February 01, 2008


Sadly it seems I have no mould and therefore no new carpet courtesy of my insurance company. But at least my carpet is relaid and is as clean as aging cheap carpet can be. At least until one of the cats decides it really would look better with cat barf.

Now all I need is for it to dry so everything can go back where it belongs.

All this cleaning and piling has turned the virgo brain, naturally, to organisation in general. As far as the house goes, this largely means the annual attack of decluttering and finagling storage space.

But, more to the point, I've been thinking about my notebooks. Like most writers, I'm a bit of stationery fan and tend to accumulate notebooks at an alarming rate and am generally carting around at least an A5 sized one for writing. I also have a filofax, a palm and, at the moment, another notebook I've been using for my online course. Which all ends up to notes and bits and pieces everywhere. And a bag that weighs a tonne.

So today, while my carpet was being cleaned, I've been noodling online looking at organisational ideas. And I keep coming back to a Circa notebook. I've known about them for a while and have been trying to resist. But they're starting to make more and more sense, not least because, unlike Moleskines which I always look at but never buy, they're effectively spiral bound. I like spiral bound.

I need a flexible all-in-one type solution. I don't use my filofax a lot but I do use the monthly planners and birthdays and addresses in it (I don't have all my addresses in my Palm because that syncs with my dayjob Outlook and I don't want all my personal addresses in that plus I don't carry my Palm much on weekends). Phone numbers are mostly in my mobile phone except for the more seldom used numbers. Appointments are largely in the Palm courtesy of outlook. But I tend to forget things like birthdays because I don't use weekly or monthly views in Outlook). So I don't really need the whole filofax but I have nowhere else to carry the stuff I do use.

But the Circa would solve that. I could have some monthly planners and then have various sections that would let me do my to-do lists and what ifs and goals and story ideas as well as sections for long hand writing. Better still because you can take pages out and move them around, I can move things relating to particular wips together (helpful when you tend to work on multiple htings like me). I'm thinking a Junior sized for day to day and a Letter sized mainly for weekends when I'm out writing. It would let me do the virgo brain stuff that keeps me slightly saner without necessitating much searching through multiple notebooks to find things I've written (I tend to grab whichever notebook is closest rather than using them in any order) and carrying of many heavy books around.

The only downside is no-one seems to stock them here downunder (man, the US just has cooler stuff sometimes. though we have tim tams and twisties and no tornadoes) so I'll have to fork out for the always a slight rip-off postage. The good thing is that you can get a punch and customise your own pages once you have the basics, so that will make ongoing expenses a minimum. Plus I also discovered the very cool DIY Planner today where you can get all sorts of cunning templates etc for just this sort of thing. And next year, RWA National is in Washington where there is a Levenger store so I could stock up (or get someone to stock up if I don't go). And hmm, I do believe I know someone who lives in Chicago where there are also stores (Alyson, I'm looking at you : ) ).

All in all, I'm leaning towards acquiring one...any of you US types use one?


C. Alyson Love said...

Hey Mel-- I just read your last two posts and it looks like organization IS on the brain for both of us. I haven't tried a Circa notebook, but I'll do an experiment on your behalf and let you know how it works. Or . . . I can pick up supplies for both of us, send you yours and we can test them at the same time. Email me your address, and I'll be happy to oblige.


Mel said...

You're a goddess! : ) Will email you.

Keziah Hill said...

You are an evil woman Mel. You've just inflamed an obsessive stationery lust for this Circa thing. Hmm....

MelissaB said...

Mel--My hubby is devoted to these Levenger notebooks. They're great for being able to slip pages in and out and the paper quality is very, very nice. I used to noodle around the Boston store when we lived there--it's a dangerous place.

Lookes like Alyson is going to hok you up!

BTW, are you taking Voice II in March?

Mel said...

I'm doing October....are you doing March? Darn. Just didn't work so well for me with other stuff I've got on...and yes, Alyson is going to become my Levenger enabler : ))