A6: The little size that could

Hey everyone! I’m writing even though I’m having the time of my life blowing my nose and coughing like crazy. Yep–cold & flu season has arrived in my household, and I’ve been chugging water like a madwoman in an attempt to stay hydrated since my appetite is nonexistent.

So how are YOU? 😉

Today I’m solemnly confessing two things:

  1. I am back to planning in the A6 size, and
  2. I am back to planning in rings.

WHAT?! Yes, you read that right.

My last ring bound planner was a Medium Gillio Compagna I bought second hand in 2016, and I loved it–except for how big bulky, and heavy it was. I don’t like heavy planners and I’m not a stuffer either.

That summer, I entered the world of traveler’s notebooks and happily left behind any ring bound planners I had without regrets. I loved the idea of the TN inserts being these thin booklets that, once-filled, could easily be archived in one cohesive unit.

After three months in TN’s, I sold the Medium Gillio, and sold/gave away any personal sized items I had like dividers (mostly dividers, pouches, that sort of thing).

I later moved on to the bullet journal, which I also loved the same way I did the TN’s, except for having to draw out my layouts week after week or day after day. It often took too long and though I did it while I was just staying home with my kiddo, that changed in the fall of 2017 when I returned to school. I went back to the traveler’s notebook system I’d enjoyed in the A6 size.

I think my true size loves are A6 and B6, and I can’t see myself moving entirely out of either.

I prefer my pages to be more square than narrow, and that’s another reason why I haven’t tried other sizes ever in traveler’s notebooks such as Personal or even the Hobonichi Weeks. The ‘narrowest’ I went was when I tried out a standard TN and while I liked it, I soon began missing the portability of shorter sizes (not to mention, the squareness of a page).

What I love the most about A6 is it’s like an A5 scaled down. Inserts are very easy to print as they’re a quarter of a standard American letter sized sheet of paper.

Score! This is my A6 Gillio Compagna. Isn’t it gorgeous? The outside is royal blue and the inside is gold. It has that amazing back pocket that fits letter-sized paper folded in half, plenty of card pockets, two pen loops, and a zippered back pocket. I’ve moved out of my A6 Appunto and this is doubling nicely as a wallet/planner. My A6 Appunto will probably be listed for sale soon! I’m that pleased with this binder.

Now, the reason why I switched back to rings, or rather the two reasons why I switched back into rings.

  • Work. I’m doing freelancing work and other projects that archiving for accounting/bookkeeping purposes.

While my Stalogy notebooks are great in so many ways, and I adore that paper (dare I say it?) above most others, I don’t like tabs sticking out of notebooks or even TN’s. I know this probably makes me a weirdo, but it’s no less of a preference than those who have tabs on every single sheet or section of their notebooks. If it works for you–awesome! If not and you’re like me, you need to make adjustments.

When it came to invoicing, I realized I’d made a few errors. I hadn’t clocked in time worked while I was out running an errand, for example, and answering/corresponding to work related stuff.

‘No problem,’ I’d tell myself, ‘just jot it down in the trusty notebook.’ Which was fine if I didn’t overlook writing it on the spot or forgetting it altogether. What can I say? Sometimes my focus is a lot like Dory’s.

  •  Health. Every year, I tell myself this lie about how *this* is *the year* I’m going to improve my overall health.

I’ve never been great at making a legitimate plan for my health and forcing myself to stick with it.

Moms are the worst ones. Unless we’ve got outside help, even if it’s just your family willing to step in, the load is primarily ON US. It fucking sucks, but what can I do except deal with it?

Rings allow me to concentrate on specific things I need to do daily to achieve what I want and then I’m able to archive those pages and look back at them cohesively in a way that writing it over and over in my notebook often gets overlooked.

No matter how well intentioned my plans are, sometimes shit happens and I need to find a place where I’m accountable for specific tasks/goals, and that aren’t interspersed with everything else in my life.

Another benefit is that I can switch between dailies/weeklies depending on my needs. I often don’t carry more than one month at a time, and I keep a Notes section in my planner where I have a page titled FUTURE PLANNING. Everything is organized in one place easily locatable, without shuffling through pages littered with bujo dailies, quotes, time schedules, and recipes as well as other random notes sprinkled between the pages.

It looks cool as hell…but it’s not very streamlined or organized. In almost three years, I haven’t mastered this yet, and I don’t like sections in my notebooks because of the unpredictability of not knowing how much paper I’m going to need for a specific section.

Another reason I like being in rings again is for things that are disposable, like shopping lists. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve used my A6 Stalogy in this way, in addition to bullet journaling and sometimes regular journaling. Now those pages live forever in that notebook. Sure, I could rip them out, but then I’d have those hideous rips scattered through the notebook, which wasn’t what I wanted.

Bujos and TN’s are very freeing in a way that rings (at least to me) offer a lot more structure. And while I am creative, I have other outlets for that creativity.

So for now, I am using A6 rings. I was able to trade for it with something I already owned so it didn’t cost anything, and though it’s secondhand just like my first Gillio in 2016, it’s in excellent condition and has a lot of life left.

Am I still using the B6? Yes! My daughter’s school sometimes hosts events and seminars for special needs parents that I attend and I use it for that purpose as well as for all the other stuff I’ve mentioned earlier (recipes, notes on videos or books, etc.). I love all that glorious space and so nope–the B6 isn’t going anywhere.

It hasn’t been long yet so I can’t say how long this system will work for. I know I will be playing around with inserts and layouts, and have been curious about the Chronodex system for time tracking, but I still don’t know enough about it.

Still in play are my stencils by my sweet gal pal, Kayla, over at Dear Lily Designs. I can’t quit those stencils and I won’t even try cause I love them! I did discover much to my happiness that the Pilot Multiball pen (I have it in Fine, but there’s also a Medium point, and those are both available on Jet Pens) not only dries extremely fast but is also Tomoe River paper friendly, doesn’t smear when you highlight over it, and also has a very comfortable grip. Plus, it plays very nicely with my DLD stencils too. I’ll be ordering those pens again when I run out, only maybe in the Medium point since I love juicy ink! (Get yer head outta da gutter!) 😉

That’s all I got for you today.

Thanks for stopping by!



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