Our Peek Inside… series takes a look inside people’s personal journals to celebrate their imagination and inspire others. Send us an email if you have a project that you would like to be featured.

This month, Jennie shares with us her colourful (and extremely well-organised!) journals and scrapbooks:

My journey with Paperblanks started with a gift from a dear friend. I had no idea how universally admired these notebooks and diaries are, nor did I realise the journey they would take me on.


At first, like many, I was too nervous to make a start in such a beautiful book. I just couldn’t believe the binding and the superb quality of the paper! It was an Ultra Handstitched Tao Plum Blossoms (featuring Wang Mien’s Plum Blossoms in Early Spring) and I knew I had to take the plunge sometime and start to use it. It began to take shape as an informal study notebook for all the things I’m interested in. I read a great deal about philosophy, religion (Buddhism especially) and psychology, and all my little notes, quotes and thoughts went into this book. I’m a very visual person but this book is the least decorated one I have as it is mostly functional (and is about as academic as I get). It’s filled with pages and pages of scrawl! I’ve always written with a fountain pen because it flows beautifully over the paper, allowing me to write really quickly and have plenty of space for my extremely curly writing.


Having discovered that Paperblanks also makes dayplanners, at the end of 2012 I decided to ditch technology and go for good old fashioned pen and paper for 2013. I chose a Grande Filigree Floral Ebony week-at-a time dayplanner for my constant companion throughout the year. I love the traditional styling and the fact it has plenty of space for me to write in. I definitely can’t imagine returning to a digital diary ever again!

As a yoga/meditation teacher and complementary therapist, I use different coloured pens to help me identify what project I’m working on and to split my day up into lots of short compartments of time. It makes for a hectic-looking schedule (feels it too at times), but it helps me keep on track and not miss any important appointments.


Throughout 2013, I had the chance to explore my creative side a little more with scrapbooking, photography and journal-keeping, so for 2014 I have chosen a Grande Black Moroccan and have become even more interested in decorating my diary. By the end of the year I fully expect to need the elastic to help keep my diary closed, as it will be full of interesting snippets I’ve pasted in along the way! I especially love my “geek-chic” paper clips to help hold my to-do list in place.


I run a free class for women with breast cancer, called Pink Ribbon Pilates, and I have made use of the address book that came with my first diary as a little log of the finances. As we run off donations, I need to keep on top of where the money is spent. Despite my love of snail mail, I don’t write letters very often, but this cute little book was too adorable to leave to one side. I love being able to put it to good use!




  1. Oooh, I love those photos in black and white. Very vintage-y. Those journals are pretty. Which one is that Asian floral one? I have that vintage floral pink/black one that’s been waiting for me to use it for a few years. I have that grande Moroccon that I’ve been trying to come up with a use for– I was thinking about using it for grad school notes.

    Fun series! It’s cool to get a glimpse into people’s lives like this. I would love to participate sometime.

    • We’re happy to hear that getting a glimpse into other people’s journals is inspiring to you! We’d love to Peek Inside your books someday 🙂

      Please email as us facebook@hartleyandmarks.com if you’re still interested in participating.

      The Paperblanks® Team

  2. Jen, I love your excellent creative photography. The writing gives an interesting insight as well. Good Work, Good Being. Thanks Jen

    • You’re right, Peter, Jen’s storytelling really did enhance this photographic essay. It’s great to see how creative people can get, even with their Dayplanners!


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