Keeping It All Together

It’s the year of keeping it all together, even Cath Kidson has bought out a tote with the same message. That’s my plan for 2019 and I hope we can help you do the same.

It’s funny the number of people who relate to and nod their heads when I talk about the days when I used to have 3 different notebooks, a separate diary and several pieces of paper with ideas, notes and sketches on. It’s no wonder that time goes so fast and feels chaotic when the back-up and support systems we set up to manage our lives are all over the place.

As you grow older you realise just how fast time goes and how much of a luxury it is in life. I must admit I was having a daily battle with it.

The speed at which time goes, a day, week and even a year freaks me out.

But is time going faster or are we just cramming more things in?

We can’t change the speed of the clock only the things we do and don’t do in the time that we have and give ourselves.

This is exactly why I created the Hello Time Planner. My relationship with time and how I was managing it, be it not very well!

I have always loved stationery, a brand designer for more than 23 years and a devotee of paper and pen. I love writing notes, sketching ideas compiling lists and the joy of ticking tasks off. But what really inspired me when it came to HELLO TIME was that I wanted to fix a problem that no other product, from my research and experience, was able to do.

Before I designed the Hello Time Planner, I was putting my appointments, meetings, and to-do lists in a week-to-view diary, using a crazy made-up system that pushed me to my limits and overwhelmed me every day. I wasn’t prioritising tasks, I was being unrealistic with my time, I wasn’t planning my day the night before and I was always playing catch-up.

Using separate books each day only added to the overwhelm. I knew there had to be a better way I just needed to figure it out. I needed to change, up my game and manage my time better.

After a difficult 2015 I knew I had to start looking after ME more, my work life, my schedule, my to-do lists and allow myself some a little time off. I went on the look-out for a diary/planner that had everything I needed in one, so I could keep everything together, in one place, to achieve the balance and order I needed to create.

Sadly, I could only find bulky wiro planners with systems, lots of structure, extra prompts and information to fill in that would only add more admin to my day!

I just didn’t have the time or the headspace for all of this, nor did I want stickers, as much as I love stationery, I grew out of these some time ago. I wanted a case-bound book that I knew would last all year round, something stylish to take to meetings, something grown up, but above all, I want to keep everything together. From this point on I knew if I wanted to help myself and others manage their time better and create somewhere to declutter the mind and find some clarity, I had to start from scratch and design it.

I founded the business Illustries.com in 2011 and in 2016 when I recognised I needed a new system I designed and co-developed a planner which took 2 years of research, design, development and production. We called it the HELLO TIME Planner. The limited first edition off the production line was a little heavier, with weightier paper, had a cloth cover which attracted marks so when I took the decision to leave the business in 2018 to pursue other design opportunities, I knew that the planner had to come with me so I could develop the brand and make the improvements the product.

The trademark and production of HELLO TIME now comes under the umbrella of my design business, Alilia Studio and we are very proud that it is printed and bound in the UK.

Since that first edition I haven’t looked back and have been using it as my diary, notepad, sketchbook and to-do list ever since. It’s my daily bible, my day to day best friend and my 24hr personal assistant. It’s helped me get more organised, it provided some calm, order and balance day to day.

Nowadays, my to-do list for each day is more realistic and doesn’t encroach on my diary space I keep that for appointments, scheduling projects and a day specific reminders such as family and friends’ birthdays. It helps me prioritise because you can do anything but not everything, my time is more organised, and my notes are all in one place. I have greater satisfaction at the end of each day, a better balance. Basically, I’m much better at keeping it together quite literally!

Ok, I can still be a little late from time-to-time, but we are all work in progress, right?

So why did we come up with the name ‘Hello Time’? We wanted each day to be a fresh start for usrs to be consciously aware of ‘their time’, how they are spending it, to appreciate it. The ‘HELLO TIME brand name acts as a natural break from the daily chaos and invites you to take a deep breath and say “HELLO” to the most precious thing we have. Our cover design evokes our key point of difference. Say Hello to your appointments, ideas, schedules, brainstorms, notes, to-do’s, doodles etc they are all inside.

The way Hello Time allows us to organise life’s most valuable asset is to give us the most beautifully designed, simple-to-use, easy-to-follow layout on the market. No extra prompts, pre-determined areas. A simple, and timeless layout that gives you clean white space to plan your time, however you want and un-dated so you can start whenever you are ready.

Don’t wake up each day feeling anxious, too stressed and lost in the daily myriad of stuff that needs to get done, never feeling that sense of achievement or satisfaction, there is a better way!

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