I’ve gone from driven career woman living on the fast lane in Metro Manila to laid-back provincial housewife, and everything from my priorities and daily to-dos to my outfits and daily essentials have changed. While my love of notebooks, journals, and planners have not changed, it’s the type of writing materials I use that have.
When I was a busy working woman in Manila, I would start out with several notebooks and planners, and end up bringing/using only two at a time: my daily planner and my meetings notebook. These are the two things you would always find me carrying everywhere, along with my laptop and heavy shoulder bag.
Now that I’m a housewife who does freelance writing projects at home in between all household chores and errands, I have the luxury of shaping how my day looks and maintaining several notebooks and planners at a time for the many roles I now play: a mini notebook for my blogger notes, a travel journal for my trips with my husband, my daily planner, a notepad for my notes from my doctors’ appointments, a booklet for household expenses and budget, and a mandala desk calendar I can color when I’m bored. Some I leave at home, some I carry daily, and some I bring with me only when needed. All keep me occupied, more organized, and productive.
I shopped all my new finds from ilovebdj.com, the same brand that brought us the popular Belle de Jour (BDJ) Power Planner, which happens to be my official 2018 daily planner. Besides my BDJ planner, here are the other little notebooks that help organize my life as an out-and-about housewife:
1. QUEST JOURNAL (P480)
My husband and I love to travel, so I needed a journal where I can jot down all my travel notes and in which I can stuff brochures, maps, and tickets I want to keep as souvenirs. The journal has to be the right size, light-weight (so it wouldn’t be a hassle to carry around), and durable enough to withstand all our journeys. I love that the Quest Journal (4.8” x 8.7”) has a durable leather cover and already comes with two notepads—one blank, the other grid—that allow us to maximize the journal’s multi-functional design either for bullet journaling or travel journaling. Each refillable notebook has 80 pages.
It also includes a vinyl zippered pouch with small pockets for business cards, photos, receipts, and a few documents. The elastic cord that wraps around the soft leather cover keeps everything inside safe, snug, and in place. It comes in seven lovely colors: Talc Pink, Cool Taupe, Teal, Ocean, Stone, Sangria, and Plum (my pick!).
2. BDJ DAYBOOK (P280)
As the one in charge of groceries and planning our meals, not to mention all the other things needed at home and budgeting for trips, I needed a separate notebook for organizing our budget and incoming funds. I picked the Expense version of the BDJ Daybook (they also have Travel and Fitness) as a handy way to log our household expenses on a regular basis.
It has special pages, worksheets, and motivational quotes to give that mental workout and push we need to accomplish daily tasks. It’s also chock-full of ideas and nifty life hacks on how to budget our hard-earned cash. The BDJ Daybook has 80 pages and is portable at just 3.6” x 7.2”.
3. FORGET-ME-NOT NOTEBOOK (P168)
My next goal after getting married is to of course start a family, so I have been going to an OB-GYN regularly to prepare for pregnancy. I needed one dedicated notebook to keep track of everything my doctor tells me, so I got the Dare/Achieve meetings journal that helps me keep notes on what we discuss each visit. I also use this to list my questions before my appointment, so I don’t miss anything. I wish I had this when I was still in the corporate world; it would have been perfect for tracking all my professional projects and jotting down ideas before meetings.
The 5.4” x 8.1” notebook with 70 sheets comes in two other variants: Create/Inspire, a daily writing tool for when inspiration strikes; and Focus/Finish, for getting rid of mind-clutter and having everything at a glance.
4. CALENDAR PAD (P250)
Now, this is my guilty pleasure: I love how The Calendar Pad features 53 tear-off sheets and a mandala design that I can color, especially on days when I’m just bored and alone at home in the farm. It’s versatile because I can place the dates on any corner and work from left to right for a monthly glance. For a weekly view, I can list my tasks on the boxes from top to bottom and include the time (like on a planner).
The 11.4” x 8.3” calendar pad is perfect for busy weeks where I just need a bigger space to write everything I need to do or for not-so-busy weeks when I actually have time to color!
Photos courtesy of ilovebdj.com