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!