When stars align...

by Amanda Fleet

Journaling... I used to journal a lot. I had an A5 page per day diary and once I'd jotted down stuff about what I'd done in a day, I still had plenty of space to write about how I felt about the day.

Then life got really busy and there was more space taken by what I'd done and less over its effect on me (which wasn't great as I was steadily heading towards burnout, and the ratio being reversed would have been one heck of a lot better for me!).

As a consequence of burning out, life suddenly got a lot less busy (I was off sick from work for over six months). But I still wasn't journaling (or in fact, doing anything much beyond trying to survive). And so my daily diary (journal) shrank from A5 to A6. Since then, I've become a full-time writer and the number of appointments in a week is almost zero and my diary has remained an A6 size.

Last weekend, I was listening to this edition of  1857 (excellent podcast - hope you all listen to it), and I was struck by TJ talking about how his journaling had ended up being a list of what he'd done, rather than something deeper. He too had stopped writing a journal to process things and had ended up listing what his day had held. Both he and Stu talked about their journaling practice as a way of processing things - ruminating on stuff; writing about it; writing a way through any issues. This is what I used to do. But my A6 daily diary was now just a list of my day (and I was beginning to hate having to write it).

I realised what I really wanted was to get back to journaling as a way of thinking about life.

Now, you'd think this would be simple. I have a cupboard full of notebooks, a drawer full of pens, and all I needed to do was to choose one of each and get on with it.

If you're a notebook lover like me, you will have immediately seen the issue with that. Notebooks (at least for me) have to be 'just right' for a purpose. Little scrappy things for daily drivers; behemoths for planning novels... what was just right for journaling?

While I was still considering this, lo and behold, the Bomo arrived.

This, my friends, is exactly what I wanted to journal in!

It's B5 (pretty much my favourite size, though please note it does also come in A5 if that's more your thing), has almost 200 pages in it (192 to be exact), and is sewn-bound with a leather spine. The paper is wonderful - it has a little bit of texture (so really fussy fountain pen nibs might be a teensy bit unhappy, but probably not enough to stop you using them), but is great with all of my fountain pens, gel pens, pencil... pretty much anything I could throw at it. Yes, it even withstood my 1.1mm stub nib okay (and almost nothing copes with that!).

It has a hard cover with a sweet little certificate on the inside, there's a single ribbon marker of a decent length (~6 cm longer than the book), and the cover is a matte 'wrapping paper' featuring vintage advertising from Budapest. The A5 in stock come in three different cover designs: balloons, travelling and atelier and have 160 pages in them.

I'm still limited in how much I can write with my right hand (arthritis is a real pain, isn't it!) and I'd wondered if I would end up feeling that this notebook was too good for me to 'mess up' with my scratchy leftie-writing. But I managed to settle that fear by writing the first page right-handed, and now I don't mind that the leftie writing isn't so neat.

The paper is a pale cream/ivory and is plain, so is perfect for notes/ drawings/ doodles/ whatever. But... stock is very limited, so don't miss out. Snap one up now. You won't regret it.

Bomo A5 journal - atelier

Bomo A5 journal - balloons

Bomo A5 journal - travelling

Bomo B5 journal (Budapest)