Organizing a planner to work as a wallet

It seems like I have been on a long quest to find the perfect wallet. And, along the way wasted time and money. Well, the quest is over. I have finally found my perfect wallet. It has movable parts and loads of the “pretty pretty” that just makes me so happy. I can take things out and add things in on a whim. I can decorate. I can have folders and clear sleeves. It holds a pen and paper. What kind of wallet does all that you ask? My Malibu Personal by Day-Timer.

I have been writing about my Day-Timer in the desk size that I keep – where else – on my desk. For the times I am not at my desk, my planner/wallet comes in handy. The only thing I sync between the two is the month at a glance. That is because when I am out and about and do not have my desk calendar with me, I can still see what activities we have planned.

I thought my planner/wallet would be better explained in a video – I know – not another non-professional video! Well, yes. Hope you enjoy.


As always, I welcome your comments. Have you found the perfect wallet? Please tell us.

Don’t forget to follow my blog for more book reviews and nonsense!

 
Southern Charm Planners – https://www.facebook.com/groups/LouisianaPlannerGirls/

Day-Timer – http://www.daytimer.com/daytimerstore/mwv/product/Distressed-Leather-Free-Form-1%22-Planner-Cover-Desk-Size-/45014?searchClickId=0169751530%2C3519&catId=&prodId=45014

Polka Dot Posie – https://www.etsy.com/listing/170968988/2014-small-polkadotposie-signature?ref=related-5

Pembroke Papers – https://www.etsy.com/listing/176148796/downloadable-2014-12-size-a5-week-o2p?ref=shop_home_feat_1

Southern Charm Planner’s Charm – https://www.etsy.com/transaction/180298065

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Finding the perfect planner setup

I have posted several different inserts that I have been trying out in hopes of finding the perfect one for me. I think I have finally developed a system that will work for me. I have gathered the pages that I use most frequently and I am keeping them close at hand as you will see in the video.

Links to the products that I use:

Southern Charm Planners on FaceBook:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/LouisianaPlannerGirls/

Day-Timers: http://www.daytimer.com/daytimerstore/mwv/product/Distressed-Leather-Free-Form-1%22-Planner-Cover-Desk-Size-/45014?searchClickId=0171103771%2C716&catId=&prodId=45014

Polka Dot Posie: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PolkaDotPosiePrint

Pembroke Papers: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PembrokePapers

I Heart Organizing: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/p/free-printables.html

I hope you enjoyed your visit and stop by again. As always, thanks for visiting and if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment.

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Setting up a planner is a journey where there is no destination…

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As I was helping a person in my planner group – Southern Charm Planners – I realized that the information was important to anyone wishing to set up a planner.

It used to be there were only a few options to choose from when setting up the “guts” of a planner. Now, the world (internet) is your oyster. Just visit Etsy, an online shoppers paradise, and search “planners.” You would be amazed at the number of hits. Not having a system already established, the results would intimidate even the seasoned veterans of planner organization.

Every color of the rainbow can be found and just about every possible conglomeration of pages are available. Want the columns verticle in your week at a glance? Sure, no problem. Or, would you like them horizontal and divided into categories? Yep! You can have that served up too. You can have it in red or purple or pink or a combination. You can choose lines or lineless (just made that word up). Maybe you would prefer a day to a page or two pages per day.

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I, myself, like a week at a glance. After a lot of searching, I found the page that I currently use. It features a Time Plan with a place to check off tasks as I complete them. This week I have outlined each day in pink so it shows up better. I like having a priority section and phone calls and email section.

I also enjoy having my daily page with my Time Management Schedule mapped out for me. I have a real problem with my attention span, or lack there of I should say. It’s about the length of knat (for those of you who live in the South.) For everyone else, it’s zero. I can get distracted like nobody’s mama. You can read about my time management system here http://wp.me/p1nV7v-ub     It also gives me space to add a To Do list. I have even added a third page (behind the daily page) where I record all of my blog activity for the week (book reviews, posts, etc.)

And this brings me to the point of this posts. If you are a newbie just setting up your planner, or perhaps a more seasoned veteran looking for something new, remember to take your time. Setting up a planner is a journey where there is no destination. It should always be a work in progress. Take your time and look at the many different setups available and think about how each system would work for you in your own planner. Download a free month at a glance and add plain hole punched paper in your planner until you figure it out – rather than spend unnecessary money. Draw the system that appeals to you and play with it for a week or two before making a decision.

Ask yourself a few questions and think about your everyday life and what you would like to track. Is it appointments? Phone calls? To Do lists? Exercise or medications? Your children’s activities or the bake sale? Do you want to log everything on the same pages or would setting up sections in your planner work better. Keep in mind that everyone is different and needs a different system to track the important aspects of their life. This is what I mean by setting up a planner being a journey.

This is a quote by Judy Garland – “Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else.” 

You don’t have to use the same planner (Day-Timer, Filofax, Day-Runner, Franklin-Covey, 3-ring binder) or the same dividers (Financial, calendar, menu, medical, etc.) as someone else. There is no reason to try to outdo or keep up with the next person. Setting up a planner is a personal endeavor and one you should enjoy. It shouldn’t cause you undue stress. Don’t be persuaded by bright lights and flashy colors. Get off the boulevard and explore the side streets. Keep your needs and your budget in the forefront. Your planner needs to work for you, not the other way around.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and found a little something you could take away. As always, I would love to get your take on things, so feel free to comment and join the conversation – or start one. Remember, if you have any questions, just post them in the comments and I’ll be glad to write a post with additional information on the topic.

Southern Charm Planners – https://www.facebook.com/groups/LouisianaPlannerGirls/
Day-Timer – http://www.daytimer.com/daytimerstore/mwv/product/Distressed-Leather-Free-Form-1%22-Planner-Cover-Desk-Size-/45014?searchClickId=0169751530%2C3519&catId=&prodId=45014
Polka Dot Posie – https://www.etsy.com/listing/170968988/2014-small-polkadotposie-signature?ref=related-5
Pembroke Papers – https://www.etsy.com/listing/176148796/downloadable-2014-12-size-a5-week-o2p?ref=shop_home_feat_1
I Heart Organizinghttp://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/p/free-printables.html
Southern Charm Planner’s Charm – https://www.etsy.com/transaction/180298065

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Time Management – Formulating a schedule

With the new year underway, many people are still trying to conquer that elusive schedule. Well, I’m no different. I’ve been perusing blog posts about setting up schedules and there were a number of them that I found quite helpful.

I’ve always followed a makeshift schedule of sorts, but felt it was time to really lock in a more productive time management system that worked for me. Flying by the seat of my pants just isn’t working anymore. As organized a person as I am, my lack of attention span is forever getting in the way. I am a person who needs structure, and I found myself really needing to lock down a timeframe that allowed for my attention to be corralled for periods of time in order to get what needed to be done, done, yet something that would allow some flexibility as well.

One of the blogs I was looking at was Organized Jen. She has developed a great chart. It actually looks like a chore chart I came up with a few years ago. Using her model, I developed my own schedule. Keep in mind that it is not a schedule that is set in stone and it doesn’t mean I won’t deviate from it on occasion – I plan on working friend time into each week in place of work – it simply gives me a picture of my week. Also, there are days when I have meetings or unexpected things come up, so it definitely is not a do or die schedule. It will also no doubt go through some primping before it’s done, but for now, I think it will work for me.

Keep in mind, when planning your schedule, my schedule will not be perfect for you, but it might be a perfect prototype from which to tweak. We are all different people with different needs and various things going on in our lives. You may not even need a schedule. With my lack of attention span getting in the way of productivity, I desperately needed to try something different.

I am generally a person who looks at minute details (as in list everything), so coming up with broad weekly goals was a bit different. After much deliberation, these are the goals I came up with.

Weekly Goals

Work Goals

 Maintain a regular posting schedule (I’ve become lax here)

Stop work by 4pm (let something other than my blog have a front seat)

Less/no work on weekends (other than reading) (I’m a book reviewer too)

Work on home improvement projects weekly (Hubby and I have loads of these)

Personal Goals

Daily chores (I have a break-down schedule already)

Exercise 45 minutes five days a week (really trying to be good about this)

Family Time (Hubby and pets)

Keep up with household duties (no procrastinating – lots of !!!)

After coming up with the big picture, I was able to develop my weekly time management schedule to work with my day. To further harness my inattentiveness, I gave myself blocks of time in which to complete my tasks, and then set up a schedule to accomplish these tasks. I then studied the schedule to see if it was doable – for me.

After completing my new time management schedule, I sat down and transferred some of the information to my planner so that on Monday (today) morning, I had a plan I could work with. So far, it’s working really well – but then it’s only been one day. I know – you are laughing – but probably not as hard as I am.  You have to start somewhere and today was mine.

I’ll be reporting back each week with little tweaks as needed to let you know how my schedule is working for me. And, as I said, it has been working today. I didn’t sleep well last night so I was a little late getting out of bed, but everything has gone smoothly. I used to sit down first thing at the computer, but this morning, I followed my new routine and it has been truly delightful. I am not feeling stressed at all. I am doing exactly what my schedule says I should be doing. The photos below are not the best, but they will give the general idea of what my schedule looks like. I couldn’t figure out how to bring a word doc in. The actual information is not important to anyone but me, but the form might be helpful.

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Time Management – Weekly Schedule
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Work Schedule and Weekly Goals

Here’s a look at how it translates itself to my planner.

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The right hand page shows the blocks of time to coordinate with my chart. 
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On the left is my weekly schedule which already includes appointments to be worked into the schedule.

Hopefully, I’ve inspired some of you to develop your own Time Management Schedule if you don’t already have one. If you do, please leave a comment and let me know what is working for you.

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Is that my Fossil bag you’re peeking in?

Yes, I have reached a new low or plateau – whichever way you want to look at it. I’m blogging about the contents of my purse – and this is making me laugh. There is just something about the contents of a purse that intrigues women.

I have been on a mission to locate the perfect bag (for me) for so long I can’t remember a time when I haven’t. I think I may have stumbled on to it at last – the perfect bag I mean; the Fossil Sydney Shopper. This is the most amazing purse as far as I am concerned. It has loads of room on the inside and holds all of what I refer to as my necessities. There are also multiple inside pockets for organizing, and the straps are a great length.

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I carry a number of things that I couldn’t possibly do without when I leave the house. I must have my personal planner – of course. I also use it as a wallet. There are a number of sections in my planner, but the most important are the section with my money and cards, and then my calendar, which I use for making appointments while away.

Next, I have a pencil bag, and a little monogrammed pouch for all of those little items you don’t want rolling about in your bag. This pouch also makes changing bags so much easier. I have my pepper spray – of course – who leaves home without that? I also have my flosser (in the toothbrush case) and my keys, along with my cute little Hello Kitty glass case. It’s winter so I carry a neutral color pair of gloves (my matching ones are in various coat pockets.)

The two smaller pouches (blue and little birdies) hold my ear pods for my iPhone and my iPhone charger. That’s about it, unless I toss in my Kindle last-minute.photo 1 copy 5

All of my gear fits quite nicely with room for a water bottle if I want to bring one along. If I adjust everything really well, I can also squeeze my 13″ laptop into my bag. I don’t carry it around often, but should I want to, there is room for it in the bag.

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Hope you enjoyed the tour! As the little green lizard (?) says “What’s in your wallet (bag)?”

 

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A Peek at how my week is shaping up and a DIY!

I have a dark corner in my kitchen and it drives me absolutely crazy! Hubby has a difficult time understanding this because I don’t seem to need light anywhere else. I am perfectly content to only use lamps in the house, rather than the overhead lights. Maybe it’s the ambiance. Who knows?

But, the kitchen, especially this corner (the only corner) is another story. I need light. I want light. And I had light – until the bulb burnt out – AGAIN! Hubby has been busy trying to finish a rent house that I am close to renaming “Murphy’s Law”. Seems the guy has  moved in and grown roots. Anything that can go wrong, has gone wrong. I’m sure you know the drill.

But, getting back to the light – this is not the first time it’s burnt out. Hubby installed these two pot lights (as I refer to them) under the counter only months ago and already they have both burnt out. They aren’t cheap so I’ve decided to just return them and ask for new ones. I am really tired of buying new lights every few months. Hubby’s back was bothering him and I can be very impatient at times. Who, me? Yes, me. I see a problem. I see a solution. I want it done. Case in point. Light burnt out. I have a new one. It needs to be installed.

I decided that it couldn’t be all that difficult to do. Before I met Hubby, I was quite an efficient woman. I decided with the long hours he has been working, it might be a good idea to become a little more independent again. Being old-fashioned works for us. He’s the man. I’m the woman. He does the man things. I do the woman things.

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After a little contemplation, I finally figured out that since the housing was already installed, there must be a way to only change out the guts.

I was correct. I even cut and connected the cord to the new plug. It is amazing how simple the quick connects are. I can’t wait to use this new-found knowledge on other things. I’m an accident waiting to happen so that might not be so good. But, getting back to the light, I managed to do everything right, only I was having trouble snapping the little light into the casing. I was matching up the holes with the piece on the light and therein lay my error. I should have just shoved it up and it would have snapped into place. I was being a little too correct and technical.

The light works and needless to say, I am one proud person! And, let there be light once again!

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It is also the corner where I keep my jar of cup cake liners. For the past several years I’ve just shoved them into the jar haphazardly as I’ve purchased them. I was sort of partial to the riot of color going every which way, which is unusual for my personality. The other day I had about five minutes to spare and decided to empty it out and reposition the papers. I think I like the stacks now. It provides color in the corner of the cabinet. There are some plain papers to the back of the jar that I actually use.

And, now a sneak peek at how my week is shaping up. I have been into using pink and aqua and blue lately when decorating my planner. This week, after visiting with a friend who absolutely loves bright colors, I chose an orange – quite a difference from my usual pastels. I think I am kind of liking it for a change.

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I also found some really cute free printables at Lime Tree Fruits http://limetreefruits.com/freebies/. Who wouldn’t want to write out a grocery list on this cute design or keep track of expenses?

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So that’s my week on this Monday. I’m sure the calendar will be filling up as the week continues. How’s your week shaping up and what type of planner are you using these days?

Stay tuned because on Wednesday I’ll be giving you a sneak peek at my Fossil bag and what’s inside!

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Is your planner working for you or against you? (Video)

I’m trying my hand at another video. The consensus (mine) is that I’m not very good at it so far. I can see what I’m doing wrong so maybe that is improvement after all.

I am using a Day-Timer distressed leather planner cover. I have to confess that I love leather products! When BFF and I go shopping, she knows her main job is to keep me away from the leather! However, she does allow me to walk through the purse section of the store and just breathe. Hopefully, there are no animal activists reading this. (Whispering) I love the way leather smells.

Okay – getting back to my planner. The distressed leather is exactly like my Malibu planner that you have seen in other posts; same size and exact setup.

I’ve been asked over and again to show my set up so today is the day – hence the bad video. My planner, while being set up to work quite efficiently for me, is also a testing ground of sorts. As I come across freebies, I sometimes feel inclined to try them out and those pages come and go. You will see in the video that I am trying out an inventory sheet for both freezer and pantry. I will probably not stick with it because I do not have the patience to go through my pantry or freezer and list all of the items. I know my baking/cooking habits and therefore can probably tell you everything I already have in the cabinet. As far as the freezer goes, we have two and I keep a dry erase board on each one with a list of the contents. I still thought it would be fun to try the list out so I could recommend (or not) it to others.

The same goes with financials. There are some really cute pages available (and most for free) that would be very helpful in budgeting. At some point this year, I am going to sit down and actually give them a go. In the meantime, I use Quickbooks on the computer and that is how I keep my budget and finances in order. So, the paper system on the financials is probably not something I’ll continue.

I will insert Video #1 here. I had to do two shorter videos as opposed to one long one for upload purposes. As you will see, I don’t quite have the video down pact. It’s sideways and cuts off half my picture. It sure is more difficult than it looks. I apologize. I just could not figure out how to rotate it.

I’ve been using my book review system for a few weeks now and I must say that it is working every bit as well as I thought it would. I love having all of my items in one planner rather than scattered between two or three. I know that I can grab that one planner and head out of the door if need be and feel confident that I have everything I need at my fingertips. Ummm. Maybe I will do those financial sheets after all as I do not regularly tote my computer.

My daily sheet that I insert is something I will never give up. I find that I really need a time schedule to keep myself focussed. I also plan on using the Week at a Peek for a long time. It helps that I don’t have to flip back and forth between my book review calendar and the current week. I move my sticky notes to this page and I have the information sitting there for my use. I also enjoying having the extra space on the page to jot down notes about future posts. The monthly view does not have room for me to put these notes and I wouldn’t want to clog up the review list with notes.

Getting back to the freezer and pantry inventory sheets, I am thinking it might not be a bad idea after all. A long time ago, I used to enjoy planning out the week’s menus and I am considering doing it again. It would be fun to plan the menu and then sit down with Hubby and get his input – or maybe not. He is a man who is happy with a can of soup (not that I would EVER serve him that!) He isn’t hard to please although there has been the occasional experiment he’d rather not see on his plate again.

The only party I normally host is my annual Cookie Swap each December. Someone who entertains a lot could label this section “Parties” or “Entertaining.” I have a spread sheet with all of the contact information for each invitee, their RSVP, and the cookie they are bringing. I also have my invitation information handy. After each party, I take this sheet and file it in my Cookie Swap scrap-book. It is nice to have the list handy in the event I need to contact someone and it also makes it easy to keep track of the responses.


Then we all need notepaper, especially me. This section is handy when I attend meetings. I know that I can grab my planner, head out the door, and know that I will have paper and pen to take notes.

Image-1I have one other page which I haven’t put in yet and it is from Motivatedmoms.com. It is a week at a glance and includes daily chores, weekly chores, and a weekly Bible reading chart. The system also has an app where you can check off the chores as you do them, or add more depending on your lifestyle. I will let you know how I like the page as time goes on.

That about wraps up my desk planner. I also use a personal size planner/wallet to stay organized as I do not carry my desk around on a normal basis. I’ll be doing a video on it at a later date – maybe after I improve my video skills.

Feel free to comment or ask questions. I love planner and organizing questions!

Melvedy Designs on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/search?q=melvedy%20designs&view_type=gallery&ship_to=US&ref=auto1

I heart organizing on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/IHeartOrganizing?ref=shop_sugg

A Bowl full of Lemons: http://www.abowlfulloflemons.net/2013/10/the-rainbow-planner.html

Day-Timer Malibu: http://www.daytimer.com/daytimerstore/mwv/cat/Malibu/Malibu_80?pageName=catPage&rootCatId=Collections_80&catId=Malibu_80&isEqual=true&parentId=Malibu_80&_requestid=88732

A Girl and her Blog: http://justagirlandherblog.com/plan-to-achieve-your-goals-this-year/

Hello Cuteness: http://hellocuteness.com/2013/12/free-printable-new-years-resolutions-lists/

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Organizing my week and Bullet Journaling (Video)

I’ve been hearing a lot lately on bullet journaling. I wasn’t quite sure what it was, so I decided to Google it. After all, doesn’t Google know everything?

I was quite surprised to realize I already a use bullet journaling technique. I am a list maker. I like making lists. I like my lists – get the picture here? I used to make lists with little dots in front of them – never knowing that people actually teach this sort of thing. To me, it was an easy way of distinguishing each task on the list.

Then, I graduated to using numbers. I’m the first to tell you to do your own adding and subtracting – and Heaven forbid anything more complicated than that – for yourself. I’m a writer (not claiming to be a good one, just one) not a number person. I am one of those people who freak out at counting change in public. I would rather break a dollar than count change. But, in this instance, I like numbers. Numbers are orderly, and my brain likes orderliness.

I found a video on-line on bullet journaling, and while his bullet journaling technique looks and sounds like great, it is just not how my brain works. Ryder Carroll uses boxes, circles, and dots in his journal book. I liked the little boxes and the idea of checking them off. Scratching through items is messy and too chaotic for my brain, and after a while makes it difficult to see what has been accomplished and what hasn’t. And, like him, I use the star method to draw attention to important to-dos. But, my brain likes pretty-pretty and writing in a graph book is just not going to do it for me. Also, for my personality, I need less cluttered structure.


I would love to know Ryder’s personality type, one, because personality traits fascinate me, and two, because I am interested in the correlation between his personality and his chosen methodology – bullet journaling.

I have recorded my very first video blog about my week, rather than using pictures. It’s not at all professional, but it shows my week. Hope you enjoy it.

In my planner, I have a pretty week on two pages that I love. It’s colorful and cheerful and adding colorful washi tape and stickers draws me in and makes me want to sit down and plan my week. What works so well with the particular week on two pages that I’ve chosen is each day is broken up into boxes and columns. I can label columns and put tasks or appointments relating to the column heading into the appropriate box. It allows me to compartmentalize, which in turn keeps me focused – really helpful if you have zero attention span – as I do.

I also use a daily sheet. It has a place for phone calls and a little to-do spot as well as a time frame list. This works with my brain. I jot down things on my week on two pages and each day I transfer what I need to do. I also add things as they come up. Using the daily sheet keeps me focused because I only have to look at one page. There are also weeks when my days aren’t so busy and I actually use the same daily sheet for a couple or three days. I am also able to schedule my time. I need this to stay focused and be able to accomplish things. If not, I wander around doing whatever grabs my attention and miss doing things that may be important – just ask Hubby. Poor man! I drive him crazy!

Located behind the daily page is a week at a glance where I keep my blog information. While all of this may seem redundant to some, it works in keeping me focused – remember, zero attention span. It works with my mind (as you’ve heard me say before) and not against it. I like to look at the project page (which is what I call it) and see at a glance the next book that is up or the next post I need to write. I also have space to jot down ideas for future blog posts.

And, as if all of my pages wouldn’t drive someone else insane, I recently added a card to the mix. It is ongoing information or a list of things that need to be done but don’t necessarily need to be done immediately. I can move the card from week to week, or take it out and use it when I run errands. I recently purchased a Sizzix machine and I can now make pretty little cards for this purpose. I am more likely to sit down and write my to-do list if I have a pretty place to write it down; a plain piece of paper just wasn’t working for me.

While I really liked the bullet journaling video and will probably watch it again to see if there are any additional pointers I can translate into my own system, his way of bullet journaling is not going to work for me. Yes, it is an easy system and I could see myself following his method, but it wouldn’t be fun for me. It would seem like a chore. I like my pretty papers and my cards and stickers.

So, for me, I think I’ll stick with my Day-Timer and the inserts I’ve found. It’s a good system and one that I have stuck with for many months. The important thing about choosing a planner is to figure out what system will work for you, how much information you are willing to document and how much time you are willing to devote to it. My system involves several pages, but in real-time, it doesn’t require a lot of my time to set up each week. I also find comfort in sitting down to plan my week and enjoy the creativeness it takes to decorate my planner. There is just something cathartic about putting colored ink to paper.

If you are looking for a quick, simple way to organize your thoughts and life, I encourage you to watch the video and try the bullet journaling method. I’d be curious to know how it works for you.

Looking to become part of a planner group? Check out my group on Facebook – Southern Charm Planners. We Southerners consider everyone a friend so don’t let that deter you from joining.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LouisianaPlannerGirls/

Planner Organization – Making dividers

The last few posts I’ve written have had to do with setting up a paper planner that works with your brain and organizational style rather than against it. As you set up your planner, you will want to eventually decide on the different categories you want in your planner – calendar, financial, todo lists, grocery lists, etc. Unless you happen to find one of the many sites that sell homemade dividers, the market doesn’t offer much in the way of “pretty”. I solved that problem by making my own.

In response to requests to demonstrate how I made dividers for my planners, I will attempt to explain with the aid of many photos. It is a fairly simple technique and hopefully I can explain without making it seem more difficult than it is.

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My supplies

For the following two dividers, I used a double-sided card stock. Normally, I would not laminate a card stock, but for the purpose of demonstrating the laminating technique, I will laminate these two dividers. I also use a paper-cutter, tab punch and tabs, Martha Stewart single hole punch, a round-edge punch, and Avery self-laminating sheets.

Use one of the pages from your planner to determine the size of the divider. A page width is normally sufficient because you will be adding the tab, which will stick out beyond the page for easy viewing. If you are not using a paper cutter, use this page to trace the divider on the card stock.

A note before trimming your dividers. If you are not using one of the tab punches, you will need to trace a tab on your divider before trimming it and laminating. If you do not have confidence in your ability to free-hand a tab, grab a file folder and trace the tab and cut it out with scissors. If you do not have a cutting board (and the variety and price of the many on the market range from very cheap to expensive) just use a good pair of scissors (one that cuts) and cut along your trace lines.

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Trimming to size
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Trimmed edge
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Avery Self-laminating sheets

Once the card stock (or decorative paper) is cut to size, lay one sheet of the laminating sheet paper side up on the table. I use laminating sheets and have found that these serve my purpose quite nicely. There are a number (loads) of laminating machines on the market, both hot and cold. I do not laminate many things and have not felt the need to purchase one.

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Paper backing – will be removed

Peel the backing slowly working from the top left-hand corner. Be careful not to touch the sticky side unnecessarily because it is very sticky. The sheet will lie flat on the work surface. Once it is exposed, lay each piece of card stock (one sheet of decorative paper if making large dividers) down on the laminate. This size card stock allowed for two to a page of laminate. I placed them side by side.

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Peeling backing

Next, pick the sheet of laminate with the two pieces of card stock up and lay it to the side.

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Place a second sheet paper side up on the work surface. Peel the backing off as before. Place the sheet containing the card stock on top sandwiching the card stock between the two sheets of laminate matching the white strip at the end. Smooth out all wrinkles by running hands over the card stock. Matching up the two paper edges that remain on the end after removing the paper backing make this task very easy. Match the paper edging and hold with one hand while you roll the dividers down until the papers are stuck together.

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Sandwiching – use these paper strips to align
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Trimming to size

After smoothing the laminate and making sure the bubbles are worked out, the next step is to cut the extra laminate away.

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Trimming laminate

After trimming the excess laminate, set the pages aside to work on the tabs. If you do not have a tab maker, you should trace a tab on the divider before cutting and laminating so it will be one piece (see above). I use a tab maker and the laminating tabs that come with it.

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Tab punch

I punch the tabs looking at the bottom of the punch to cut as close to the edge as possible to avoid waste. This leaves the rest of the page for another project.

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Place the cut tab onto the tab laminating sheet and stick to one side of the divider page.

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Adhering tab to tab laminate

Fold over the top of the tab and adhere to the top of the divider page. Press to seal.

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Folding top over

This is a little messy, but you can unstick and redo. It was a little difficult trying to do the project and photograph it at the same time.

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Completed tab

After the tabs are done, use the edge rounder or scissors and round off the inner corners. Then using another divider as a guide, punch the holes in the new divider and place in planner. I really like this particular single hole punch. The hole in the bottom allows you to line up holes when punching. It is a Martha Steward tool and can be found anywhere her products are sold. It is also heavy duty and easy to grip for those of you, who like me (I have arthritis) need that extra help. Using a labeler or felt-tip pen write the name of the category you have chosen.

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Punching

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I hope this tutorial has helped solved the mystery of making dividers with tabs for your planner. It is fun and easy and now you, too, can make your planner match your personality. There is no limit to the different papers and decorations available and for those of you who also scrapbook, this should be a really fun project. I am thinking of doing a set of seasonal dividers next…

If you have any questions, please leave a comment. As always, thank you for visiting my blog. And, if you are looking for a planner group in which to plant yourself, check out Southern Charm Planners on Face book! https://www.facebook.com/groups/LouisianaPlannerGirls/

All products used were found on Amazon or at Michael’s.

Tab Punch (comes with a set of tabs): We R Memory Keepers Tab Paper Punch, Bracket

Tab brackets: Tab Stickers-Bracket

Martha Stewart heavy duty punch: Martha Stewart Crafts Heavy Duty Paper Punch

Martha Stewart rounded corner punch: Martha Stewart Crafts Corner Punch, Rounder

Avery: Avery Self-Adhesive Laminating Sheets, 9 x 12 Inches, Box of 50 (73601)

Fiskar’s cutting board: Fiskars 196920-1001 Portable Paper Trimmer, 12-Inch

Day-Timer Malibu Planner: http://www.daytimer.com/daytimerstore/mwv/product/Malibu-Leather-Snap-Tab-1%22-Portable-Size-Planner-Cover/8177?searchClickId=0159137938%2C861&catId=&prodId=8177

Organization Destination Fascination

I’ve long been fascinated by personalities, which has been evident by the number of posts I’ve done on my blog about the subject. And, within the confines of personality, I have been fascinated (there’s that word again) by the organizational skills and habits of others. I equate that with driving by houses at night that leave the lights on and the curtains open. I’m not a peeping Tom by any means but having the opportunity to peer into someone’s house to check out their decorating skills while having to wait for a traffic light to change, well, that is like dangling candy in front of a child – or my Hubby. I just can’t help myself. I want to know what color they’ve painted the living room. By this same token, I am absolutely enthralled with how others organize. If someone dares to open their planner near me, beware because I am all eyes.

I want to see what you write and ask about your system of organizing your thoughts. Do you use numbers or bullets? Do you doodle? Yes, I become a child again and my curiosities take hold. And, today, with everyone blogging and bragging and showing off their planners, it’s a candy paradise out there in plannerland.

I have long since been a fan and user of organizational tools, Day-Timer in particular. It’s been so long that I couldn’t even tell you how I first became aware of them (Day-Timer). I do, however, remember the very first time I saw someone’s planner. I was working at a local university and had taken a newsletter to the printing department to speak with one of the workers there. As we began to set up the dates that my boss would need the newsletter by, she pulled out her brown leather planner and opened it up. The minute she put the pen to paper and I had the time to observe this interesting book, I was hooked. It had a calendar! I lost all interest in what she was saying as my mind began ticking away all of the ways this little book could help me stay organized. After much discussion and a showing of the other sections in her planner, I couldn’t sit still. I was going to look for a planner of my own.

And I did. I found one that very afternoon. It wasn’t expensive or elaborate, but it was mine! The color was navy blue and it was beautiful, at least to me. The size was what I now know is a desk size. My love of planning had taken hold. I began that very night adding in little details on the calendar that I needed to track. I also began my to-do list for the next day. My life was transformed by that little navy book and I carried it everywhere. This same woman invited me to my first American Business Woman’s Association meeting (ABWA). Joining this organization was a pivotal moment in my life. It literally began my transformation into a confident young woman. (Thank you Kelly.)

Joining ABWA and then a couple of other organizations quickly filled up my little planner and I moved on to a larger size in order to accommodate the paperwork that came with holding offices in each of the organizations. That was the beginning of my planner using days, which have continued through today, except for that brief interruption by technology in the form of an iPhone. I guess you would have to be a fan of paper planners to know the comfort of having a little book to thumb through and write your thoughts down as well as your schedule…which brings me to the point of today’s post – other than nostalgia.

As well as my desk size planner that stays on my desk at home – which is where I work from these days – I have switched to a matching personal size (Day-Timer Malibu) that travels with me. I use it as a planner wallet.

What I find so fascinating today is so many woman are enjoying their planners and sharing them with other women (and some men!) Each of their unique personalities comes out in the way their planners are set up and arranged. And, you can gleam a lot from looking through someone’s planner. Mine are set up – everything has a place and everything in its place – much the way my entire life is set up. This was never so evident as in the way I went about decorating the Christmas wreath hanging on my front door. As I stood back and observed, I had to eventually laugh at the realization that my attempt at “organizing” my wreath wasn’t working. It became quite evident that organizing and decorating are two distinct different entities.

And, as I posted a photo on Facebook with a caption stating that I could organize anyone’s life and not break a sweat, my talents definitely did not lend themselves to decorating a wreath. I guess I wasn’t too surprised when my loyal friends began laughing and commenting that it represented my personality – umm laugh right along with them? Yes, until I cried! It really was true (and funny). It’s odd how our personalities show up in the oddest places. And, lucky for me, my friends came to the rescue. One old friend came to “mess it up a little” and one new friend came to “fix it up a little” and the end result is magnificent to me. It really touched my heart that they would do this wonderful thing for me.

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And getting back to the subject from which I digressed, here are a few pictures of my personal planner/wallet. It is a pretty red color and snaps closed. On the inside cover is place for business cards or credit cards and identification (which is not how I organize mine, but the option is there). There is also an open pocket and a zippered pocket that doesn’t show in the picture. I keep my change and money there.

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Front cover, pebble-grain leather
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Inside front, slots

Next up is my first category. I have card sleeves here where I have a few favorite photos. I also carry my insurance card and driver’s license in one of the card sleeves.

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Tabbed dividers
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Pictures

Next up I have a plastic sleeve with a few stickers for use in my calendar, then a plastic sleeve where I keep a few one dollar bills that are easy to reach. (FYI – The notepaper is concealing private information.)

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Sticker sleeve
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Left – Drs. License, Right – money sleeve

Located behind my credit cards is a pocket folder for receipts when I shop. Next up is my calendar.

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Pocket folder for receipts
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Divider for calendar

Located behind my calendar are sections for note paper and grocery lists, menu planning and coupons as well as a pen holder.

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Notepaper, Menu Planning
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List making

To make my planner/wallet more personable, I made colorful dividers and added pretty monogrammed note paper. I am a girly girl and love my pretty pretty! This system works quite well for me. I have everything I need at my fingertips and I love the organization this planner affords me.

I hope you found this post informative and helpful in your own organizational needs, or maybe it has inspired you. Have any questions? Please leave a comment and I’ll do my best to either answer it or address it in a future post.

Now, for the question! What system have you found works best for you as a wallet?

Want to see how planners are taking the world by storm? Find out at Southern Charm Planners on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/LouisianaPlannerGirls/

Are paper planners making a comeback?

Or, did they never really go away? With technology, it really is a legitimate question these days. I used a Day-Timer to plan my life for 25 years and then I purchased an iPhone. That was the end of the paper planner, at least for a while. Now, don’t get me wrong, my iPhone is still my first defense against the world, but there is just something cathartic about writing in my planner. The thought process slows down and the hustle, bustle fades away – which can be a very good thing in today’s fast-paced society.

Recently, I’ve come across a huge resurgence of planner addicts as they are referring to themselves. (I confess to quickly become one of them.) While scrapbookking has never tempted me, other than drooling over the many cute stickers and Washi tape and stamps – well, you get the picture, decorating my daily planner days has become one of my favorite past times. I would like to add here too, that there are many planner groups that have sprung up on Facebook. I am the administrator of one such group, Southern Charm Planners. Women are coming together to share their ideas and find new ones. I invite you to stop by. You will be pleasantly surprised at what you find. https://www.facebook.com/groups/LouisianaPlannerGirls/

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Charm says “Keep Calm and Carry a Planner”

Sitting in my own little corner, in my own little chair (Rogers and Hammerstein‘s Cinderella) with my crafting scissors and scrapbookking supplies brings me a certain degree of comfort.

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Desk size Day-Timer Malibu in Teal

Not only has scrapbookking made a new name for itself in the planning world, but so have planner designers. Whereas in years gone by, one had to pick and choose from structured Day-Timer, Filofax, Day-Runner (and other similar) formats, that is no longer true. With the internet and the ability to download PDF files, the possibilities are endless. Where one had two or three sterile options available, the are now hundreds (perhaps thousands) of bloggers and Etsy store owners who have developed colorful options that make planning your day a joyful experience. Instead of the confines we used to have, we are free to pick and choose the colors and formats that best suite our lives and personalities and the way we plan. I personally mix three different styles to achieve what I feel is my perfect planner.

I currently use a Day-Timer desk size Malibu planner. The leather is not rigid, but very pliable, which is why I chose this particular planner.  I also love the size and gone are all the boring guts. (Sorry Day-Timer and everyone else.) I’ve replaced them with colorful pages that speak to my heart. I write freely each day in a different color flair pen and use brightly colored post-it notes, stickers, and Washi tape. My planner is not only a necessity in my scheduling, it is a fun place in which to spend time.

photo 3 (3)In the above photo is an example of what my week/day normally looks like. I like this weekly layout (the second half is covered up with my daily page) because of the little sections that allow me to label the column. It is working very well and at a glance I can see what is going on for the week – appointments, personal, blog, work, exercise, phone calls, etc. There are weeks when the headings change, but not often. I also enjoy the colorful set up. It is really not necessary to decorate because it is already filled with happy colors.

To the left is the first half of my week setup with my daily page to the right. The daily page allows me to break my day up into a time schedule. I can list my ToDos and phone calls in separate spaces because for me, they are separate things. Some people like listing them together and that is what is amazing. You can find set ups to work with your scheduling needs and personality. In the long column I can break my day up with a time line.

Because I use a daily page, having the second half of my week hidden doesn’t bother me. The only time I normally refer to it is at the end of the day when I schedule my “Today” page for the next day or if I need to add something to the schedule. My topics on that page usually contain exercise, blog information and personal. These are topics I do not necessarily want laying open on my desk. Also, when I glance down at the week, the things I really need to see are available to me on the right side of the week.

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Week at a Glance page
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Daily Schedule page

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Next up and located behind the Daily Page is a “Peek at the Week” page. I use this page to schedule my blog. I schedule my book reviews and stories for the week. There is a section where I write ideas on posts. When I have ideas or thoughts that I may want to have the flexibility of moving around, I will write them on post-it notes. This method allows me to move things from day-to-day or week to week. And, there are so many colors and styles available on the market today that everyone can find a color that they like or different colors to color code. Personally, I do not color code my pen colors or sticky-notes. I like the freedom of choosing whatever my mood dictates.

If you look at the next two photos, they will show how I trim the pages so that they are contained within my week. Trimming the pages also makes it easier for me to flip to the second page of my week when needed.

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Right hand page of Week

As I mentioned earlier, the second page of my week is more personal. It contains my Exercise chart and weekly weigh in, anything personal I might have going on, and what’s going on on my blog. I keep track of my upcoming book reviews on this page with sticky notes. If something unexpected arises and I have to move a book review, it is easily done. It may look redundant because I use another week peek to schedule reviews, but for me it is not. This is a flex page, the other is not, and contains spaces to jot down notes. It is a system that works with my mind and not against it; and that is the key to being a successful planner.

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Header tabs

I did not start out with many different sections in my planner, mainly because I like to see everything in one place. Lately, I have found myself venturing out in to different sections. I have even made my own dividers to section off my categories. That in itself was a creative and enjoyable process.

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Monthly tabs
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Header tabs

In days past, I was not a blogger, nor did I host a yearly Cookie Swap, nor did I do much menu planning. I find myself doing these things now and did not want my week cluttered up with these tasks, nor was it necessary, so I created separate sections in my planner for them. I also filled them with colorful papers to make the tasks fun.  Some of the different categories I use are (to repeat a few) are Cookie Swap, Menu Planning, Book Review notes, Blog post ideas, Notepad Paper (yes, for pretty paper when needed) Financials, and Year at a View.

These are the categories that fit with my lifestyle and activities. You will find different categories in every planner you visit. As I mentioned before, to be successful in utilizing your planner to its fullest and making it work for you, it is important to find a system that works with your personality and organizational skills. Start off small and then work your way up into different categories, if and only if, you have a need for more categories.

And, just a little note to say that you can find many, MANY planner pages for free on the web. Just try Googling and you will be quite surprised at how many come up.

I’ve recently developed a new and simple system of scheduling book reviews. I have used a spread sheet in the past, but with my “picture” mind, it wasn’t giving me a true picture of the number of reviews I had scheduled for a certain month. There were times when I overbooked without realizing it. My new schedule is in its own little calendar and has been working quite well. Post-it notes also give me flexibility in re-scheduling when life gets in the way of the best laid schedule.

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Book Review Book
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A month at a view

Hoping for a little audience participation, I will ask you this. What system do you find works best for you? I look forward to hearing what you think. Thanks as always for taking the time to stop and visit my blog. Links to the products used are listed below.

Day-Timer Malibu, Desk size: (Teal) http://www.daytimer.com/daytimerstore/mwv/product/Malibu-Leather-Snap-Tab-Desk-Sized-Planner-Cover/8176?pageSize=9&rootCatId=Collections_80&goToPage=1&catId=Malibu_80&prodId=8176

Weekly undated inserts: A Bowl Full of Lemons: (Blank weekly calendar, 2 pages) http://www.abowlfulloflemons.net/2013/09/the-rainbow-planner-products-page-2.html

Daily ToDo Page: PolkaDotPosiePrint (Etsy): https://www.etsy.com/listing/170968988/2014-small-size-printable-planner-pages?ref=shop_home_active

Peek at the Week: Iheartorganizing (free printable):(Scroll down page) http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/p/free-printables.html

Planner charm: (Keep calm) (Etsy): https://www.etsy.com/shop/shellybelly4evr

Check out Ruby for Women, an on-line Christian woman’s magazine. (I have an article in it.)
LINK to the winter issue of the Ruby for Women magazine:

http://issuu.com/ruby4women/docs

LINK to the December Book Giveaway:

http://rubyforwomen.com/2013/12/december-book-giveaway-our-hardcore-battle-plan-for-wives-winning-in-the-war-against-pornography/