About me · Pen and Paper · The Friday Flex · Watercolor

‘The Friday Flex’ Issue #14: Searching for Perfection

‘The Friday Flex’ is a weekly newsletter consisting of personal stationery and lifestyle news pieces. It primarily focuses my experiences with pen and paper krafts.

Table of Contents

  1. Sketchbook Paper Samples: Stillman & Birn and Global Art Materials
  2. My Perfect Planner

I. Sketchbook Paper Samples: Stillman & Birn and Global Art Materials

And so, the sketchbook saga continues… A couple of weeks ago, I requested sketchbook paper samples from both Stillman & Birn and Global Art Materials. Stillman & Birn sent me a paper samples packet containing a 4″x6″ sheet of each of their sketchbook papers: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, and Zeta. Here’s a chart that explains the difference between their papers:

Global Art Materials sent me a sample of their Travelogue Artist Sketchbooks and their Travelogue Watercolor sketchbook. Below are some pictures of the samples. I will be filming a video of the ink tests and uploading it as soon as possible.

My Precious Krafts 2016-05-11 001

II. My Perfect Planner

After 9 months with the Moleskine Pocket Daily Planner, 1 month with the Shinola Runwell Planner and 3 months with the Passion Planner, I am starting to understand what I need in a planner. So, I decided to make a list of properties that I feel will make a planner perfect for me.

  1. External: the outside of the planner
    • Black or Red cover
    • A5-size, Hardcover and Stitchbound to lay-flat
    • No overhang
    • Elastic band to keep the notebook closed
  2. Internal: non-layout-related properties
    • Ink-friendly, off-white paper
    • Pocket for ruler and sticky notes (if it’s an expandable backpocket, it must be paper)
    • Bookmark
    • U.S. Holidays marked
    • Weekly Quote
  3. Layout
    • 2-year overview
    • Yearly planning pages
    • 2-page monthly spread with mini-version of the previous and following month
    • 24-hour weekly appointment calendar with mini-version of month
    • Note pages: Lightly-colored dot-grid or blank
  4. Minimalist: Other than what’s listed, I don’t want any extra features.

I will stick with the Passion Planner until the end of this year, but I am looking into other options for next year. As much as I appreciate the Passion Planner, there are simply too many specific-use boxes e.g. Personal To-Do, Work To-Do, Places to Go, People to See, Mind map, etc. I am a chronic organizer (and re-organizer), so I need a planner that gives me a little flexibility. However, I don’t want to sacrifice features I want, like the 24-hour weekly appointment calendar and the 2-page monthly spread.

Hobonichi Techo Cousin

At the top of my list of planners I’m considering is the Hobonichi Cousin. It is a bit too much in every way. First, it is expensive, softcover, and in Japanese. Second, in order to get pockets, bookmarks, and protection, it requires an extra cover. Lastly, it has way more features than I want. All that aside, there is so much functionality and it will fit every project that I have and more. I’m still deciding if I can stand to have a non-English planner, but it is getting more and more tempting. Originally, the plan was to wait for the English Hobonichi Cousin to come out. However, I have no patience, so we’ll see.

2 thoughts on “‘The Friday Flex’ Issue #14: Searching for Perfection

  1. I found your blog looking for a review of the passion planner, and I like your other blog posts too. I have been using the cousin this year, but want to add a goal planner as well. A lot of people use the daily pages of the cousin for notes, using the vertical months at the start as a index for notes on the daily pages. Also, the cousin has enough English to make it easier to use, plus the paper is lovely.


    1. Thanks you for the compliments! I’m really tempted to get the Cousin now… That sounds like the perfect use scenario. And then the weekly pages could be for proper planning! Oh the decisions of life…

      Personally, I still get a little overwhelmed by multiple planners. That said, the passion planner is a great goal planner. And though the paper is strangely gray, it feels wonderful and is ink friendly.

      Thank you for visiting my blog! I’ve gotten lazy as the summer came, but I will definitely pick it up in the fall.


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