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The Journal Diaries- Akilla's Daily Planners

The Journal Diaries is a blog segment where we get a sneak peek into the journals, notebooks, organizers and diaries from creatives all over the world. My special guest today is Akilla from China, based in Germany.

- Hi Akilla! Tell us a little more about yourself!
Hi, dear readers! Thank you for having me here! My name is Akilla, a Chinese girl who lives and studies in Berlin, Germany. I am a PhD student in Pedagogy and Educational Psychology.

- How long have you been journaling for, and how did your love for journaling all begin?
I´ve been journaling for 6-7 years. The main reason why I started journaling was to practice my German language (I journal in German). Actually I had never come to the idea of journaling before I started my MA in Germany a few years ago. At that time I had to write my Master´s thesis in German, which was a huge challenge for me. So I thought it might be a good idea to practice the language by writing some words or short sentences in German everyday. And you know what? It worked in deed! Since then journaling has become an everyday routine for me and I´m now working on my doctoral dissertation in German. Btw., writing the PhD thesis in German is still a great challenge for me, which makes me feel like I die twice a day…

- What sort of things do you journal about?
Oh, I journal about everything:) When I hear some nice songs, I write the lyrics down. When I see a beautiful picture, I doodle it in my journal. When I find a lecture boring, I write “it´s boring” down (trust me, it´s not that often but it happens…). Besides, I write short stories on my blog in my spare time. So I sometimes write down ideas for my stories in my journal.
- What notebook(s) are you currently using as your personal journal?
I used to journal with Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks (A5) for several years. It is a German brand and the paper quality is great. But currently I am using the Midori TN, regular size. It´s a good size to write everything down and at the same time you can carry it around with you. Midori also makes great paper. I never had any problems using a fountain pen or a dip pen on the Midori inserts.

- Now, how long have you been using a daily planner for?
Hm…that´s a long story. I guess I started using the daily planner ever since my high school days.

- Do you use one main planner, or are there different ones for different things?
I´m currently using two planners: one as my “carry around” daily planner with all the to-do lists in it, the other as my “headquarter” at home with household, health care, family things and some research information for my dissertation inside.

- What is your current favorite daily planner system like? 
Haha, my favorite daily planner system muss be the ring-binders in  personal/medium size (Filofax/Gillio). I use the “one month on two pages” layout to have an overview of every month and the “one week on two pages” layout to keep track of every day. The inserts I´m now using are from Filofax (German edition with lines). If you don´t write with a fountain pen, they´ll be fine. But they are not made for fountain pen lovers. I´ve tried several different ink brands on the Filofax paper (Pelikan/Mont Blanc/Graf von Faber-Castell/Hero). Quite a few of them did bleed through.

- What sort of things do you record within your daily planner?
In my “carry around” planner (Gillio Compagna in medium size) I mainly keep my school schedule, appointments, research tasks, ideas for my blog and book lists from the library. In my “headquarter” planner at home (Gillio Compagna in A5 size) are generally speaking things that I don´t need to bring with me everyday, like household, health care, family things, vacation plans and some research information for my dissertation.

- Do you carry your daily planner and journal around with you, or do they stay at home?
My “carry around” planner comes with me everywhere I go. Oh, I forgot to say in the last question, I also keep my passport and my Semester-ticket for the public transportation in my daily planner. So I probably could go nowhere without it. However, my journal usually stays at home. But in case that I know I would have two hours free between the lectures, I do bring the journal with me.

- Is there a particular time of day that you find yourself using your planner more than others?
There´s no particular time for me to use my planners. I just write things down in them whenever I need to.

- What motivates you to keep using your paper planner in this digital world that we live in?
Hahaha, I guess I am kinda “old school” girl. I need to feel the paper :) Besides, I´m not sure if it´s just me or a common experience, I feel if I write things down, I could memorize them better.

- And when you do you find the time to write in your journal?
I usually journal before I go to bed. Writing down the reflection of  the day helps me to keep my mind free for the night. And I find myself sleeping better this way.

- What types of pens do you prefer using for your planners and journals?
For the daily planner I use any ball-point pens I could find on my desk or in my bag, since the Filofax inserts are not that fountain pen friendly. No particular brand. Most of them are free pens from exhibitions. For my journal I usually use my Pelikan M120 fountain pen, F nib.

- Favorite color?
Black! ;)

- Favorite food?
Hm...nothing particular.

- What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I read a lot, from scientific paper to playscript. But my favorite types to read are manga and instructions :D

 - What advice, tip, or suggestion would you give for anyone looking to start using a daily planner themselves?
It´s important to learn from others and to get inspiration from the way other people use their planners. There are many great tutorial videos out there, on youtube, instagram or other channels, from which I do learn a lot. But I think the most important thing is your own needs. Do you really need a planner for your life style? What would you use your planner for? Other than that, I think it´s always important to be creative, no matter if you are journaling or using a daily planner.

- Other than journaling, what are some of your other hobbies and interests?
As mentioned earlier, I´ve been writing short stories on my blog for years. Most of my subscribers on instagram and on Weibo come from my blog. Other than that I also love photography :)


Thank you so much, Akilla, for sharing all of your lovely journals and planners with us!

And for all you wonderful readers looking to find more of Akilla's daily journalings and plannings, you can find her hanging out here-

**Click here to see more journal inspirations and past guests on The Journal Diaries.**

My other hangout spots:

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