#natstatweek: Pen and Pencil Day

In the UK, today is the first of seven days dedicated to celebrating all things stationery, aka National Stationery Week. As per their program, the first day is dedicated to pen and pencils, so I thought I'd update you on my current faves.

I don't know about you, but I own way too many writing supplies. I love having a variety of pen and pencils to use for different purposes, but I've noticed that on a day to day basis I tend to always use the same ones. At the moment, my absolute favourites are the Pigma Micron 03 and the Tombow Dual Brush in 243 (which is a nice pastely mint green shade).

Everyone and their nan uses these two pens, so I thought I'd throw in a more unique one as well, which is a star tip highlighter I got from an Happy Mail box. These are also my must-haves when it comes to bullet journaling, so I always carry them around with me.


What's that one pen you keep reaching for? ✏️

ƒ. x

Looking Around London: the Barbican Conservatory

barbican_conservatory.jpg

Banana trees, bamboo, cacti… it’s not something you’d expect to be growing in the middle of London, yet that’s exactly where you should go if you fancy spending your Sunday morning surrounded by tropical plants.

Located 10 minutes from the iconic St. Paul cathedral, the Barbican Centre is one of my all time favourite venues in central London. If you don’t know what’s inside, it’s possible you’d just overlook it as another soulless, claustrophobic, concrete building, but if you actually do venture in inside you’ll be surprised of how green and open it actually is.

Although I had visited the Centre a few times already, before last week I had never had the chance to wander around the conservatory. The greenhouse is, in fact, a bit tricky to find, which makes it a true hidden gem.

It houses a full room dedicated to cacti and succulents, a beautiful pond with koi fish, as well as an abundance of tropical plants and flowers.

If you're in London and fancy doing something different on a weekend (especially if the weather isn't the best!) definitely consider have a walk around the Barbican. Even if brutalist architecture isn’t your thing, rough, bare concrete and lush greenery is a combination I dare anyone not to like.

TIPS:

  • Plan your visit ahead and make sure to check their opening times for the day. Although the general opening is every Sunday 12AM-5PM, sometimes they may close early.

  • The Barbican estate is not the easiest to navigate, so if you plan on visiting the Conservatory, the easiest way in is through Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS - and just head to the 3rd floor.

  • If, like me, you enjoy drawing flowers and plants, make sure to bring a sketchbook along as there will be plenty of inspiration!

Have you ever been to Barbican Conservatory? ☺️

ƒ. xx

My First Bullet Journal and Setup

A bullet journal: seems like 90% of the people in my Instagram and YouTube feed has one. After seeing hundreds of pictures and videos of them, I eventually gave in to my curiosity to check out first hand what all the fuss was about.

As you may know, I’ve had various planners throughout the years - different shapes, sizes, levels of customisability, you name it. However, I was never able to fully commit to one. One of the main issues was that I didn’t like having a set space for each day and not much freedom to write anything else in it, so the BuJo system seemed to be the right one for me.

I picked up the Leuchttrum1917 bullet journal for two main reasons: the numbered pages and the dotted grid as knowing myself, I knew that this was the easiest choice to ease myself into it.

I came at it with no prior experience except for what I could see others doing, so I started from scratch without overdoing it.

I think for most people there’s a lot of creativity and effort that can go into how their BuJo looks and when starting out it can be a little intimidating. As much as I love drawing and decorating, I wanted to focus on experimenting with various systems and layouts until I'd find the right one for me, instead of being distracted by the look of it.

Prioritising the function over the form really worked for me, so the main thing I would recommend for starting from scratch is: to go basic. I limited myself to use one black pen one highlighter, and it worked perfectly to not get too distracted while I tried to figure out what exact things I needed in my BuJo to be more productive.

There are many elements that are common for bullet journals, but I knew I wanted to ease myself into the system gradually rather than going all in, to make sure I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed. So, I started off with just the barebones and the most simple elements: a monthly calendar as an overview for the month, a general to-do list for things I wanted to accomplish during the month but for which I didn't have a set date or a deadline, and finally the daily planning section.

Although my goal was to keep it simple, I was still adding some sort of flourishes to the dates, and after trying it out for a couple of weeks and kind of being bothered by how untidy it looked, I decided to switch to a plainer layout which now works much better (less distractions for me!).

Something I'm still on the fence about, is having a weekly to-do list. I find it a bit redundant, yet I don't plan my week all at once but day-by-day or a couple of days at a time, so it's useful to have a dedicated space to jot down some of the tasks I want to work on each week.

A vast majority of people also uses some sort of habit tracker, but in my specific case I didn't find it useful nor I thought using it was making me any more consistent than I already was, so I tried it out briefly but decided to abandon it.
However, a tracker I do enjoy using is one to keep record of my graphic design work; I simply write down the name or topic of the project and then track each step from draft to completion.

As I'm writing this post I'm still working towards finding the "perfect" layout for my Bujo, but I can already tell you my productivity has spiked since I started using it, and I'm really happy about it. I would love to share more of it as I go if it is something you'd be interested in seeing here ☺️


Do you have a Bullet Journal, too? How are you liking it?

ƒ. xx