2017 Planners – This is what I am using

Hi there! I hope you’re enjoying the last few days of 2016, which has been an outstanding, fulfilling and interesting year, to say the least. But, tell me, how was this year for you? For me, if I can describe it with one word it would be “GROWTH” in many aspects of my life. It has been crazy at times but also, a great year overall. I can’t complain, I really can’t!

From here on I move on with gratefulness in my heart, but also with high hopes that this year will be even better. Where I will continuing growing spiritually, mentally and also, emotionally. But anyway, a great tool to help us move forward and stay focused is our planners. Whatever it is that inspires you to write it down, set goals, subgoals and write about your progress, I encourage you to do it! Use paper and pens, use your planners, look at them every day, read your notes but most important, capture what sparks creativity, reflection, and ideas. These are great ways to stay in spired and on track.

Now, I would love to show you the planners and journals I will be using for 2017. This is a collection of planners, but also notebooks that I find necessary for me to work on the different aspects of my life. Especially the ones I have decided need more work.

Now, while I definitely recommend you to buy a planner for this upcoming year, you don’t have to — at all — have as many planners or notebooks as I am. This is what works for me and these are the planners that I have carefully selected among a plethora of binders, books, notebooks, new planners and much more. I will show you the pictures I have taken and also describe their purposes one by one. I hope this is helpful but please, let me know your thoughts and also, let me know what planners are you using this year?

My planners are:

  1. Hobonichi Cousin in A5 – This will be the meat and potatoes of my planner system. This is a planner that will house all my future plans and day to day activities pertaining to my personal life — as individual, wife, mom and pup-mom –, my work life, and will help me keep track of everything I need to keep in mind, do, foresee and plan on a daily basis but also in the future. This will serve as both, a life and work planner.
  2.  My hobonichi techo in A6 – This will be my art journal or creative journal. Everything will go for this planner. I used to have a notebook that I used for this purpose but it was getting chunky and I ended up not using it. This small but mighty planner will do better and it is more portable.
  3. Hobonichi weeks — When you are a mom, you realize that there are a few things that are important to keep at hand, such as doctor’s appointments, doctor’s phone numbers, dates, vaccines, school dates, and everything that comes with the lives of little ones. Because I realized that at times I was losing track of what vaccines my child had had or what phone numbers belonged to who — yes I have them on my phone but it is easier to have them written, at least for me — I decided to use a hobonichi weeks, especially to keep memories, milestones and other highlights of my son’s life. This will be a planner that I can take with me on a quick trip to the hospital if need be.
  4. My pocket moleskine — This will be a place for me to write, write, write and write. It helps me stay sane to write things down, when I am overwhelmed, happy, sad, to reflect, to meditate, to ponder, to just let it go. This will be a great way to write things and have this small notebook with me. I can’t wait to use it!
  5. My Filofax pink fluoro in A5 — With inserts from yellow paper house and miscellaneous, this will be my financial planner.
  6. My kikki.K cute daily diary in A5 — This planner, honestly, I bought it because it was cute! It was a complete impulse purchase but I still plan on using it. We might be relocating to another country so I decided to keep this planner as a way to write down things that must get done and keep track of our timeline, especially to know that all things related to our move are in there.

This is it! I am ready to tackle 2017 and make it a year of rennovation, growth and happiness! Next time I will cover how to find your word of the year. I have not found mine yet but I am looking!

Thanks for reading and happy planning for 2017!

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This is my 2016 A6 Hobonichi, it has been with me through all this year. 

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Planner inspiration – The weekend

During the week, I am great at keeping my time organized, because I carry my Hobonichi where I plan my days, both for work and personal life. During the weekends, however, it is a different story. I don’t use my planners much because my days are more relaxed. I do keep a log of what should be happening and what I should be doing to be ready for the week. It is not a strict plan that I stick to.

I thought it would be nice to post and write about how my weekends look like, with a planner but without a strict step by step plan of the day. How do you keep inspired during the weekends and how do you use your planners?

Thanks for reading!

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Benefits of carrying of home planner – My beloved fluoro Filofax

In 2016 I decided to have a household or home planner for me to track my expenses, bills, payments and other information exclusively. At first,

I wasn’t sure how exactly I would set it up, but then, after realizing that I didn’t like my Erin Condren planner and that I wasn’t using my favorite of favorites Pink Fluoro Filofax binder, I went ahead and combined both.

I did destroy my $100, Erin Condren, I saved the covers and pull out the pages, punched them and inserted them in my Filofax binder. I created some kind of tracking system where I would use the monthly inserts to keep track of deadlines to pay bills, have an overview of our budget, and keep some control of our finances. This is the first time I carry a planner only to keep the financial matters in one single place, and it worked great!

Every month, I was able to sit down at my desk and go over our bills, take our my planner, see what was paid last month, what needs to be paid, what are the due bills and even see whether our phone bill had gone up or whether we needed to pay more for our credit card this month or not. It worked! The reasons why I believe it did work are the following:

  • All your financial matters and home related numbers and bills are in one single place
  • You can use your calendar pages or any inserts to keep track of financial issues as needed.
  • You can then store the bills you paid, and file them later if you need to without losing them
  • You have a clear overview of your expenses, you can compare the numbers to the previous month and make an estimate for the next month based on past information.
  • A financial binder or home binder allows you to keep all together in one place, and have quick access to it if you need to.
  • You avoid paper clutter because you can easily store everything in there, or file in that moment or later. There is only so much you can store in your binder so at some point you will need to get rid of your papers!
  • You can use any inserts, dated or undated or use any customized inserts if you wish. You can use anything! Even plain paper
  • It saves you time and keeps your bills and numbers organized!

     
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I plan on continuing using my good Fluoro Filofax in 2017, and use some inserts from Yellow Paper house that I bought in 2014 and never really got to use. They are already punched and ready for me to insert in my binder next year.

I strongly encourage you to take any binder, especially if you have one with big rings and customize it to your needs, allocate a use to it and create the habit of looking into it every time you need to. Believe me, it will make your life easy and will save you time and energy over time.

Here you go! Filofax binders or ring binders for that matter are ideal for this kind of planner because you can put in or take out any pages as the year progresses. In this binder, I keep only 4 months at a time because I also keep tons of notes in the back.

Here are a few more pictures of how it looks like on the inside but you can definitely come up with your own setup, there are a million ideas out there and you can also refer to Philofaxy in case you need to print new inserts. They have a great section of resources for
printables!

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I hope this idea will help you make up your mind about how to enhance your good habits or create new ones, and use your new or old binders to keep a more organized life. Remember that the least number of things you store in your brain the more space you will have in your mind for those things that really matter.

Let me know if you decide to keep a financial planner and if you use one already, do let me know how it is working for you and what makes it work?

A well-organized planner will help you reach your financial goals much better because it will allow you to keep a clear view of where you’re spending your money and what you can do to adjust your budget, spend less and do meaningful things.

Planners help us keep track of where things go in our lives and choose the direction we want to go once we see how we spend our time and what we do it with. After all, we are the ones taken the decisions of where our money and time go, you are the one writing your own story. I hope this will inspire you to continue finding your own system.

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to share this post if you liked it. Until next time!

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2016 planner reflections

It’s almost October, and for all planner people out there, this is about the time you start thinking about what planner you will be getting for next year. For me, this has been a year where I found myself spending very little money on planner goods – I had to, or I’d be broke!.

I didn’t buy any ring planners at all this year because I found myself using them very little. I did try out the new covers for traveler’s notebooks that Webster’s pages launched this year, I bought one of the covers and I have written about it here on my blog. I also bought the Passion Planner because I wanted to try it out. I used it weekly until I found myself writing the same thing over and over because mostly my schedule looks the same week by week. This planner is nice but not for me.

This year was the first year I also started using my Hobonichi in A6. I used it as a work planner and I loved it until I decided that, maybe, I should try something else, I used it every day and it was working fine. The problem was that the A6 Hobonichi doesn’t have a weekly layout, and I realized that I was forgetting things.  I needed to have that weekly view of my time. I stopped using it in July and changed it for a Day Designer planner that I bought at Target for $12. The Day Designer has a day on one page but I ran into the same problem, the lack of a weekly view doesn’t work for me. Especially for work!

I absolutely love the Hobonichi techo  planner! Towards the end of last month, I started using my hobonichi more consistently again. After all, it always worked for me as a planner, except not for work. I continued using it as a diary or journal, to keep track of things and to note down reminders or things that I didn’t want to forget. It kind of became my on the go planner/notebook/journal. I carry it back and forth between work and home.

With the new year coming and the fact that Hobonichis are yearly planners I started thinking about what planner(s) I will be using next year. One thing I know is that I don’t want to use multiple planners because I find myself losing information or not remembering where I wrote certain things down. Right now, I have too many things to remember and my mind has no more storage space, so I decided that I need only ONE PLANNER.

After much thinking and even considering buying a set of DIYFish inserts, I also thought of buying a set of Franklin Covey inserts for my Franklin Covey planner which has huge rings. I want to have a planner that has enough space to have a weekly, monthly and daily overview, and I thought that the Franklin Covey planners could be a great option. After looking into which one to buy I couldn’t decide. Mostly, I think I am tired of using ring planners. It is not working for me because I don’t have time to be setting it up, changing the pages, perforating inserts and so on. Even if I buy pre-made inserts I still don’t see myself feeling as productive as I do with a bound planner.

This said, this year I went ahead and bought ALL THREE sizes of the Hobonichi techo 2017! Yes, all three sizes! I will be downsizing this coming year and I don’t want to keep jumping from notebook to notebook or planner to planner, I find myself losing things and also losing inspiration to continue using either my journals or notebooks. The hobonichi planner is the one book that I actually use every day because I love everything about it. The paper is fantastic, the layout, the flexibility and how quirky it is.

In conclusion, after using probably most planners out there in the market, after using ring planners for many many years and especially, using a hobonichi book for one year, I have realized that I am a hobonichi person! Just because right now, this planner seems to be the one I am most excited about using, even after suspending its use for work for a month or two I still went back and continued using it for different things. I couldn’t give it up.

So for for now, I have sold many of the planners that I had and kept my most loved binders, the ones I continue using for different purposes. I won’t be buying new ring bound planners, just because even this week I realized how little I use the day designer and how little I like it. I have kept three Filofax binders, the ones I absolutely love and use for other things, I have two Franklin Covey planners that I want to have because of the size of the rings, I have two traveler’s notebooks – one large and one field notes size – and my hobonichis. I use the Martha Stewart notebooks for various uses for work.

2017 will be a one planner for all year, I have no idea how it will go but I am willing to try, in fact, I can’t wait to try. My hope is that one book will house my different lists, tasks and notes and that I will stop losing notes just because I can’t remember where I wrote them down!

What are your planner plans for 2017? Have you bought your 2017 planner or have you decided which one you will be using?

I’d love to hear so please leave me a comment with your thoughts!

Happy plans!

Em Jorden

 

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Having multiple planners – Effective or confusing?

If you read my blog – thanks so much if you do – you will notice that I haven’t posted much lately, and the reason is simple. I am reaching the point where I am reassessing my planning system and how I want to go forward from here on.

I use multiple planners like many of you, for so long I thought that this system was working for me, using a planner for my home management, another for work, another for journaling and also another planner for my personal stuff. It did work, for many months it worked. Now, half way through 2016 I am finding myself feeling overwhelmed with so many planners and I am starting to question whether having just one or two planners should actually be enough.

If I had to choose only a planner or two I think I would use my hobonichi, and my A5 Filofax ring planner, or maybe my day designer. fI do see no that having multiple planners can be ineffective because I forget things or I can’t remember in which planner I wrote them down! That defeats the purpose of having a planner.

For now, I am still pondering my options and what is it that I will be doing, but for now I am leaning towards considering having a planner or two. Anyway, stay tuned fore more news on how the second half of the year goes by with the dilemmas of planner systems.

How’s your half of the year going so far and how’s your planning system working for you?

Do let me know, I’d love to know!

Thank you for reading!

Em J

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Make your own Traveler’s Notebooks, three ideas

I am not exactly the most crafty person, I do make some inserts myself and I try to come up with ideas but I am not very handy or crafty when it comes to  making big projects. I admire people who do and I so wished I was the creative kind. This is also why sometimes I also force myself to make things because I believe that it will stimulate my creativity, the one that once upon a time was very active.

This said before I bought the traveler’s notebook that I have right now by Webster’s Pages I thought of making my own cover. I gave up! I still watched many videos about how to make my own and about how to make a cover without all the craftiness. While searching I actually found a few ideas that I am sure will help you create your own fauxdori if you are interested. Even if you don’t want to spend money on a cover – which I understand – I encourage you to watch these videos and try to make your own. These ideas go from very simple, for example, I love the idea by Journalingmylife in Youtube where she made a fauxdori out of a Filofax flex! Her set up is brilliant and I enjoy her videos a lot. Also, she is based in India and I just think it is great to have a fellow stationery lover from across the oceans! Check out her videos and enjoy them, she has some amazing ideas for different set ups!  You will fine her under her handle journalingmylife  and her video is here .

Last year, I remember what came super popular was buying a passport cover by Kate spade and turning it into a fauxdori which I thought was brilliant too. Ms. Wendaful has a great video where she shows her “Katedori” and I find it so fun to watch. You will find the video here  and of course, don’t forget to check out her blog where you will find some beautiful inserts and more ideas.

Last, we have the highest level of being crafty which to me is this video made by  Craft Made Simple where she teaches us how to make a fauxdori cover with fabric which I love love love. You will find the video here . This fauxdori cover that she shows is so pretty and I love it! If you have the tools and the energy to create one fauxdori from scratch, check out her video! It’s so neat!

And these are all the ideas I have for a traveler’s notebook without being super crafty – like myself – so check them out and let me know what you think!

I am really loving this traveler’s notebook fever and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I am!

Thank you for reading! Happy end of the week.

Em J

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ONE SECRET TO ADVANCING YOUR LIFE: THE EINSENHOWER MATRIX (AND PLANNERS)

“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.”

I read this quote today when I started looking for more information on an old method that I learn some time ago, it consisted of learning to distinguish the urgent tasks from the important ones. Once you would learn to distinguish the difference, you will be able to take decisions on what to do next, and tackle your to do lists, your projects and also advance, move forward and advance your life.

This will also help you to stop procrastinating. It turns out that there is one principle called the Eisenhower decision principle where you can learn to separate the important from the urgent tasks, but what are these anyway?

So, Urgent means an action or a task that requires immediate attention, something that you can’t leave the office or go to bed without doing. They usually fall into the category of having to do them “right now”.

Important are the tasks that will help you advance towards your final goals or short term goals. These can also be urgent, but usually require us to be attentive and thoughtful about what we are doing and how we will do it.

Eisenhower developed a matrix where he actually showed how we can learn to distinguish both tasks and take decisions based on that information. This is the matrix
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By Rorybowman – Own work, Public Domain,https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2135450

 

This matrix became very popular when Stephen Covey talked about it in his book Getting things done. But it is really attributed to ex-president Eisenhower. Here is how the matrix works.

Urgent and important tasks, first quadrant: Are those that need to get done, now. They can’t wait and require your attention so you should plan on inserting them onto your planner as a top priority for the day. They can also go on a post-it note if you need to have them present and at hand but they need to be done.

Not urgent but important, second quadrant: I find that most tasks fall into this category. Usually here’s where we will place a lot of the things that help us get closer to our goals, they are actionable steps that will add value to your achieving something. For example, writing in your planner that at 6am you need to get up to work out. It is important if you are planning on losing some pounds but it is not urgent because nothing happens if you don’t get it done – you will just take a lot longer losing the weight and reaching your goal, or not reaching your goal at all. You want to plan for these tasks in your planner.

Urgent but not important, third quadrant: These are probably things that might not be necessarily important to do because they don’t directly affect you but that you need to do. For example, making a call to schedule your dog’s grooming, texting your friend to ask how they are, making favors, emails, etc. Usually, they are also emerging tasks which you can write down on your daily plan as they emerge, get them done and cross them out. You can also migrate them but then you will only be procrastinating!

Not important and not urgent: Are the tasks that don’t add anything to your life, usually they hinder your progress and distract you from getting anywhere or getting things done. You want to either delegate them or avoid them for example: Watching TV, staying too long on Facebook, gossiping, talking about other people’s lives, being negative or simply wasting time.

Remember that some of these tasks can also be delegated which means that you can ask someone else to do them – e.g. a colleague, a friend, your spouse, etc – and this is totally fine because you can then focus on the things that matter and are important.

These tasks can be planned among your top three, your weekly priorities – or even your monthly – your running list or to-dos, or simply add them to your brain dump to allocate them to particular days and times when you do your weekly planning.

It is easy once you learn to distinguish one task from another, but once you get the hang of this matrix, it will be super easy and you will be a productivity ninja!

And remember:

“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.”

Thanks for stopping by and until next time!

Em Jorden

Be happier: This is how your Filofax can help!

hap·pi·ness
ˈhapēnəs/
noun
  1. the state of being happy, it also means pleasure, contentment, satisfaction, cheerfulness, merriment, gaiety, joy,joyfulness, joviality, jollity, glee, delight, good spirits, lightheartedness,well-being, enjoyment – basically, anything that makes you smile, according to the google definition.

In the Buddhist tradition happiness is the ultima goal, and it is also the ONLY thing that all of us, human and non-human seek for. Happiness is everything we all want, and why wouldn’t we? But happiness doesn’t come just like that, or does it? Many of us can attain contentment through simple things like shopping, food, watching a movie, doing something fun but this will only be temporary happiness, right? Ultimate happiness is ever lasting, or at least something that lasts a little more than a few minutes or days. Most of us at some point, stop wishing to last long and conform with only enjoying it for however long it is.

If you are like me, who has a full-time job and also has to comply with many obligations at home, as well as on the side things, there is a point where you feel out of balance. Like life is sucking you in and you don’t even know what is happening. This is where a planner comes into place. That little thing made out of paper and bound together so that we can get a hold of our days and nights. A planner is important not just because it gives you an excuse to sit down for a few minutes and reflect on your day, but because it also helps you organize yourself, manage your time, know where your time is going and have a sense of what you are doing with your life.

Don’t under-estimate the power of a planner, be it Filofax, Inkwell,Erin Condren, Hobonichi or a Midori  all of them, are great tools to help you manage your time so that you will have enough time to do the things you enjoy. The way to start using your planner as a tool to enhance your life – instead of overwhelming you – is by writing down your appointments and having an idea of what are the things that you can’t move because they depend also on others, then write down the special events that you have, go ahead and write down the things you have to do like going to work or meetings that you have and then scheduling the emergent tasks wherever you have a window of time and then check for the number of hours that a project or a task that you are working on will take, that will probably leave you with the number of hours available for you to do the things you enjoy and if not, you will also have a sense of the time that you DON’T have to do things that you enjoy and you can change that by moving things around so that you have time for those things.

The idea of using a planner is to write down things, and to give you a visual idea of how you spend your day, how much time certain tasks will take you and what you can do to make time to go to the gym, cook nice food, spend time with your family or simply spend an hour or so doing something that you truly want to do. This is also a great way to see what your habits are and how you end up spending your evenings or mornings and how you can change that to re-program your life so you acquire healthier habits like going to the gym, cooking at home or meditating.

There are all kinds of inserts on Etsy, Pinterest and various sites like Philofaxy  or other fellow bloggers where you can find pages that will help you take life over control, at least partly and the things that can be controlled. Also, there is a great tool that I love which is called Chronodex that was created by Patrick Ng where you can actually color different areas of the Chronodex shape to administer your time visually and get a better idea of what you do with your days. This tool is so easy to use and will help you change your habits as well or know what changes in your life you need o make to have a more fulfilling and happier life.

Ultimately, we all come here to be happy and if we let life to suck us in, we will never get to that point where our lives will be more balanced and our minds and hearts filled with joy rather than stress.

Use your planner to change your habits and the way you spend your time, you will notice that it is very easy to make adjustments and achieve your goals easier. Be happy and try! It will be easy to get things done.

Let me know if it works and what you think about these ideas.

Thank you for reading and until next time,

Em Jorden

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How do you cut a tree in six hour with a Filofax?

You spend four hours sharpening the saw, and two hours cutting the tree. This applies to your planning of the week. How do you get a hang of changing your habits and achieving your goals with your planner? You spend many, many hours planning, trying what works best and learning from your mistakes but NEVER, NEVER giving up.

Happy planning for this week!

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Filofax Series 3 – The core of a planner, the calendar

Planners can have different purposes and for this reason it is up to you what sections you add to them. Welcome to the third installment of my Filofax series where I will break down each basic section of a ring binder and will talk about its particular characteristics and uses.

The core of a planner is the calendar, whether you use only a monthly and a weekly or only weekly or daily pages, these are the pages that will guide you and help you plan your day to day. In my case, I can’t survive daily without having a yearly calendar view – for which Filofax actually has an already made insert or you can also print it from from Philofaxy where very generously they share various inserts that you can print for free.
In addition to having a year at a glance insert, I also use a monthly, and a weekly. I don’t always feel the need to have a daily but if I do I usually just adapt one of the Filofax inserts.

But let’s talk about each component and why it could or could not be important to you.

The year at a glance 

This insert basically allows you to have an overview of an entire year at a glance, usually, it is only one page folded into different sections and printed one or two sided. I love this insert because on here I can future plan different things such as vacation days, days off, weekends away or working weekends, highlight events that will happen somewhere throughout the year but that I need to keep in mind for my monthly and daily planning as well. This is a great way to mark down events that will happen not necessarily soon, but you can also keep track of things pertaining to a specific week or day. For example if you have to plan your vacation and need to know when that is happening, this insert is a great tool. It works great whether you are a stay at home mom or work or have a business. I used it for the first time last year and this year I had to buy it because I keep track of different things related to my family members and my work. I didn’t buy it right away in January because I thought I could do without it but half way through the month, I realized how much I needed it because my monthly inserts were not doing the job.

Monthly inserts

These are a complement to your weekly or daily inserts. It allows you have view your month at one glance because usually these inserts come printed on one page or two pages. They are great for planning your weeks and then using them to transfer tasks or events to your weekly or daily pages. I think this really is a must have for everyone. You can future plan appointments, events or important things that are time sensitive.

Weekly pages

Although this is more a personal choice, the weekly pages can or cannot work for you depending on your needs. For me, I like to have a week on two pages where I can see what is happening on a specific week. I usually do my planning on Sunday morning or night and the weekly view allows me to plan ahead, know how much time I will have for specific things or will also give me an idea of what’s what I need to remember doing. You can write down tasks, events, appointments, reminders, deadlines and emergent tasks. You can also use this view to set up your priorities or things that you MUST DO that week.

Daily pages

For me these are not necessarily a must have but they are good to have, especially if you use one planner both for work and family or personal things and you need more space to write down things. The weekly pages aren’t always necessary for everyone, for example for me are not a need but at times, when I have a project or a long list of things that I need to do on a certain day, these inserts do come in handy because you get more paper to write on. They are also great for brain-dumping and journaling if you like to have that in your planner.

It is up to you what combination of these inserts you use, some people don’t think they need a weekly view or a yearly view but can’t live without a daily, and so forth. However you choose to create your own system make sure that this works for YOU and your lifestyle. For example, a week on two pages is not going to work if you need to schedule your days based on time. I also believe that each kind of view complements one another and some of us carry all of them in one planner and use each section for different purposes, together, they create a system that makes life easier and keeps you up to speed to reach your weekly and yearly goals, which basically means getting things done and making your life more fulfilling and joyful.

I covered all of the sections that I thought are a must have or at least basic for a planner but if you have seen another way to plan your days or weeks, do let me know. I’d love to know. Good luck putting together your system and let me know how it goes with it.

Thanks for reading my blog today

Em J