Monday, February 24, 2014

Week 8 before and after, week 9 before, and the mysterious week 7

My last post showed you week 6 before and after shots of my DIYFish LifeMapping inserts. Somehow I lost week 7 in translation. We've had a couple really crazy weeks here at Wit's End, what with the weather craziness and subsequent school cancellations. Last week the sprogs already had Monday and Friday scheduled off school, then Tuesday was cancelled because of weather and we took them out for a half-day on Thursday for appointments. So they went to school for one and half days last week. Sheesh.

So, yeah, I'm going to blame my slacking on Mother Nature. Sure. Sounds good.

Moving on! Today I have before and after shots (condensed somewhat) of week 8 and before pictures of week 9. If you have any questions about where I got any of the decorations or how I'm using any particular section, let me know. I like to decorate, but it's more important to me that my planner be functional. I tend to keep decorations to areas that aren't used a lot.

On to the pictures...

The week seems a little sparse just because of how much time I spent with the sprogs instead of working. I also had a flu bug of some sort at the end of the week which effected my productivity. I'm looking forward to this week and I'm happy I've gotten myself pretty well organized today.

So here are my pages for this week:

This week is split into two separate weekly sheets because March cuts in at the end. Go ahead, March. Cut right in BECAUSE YOU MEAN SPRING IS COMING. Yes, thanks.

This week's decorations consisted of washi tape and stickers, while last week was a lot of washi and sticky notes.

Happy planning everyone!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Before and after of DIYFish LMI V2.0, week 6

Hey, planning friends!

Today I have photos for you of my use of DIYFish's LifeMapping Inserts, version 2.0. Fish has version 2.1 available now, so mine are slightly different than what you can get on her Etsy store here.

So on to the pictures and some explanations.

This is the current set-up. I'm in a trial period of having my work and home/personal information and schedules all consolidated into this A5 Malden. Using Fish's inserts is working brilliantly. The only items I can't fit into this Malden are my movie and book review notes. I keep those in a separate binder. I do have everything else including pertinent paperwork for the sprogs' school, passwords, meal planning, etc in this one. My husband has been converted (mwahahhahahaa.... come to the dark side....) and he's using Fish's personal size LMI v2.1. He's tracking work and home in his planner. I *may* be able to convince him to let us take a tour. We'll see. It will require bribery.

I'm using an Orla Kiely make-up bag from Target to carry my essentials around the house and sometimes in the car. I don't need to take my A5 with me very often, so this is mostly so I can indulge my laziness and track the weather with my little stickers and do my color-coding whilst on the couch under a pile of corgis. Yeah, I'm that girl. The things you see in this bag are really the only things necessary for me to use my planner. The decorations are fun, but definitely not the real purpose of the planner. Some folks love lots of decorations... I prefer to keep it more functional. The things you see on my pages are stickers, sticky notes (big fan), and a little washi.

I'm using LePens. I switched to them after my Stabilos (or just the purple one) ran out. I actually tried to move to InkJoy ballpoints, but because some of the lighter colors were difficult to see on the page, specifically orange and light green. I like the feel of the InkJoy pens... they write smoothly and really beautifully, but the LePens offer deeper colors, and I prefer that. It's actually the third or fourth time I've gone back to LePens. Someday I'll learn.

I also use Zebra Mildliners on my monthly pages. More about that later. I keep my weather stickers and some hole reinforcement stickers in the left pocket. My meal planning flags are loose in the bag. On the right are scissors, a white-out pen, a few sticky notes, and an empty little Post-It pocket.

Okay, so the before and afters...

This is the weekly view for Week 6. I have our meal plan and weather forecast in the boxes next to the task chart. The task chart is color coded. I've hidden some medical information. I normally take the meal planning flag off and write in what we actually had after we eat. Sometimes meals move around or change, so I use the flags until it's official. I left the one flag at the top because my younger son chose that meal and wrote it on the flag. It's a nice little reminder of his participation in our family organization. I will glue it down and leave it.

As you can see, there are days that are crazy and days that aren't. I also like to keep little mementos or photos on some days, like the card I received with a RAK and a photo of the snow from our front door on Sunday.

So, should I continue with the before and after shots? Would you like to see the before picture at the beginning of the week, or keep them more like this, a comparison kind of post?

Thanks to those who have left comments recently! It means a lot. If there's something you want to see or share or have advice for me about pens or printing or decorating, fire away!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

PlannerNerds February photo challenge!

Join me for some creative fun!

Also posted to my profile on Instagram @vodkasoylatte. This is meant to be a fun and no-pressure way to share our planners. Just take a photo of something each that represents the prompt. Very open to interpretation. You must include your planner in each photo. You can either make a photo album here and post your photos or use an instagram account. There's also no pressure on time limits. Whenever. Work ahead, wait until the end, whatever! It's just meant to be fun and way to be creative with your planner each day.

Post your pictures on your blog and leave me a comment so I can visit! A link back here would be great.

Have fun!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

DIYFish inserts, Malden families, and 365/30 oh my!

Hi everyone! It's absolutely positively frigid here and the sprogs are off school again. Delays and closures seem to be the norm lately, what with the subzero temps. Even the corgis have cabin fever, but the super-cold snow hurts their little paws. I've resorted to treating their feet with the paw wax that mushers use on sled dogs. Poor things.

I am still very happily moving along in my DIYFish inserts. Love them! I have successfully merged home and work into one binder (and now I have several binders I'm not using... sad face). I am thinking about using the larger box on the left page for work and keeping slightly more extensive records, but since the only thing I need from my work planner is to keep track of my daily obligations, I'm not sure it's necessary. Right now I've got my work to-do list in the bottom right box and it's working, but I'm opening to switching things up a little and seeing if it's better. I think I'll give it a try next week.

If anyone is interested I can share photos of before and after to see what my week looks like and how I'm handling information on each type of page. I'm not sure how much is too much, so please leave me some feedback.

I received an A5 Malden in ochre this past week, and I think my Malden family is almost complete. I will add a pocket in black, but I really don't think I'm interested in any of the other color/size combinations. I love the little mini and I'm on the lookout for card holders for it, so if anyone can point me in the right direction, that would be great. Here's a photo of my Malden family:

I've started the 365/30 lists. I'd been seeing things about the 365/30 idea on other planner blogs, Instagram, and Facebook, so I found a Facebook group for Philofaxy users and joined up. This is the description from the group:

This is the 30 days of lists/blog posts for people in the Philofaxy world! We all love making lists, and we all love our Filofaxes, so here are lists of lists you could make in your Filofax, or use as journalling prompts! :)

On the last day or first of every month there will be a new set of lists for the whole month published, in a document in the Files section of the group. There will be a notification on the Facebook wall.

Read the title to that list for the corresponding day, and you can make the list how ever you like. You can write it on a sheet of paper, write it in your Filofax, draw a picture, make a blog post, do a video, it's completely up to you, there are no rules, you can take the title how ever you want and be as imaginative with it as you like. 

 I have a Midori Travelers' Notebook that was begging to be used, so I decided to go ahead and do my 365/30 lists in the Midori. I'm enjoying it so far because there's very little pressure and most of my writing comes with at least a little of that. I think of the 365/30 lists as guided journaling, and at the very least I'll have a pretty cool journal to leave my kids. At best, I'll find it a great tool for relaxing and a little self-discovery, and, I have a feeling, a source of fodder for some fiction. So far it's been lots of fun. Here are some pictures of a few of the more interesting pages...
Left page: my five favorite childhood toys        Right page: my favorite subjects in school
Left page: music I would like to be able to play on an instrument       Right page: favorite desserts

Left page: favorite breakfasts              Right page: dream vacations

I'm still toying with the idea of making videos comparing the sizes of Filofaxes (A5, personal, compact, pocket, and mini) and different models. I've had some great feedback on my DIYFish video, so thanks very much for that!

I'm also doing my Plannernerds Photo Challenge on Instagram, so come check me out @vodkasoylatte.

Happy planning, everyone!

Friday, January 17, 2014

DIYFish inserts and my first ever VIDEO!!

Hey there planner friends!

Happy Friday to everyone! Today is my husband's birthday, so everyone yell HAPPY DAY, MR. LATTE!

So anyway, on to the video! Back in November I saw these awesome inserts by DIYFish. She calls them LifeMapping Version 02. They are amazing. I'd been toying with the idea of combining work and home information into one planner, but wasn't sure how I would be able to do it, since work requires something very different than home. Fish's inserts manage to fit that bill.

It's very difficult to explain them through pictures and words, so I made a video! This is about 10 minutes long, so be sure to have the time. Please leave me a comment if you have questions or want to know more information.

Yes, I have blue fingernails. ;)

You can find these inserts at her Etsy shop: DIYFish
She also blogs about her system and life at: Wondereland

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

And again with the long time...

But the holidays knock me for a loop. They do every year. My kids get 2 1/2 weeks off and I look at that time and think "PROJECT!" Since there's no homework to nag about and no real schedule to keep, I figure it opens up all sorts of options for getting things done. What I always fail to think about, though, is how much is involved in just having the holidays. My parents came out and stayed for a few days and there were many friends to visit and lots of wrapping and  baking and decorating then undecorating. It's overwhelming. When I think about the fact that I usually feel like I'm just barely holding my head above water during the rest of the year, then toss in all the obligations around the holidays and my grandiose notions of getting extra things done... it usually doesn't turn out well.

BUT! Done is done, and my sprogs are getting to an age where we will be able to travel or do things besides bake and decorate. And now I'm facing a new year with all the possibilities that come along with a blank page. I like that part.

I get a few extra things done over break. This year we decided to tackle the kitchen ceiling. It needed sanded and painted from when we had recessed lighting installed. I also grouted a section of tile in the kitchen that was long overdue for attention. Those were the big house projects. We got a new refrigerator, too, since I wanted to stab the old one. It's very shiny and it sings a nice tune when it fills your glass.

So, as I promised in my last post, I'll show you my portable setup, which I'm using quite successfully. I've also switched into a new kind of inserts in my A5, made by DIYFish, and I love them.

Like I mentioned before, I'm using an aqua personal Malden for my main wallet.

I also carry a small Coach bag for my phone. This also enables me to carry just this little bag if I'm making a quick trip to the store or somewhere I won't need my calendar and all the goodies my Malden brings along.

My iPhone 5 fits nicely in this little bag and I can slip my drivers' license, insurance card, debit card, and some cash in easily. Just the basics.

Here's my little bag with phone and cash.

The Malden has vertical slots on the inside cover. I find these are perfectly adequate for the cards I use most often, like my license, debit card, and a few loyalty/membership cards.

In addition to the card slots, I use plastic sleeve card holders for other things I carry, like a few credit cards, insurance cards for the sprogs, coupons (of which I use very few) and membership cards used less frequently. 

I keep a current calendar in my Malden. These are just the Filofax Month on two pages, but for 2014 I've moved into beautiful pages by KiddyQualia on Etsy. The paper is heavier weight so there's no bleed through no matter what pens I use and the months are not double sided, so I can write notes on the backs of the months or insert papers if needed before or after a month. I sync this calendar with my big A5 master calendar as needed or once a week when I sit down to plan my week.

This calendar is really the main reason I decided to start carrying the Malden as my wallet. Too many times have I been at the doctors' office or dentist (or hair dresser or vet... or any number of places) by myself or with the sprogs and made a follow-up appointment only to discover later that there's a time conflict. And then I make the phone call the change the appointment. This helps tremendously for me to better organize my time efficiently. 

I keep some blank pages at the back in case I need to record anything while I'm out.

This is working really well for me. As long as I use a purse big enough for the Malden, I'm good. My regular purse, which is not terribly large, is perfect. 

I'll update again soon with a post about the new inserts. I have a video ready to show you for it!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sorry so long... (picture heavy)

Yeah, I took my time coming back to the blog, because, frankly I wasn't sure if I was coming back. The planner board I belonged to on Facebook imploded and the owner shut it down, quickly, and with very little warning. The reason was "drama," and although I'm sure that there were a lot of things going on that I was unaware of, I believe drama breeds drama, and I wouldn't have given in so quickly.

Just my opinion, and you know what they say about those.

So I found a new "home" to chat with like-minded people and so far it seems to be going along just swimmingly. And my own love of planning and the written part of organizing my life and my family isn't going to go away. Nope. So I figured I would come back and give this another shot. You can also find me on Instagram now under the handle Vodkasoylatte.

I still love Filofax. I did get a Gillio, and I'll be happy to post pictures if everyone is interested. I'm not currently using it, as I purchased it to be used as a wallet and for some very special reasons, I've gone back to a personal FF as my wallet. I'll get into that later.

If you note, I also took my own name down from my little bio thingie there on the side because I'm working on remaining just slightly anonymous. Most of you reading this will know who I am because I directed you here, but for those stumbling across it randomly, no offense. Something about drama. Ain't nobody got time for dat.

I have a rather large selection of Filofaxes. Surprisingly, many of them are in use. In addition to the stack below, which I will explain, my husband and I use two A5s for our finances and one A5 for our family medical records that might need to be accessed quickly.

Stacks and stacks of Filofaxes.

This group right here, though, is my own personal stack. The A5 Original on the bottom is used for notes on reviewing books and movies and blog notes for my author blog. Next up is the A5 Charleston, which I am in love with, and use for my work schedule. The A5 Malden is the true workhorse and is for everything else... home maintenance scheduling, sprog wrangling, meal planning, chore chart, etc. The personal Malden is my wallet/portable calendar. The orange one up there is a pencil case and the purple on the very top is a phone wallet and I'll talk more about that, too in another post.

The first one I want to show off is the Charleston. It's a relatively new model from Filofax, and I got it in (of course) purple.

Filofax A5 Charleston in purple. It's a very dark purple.

Card slots on the left, fabric interior.
I moved the cover sheet over with my calendar. See above for what the inside of the Charleston looks like. If anyone wants to see more pics of the binder without pages, please leave me a comment and I'm happy to do that.

It's a very classy and classic design. I read somewhere it's inspired by the 1920s era designs. Don't quote me on that. I love the simple gold popper on the tab. I'm using it for my work calendar. I was in just the A5 Original for my work binder for a long time, but when I added the 2014 calendar from KiddyQualia (on Etsy), I realized I would need more space.

This design really utilizes the entire available space. Color me impressed.

I have the month-on-two-pages and the week-on-two-pages views. The paper quality is exceptional and I love the simple designs. Plenty of space for writing.

I have tasks that repeat during the week, so I write them out on Sundays when I'm planning the rest of the schedule.

There's a space at the top of the left page for notes (I'm keeping my reading projects up there) and large spaces for each day. Like I said, the paper quality can't be beat and KiddyQualia lets you choose your color. I also have graph paper that I'm using for my daily focus pages. Find this wonderful product here.

So I pulled all my blog notes and reviewing notes out of the Charleston and moved them into the Original, which is working well.

You can find these sheet holder on Amazon.
I also found these awesome Avery sheet holders. They're not punched for a Filofax, but it's easy to fix that. I needed a place to keep printed travel information and other business info, so these are perfect.

This is a good way to carry around full-sized sheets you don't want to punch.

This is a confirmation for a writers' retreat next year. Wheee!

The A5 purple Malden is still my main planner.

Perfection in a planner.

Love this binder. It's perfect, really.

I love Buzz Lightyear.
I keep a dashboard with extra stickies and several pockets in the front. Under those orange post-its is a list of important phone numbers. Inside that pocket are clipped recipes or things I've held onto (the slip of paper Elder Sprog wrote our address on for the first time, a card that came with flowers, an anniversary card my sprogs made for hubby and me). The cervical cancer awareness ribbon is part of the reason I've moved into my aqua Malden as my wallet.

This is used to record days the sprogs are off school, my own travel plans, or hubby's days off and travel plans.
I keep a Filofax year-at-a-glance in here, as well.

I went crazy a month or so ago and purchased an Erin Condren Life Planner. I'd been using the Filofax calendar pages, but was really unhappy with the paper quality. I also felt like I was spending too much time with my list stamp making big sections of lined, checkboxed lists. While it was fun, in a way, it didn't feel terribly efficient, and after I saw the Erin Condren, I decided to give it a go. I ordered the Life Planner knowing I would be cutting it off a spiral binding and trimming it to fit in my Malden. I just knew I wouldn't function in a bound planner, because I move things around way too much.

Here's the result:

The "keep it together" folder came with the Erin Condren planner. On the left is a list of stores we frequent and their phone numbers and hours.

Here's a look at the ECLP layout. I did have to punch slightly in the inner boxes to make it fit in my Malden. No worries!
This is how I generally use the ECLP. Lists to the left, daily weather observations above, water intake, family members schedules. The bookmark is a Project Life divider I trimmed down and punched for in the planner. I keep stickies with our weekly meal plan, times for pick-up from after-school activities, and other little pretties on it.

I found this awesome little sticky note holder at Mochi Things. If you look closely at the Project Life divider, you'll see another clear plastic piece with Mon-Sun and MEMO printed on it. The flags fit on the days perfectly and I record the weather forecast and our dinner plans on a flag, then stick it to the day. Love this thing.

I even managed to get the ECLP notes section in my planner.

I use more of the Avery sheet holders in my Malden.

My husband made this awesome foldout notepad holder for me. I can pull the notepad out to make notes and consult my calendar without actually taking it out of the Malden.

I got a new pencil case. Just because.

I carry pens, a white-out pen, flags, and stickers in this thing.

Like I mentioned before, I purchased a Gillio, specifically a Gillio medium Mia Cara in black. I used him (named Leo) for quite awhile before I moved into my aqua personal Malden. Back in August, I lost a good friend to cervical cancer. Teal is the ribbon color for cervical cancer awareness. It didn't seem right to not use this color in her honor.

So I do.

And because this post is getting awfully long, I will leave my portable system update for another day.

Please, seriously, if you have questions, leave me a comment! I hate feeling like I'm talking at myself in cyberspace here. ;-)

So happy planning, wherever you are.