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ROCO 2017 Diary – Planner Review

For my first impression, I thought this 2017 planner/diary by ROCO was more on the drier side, aesthetic wise. As you may have seen me express on Instagram, hahah! πŸ˜…

But!

I think I judged too soon, and for that, dear planner (yes, I am speaking to an inanimate object) and friends, I dearly apologize πŸ™.

The fact that this planner may not pull an aesthetic-specific person towards it is understandable. But really- with the washi tape and sticker obsession on the rise, I can totally see the plain-ness of it being an asset to the diary as you will be able to decorate and style it up as you’d like! Additionally, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the different sections they had, especially the conversion calendar which has both Hijri and Gregorian dates (A+!).

I think this planner would be a good pick for anyone- especially so for students and working individuals who are looking for a simple and functional diary or planner to organize their tasks for the day (e.g. exams, vacations, travel, events at work, etc.!).

It is a decent size and won’t take up too much room in your bag (aka portability!), and can totally be styled up with stickers, washi tape, or doodle art to bring your own unique flavor to it!

Although, if you are a very busy person with numerous responsibilities to carry out through your day, this specific planner may not be the best option as there isn’t a whole lot of space for each day, owing to the weekly layout. In which case, a daily layout is what you may actually be looking for!

To round it up for you real quick, here are the reasons why I am loving + was pleasantly surprised by this planner:

  • The compact build and solid feel in the hand
  • Bookmark
  • Pen loop
  • Portability
  • Affordability and ease of acquiring the product itself- SAR39 at your local Jarir. You can pick it up in person or buy online.
  • Has a conversion calendar with both Hijri and Gregorian dates. If you were to buy a planner from elsewhere, especially overseas (take for example, an Erin Condren or a Kikki.K), this feature would be hard to come by
  • Available in black, grey, pink, and purple – there is something for everyone!
  • Decent number of ‘Notes’ pages (I think there are about 18-20 sheets at the end of the planner which I found to be a good amount!)
  • Various sections such as the conversion calendar, address and telephone directory, and tables, which will be helpful for the right person

I bought this planner out of curiosity but ended up liking it more than I’d anticipated! However, my 2017 planner is already here and I won’t be needing this one as much as I want to keep it for myself (there are only so many planners one person can use at a given time!).

In that spirit, I’d love to find it a caring and loving home rather than gather dust in my drawer, which is why I am giving it away on Instagram πŸ˜€

Click this link to join the giveaway + get the scoop on the “rules”. Winner will be announced on December 27, 2016.

Features of the various sections in the planner + photos (for your perusal!) are as below:

  • Personal Information
  • Year overview for 2016, 2017, and 2018
  • Hijri and Gregorian Conversion Calendar in both English and Arabic
  • Middle East Holidays
  • International Holidays
  • International Direct Dialling Codes
  • World Time Chart
  • World Air Distances
  • Weights & Measures
  • Conversion Formulae
  • Double Conversion Tables
  • 2017 Year Planner on two pages
  • Week on 2 pages layout, with shared sections for Friday and Saturday
  • Each day divided into two hour chunks starting from 8AM and ending at 4PM (08, 10, 12, 02, 04)
  • Week number and monthly overview at the end of each weekly layout
  • 2018 Year Planner on two pages
  • Address & Telephone directory
  • Notes pages
  • World Map

Happy planning! ✨

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Planner Ideas – Which Planner Should I Get For 2017?

All things planners and stationery have quickly become one of my favourite things in life.

How and why I got my first planner, what planner I use now, which one I will use next year… aka my planner story/journey is a topic I’d love to share more on sometime soon. But, for now, that background commentary will have to wait. Time is ticking and I thought I should quickly pop in here just in time to share with you all the fantastic finds on the market as another year approaches!

There are so many amazing planners on the market catering to different schedules and lifestyles. Monthly, weekly, daily, hourly formats. Vertical and Horizontal layouts. Spiral bound, binder style, hardbound, softcover. Large planners, medium planners, small, and even pocket sized planners! Personally, I am a firm believer in the fact that these different offerings exist for a reason.

Everyone’s lifestyles and schedules are superbly unique to their own. There is no one-planner-fits-all in my understanding, hence the need for different choices! Yay for diversity! πŸ˜€ πŸ™Œ

The ones I am sharing below span a variety of styles and needs, so you can pick that which suits you best! Also, all of these companies either ship to Saudi Arabia, or can be bought locally (yay!).

Enjoy!

Even though I haven’t shared my own planner story yet, I’d love to know yours! Comment below and let me know how/when you got into planning, what planner you are hoping to get for 2017, or even if a paper and pen is all you need to organize your daily plan of action (because there totally isn’t a right or wrong way to plan!) – share away! I always find that there is so much to learn and benefit from others’ planning style, I absolutely love it!

  • The Bullet Journal Organizing and Planning System

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How to: bulletjournal.com

Buy:

Leuchtturm1917 Hard Cover Notebooks

Leuchtturm1917 Soft Cover Notebooks

Notebooks and Stationery Section at Virgin Megastores

Notebooks and Stationery Section at Jarir Bookstore

Notebooks and Stationery Section at Centrepoint

Notebooks and Stationery Section at your local stationery shop

  • Leuchtturm1917 Planners

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Available in Weekly format

Buy: https://www.gouletpens.com/leuchtturm1917-planners/c/77

  • Webster’s Pages Color Crush Planner

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Available in A5 and Personal Size

Buy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/myrubberstamp?search_query=color+crush+2017

(^ This Etsy shop ships worldwide. It is where I picked up mine for 2016!)

  • LifePlanner by Erin Condren

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Available in horizontal and vertical layouts

Buy: https://www.erincondren.com/lifeplanner

  • Hobonichi 2017 Planners

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Available in A5, A6, and Wallet size

Buy: http://www.1101.com/store/techo/en/

  • Bloom Daily Planners

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Buy: Notebooks and Stationery Section at Centrepoint

My Instagram post on this planner:

 

  • Diaries and Planners by Kikki K

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Buy:

Diaries: http://www.kikki-k.com/diaries-calendars/all/diaries

Personal Planners: http://www.kikki-k.com/diaries-calendars/planners/personal-planners

  • ROCO 2017 Diary

Buy: Office Supply Section at Jarir Bookstore

Available in black, grey, purple, and pink

My Instagram post on this planner:

Planner season is here! πŸ™Œ πŸŽ‰#happytears 2017 Weekly Diaries by ROCO in black, grey, purple, and pink for SAR39 at Jarir Bookstore. I love the feel of these in the hand and am absolutely a fan of how compact they are. The inner layouts on the pages is pretty cut-and-dry. Nothing fancy for sure, but will the get job done if you're on the market for a simple and compact daily planner for the upcoming year. I personally wouldn't recommend this if you're someone who is specific about aesthetics. It's pretty "corporate" looking on the inside (if you know what I mean!). Like the planners and diaries which banks give as a gift to their customers every year (is that what you call them? Haha I don't know!). This planner has a world map at the back and everything! πŸ—Ί Comment below and let me know if you recognize what I'm referring to here πŸ˜‚ Jeddah doesn't have the planner variety that my heart is aching to see. Nonetheless, I have good hope that the (incredibly beneficial) trend will catch on to this part of the world very soon!

A photo posted by Lifestyle Blog | Kausar Azam (@lovepeaceandgratitude) on

 

  • Pink Floral Planner Pad

Screen Shot 2016-12-18 at 1.55.40 AM.pngA functional, lightweight, and aesthetically pleasing planner pad

Buy: http://www.paperpanduh.com/product/pink-floral-planner-pad

Happy shopping ✨

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Where To Study Graphic Design in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

If you are looking for graphic design programs that cater to females in Jeddah, here is a regularly updated list sharing various programs available in the city for those seeking to pursue the field.

1. Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication (Graphic Design Track)

Provider: Hekma School of Architecture, Dar Al Hekma University

Description: 4 year degree program, Motion Graphics specialization also available

For more information: http://www.dah.edu.sa/SitePages/Visual-Communication-Hekma-School-of-Design-and-Architecture.aspx

2. Bachelor of Science in Design

Provider: College of Architecture and Design, Effat University

Description: 4 year degree program with available specializations in Environmental Design, Interior Design, and Product Design

For more information: http://www.effatuniversity.edu.sa/Academics/CollegeOfArchitectureAndDesign/Pages/About-Design-Department.aspx

3. Diploma in Graphic Design

Provider: Executive Education and Community Services Institute (EECSI) at Effat University

Description: Learn video editing, web design, Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and more

For more information: http://www.effatuniversity.edu.sa/Academics/EECSI/Pages/Graphic-Design-Diploma.aspx

4. Diploma in Graphic Design & Digital Art

Provider: Future Institute of Higher Education & Training

Description: Curriculum includes Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Elements & Principles of Design, Digital Art Adobe Flash, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Premier, After Effects, 3D Studio Max

For more information: http://www.future-center.com/?page_id=36

5. Diploma, Certificate, and Short Course vocational training programs in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign

Provider: SAE Institute, Jeddah

Description: Courses and training also available in other design related fields such as motion graphics, digital photography, film making, animation, videography, etc.

For more information: https://jeddah.sae.edu/en-gb/course_category/15688

6. Diploma in Graphic Design

Provider: Continuing Education Department, Dar Al Hekma University

Description: A 6-month intensive program to pursue a career in Graphic Design

For more information: http://bit.ly/2fOEnSp

7. Associates Diploma in Graphic Design

Provider: NESCOT College

Description: 2-year diploma program in Graphic Design offering two different pathways of specialization to students; print and web

For more information: http://bit.ly/2fAAp1o

I also have a number of incredibly useful online resources on learning graphic design (free and paid) that I will share in a future post.

I especially recommend signing up for some short courses online or local that are free or require a smaller investment in order to test the waters and see how you grow into your interest in the field before committing to a longer program with greater investment.

Good luck!

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We Meet Once Every Month – The Literary Girls Book Club in Jeddah

Assalam alaykum everyone!

Hope you are having a wonderful start to the week ahead!

It’s here! πŸŽ‰

A post with all the details on our little book club. It’s been a long time coming and I’m glad to finally be able to share everything.

May, 2011 – When it all began

I can remember it like it was yesterday.

I was with my sister at a cafe here in Jeddah, named Vertigo (I think it shut down now? Not sure but wow it’s been a while!).

We were chatting as usual and enjoying our food, when during our conversation, we brainstormed the idea of starting a local book club. Both of us were readers, and loved books (still are and still do!). The idea of creating a community where book nerds can meet, connect, and share their thoughts on all things books thrilled us.

Sometime following the excitement of our idea, I remember sharing a Facebook status on my profile asking our circle of friends if they’d be interested in something like this. The response was positive and welcoming. My sister and I were truly ecstatic. Something of this like was not experienced by us in Jeddah and we felt invigorated at the thought of starting something new.

Our very first meeting was at Teayana. Attending the meet were my sisters and I, with Sumaiyya and Fozia Naseem. I like to think of that get together as our “founding members” meeting. Everything was so new and we were curious to see where all this would lead to.

If my memory serves me right, we hadn’t thought of a name for our club at that point. It was Sumaiyya who suggested”The Literary Girls” as a possible name… and the rest is history.

Over time

There’s something sweet and humbling knowing how far we’ve come. We conducted meetings on various genres to fuel our reading choices and discussions; Classics, Mystery, and Self-Help. We even organized a day where we visited Virgin bookstore and did some serious buying! It was so much fun!

Throwback to our 2012 book club meet  ❀

We did not have a schedule set and so, met sporadically.

This didn’t play out so favorably in the long run as we started having meetings few and far in between. You know, life happened.

The biggest slump hit when we didn’t have a meeting for nearly a year and more.

There were definitely times where I didn’t know what direction to take our club in and even considered changing the name to something more generic *gasp* because I just didn’t know how to keep the group going online or in person even, to be honest.

SubhanAllah, I truly believe that there was wisdom behind the fact that I never got around to doing that somehow. For which, I am dearly grateful to Allah Subhanahu wa taala πŸ’™.

August, 2015 – Starting over

A very very long time passed until I finally decided that I was overthinking everything (this seems to be a special skill of mine). I would brainstorm all these ideas to jump start our activities but nothing came to fruition as I was always over complicating things.

Last year in August, I sat down and wrote a simple post stating exactly the above. Mentioned that we’d “just ‘do it’ and figure it out as we go along”.

We had a small, intimate gathering at Nestle Toll House the following September. I believe it was around 4-5 of us. It felt so good to experience that familiar feeling again. Connecting with others, engaging in constructive conversations, and overall just having a really good time.

Back and at it again!

7 meets and 6 themes later… we now have nearly a group of 8-9 book clubbers in attendance every month! Alhamdullilah!

The numbers just keep growing! More importantly though, we meet and talk about books, reading, life, and everything in between.

What I find most rewarding is the element of community, the love for books, and an openness to try new things!

We’ve had themes on Mental Illness, Humor, Mystery, Cultural Literature, and even Horror. Having designated themes set for a meeting instead of particular titles enables everyone to participate with a book of their choice under that umbrella making the act of reading as accessible as ever for all ages and reading levels.

Book club theme: Humour
Meeting theme: Humor

All About The Book Club!

Just what you were looking for? Allll the details below!

What is The Literary Girls?

The Literary Girls is a females only book club in Jeddah city of Saudi Arabia. We warmly welcome book readers and lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities!

When do you meet?

We meet once a month, the first Saturday of every month. If for some reason most members are unable to make it that particular weekend, we postpone the meeting to the following Saturday. Timings and location are decided democratically via a poll on the Facebook event page after everyone’s suggestions are taken.

How do you decide on a theme?

Our members are incredibly passionate and super amazing. Many of us already have a list of different themes we are looking to explore collectively when it comes to books. For every future meeting, the theme is decided during the meeting that comes prior to it by all members in attendance of that meeting.

Where can I join?

We’d love to have you! To join us and start participating, you can get in touch via any of the links below:

Goodreads: The Literary Girls

Instagram: @theliterarygirls

Facebook group: The Literary Girls

Anything else I should know?

Not really! Whether you’re an advanced book reader or a newbie, everyone is welcome.

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Why Join A Book Club

There is a nifty compilation I did back in 2011 when we first had the idea of a book club. It is a Facebook note. You can access it here.

Each of those reasons relate to why I am in one. Being in this book club has helped me grow personally and socially. It has added richness to my oral and written language skills. I am encouraged to think about topics I don’t normally think about, read books I don’t normally do (which is a definite favorite!). I have read so many more books and stories than I ever thought I would. Above all… I’ve made some of the most wonderful friendships along the way.

So, that is it guys! Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you’d like to join us! Again, I cannot stress this enough – we are open to all ages and reading levels!

Until next time.

Have an amazing day!

With gratitude,

Kausar