Gert's well loved journal/planner collection (IG: pepperandtwine)

Gert's well loved journal/planner collection (IG: pepperandtwine)

I have been following Gert's beautiful Instagram feed (pepperandtwine) for very very long time. Everyday I look forward to seeing her IG update because it brings me joy of analogue and appreciation in attention for details.  
I am always curious how everyone uses planners for different purpose but also how multiple planners/journal notebooks incorporate in everyday life. So I was thrilled that we got to take a little peek into her analogue system with Traveler's Notebook and RoterfadenI hope you enjoy this interview with Gert and seeing her well loved collection of journals. 
Thank you Gert! 

1. Can you share how you are using your Roterfaden
I loved my first Roterfaden so much I had to get the second one. My light brown Roterfaden holds a Midori MD A5 grid paper notebook which I use for to-do lists and ideas, a JSTORY monthly planner to track creative projects, and the third clip I keep free for any miscellaneous papers I need to hold on to. The second Roterfaden with dark brown leather cover holds a couple of notebooks for classes or projects that I am currently working on. Right now, one notebook is dedicated to notes on calligraphy and hand-lettering, and the other is for a photo organization class I am currently taking. This leaves space for me to tuck in a Rhodia dot pad for lettering practice.

2. Can you share how you are using your Traveler's Notebook?
Traveler's Notebook (TN) is the notebook that started it all for me. I use a brown Traveler's Notebook as a wallet. This one is pretty chunky as it currently has five inserts. A clear zipper pocket holds my favorite photos, my checkbook, and some stationery items (wash tape, paper clips). A kraft file holds my receipts and Post-It notes. Weekly and monthly diary inserts make it easy for me to plan on the go. Lastly, my favorite insert, an Essential leather zipper case, holds my driver’s license, credit cards, and cash. I use a brown passport size TN as a secondary wallet with the same inserts as the full size TN, with the exception of a plain notebook instead of the planners. This I use to hold spare change, tickets, coupons, and credit and membership cards I don't use as often but like to keep handy just in case. I tried to stick to one notebook for all my stuff, but I hate leaving anything behind when I go out.

I also keep a couple Traveler’s Notebooks as journals. I use a black TN to hold my quote and travel/restaurant journal, and recently set up my blue Pan-Am TN to hold a couple more private journals.

3. What are the pros and cons of each format/system between Roterfaden and Traveler's Notebook?
Both systems are highly customizable and very functional. I love seeing how other people use their Traveler's Notebooks and Roterfadens. There are so many inserts and notebooks to choose from. If you’re crafty, you can even go the DIY route and make your own. I also love the quality and aesthetic of both systems. The texture and appearance of the gorgeous leathers, and the grey felt interior of the Roterfaden draw me in time and time again. The more scratched and worn the leather covers become, the more beautiful they are to me.

Both the clips of the Roterfaden and the elastic bands of the Traveler's Notebook make it easy to add, remove, or move inserts around as needed. I sometimes use the bands from the TN's to add additional notebooks to my Roterfaden. This little trick allows me to carry more than three notebooks or inserts in my Roterfaden.

The only possible downside of these two systems may be the price points, but both products are well crafted, built to last, and are a worthwhile investment.

4. How are you managing multiple notebooks in life? Any tips for other people?
If you feel the need to use multiple notebooks or planners, it helps to establish a clear purpose for each one. I experimented with different planners and notebooks over the past year and discovered a few things. I found that I prefer bound notebooks over ringed, that I LOVE grid paper, and enjoy fountain pens and Japanese stationery products. If you are having a hard time deciding what type of planner or organizer to buy, spend some time researching the different options that appeal to you. Also, ask other users what they like and don't like about their current systems. Lastly, don't feel guilty if you find that something doesn't work for you. There is no "one size fits all" system, so feel free to try different things, that is after all, part of the fun!

5. Can you describe your daily/weekly/monthly analogue workflow... and how your pages come alive?
I don't have a fixed schedule for planning, I plan and take notes as I go. I jot down tasks and appointments in my planners, and transfer whatever did not get done to the next week's pages. I used to decorate my planner pages, but right now I leave my planner pages plain and simple, and spruce up my journal entries with little doodles and hand-lettering. I also love keeping personal mementos tucked into my TN’s and Roterfadens, they make me happy each time I see them.

I usually do my creative journaling in my Hobonichi Cousin on my lunch break at work (this is what I post daily on Instagram), and my private journaling at night before bed. I look forward to capturing the events of each day in my diary. Sometimes my handwriting is neat and tiny so I can fit everything on the page, other days it's just a few hastily scribbled sentences written just before I fall asleep. I have become pretty diligent at journaling, missing just one or two days at the most before catching up. If I wait too long, I find that I have already forgotten little details, so I try to keep up as much as I can. I’ve only been keeping a diary for less than a year, but I already enjoy going back and reading my past entries.


6. Analogue tools you can't live without?
Besides my notebooks, my must-have tools are my Lamy Safari fountain pens, Pilot G-Tec-C3 and C4 pens, brush pens, pencil cases, White-Out for those pesky mistakes, and lastly, my collection of paper clips.

7. Where do you look for your inspiration?
The journaling, planning, and scrapbooking communities on Instagram are far and way my biggest sources of inspiration. It's an endless wellspring of creativity, and people are kind, eager to share, and generous in their support. Pinterest and Flickr are excellent sources of journaling ideas as well. I'm also inspired by Japanese culture and craftsmanship, and dream of being able to visit Japan someday.


  • Marla Kay: December 26, 2016
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    Ahhhhhh . . how I just love Gert’s perspective on using multiple planners without guilt! Planners each have separate uses and personalities. The one I use at any moment depends upon which side of my brain I’m using. I welcome opportunity to write or sketch in analog. There is a true connection between my ability to remember things if the thought goes down my arm, through a pen, and onto nice paper. Thanks so much for the post!

  • Valerie: December 16, 2015
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    Hello Gert and Baum-Kuchen girls! I loved your entry regarding your analogue system, it’s a pleasure to know that we share the same love for Traveler’s notebooks, Japanese stationary, Roterfaden. I learn and discover a lot of new things following you, so thank you for your commitment.

  • Eunice Roe: November 01, 2015
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    Loved reading more in depth about Gert’s analogue system!! And I always find inspiration via Baum-Kuchen Love letter, thank you !

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