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My Diary For 2023

Every year I write a blog post about which diary system or set up I am going to use for the following twelve months. In recent years, I have moved away from a Filofax (I trialled something earlier this year - more of that in a minute) and fallen in love with the Hobonichi printed diaries. For the last two years I have used a Hobonichi Weeks as my personal planner and I won't be deviating from that this year. I have tried a Hobonichi Techo A6 a couple of times but have never managed to feel comfortable with it size-wise.  I have always lusted after the Hobonichi Cousin A5 as a main work planner so, this year, I have bitten the bullet at launch time and invested in my very first one. Hobonichi Weeks The Hobonichi Weeks is a slim diary with a yearly, monthly and weekly layout. The main section is a "week to view with notes" and there are an additional 70 note pages at the back. This year (2022) I used the "Mega" version which comes with almost three times as m

Instrumental Music & Noise Sources for Writing

Instrumental Music & Noise Sources for Writing

One of the problems that many writers face is an inability to work while listening to music that contains any form of lyrics or words. When crafting text, it's tough to focus on what you want to say when you're hearing something else: it's similar to having two people talking at the same time! Since a large chunk of music these days contain lyrics, you'll sometimes struggle to get a decent playlist or artist that's able to provide you with what you want. That's why I've decided that today, I'm going to offer you my best sources for noises that contain no language whatsoever!

A Soft Murmur

This isn't actually musical in nature, but I find it a fabulous source for noise. What the website does is essentially give you access to a soundscape of various things that you might find calming or useful, such as the sound of rain, waves, fire, birds, white noise and so on. The page is incredibly easy to use and completely free: they've even got some apps for iOS and Android devices if you'd like to have a version that's available on the go. I generally have this going in the background for a little ambient pleasure and sometimes, I use it by itself when I'm not feeling like some upbeat music.

Nas Kingston on YouTube

Whether I'm writing up a movie review, blogging on finance or just looking for some porn deals worth taking advantage of, I'm convinced that Nas Kingston's YouTube channel is a premium source of instrumental hip hop. There are hundreds of tapes uploaded here featuring some of the best work from the likes of Dr. Dre, Hi Tek, 50 Cent, The Beatnuts and DJ Premier. I'd say that 98% of the play time is without vocals and I've literally listened to every single upload that Nas has: I'm addicted! Definitely check it out if you're a fan of the flows that hip hop has to offer. Some absolutely stellar collections here.

Remix Rotation

This used to be my favorite source of music if I'm honest with you, but the website has changed over the last few years and has become a bit more commercial and hard to use (it was very simplistic when it first launched). Still, I head on over to Remix Rotation from time to time when I want different genres of music to enjoy. You'll find liquid DnB, trance, dubstep, minimal and deep house here, as well as lots of genres I've never heard of before! It basically curates the top-selling tracks on various platforms and finds them on YouTube for you to enjoy for free. Simple and convenient – just how I like it.

Thanks for reading – I hope your next writing adventure with some sounds to listen to has been greatly improved by this article!