Thursday, April 10, 2014

Guest post and giveaway: Simple Parenting and Play Planner giveaway tour!

Here is your chance to win a Simple Parenting and Play Planner! Read on!

Delighted to be here, Laurie and thanks for letting the Simple Parenting and Play Planner tour stop by your place :)

It’s Melitsa here from Raising Playful Tots. As a planning community you already know that planning rocks! We plan for the things we want to happen in our lives. Somehow though the planning gets missed for the fun things, the dreams and ideas we have about family and play. The things we want to happen.

Not anymore, because your family is precious. In our family, we love board games and we’re a bit addicted to Settlers of Catan and Hue Knew.

That’s our thing.

Good friends of ours love to hike, with backpacks, snacks and maps. What’s your thing that you love to do as a family and do you plan it regularly and it get done? Time always gets used, but is it on the things we want for our family? Do you have the problem that whole weekends become a massive clean and tidy fest only when you really wanted to do something with the family?

The Simple Parenting and Play Planner is a new workbook, planner and calendar that helps you plan your activities together as a family for now and your future. It’s not just about the family, there’s space for us to continue being us (another area that gets squeezed if we’re not careful).

Take a look inside. I’m so proud to share this digital edition with you in pdf so you can print what you need. Each time we stop at a new blog home I’ll be sharing a giveaway! 

Entering the Giveaway it is easy. Just follow the rules:

1) The giveaway will run from today until Wednesday 16th April 6pm London time. Any entries after this time will not be counted.

2) To enter, post a comment here on this post answering the question: how do you hope you and your family will benefit from using this planner? Your comment is your entry. Only one entry per person will be counted.

3) The winner will be randomly generated via The winner will be announced here on Plannerisms Thursday 17th April. The winner must email me at Laurie at Plannerisms dot com to claim their prize.

4) A new winner will be redrawn if I don't get an email from the winner by Monday April 21. 

If you want to know more about the planner, or to go ahead and purchase one, get all the details at Simple Parenting and Play Planner and don’t forget to come back and add in your entry to enter the drawing. 

Thanks Laurie for letting me stop by and share with your community. 

Now you’ve entered you have more chances of winning the planner by visiting these other blogs.

Mark your calendars and remember to stop by:

Sunday 30 March   ( Intro post)
Monday 31 March           My Healthy Beginning
Tuesday 1 April :            The Mom Writes
Wednesday 2 April          Rainy Day Mum
Thursday 3 April             Megan Flatt
Friday 4 April                  PickleBums
Saturday 5th April            Bliss Beyond Naptime
Monday 7 April               AFree Spirit Life
Tuesday 8 April              SimpleKids
Wednesday 9 April         MamaScouts
Thursday 10 April           Plannerisms
Friday 11 April                Raising Playful Tots

Monday, April 7, 2014

Roll call! Which planner format(s) are you using now?

I can't keep track of who's using what. Heck, sometimes I can't keep track of what I'm using myself! I know I must have a weekly planner, but I'm still on the fence as to whether to stay with my notebook as my daily record, or go back to a dated day per page diary to record each day. I like both, for opposite reasons.

What are you using now? And is it the same format as what you started this year with?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Free For All Friday No. 30: Your planner, clean and pristine or well-used = well-loved?

Some people like to keep their planners looking like new as long as they can. And I definitely agree that some planners/ binders look best when they are unblemished.

But there's a lot to be said for a well-used planner that's a bit tattered and marked. It looks like it's had a good life!

What about you? Do you prefer your planner to stay relatively pristine? Or does a well-loved planner show signs of use?

And as always on Fridays, feel free to discuss and/ or ask anything planner-related!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Hungarian planners and calendars from Global Office Solutions

Here are a whole bunch of awesome planners and calendars from Global Office Solutions in Budapest! As usual with me, there's a backstory.

Recently on Facebook I saw someone's photo of shelves of beautiful planners and of course I had to know where the shop was! Turns out it was the Global Office Solutions shop in Budapest, Hungary. I was even more interested then, because I've been to Budapest several times and love it! (If you've never been there, you must go! Awesome place.)

Long story short, the owner of the shop very kindly replied to my questions on FB and directed me to their website, where I was dazzled by the array of planners! Check them out at

Also DON'T MISS their Filofax retail website, they have tons of Filofax organizers and lots of discontinued ones so if you are looking for a discontinued Filofax, look at!

Global Office Solutions and My Filofax ship internationally. You can check your currency exchange rate compared to Hungarian Forints at or any similar website, but remember the actual exchange rate for your order is set by your credit card company.

I hear you, shut up and show us some photos! So after I looked through all their planner photos, I fell in LOVE with this one: the Nebraska A5 day per page diary in purple (Lila).
I crazy-love this diary. You know how I get with planners, especially day-per-page ones. I love this one.
I actually took some time deciding which color to get, because this soft-touch Nebraska cover comes in several beautiful colors. I considered burgundy, tan and blue. Then I thought, who am I kidding? Of course I have to go for the purple one!

This planner has so many features I love. The first page has a Happy New Year message that is a really nice touch.

There are annual planners, which I really like.

I love maps! This planner has a map of Budapest:

And of Hungary:

There is a handy chart of public holidays for lots of countries in Europe and elsewhere including the US and Canada:

The day per page format has timed lines for each day, with Saturday and Sunday sharing a page vertically.

The days of the week and the months are printed in Hungarian, English and German. If you are learning a language, it's really useful to have a planner in that language (which I have done before). I'm fascinated by the Hungarian language because there's no other language like it. From what I have read, the closest-related language to it is Finnish, which is baffling because Finland is so far away from Hungary!
Moon phases (new, full and quarters) are indicated on the days. The daily pages also have sunrise and sunset times for Budapest, which is a great feature. I wish I could find a diary with my local sunrise and sunset times for every day!

There is open space at the top of the pages to write important events, and more open space at the bottom of each page for notes along with monthly calendars of the current and next month.
The grey and red print on the cream pages looks great and is very pleasant to look at. I'm really picky about the appearance of planner pages, because it's something you look at all day every day so it must look nice! I really like these pages.
There are tear-off corner tabs and a ribbon placemarker so you can choose how to mark your current day. (I use the ribbon placemarker.)

At the back of the book there are 21 pages for notes! They are alphabetized but without any formatting or designations, just lines, so you can use the pages however you want. You could use them for contacts, or for other alphabetized purposes like C for car maintenance record, M for medical information, etc. Or you can easily ignore the letters and use the pages for general notes.
It's a wonderful diary with a hard, padded cover and soft-to-touch leather-like material. I weighed this diary at 480g, which is noticeably lighter than other A5 size day per page diaries I own (some of which weigh more than 580g!)

They have a huge selection of A5 daily planners so you're sure to find one you'll love! They also have a great selection of vertical weekly planners in the larger B5 size.

When I ordered this diary I emailed the owner of the shop to ask permission to show photos of it and got a very positive response, along with a fantastic surprise when my package arrived! Lots of goodies!

This handy pocket weekly planner was included, with a hard cover and excellent weekly format:
This planner has white paper and tear-off corners, and an easy to use timed weekly layout with the days of the week and months in Hungarian, English and German. You can see the details of this planner here on the website.
There are loads of cover options for this handy planner, click here to see them all.

Also included were a whole bunch of awesome calendars! I had mentioned in my email that I love Hungarian food so there are two calendars with traditional Hungarian recipes (large wall and weekly desk), a gorgeous weekly desk calendar of Hungary, a National Parks calendar and a Coffee calendar. What a great spread!

I love the weekly photos in the Hungary desk planner.

It stands up on the desk and has a vertical weekly layout and a new photo each week. The days of the week are in Hungarian, English and German, and moon phases are indicated on the days. I love it!

The National Parks calendar has beautiful photos each month and a multi-language format.
The National Parks and Coffee calendars each have a full page of stickers!

With these calendars and diaries I'll learn my days of the week and months in Hungarian, and when I get really ambitious I'll translate the recipes! Already just from using the website I've learned some colors like purple (lila) and blue (kek) and the word for daily (napi). The more ways you interact with a language, the faster you'll learn it.

Even if you're not planning to learn Hungarian, I highly recommend these diaries and calendars and I found the website very easy to use.

Huge thanks to Global Office Solutions for kindly including the bonus weekly planner and calendars!

And if you are ever in Budapest (a place you definitely should go!) be sure to visit the Global Office Solutions shop and check out their entire range of planners, diaries, Filofax organizers and inserts!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Collins UK's new website

Collins Debden UK has a new website! It is fast and slick, and looks great on my laptop and on my Kindle.

The new website is arranged very clearly and it's really easy to find everything, whether by the top tabs categories, the search bar at the top of the page, or the pull-down Quick Search.

I've said before that when it comes to planner websites, if I don't find what I'm looking for in about 20 seconds or less, I move on to a different website. The Collins website performs beautifully and it's easy to find what I'm looking for quickly.

Another feature I really appreciate is that they show the inside formats of the planners. It's shocking to me how many planner websites show the closed cover of the book and don't show the interior format, which is the most important part! Other features are listed too, and the size measurements are clearly shown so you know exactly what size the planner is.

Later in the year, the 2015 Plannerisms planners will be available on the Collins UK website! I don't know yet when they will be ready to order, but when they are I'll make a big announcement here on Plannerisms with links.

Meanwhile the 2014-2015 Academic year planners, 2015 Business diaries and organiser refills, and the 2016 Early Edition diary are already available to order.

You can see the entire Collins UK collection at

Friday, March 28, 2014

Free For All Friday No. 29: Your Planner Page Preference: Structured, or Open-plan?

Some people like their planner pages to be very structured with designated spaces to write their appointments, tasks, tracking things like expenses or exercise, and sometimes even with boxes to check off to indicate when you have completed something. Some examples of very structured planner pages are Franklin Covey and the Women's Success Planner.

Other people prefer non-formatted pages, like most Moleskine planners have, without designated spaces to write specific things. Sometimes this is so people can format the page themselves and customize it to their own needs. Other folks just like a free-form, open page.

I like a medium amount of formatting in my planner. If it's too free-form, I don't have the structure I need to show me what needs to be done. If it's too formatted with too many spaces to fill and boxes to check, I feel like it's too much to keep up on and I rebel.

What about you? Do you function best with a structured planner so you can fill in each space as appropriate? Or do you prefer the freedom of mainly unformatted pages?

And as always on Fridays, feel free to discuss and/ or ask anything planner-related!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Christine's guest post: Fabric planner and notebook covers: A stylish way to avoid PVC and other plastics

Many thanks to Christine of Cookie Cutter Design for this excellent guest post on an easy way to make your own cloth cover for your planner or notebook!

If you’ve used any number of planners, odds are that you are familiar with that leather-like cover they usually come in. It is very difficult to find a planner without a PVC (poly-vinyl-chloride) cover, especially if you seek some variety, and I’m sure that many Plannerisms readers are quite picky about their planners! Some of the problems with PVC are that: - it outgases indefinitely, even in landfills - it releases dioxins when incinerated (carcinogenic and contributing to climate change) - it is a group A human carcinogen, linked to liver cancer - it is a known hormone disruptor - like any petroleum product, its source, production and disposal are associated with environmental harm. Some people actually seek out PVC for its visual characteristics, and many people enjoy plastic products for their obvious practical appeal. I am one of the (probably) few people who avoid PVC like the plague, and I try to avoid new plastic products in general.

For the last few years I have used Quo Vadis planner refills and ‘dressed’ them in simple fabric covers that I sewed. Here you see them stacked up; I have used the Quo Vadis President, Trinote, Minister, Journal 21, and for 2014 I’m using their APB1. On top you see a little Clairfontaine Notebook. I promise that I have not been paid a cent or received merchandise to write this (although that would be nice)! I like Quo Vadis planners for their variety in formats as well as the craftmanship. I have always preferred their Equology line (100% post-consumer paper) over their regular products, but I don’t have access to their recycled planner refills. (Note from Laurie: According to, the Quo Vadis Club, Soho and Texas covers are PVC-free.)

Making your own cover is easy:

1. Get yourself some fabric you love, ideally of medium weight. In the past, my fabrics included old (‘vintage’) pillowcases; now I use fabric I designed myself.
2. If using new fabric, prewash or simply dunk it into hot water for a minute and let it dry - then your cover won’t shrink later on. NOTE: “oilcloth” fabric is coated with plastic (by far most commonly PVC)
3. Using a tape measure, measure the length of your planner or notebook: measure the closed book from edge to edge around the spine. Then measure the height. Add 1/2 inch (1 cm) to the height and about 4 inches (10 cm) to the length measurement - less, if your planner is very small. Mark the fabric on the wrong side with a pencil or pins. Cut out the piece.
4. Hem the short edges of the fabric, either by using an over-edge function of your sewing machine or by using needle and thread to prevent fraying.
5. Fold over the short edges of the fabric by about 2 inches - it helps to wrap the planner in the fabric and pin the top and bottom fabric edges together. Remove planner and machine-stitch along the top and bottom. Use the over-edge function of your sewing machine OR straight-stitch by hand first and follow up with a simple manual over-edging as you did in step 3.
6. Your cover is finished! When it gets dirty, just wash in the machine or quickly by hand. I recommend air-drying.

I hope that some of you now feel inspired to make your own fabric cover for your planner refill, perhaps at the end of this year. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment!