1- Planner talk! It’s almost Hobonichi sale time! As usual, they have an elaborately choreographed sequence of release dates for various pieces of information. And an extremely cute website! Check it out here.
There is a new Hobonichi planner option available for those who want more of a bullet journal experience: the “Day Free”, which is basically a monthly calendar followed by blank pages. This would be great for someone who keeps their entire ‘hard’ calendar landscape digitally.
Personally, I like having my hard landscape on paper too, so I will be sticking with the regular Techo Cousin. But I was tempted for a moment! I’m also thinking about the 5 year diary. Which might be slightly insane. But kind of fun at the same time. I purposely didn’t buy it last year because starting with a non-round-number-year didn’t seem right.
Last year I reviewed a whole slew of planners (see details here). I don’t think I am going to do that this year, in part because many of these planners stay reasonably consistent from year to year. Personally, I continue to find peace in my Hobonichi. I will probably use an Inkwell Press product for year-end planning (I love the company and their designs!).
2- BACK TO SCHOOL. Well, we made it through re-entry! Annabel started 2nd grade and Cameron kindergarten. He was surprisingly easygoing — no tear or clinginess whatsoever! We had quite a different experience 2 years ago. Just goes to show: kids are different. You certainly can influence them, but they are going to be who they are.
We didn’t do anything school-related over the summer and I did notice that both kids had forgotten a lot. I realized it was the first time in months Cameron wrote his name (drawing/writing is not his go-to leisure activity). Maybe next year some workbooks . . . or maybe it’s fine and they will catch up quickly.
Also once again struggling with how involved to be in A’s homework. I love the idea of just letting it be her responsibility, which means spelling/punctuation mistakes would just stay and her answers might not be complete. Yet that doesn’t exactly seem to be what the expectation is. I wish teachers would emphasize with the kids that homework is really for THEM to do, and if it’s not perfect that’s ok! Logistically, if Josh isn’t home (and often he isn’t), I can’t stand over her anyway due to the other 2 so we’ll just see how things go.
3- I did order an Erin Condren home management whiteboard! Disclosure: I had referral points from you all (thank you!) due to last year’s planner review, and I don’t necessarily know that I would have invested otherwise, because they are expensive! I also agree with the commenter who recommended getting my own & customizing over time. BUT – we’ll see how it goes! If nothing else, it will be good to review for you all. I got the weekly calendar layout and the task list but only one frame (for now) to see which is more useful.
4- I liked Ana’s review of Digital Minimalism. I went back and looked at my own reviews and was disappointed that I didn’t call Cal Newport out on the “spending 3 hours fixing the bathroom while his wife had the kids” issue.
But I’m glad she did. That said, I still feel the book had many worthwhile ideas (as did Ana). I have NOT completely ditched social media (instagram in particular) the way I said I would after reading it. But I think I have improved my focus lately, mostly by just trying to fill my time with other things. Cleaning out my insta feed (removing influencers and sticking to people I feel personally connected to) helped a lot! I can actually get to that “you’re all caught up” icon in a relatively short time and feel done.
I would still like to try following a time-limited scheduling of ‘checking’. I still hate that it’s THAT addictive! But I am enjoying all of the recent back to school pix, and I find the feed on my planner account particularly calming. So, there’s that.
5- Summer Reading. My “Q3” is over, but I’m giving myself until Labor Day before I call it on my summer reading list! I’m honestly quite proud of how my reading life went this summer.
I’m currently almost finished with Maybe You Should Talk to Someone and have Gravity is the Thing, The River, and The Island of Sea Women on my library hold list. I may actually get through the whole thing, which definitely satisfies my completist instincts. Shout-out to Modern Ms Darcy (95% of the list is from her Summer Reading Guide) and the Broward County Library!