Analogue System to transform dreams into reality // Lisa Kawai

Analogue System to transform dreams into reality // Lisa Kawai

I love how each person uses analogue system differently to connect dots between today and tomorrow. Lisa is at this amazing place in her life where she works for advertising industry as a consultant while pursuing her dream in lifestyle flower arrangement. 

I am excited to share the story about how she organizes her time while staying inspired for what's next in life. I hope you enjoy peeking into her analogue system!  



Hi Baum-kuchen friends! It’s hard to believe that we are hitting this time of the year. With December coming up around the corner, early as it seems I gradually get ready for closing the year behind by reflecting on the days went by, and start to envision the next set of 365 days ahead. So I hope it's not too early to ask you how your 2014 have treated you? Are you happy with where you've landed now from the place you started a year back? I begin to ask these to myself every year around this time and when I do so, I start by turning to my two notebooks I carry to everywhere throughout the year.

These two notebooks and a pen (oh I have to mention that it's erasable too!) do pretty much everything to have my life organized (at least the best I can!), to keep on track, as well as to capture and remember all of moments, remarkable elements and inspirations from everyday. On above picture the black front cover is my A4 Moleskin plain notebook where I keep together with other half of my analogue system, a Quovadis square planner. After having been implementing this 2 notebook system for quite some years, I plan to continue the same for 2015 and would like to share with you my case of analogue system for 2015.

In a nutshell this is how it works. Going back to the original question of how my 2014 went, I check on myself with progress / achievement (or possible underachievement!) over the year by flipping through these notebooks all the way back to one year ago today. They tell me about my year from two distinctive perspectives. For example, November 24th of 2013 in my long loving Quovadis agenda planner simply tells me what I did on the day on factual basis. Interestingly it was "moving" day for us exactly one year from now. Remembering the day, it feels like today I have come much closer to what we wished for from our previous place. 

I use this to keep track of schedule both for work and personal plans, todos, notes and reminders of tasks in a week-at-a-glance refills with 8am-10pm vertical daily planner and note space on the right.

The first picture shows the mauve pink cover I use for this year from last year, and probably for 2015 as well with new refill :) I usually use the same cover for 2-3 years changing the refill inside every year until I feel like the color doesn't fit the mood I'm in anymore. Over the past 10 years, I have 10 refills and 4 different colored cover each reminding me of eras I spend with each color.

Inside of the notebook, it has all my:

  • Plans & Schedule: work, personal, family, everything
  • Due dates on all projects
  • Todos, duties and tasks
  • Reminders and memos
  • Activity Records

I color code them, plan the day & week, count the days of the year (xx / 365), jot down all activities from dinner I have with my friends to massage appointments, conference calls & meetings to flower order deliveries etc. What I love about this Quovadis format is that its functionality and practicality are excellent while size, design of the page and quality of paper is timelessly beautiful that I don't get tired of using it everyday.

This is where I keep all my "actions" planned and recorded - history of how I spent the day, everyday, on factual basis which adds up to a year, 10 years, and eventually longer perspective of life events. They're all inside here :)

My Moleskin notebook tells me about the day of "moving" from the other perspective. This collection of Moleskin notebooks I hold especially dear to my heart... It is a place to jot down anything significant or voices from inside that speak up here and there which are so easy to slip away in day to day work and life, quotes from books I was inspired and want to remember, brainstorming ideas on personal projects like this love letter and sketches of bouquets when I get order, to sometimes journaling and recording key milestones of life achievements etc. 

On November 24, 2013, I have sets of quotes from a book about how "traditional and conventional ways of working and lifestyle is now undergoing a change and from now it will become more important to stay true to what you believe in". Also the importance of being surrounded by environment and people you love. Reading this quotes I copied, within a second I can time travel to where I was on the verge of agonizing decision making... pushing myself to be brave to make a choice even with some risk taking. Which I can tell now, that it was the right decision to make with no doubt.

Even further back, similar phenomenon happens. There is a gap in timing for desire to become a reality. Again reading back at the pages of preparing for final interview for my previous job (below page on the left notebook), I can quickly dive into myself in 2010 when I was working on getting into my dream job then at a creative agency. 
Or notes from flower arrangement workshop I attended with the inspiring designer from Portland (on the right of the picture).

In addition to my inspiration & desire source, it's my brainstorm place to go for composing Baum-kuchen love letter:) I also often capture flower order sketches, journaling or recording conversation and quotes from books that inspired in a day, project notebook for some life events like wedding and new home decoration etc...

I keep pieces of everything that are very close to my heart over the years in simple chronicle order, so everything is here. It shows evolution. Looking back it becomes an archive of how I come to where I am now. Mostly source of inspiration, dreams, some positive things as well as learnings I would want to remember are documented, which looking at the page several notebooks after, are shaping into reality.
In this sense I share passion with wakako on pen & paper analogue process of moving hands that it's the process and time of tracing what's inside you into tangible format, that would help to create the reality of what you envision... By first visualizing them in front of you and repeatedly be reminded of your voices from your heart that would otherwise easily get lost in busy tasks of everyday. It might be the process of tuning into your subconscious into shape in real world, dream into reality, or a way of paying attention and dedicating time for your voices inside that is often preoccupied by noises in front of you not necessarily what you are seeking for.  
In that sense this Moleskin notebook is a very intimate place for me where I can unravel myself translating instinct and inspiration on paper. Which is interestingly, often get translated into actual "actions" into my Quovadis planner some down the road.
For 2015, I will be keeping the same dual notebook "dreams into reality" system. Hoping next year, evolve it more visually which helps to clear my brain and refuel soul more directly. 
It's my perfect way of paying attention for my important things to not slip away in the day to day life! It is probably why the process is very meditating as well really connecting with what's inside. Using these two notebooks, and rest of 30 days of 2014 I hope I can observe achievements and learnings from the year filled with beautiful moments and close the page of the year to pass it on to blank yet exciting 2015 :)
texts and photographs by Lisa Kawai


  • Denise: February 08, 2015
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    I love this article, and the ideas in it. I still, though, no matter how hard I try, cannot get used to Monday-start calendars. I’d end up reworking the whole book! But the concepts are fabulous, and I can take lessons from them using planners of my preferred layout. Thank you.

  • mamta: December 01, 2014
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    Whaere can I buy the quovadis agenda. I could not find it anywhere. I really like the layout of week on one page and then weekend on Sapa rate page. Thanks in advance……

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