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Friday, May 30, 2014

Free For All Friday No. 37: "Next year I'll use..."

Already online I've seen several people who have written something like, "This year I'm using Planner X, and it's okay, but next year I'll switch to Planner Y."

There was a time not long ago when I would have thought, "That's crazy! Why suffer through seven more months of planner dissatisfaction? Just switch now!"

But now, after having gone through years and years of switching planners several times each year, I'm fatigued of it. My years are scattered throughout dozen of books. Now I understand not wanting to switch planners mid-year. If it's working well enough to get you through the year, why spend the time and expense setting up a whole new system? January will be here soon enough.

Do you switch planners during the year if you are not absolutely satisfied with it? Or if it's working well enough, do you wait for the new year?

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

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Reader is desperate. Do you know this planner? Please help!

I received this email today from a reader searching for what this planner could possibly be. Unfortunately I don't know of anything that fits her description (although I know of similar things like Filofax Flex etc.). Can you help?

After hours of trawling the internet I wonder if you, or your readers might be able to help me track down a planner. 

On a recent train journey the lady opposite me had the most beautiful bright red A5 diary planner.  It was a mock (I think!) alligator style leather and was refillable on both sides.  She had a diary on one side and notebook on the other.  I managed to glimpse the name and it was Papillote or a variation thereof.  I have googled and googled until I am blue in the face and still haven’t found it and wondered if somebody else might know who the company is.  It’s not the Czech Papelote,  I’ve tried them!

I wish I knew what this planner was because it sounds really nice! If you know what this planner could possibly be, please post a comment! 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Free For All Friday No. 36: Time To Think, Space To Think

Today I did something I rarely take the time to do anymore: I sat with my planner for a good 45 minutes, and just thought. I thought about things coming up in the next weeks and months, I thought about my finances and when things are due, I thought about summer plans and insurance bills and car tax and meal planning. I filled in things in my planner as I thought of them, but mostly I thought.

I work best when I think about things ahead of time and then work my plan, rather than just dive in and do it. But I realized today I don't take the time to think like I really need to often enough.

I do my best planning-thinking at home where I have access to my computer and paper files and any other information I might need to reference while I'm planning. But I definitely understand people who do their best thinking at the coffee shop, bookstore or library where they don't have the distractions of home or office. (I do my best actual thinking while I'm walking in the forest, but that's not thinking about when to schedule my next car maintenance, it's more mind-wandering thinking.)

Do you have a favorite place where you can take the time and mental space to think? Do you do it often enough?

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

Monday, May 19, 2014

When is it just too much?

Seven years ago I was struggling to use my Filofax as my everything-in-one planner and reference book. I was desperate for ideas on how to make it work.

Nobody I knew even used a planner, so I couldn't ask my friends. I searched the internet desperately for information and inspiration. This was back before Steve joined Philofaxy so posts there were few and far between (which didn't keep me from checking every day in hopes of new content that would bring me enlightenment). Quo Vadis Blog was one of the very few planner blogs I knew of, and I read it regularly. But that still didn't give me what I was searching for.

Not long after, Steve and I both were invited by Nan to join Philofaxy as regular contributing authors. Soon after that I started this blog as a further planner outlet. There were a few other planner blogs floating around the internet, some came and went.

Fast forward to now, when the internet seems to be flooded with Filofax blogs, videos, Facebook groups, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Everywhere you look you can find content showing how people set up their Filofaxes, how to print your own planner pages, decorating, use ideas, etc etc. If you are looking for planner advice now, it's easy to become overwhelmed.

I'm seeing this more and more these days: people go on buying sprees and shell out massive amounts of money hoping to find their Perfect Planner, only to have buyer's remorse and turn around and sell their new, unused binders shortly after.

Or people get overwhelmed with printing their own pages, ending up with reams of unused pages and having spent loads of money on printer ink.

Or people get sidetracked with decorating their pages and end up frustrated with their planner not actually working for them, despite how beautiful it is.

Or people go into a downward spiral of switching between Filofax/ Moleskine/ Midori/ Hobonichi/ whatever other brands of planners they try and fail to click with.

The real problem begins when people try to figure out what might work for them and they spend hours watching videos and reading blogs and get overwhelmed by all the possibilities. This causes people to spend way too much time and money (and frustration) on things that might be great for other people but don't work for them.

A better approach is to figure out what you actually need your planner to do for you. Don't watch any more videos. Don't read any more testimonials on how wonderful Planner X is for someone else.

Once you think you understand your own needs, focus your search on what would fit those needs. This will limit your search and help prevent overwhelm.

I've written several posts on how to find the right planner for you. First you must remember there's no Perfect Planner. You need to find something that works and that you generally enjoy. If you need help figuring out what you need your planner to do for you, take a look at my post on this topic. This will help you focus your search. If you need more help, take a look at the other posts on my Find Your Perfect Planner page.

Remember, what works for other people might not work for you. And what worked for you in the past might not work in your situation now.

Step away from the You Tube videos and the Facebook planner groups. Take some time to decide what you really need. Experiment a bit with different types of planners. Hand-draw your own planner pages in a notebook or on pages that can go in your binder to try a format before you spend the money on it, or create your own pages.

Have you become overwhelmed by the flood of planner videos, posts and groups on the internet? What has helped you step away and decide for yourself what you actually need (and don't)?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Free For All Friday No 35: How's it going?

How is everybody doing these days? May is a deceptively busy month for many people: graduations, school year coming to a close (depending on where you live), work getting busy, summer vacations coming up.

Do you have anything big happening this month? How is your planner handling it?

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

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Marina Outdoors Moleskine cover art

Last weekend I went to the craft fair in Ballater and found these awesome decorated Moleskine cahier notebooks by Marina Outdoors.

I wanted to buy everything on the table. I don't even normally go for cahier covers, but these look so great with her artwork screen printed on the covers I couldn't resist buying some.
I got two Extra Large and my husband got two Large. (In her etsy shop she calls them Large and Medium respectively).

These are the notebooks my husband got for some colleagues of his who are in ship building. The contrast of the color on the dark blue looks very striking.

Here is one of the big notebooks I got, with the Atlantic salmon life cycle on the cover. Brings me back to my biologist days! I love it.

The other notebook I got has a great quote from John Muir on the cover. It says, "I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in." This is how I feel when I walk in the forest: it's the best place for me to think.
These two notebooks were in her seconds box, with minor smearing of the silver color on the covers. No big whoop. My photos really do not do them justice, they look amazing in person.

I had to force myself to walk away from the table before I bought absolutely everything. Now I wish I had bought one of her butterfly printed covers. Also my husband wanted the one that says "The mountains are calling and I must go." Father's Day gift perhaps? She also does greeting cards and screen prints! Seriously, I wanted everything.

If you are looking for something different that you will enjoy using every day, I highly recommend checking out the Marina Outdoors etsy shop at www.etsy.com/uk/shop/MarinaOutdoors  (she ships worldwide). Also find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarinaOutdoors

Monday, May 12, 2014

Giveaway winners: MiracleBind

The winners of the MiracleBind notebooks giveaway are:



Tom Bridge

Congratulations!! Please email me your mailing address (email to Laurie at Plannerisms dot com) by this Friday so your prize can be sent to you. If I do not hear from the winners by Friday I will choose new winners.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Free For All Friday No 34: Do stuff between stuff

We got a puppy last weekend, she is sweet and fun but a real handful! It’s almost like having a baby, but instead of midnight diaper changes it’s midnight walks in the yard. I’m told the chewing and piddling will end eventually!

With my sleep deprivation and extra work training a puppy (including the constant vigilance of making sure she doesn’t chew or mess up anything she’s not supposed to, which is everything) I’m finding it hard to do my normal weekly chores. This is of course made more difficult by the fact that for now the pup is confined to the kitchen and living room (where we have linoleum and wood floors, respectively, for easier clean-up). So I’m getting stuff done in those rooms but every other room is neglected.

It made me think of a thread on Facebook a few days ago where several of us were talking about dealing with increased workloads and Josh said the busier he is, the more he gets done because he goes into get-it-done mode. I have discovered a similar thing: I do stuff between stuff. For example I sweep the kitchen floor while waiting for my tea to brew. I fold clothes while the pup is napping. These are tasks that I normally would put off until later, but now I know I might not get another chance until tomorrow so I better get it done now.

Do you do stuff between stuff? And do you find the busier you are the more you manage to squeeze tasks in?

And as always on Fridays, feel free to discuss anything planner-related!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

MiracleBind by Blueline from Filofax

This giveaway is now closed. See the post on May 12 to see who won!

Filofax UK recently started to sell MiracleBind by Blueline notebooks in A4 and A5 sizes.

The notebooks lay flat and come in two forms. The MiracleBind range with their removable and reposition able pages and the NotePro which is a refillable notebook.

Both ranges use a common system of cover and rings and with a clever design the covers perfectly flat and can be also be folded back on themselves too.

The covers come in red and black. There is also an A4 punch so you can create your own pages and they will attach to the ring system.

You can see how they are put together in this video by Blueline

Visit the Filofax Website to order from the full range of MiracleBind and NotePro notebooks.

Plannerisms in association with Philofaxy also have some MiracleBind and NotePro notebooks to give away.... yes you can get one to try out.

We want you to comment on this post about:
  • How you will use your MiracleBind or NotePro notebook. 
  • Which size would work best for you in either range and why.
  • Like either the Plannerisms or Philofaxy Facebook pages.  
We will pick out the winners and list the winners next week and get you to contact us with your mailing address etc.

Judges decision is final, no cash alternatives will be offered, closing date for entries Sunday 11 May 2014 etc etc.

Thank you to Filofax for supplying the Blueline samples.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Planning seasonally or quarterly instead of annually?

Today I ran across this article about a book called The 12-Week Year. I haven't read the book (and haven't decided yet if I will bother to) but the concept is interesting: focusing on goals 12 weeks at a time instead of 12 months at a time.

I like the idea of focusing on different priorities at different times of the year. This makes sense in places where there are large seasonal variations. Where I live, there are about 6 hours of daylight in the winter and 20 in the summer, so of course we are much more active outdoors during the months when we have more daylight. We have learned to go with the seasonal flow: long summer days are spent outside a lot; during dark winter days we keep busy in other ways.

Seasons aren't the only reasons to focus on different things at different times of the year. Academic schedules, production and sales cycles, sport events training, and lots of other things have different intensities of activities at different times of the year. It makes sense to focus on these schedules in themselves rather than plot out an entire year at once.

Something similar is the 120 day challenge, where people focus on one main goal for only 120 days. This makes many things easier to do. Running every day, giving up wheat or sugar, or other lifestyle-change goals are easier when you don't think of having to do it forever. 120 days is do-able, and is a long enough period of time to see some results. After that you can decide whether to continue or not, or to focus on a different goal.

This is something I've been thinking about for awhile. I use up a notebook as my Bullet Journal every 3-4 months, which allows me to focus on that period of time more closely than if I were trying to encompass the entire year at once. And anyway it's hard to think and plan past the next few months because plans and situations change. I spent a lot of years trying to plan as far in the future as I could. Now it feels good to focus on the shorter term.

Have you read the book The 12-Week Year, or something like it? Have you done a 120 day challenge? Do you focus on certain goals in bursts, or at different times of the year?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Free For All Friday No. 33: Tidy or Messy?

My planner is a mess. But I don't mind. My handwriting is scrawly, I don't decorate, heck I don't even keep my writing between the lines. When plans change I scribble them out or, if I really need the space, white it out with correction fluid. I arrow tasks over to the next day, check off, circle, write over. I use different colors of pen for no apparent reason (it was the one within reach at the time). The pages end up looking like an organic reflection of my life in general: appearances aren't important to me, but functionality is.

I admire people's tidy planner pages with gorgeous handwriting and decorated borders, but I don't function that way myself.

Do you like your planner to be tidy? Or is yours a mess like mine?

And as always on Fridays, feel free to discuss anything planner-related!