Haibara Notebooks – Let’s start a “Casual Notebook” to make your life more interesting!

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For people who say, “When you find a nice notebook, you want it, but you don’t know how to use it well,” I would like to share a unique notebook technique using a “Casual Notebook” in this article.

As a writer, writing by hand in a notebook is a part of my life. There are many occasions in my daily life when I write things down by hand, such as writing down the information I learn during interviews or jotting down words that have impressed me in interviews. So, I always carry a simple A5 size notebook with me so I can quickly access it anytime.
However, this is about a notebook for work. Today, I want to share a story about “Casual Note,” which is like a sidekick to help you face yourself.

I first noticed the appeal of Casual Note several years ago when I met up with my editor friend Natsumi after work to go out to eat after a long time.
As we headed to the café she had designated as our meeting place, she said, “Sorry! I have an urgent inquiry from a client. Can you wait for me over tea for an hour or so?”

I told her OK. As I opened my bag to kill time over coffee at the cafe, the pop colors of the Haibara Notebooks “Nami ni Kora (waves and children)” suddenly caught my eye.
The notebook is a collaboration product between illustrator Eri Masuko and Haibara, a long-established Japanese paper, washi, company. Based on the motif of gently lapping waves, the traditional pattern “Seigaiha (blue ocean waves) is likened to tire playground equipment, and children playing are drawn. Oh yeah, the other day, when I visited the Haibara store in Nihonbashi, I was so charmed by the cuteness of the product that I bought it unconsciously.

As I picked up the notebook and looked at the inspiring designs, I wanted to write down the words. It had been a while to write words in a notebook other than for work.
With a fresh feeling, I took out my fountain pen, opened the page, and began to think. I thought, “Well, first of all, I should write about something fun or exciting.”

When watching a morning drama, my heart gradually warmed by the words of Mr. 00, who played a supporting role. I want to live my life like that.
I always thought I didn’t like drinking vinegar. But I was surprised by the taste of the dessert vinegar I received as a gift. It was a discovery!”

Hmm……? Even though I was just casually jotting down what came to mind, I feel like I’ve cleared my mind somehow, unlike the notebooks I write in for work. Well then, let’s open the door of my mind a little more and write down some thoughts that don’t add up or irritate me.

I got into a bit of a fight with my mother on the phone because of misunderstandings. I regret that I went too far.
I was looking forward to the exhibition for a year. However, I misunderstood the exhibition schedule, and it ended the other day. I can’t believe it! I can’t give it up!
I went to renew my driver’s license. Every time I go, the pictures taken are too awful. But yes, this is the truth. I will sigh every time I take out my driver’s license from now on.

This way, I face the fuzzy thoughts in my head without stopping and try to put them into words. With not only happy things but also many negative things, such as complaints and lamentations, I always write nothing important. But I wonder why I can relax, relieving my tense shoulders.

With this as an opportunity, I started to write this “Casual Note” when I had time from time to time. Three months later, I clearly felt a change in myself.
Before, I used to worry about little things that happened daily, which made me feel blue or made my mind a mess. After starting Casual Note, I began to accept my feelings and thoughts and think naturally about what steps I would take in the future.

By putting the thoughts in my head into words and writing them down in fragments, I may have become able to organize thoughts and issues that I had not been able to process and view objectively.
More to say, it is as if I am facing the other me in the notebook and walking along with it.

Let me introduce the key points of “Casual Note” in Kokoro Ogawa’s style.

1. Choosing a notebook is like choosing a partner!

Choose a notebook that makes your heart flutter and makes you feel loved as your partner. I recommend Haibara Notebooks, whose covers are decorated with Haibara chiyogami, which has been loved since the Edo period. The retro-modern cuteness and visual vibrancy of notebooks are a major attraction. They will thrill you every time you look at them.
With a height of 16.5 cm and a width of 11.3 cm, it is not too big or too small, making it just the right size for carrying around. The inside is made of smooth writing quality paper, and the book is carefully finished with a thread binding that opens 180 degrees.

There are also a wide variety of designs, including the previously introduced “Nami ni Kora,” “Kachu Karakusa,” “Sakura ni Tachibana,” “Kumiki,” “Rikka,” “Oshidori,” “Marumon Hanazukushi,” “Asazakura,” “Kaze-machigusa,” “Colored glass,” and “Chou-you”. It is fun to choose depending on your feeling at that time.
You can use them yourself, but your loved ones will surely appreciate them as a gift!

2. There are no rules for content or writing style. Only one or two letters are OK!

Let’s write what is bothering you as if you are talking to another self. There is no need to think about how to write neatly or beautifully. A fragmented word like “I did it!” or “lonely” or an illustration can be enough.
Incidentally, my notebooks are written in large letters using two ruled lines, or sometimes, there are illustration-like scribbles on a diagonal, and I write as I see and feel.

3. Let’s leave it for a while, then read it again.

It would be better not to read what you wrote in your notebook immediately but leave it alone for a while. I recommend rereading it after a month, three months, a year, or when you have forgotten what you wrote.
By looking at your emotional and thought habits and currents comprehensively, you will realize what you need to do and the direction to go in the future. And you will recognize and like yourself.

A Casual Notebook will make your life more satisfying.
Why don’t you choose your favorite from Haibara Notebooks and get started?

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