Midyear Journaling System + Updates

Can’t believe I’m typing this on the last day of June, like…it’s JULY TOMORROW? HOW

Anyway, here we are, and there’s no turning back!

In this post, let me indulge you with my geekery with journaling in general. The past six months proved to be an experiment in what worked for me and what didn’t.

Actually, if you’ve watched my videos, you’d know that I’m not the stick to one kinda gal. Not because I have commitment issues (LOL), it’s just that I’ve never been a creature of habit. Let’s say, okay I may have used Hobonichi regularly but this year, I went to the extremes by using an A5 size.

Size matters, people. It changes the way I journal entirely. No kidding. Anyway, let’s get onto the program, shall we?

Planners I’m (still) using this year:

  1. Everyday Explorers Co’s Let’s Be Explorers Planner is still something I use daily for work tasks. It went on hiatus for like two months, and that’s mostly because the shop was closed and I didn’t have any immediate projects due. Now it’s back in full force. Yay!
  2. I’m also using Hobonichi Weeks but I never take a photo of it because it’s for my personal log. Yes, that’s still full of random information like “today I started watching Dark on Netflix” or “today I learned how to make a GIF on Photoshop” because you gotta celebrate the little wins, amirite or amirite?!

Journals this year:

  1. I’m starting a new copy of the ABC Daily Journal. It’s a journal I produced way back—like 2016, in time for the launch of The ABCs of Journaling. I used two of these and decided to get a new copy from my inventory (lol the perks of owning a shop) to use it more for personal writing. I’ve been looking into writing more these days, and not collage / creative journaling—just straight up writing. So I hope to exercise that by journaling daily—maybe every night?

2. I’m still using my Hobonichi Avec in A5 size / Techo—cracking open a new journal for July to December is VERY satisfying. I’m pretty happy with it. As I mentioned, it’s always been my creative experiment journal—sort of like a canvas bound together in a book. Check out my video below for a peek inside:

Since we’re here, I’m also sharing the July prompts for the #2020CreativeJournalingChallenge—we have over 1,000+ posts and counting! Check out all the awesome journal spreads and inspiration over on Instagram.



2019 Journals So Far

I just realized I didn’t write about my 2019 Journaling System here. Oops. 

For context, you can watch the video below before I start putting out my thoughts on each journal I’ve used so far.

Every year is always an experiment for me, not just with life in general (lol) but also with the journals I use. It really makes a difference when I get to use notebooks that function best for my needs (omg, this is peak geeky, but you get the point).

Last year, I shared about the journals I used in this post. Needless to say, these all didn’t turn out *exactly* as planned (pun intended, lol). I ended up using a bullet journaling system and it has drastically changed the way I plan my day to day schedules.

Fast forward to this year—I still adapt the same system, but on a different notebook (if you watched the video above, you would know I am using a Field Notes 56-Week Planner for my bujo and work tasks) and I still get the same benefits of having a properly laid out agenda for the coming week.

With regards to daily journaling, I have changed a lot. I used to think I had to journal every day but soon realized this system just wasn’t working for me. It was too forced and it felt like a chore at some point.

Buuuut I gotta say, my past self did manage to pull it off, by using Hobonichi and the ABC Daily Journal (which is available at the shop, btw). I think I did this for a year or so.

Eventually I *tried* to use a lengthwise format and realized it was best for travel journaling (the spreads are so meh, I don’t even have actual photos!). So I tried the Midori MD Diary (A6 size, blank) this year, and well, I liked it; but also didn’t. I didn’t know if I like the size because it’s been half a year and I’m already finished (which means…I have to buy another one).

The way I write now is much more different. From being so detailed about my day to day, I now learn how to filter everything and summarize my week in pages. Some days are just in passing—I had a hard time digesting my daily life knowing that all of it has to be recorded (I sound so paranoid, but I hope you get my point). So I found this *system* to be more efficient for me and my brain, lol.

Apart from my Midori I find my Let’s Be Explorers planner to be my go-to notebook for daily use (I pull this out of my drawer every few hours of the day, lol). It has a monthly overview (which you can see above), as well as a weekly and quarterly one. It’s been the most useful one for me because as much as there are templates and layouts, it’s not too limiting and I get to customize everything accordingly. So of course, mine has lots of stickers and every week I have a color scheme that I follow because #OC lol. The simple joys of journaling, really.

Commitment-wise, though, I’m proud to say that this lengthwise format is still a recurring size for my travel journaling—this is for collage work and scrapbook-style spreads (I still prefer my trusty A5 for sketches and travel illustrations). This size was based off of Traveler’s Factory notebooks for their regular sized fillers, and has been a mainstay in my journaling stash since.

I currently use the Sketchnotes brand because the paper quality is much thicker than TNs (and it’s cheaper!). I’m currently still fixing my Spain travel journal (it’s halfway done) but in case you missed it, I did share a “What’s in My Travel Journal?” video here and the corresponding blog post here.

Aaand before I forget, watch my full review on my 2019 Journals So Far below:

What journals have you used so far?


What’s in a Travel Journal?

I didn’t realize I’ve been documenting in this format for three years now (wow, talk about commitment). Ever since I got myself a Traveler’s Factory notebook in 2016, the way I journaled about my trips has drastically changed.

If you’ve known me from way back, you’d know I do travel illustration on my journals as well (I still do, but that is an entirely different entry). Over time I had started to dabble into this “collage journaling” style which sort of combines scrapbooking, writing, and collage work all in one. I found it to be the most resourceful way to not just keep memories intact in a journal, but also to make use of the ephemera I usually take home from my travels.

And since it’s been such an easy format to use, I thought I’d share my go-to materials for travel journaling for you to try.

Blank Journal: The size of this journal is something I’m particular with (4.25×8.25″). I frequently use my Traveler’s Factory refills, but I also have a stash of Sketchnotes with me (the paper is thicker and I like it better imho). My good friend CH of Everyday Explorers also recently released TN-sized journals with prompts depending on your preferences.

I like to rotate between blank and grid—but mostly blank for my travels.

Printer: I’ve been obsessed with instant prints since I first got my Instax 7s nine (!) years ago. Amazing how technology seems to innovate so much, no? Now I’m using an Instax SP-3 which has square (!) prints, perfect for capturing adventures on-the-go.

I usually bring this in my handcarry for trips (because I journal while in transit) since it’s pretty lightweight.

Washi Tape: If some travelers collect Starbucks mugs or magnets, I collect washi tape from my travels (mostly from Japan, really). These rolls are essential for decorating my spreads and over time I’ve learned to appreciate the designs I love the most—usually in muted colors and in minimalist patterns such as lines and grids.

(You can check out my stationery haul here featuring some washi tapes I got from Shopee in the Philippines!)

Also: PSA that I have washi tapes up on my shop for both local and international orders!

Ephemera: What’s a travel journal without ephemera? I find that (apart from stickers, of course—a MUST) putting these elements into your travel journal make it uniquely yours. From cutting out maps to sticking your train tickets on each spread, these things you’ve collected from your trip signify a memory that you only can keep and remember.

I also find that each trip has different collectibles—from postcards to receipts to calling cards, really. (So far, my top contenders for best cities to keep ephemera are Barcelona, Tokyo, Seoul, Berlin and New York lol).

Check out my “What’s in a Travel Journal?” video below for more.

How about you? What’s in your travel journal?

My Favorite Month: A Recap

January is, by default, my favorite month—for the main reason that it’s my birthday month. Apart from that, the start of the year always gives me more reason to change up things a bit in my own life. I stopped journaling daily this year (for a change) because I wanted to channel my energy into other things (but also because I tend to put too much of my feelings on each page that it gets emotionally exhausting). So, I guess that gives me more reason to write here, lol. Here are a few of this month’s highlights.

Welcomed the year in Budapest

There’s nothing quite like waiting for the clock to strike midnight in an unfamiliar place with newfound friends and strangers. I welcomed 2018 with a few shots of whisky, counting down at the steps of the Fisherman’s Bastion in Budapest, and a post-midnight stroll along Buda with my tourmates. Probably the best New Year’s Eve I’ve had in years.

ICYMI: Here’s an article I wrote on Preview about traveling to Eastern Europe. #ABCEnRoute and vlog coming soon!

Started bullet journaling 

IDK if I’m being extra AF, but my journal count this year is 5. Lol. Check out the video below for more about my obsession with notebooks and documenting, among other things:


Related blog post: Starting The Year Right

I also shared some snippets from my journaling session with Kris Aquino and ate Ballsy, which aptly talks about bullet journaling. Check out the video below:

Coincidentally, I also started bullet journaling this month! It’s been quite interesting. I love how efficient it’s made my work life so far—and let’s face it, I don’t want to migrate most of my tasks, so here I am trying to make sure I get each task done accordingly. Here’s a peek of my future log:

Visited my second home, Singapore

Singapore will and always be my second home—and I’m so glad I got to visit even just for a few days. My big sis Mikka tied the knot with Andre, and their wedding was all sorts of amazing. I loved the reception so much; it was so intimate. Congrats, Mikka and Andre!

I spent a free day attending to my all-time favorites: Basheer Graphic Books, Library@Orchard, Kinokuniya, had Riverside’s Indonesian Chicken (an SG staple), and met up with my best friend Nix who works in Singapore. Funny though, it was my first time spending more than six hours in Changi airport (my flight was at 6AM the next day). I’d like to think it was a miracle I stayed up the whole time I was there (but also, thank you charging stations, long-form conversations, and that yummy post-midnight dinner!).

Celebrated my 25th birthday

I’m officially in my quarter life! Also, officially old. I wrote about it here and here. It’s been great; I feel like 25 is going to be an exciting year—here’s to new challenges and better days ahead.

Related blog posts: Hello Quarter Life | My DIY Birthday Party

Here’s a recap of how I celebrated my 25th birthday:

New job roles for the month

Work has been all sorts of interesting—from art directing shoots, writing articles (as the guest editor of Preview.ph!), to being part of the panel discussion for National Book Store‘s event (about millennials, no less). Apart from my Jenna Rink dreams coming true, I’m also working on my Graphika Manila talk which is both exciting and scary at the same time. Wish me luck this weekend!

Spent a weekend in La Union

[Side note: I survived my 2nd long drive! YAAAS]

It’s like La Union is the only place I ever visit in the Philippines apart from Metro Manila. LOL. Plus points because my long-distance barkada lives here (hi Maka, Meme, and Dennis!) and I always find a reason to revisit the beach and spend some quality time alone and with them. I spent my first weekend of quarter life road tripping with my best friend Den (our first ever out of town trip together), hanging out by the beach (and listening to the sound of the waves), playing games (Password, Jenga, Scrabble—and wow, we’re competitive AF) and eating really good food.

I was surprised when I found a Mendl’s box on the table of the Charlie’s Hangar reception area with a pretty picnic setup—only to discover that this was my barkada’s grand plan of making up for their absence the previous weekend (of my birthday). HUHU. I’m bad at feeling things, let’s be real. It’s just nice to feel appreciated. Thanks, friends!

Booked my NYC adventure

It was a random Tuesday night when I plopped open my laptop and went straight to an airlines website and booked my 100-day trip to my all-time favorite city (subject to change but let’s not talk about that first, lol). But to refresh your memory first (if you’ve been reading my blog since last year), here’s a recap of my NYC adventure last September:

After a conversation about far-flung travels and booking round trip tickets last week, I immediately opened my computer that same night and chose my dates. Everything else is still a blur at this point; but I’ve kept a “New York City notes” journal (which I’ve started writing while I was in NY last year) that I’ve been updating constantly. I think I was in the Public Library when I started that journal and things just made sense, you know? This opportunity wasn’t something I was even intending on pursuing, but it opened up the moment I told myself I was going to let it go (ugh, universe, you’re scary!). So while part of me was still hesitant to fully commit to it, I’ve decided to give it a go, and finally do this one thing for myself. Finally. ABOUT FREAKING TIME. 

I’m excited and I haven’t even enrolled yet. I’m excited and haven’t even plotted out my budget (lol) and side trips on my no-school days (!!!). But at this point, I’m looking forward to finish all the work I have here in Manila so I’ll be able to leave this place in peace (lol) and in search of more things I have yet to discover. (And by any means, my quarter life crisis involves never staying in one place. Hah!)

Whether or not this month is going to set the tone for the rest of the year, I’m not quite sure. But one thing I’m sure of is things might be a little more unexpected this year. I have so much plans on my mind—and sometimes it feels overwhelming to try to make sense of everything. So, unlike what most Capricorns usually do, I’m hoping I don’t do overly thought out plans and instead, leave room for a little spontaneity. I mean, really, it’s not like I have no more energy to feel anymore shookt?! Life surprises me as often as it does anyway.

How was the first month of 2018 for you? Hope it’s been great.

Always be creating,


Starting 2018 Right

Happy New Year to you reading this post!

For the first time in twenty four years, I feel good about starting the year. You’d be surprised—the past few years (especially after my 20th year) were difficult. I was at a place where I either wanted to attain something (and couldn’t sit still) or I was just too busy to even care about how to “start the year right”. Don’t get me wrong, though—I love January. It’s my favorite month! It’s my birthday on the 14th, so I’m always at a general cleaning phase during the first few weeks of January. That also means, I’m more keen to jot down my new goals in time for a new age. (I have to admit though, 25 scares the hell out of me.)

Blame it on the fact that maybe 2017 was that bad (okay, it wasn’t thaaat bad, but it wasn’t good in general), the optimistic part of me is hoping this year will be better to some extent. NGL, I ended last year on a pretty good note. Being in Europe, meeting new people, celebrating Christmas & NY in an unfamiliar city—my kind of thing.

(Anyway! Back to 2018!)

Decision fatigue is a normal thing for me, especially every year when I shortlist the journals and planners that I will be using. I’m picky with my notebooks; I have specific guidelines. They have to be dotted, cream, A5 size minimum, etc. They also have to be adaptable for specific purposes. (OMG I hope you’re not judging me lololol) I think I’ve had my fair share of good and bad journals. I think I never used the same thing twice (except for #ABCDailyJournal because I’m biased AF) because I still haven’t found *the* perfect journal for work, for personal stuff, etc. Also, I think keeping things varied makes the routine less boring, you know? To each his own. I can’t commit to the same thing every year. I can’t even commit in general to anything else except my job (for now). OOPS OKAY MOVING ON

Here’s the thing. All my life, I have confided in notebooks to record my dreams, goals, work notes, personal essays, everything basically. From my 2007 Monet journal filled with high school angst to my 2015 notebook of plans & ideas for The ABCs of Hand Lettering (my first book), notebooks have become my best friends throughout my lifetime. I use at least 3 notebooks simultaneously – one for work, one for maybe a book or big project, and another one for personal endeavours. And since I’m a natural introvert, I feel like it’s become an extension of myself in written form.

This year, I’ve handpicked these notebooks to keep track of my (crazy) life. I’ve divided it into DAILY & TRAVEL. Watch the vlog below for more about my 2018 journals  😀

Also, a comprehensive list from the video above:



  • Ban.do Agenda 2018 – work tasks (available at National Book Store)
  • Hobonichi Weeks – personal errands (purchased in Japan)


  • Noted Journal A6 size – mini travel journal (more info below)
  • ABC Daily Journal – daily happenings (available at National Book Store, SM Stationery, and here)
  • Sunday Night Journal – weekly recap (available at yoursundaynight.com)


  • Ephemera notebook holder (from Traveler’s Factory Japan)
  • Ban.do washi tape set (available at National Book Store)
  • Kate Spade stamp (available at National Book Store)
  • En Route washi tape (available here)
  • Make Things Happen washi tape (available here)
  • Deco tape (from Kaila / rainbowholic.tv)
  • Ban.do sticker booklet (available at National Book Store)
  • Ban.do sticky notes (available at National Book Store)
  • Kikki.K sticky notes (available at National Book Store)
  • Enjoy The Journey clear stamp set (available here)
  • Leather card case (from Kaila / rainbowholic.tv)
  • Kikki.K Paper Book For Everyday Inspiration (available at National Book Store)

*Note: I forgot to show my Bullet Journal in the video—but here it is! It’s Leuchtturm 1917. Available at National Book Store.

I used a Rollbahn notebook for work prior to BuJo but since I really wanted to give this a try, I’m finally breaking in my BuJo. Thanks to National Book Store for the gift! I actually got this last 2016 but I was scared to open it. LOL. Gotta face my fears at some point!



As for my travel journals, I’m using only three. Only?!? Hahaha. I’ve narrowed it down to the most useful ones for my preferences.

ABC Travel Journal

I’m using the ABC Travel Journal (a journal I produced in collaboration with IFEX) for sketches and mini collages. This is made of watercolor paper so it’s easy to use for painting and sketching. The paper size is quite big as well, making it suitable for illustrations.

Fun fact: I usually draw/sketch and paint on long trips (like Europe, USA etc) or trips that have a lot of downtime in transit (ie: train / bus rides). I almost never draw after a trip; it’s usually before or during. I end up not touching my travel journal when I get back lol. I usually do my collages after a trip.

*The ABC Travel Journal is available at National Book Store, Fully Booked, SM Stationery & online here.

Traveler’s Notebook (Regular)

For places that have a lot of memorabilia like tickets, brochures, cards—I use my favorite TN in regular size. I find this lengthwise layout pretty fit for what I will put in: Instax photos, labels, stickers, tapes, and the aforementioned ephemera. I do a little writeup after sticking everything on each page.

*I got my TN from Japan but it’s available locally at Scribe.

Noted Journal A6

I recently got an A6 sized journal cover from Noted Journal and it can hold a lot of notebooks! I’m so amazed. I brought it to my Eurotrip + the ABC TJ so it was easier to take along. I particularly like the size of this, and I have 2 inserts: 1 for collages and 1 for daily notes about places visited.

*Available online at Noted Journal PH

Since we’re here, thought I’d share that I have a book on journaling called The ABCs of Journaling. It’s turning 2 years old this year whaaat?!?! If you’re quite iffy about documenting or don’t know where to start, get a copy of my book and learn as you go. There’s also an #ABCsJournalingChallenge on Instagram in case you need some support! My book is available at major bookstores nationwide and online here.

What journals are YOU using this year? Let me know in the comments below!

Always be creating,

Abbey 🙂

Making Time To Journal

It may seem like a challenge to keep up with maintaining a daily journal, or learning how to build the habit of doing so. Trust me, I’ve tried—and failed several times (in my almost 10 years of dear diary-ing my way into adulthood, lol). But I realized that the important thing is to really block off time on some days of the week to work on your pages, and to enjoy the art of documenting, of course. Today, I’ll be sharing some tips on making time, as well as advice to keep the habit ongoing. 🙂 Read on!

1. Update at least thrice a week.

So my daily journal comes in a spread of 2 days – the main reason why I opt to just update every other day (photo below for reference). I can make it a connecting spread, or use the same elements to update the 2 pages. Saves a lot of time for me rather than updating every day.

Pro tip: It’s okay to miss days! Don’t feel pressured to finish. Sometimes even just a one-sentence summary is enough for a specific day. I just happen to have a habit of writing at least 4-5 highlights per day, and add in some side notes, hence the very text-heavy spread. 😛 (Again, that’s just me! It varies.)

*ABC Daily Journal is available at Shop Abbey Sy.

2. Time yourself.

I know, I know—we’re all busy. As much as I treat my journaling as therapy, I give myself 30 minutes max to work on the pages. I don’t like getting OC about it (it’s not for a client anyway!). However, if you’re lettering the whole page, maybe allot an hour max or you may resume the next day.

The problem of taking too long to journal (like more than an hour) is you overthink about how your spreads look like or feel pressured to make it look “good”. Remember, journaling is first and foremost a personal activity, so you are ideally the only person you have to please. That, and it’s what you put into each page that matters. 🙂

3. Don’t kill time. Use it to journal.

You know how there really are episodes of “I have so much time to kill”—especially in unforeseen circumstances (delayed flight, waiting in line somewhere, stuck in traffic, or simply on break from work) in a day? Well, that’s the best time to journal rather than tinkering your phone. Saves time and keeps you more productive!

[a peek into my journaling process]

While I don’t bring my journal with me (I have a separate one for my travels) on a regular basis, I do stay home (homebody much haha) and keep it near my work area so I tend to write / update it during work breaks or early in the morning/late at night when work is out of the way.

4. Clean your space.

I have this tendency to want to have my table clean before working, and I guess that strongly applies to making art in general as well. Keep your little journaling nook tidy every after you get messy with your pages. Usually I end up making a mess but eventually I clean the area after. 🙂

Another tip: if you plan to journal the next morning, keep your space tidy the night before and put out the tools you’ll be using. Obviously, you won’t have any excuse to not journal!

5. Treat it as a task (and challenge yourself with prompts!)

I often get complaints about how journaling eats up sleeping time, me-time, etc and here’s my tip: you really have to put it on your schedule. If it’s important to you, you’ll make time. It only takes a few minutes a day to sit down and write. If you have time for other things, you’ll definitely have time to update your journal.

Another thing to save time on if you run out of ideas to write about in your journal? Follow the prompts and check out documenting inspiration inside my book, The ABCs of Journaling. There are ideas on Chapter 2 (Documenting Daily) as well as list of prompts on Chapter 5 (Honing Your Habit). Check out the flip through below!

Hope these tips motivate you to start journaling or continue the habit! Remember, it’s a process that’s worth enjoying. And the only person who will benefit from it is you, so better make it matter. 🙂

Photo Credits: Koko Ko & Shutterpanda

In other journaling-related news, I’m having two journaling workshops this May and June! Both out of Manila so I’ll definitely be organizing a Manila one after June. 🙂 For all you residing in La Union and Singapore, check out the workshops below.

Will be in La Union this May 20 for a Lettering x Journaling Workshop! Sign up at bit.ly/ABCxLU (last few slots left!)

Will be in Singapore this June 3 & 4 for back-to-back creative classes with Faber-Castell Singapore! Watercolor Lettering is now full; last few slots left for the Creative Journaling workshop this June 4, Sunday. Sign up at bit.ly/ABCxfabercastellSG 🙂


Journal with Me this January!

Happy New Year! Hello 2017! Can you believe it? I can’t. 😮 But here we are.

The start of a new year is always the best time to journal — admit it, I’m sure some of you have started turning to a new leaf and wrote about your first day of the year (I just finished mine. Lol). And in the midst of it, you find yourself feeling ecstatic and enthusiastic about chronicling another 360+ days’ worth of memories, adventures, and experiences. After all, journaling is such a fun intrinsic activity, I encourage everyone to try their hand at it.

With that, I’m so excited to share that I’m having a journaling workshop to kickstart 2017! Details on the poster below. 😀

The best part? You simply have to purchase a copy of the ABC Daily Journal at any Fully Booked branch, keep the receipt, and present it at the venue entrance.

Note: We will only be accommodating 50-70 people maximum. Please come early (around 12-12:30) so you can register and secure your slot.

What to expect at the workshop

I will be sharing tips and showing videos on how to journal on a regular basis. There are usually a lot of styles involved, so I will be tackling each and giving you prompts in order to apply it to your own documenting process. 🙂 All you need to bring is your ABC Daily Journal (purchased at any Fully Booked branch)this will serve as your official ticket.

Art materials from Faber-Castell, stamps, pens, and other journaling materials will be provided for use at the venue.

Free washi tape samples and stickers (from Stick ‘Em Up! and more for you to choose from) will be available at the craft station.

I will walk you through the journaling processes I use, how I set-up my documenting tools for this year, and will answer all your journaling-related questions. There will also be a signing session at the end of the workshop. I’d be happy to sign copies of your ABC Daily Journal!

Lastly, we’ll be selling a few merch from Shop Abbey Sy — our limited edition tote and pouch will be available for purchase at the workshop. 🙂

For more updates and announcements, head on over to our event page and RSVP there: http://bit.ly/abcjournalingworkshop

This is a little event I co-organized in lieu of my birthday month and as a thank you to everyone who has showed their support for my art. 🙂 Hope to see you there! 😀

This event is brought to you by Abbey Sy, Fully Booked & International Fine Paper Exchange.

Life Lately: (Still a) Work in Progress

Before anything else, thanks Tippy for my headshot 🙂

I just realized I never carried over the Life Lately series from my old blog to this new one. (Why, self?) Anyway, thought I’d share a bit about how life’s been so far on my end. It’s October, and well, usually, at this time of the year I’m supposed to panic. But I’m not, and luckily, I’m at my calmest (less anxious, to be specific) self so far. Is that a good thing? I hope so. 😛

The last couple of months were really crazy, work-wise. I felt like the universe just wanted to test my limits and throw me a multitude of challenges to seamlessly get through it – carrying a stronger sense of being after the storm. That being said, I’m happy that some things never last. And that most of my deadlines are over.

In other news, my second book, The ABCs of Journaling, is finally available nationwide! If you’re wondering what went down during my launch, check it out here. So happy with the positive feedback I’ve received so far about this book. Thank you for the support!


I promised to share more about this book in the coming posts (yes I’m keeping that promise, lol). For the meantime, sharing a few photos from the book 🙂

ibc workspace


So happy to have worked with such talented individuals who made my ideas come to life 🙂 (photos by Pat, and Tippy, styling by Aleyn)


BTW, copies are available over at the shop. Click here to order a signed copy!

I’m relaunching my shop again this October and it’s both exciting and nostalgic. When I started blogging in 2010, I initially ran an online shop selling tote bags and hand-painted items. Six years later, here I am still eventually going back to my entrepreneurial roots with my own published work to boot. Some things never change. 🙂


On another note, I recently shared some insights on Frankly Radio, a new weekly podcast created by Eden and June. One of the founders is my good friend Chiara, and we got to chat about creativity, travel, life updates, and mostly things that led me to become who I am now. 🙂

Some key topics include the importance of traveling, taking calculated risks, documenting your life and why it matters, and a few snippets behind the making of my latest book. I also share my current routine (which is still a work in progress), random facts about me, and a bit about my creative journey over the years. Give it a listen here. Personally, I love listening to podcasts (my faves are The Lively Show, The Great Discontent, Design Matters, and After The Jump), so recording this podcast was really fun!


The lovely people of Eden and June are also giving away copies of my new book and a few merch from the shop! Click the link above to join the mechanics. 🙂

Speaking of merch, I was able to work on a passion project this year: The ABC Daily Journal. I got to create, edit, style, and layout this journal in the way I’ve always envisioned it — and I’m really glad with how it ended up looking like, stitch binding + debossing and all 😛 🙂


This journal is meant for daily entry – it’s undated but numbered (1-31 for 12 months), contains a date/time/location prompt per day (aka #priorities), dotted pages, monthly quotes, and journaling tips. Thank you to IFEX Papers for making this possible! 🙂

I’ve always been keeping track of my dailies through photos / writing / making art, and I’ve been setting a life goal of making my own journal since I was seventeen (haha). I guess timing did its job this time. 😀

We recently released the journal during the SM Stationery Art Fest last weekend. There will be one last leg for SM Stationery Art Fest and I’ll be there this October 15, 11am, at SM Mall of Asia. More details on that soon but I hope to see you!


Quick recap of September involved juggling between attending / being part of events, lazy weekdays (+ watching films in between), and spontaneous weekends with my favorite people. I also got to (finally) focus on collabs that are coming out this year. Yay for personal projects!

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Earlier today I shot a video using the ABC Daily Journal. I got inspired shooting my journaling videos thanks to Kaila‘s videos on YouTube. I always tell myself I’m short on time but I honestly think that’s just a mindset. Funny though, it rained today but thanks to my trusty camera (bought a new one, yay!) it didn’t look like the rain was pouring like cray in the background. 😀 More on that soon!

If you’ve been following my whereabouts on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter for awhile now, you’d know that my preference for certain colors has really played a part with the work that I put out. That being said, I got to work on a project that ultimately tested my eye for color, illustration, and…making more art, of course! A bit of writing since I volunteered to be the resident editor for this collaborative project. 😀


I got to work with talented artists June Digan & Tippy Go of Googly Gooeys for a book that’s coming out…sooner than you think! 😉



Here are snippets of the work I did for the book. Obviously a sucker for these colors, specifically!

Stick ‘Em Up Book hits stores real soon. Reaaaal soon. I’m so excited to show you what it looks like.

Oh, before I forget, for those based in Cebu, I’ll be visiting your hometown this October 🙂 Hope to see you! Do check out my other accounts to stay updated on events I’ll be part of.

Well, that’s it for now…ish. Here’s to hoping I get to write here more soon. Hope you’re having a great October so far!

Always be creating,

Abbey 🙂

The ABCs of Journaling Book Launch

It’s been quite an overwhelming journey since 2016 started—from simultaneously working on 3 books (yes, I worked on three books this year…I don’t know how I survived either) and freelance projects, shifting my job description to being a full-time artist and author (one year and counting!), fighting my internal battles and mini breakdowns this year, to finding a common ground between work, life, and everything in between. *breathes in, breathes out* 

I feel like I’m constantly sprinting and I just got to settle down as I’m typing this. So surreal, but I guess I’ve really been hustling since the year started. And ironically, I think work has been my vice from the moment I decided to pursue this career. No regrets, of course! 🙂

When I turned twenty three this year, I didn’t wish for anything in particular. I just knew that I wanted to continue taking on work that would involve making art and sharing stories in the best way I can. I’m very grateful to have been given such an opportunity to share a piece of my life through my newest book—which is, very aptly, about journaling.


Last September 10, we celebrated the launch of my second book, The ABCs of JournalingWorking on this book for the whole stretch of this year was quite an experience in itself—a rollercoaster of emotions (and feelings!) came into the creation of this second baby. I think, for the most part, a big portion of who I am and what inspires me has been written on each page. Literally, it was definitely one for the books. 😛

Anyway, while I’m still on cloud nine, I’m rounding up a few highlights from the launch in this post. Enjoy! 🙂


I got spaced out on stage during my first book launch. So I promised to really prepare a little thank you speech this time around. Not expected: sudden influx of tears while talking. *Oops* *Feelings*




Here’s an excerpt from my speech: “I wrote this book so I could find that connection that made journaling into who I have become now. And I hope you will find that connection as well, in the way that speaks to you the most.”


A peek at one of the chapter openers, beautifully styled by Aleyn. 🙂



Obligatory “hold up your book and let’s have a photo!” shot. 🙂


I didn’t expect people to be tweeting me at 8:00AM saying they were already waiting for the bookstore to open so they can enter. *Wew, guys*


This year, I decided to invite one of my dear friends, Kaila, to share the stage with me to talk about our mutual love for journaling. Her YouTube videos are a constant source of inspiration for me and funny enough, we both started daily journaling this year when we got our Hobonichis during springtime. 🙂


I shared some of the things I jot on my journals for both daily documenting and travel journaling. (More tips are found in my book, of course!)



Kaila, on the other hand, shared reasons why she journals, showed a few examples of Kawaii journals from the Kawaii PH team, and kept us inspired with her #HobonichiWithMe videos.

Related post: Kawaii Journaling 101 by Rainbowholic


So happy to be able to share our love for journaling together. <3



After the workshop, I started to sign books. I got to sign over 200+ books. Crazyyy. Super duper thanks to everyone who waited in line and had their books signed. Super appreciate the effort. 🙂

By the way, book signing photos can be accessed via this link 🙂


While the workshop was ongoing, of course, I made sure the guests wouldn’t stay glued to their seats. We set up several stations in the venue to satisfy their journaling needs—a craft station, a flatlay station, and a photobooth to document the day’s memories.


The Craft Station was filled with various materials: stamps carved by Life After Breakfast (thanks, Ale!), paper party c/o IFEX Papers, tools from Faber Castell, washi tapes and pins from Hey Kessy, and stickers from Rainbowholic Shop & Little Miss Paintbrush.



Look at all these amazing drool-worthy craft materials! 😀


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There was also a flatlay station because #priorities! So amazed with the styled shots the participants came up with.
Beside it was a photobooth. I had fun designing the props and backdrop that came with it 😛 Guests were also able to take home a polaroid print from the booth! Definitely journal-worthy. 🙂




Most of my friends have never been to any of my events. So glad that most of them were able to come celebrate! 🙂



Hi Gaby, Maine & Gian!


Some of my friends from college. Missed you all! <3


My readers are the best. Most of them, I’ve already seen at my other events…and it was just great to have everyone gather again at my launch. 🙂


The real reason why I wanted to make this launch possible was because of my readers (you guys, if you’re reading this, lol). Hope it was a fun day for everyone who came!


Most of the thank yous have already been written on the Acknowledgements page of my book. But I’d like to give a special shoutout to the following people who have helped in this journey of making my second book:

My core support system: Tricie, my manager, and Kaila, my good friend; Charmie & Ishi of Summit Books for coordinating with me on the event logistics (and for making my launch requests a reality hehe);


To my core editorial team: Editor-in-Chief Macy Alcaraz, and Art Director Alysse Asilo, as well as my mentor / consultant Jaykee Evangelista (not in photo);teamabc

To Team ABC: Aira, Jean, Elay, Alex, Tricie, Trixie – for being super duper game to help out on the launch;


To my family, for always supporting my endeavours. Pictured here: my cool mom and aunts. 😛


And of course, Shutter Panda, for capturing the beautiful photos, and Gelo Yellow for the video diary (which is coming soon!) – I’m looking forward to see it!

Thank you to my publisher Koko Ko, and to Summit Books, for believing in me;


And most of all, to everyone who have showed their love and support for my second book—


from the bottom of my heart, thank you! Thank you. My heart is very full. <3

May you find joy in reading, documenting, making art, and sharing stories. Enjoy the journey!

Abbey 🙂

Photos by Shutter Panda & Aira Dizon

PS: Recap of the launch c/o Chinatown TV below!

And also, thanks Kaila for sharing your Manila video diary 🙂

New Book: The ABCs of Journaling

If you’ve been following my work for awhile now, it’s no surprise that I have been working on a new book (or books? hmm…), and this is why I’ve been keeping most of this year’s work in secret. I’ve also recently succeeded in beating all of my project deadlines (simultaneously) whilst I’m typing this, so allow me to celebrate for a little bit (worked non-stop from April to August). *confetti*! Lol.

Anyway, I’m excited to announce that my second book, The ABCs of Journaling, is coming out this month! *cue happy tears*

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In this book, I share tips on getting started in journaling, ways on how to document your life, a visual diary of my travels, a showcase of creative journals by artists/writers and good friends Googly Gooeys, Reese Lansangan, Kaila Ocampo, Mikka Wee, Robert Alejandro, Gaby Gloria & Mall Licudine, plus advice on honing your habit in keeping a journal you can proudly call your own.

More than ever, working on this project has become a journey within myself, by slowly unearthing bits and pieces of what I’ve documented over my twenty three years of existence. I realized that my prized possessions are actually the piles of notebooks I keep here at home – written ones, draft notebooks for lettering, random daily dumps of ideas and to-do lists, and my travel diaries.


I’ve spent most of my life chronicled in the pages of my own journals, so working on this dream book project definitely meant the world to me – and I’m excited for you all to see it in the coming days. Special thanks to Summit Books for this amazing opportunity!

Watch out soon as I share snippets of the book and events I’ll be part for the latter part of 2016. 🙂

Related Posts: 

Tips on Travel Journaling / Tips on Daily Journaling

For those in Metro Manila, hope you can drop by my official book launch this coming Saturday at National Book Store, Glorietta 1! Apart from the book signing, I’ve prepared a bunch of fun activities for you to take part in during the event day.


Please note that purchasing a copy of The ABCs of Journaling (on that day) will serve as your ticket to the venue. For updates and more info, RSVP here: http://bit.ly/abcsofjournalinglaunch 🙂

Some reminders:
  1. There will be a designated stamp card per guest at the event. This will be accomplished while you visit the different booths at the venue and to ensure everyone can participate in the booths.
  2. Registration starts at 12:30PM, so you may line up early to get a slot. You can enter anytime from 12:30PM to 6:00PM.
  3. The first (30) registrants get an exclusive ABC loot bag with notebooks, stickers and fun goodies inside!
  4. I will be signing The ABCs of Journaling, The ABCs of Hand Lettering and Letters from ABC. You may bring your respective copies during the event and have them signed during your turn 🙂

Below are some of the fun activities and booths at the event:

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Stickers by Rainbowholic Shop & Little Miss Paintbrush of Kawaii Philippines will be available at the craft booth (for free!). Have fun decorating with these kawaii stickers and get creative with your journal pages. A preview of the stickers is at the video below:


Stamp game’s definitely gonna be strong with rubbercut stamps by Life After Breakfast PH! We’re also letting everyone use art tools provided by Faber-Castell which will be available at the craft station as well.


Sharing my love for paper is IFEX with their paper goods, notebooks & stationery at the craft booth as well. Don’t forget to drop by their area to get free paper stock and notecards for journaling!


Did anyone say washi? Of course, we’re having washi tapes & button pins courtesy of Hey Kessy available as well. 😀

Typewriter_LSFlatlay Station

Get your flatlay skills together during the event as we’ll be providing props and materials for you to style along with your copy of The ABCs of Journaling, and your journal, of course! Whether you’re looking for a kawaii or a vintage themed flatlay set-up, we’ve got you covered. 🙂


Above: Just some of the props you’ll get to use at the station (yes, including Letters from ABC postcards!)

Photo Booth

To cap it all off, have your photo snapped at the photo booth for a day worth remembering. Of course, we’re having polaroid prints for you to take home!


Journaling Workshop

Take part in the creative journaling workshop where I will be sharing tips and advice on how to start documenting your life. The first (30) who register get to score a seat at the workshop area.

Last but not least, of course, I’ll be signing copies of my book from 3PM onwards. I’ll sign until 6PM / the event ends.

Hope to see you! Two days to go, aahhh! <3

Photo Credits: Googly Gooeys, Pat Martires (styled by Aleyn Comprendio), Kaila Ocampo