Isip: Turning memories into words

If it’s not that obvious yet, I am a sucker for documenting things. From itineraries to lists, to everyday happenings, I love collecting memories and placing them somewhere I can revisit them.

This is probably why I have a notable collection of notebooks. Waaaay more notebooks than I can use on a regular basis.

Just some of the notebooks in my collection
Just some of the notebooks in my collection

But somehow, I can’t stop collecting them and my friends know that if there’s something I’m okay with receiving repeatedly, it’s nice notebooks (preferably unlined). This also explains why I love going to bookstores. Seeing all the different designs just gives me happiness.

This 2015, I’ve upped my game on documentation by keeping and regularly updating this blog, as well as maintaining a daily journal.

For highlights of the year, there’s this blog to keep the memories. But for daily musings and happenings, I have this funky-looking Eskwelahan planner that I purchased precisely because of its design:

Planner and my P20 bookmark
Planner and my P20 bookmark

I don’t know how many times I’ve started a journal, but I do know that I haven’t EVER completed one. The first months are easy, but eventually, I get tired of updating and the content just trails off some time in the middle of the year.

Started off with lots of information, ended with laziness
Started off with lots of information, ended with laziness

So I really think that it’s a big achievement that 2015 is about to end, and I’m still updating my planner daily! And it’s full of content from random thoughts to quotes that I like. Just one more month to go and I’ve completed a year of documentation.

And precisely because the year is ending, I am now on the lookout for the journal that I will be using for the whole of 2016. Because I’ll be committing myself to this planner for one year, I’ve set some standards for the perfect planner to attain before I make my choice.

My ideal 2016 planner has to be:

• Durable – While my 2015 planner has mostly been stuck in the office or safe in my bedroom table, I plan to take this 2016 planner with me on the field. Hiking, traveling, etc., this planner has to stand up to the elements. Not to mention a year’s worth of page-turning and dropping.

• Roomy – Because this planner will double as my field notebook, it needs to have  a lot of writing space. From random notes to feelings and memories, this planner has to contain them all. Y’all know by now that I’m a wordy person so running out of space could be a concern.

Budget friendly – I’m not looking to break the bank with a planner, so no big names like Moleskines for me, sadly. If I can find a good one for less than a thousand pesos, then that’s even better.

Aesthetically pleasing – Of course, no one wants to carry around an ugly-looking planner; or a planner they don’t like the design of. So I wanna make sure that the design of my 2016 planner is something I’m comfortable with opening in public for the next 366 days.

• Extra stuff – While there is appeal in a minimalist planner design, I also like having extras like quotes and other activities in my planner. Sometimes I find myself lacking in things to write about, so having some motivators within the pages are nice.

With these things in mind, I scoured Rappler’s article on 2016 planners and journals and narrowed down my list to the few that caught my eye.

My 2016 Planner options:

Moonleaf Planner 2016 – I’ve had the 2012 Moonleaf planner and it served me well for half a year before I got lazy and stopped opening it. I’ll be sure to check one out once I return to my milk tea addiction. P350; Moonleaf Branches.

Camper Planner – For travelers, this planner comes with quotes and pictures from Filipino instagrammers, some of which I already follow. It’ll really motivate you to explore the beauty of the world, unless you’re one of those sad people who get offended when people post of their travels on social media. But one thing I’m on the fence about is the square size of the planner. I’d much prefer rectangular planners. P545; Fully Booked, Powerbooks.

Navi Life Navigator Journal – Another planner for travelers, but with a simple cover design and nice extras included. This planner also seems to have a big space for written text. I am seriously considering this one and might make decision once I get my hands on an actual copy. P598; Fully Booked, Powerbooks, National Bookstore.

Everything is Possible Planner – From the same creators of the Navi Journal, this planner has a more colorful and fun design. I think it also has the same structure as the Navi, albeit with a more playful and stimulating exterior and extras. P598; Fully Booked, Powerbooks, National Bookstore.

Quest Journal – This journal is appealing in a way that it looks like a bunch of pages just mish-mashed together. With fillers also available for purchase, there’s no fear of running out of pages. I need to see an actual copy first though, before I make a decision as there aren’t a lot of details online. P680; Fully Booked, Powerbooks, National Bookstore.

Certified Positive Planner – I feel like completing this journal will take me straight to heaven. Filled with verses and other holy extras, this planner seems to be made for being carried around with a bible. I’m also liking the layout and structure, but I need to see if it’s too crammed with religious content for my liking. P565; Online.

Muji Planners, Leuchtturm Journals, Monologue Journals – Lumping these three into one entry because they all have that no-nonsense layout. Strictly no-frills and added content, I’m still deciding if this style appeals to me or not. P385-499; Various bookstores.

I’m no longer including the 2016 Eskwelahan Planneer in my choices because I want to try other options. Tikim naman tayo ng ibang ulam.

With all these wonderful choices, I know I’ll be able to find one that I’ll be able to keep for the rest of the coming year. Documenting even the most mundane of happenings has become my version of meditation, and it’s time to continue the tradition for as long as I can.

How about you? Are you planning to start a daily journal this 2016? How many years have you been writing on a diary/journal/planner?

Wow, fantastic baby.


Edit 01/13/16. For 2016, I have chosen the Navi Life Navigator Journal. It looks good and has lots of space for my doodles and feelings. Looking forward to completing it this year!


2 thoughts on “Isip: Turning memories into words”

  1. I collect and keep a lot of notebooks/journals but somehow I don’t like writing in them. I like to see it clean and unused. I am very strange. lol


    1. It’s okay! Most of my notebooks are unused anyway! Haha sometimes I just write a page or two then forget about them. But I see the appeal of blank notebooks :))


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