Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hacked my Classic-sized 2PPD Simplicity pages by Franklin Covey

Took a polypropylene folder and cut it down to fit, then had gal at Office Max spiral bind this for $3.50.  Just trying it out to see if I would like it to carry around in my purse to give me more room that the DayTimer pages I JUST posted about two posts ago.  I decided to try this before spending a bunch of cash on the Classic-sized Franklin Cover 2PPD Metropolitan, which comes in one-month wire-bound allotments.

I like the inside vertical pocket (it's actually a horizontal pocket in its original incarnation.

This picture is turned around and I don't want to bother re-orienting it, too much trouble.  Note that the spiral binding, as opposed to wire-binding, makes the left and right pages lay unaligned when open.  I don't like that.  However, not a deal-breaker.  The deal breaker is that, after trying this out, I prefer DayTimer/Fossil wallet combo because the wallet closes easily and protects the pages AND, especially, the wallet pockets hold a variety of writing implements so paper and pencils/pens are always together.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Wednesday is December 12, 2012, aka 12-12-12.  It will be another 89 years before we have another triple-digit day: January 1, 2101.

Significant?  I don't know, but 12-12-12 is an easy-to-remember date to be born or to get married (or for anything of significance!).

Fossil wallet plus DayTimer 2PPD

In August I switched to Franklin Covey Classic size with a variety of inserts and settled on 2PPW using FC's 5 Choices layout (those pages are spiral-bound, so I removed them from the spiral and punched them for my binder).  I was using it with DayTimer's 1PPD, but the whole thing became too big and heavy to easily carry around.  I don't mind having the weekly pages (where I keep all my appointments and weekly to-do's) sit in one spot near my desk, but I need my daily pages constantly accessible.  I want something that allows me to keep track of my schedule for the day, plus have enough room to make lists and do a little journaling.  I also want to carry a variety of writing implements. I wanted it small enough that I can throw it in my purse, have it open on the seat next to me in the car, and just, overall, be easily accessible wherever I am.  So this is what I came up with with.

DayTimer 2PPD - tabbed - and a Fossil wallet I had on hand and wasn't using (Fossil wallets are my favorite; good organzitions, great colors, and buttery-soft leather).

I don't pay attention to the headings dividing the pages, I just write whatever I want wherever I want, with the exception of the timed slots.  I often fill up the pages completely.

In the pic below I pulled the booklet out a bit so you can see how it slides in.  The booklets encompass one month with five months of 2PPM in the back (which I don't use).

I don't use this as a wallet because I've tried combining planners and wallets before and I don't like it.  Wallets feel 'dirty' to me - they are everywhere, sitting on counters at various establishments.  Also, this planner floats around the house - next to my bed, on the dining table, by the couch, etc., and I want my wallet to ALWAYS be in my purse so I know it will be with me if I have to rush out the door.

This wallet is so feature-rich that I have a compartment on the back that goes unused.

A monthly spread.

Sometimes I attach my pen to the current page and snap the wallet closed.  Sometimes I hang it by the loop attached to the front zipper.  Sometimes it goes into the pocket with the other pens/pencils/highlighters/erasers.

That's it, lovies!  Good luck to ALL of us as we go round and round like a dog settling into its bed, looking for the comfortable feeling of the perfect planning set-up for 2013!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Makeup bag as pencil pouch

Here is a lovely little pencil pouch that I picked up in the toiletries aisle at Walmart or CVS, can't remember which.  It's very convenient in that it stays open and upright on the table when in use, and zips closed to a compact size.  Note the zippered, shallow compartment on the bottom, perfect for tabs and post-its.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

How I Track Projects

So, as promised to LimeTree, here are some pictures of the system I am currently using to track projects.  It's based on David Allen's GTD binder (not the book, I could never get through that!), which I bought at Staples.
First off, just last week I separated all I'm about to show you from my planner/journal pages.  I now have two separate binders and feel much better.  Having everything in one binder was just too darn heavy and too squashed and too oppressive -- too many to-do's in one place!  Besides, I don't need to look at the project stuff daily.  I look at it weekly IF I'm really on the ball. 
It's a new system to me as of August, so it's still in progress.  After I took the pics I realize that I can consolidate some projects.
This is the first time I've actually developed a system to track projects; in the past I've typically been preoccupied with what was immediately in front of me and no further.  So far I'm very happy with it as I've made progress in some of the projects AND I have a place to log details of projects that are not yet underway.
Let's get down to it.
First, my homemade page lifter (I removed the heavy plastic cover from a notebook and cut and punched it to fit, then used double-sided sticky dots to attach Hello Kitty, which covers the notebook logo):

Below is DayTimer grid paper (desk-sized; all pages are 5.5 x 8.5 inches).  I've cut off the right-hand edge.  These are blank and for future use.  The five section dividers are from Martha Stewart's collection and I found them at Staples.  They are a nice, heavy, card stock.  I only used the categories of GTD (Getting Things Done) that I found useful

Below is the first page of my NOTES section.  This is an actual insert from the GTD organizer.  It's somewhat of a random area, a braindump section, and I don't really use it much, but I might.  I'm okay with the jumbledness of it, and I've decided not to put any time-sensitive stuff in it so it's okay if I forget about it.  The official GTD instructions for using this section is immediately after this picture.

Here are the GTD instructions for NOTES.  I put all the GTD instructions at the back of each section so I can refer to them as needed.  I bought the GTD binder strictly for the instructions, not the inserts or the binder (a cheap-o, plain black, padded vinyl affair with no closure... but at least it has rounded corners!  Oh, and only three-rings -- imagine!  The nerve.).

This (below) is what lies immediately behind my ACTIONS LIST.  Now you can see why I trim the right margins of my paper - it allows me to sub-divide each major section.  I love this solution to taming tabs!  Very pleased with myself.

And this is the GTD explanation of ACTION LISTS.  I'm not going to post any more of these pages, I don't want to infringe on copyright or whatever.  This should give you an idea of what the binder contains.  It's pretty awesome.  The instructions alone were worth the money because they made a positive difference for me whereas the book was too overwhelming and only served to make me feel small.

A look at one of the section dividers.  Each section is a different color.


Behind the PROJECT LISTS tab, it looks like this (below).  The smilies temporarily obscure a private category.


Behind the PROJECT DETAILS it looks like this (below).  I'm not showing the complete page for the sake of privacy.

Behind the REFERENCE tab (below).  I have an informal index page that correlates with the A-Z tabs.  Those tabs are intended for an address book, but I've re-purposed them for, again, non-time-sensitive items.  I really like it!  I have a place to dump all the songs I want to load onto my iPod, etc. 
This is what it looks like behind the AB tab:
That's about it, darlings!
P.S.  If you've read the photos closely, you've noticed that I'm "into" movement/exercise.  Here's a clip of me at a Powerlifting Competition last July 2, 2012.  I deadlifted 248 pounds!  It was my fourth competition ever, and all done in the course of one year.  I also bench pressed 99 pounds at the same event.  Below is a pic of our group (I'm third from the right).

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Corner of My World

Hello.  I stopped photographing my most recent set-up because, when it came time to photograph the next page, I realized I wasn't really happy with it, haha! Typical, huh?  You all know the feeling.  So I did some re-arranging and now I'm pleased as punch, but not yet ready to reveal.  Want to live with it a bit.

Here's a pic of my work area with some beautiful tulips my dear hubby bought.  Adore both him and the flowers!

Below is a pic of the same work area from a different angle.  Note the open Franklin Covey Classic binder sitting on the printer to the left of my desk (open to today's two-pages-per-day) and the open A5 Filofax (a Kendal) sitting on my shredder to the right of my chair (my work Filo; lined pages and to-do lists only). That's the back of a white love seat in the left foreground; my 'office' is in a corner of the living room.  Oh, and the printer is atop a red steel drawer pedestal from IKEA.  So handy, great price, too.  And having it out-of-the-way keeps those sharp corners to themselves.

When I shut my laptop, this is what is arrayed on the shelf (below).  These are the pens I don't use regularly.  The ones I use regularly are split between two pen pouches and live in my purse, haha!  Two!  Most of the glasses are from World Market.

Have a good week!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Selling Purple Malden Compact Zipped, too, plus Graphic Image journal

I've added one more Filofax to my Ebay listings - it's a purple leather Malden pocket-sized zipped binder.  Lots and lots of pockets, very flexible in accommodating different needs.

I'm also selling a leather medium travel journal by Graphic Image.  Quite elegant.  The cover is engraved with  WANDERLUST, which I just love.  However, I'm reluctantly letting it go since I realize I need larger formats to accommodate my large writing.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Selling Five Filofaxes and One Franklin Covey Binder!

I dislocated my pinky toe AGAIN yesterday, so I put today's bed-ridden hours to good use by posting five Filofaxes and one Franklin Covey binder - plus a truckload of inserts - on Ebay.  It's exhausting!  Dang.

Listings are here.  If nobody bids against you, I'm essentially giving these away because the base price just covers shipping.  Eh, what can I say?  I like rolling the dice!

Good luck.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

New Set Up - picture 4

This page doesn't serve much of a purpose other than providing yet-another semi-rigid surface to create a smoother writing surface, protecting my paper from all the bumps made by the pockets on the inside cover of the binder.  It is supposed to be a page lifter but it is a little too floppy.  I made it by cutting a folder down to size.  It was the same shape and size of a Pee-Chee folder, but made from polyurethane (I'm not sure I even really know what that is!) or some other sort of plastic material; I then used my single hole punch to punch holes.  I bought the folder at Staples. 

After I found the Day Runner page lifter I didn't really need this one anymore, but it's cute, so I kept it.  I really like the graphics.

See all pics of this set-up (most recent pic shows first).

Thursday, September 20, 2012

New Set Up - picture 3

Working my way ever-so-slowly into my planner...

On the left is a rigid piece of semi-opaque plastic, also known as a page lifter.  I LOVE page lifters - they keep margins/pages from bending/creasing, and create a flatter surface for writing.  The availability of this page lifter actually played into my decision to buy an avocado-green Day Runner binder.  I bought the Day Runner at Staples and cannibalized the parts (some of which I later discarded).  The page lifter, though, is my favorite piece.

Click on pic to enlarge.

Behind the page lifter is the backside of my photos page (see picture 2).

On the right is a piece of paper from a pad of of scrapbooking sheets I found at Walmart on clearance.  I don't scrapbook, so I don't know what those large sheets of beautiful paper printed with photos/textures are called, but they are gorgeous!  I traced an outline of my page lifter on the scrapbook paper and cut it out.  I then used a single-hole puncher and punched the holes one at a time.  I made it so I would have a pretty background for my photos (again, see picture 2).

That's it for today!  Ciao.

See all pics of this set-up (most recent pic shows first).

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Roll out the carpet for the new set up (as of August 2012) - picture 2

Let's see if she'll stop and chat with us.

"Hi, how are you tonight?  Looking good!  Who are you wearing?"

"Hi there!  I'm wearing a Franklin Covey saddle leather binder in dark brown.  If you notice, I have multiple pockets on my inside front cover, including a secretary (open on two sides) pocket and a zip pocket!  I don't typically let the contents spill out of the pockets, that's just for show."

"I like your smiley stickers, where did you get those?"

"I got them from Staples in the school supply aisle and use them (when I remember) to mark particularly nice days or events.  Maudlin and juvenile, I know, and I love it!"

"Nice pen loops, I see you easily fit your highlighter into the left one."

"Yes, this particular designer really knows what we planners need to carry along with us for a night on the town."

"And the photo sheets, I see that they are truly transparent and not semi-opaque."

"Yes, Martha Stewart's design!  Slick, not thick!  The tot on top is an old pic of my little one.  The chaps on the bottom are my son and his freshmen college roommates four years later, at graduation... oh, my!  I have vertigo from time flying!"

"Oh, careful!  Watch your step!"

"I must be going!  Kisses!  Oh, and a shout-out to my Uni-Ball Jetstream 4 + 1 pen/pencil with built-in eraser!"

"Thank you for chatting with us.  [Speaks to camera] Doesn't she look lovely tonight?"

See all pics of this set-up (most recent pic shows first).

Heads up! Moleskine Page-Per-Day Large Size - month boxes gone for 2013!

Look at the difference between how the months display for 2012 (left) and 2013 (right)!

I admit, I always thought that the one-page-per-day month layout was too small for planning, but I DO use it to track the days I exercise so I can see at a glance if I've been slacking or keeping my nose to the grindstone (the rest of the volume is devoted to the actual details of each workout - exercise, weight used, reps, sets, etc. A sweaty mess of scribble-scrawls).

Anyway, I thought to mention this because some people might be in for a shock of disappointment, perhaps.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Franklin Covey binder cover

Okay, so the exercise blogging (see last post!) hasn't manifested itself over the past few days.  It's just too tedious to transcribe scribbles from my hard-copy gym journal.  I see no point.  

Here, though, is a photo of my new set-up.  It's a desk-size Franklin Covey binder, similar in size to a Filofax A5.  It's brown saddle leather and feels great, though it doesn't have the wonderfully strong smell of leather like my black Kendal A5 FF.  It's a little more rigid than the Kendal, and I like that.  It also has a larger, more square, snap flap, which I like, AND larger pen loops!   

That's it for today!  I would LOVE to offer a cornucopia of images detailing the entire set-up, but the thought of creating such a complex post is exhausting, so I'm going for low fuss, no muss.  Now back to my binder to figure out how I can accomplish the to-do's I've set for myself!

See all pics of this set-up (most recent pic shows first).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Direction change from Filofaxes to Fitness

I recently (last month) dumped my ENTIRE personal-size Filofax set up in favor of a desk-sized Franklin Covey binder filled with DayTimer and Mead and Martha Stewart inserts!!!!  I know.  Blasphemy.  And such sweet sorrow to box up my Amazona.

It all started because I wanted more space to write in, so I was going to move into the larger A5 FF.  But then I couldn't find the refills I wanted for my A5 FF, and I was going mad.  It was REALLY ridiculous. One Saturday I drove all over town (and Los Angeles is a BIG town) and even borrowed a huge paper cutter at Utrecht so I could see how well a Rhodia notebook would fit into my A5.  There I was, pulling strings out of the spine then shoving the pages under the dull blade, cutting up a brand new notebook into less-than-straight sheets, knowing full well that I would still have to put in the labor of punching holes, and decided BAH, HUMBUG!  There's got to be a better way.

LOOOOONG story short, after another day-and-a-half of very focused (obsessed) shopping later in the week, I ended up with a beautiful binder that is serving me well.  It's pretty damn cool, I must say.  There were some happy accidents along the way.  I want to use it for a couple of more months to make sure it stands the test of time before posting pics.  The hardest part was finding a decent binder!  I went to six or seven different office supply stores in one day before I found a lovely, dark brown, saddle leather Franklin Covey binder.  It reminds me of my Kendal, but not as soft.  I found it at Staples.  It wasn't at any of the other three Staples stores I went to, nor at any of the Office Depots or the Office Max, so it was no wonder that I danced in the aisle when I found this beauty.  Overall, the FC and Day Timer binder choices are pitiful. However, the insert choices are exciting, the exact inverse of the Filofax line.

So, my intention now is to blog about a fitness program I just started, but WHO KNOWS if that will really happen!  I mean, the program is happening, but blogging about it takes a back seat.

Catch you all later, and hope your organizational dreams are coming true!!!  Love.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Shabby Chic Bookcase Finds Purpose

I requisitioned an underutilized bookcase from my sons' closet and moved it next to my desk.  I then retrieved all of my Filofax supplies from their various squats - from under my desk, from the bottom shelf of a cabinet, and from the difficult-to-access shelf of an end table.

The bottom shelf holds unused FFs, plus an index card box with both pocket and mini inserts.  The middle shelf holds a larger index card box with personal inserts, topped by the orange A5 that serves as an archive and storage for inserts I use in my black Kendal A5.  I use the Kendal A5 for large projects that are in process; f'r instance, I used it to plan a family trip to see our son graduate from college in May, and I'm using it now to plan the kitchen re-model for my mother-in-law.

The five upright black binders are from PlanAhead and hold 2012 archives and commonly used inserts for my personal black Amazona and black Holborn. One is empty.  My Amazona is my planner and brain dump, it's my good friend.  The Holborn holds the family finances.  It's filled primarily with budget-tracking sheets and graph paper.  Oh!  And I almost forgot to mention my brown compact Regency!!  Beautiful!  I have her filled with custom-cut Clairfontaine paper with the purpose of journaling/writing, but she's not yet fully integrated into my life -- it's so hard to keep up.

Where there's life, there's hope.

The slate-gray pocket Urban on the top shelf is used for work.  My Amazona lies open on the shredder next to the bookshelf.

It looks so lovely, right after all the tidying!  I do love that 'fresh start' feeling!

Hair Clip as headphone organizer

I have always wanted the bone-shaped leather headphone organizer from Levenger but didn't want to shell out the $15 (or more?).  

Levenger-less, I found that this suffices in keeping my headphones untangled in my purse.

Monday, June 18, 2012

An Embarrassment of Riches - Filebox of Filofax Inserts

I organized all of my miscellaneous personal-sized inserts today. And these are just the ones I DON'T use regularly.  The ones I use regularly are kept in two PlanAhead binders.  All of the ones in this box are inserts that either came pre-loaded with new Filofaxes, or they are ones that I purchased and then discarded.  However, I save them because (a) I might want to sell them as part of a Filofax, or give them away and (b) I might think one day that I really NEED a particular format again for some new purpose.  This way, even if they are out of date, I have them and can play around with them and decide whether or not I really NEED to re-purchase with the current date.


P.S.  I use Chrome and I have to left-click on the image once, then right-click on the image and select 'open image in new tab', go to that tab and then click on THAT image in order to make it larger and more legible. So, five clicks (counting the jump to the new tab) to make it big.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Personal size PlanAhead for less than $12! Cleverly designed.

I bought this PlanAhead ring binder from CVS the other day for less than $12!  It's vinyl, of course.  It's not horrible, either, it actually feels pretty good in the hand.  It has some padding and heft.  It's on the left, below.  My personal Amazona is next to it for scale, not for intimidation.

I bought it for three things.  The calculator is one of them (visible through the semi-opaque page lifter, which I will definitely cannibalize, too).

Note the full length pocket  - such a great feature.  So convenient for stashing receipts, grocery lists, checkbooks, etc. 

And I also bought it for the vertical WO2P, below.  My MO2P is getting mighty crowded, so I wanted to experiment before spending time printing out homemade ones with pretty colors and nice paper.  BTW, the paper is definitely mediocre, but not horrible.  Not rough.  Note pages are undated.  Nice empty box at the bottom of each column - put to use to suit your own purposes.  

So nice that they include a page for the month's highlights.  I use that a lot in my current planner, even adding in additional pages. 

Here's the month overview.  Yes, MO2P AND WO2P!

To Do List.  Nothing special.  Nothing bad.

A bunch of reference stuff.

This is the third reason for my purchase, the Budget Organizer.  There are ten pages of this.  I may not use these exact pages, but I'm definitely finding them inspirational.  I'm starting to get into the nitty-gritty of managing my money, which requires awareness at the micro-level.   Wish me fortitude!!

More money stuff.


Mas medical.


More auto.  I'm not ready to be THIS organized.  I rely on the reminder that pops up on my dashboard.  Someday.

A couple of clever things shown in the photo, below.  Well, first, of course, there's a slot for a note pad, always nice.  Secondly, the notepad is pre-punched - love that.  The two things that I found extra-clever are (1) the location of the zipper!  Close to the spine.  Very clever.  Doesn't get in the way of the pen or create a bump under the paper.  However, the pocket is still fairly useless because it's not gussetted, so it's nigh-impossible to access; (2) the pen loop is LARGE so the pen is loose in the loop but WHO CARES! It stays secure due to the clip AND it's easy to get in and out - brilliant.  AND note the location...  it's attached about 2/5ths of the way down the side instead of midway - this prevents the pen from sticking out past the bottom of the planner.  So well thought out.

Kudos, PlanAhead!  Very well-designed.  Great entry item for those afraid to commit to the purchase price of a Filofax.