Everyday Tote, first impression

Finally my Kickstarter bags arrived in my hand. This won’t be a long use review, but here’s my first impression.


The first is the Peak Design’s Everyday Tote. I’ve posted my contempt against the campaign in earlier post.

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Unused Pages

Yesterday my EDiT Planner 2017 arrived. The planner starts from January, so there’s still two months left before the first daily entry.

Meanwhile, I just found out that the A5 Hobonichi Cousin also have extra pages, and Weekly planner!

Well, my main reason of choosing the EDiT is actually the monthly header page. It gives enough page to write monthly plan and summary such as expense, and five rows for recording important thing of each weeks. It’s also more structured than the one in Hobonichi, but not as overkill as Jibun Techou.

For now, I’m using a Campus Diary for the weekly vertical planner. But it would be nice if EDiT adds weekly vertical too in 2018 edition. Having them all in one book is really practical.

Meanwhile, I really don’t need the international dialing code page (yes Moleskine, I’m looking at you too). Neither does the train map of various cities. But hey, at least it’s less eye candy information pages such as unit conversion (can just use apps), shoe/suit size, or travel map for the jet-set who take plane two times a week. (yes Moleskine, I’m looking at you).

Also there’s less information that will become waste of space for me. Upon checking, I found out that outside the weekly vertical planner, I would use only less than half of the templates prepared by Jibun Techou.

I guess this is also problem with planner aimed on Productivity rather than simply recording, there’s too much importance put on “self improvement” rather than who you are right now. This is why many planners in Kickstarter are not appealing to me. They’re about that self improvement thing.

Camera bags

In the end, I’m clearly going over budget this semester. Pushed the button to pre-order  Everyday Tote.


Personally, I’m hoping for a last minute alternative. The design is good enough, and because they produce it in an Asian country rather than “Make USA Great Again” domestic pride, the price is relatively low.

But the comment section is making me uncomfortable. I’ve saw review that mentioned the fanboyism around the brand, and now I witnessed it. I personally prefer a degree of separation between maker (and politician) and the constituents. The atmosphere there is that the brand is too much of a “that cool dude who’s friend of mine”.

Just like in the local politic, I think this made it difficult to have strong criticism. The persona will be behind wall of fans ready to defend them and saying what they do is right, whatever it is as long as it’s not too obvious (such as killing someone with their own hands).

The community manager is even more a “Friend” role to the community. After the disclosure, there’s even less separation between personal and work. In the end, critics will always get smitten by the community, and even ends up being ridiculed.

Again, like in local politic, I don’t believe this is a healthy environment. Only the most determined to stand against the majority would be able to stand up and voiced their concern. The rest will be reluctant from seeing treatment others before them has received.

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Trying bullet journal

When starting journal again, I soon gets reminiscent of my previous diary experience, which is not really fun.

To start with, there’s that feeling that you need to write a lot in detail. This is fueled by the existing image of diary in movies that are more like a Holocron, something that keep thought of the author. Yes, that’s really a big burden.
In the end, the journal ends up more like letter of complaints filled with negativity.

Blogging, in its current form, has evolved from personal journaling into an article writing art form that demand thoughtfulness and creativity. For the Average Joe, the experience they have with their mediocre skill has became much less rewarding engagement. Why do you think they flocked to social media ? Even there the creatives are pushing them away to the dark side, stealing away little bit of light they have.

Bullet Journal seems to be a nice form. It’s touted as a simpler form, and the to-do list format is geared at productivity.

But even this newly trending journal in paper book is also taken by the creatives. If you see online, inspirations from Instagram, the Bullet Journal note, or myMoleskine all showcase highly decorated journals that looks like design student’s typography assignment.

Again, if you have the almighty “Winner Mentality” then fine. But an average person will see that this is the standard, that this is how it should be done, and saw how boring his journal are.

Yes, boring. The journaling experience became boring because rather than focusing on their own, they instead are thrown into feeling of inferiority against the Creative who form the “average score”.

“Winner” will feel challenged and up their game, but those so-called “Loser”, who probably just want a place to channel their personal thought, will feel they don’t belong and give it up altogether, even though it’s not those decorative journals they want to make. Remember the Sturgeon’s Law, the population below will always be larger and they are being robbed away of a place they want to be in.

Really, if just the major channels would also showcase more of the “normal people”. They are kind of raising the price of entrance, which is in a way a good way since it show it’s the cool people’s club.

In my case… I need to adapt it to my own need. The adaptation I have made so far since starting it is:

  • Not focusing too much on the productivity. I’m not so interested in getting constant reminder of things to do. I am not the over-achiever who feel the need to achieve three or more things everyday, who need to set plan ready until the day they gloriously join the feast of victors in the Winner in Life’s version of Valhalla.
    I want to enjoy a more idle life at least in my personal journal. So the calendar and task list go somewhere else (I have a Campus Monthly Planner for that need).
  • Not being bound to the short and concise list. Bullet Journal seems to write things shortly and elaborate in other page, which is not really what I want. Writing in other page will be a waste of paper if I don’t use up the entire page.

On the second point… my idea of daily journal is more like the original idea of Micro Blogging. I want to write short to medium length ideas that are loosely connected, or disconnected. So each bullet point is filled with the whole idea, but the next bullet could be totally about something else.

This is unlike blog or diary where there’s a feeling that you need to fill the page with one coherent thought. The idea is much more chaotic, random blobs of texts that are grouped by date.

Well, in the end I still use three (or four) books instead of putting all into one. There’s the journal, the planner, and a sketchbook for drawing practice on the move.

Systemic Notes

The Kokuyo Systemic note cover is a fun and useful product if you carry more than one notebook. In the sales pitch, they touted this as a way so you can separate two different needs, like Business/Personal, Planner/Journal, Notes/Sketch, etc. All in A7, A6, B6, A5, B5, A4 notes size.

In addition, the notebook also provide two bookmark ribbons, pocket on the outside, and enough space to slip in paper notes inside.

They have two version. The older version is slimmer. I choose this one at first for the cheaper price, but eventually choose the later version. The smallest version (A7) also came with reporter style model.


The later version is designed to accommodate Kokuyo’s twin-ring notebook. The twin-ring is thicker so it wouldn’t fit into the original version. New version doesn’t just have wider binding, it is also wider to allow the ring binding to hang. So this is a consideration if you want to keep it smaller.

The Ring Note version is three page wide, in accordion setup. And by the virtue of ring binding, you can use it like that picture above. The maker say this is for two notes, but actually you can put third notebook. In my case I put a thin Campus Planner in the middle section that is actually for slipping document notes.

Oh, and the ring note version also have thicker and stronger elastic strap.

My carry are:

  • Kokuyo CamiApp notebook A6. But since I don’t use the CamiApp a lot, I think I will switch to normal notebook after I burned through this one.
  • Kokuyo Buncobon plain A6. This is my pocket sketchbook for rough sketches. The paper is not too thick so I can only use one page on each sheet. Planned on changing to a Moleskine pocket later since this one is almost all consumed. The Moleskine is smaller though.
  • Campus monthly planner. The bullet journal method I tried doesn’t work so well for my style.
  • Pure Malt 5-in-1 pen. Slipped tightly into the elastic pen loop. But clearly it is made for smaller pen.
  • Post-It note inside the back cover pocket.

I haven’t tried the Moleskine in practical use yet since I’m still waiting for the sketchbook to run out. Will update with pictures later :)


Recently I’ve been looking at journaling again. Paper book journaling for keeping note of random things. I hasn’t been successful on doing it all though.

The main problem is the difficulties about putting what where. For random thoughts, Twitter should be a great place. It offer sharing as well as timestamping. But I found myself too lazy to pull out my phone and with the instantaneous nature of social media, it’s not always that relevant to post about something that already passed.

Blog always hit on me as the media where you’re writing newspaper column. It requires long thoughtful trail of words to be actually worth it.

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Drawing book

Remember that saying about how keep writing/drawing to get better ? I didn’t fare so well with writing because basically I use simpler words and thus sounds boring. Yes, even with much less vocabulary than a typical writer, I tend to use even less of the words I’ve already known.

Luckily the drawing side is a bit better. Although I still don’t feel like showing them to anyone, I think my drawing has got better, albeit still monotone and too lazy to pay attention to the details.

My “recent” jump into drawing again starts around middle of last year, after I got my iPad mini and bought a stylus (at that time, Pencil by 53). I’ll keep the stylus review for later (tried four already) or the drawing apps review.

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