My favourite work notebooks

I’m fussy about my stationery but even I’m surprised at how specific I like my various items of work stationery to be! These are called campus notebooks by Typo and I pay R69,99 each or R100 for two (they have them on special a couple of times a year). They’re spiral-bound, a little wider than A5, have 4 sections (more on these sections later) and have lined paper.

They are my favourite notebooks which I use in the following way:

  1. I keep about 4 pages free in the beginning of the notebook for a few lists: lists of my clients, lists of new business I’m working on and any other lists I might need (sizes of meeting rooms are current favourites because I book enormous meeting rooms during these times, current work projects, and so on)
  2. I then make a daily eat the frog list, and my ta-da list and goals for the week at the end of each week. It’s my whole end-of-work week routine.
  3. I start each day with a daily list, make meeting notes and actions, both in preparation for the meetings I run and when I’m a participant. One day can use up anything from 3 – 8 pages, depending on the types of meetings.
  4. These notebooks used to last 6 months each but during these pandemic times where we work mostly from home and have far more meetings than ever before, they’re stretching to 3 months if I’m lucky. (I just checked my current notebook – I started it on 18 May and looks like I’ll start another one on 18 August).
  5. I completely ignore the partitions. I know some people like to use one section for clients, one for team meetings, one for something else and one for to-do lists. That’s not how my brain works – my brain works strictly in chronological order. E.g. “when was that client meeting? oh, 4 August.” I then flip to 4 August and find my notes. So I (horror of horrors) just cut out those partitions and I keep just one for a few post-it notes.

And now for the enormous disclaimer…

There is absolutely nothing special about this notebook or any other notebook.

The best notebook is the one that works for you!

Confession – you don’t even need a fancy notebook. An A5 exercise book that school kids use will do.

I would say you need a system to keep up with your work actions, a place to hold the thoughts in your mind, a place to plan the important and not urgent matters (quadrant B items) and a place to reflect back and refer to notes.

If you have that, great!

If not, perhaps try my system – who knows? It might just work for you too. If not, keep the bits that work and start tweaking the other parts.

Which is your favourite notebooks to use for work?

PS Whenever I post something like this, people always say, “why should you use pretty stationery for work?” To that I say, I spend 50+ hours a week on work; I definitely want to use that time and make my environment and tools ones that spark extreme joy for me 🙂

How my bullet journalling has changed over the last 3 years

I’m always fascinated by how things change in my own life and in other people’s, especially with regard to how we do things.

Today I want to talk about bullet journalling.

Yes, I’m still bullet journalling and to be honest, even when the craze ends, I’ll still be using a bullet journal simply because I was bullet journalling long before it became a thing. In those days, I just had a notebook I carried around with me for my lists 🙂

I have noticed that the way I use my bullet journal changes according to the diary I have for that year.

This year I have a diary with lots of monthly goals space so I use my diary for my goals instead of the bullet journal. I still use my bullet journal for my monthly review though (you can download your monthly review free printable page here)

So which pages am I still using?

  1. Weekend to-do list
  2. WFM Daily to-do list (once a week)
  3. Podcast club notes (podcast club does not happen as often as it used to, though)
  4. list of blog posts to write (this is still a permanent page in my bullet journal)
  5. brainstorming specific blog posts or what needs to go in my monthly newsletter
  6. monthly project life photo planning (I do a mindmap and ask myself what happened that I want to remember, and then I look for a picture. It’s much less overwhelming than looking at 300 pics trying to whittle them down to 6)
  7. daily journalling from holidays, when they happen.
  8. People interested in the Four Tendencies workshop (I keep a list and update it after every workshop) – this has been a strange thing and I should write down some learnings after the workshop on 1 June happens.
  9. Life admin list – granted, at certain times of the year, this list is WILDLY busy but most months there are only one or two things on there at most, which is how I prefer it.

Are you still bullet journalling?

Which are your favourite pages in your bullet journal?

PS I have a separate bullet journal for all my reading. Read more about that one in this post.

Marcia gets crafty 7 – elastic notebooks

these elastic books are inspired by Aimee
What you need
  • Postcards or other project board (I liked the idea of finally using postcards I’ve been keeping)
  • Blank or lined paper
  • Elastic band (I happened to have coloured ones so I co-ordinated the colours with the postcards
How to make them
  • Fold the postcard in half
  • Choose about 5 – 10 sheets of paper per book. Fold in half and make sure the paper will fit neatly inside the postcard.
  • Use your fingers (I don’t have fancy “tools”) to make firm folds in the paper.
  • Place inside the folded postcard.
  • Stretch an elastic band along the spine and fold close.
  • Ta da – as easy as that you are done.


this postcard is from a penpal I had AGES ago, from Slovenia
I’d bought a pack of index CARDS and when I opened the pack, the CARDS were actually paper. Faxed them a complaint and of course, they didn’t respond. This is me “letting go” and using the paper for something else.

How to use them
  • I gave some to our PA to take all the coffee orders in our meetings 🙂
  • I keep one in the car to make notes while driving (well, at the traffic lights)
  • One lives in my handbag
  • One lives in the kitchen so we can make quick notes
  • Give them to your kids (Kendra loves to also have a “book” like Mummy)
  • Give them away as random acts of kindness
When you’ve finished writing on all the paper, if your postcard is still looking good (my first one looked well-used), you should just add more paper.
Very green of me, don’t you think? 🙂

Who else loves paper?

Do you keep a notebook in the car?


Marcia gets crafty 4 – scrapbook paper noteboooks 1

It’s no secret that I love notebooks and paper 🙂

I’m not a scrapbooker but ever since I bought my first pad of scrapbook paper, I’ve been hooked.

The colours, the sturdiness, the ease of using it…

I decided to make some scrapbook notebooks after I saw a tutorial for something similar on a blog (in the days before pinterest) otherwise I’d link to it.

What you need:
scrapbook paper
hole punch
gift tag (if gift)


  1. Take 4-5 sheets of scrapbook paper
  2. Fold them in half and tear down the middle. This is a great craft for recovering perfectionists. You will twitch at first at the thought of not cutting neatly but when you put it together and see how cute it looks and how the torn edges add to the cuteness, you’ll smile.
  3. Fold all the paper in half again.
  4. Punch along the folds (spine of the book) as far in as your punch will reach.
  5. Thread the twine through the holes (I’m afraid I was experimenting mostly and I still don’t have the exact method…) – keep going until your book feels secure. I don’t like flimsy so once I think it’s okay, I thread one more loop through.
  6. Make sure the twine is on the outside.
  7. Tie a lovely big bow and call it a day.
  8. I tie a gift tag to the twine with a “made for you by Marcia” note.

Quick, easy and very, very pretty.

What to use it for:

  1. A standard notebook
  2. A book of lists
  3. a year in review book (I’m keeping one this year and it’s been fabulous – I will blog at the end of December)
  4. Little scrapbook
  5. Journal

(all of these for you or a friend, of course)

Do you love notebooks and scrap paper too?

What do you use scrap paper for besides scrapbooking?

Marcia gets crafty 1 – jazzing up notebooks

As you know, notebooks are one of my favourite organising tools.

I have a not-so-slight addiction and in fact, I set a goal to give away 37 notebooks over the next year as one of the items on my 37 things list which I made for my birthday in August.

So far I’ve already given away 17 and we’re only three months in. I think I’m going to have to increase that goal to at least 50.

Moving on.

So this is my current favourite obsession.

Decorating notebooks. It combines stationery, one of my favourite things, and a new love, crafting.

I’m using the word “crafting” very loosely as I don’t consider myself creative in this way but I’ll share my stuff nonetheless. It may be inspiration for others of you who are more like me.

Presenting my notebooks 🙂

look at the fabric tape

and free printable Ms I found somewhere on the internet (I can’t remember where – if you know, tell me so I can link)

same with these be and love printable circles – free somewhere too

another M notebook – this one for me. I’m in love with the combination of blue and yellow, with brown

and still some more

aren’t those Ms gorgeous? (they’re not all for me – lots of gifts)

pink fabric tape

Do you like notebooks? What have you created lately?

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Question of the week – taking notes

I read somewhere that taking notes is like taking photos.

It helps you to remember the experience better.

I like to take notes because it helps me to focus better and pay attention.

I’ve shared before that I’m a visual-tactile person so I love the feeling of writing and putting pen to paper. The old-fashioned way.

Especially these gorgeous pens.

Are you a note taker?

If yes, what are your methods?

Let’s talk bookshops

The question of the week is…

When you go to a bookstore, what’s the first section you go to?

I go to the journals and notebooks section first and then self-development (the goals/ time management part).

Over to you!

The perfect notebook

I spied this notebook at our offices and had to take a quick pic because it is SUPER cute!

look at the bookmark – isn’t it too darling with all the cars?

This is not my perfect notebook although it has a few things going for it – cuteness and that bookmark.

These are the things I love in a notebook

something that feels good to touch (am very tactile)
beautiful colour
lined paper (canNOT write in a straight line)
the lines must accommodate my medium to large handwriting
pocket on inside to keep bits of paper (otherwise I make my own pocket)
satin bookmark to mark my place
elastic to close – this is not a biggie but I do like things all neat and in their place
spiral-bound for the one that lives on my desk so it stays flat and I can rip out paper if need be. normal for the one that lives in my handbag.

What does your perfect notebook look like?

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