Your days look more fun when you dress them up in your notebook with colorful characters like these. Brooklyn-based illustrator Uijung Kim just started selling 10m rolls of this washi tape (“perfect for your planner, decorate gifts, cards, photos, diary and everything”) online, so this parade of weirdos can drive across your journal, too. I found more shots of the patterned strip in action on Twitter.
The company behind the customizable Traveler’s Notebook/Midori Diary makes a lot of other fun stationery products, like its series of secret sticky notes:
“Each Post-it style note is designed to be folded up so that your written message is hidden and secret. When folded, the bottom half sits securely under the top half, showcasing the cute design. When unfolded, the image and note is revealed in all its glory.”
There are a wide variety of these, but my favorite is this kissing couple, perfect for marking romantic moments or passing sweet notes to your partner. The one with the dude’s wild haircut is also great lol:
Each pack includes 20 notes. A lot of import stationery shops are carrying these, including this Etsy one, which has the packs for around $6 each before shipping.
I stole this idea from Austin Kleon, who started taping figures like Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman inside his notebooks a couple years ago to act as guardian spirits. It looks like such a fun practice, an opportunity to christen and personalize our new-year journals, so why not join in?
Scour through your books, magazines/comics/manga, and other junk you’ve collected in your years as a collector of miscellany, and shake out any spirits that might seem worthy of your planner — clipping them out with a pair of scissors might be more effective. Or find a picture online to print out, if you have something in mind! You can see in this gallery, I was close to cutting out a portrait from my Iria: Zeiram the Animation DVD or slapping Ronin Division’s dog sticker into my notebook.
But while looking through donation piles of books this afternoon, I opened this volume from a Japanese collection of Henry Miller’s works, bought second-hand over a decade ago and never paid attention to again. In between its pages I found this advertisement and entry card for the Famous Writers School, an institution of some notoriety that operated a correspondence course around the 1960s and 70s.
The headline from co-founder Bennett Cerf made me smile, and I decided he would be perfect as my first planner guardian spirit. While I didn’t know much about Bennett beforehand, embedding his soul into my journal motivated me to look him up, and his work establishing and leading book publisher Random House is tremendously interesting, despite the shady schemes in his late career. The hope is that he’ll give me a restless urge to fill this notebook with new ideas.
Go out and catch your own unexpected guardian spirits to trap inside your planner, and make sure to share them with me on Twitter and Instagram — if I receive enough, I can add them here in another gallery as examples!
Finding ways to recycle items you’ve cherished, adding a new facet of joy to those beloved objects, is a vibe I am into, and I encourage you to send me examples from your planner experiences! I immediately latched onto this one from Planner Club member Mike Choi, whose work on the Switch Flip Grip accessory you might be familair with.
Mike clipped photos out of a Korean recipe calendar he used last year, laminated them, and turned them into colorful pencil boards for his Hobonichi Techo. It’s a way more personal and mouthwatering solution than the ones Hobonchi sells — the company says “keeping [pencil boards] underneath the page you’re writing on allows the reinforcement of the thin, comfortable board to provide an enjoyable writing experience.”).
“A good friend gave me the calendar, and I was looking for a use for it ever since the year passed,” Mike explains. “I started using the techo to plan out my meals (I cook a lot of Korean food), so it’s on brand for me lol.”
If you have access to a laminator at work or school, you can create something similar and personal with images you printed or cut from other sources. Or just find something like a calendar with a heavy card stock!
“In this world of mines and crafting, the most important thing you can craft is you.”
From Minecraft: The Island: An Official Minecraft Novel by Max Brooks, via @personfaces.