Monday, November 20, 2017

How I am making "Jibun Techo" work for me!

We started introducing Jibun Techo for 2018 this season and since it's a relatively new planner system, I get a lot of questions reg. how I am utilizing the notebook. So here it is. My visual guide to Jibun Techo weekly spread.



Here are my favorite features of the Jibun Techo.

1. Thin and smooth Tomoe River paper on the classic Jibun Techo
I adore Tomoe River paper so much for their tactile and writing quality. I use fountain pens, ballpoint pens, and pencils on my Jibun Techo and they all work great on the paper.

**Jibun Techo Biz uses different but also very beautiful ink friendly paper

2. The ability to dedicate the x-axis of the notebook for my needs
The weekly layout has flexible yet consistent structure and it's so easy to dedicate specific elements and needs for the spread. Since I use this planner for everything in my life including appointments, BK, homeschooling, marathon training, etc. etc...  I decided to use different rows of the weekly spread for what is relevant to my every day. So instead of documenting today's mood, weather (which are available to document as pre-set layout if you would like), I use the rows for hours I worked for BK, mileages I run for marathon training, morning gratitude, appointments, homeschool learning records, today's task list, etc.

I love the being able to mix and match pretty much everything I need to document, remember, plan for each week.


3. The week's task list on the left column
Every Sunday, I write down (and migrate) the week's schedule and to do list for the week. It's so handy to have them written on the same page as my weekly spread. Life can be complicated for all of us... and planner system doesn't have to be.


I use my monthly pages as a master planner. All the future appointments go there and only there so there is no scheduling conflict that happen when we have multiple planners going on! I am shifting to use pencils on my master planner since my schedule changes frequently and the page is becoming a big chaos with appointments written and crossed off only to be marked again! (life!!!)

I haven't really used the project tracker pages yet. It's something I might incorporate when I start working on a larger scale BK project (which is in planning phase now!). I have one list page dedicated to blog/story ideas and did use the book list available. I think I will need to convert some of the preset task lists in 2018 planner to my own lists so they are more useful. 

I carry the Jibun Techo Underlay Mat (love the "today" tab) as well as their Sticky Notes which I am so in love with their minimalistic design. And currently, my Jibun Techo is housed in our [TSLxBK] Original Cover. We are taking pre-orders for the upcoming production that is expected to be delivered in early 2018! And yes. We are making a prototype for B6 slim size right now and as soon as we approve the design, we will start taking preorders.

If you have any thoughts/questions/ideas, please shoot us an email. I would love to continue incorporating your question into the stories we share!

Now let's make the end of 2017 amazing, shall we?

xoxo
-wakako

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Travel with Less

Good morning from our studio in Los Angeles. It's so nice to be back here. Settling in with our version of Los Angeles autumn weather. 

I hope you are able to enjoy the little bits and pieces of our BK on the Road // Okayama stories.


Because this trip required us to be very mobile (visiting 3 different locations in 5 days), Eunice and I really worked hard to simplify what we brought with us. One of the BK mantra is to "be light" and it was empowering to see how compact we could be on the road! 

Also traveling is one of the best opportunities for our BK team to test out the artifacts we adore. Whatever we decided to bring had to endure some serious wear and tear as we went through the airport, crowded train stations, packing and unpacking at the destination, etc. etc. 

So here is what we tested and loved during this trip.

My check-in luggage on this trip was TSL Backpacker. It did get heavy on the shoulder when I put my clothes, toiletry, umbrella, extra lightweight shoes, and a laptop (laptop was in there when the bag was not checked in for flight), but the convenience of being able to throw my luggage on my back when we transferred from a train to ferry then to a bus was pretty premium. And the Backpacker NEVER got confused with other suitcases when it was time for me to find it at the luggage pickup. As a carry-on, I carried TSL Engineer Shoulder Bag. This bag has been so worn in... with all the trips it has accompanied us. I just love it so much.

I carried my most important items such as passport, cash, credit cards, etc. in my Travel for Life Wallet inside of my Traveler's Notebook (TN Olive) and kept it safe in my Engineer Pouch with Pocket along with our itinerary. Japan is a pretty safe country to travel but it made me feel better to know that my makeshift Traveler's Notebook "wallet" really didn't look like a wallet. I had a "Wander" refill notebook in my Traveler's Notebook cover and used up the entire notebook during the trip. I clipped TSL Pen Holder Clip on the cover of the Traveler's Notebook so I was never short of my favorite writing instruments. Oh and you saw me in the Traveling Balloon Pants pretty much through the entire trip. I was so glad to test this pair of pants before we started taking preorder for our customers. It's one of the most comfortable pants to wear. When it was raining, I pulled it up to my knees so the hems didn't get wet. Then I layered it with leggings when it got chilly at night. (And there is a good chance I am wearing it "again" today as I write this story).

I also enjoyed seeing Eunice try our her ateliers PENELOPE knapsack. (Medium Size in Navy) She used it as her carry-on and the bag's 2 external pockets which faced her back when she carried it came so handy to keep her Traveler's Notebook (as her wallet) safe yet handy. The drawstrings got little easier to pull over time but I think it will require few more adventures before they get softer.

This trip really made me re-think of what we need in life. How easy and light it felt to have less with us... and knowing whatever we decided to carry REALLY belonged to our hearts.

What will you be carrying for your next adventure?






Wrapping up with our BK Travel with Naoshima Art Island

Our last stop in Okayama was the art island "Naoshima". When we visited this very special island last year with Satchi and Coco, both Frido and I were blown away by how impactful "experiencing the art" could be to us.

This time around, being there was just as magical... but in a really different way. I was inspired by the power of a "place" and travel. Various art pieces that were exhibited on Naoshima Island left me such an impression a year ago. Experiencing it again brought back such a vivid memory yet this time I experienced it more objectively. It was like revisiting the moments as a third person with the ability to be able to see more unobvious... things I might have missed last time and also to be more aware of the feelings I might have had back then. 

I also really appreciated that this island was local yet very international. Eunice and I encountered a lot of different art visitors from all over the world. Yet we also noticed that people who were native to the island seemed to be very present and beyond kind as we explored. We arrived on Monday when most of the museums were closed and the entire island felt like it was closed. We looked up one restaurant that was supposed to be opened only to find out that it was closed for the day when we got there. Eunice and I were walking around the neighborhood that felt a little bit like a ghost village trying to figure out the dinner plan when a local grandpa found us and offered to help find some kind of food we could take home. He first walked us to the neighborhood market only to find it completely sold out then drove us to the nearest convenient store so we could purchase the Bento for dinner. We were beyond thankful. I know stories like this will stay with us for many many years. 

I also very much enjoyed walking on the beach and having some quiet time to myself. Reflecting and writing down whatever came to my mind. To me... those quiet moments away from our everyday routines are the most impactful part of the travel. 

After our stay in Naoshima, we took a ferry ride back home to enjoy one last day in the city of Okayama and treated ourselves to the "real" Japanese lunch with Kaiseki course and a good round of coffee while doing some BK research at Loft in Okayama city! 

I am so glad that Eunice was able to trek with me on this adventure and so wished that Nerine were able to come with us too. (She had to cancel the trip in last minute for the family matter). 

We are also so thankful to be able to continue sharing big and small adventure with you. I hope these stories stir some thoughts and ideas for your future adventure! 

xoxo
-wakako































Friday, October 20, 2017

Maker's place: Kurashiki Bikan-Chiku

We stayed 2 nights at Onsaka-no-ke, a retrofitted traditional Machiya house in the town of Kurashiki, Okayama. I LOVE staying in this house because it's nestled in the culturally preserved block of Kurashiki city and they did an amazing job in keeping the structure of the old machiya while updating all the essentials like bathroom and kitchen to be ready for modern travelers. Price was also reasonable considering we were able to eat-in our breakfasts and be comfortable staying in the house when we needed to take a break from walking the rainy city. Also, let's not forget it's across the street from the masking tape store:)

Kurashiki Bikan-chiku is incredibly charming with "old" Japan atmosphere. We could stroll through the streets and forget the year we were in. I think if you are only viewing the Bikan-chiku, you will probably only need 2 nights to stay here. If you are exploring outside of the area, it's totally worth spending few more nights. Since Eunice and I were on a tight schedule, we spent a day exploring inside of the Bikan-chiku. Visiting Classiky store (yes... their physical store was just as amazing as their artifacts), researching lifestyle brands and products that were present in the neighborhood and enjoying Japanese hospitality at a coffee and shops. 

One thing I noticed about this area is that they are really promoting the maker-consumer connection. Many of the new retail stores that opened since last July had a 1/2 making space & 1/2 retail space arrangement so we could watch behind the scene while shopping for items. I appreciate that the city is in the process of curating an interesting perspective to tourism instead of simply selling more souvenirs. 

This little town definitely opened up my imagination of what it might have been like to live in a small Japanese town back then...  

















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