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.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Deadlines and Filofaxes

I'm back again, lovely readers. I'm still Filofaxing and trying to keep up with the bazillion things going on.

I've got a writing deadline looming and a release coming up awfully quickly. I'm so over the moon about the release and I'm holding a Facebook release party complete with prizes. I'll do something local, too, I've got some plans for close family and friends and I'm working with a store here in da 'Burgh that carries zombie-themed stuff. So that's very exciting. I've gotten a few blurbs for my novel that humble me, seriously. If these blurbers are being honest, then I've actually written a good book. (Sometimes it's tough for writers to see their own work objectively... okay, most of the time.)

If you want to support a writer, it's really very easy, AND you'd be in the running for a couple of pretty awesome zombie prizes. Go like my author on FB and click to join my release event. If you come to the event page on November 2 and leave me a message or a question, you'll be entered for the prizes. More on those prizes later. Here's the link to my author page: right HERE, and here's one to the event page HERE. Folks who like my author page get earliest news on new releases and some other fun tidbits. I'm not a spammer and I don't update more than a few times a week.

Anywho, I'm taking part in ABFOL's next photo challenge.

I haven't posted any photos yet, and I'm not going to inundate you today, here are the first four:

Day 1 -  Cover
These are the three planners I use most... A5 purple Malden for home/personal, A5 purple Original for work, and personal purple Malden for on-the-go/wallet.

Day 2 - Where you plan
In last month's challenge I showed you my desk. Here is the other place I plan: in my family room. That cheeky red dog is in my seat.

Day 3 - Orange
Here is October with orange decorations.

Day 4 - Dividers
I use top and side tab dividers in my home/personal planner.

I'll update again soon to catch up with the photo challenge and show you my weekly pages. See you soon!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Busy Being Filofabulous

Hey there intrepid readers!

I've had an incredibly busy week or so, what with a business trip to Las Vegas and then trying to put my house back together from my parents staying here with my kids. It's not like my folks actually have kegger parties or anything, but all the usual little stuff that we do to keep things running smoothly doesn't get done.

We're almost caught up, so I thought I'd take a minute and update here.

Las Vegas was FABULOUS. It was my first visit to Sin City and we had a blast. I did spend time at my business conference, including being a panelist on a crime writing panel, but we managed to see some of the Strip as well. My favorite bits were our time spent at the Strip Gun Club, where I got some instruct on handling a Glock and going to see Cirque du Soleil's Zumanity.

Here's me on the crime writing panel with some amazing writers (and a cop):

Anyway... on to the Filofax.

Here's week 39 (just completing today)...

 And here's week 40 (starts tomorrow)...

And here's my pictures from the Planner Addicts Photo-A-Day Challenge (I've been posting to the Planner Addicts group on Facebook, so I'm not really behind)...

Day 14 - Stuffed full

This is the personal size Malden I use as my wallet.

Day 15 - Leaning tower of planners

Is there a 12-step program for this?

Day 16 - Supplies

My supply drawers. Fairly moderate compared to some I've seen.

Day 17 - Creative

My clear dividers. I make them myself. Mighty proud of those, since I'm not really crafty.

Day 18 - By your drink

I was at the airport. That's my husband's breakfast across the table.

Day 19 - Planner caddy

Since I was in Vegas, my caddy was my carry-on and a pen case. I don't use a caddy at home. Everything pretty much stays in one place.

Day 20 - Handwriting

I've never been impressed with my own handwriting.

Day 21 - Color-coded

I don't actually color code on the pages, but I like to make my ink color coordinate with my decorations. Go ahead and laugh.

Day 22 - Post-Its and flags

I don't actually use a ton of these, but sometimes I do if it's something I need to really need be aware of. I think I wrote new bus schedules on this one.

Day 23 - To do 

I use a to do list stamper on the notes pages of my week view.
Day 24 - Brand new

This is a new-to-me Filofax Bloomsbury in teal.
Day 25 - Pockets

I stuck a Post-It pocket to a plastic FF sleeve. I keep stickers in the sleeve and recipes in the Post-It pocket. There's also a business card holder there.
Day 26 - Pen case

I have a Frixion addiction.
Day 27 - Planner charms

Day 28 - On the shelf

These are the three I use most... the A5 Malden, the A5 Original, and the personal Malden

Day 29 - Love

I originally shared a photo of my sprogs, but I'm not keen on putting them on a public blog. So here are some other loves. Daryl Dixon, a voodoo doll, and an alpaca that my mom got me. And books. Lovely, lovely books.

Parting shot... me and the husband at Zumanity in Las Vegas...

I hope your week is lovely and productive!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Filofaxing Under a Bad Sign

Friday the 13th! I'm a horror writer, these days make me happy!

I have a busy weekend ahead of me. I'm getting ready to do some business travel, so I'll be packing and making sure the rest of family is ready to be left behind. This past week has been busy, as usual, but more on the work front than with home stuff.

Here's this week...

Not too bad. I was really excited to have FINALLY seen World War Z.

And here's next week...

Most of my week will be spent out of town, so my weekend will revolve around making sure the rest of the family can survive without me!

Finally, I have to catch up with the Planner Addicts Photo-a-Day Challenge!

Day 12 - Month at a Glance

Day 13 - Selfie with Planner

Yeah.... no. I submitted the selfie to the closed FB group so I'm still technically taking part in the challenge, but I'm not so into the full-on selfie picture right here. It's been very humid around here and I have naturally curly hair. 'Nuff said.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Filofax Girl

I've been seeing lots of questions about which Filofax might be best to use as a wallet. Naturally, depending on what you need and your personal preferences, your mileage will vary, but I use my Filofax personal sized Malden as my wallet and it's working out very well.

So here (in a rather large nutshell) is my review of the Filofax personal sized Malden used as a wallet...

So, first things first... this is my purple personal Malden.


Here's a picture of it (I know some people assign gender and names to them... I'm not there yet... but I do name my car) in my hand for scale. I'm 5'8," so if you're petite this will be different for you.

This is the front cover. On the left are several card slots and a zippered pocket. I use the zippered pocket for coins (which I do not carry a lot of) and my lucky poker chip. Yes, I am that person. The most commonly used cards go in these slots: my health insurance card, my drivers' license, grocery store loyalty card, bank debit card, etc.

I keep a slim Frixion pen (in purple) in the leather pen loop on the right.

Ignore the odd reflection of my dining room chandelier.

There is a larger pocket behind the card slots where I keep my cash. It's deep and I feel like my cash is secure in there. You know, all those ones.

Next up are the extra card sleeves. I have four and each one holds up to six cards. In these, I carry the cards I don't use as often, like the sprogs' health insurance cards, a couple of credit cards, and an insane number of gift cards that we haven't gotten around to using yet. I like this because I can actually see all the gift cards instead of shoving into the recesses of another wallet where they hide and I forget I have them. I also have a couple zippered pouches in here for odds and ends, like my emergency twenty, my motorcycle license (I haven't had it officially printed on my regular license yet, but that will be soon) and a Valentine my son gave me while we were at Children's Hospital.

Behind the card sleeves is my calendar. I carry only the month view and only keep things like appointments and other time obligations in it so if we're out and I have to schedule something, I have it all here. I usually sync this with my A5 home binder once a week, just so they're both up to date.

And this is the back. There is another large pocket on the back and a sleeve where a notepad can go.

Before I moved into the Malden, I was using this Coach large wallet. I do love it. But I had a terrible time keeping track of appointments and whatnot while I was out and inevitably made a hair appointment for the same time my sprogs had a dentist appointment or something equally irritating. I didn't want to carry a separate planner, and I was kind of frustrated with how most of my stuff was jammed into the wallet, and I had to drag all the gift cards out to find the one I wanted, and that was if I even remembered I had it.

Here's another view of the wallet and the Malden. Sorry for the lighting. This was just before Mother Nature dumped buckets on us.

And here's a side by side comparison of my checkbook, just a standard, regular old checkbook, next to the Malden.

So my transition into the Malden-as-wallet has been really easy. It does make things simpler for me in the long run, and while it does take up a little more space in my bag, it's completely worth it.