This is my first review in a while! Phew! Today I’ll be giving you a quick overview of the Stalogy 365 A6 notebook.
Ostensibly, the Stalogy 365s are supposed to be used as page-per-day notebooks, but I thought I’d try it for bullet journaling—or, at least, my mongrel version of it. I start a new job this summer and I wanted something that I could refer to quickly to check what I have planned for the day. My previous planners had largely fallen to the wayside, so I was trying to find something that would stick.
In my search for the right notebook, these were my criteria:
- Gridded in some way, so that I could use it to plan vertically or horizontally
- Smaller than A5, for portability
- Decent paper so that I could continue to use fountain pens
- A fairly extravagant number of pages, for long-term use
My two options were basically the Hobonichi Techo and the Stalogy 365, with the Midori MD line, Field Notes, Traveler’s Notebooks inserts as runner-ups. While the Hobonichi boasted Tomoe River paper, I didn’t like how it was dated, and it seemed like it had far too much unusable space for me. Field Notes and Traveler’s Notebooks inserts didn’t have enough pages; in the future, if I don’t stick with the Stalogy, I might switch over to the Midori MDs.
The Stalogy 365 is a simple notebook. In the front, it is simply branded with a small arrangement of icons. I think this looks rather snazzy, and doesn’t detract from the overall appearance. This is also the only place where the brand appears. The notebook comes in several different colors: I went with black.
The book does not lie flat right away; you do have to bend it back a little to soften up the binding. However, it lies fairly flat—nothing that I would find bothersome. The cover does start to pull away from the rest of the block as you use it. Since it does not have an elastic closure (or a bookmark, if that matters to you) you will have to deal with a flappy cover unless you buy a rubber band or some other method of closure.
On the inside, the notebook is filled with 365 pages of white paper. It’s quite soft, or perhaps off-white: it certainly doesn’t seem to be the glaring starkness of printer paper. I would say it’s approximately the equivalent of Rhodia paper, although not as thick. It definitely isn’t the same as Tomoe River paper with regards to bleedthrough resistance or the display of ink properties, but I prefer that in a planner. If I’ll be toting this notebook around, I want to be able to close it after I write something, rather than wait for ink to dry.
Each page is partially gridded, with a slight margin on all four sides. The top has the widest margin, as it holds three lines of tiny print: the months of the year, the days of the week, and numbers from 1-31. I think this is quite an interesting way of letting the user date their book in a way they see fit; I certainly have never seen it before.
On the left margin, the grid is numbered on every other box, from 8 to 21, for those who plan their day hourly. The nice thing about these characteristics is that everything is printed in the same light gray: it’s easy for you to ignore the numbers and words if you don’t want to use them.
Overall, I quite like the way this notebook is formatted. Because this notebook is on the smaller side, if you track daily habits horizontally, you will need to use a full page spread. Each page has 19 squares horizontally, and 26 squares vertically.
How I Use It
Let me show you a quick flip through of a month I haven’t gotten to yet, but has the kind of formatting I will be using until I switch it up!
Month at a glance. Like the name suggests, this is where I put any noteworthy events for the month, like holidays or events that take place over several days. I use a two-page spread in case I have more than one event on a day. I also put tasks here that I should complete within the month. Notes are basically miscellaneous things I want to remember.
Tracker. I track anything that I do on a regular basis here. Some people may call this a “habit tracker,” and for the most part, mine is. I don’t tend to forget things like washing my hair every other day, but I’m prone to worrying about whether or not I did. This really helps with that.
I also have persistent headaches, and I want to see if I can get a handle on patterns, if there are any. I leave space underneath all the things I want to track for notes on a particular day’s headache intensity, to commemorate a hefty amount of water I drank, etc.
As a key, I use squares. A crossed or empty square means no entry: nothing happened that day. A left-diagonally filled square means partial completion: I did part but not all of something, or I had a headache in the first half of my day. A right-diagonally filled square is exclusively used for symptoms: I had a headache in the second half of my day. A filled square means completion: I finished my task.
Agenda. This is where the “normal” part of a planner is. I plan my week over a full spread, giving myself plenty of space to write down anything important. I have a space to remind myself about anything I have to do the next week. There’s also space for tasks I want to try and complete within the week (like grocery shopping).
I also have a small space of two lines on the left page: this is basically leftovers from dividing up the page, but I figured I could use this to write down any other notes. Scratch paper to do small calculations? Grocery notes? I’ll see what I can do with it.
Since this is my first time using a bullet journal, it seems wrong to confine myself to a specific method of formatting. I want my planner to be flexible, able to change to what I need to use it for.
Over the summer months, as I didn’t have as much to do, I used less lines per day and more lines for undated tasks. I also kept my month at a glance and habit tracker to one page each, rather than full spreads. With the beginning of the academic year, I gave myself more space for daily entries.
I may try to dedicate more space for future weekly spreads, or use full pages to track things like grocery purchases. Whether or not this will be necessary is going to be a result of the test of time.
If I find that I don’t want to continue using fountain pens, I may switch to something like the Uni Jetstream or the Zebra Sarasa. Both of these are excellent ballpoint options that are also inexpensive. So far, I do enjoy using my fountain pens: some inks do bleed and feather, though.
The Stalogy is undated and minimalist. When compared to the Hobonichi Techo, I think the Stalogy uses the small size of the page more effectively. The notebooks are about the same size, which means you can use a Techo cover for the Stalogy one if you’re thinking of switching between the two.
The Stalogy does not have the same paper quality as the Techo, and some fountain pen inks and broader nibs may bleed through or feather. If you like extra bits of the Techo like the blank pages, the year at a glance, etc. you won’t find them in the Stalogy: it’s 365 pages of the same thing.
Overall, I would recommend the Stalogy as an excellent alternative to the Hobonichi Techo. For me, it’s the kind of notebook I can carry with me, jot notes down, and not worry about dry time when I use fountain pens.
I purchased my Stalogy 365 from Amazon Warehouse, and it was my first time doing so. If you’ve never heard of it, Amazon Warehouse is basically where you can purchase items that have minor defects. My notebook arrived in practically mint condition: I honestly can’t notice a single thing wrong with it.