Notebooks and planners and calendars and folders and pens. Oh my.

Planning and writing are two activities that I spend quite a bit of time on, meaning, it’s nice to find a system and products (namely wall calendars, notebook calendars, folders/pouches, the perfect pen, the tried and tested planner, and mesmerizingly beautiful notebooks) that go beyond.


I’ve been a Moleskine loyalist for over a decade now, but only for a very specific product: their 18 month extra-large weekly planner.  I pre-order every June and upon receipt, I transfer anything I’ve already jotted down for July through December to the new planner.  Next July, I’ll  personalize it either with an inside joke (that I will likely not even understand), or something/anything Life Aquatic.


As for wall calendars, I’ve tried lots.  For the last year, I used Poketo’s 12 month collaboration with artist Chad Khori to bring a bit of color and whimsy into our kitchen.  It’s simple and minimalist, and looks great against a blank wall.  I’ve already stocked up for 2018 (both with their regular sized one and their mini).  Prior to 2017, I was a big fan of Cat’s Let Nothing Darken their Roar, but it appears that Noa‘s taking a break from calendar production for the time being.

Cat’s Let Nothing Darken their Roar. June. Photo by nämä shop.

And then, of course, there is Stendig, designed in 1966 by Massimo Vignelli, featured in MoMA’s collection, and even available in dollhouse size (#swoon).

Stendig Calendar.  Photo c/o Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Company.

Postalco has another one that I have my eye on.  Also, their description of time is #magic.

Postalco’s One Year Wall Calendar, 2018.

Time is definitely real, but we can’t see it. This calendar, like all calendars, is for making elusive time visible. Instead of chopping up time into months or weeks, this calendar shows the larger flow of time in a year. Stepping back to see a whole year at once is ideal for planning projects, travel or even keeping track of special days. Once time is visible it might be possible to actually use time the way we’d like, instead of saying, “There goes another year!” Putting a calendar up on the wall, instead of closing it up in a bag or computer, will allow people to naturally share and coordinate their plans too. The One Year Wall Calendar has just enough space to write a brief note for each day. This calendar is clear but at the same time will blend in at the office or at home. Happy planning! All Japanese holidays shown.


With notebooks, I am not as particular, but I confess I always have a fully stocked cabinet of simple Muji notebooks, along with others that I’ve collected, usually from the gift shop of an art museum, an independent book store, or that general store.

My most favorite calendar notebook is from JSTORY.  I missed out on getting their big metallic monthly planner (#amirite?!), but landed one in black.  Look at those dimensions.  #bliss

It’s like JSTORY is designing with me in mind.

I also have a copy of Tamara Shopskin‘s 5 year diary, and while I may not make entries consistently, one of these days, I might.


A new favorite is Poppin, specifically these.  Like a good espresso, smooth.

Binders (bonus).

The new DC-based Appointed was clever in snagging the dot com by ditching their vowels.  Check out their personalizable mini-binder.  And if you are in the DC area, they are located in Ivy City, the unofficial distillery capital and hotspot for creatives.

And, always, these Muji binders.  I use them mostly for memory books (like the one on traditions that I’ve started, the one for documenting the trips and travels we’ve taken since 2007, and the ones for documenting where we were and who we were with on holidays and birthdays).

Honorary Mentions.

This is a list of products I haven’t tried out but would like to get to know, one of these days:

Wrap it up.

Do you put as much thought into what you write with and where you write?  If yes, do.  I’ll leave you with a Wes Anderson quote from this 2012 Vanity Fair interview, that completely avoids answering the interviewer’s question, which, in practice, I fully respect.  It also gave me pause to reflect on how it’s the details that make our lives.

You have a reputation for being a master of detail on set. Is there one aspect of your life that people would be surprised to learn is kind of disorganized and messy?

I don’t know about that. I wouldn’t say that I’m particularly bothered or obsessed with detail. When I’m on a movie, part of that process is creating a setting for the story and a world that they live in. That’s the kind of movie that I like to make, where there is an invented reality and the audience is going to go someplace where hopefully they’ve never been before. The details, that’s what the world is made of. Those are the paints.

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