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If you're anything like me (and the millions of soapmakers out there) you're desperately trying to balance the creative side of soapmaking with the organizational skills needed to run a business or a social media following. Sounds familiar? Well, then read on! I've got a treat for you :)
One fateful night, many months ago, I woke up at 2am sort of like the nun in Madeline. Do you remember that gal? Sits up in bed and says to herself "Something is not right!" except that instead of a realization of something being off, I said to myself "WHYYYyyyyy haven't I made a soapmaking journal?"
Since the beginning of my soapmaking journey, I have had notebooks here and there, papers that I will print to draw out my designs, or scraps of paper floating here and there that I used to jot down any impromptu recipe changes. All of these little things scattered all over, or even stuffed into a folder, made me feel really anxious. If you've seen my social media, you likely know that I like things to be white, clean, minimal. So papers here and there are NOT my jam.
So I spent a full weekend, holed up in my office while my husband watched the kids. I had all of the ideas and I needed to get them out of my head while they were still fresh. I kid you not, I probably spent 36 hours on a weekend, designing and compiling the tools that I have been using for the past year and then putting them into book format. A week later, the proofs showed up and I couldn't have been happier!
I recruited a handful of lovely soapmakers to help me test out the book and we all had lots of good feedback for the final version. A handful of months later, here we are - looking at the final copy available RIGHT NOW!
"But what's in there, Robin??? Why should I want this?" Well, friend, I'm not gonna tell you what you want. You know that waaaay better than I ever could. But I will tell you why I created this book and how it will make a difference.
This journal is more than a tracker of what you've done, it's actually more of a planner. First, you'll get recipe pages where you can jot down your tried and tested recipes, always to be handy for you when you're making soap.
Next we have Fragrance and Colorant Notes. This helps you track how fragrances perform - discoloration, acceleration, seizing, ricing, separation, color morphs, etc... This tool on it's own is invaluable to me. I want to be able to look back at previous fragrances and know that I want to restock one and throw the other off of a bridge.
If you have problems with color mixing, I've included a really neat tool that allows you to play with color palettes before you get started with your soap. I call this portion of the journal the "Color Playground" and it's one of my favorite sections. I like to sit down with some colored pencils, a fragrance oil that I want to use, and try out palettes until one really speaks to me.
I've also included a page where you can jot down different designs that you want to try as well as where you can find that design for future reference.
If designing your actual soap bar is a problem, I recommend using the soap design tool - this is an easy to fill out worksheet that will help you pick a pouring technique, draw out your design and note all of the colors, fragrances or additives for your next creation. This is helpful to me because I can look back at these pages if I want to remake a design. I can refer back to my notes and make sure to recreate it exactly, or make tweaks if I feel they're necessary. While this tracking might seem like a lot, I tend to feel that having this information written down actually helps me clear mental space for other things.
The last two sections are the Curing Rack and the Soap Fail Tracker. The Curing Rack pages help you know when your soaps are ready to use and can help you organize your next soap release based on which bars will be available. It also tracks starting inventory and bar weight for each of your batches.
I find that having everything listed above in a tidy book helps me feel organized. I like to have the book open for easy reference while making my soaps and then when I'm finished with a batch, I jot down any notes and put the book back on the shelf until I'm ready to use it again. Also, it's pretty. I know this sounds funny, but it's a great looking book on a shelf - not an eyesore!
I can tell you're champing at the bit and ready to get a copy of your own, so if you haven't already skedaddled on over to Amazon to pick up your copy, let me just drop a link here for you to click/tap/hem and haw over before finally clicking/tapping and getting a copy for yourself.
More of a digital kind of person? I have a PDF version that you can download and print on your own or use on your tablet/iPad. You can find that copy HERE in my shop.
I certainly hope that you all enjoy this tool as much as I do! I am so proud and can't wait to hear how it works for you. Please feel free to comment with suggestions if you have the book, or questions if you're on the fence about getting one. I imagine there will be future editions as I continue to improve it or add more tools to it.
Be well, fam.