Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Journal week - Tools of the Trade..

First I must say, I just love talking about stationery, so may be a long post.  Best to grab a cup of tea and get comfy.

 My first journaling tip for the week is all about finding the right tools of the trade.  Now in comparison to many pastimes, journaling is pretty cheap. However, I've realised over the years... just because you buy a pretty journal or pen, doesn't mean that you are ever going to use it (I've done this many times).  

What makes a good journal? My thoughts here are, it's all about personal preference.  After experimenting with journals for seventeen years (oh my), I know now exactly what I feel comfortable with.  My tip, find out what you like, but more importantly, find out what doesn't work for you.. That way on your next venture to the newsagent or online in search for that perfect journal, you will know just what you are looking for.

So, here are all the tools I use to create with...

 I use three different journals. I know, three is a little excessive, but I'll tell you why. 

1.  A4 hard cover sketchbook - (bought from the local art supplies shop): I use this as my inspiration journal, which contains mostly interior design and fashion images.  I tend to curate the pages, based on colour and theme, and don't worry too much about their overall form.  I began keeping this type of journal after creating large process journals at Uni and find them perfect for pretty A4 magazine pages.

2. A5 Moleskine journal - (available here): Over the years I have found A5 size journals work for every day creating as they fit in my handbag.  The beauty of this Moleskine is that it has a soft cover, so it's not too heavy.  I don't leave home without this journal and it provides me the perfect space to document, explore and reflect all the things I love.  I keep everything in here.. Tickets, polaroids and precious bits and pieces from friends.  It truly is, my creative pulse.

3. Extra small size Mokeskine notebook (available here): I am a constant note taker, I use this notebook very haphazardly, from daily to do lists and shopping lists, to blog ideas and writing exercises. It is the perfect pocket sized companion and cuts down on my random list making. 

Note: All my journals have black covers and blank pages. Black covers, because I get bored easily and having a simple cover means my journal can grow with me as I change my mood and style.  Blank pages allow me to write and collage freely, without lines getting in the way.

 Now to the 'accessories'.. which are relatively small in comparision to my journal collection.

I only use Artline pens to write in my journals, perhaps through habit but I find they last for ages and flow really nicely.  I use a 0.4 for my everyday writing and a 0.6 to make notes in my inspiration journal (see here).  I use UHU glue, because it always sticks well and I love little sewing scissors because they stay sharp and cut lovely intricate lines.

My tips for pens.. Try as many as possible.  As a writer and a teacher, I write all day! I use different pens for everything I do.  I feel that a pen can really help to establish and transform your writing. For instance, I correct essays in pink pen, write business notes  and post its in blue pen and always have a pencil in my hair for random scribbles. Play around with different styles and decide what works for you.. I promise it will help.
So I hope my tools of the trade tips have been useful.  What do you use? I'd love to hear your tips and experiences!

Much Love


  1. I feel like I'm still trying to find my niche when it comes to the perfect journal (though I've definitely found my pen!!). I have struggled to find what I'm comfortable with.... being left handed makes it a challenge as well because I want to be extremely comfortable when I'm writing and it's so hard with binding stabbing me in the wrist. :P I've always gravitated towards binders but they are so less intimate.... :( Alas, my search continues. Sea Marie

  2. After a long hiatus from journal writing, I now have a small notebook that I keep for notes/thoughts/lists. But what I never thought about was color-coding my pens/notes. That's a great idea! Thanks!

  3. I'm really loving this little series on journalling.

    I'd love to be one of those arty-journal-ers but I'm a coloured pens, blank pages, lots of words, few sticky bits kind of girl.

  4. There is nothing like a good bit of stationary or talking about it to give you goosebumps :) Love it!
    ::::::::: (goosebumps)

  5. I like variety in my journals, over the years Ive tried all types of books and currently am using a plain black A5 moleskine (lined)
    Pen must be uni-ball eye fine and Black. Ive tried switching, but keep coming back to these ones!

    I am loving this journal week of posts :)


Thank you for stopping by! ~ I just love receiving your comments! I'll be sure to pop by your place too. Much love ~ Sophie x