Small independent stationery companies have always been close to my heart. No matter what the industry is, supporting small businesses is important. Not only are you helping people achieve their dreams but you may also find a new favourite company to shop from. Often, the best part about finding small businesses is discovering the unique products that they offer. These products may even be better than the ones offered by the well known brands. Today, I’m thrilled to be able to share a look into one of the products from a small company called Say Nice Things.
Say Nice Things offers journals and notebooks in beautiful covers. Today’s review looks at the Crystal A5 Journal*, which has a gorgeous cover in an array of pastel colours.
I love the design of the cover – it’s simple and clean. The colours are so soft and gentle that they make me feel a little more calm, just by looking at them. However, at the same time, it’s full of so much colour that it’s inspiring me to be creative and try something new. I love how some parts of the pattern look 3D as the colours mix to produce shadowy effects, it’s sort of mesmerizing. Say Nice Things also offers a range of black minimal patterned covers, which have a very professional look to them. These could be great for those who plan to use them for work.
The cover is not only pretty but also lovely to hold. The thickness of it is the perfect mix between a hardback and a softback book. It’s flexible enough to bend easily but also sturdy enough to write on it easily. It’s also got smooth finish to it. This soft feel is quite unique and I kind of just find myself touching it a bit more than I normally would… To keep the notebook shut, there’s an elastic closure that you can put over it. You don’t always get closures for notebooks. However, I feel like it helps to keep any loose bits of paper secure. It also allows you to “bulk” out the notebook, without having to worry that it will become too fat to stay shut.
Inside the Cover
The first thing you see when you open the Crystal Journal is the gorgeous pink inside page. The inside of the cover is lined with this pink paper, that matches the pink elastic closure. Here there is plenty of space to fill out some contact details, in case you lose the book. I never really fill these bits out, to be honest but perhaps I should! What I really like about the inside cover is actually on the back cover. There’s a nice sturdy back pocket, which expands quite a bit so there’s plenty of space to fill it with loose items. Again, the elastic will help to keep the things inside the pocket.
The Page Layout
The journal is broken up into six sections. The first four sections contain ruled pages, great for breaking up your notes or to-dos by projects. The fifth section has plain pages on the left side with a geometric style pattern (pictured) on the right side. It looks great for doodling or colouring in. The final section, the sixth, has an undated monthly calendar followed by lined pages. When I saw that there were six sections, I instantly thought all of them would be the same. I didn’t think section five would have a great pattern on one side and that section six would have a monthly calendar in it. It certainly beat the expectations that I had when I first looked at it.
What’s noticeable about these sections is that it’s easy to spot which section you’re in, no matter what page you’re on. There’s a tab running down the far right, stating which section it is. Each section also uses different coloured paper, making it easy to recognise even before you’ve seen the tab. What I enjoy most about the coloured paper is that they are very subtle colours – pastel orange, very light blue, a very pale pink for example. The paper is coloured so lightly that it certainly doesn’t distract you but is noticeable enough if you looked for it. The different sections make it such a versatile journal, great for many uses. However, when I first saw how the sections were laid out, I instantly thought of using it like a bullet journal.
How to use it
The layout would be slightly different to the typical Bullet Journal. With all of the monthly calendars in one section, I think it would make it easier to flip through to plan. I personally use this sort of layout when setting my own goals or planning for them. The lined pages in section six could also be used for other important features of bullet journalling – such as the future log, monthly to dos or goal planning. For me, there’s something productive about having a monthly calendar with boxes for each day. I like having something easy to view in one glance. It makes it easier to read and forward plan, I think. I use monthly calendars at work to help me note down important tasks or deadlines so this style really suits me.
However, to be honest, you don’t have to stick to that. It’s so versatile that you can choose what you want to do. If you are trying to lose weight or track your diet, for example, turn section six into a food log. With five boxes for each day, you could easily add your breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks in between! It would still last you 12 weeks if you chose to use it in that way. Alternatively, you note down important things like calories consumed, the main meal etc in the monthly calendar format to make it last longer.
The only limit here is your own imagination. I can see this being a great journal for anyone. It’s great for students or teachers, allowing you to split sections by subjects. If you work on different projects, that would be a good way to split it up. Alternatively, you could even split your hobbies up. For Bullet Journalling, you could split the sections up by different page formats. For example, daily to dos, particular lists you make, general notes. Have a content page at the front of each section or use the section summary as one. If you prefer, you could split it up by months. There’s 4 lined sections – giving you a section for each quarter of the year.
Honestly, there’s just so much flexibility in how you use this journal that you won’t be short on ideas. Your main problem will be deciding which idea to use! If that happens, you could always opt for having multiple!
* Disclaimer: Say Nice Things kindly sent me this item for review purposes. My opinion is honest. There was no obligation to say nice things (get it?) about the product. I just really love the product! For more information about their products or the company itself, visit their website. If you wish to purchase this particular product, make sure you visit the journal section of the website – and not the notebook section. Their notebooks have similar covers but a different page layout inside.