A Week With My New Planner

So, I’ve had my Gillio Giramondo for [almost] a week now, and I figured it would be a great to go ahead and share how I’ve decided to set up my traveler’s notebook style planner. It’s only been 6 days, but I’ve already gone through quite a few stages of adding, removing, and rearranging the contents of my planner.

Before we begin, a quick primer on my current planner.

It’s a Gillio Giramondo in the standard size, and it houses the standard size Traveler’s Company Traveler’s Notebook (TN) style inserts. The standard TN size insert’s dimensions are 21 x 11 cm. In translation, it is as tall as a standard A5 sheet but is 4 cm narrower. The result is that you get great real estate for writing or decorating (or however you use your notebooks) like the A5 but the amount of blank space for writing isn’t nearly as intimidating as an A5 would be.

And personally, one of the major reasons why I stopped using my Hobonichi Techo A5 Cousin was because of how much difficulty I had filing all those daily pages up. If I didn’t feel like decorating the page, I felt like I had to write nonstop. And, seeing half to more than half the page empty made me feel so guilty about not using the planner to it’s “fullest potential.”

After receiving my Giramondo, I also purchased a Baggu natural leather mini-backpack to carry my planner in. It fits perfectly both vertically and horizontally in the bag, and I have extra space for if I want to pack additional things like a larger wallet, washi, extra pens and more. They’re quite cute together.

I didn’t intend on buying another bag, but the giramondo cover is just a tad too long to fit in some of my most frequently used crossbody style purses.

A major goal with my planner was to be able to use it every day, since it’s intended to be an every day carry. However, I didn’t want it to be too thick or heavy, since that was the primary reason why I stopped carrying my medium compagna around.

On the first day I set up my planner, I set it up with 3 inserts: two grid inserts and one 2020 vertical weekly. I also had the 2020 clear transparent folder set up to hold the extra Traveler’s Company stickers that came with the 2020 vertical and my writing board. My thought process was that I wanted the flexibility of being able to jot down anything I wanted without feeling like I was “messing up” the order of the content in an insert. The plan was that one grid would be dedicated to any miscellaneous writing and sketches, another for journaling, and the last would be for appointments.

But then, I started to feel like my planner was too thick, and it was holding too much inside. So. I took out the grid insert for miscellany. I was trying so hard to follow a mantra of “less is more.”

That lasted all of 2 days before I gave up and added back the miscellany insert. But that wasn’t all, because I also ended up adding in a blank lightweight insert for sketches. So, my brain decided we needed to go from 3 to 2 to 4 which completely goes against what I was going for. But, I really can’t be too fussy because after having added that sketch insert, I felt so much more comfortable using my giramondo. It really started to feel like the planner was finally meeting my need of having designated ‘spaces’ for all the different activities I wanted.

Initially while planning the layout for this planner, I knew I wanted to integrate sketching and drawing daily into my routine because it used to be such a big part of my life. But for some reason, after seeing the dot grid and trying to sketch on it, I experienced a lot of hesitation and reservations. When I added the blank insert, it really helped resolve the feelings I had of my sketching being an afterthought.

Here’s an example of an entry into my journaling insert. I can commit to as much or as little writing as I want depending on my mood. But, even if I only use one page, I still have enough space to write a decent amount without feeling forced to use filler words.

All in all, I’m so happy with my planner. And, I wish that I had discovered this size and style earlier. I can’t wait to see what else gets added into my planner and what gets taken out, I can’t wait to see the evolution of my usage. I’m hoping by the end of December, I will have enough for a little flip through.

While I did fall short of my original goal of carrying less in it, I found that being not as restrictive with it and myself definitely helped me open the doors to truly getting it set up to how I needed it to be. I’m certain it will continue to change in order and inserts as I refine my use of the planner, but I’m not worried. It just means that I will have developed efficiency in the way I use my planner.

While a planner is extremely personal and everyone has different use cases, it can be exciting to see how others use and have set up theirs. Feel free to share in the comments how many inserts do you have in your planner and what your use case is, I may eve be able to draw inspiration for improving mine!


Originally a hobbyist, Theresa is now deeply entrenched in the world of fine writing goods. Her curiosity was initially sparked through the fountainpens subreddit and has now grown beyond just fountain pens, to include planners, premium paper, and fountain pen inks. Her misadventures can be tracked through her instagram.

Leave a Reply