Friday, July 10, 2015

Creating the Ultimate Most Organized Creative Notebook Ever: Part Three

My creative notebook was almost perfect. I could put in any kind of note I wanted while successfully keeping it organized. But most of the pages were full of only my handwriting. It was a bit boring. I wanted more art and color on my pages. I also desired to easily add photos and random paper clippings from my life to it as well.


While working on this project, I decided to take a look at the very popular Project Life scrap booking system. Before I had only heard of it and had a hazy idea of what it was. When I did more research on it, I quickly saw that it didn't fit my needs. A Project Life album would be too much for me to carry around in my bag, and it was more for scrap-booking, not note-taking. Besides that, I prefer paper pages over fully plastic ones.

Still there was one thing I absolutely loved about it. I thought it was awesome how photos and other visual items could be added to a Project Life album without worrying about layout. So I cooked up my own way of doing something similar.

I've always enjoyed creating artist trading cards. They're a simple way to make art, and they come in a standard size: 2.5" x 3.5" These cards fit perfectly into plastic sleeves that are used for trading cards. Also there are all kinds of papers designed to fit into the sleeves, from watercolor paper to scrap booking style paper.Variety was what I was searching for.

Using double sided tape I attached the plastic sleeves to the notebook pages, creating a simple layout. I've found that it's best to have the sleeves near the edges of the pages instead of near the inside. The closer they are to the spine, the harder it is to close the notebook. The mixed-media notebook I chose is designed to handle an expanding book, so that was helpful.

Another bonus to using the 2.5" x 3.5" sleeves is that it makes it easy to add photos from my Instax Mini 8 camera.

I'm fortunate to be married to a guy who enjoys designing games for fun. He had a MS word template I could use to print out even more cards to slip into the sleeves. Using that and Canva as a design tool, I realized that these tiny pockets are perfect. It's a daily scrapbook/planner that's easy to carry around, and very simple to customize. Besides I don't have the time to create larger pieces of art that covers a whole page. A 2.5" x 3.5" card is plenty.

I was pretty happy with the results, and the pages look nice. However I noticed that after four months I would run out of pages and need a new notebook. I was a little disappointed. Having a notebook that could last all year would be ideal. Also I realized that I would like to have a calendar in my notebook too.

Turns out I needed more than a notebook. I needed a high powered planner. The next post in this series is about how I used what I learned from creating this Ultimate Notebook to design my Ultimate Creative DIY planner.