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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When in doubt, be a unicorn – Happy Monday!

Stationery Mondays

The other day I went to Black Ink, which is a store that sells Japanese goods, including stationery. They have a great variety of all-paper things, and I could easily spend HOURS there! I have written about this store before and you can read about it here

The shop has a great variety of erasers. I was looking into the bowl full of cute erasers and i found this one. I love it and for some reason, this little guy makes me smile so he lives on my desk. I hope it’ll make you smile too! Have a great Monday and a great week. Leave me your comments below and let me know if you like cute erasers.

Thanks for reading this short post,

Em J

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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

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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My powerful Original Filofax: Planning your week

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To me this past week has been a week of a lot of reflection and questioning about the purpose of my own life. I decided to bring back a project that I started working on a few years ago but suspended because I was lacking structure and inspiration.

I have also been exploring other venues to make an income professionally so that I can spend more time with my son. Today, while I was setting up my Filofax planner – the original in navy – I realized how important it is to have a planner that not only serves as the place to store your thoughts, ideas, goals and plans BUT ALSO a planner that helps you stay inspired and thrive.

When I put together this filofax to store everything pertaining to a project I am working on, I didn’t realize that the dividers that I had made a year ago would be so helpful right now. This one in particular says “Never give up”. I think whether or not we are working on something in particular, never giving up makes sense often, especially when life becomes a little overwhelming.

There you go, your planner can represent the space where you can store your thoughts, ideas and plans but also, a tool to help you stay inspired and working after your goals.

I love it! Have a happy weekend and remember to create a system that will help you keep your mind clear and focused on what really matters.

Thank you for reading! Happy plans.

Em J

Five ideas to make a planner work for you

Everyday I seem to be finding new planners either on Instagram, Facebook or Youtube, planners of all kinds. As I have mentioned before, I am a planner veteran, or so it feels, someone who has carried a planner in her backpack since junior high school, who learned to manage her time by a teacher during a “productivity” class. I enrolled in that class because I was failing some courses and I had to learn to combine both, sports – being part of the triathlon team – and a heavy course load.

Today, I have learned what works and what doesn’t work for me. I also learned what layouts in a planner are good and which ones will never work, based on my lifestyle. I know my preferences, I know how my mind works and I know what sections I like to have, either on a page or a layout. I do love the fact that more and more entrepreneurs come up with new planners. I admire these women and small businesses for their new proposals, their ideas and creativity. While I love the idea of also planners being a creative outlet for those of us who can’t draw, don’t do scrap booking and are not creative enough to come up with a new master piece, I also realize that some planners, in my case, would only be a waste of time, they simply would not work for my lifestyle.

There are many planners out there that have sections for anyone looking for particular things or very specific layouts, there also printables if you prefer printing your own inserts. There are bound planners or ring ones, there are midori style planner or book-like ones. Whatever it is that you like, there are also a few things to bear in mind to make a planner work for you. I came up with a short list of things that one should NOT do to make a planner work.

Before I dive it, let’s define what a planner can do for you:

  1. A planner is a tool that can help us manage our time better, more effectively and get things done.
  2. A planner should be a tool where we can visualize how our days will break down
  3. A planner also will help us know what we have to do today and plan those tasks that need to be done in the future
  4. Planners can carry as much or as little information about different areas of our lives, for example: Work, work, family, business, school, etc. – sometimes all of them together.
  5. Planners can be destined for one particular area, or many at once.

This said, for a planner to work for you, whatever it is destined for, and to help you meet your productivity timelines, goals, finish projects or simply know what you have to do on a particular day, there are a few things that one must NOT do with a planner to work, here are five of these things:

  1. Don’t keep your planner hidden, out of reach or unaccessible – this might seem obvious but it isn’t. Planners need to be at a hand’s reach, where we can have access to them when something comes up or when we think of something we need to remember or do.
  2. Don’t forget to look at your planner! This is similar to the first point, if you want to remember what you need to do on a specific day, you have to create the habit of looking at your planner and writing down whatever it is that you need to do do or remember
  3. Don’t over think it. Planners should make our lives easier and should be easy to read and navigate. Create a system where you are familiar with the content, where you know the sections in your planner and where you will remember where you wrote something or where to find a task when you need to.
  4. Write it down! There are many benefits that come with writing things down. Planners can help you keep track of tasks, lists, notes, reminders, schedules, emergent tasks, urgent tasks and so forth. If you don’t write it down, you will never remember them!
  5. Make it a habit, use your planner! If you buy your Filofax binder with fabulous inserts but never use them, what is the point? You need to create the habit of sitting down in the morning/night and jotting down your tasks, to dos, lists, reminders, and so forth. If you don’t take 10-20 minutes to sit down and look at your planner and actually PLAN your day and future tasks, no matter how fabulous your planner looks like, it will never work for you. Use your planner and make a habit of looking at it.

There you go, these are only a few things that can help you find your way around how best to use your planner and how to take advantage of it.

Em