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Friday, August 31, 2012

Winners! Dodo Pad giveaway

Here are the winners of the Dodo Pad giveaway!

Personal size Filofax-compatible insert: JasJan

A4 Acad-Pad insert: Shadow Wolf

A4 Dodo Pad insert: Alison

Wall calendar: MindyandRoo


Winners: please email me at laurie (at) plannerisms (dot) com and tell me your mailing address so I can mail you your prize!

Many thanks to everyone who participated!

And if you didn't win, don't worry: there are more giveaways coming soon here on Plannerisms!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Giveaway! Dodo Pad Personal and A4 diary inserts and monthly wall calendar!

Welcome to the Dodo Pad giveaway!

Today I have the following items to give away (click links to see reviews and detailed photos):

A 2013 Dodo Pad diary that fits a Personal size Filofax (diary insert only, Filofax binder and accessories NOT included):

a 2013 Dodo Planner Calendar (monthly wall calendar):

an A4 2012-2013 Acad-Pad looseleaf diary, and an A4 2013 Dodo Pad looseleaf diary:

 all to give away!

Here's how it works, please read the rules:

1) Apologies to my international friends but this giveaway is open only to people with a UK mailing address.

2) Post a comment here stating which product(s) you are interested in winning.

3) Only one entry comment per person please.

4) Entries close at midnight UK time Thursday night (so be quick!).

5) Winners will be determined via random number generation at Random.org.

6) Winners will be announced here on Plannerisms Friday August 31!

7) Winners will then email me your mailing address. Won items will be sent via 2nd class post.

That's it! It is possible for you to win more than one of these, so tell me all the items you'd like to win!

Entries are now closed for this giveaway. Thank you to everyone who participated! Winners will be announced in the next post.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Guest post: Paul B's Brush Dance winnings!

Many thanks to Paul B for this guest post showing us the planners he won from Brush Dance in the recent giveaway here on Plannerisms.

Today, my parcel arrived from Brush Dance, with the prize from the Plannerisms competition. Thank you very much to Laurie and to Brush Dance for hosting it!  The Concierge said it had been there for a couple of days, but as I was out of the country, I didn’t know. So, expecting a fairly small envelope with a pocket-sized Mindfulness Diary, I was surprised to see a much bigger box.

When I opened it, I saw why.

When I sent my email address to Brush Dance, we ended up chatting about the fact that i was reading a book by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist Monk from Vietnam who has written a great deal of very accessible books on Buddhism. Brush Dance very thoughtfully included a 2013 Date Book in the parcel as well. It was a really pleasant surprise and I haven’t stopped smiling all days. Sometimes, it just takes the simplest thing to lift our spirits. But let’s look at the pocket book first. This is the front cover. The whole diary is printed on really nice paper.

Each month comes with an inspirational quote to help you to continue living mindfully. Whichever religion you follow, or if you follow none at all, you have to admit, its a noble thing to aspire to. It can’t stay blank forever, so I decided to add my first entry.

And it comes with an introduction from Brush Dance too, to inspire you, and to tell you about their company and, more importantly, about their ethics.

Which brings us to the beautiful Date Book, using quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh. The book has very high quality hard covers front and back. This would survive any amount of damage form being thrown in a bag or being carted around.

Personally, this will stay at home, to be used for recording all those important dates, birthdays, anniversaries, and more importantly.........life plans. On opening the front cover, you find the first of many beautiful images.

It also has an almost imperceptible, paper wallet, a la Moleskine. It was impossible to show on a photo, so I added sheet of vintage 1989 green Filofax notepaper, to show it. Great if you do take this book with you.

I know we all like tabs, and I now some of you will be dying to know if it has them. It does, and they are very aesthetically pleasing, in elongated half-moon shapes. No sharp corners, easy on the eye, almost impossible to bend. In short, a great piece of design.

Each month has a Month To View planner, on the inside cover of the binder.

This is the detail of the book opened for use, showing a week per page. The paper is wonderful quality and I’m sure it will be fountain pen friendly.

And for those who use them, several pages of Contact information at the back of the book. A good place to put most-used numbers for house-related things.

I hope this has been useful, in showing you the inside of their products. The quality really is first-class and I was immediately impressed. Beautiful and high-quality products with inspiring messages that manage to look and feel professional without being overly sentimental. Thanks to Brush Dance for the extra gift, and thanks to Laurie for the competition.

Thanks again Paul!  Be sure to check out The Musings of Max ( http://musingsofmax.wordpress.com/ ) and give him some suggestions on Filofax use, and where to live in Italy!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I'm featured on Planet Millie! My Desert Island list

Recently Millie (aka Ms Logica) of Planet Millie contacted me to ask what 3 items I would want if stranded on a desert island.

Click here to read my reply!

Many thanks to Millie for featuring me in your "Bloggers on a Desert Island" series!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Undercover UK 2013 recycled leather daily diary

I liked my 2012 diary from Undercover UK so much (see my review here) that I ordered one up for 2013 too. This is their Recycled Leather Diary, day to view.

This time I ordered early so I could choose exactly which color I wanted from the multitude they have available, before they sold out. I went with Aubergine, and it is gorgeous!

There are so many features I love in this diary. Annual overview pages:
 Monthly calendars:
 An open format on the day pages with holidays printed:
 Notes pages:
 Address pages:
 And an attached elastic closure strap. "Handmade in England, Recycled Leather" is printed on the back.

I expect this will be the daily diary I use for 2013. It's the perfect size, in my opinion: 12 by 17 cm which is smaller than A5 but larger than A6/ pocket. This year I've been struggling with the small size of the daily pages in my pocket Moleskine daily diary, so I think I will appreciate the larger pages for next year.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The last year for WeekDate planners???

Recently I got horrible news: 2013 might be the last year for WeekDate planners. If they don't sell out the 2013 planners, there will be no more for 2014.

This is awful! Anyone who has been reading my blog for awhile knows I love WeekDate's Only Write It Once streamlined efficiency.  I think these planners are genius and it would be a shame to see them go!

I've already pre-ordered my 2013 weekly planner (I chose the gorgeous Breakfast in Bed cover!) and 2013 monthly calendar (which are shipping now).

Click the links to see my reviews (with tons of photos and descriptions) of the 2011 WeekDate weekly planner, the 2012 WeekDate weekly planner, and the 2012 WeekDate wall calendar.

Pre-orders help the company estimate how many planners will be sold. And, it helps you make sure you get the cover style you want most!

So be sure to pre-order your WeekDate weekly and monthly calendars, and get some extras for gifts.

You can see all the WeekDate products, info videos, and testimonials at www.WeekDate.com.

Let's make sure this amazing company will stay in business for years to come!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Parents and Students, how are you planning this school year?

School starts tomorrow and I'm already starting to feel a little overwhelmed with all the scheduling. School events and holidays, after school activities, my husband's teaching and travel schedule, not to mention my own stuff. I want to establish a system at the beginning of the school year to keep us all on track.

So far I've written all known dates into my planner, and I've created a new full-size binder for school information, menus, calendars, newsletters etc. to keep all school info in one central, easily-accessible location.  I also have a tabbed section for each kiddo for their specific information in their classroom and afterschool activities.

Students, and parents of students, how are you keeping track of everything this school year? Do you also have a School binder to capture information? Have you created a new tabbed section in your Filofax? Are you starting a new academic-year planner/ diary now?

Please post a comment to say how you will stay organized this school year!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

New A5 planner from Personal Planner UK!

I am extremely excited about the new fully customizable A5 planner from Personal-Planner.co.uk!!  Many thanks to Mstraat for giving me the heads-up on this new planner!

You might remember I reviewed my Personal Planner I created (and if you don't, click here to see details and photos). These planners are amazing because you can choose your cover (personalized with your name, or any text you want, in your choice of colors, or a photo), size, and every element of the planner.

You can also add customized dates like birthdays, and with their birthday calculator it will automatically print the person's age and will save the info so it will be correct in future editions of your personalized planner!

Now the new A5 size planner has more options than ever. You can choose between 4 different weekly layouts, whether you want them lined or not, timed or not, daily elements like weather, exercise and work hours, weekly lists, graphs, notes, on and on.

And in the new A5 planners, there are 40 pages in the back that you can customize with lines, quadruled, OR with a variety of options specifically for teachers!! You can choose from preschool, elementary/ secondary school, single-subject, and more.

In the back of the planner you can also get monthly planning pages, sudoku, music lines, coloring book pages, blank, lined or ruled.

The amount of choice in these planners is astounding! It's fun to play with all the possibilities.

Edited because I forgot to add: the paper in these planners is spectacular. White, super-thick. Sharpie pens and Pilot V5s don't bleed through or even SHOW through at all. Sharpie MARKERS show through a little bit, and only bleed through if the point is held on the paper!

I don't have fountain pens, can anyone tell us how this paper performs with fountain pens?

(Not to enable or anything, but they do international shipping!)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Brush Dance 2012 Simple Pleasures pocket calendar

I loved the Brush Dance 2013 Mindful Living pocket calendar from the recent giveaway so much that I wanted to use one right away as my carry-everywhere planner.

So I ordered up this 2012 Simple Living pocket calendar from Calendars.com for only about 3 bucks, a great deal!

This planner is so small it fits in the pocket of my bag along with my phone and pen (shown here for scale).
Now I  don't have to carry my big planner in my bag all the time, and I'm always prepared to write and check appointments.

I love the inspiring quotes and beautiful images before each month:

The format is a week per page, and each month's weekly pages begin at the first of the month and end on the last day of the month, with notes spaces:
Holidays for the US, UK, Mexico, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are printed on the day spaces. Also printed are moon phases, reminders for Daylight Savings and British Summer Time, and major religious holidays. Each month has info like birthstones and themes like Celebrate Diversity Month.

Something I didn't note in my review of the 2013 pocket calendar is how excellent the paper is in Brush Dance planners. Even with Sharpie pens there is absolutely no bleed through, and you can hardly even see something's been written on the other side of the page unless you hold it up to the light!

I'm so glad I get to use this Brush Dance planner right away, and when 2013 starts I'll change right over to my 2013 Mindful Living pocket calendar!

You can see all of Brush Dance's beautiful products at www.BrushDance.com.

Brush Dance products are also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Brush Dance 2012 A Fearless Woman Date Book

I loved my 2013 A Fearless Woman date book so much, I searched online for the 2012 version to buy so I could start using it right away.  To my disappointment, they seemed to be sold out everywhere. (No big surprise that this excellent and gorgeous planner would be sold out!)

So I contacted Brush Dance directly to ask if they had any left in stock that I could buy. They said they did, and to show their appreciation for my reviews of the 2013 A Fearless Woman Date Book and 2013 Mindful Living pocket calendar, they would be happy to send me a complimentary one! Huge thanks to Brush Dance!!

Like the 2013 version, the 2012 A Fearless Woman Date Book has a pocket at the front, and tabbed months with beautiful images and uplifting quotes on each month's divider page:

The weekly pages begin exactly at the beginning of the month, with notes space before the first day, and end at the last day of the month with more space for notes after the last day.
There is a week per page:

Holidays for the US, UK, Mexico, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are printed on the day spaces in the monthly and weekly pages. Also printed are moon phases, reminders for Daylight Savings and British Summer Time, and major religious holidays. Each month has info like birthstones and themes like Celebrate Diversity Month.
After each month before the next month's tabs there are several pages for notes:
At the back there is a tabbed section for Addresses:

The book is A5 size with a hard cover and elastic strap closure.

Something I didn't note in my review of the 2013 A Fearless Woman Date Book is how excellent the paper is! It takes liquid inks like Sharpie pens and Sakura Microns with no feathering or bleed through at all.

Many thanks again to Brush Dance for this gorgeous planner!

Brush Dance Date Books, Pocket Calendars, Wall Calendars, cards and more are available at BrushDance.com, Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Winner! Giveaway: Woman's Success Planner Quarter 4 2012

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the Woman's Success Planner Quarter 4 giveaway. I'm happy to report the winner is:

Melissa L.!!!!!

Melissa L., please email me at: laurie at plannerisms dot com so I can pass your email address on to Terri H. Terri will then contact you to get your mailing address so she can send you your new planner!

Congratulations, and I hope you love your new planner!

Huge thanks again to Terri H for sponsoring this giveaway!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Giveaway: Woman's Success Planner Quarter 4 2012

Reader Terri H has a 2012 Quarter 4 Woman's Success Planner that she is not going to use and has very generously offered to give it away to a Plannerisms reader!

The Woman's Success Planners are amazing. They have goal setting tips and spaces to write annual, semi-annual, monthly and weekly goals. There are health trackers to make sure you're drinking your water and eating your 5 fruit and veg per day (with lists of produce in season each month). Each monthly theme gives you advice on how to simplify and improve every aspect of your life. There are household maintenance reminders, weekly menu planning and shopping lists, notes pages, motivational quotes, month on two pages calendars and much much more! If you are not familiar with the Woman's Success Planner, you can read my extensive review with loads of photos here.

If you've been curious to try these planners, this is a great opportunity for you to try it for free!

(Please note: in 2013 the weekly format and some other features will change, see my post here for details on what will be different.)

You can see all the Success Choice products at www.TheSuccessChoice.com.

So here's the giveaway info:

1) Please note this giveaway is only for people with a mailing address in Canada or the US. Apologies to everyone else.

2) To enter for your chance to win, post a comment here on this post. Only one entry per person please.

3) Entries will close Tuesday night at midnight New York City time.

4) The winner will be determined by random number generation on Random.org.

5) I will post the winner's name Wednesday August 15.

6) Whoever wins will email me, so I can pass your email on to Terri for shipping info.

That's it!

Good luck everybody!

This giveaway is now closed. Many thanks to everyone who participated! Please see the next post for the winner.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Parents, do your kids use planners?

Recently on Philofaxy some parents posted comments about whether their children love planners as much as they do, if they are interested but not huge planner fans, or if their children are not at all interested in using planners.

My kids are too young to actually use planners yet, but they love to write in my old planners and notebooks. I wonder if they will use planners when they get older.

Parents, do your kids use planners? Do you try to get your kids to use planners, or do you figure they'll use them when they are ready?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Using monthly planners

I've had several people ask me how to use monthly planners, so I thought I'd give a brief tutorial.

Monthly planners come in various forms: monthly wall calendars, monthly pages in your weekly or daily planner, or monthly planner books (like the Moleskine Monthly Notebook or Quo Vadis Monthly 4 planners).

Monthly planners are great for overviews of deadlines, bills due, birthdays, holidays and other things that are coming up in the future. They give you a big-picture view of what's going on over the next several weeks.  Monthly calendars are also a great way to plan your entire year.

A question I get often is, what do you write into a monthly calendar that you would or would not necessarily write into a weekly or daily planner? Great question!

I found out the hard way that it was too much to write all appointments, events and plans into a monthly calendar as well as weekly and daily. I just couldn't keep up with that level of detail in all those places at once.

What works best for me is to write fixed dates into my monthly planner. Bills due, upcoming deadlines, holidays, birthdays, travel, etc. Also farther-off appointments like doctor and dentist appointments go into my monthly planner pages.

I don't look at my monthly planning pages every day. I really only use them when I need an overview of what's coming up.

Monthly calendars are also great for easily seeing patterns. Something I've done in the past is to record exercise on the daily spaces in my monthly calendars. I color code exercise (in green, for some reason) and just write C for cardio, S for strength, or A for abs. This gives me a very quick overview on how consistent I'm being with my exercise. A green letter every day means I'm doing great. Big gaps mean I need to get on it.

This technique can be used for anything that you'd like to do regularly: writing, reading, crafting, etc. Marking your activity in a monthly calendar can show you at a glance how consistent you're being with your activities.

Jerry Seinfeld famously uses his "don't break the chain" technique where he marks an X on each day he writes. Not wanting to break the chain is incentive for him to write each day. A monthly calendar (especially one that's on the wall in a place you see often) would be perfect for this.

What else do you use monthly calendars for?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Guest Post: A Look Inside Robyn's Uncalendar Pro

Many thanks to Robyn for this guest post showing how she uses her Uncalendar Half Size Pro weekly planner (with some other inserts too) for managing her very busy life!

How I use my planner:

The cover is a Staples GTD planner cover, a very plain 3 ring binder. I would love something prettier but I haven’t had much luck finding anything pretty AND functional in the 3 ring format. I have a rubber band (purchased at Target) around the front cover, I use this to hold papers, pens, etc. that I might need for a particular meeting.

Once I open the cover, I see my week’s tasks in a page protector. This is an old template that I have been using for years, probably the only planning tool I have used consistently for that long! I write the week’s tasks and have space to record the billable hours associated with each task. I have an accounting business and have a lot of small repetitive tasks from week to week, so I just transfer the tasks from the prior week so I don’t forget anything. The few times I stopped using this system, I either forgot to do these tasks or did them very late, so I stick with this planning tool now, even though it seems like overkill.

The next thing I have in my planner are my project management pages. During my busy season, I may have 30 or more projects that need my attention. I needed a system to prioritize these projects and help keep track of their status. I have four pages: Priority One, Next Up, To be Scheduled, and Waiting on Client. Each new project gets a post it note, and I put the post it note on the appropriate page. Then when I am writing out my weekly task list, I consult my Priority One page to see what needs to be done that week. I just printed these on card stock, laminated them, and stuck them in.

I use the monthly tabs to schedule client appointments, personal/kid appointments, and keep a riding/training log for my horses. These are the Uncalendar monthly pages, but I need tabs, so I just stapled them to a set of tabs I happened to have lying around.

I use the weekly pages to record personal to do’s as well as work tasks, appointments, shopping list, etc. These are the Uncalendar weekly pages as well. I love these but I haven’t quite figured out what I want to do with all of the boxes. I do like the yellow box next to the date on the weekly side. I can put the day’s most important task in there so I make sure it gets done.

Behind the same tab as the weekly pages, I needed to add daily sheets. I printed these from a template I got from the DIY Planner website. I would actually prefer an undated daily format for these since I don’t need them for every day, just on my busiest days when the weekly space is not enough for all of my tasks and appointments. I already had these printed from a previous calendar so I just threw them in there.

 The next tab holds note pages, and I love these Uncalendar note pages! They are great for when I meet with clients- I need to write everything down since my memory does not work. Many times I will have a to do list from the meeting and this provides a great format to record the notes and then a to do list from the notes on the opposite page. I added a little tab for any note pages that require action so I can add the action to the weekly task list or project planner.

The last tab is labeled “Off Topic” and I put anything here that I clip from magazines or print out that I don’t want to forget about but don’t really need to do anything with at the moment. I also put entertaining quotes, inspirational pictures, things I want to buy but can’t afford, etc.

And that’s it, I hope you enjoyed looking into my planner!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Reader needs help: Planners with wide line spacing?

A friend of mine asked me if I know of any planner that has wide ruling/ line spacing. I can't think of any off the top of my head, and unfortunately my stash of planners is still on a ship somewhere on its way to me, otherwise I'd go through them all with a ruler.

Planner ruling tends to be 6 mm for most. This is Moleskine's ruling and has become a bit of a standard, but there are some exceptions.

Due to handwriting and dexterity issues, he needs wide line spacing or blank day spaces. At this point he's not even picky about daily or weekly, although weekly would probably be better.

Week + notes formats like Moleskine's weekly notebook and similar with blank day spaces would work in theory, but I think those day spaces aren't big enough for him. I think he's looking for a week across the two pages.

And, he's a guy so nothing girly please!

If anyone knows of planners with wide ruling or large blank daily spaces please post a comment!

Thanks everyone!!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Planner-writing intimidation

Writing in a new planner for the first time can be very intimidating! Those fresh unwritten-in pages hold endless potential. But once you write in it, the planner is YOURS, and contains all the messiness that is your life.

For those of you who might feel bad about "messing up" a new planner, keep in mind this is the point of the planner!  This is what it was made for.  Life is messy, literally and figuratively.

My motto is, "It's not perfect, because it's mine."  Anything of mine quickly becomes scuffed, stained, and used-looking. My life is messy. I am messy. Nothing stays pristine around me for long.

And that's fine with me.

But I have to admit, even later in the year after the planner is already written in, I sometimes hesitate to write in my planner. Once it's on the page, it's permanent! And, sometimes I'm afraid of filling up a page in case something important needs to be written in later. (I guess I could just use a sticky note on the page for anything additional).

I think a feeling of intimidation at writing in a new planner or notebook is very common. Do you hesitate to write those first words in a new planner or notebook?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Dodo Pad Universal Acad-Pad and Dodo Pad looseleaf diaries

Here are the hotly-anticipated Dodo Pad and Acad-Pad Universal size looseleaf diaries!

These diaries are specially sized and punched to fit A4 size 2 or 4 ring binders (including A4 size Filofax binders), and US letter (standard) size 3-ring binders.
The Acad-Pad starts in mid-August and goes for the entire school year. It has a Time Table page to track your daily schedule:

The Universal loose-leaf diaries are the largest weekly Dodo Pad diaries for maximum writing space. Each week is different, with witticisms and dates of note:

The Acad-Pad has an overview of the current academic year (below) and the following one (not shown):
 The Dodo Pad Universal loose-leaf diary is on the calendar year (Jan-Dec).
 It has an overview of the current year (below) and the following year (not shown):
 The weekly-changing themes add variety:
 The weekly grid helps you keep track of every member of your family:
 Toward the back there are a few sheets for extra notes, and a handy page for "Indodispensable Data."
These Universal looseleaf planners would be perfect for household binders and school binders, and for anyone who wants plenty of writing space.

Many thanks to Dodo Pad for sending me these planners as samples to review!

You can see the entire Dodo Pad collection of planners, calendars and accessories at www.dodopad.com.