Making Maki is the home of Maki B. It’s where all of life’s parts meet. Figuring out the work-life balance, managing finances, navigating relationships, finding the things that give us joy, appreciating life’s journey and caring for ourselves along the way. Making Maki isn’t about finding any particular thing; it’s about always searching for the best versions of ourselves and making the most of all of life’s lessons and opportunities.

So, I had a few people ask me some questions about the “tools” I use. The main question was: “Which notebook and agenda do you use?” The other question was: “How much does that stuff cost?” Getting those questions, particularly the ones about cost, I thought it would be useful to share.

First off, when it comes to stationery, I would spend about $25 in December for a new agenda and notebooks for the upcoming year. I don’t believe you have to spend a ton of money on something as simple as paper to be organized. I get a new notebook each year (this is mainly because I like to file things away chronologically) and this year’s notebook was bought at a store in Marigot for €3. It’s hardcover and has pretty gold cover art. It’s about 4x7 inches and fits in my bag. That’s about it.

While buying a notebook has always been straight to the point, picking an agenda takes time. I used to just buy any sturdy agenda that would fit into my bag and then, one day, I decided to get more intentional about it. If I was spending $10-15 on something, I might as well get something that had some added value. I didn’t just want it to be about the days of the week and time slots, I wanted it to also serve as my daily map of sorts. Since I wasn’t sure about what I wanted, I decided to do some hunting. The hunt was digital and led by Google and Pinterest. I found a ton of different formats, themes and free downloadable templates that could be used for DIY planners.

During my hunt, I found some pretty cool planners, including some from Bloom Daily Browsing through their website (yes, I bought it online). I noticed that their agendas encouraged the users to be thoughtful. The first few pages include a place to create a mission statement for the year, various goals you want to achieve, books you want to read and places you’d like to visit – just to name a few. It also includes a little Vision Board where you can write (or draw) your idea for your future. I’ve been using these agendas for the past two years and I’m pretty happy with them. I like writing down my goals and tying them into my daily life. Seeing them front and centre keeps them in focus year-round.

I also need to mention that while I use this format, I know a few people who are into bullet journaling. A bullet journal is essentially a blank notebook, often unlined or with a dotted grid system. The blank pages allow for full personalization with the person making each page their own. I’ve considered trying bullet journaling, but I know myself well enough to know that it may not be the best fit for me. I’ve seen some absolutely beautiful bullet journals that have left me just a teeny bit jealous of the creativity. For anyone, who wants to be their own creator, I’d definitely suggest a bullet journal.

With school reopening pretty soon and everyone shopping for new school supplies, I’d encourage everyone to take a minute to think about the agenda they get. Don’t just grab anything off the shelf, pick something that’s going to provide some added benefit and truly help you along the way.