You know you’re a stationery nerd when you have so many notebooks, journal covers, and size options that you just can’t make a decision about which combination to use next! Yep, that’s me for sure!

Like most everyone else in the world, 2020 was a crazy year for me. I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s just say I worked a LOT of hours at the day job. You can get a peek at some of those details in the video I made about the bullet journaling system I use at work that I filmed during the height of the pandemic. My system has changed a bit since that video (and I’ll make a new one soon). This might also explain why I’ve been so absent on Stationery Nerd in the past 8 months or so.

But I’m back and more determined than ever to dive back into playing with stationery and telling you all about it!

My journaling in 2020 and where I’m headed for 2021.

So let’s start with a look at the journals I used in 2020.

  • January – February: I started the year in Midori MD B6 Slim with a beautiful blue leather folio cover. I moved out when there were about 20-30 pages left.
  • March – October: Most of the year I spent in a Stalogy B6 that I cut down to B6 Slim that I kept in a handmade leather cover.
  • November: Back to the original Midori MD B6 Slim to finish off the empty pages for the remainder of the year (then used most of those pages for journaling about the election)
  • Mid-November – December: Moved into a partially used Stalogy A6 in a sister journal to the blue leather folio, but this one in a cognac color
  • Mid-December – January: Indecision ensues…. what to do? what to do? what to do?

 If you’ve been following along on YouTube, you’ll already know that I’ve created a series of videos about this crazy journal through 2020 and into 2021. But let’s review… 

My Love Affair with Stalogy

The moment I put fountain pen to paper in a Stalogy notebook, I fell in love. Ink glides across the page like a figure skater across ice. The quality of the paper allows the ink to pool on top of the page instead of seeping into the fibers of the paper, which creates gorgeous shading of my favorite fountain pen inks. Shimmering inks shimmer with spectacular glee. And for some reason (I still can’t figure it out) I actually tolerate the obnoxious ghosting of ink on the page. Nothing bleeds through the paper and after you’ve written on the page or added watercolor, it gets crinkly and makes the most delicious sound. Wanna see inside? Here’s a video flip through of my 2020 journal. 

2021 Indecision

I thought I knew exactly what I was going to do for 2021. I bought another B6 Stalogy but this time I was going to leave it whole. I even bought a gorgeous new leather folio cover. It was sitting right next to my desk on the bookcase and I knew for months what I was going to do. It was decided. Except then November came around and I moved back into the Midori MD for a few weeks to finish off those last couple dozen pages. It brought back all those memories of how much I love, love, love the Midori MD notebooks. The paper is soft and the light blue grid is the perfect shade of blue – not too light, not too dark. The paper takes fountain pen ink so well – same as the Stalogy, but in a whole different sort of way. And I never thought I’d see the day when I said I would miss ivory paper. 

But the Stalogy! What about the Stalogy? I was all set and ready to begin. What was I going to do now? And then there was the whole thing about B6 Slim. I love that size. I think it might be my perfect size. So do I cut down the Stalogy to Slim? But then what do I do about that gorgeous new leather cover? And if I go to Stalogy, the blue leather cover won’t work! I’d need to figure out a whole different leather cover situation. 

Clearly, I was in BIG trouble! I can’t make important decisions like this without you guys. I needed your help. So I let you decide for me. 

You Decided for Me!

Thank you Nerd Herd! You guys are so awesome. I knew I could count on your to help me figure out which journal to use. You chose the Midori MD B6 Slim in the blue leather folio cover. I’ve been using it for a few days now and I’m SO happy! No really… it feels amazing to be back in Midori MD. It feels like home. But my beloved Stalogy isn’t far away – I’m using another Stalogy as my “professional development” journal and I’ll tell you about that one day soon. 

So after you all helped me decide which journal to use next, I made another video to set it up for 2021. Unlike most annual setup videos you find on YouTube, my setup was pretty quick. That’s because I print all the important pages I need to include and just glue them onto journal pages. I don’t draw stuff out, I don’t make calendars and trackers and monthly spreads. Simple is best for me. I dive straight into the deep end and get moving with daily planning. My handwriting is messy, I don’t mind mistakes, I stuff scraps of paper and miscellaneous junk into the covers of my journal… and I love every minute of it! 

Setting Up Collection or Tracker Pages in my Bullet Journal

As I said above, I don’t set up collection or tracker pages in my bullet journal until I actually need to write something down. Sometimes I draw these out, but most of the time it’s just a messy chart or bulleted list of information. Once in a while I’ll do something more elaborate. A few days after I set up my 2021 journal, I needed to sit down and pay bills. UGH! I needed to pull out my old journal and use my bill payment tracker…. and didn’t have any blank columns left on that page. So it was time to make a new one in the new journal. But I was dreading writing down the whole list of bills and drawing all the lines and setting it all up. So what should I do??? 

Of course, you know me so well! I type up a list, printed it, and glued it to a page in my journal. I got a little fancy to make sure the list lined up with my 5mm grid in the Midori MD and then created a Dutch Door style tracker made out of 3 pages in the back of my journal. Take a look at the video and let me know what you think. 

My Purse Journal for Shopping Lists & Such

When my grandmother passed away and my mom, sister, and I were going through some of her boxes of stuff, we came across a small stash of Grandma’s purse notebooks. They were the little notebooks with the spiral across the top where you could fit a short pencil inside the coils of the spiral binding. She always had one of those little notebooks in her purse. Or if she was at home and needed to make a note, it was on the end table next to her chair in the living room. Inside those notebooks were grocery shopping lists; recipes copied from a magazine; dates for birthdays and anniversaries to remind her to send a card; phone numbers; lists of chores or mending. Those little notebooks are some of the most treasured things from my grandmother. They’re filled with her handwriting (always in pencil) and the notes inside give me a glimpse into her life as a wife, mother, and grandmother. 

I’ve started carrying around a little leather notebook cover by Goby Design with a single pocket-sized notebook inside. I use it to keep track of my shopping lists, recipes, notes, or phone numbers…. same as Grandma. It’s not my permanent journal. It’s the literal definition of ephemera. I take it along with me because it’s easy to toss into my bag alongside my normal everyday stuff. It’s especially great to have when I don’t want to take all that extra stuff and just need my wallet, a shopping list and my phone. I’ve been a subscriber to Log+Jotter for almost two years now and I’ve amassed quite a collection of pocket-sized notebooks. So I’m all set for this setup for years! 

2021 is going to be a great year!

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some great things to happen. I don’t know what they will be yet, but it’s gotta be better than 2020, right? 

I’m still mulling over my Word of the Year choice for 2021. I’ve started my brainstorming list and narrowed the options down to about 3 or 4 solid ideas. I’m not rushing myself into a decision. I need this to be right. Once I’m ready to talk about it, I’m sure you’ll see another video. But until then, I want to wish you a healthy, happy, and absolutely amazing New Year! Stay Nerdy!