All right, I think it’s time. After five solid years of using my Traveler’s Notebook for nearly all my journalling, I’m going to switch planner systems to my first A5 organizer. And it’s all the T.S.L. Summer Collection’s fault for having such handsome, enchanting leather colors. Just look at this oceanic blue. You can’t help but jump in.
I love everything about it: the rounded and reliable-looking shape, the big, satisfying zipper, the mysterious, scribbly texture of the soft but sturdy leather on the outside, the incredibly good smell of the fresh nude leather on the inside. And being used to TN’s verticality, writing in A5 planners feels positively widescreen lol.
Here’s what my setup looks like at the moment. I’ve got a few pens on the left. The cap clips were leaving little indents in the leather, so Emil had the genius idea to fold a little cloth around the big left hand pocket to protect it. (By the way, that plaid cloth is a cute and thoughtful bonus that comes with the organizer—it comes folded over the right interior brass zipper to keep it from staining the leather on the opposite side when the organizer’s closed. T.S.L. really thinks of everything). Just below the pens, the passport-sized pocket fits my vaccine card and, well, a passport—though not a government-issued one. This is actually a small zine of Eighty Days fanart that my friends drew, compiled and surprised me with as a gift. It’s a really special item that I wanted to keep close at hand, so I’m utterly satisfied that it fits perfectly in this pocket—I look at it every day. It’s not pictured here, but on the right I currently have an A5 MD diary (dot grid) for stream-of-consciousness writing.
Overall, right now the blue organizer is for relaxation. But in 2022, I’m gonna get serious. I’m still weighing my options for weekly spreads, but for monthly planning I’m considering MD. It has a nice lightweight calendar, so I can continue my daily drawings if I want to. Of course, what really intrigues me is that luxurious field of white surrounding the grid. So clean, so spacious. That’s enough space to draw comics in. Wait, wasn’t the point was to keep it empty? I am so attracted to negative space yet so terrible at preserving it.
I’ll also be using a Perpanep book as a catch-all notebook for business, drafting, housekeeping and planning. Not the most fun type of writing to do, but necessary and frequent, so I might as well make the experience enjoyable. I went with the grid print and “Zarazara” texture—of course! Even with my watercolor paper and bristol boards, I always gravitate to the more rough surfaces. Most of the fountain pens I use regularly have medium, “juicy” nibs that sink the ink deep into the paper, so the “Zarazara” should display the shadings and variations of the colors beautifully. Not to mention the anticipated scritch scratch of the pen nib on the paper. That’s like one of those “10 Hour Relaxing Rain Sounds” videos to me. Perpanep’s A5 size, so if you tuck the back cover into the right hand pocket of the organizer, it’ll just barely fit. The corners do bump into the zipper a little, but that doesn’t bother me. Softened corners are an inevitability with books you use every day. I’m thinking this will be less of a problem as the organizer’s leather loosens with use over time. I’m grateful for this lovingly made item, and impatient to give it a whirl.
Does this mean farewell to TN? Hardly. I’ve still got a whole side of the accordion fold insert to fill up with memories. With fingers crossed for safe traveling sometime in the next year, I’m also hoping to put some inserts in here for on-the-go sketching like I used to.
When I look at how battered and tough and lovely the Camel TN looks after five years of use, it makes me excited to see what kinds of wear and tear this blue thing’s gonna be put through. Not that I’m planning to drench it in oil (long story; see the April Love For Analogue entry). But I make no guarantees—nor do I feel the need to. It’s a new planner for a new era. Well-behaved or not, let’s get along.
Text and photos by: A.C. Esguerra
Where to find A.C. : instagram @blueludebar
Read other stories by A.C. : Here
Bk Artifacts featured:
- Leather Zip Organizer // Summer Blue [LIMITED EDITION]
- Traveler's Notebook / Camel
- MD Journal / Dot
- PERPANEP Notebook A5 // Textured