoying to use held on those elastics – do you find that at all?

  2. Pamela,
    Most probably like you back in the day it was Filofax/daytimer- ring bound – until it became irritating trying to write with the rings and they became bulky and heavy so switched to softcover (wherever possible) Moleskine large (nearly true A5) weekly planner (all the days on the left & Notes on the right). Ran this for quite some time in a “Flex” leather cover with a “Flex” notebook for ideas etc. Switched to Start Bay leather cover ala Traveler’s notebook but A5 with Moleskine and then softcover Leuchtturm 1917 weekly as ink friendly with large moleskine cahier notebooks to capture everything that couldn’t/wouldn/t go inot planner. This became too bulky and heavy and I want greater flexibility – the arrival of discbound in the form of William Hannah- took a bit of getting used to but a distinct improvement – the possibility of carrying nearly all I felt I needed in a single book/format. A bit of travelling forced a brief re-think – I wanted A5 format but less ‘heft’ so fell into the TN rabbit hole. Have been bedding in and adapting my TN system gently over the past year or so but can see that I am happier in full A5 without multiple notebooks. The TN system is very good, portable and very useful but you do, from a planner point of view, tend to be working on 6 months at a time.
    With my WH I have used an adapted Philofaxy planner free insert to give me days on the left notes on the right with formatting more like WH. I tend to print a whole year then my 6 monthly period can be constantly rolling – only archiving the oldest month as I go rather than a complete replacement every 6 months.
    In answer to your question I have got used to multiple notebooks but they can be good (all in one place) and bad (which notebook is it in and where is the notebook!).
    This seems to have got rather long winded. Hope it helps.
    Charles

    1. Hi, Charles, thank you so much for such a comprehensive answer. Loved reading about your journey. Before I treated myself to my William Hannah in 2020, I experimented for severa, months with the Filofax notebook which has a similar punched page design, but a little slimmer than the WH. I used a rolling 3 months of weekly pages in that – past month/current month/next month. I agree that rolling forward on a monthly basis rather than starting afresh each 3 or 6 months is a good way to plan.

    1. Hi, Judith, lovely to hear from you. Philofaxy is a great community – buzzing with ideas and one of the reasons I keep hopping back to Filofaxes every couple of years.

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