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!


About Paperblanks®: We have been producing superb writing journals for twenty years. We are book people, and we believe that the written word matters and that our blank books have a critical role to play in the art and continued practice of writing itself.
For more about Paperblanks®, go to our website at paperblanks.com.


  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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