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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,

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unicorn

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Planner stories from around the world

Meet Isabel from Mexico

Hi everyone, today’s story comes from Mexico, please share it and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog, that way you will be notified whenever I upload a new post.
Thank you for reading!

Who are you? What is your name or instagram name if you don’t want to display your name, where are you from and where do you live?

My name is Isabel, I’m from Mexico and I live in Mexico City; my Instagram name is Issyfrage and I mostly post about my love for stationery, planners, colorful things, positive quotes and sometimes I also post about my everyday life.

What notebooks do you currently use, what for and why these particular notebooks?

I currently use 4 planners which are the following:

  1. This month I’m using a Royal Purple Dokibook with zip as my Main Planner (since I have collected a lot of planners throughout the year, I switch the binder every month, although my sections remain the same) I have 5 different sections:
    1. Yearly and Monthly overview, here I have all the important appointments, due dates, holidays, vacation days, birthdays, concert dates, Netflix premières hahaha!.
    2. Bullet Journal, this is the section I use the most, I jot down all of the things I have to do every single day, from remembering to check my email to meetings with friends, I have a terrible memory, so this section is basically my life saver.
    3. Week at a glance, since my bullet journal contains a lot of important information, I don’t like to decorate too much and get distracted from my tasks, however we Planner Girls love planning because it’s a way of expressing our creativity so in this section I get to use all my beautiful supplies: color pens, washi tape, stickers, stamps, sticky notes etc.
    4. Contacts, in this Planner Community you’re always sending and receiving “happy mail” from your friends around the world, either planners, supplies, anything you can’t find in your country or sometimes even Birthday/ Valentine’s /Christmas surprise packages
    5. Brain Dump, because I always need a blank page where I can write down whatever without worrying about ruining my pretty layouts
  2. A Fluro Pink Original Filofax  as my Fitness Planner: Fitness has always been an important part of my life, so I had to dedicate an entire planner to it; in here I basically track the meals and exercise I do every day and I also have other fun  sections such as: Healthy Recipes, Tips &Tricks, Motivation and Challenges
  3. A Turquoise Domino Filofax as my work binder: This isn’t a planner exactly, but when you’re a Planner Girl, you always want to find a purpose for all the beautiful binders you own, so I decided to use this one for my work. I’m an English teacher, so I always need to have in hand information about my groups, my classes, extra activities, the school activities and so on.
  4. A Neendori traveler’s notebookThis one isn’t a binder so I wanted to use it for something different than organization, inside it I have a notebook I use as my everyday journal, another notebook for gratitude and a third notebook as a creative journal, where I can draw, paint, make doodles, just whatever my soul needs in that moment.

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Why do you plan?

I started planning since I was in the University because I’ve always have had a bad memory and I needed something to keep me on top of things, however, I started “Pretty Planning” almost 2 years ago.

Why did you decide to start posting pictures of your planners?

I can’t remember how I came across the Planner Community on Instagram, but if you check this hashtag, you can immediately feel drawn to it, I knew I wanted to be part of this wonderful community! What better thing that lovely girls and pretty stationary?

What drives you to continue using journals or planners?

I think for a lot of girls, this is the only creative outlet we have time to explore or we feel secure in, I continue to use planners and journals because is the best of both worlds: Something you can use to relax and develop your creative self and also something that helps improve your everyday life and deal with your obligations and responsibilities.

 

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What is your dream and what would you say to people who are working to achieve their own dreams?

I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs in life and I’ve learned that the most important thing is to feel at peace with yourself, to love yourself before anything and anyone else and by achieving this, anything you have ever wanted can become a reality… So my advice is: Be brave enough to love yourself in order to acknowledge that you deserve the realization of your dreams.

Planner related dreams? Free worldwide shipping!

What are your favorite stationery shops?

Kikki k, The Ink Road Shop, The Idea Owl, Hello Papercat, Lovely Scrolling (one of my Mexican friends), YupiYeiPapers and LetsPaperUp (Colombian friends) and Target, unfortunately, we don’t have Target here in Mexico, but everybody knows it’s basically Planner Heaven.

Who are your favorite journalers, entrepreneurs or people that you look up to?

I truly admire and love all the women in the Planner/Journal Community, lately these ladies have been some of my favorite journalers:

My dear friend Tina @pastelpaperplane

My sweet friend Amy @amiecrux

The amazing Sophie @plannerphie

How did you learn to journal the way you do, and what keeps you inspired?

I don’t think you can learn how to journal or even decorate a planner, we all have different styles and perspectives,  we get inspiration from each other and we share our methods for anyone who needs them but at the end you eventually end up finding your own style… Besides, it is extremely frustrating to try to journal or plan or decorate as someone else.

Oh! And there isn’t any better way to continue to be inspired than to check all the planner posts on Instagram, Pinterest and You Tube, I can always get inspired and motivated in these sites.

Tell us about 2017, what are the next steps and how do your journals help you get there?

I’m pretty excited for 2017, I have the feeling it’s going to be a year that will change the direction of my life and in order to do so I know it’s important to continue in this intimidating but so rewarding journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance and I know my journals and planners will be there with me every step of the way because I do need them to continue being this place where I can shelter myself from the outside world and concentrate on only colorful pens, pretty papers, and cute stickers.

As of right now, I’m setting a “Well-Being” Planner/Journal, a binder where I can gather all the beautiful things that cross my path that help me enjoy life even more, a binder where I can turn to every time I need information to become a better person or information that reminds me the valuable being I am whenever is imperative.

Thank you for reading!

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Thank you so much to Isabel for accepting being featured on my blog. Note that all photos belong to Isabel. If you want to borrow any, ask for permission from her.

And of course, don’t forget to follow her on Instagram as @Issyfrage

xox

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Planners that worked for me in 2016

Happy Sunday! I have seen a few fellow bloggers and instagramers who have been talking about the planners that worked for them this year, and I thought it would be a great idea to write one of these posts myself. This year, my “Planner journey” has been rather interesting and I want to share it with you.

Let’s begin, shall we?

This year the planner that really worked for me was mostly my Hobonichi Techo in A6, I call this, “the planner that could” because it helped me survived changes at work, a very crazy schedule, organizing my life at home and for my son, dealing with day care schedules, tasks, bills, meals and everything in between. The reasons why this planner worked for me are:

  • This Hobonichi Techo in A6 is portable and the size is great for someone with a busy life
  • The layout – a day on one page seems to be perfect for me because I usually have a lot of things to write down.
  • The monthly and daily pages are great although I have to stay that I stopped using my planner for about two months because I really need to have a weekly view.

Pink Fluoro Filofax in A5
Another planner that worked for me was a customized version of my  which I use as my financial planner and I love! I believe the reason why this planner works so well for me is because, actually, this is a planner that I assembled myself using various kinds of inserts and I love it.

Martha Stewart discbound notebook
This notebook worked wonders for me. I customized it and use as a notebook where I write various things. I have both, the large and the smaller version and both are wonderful notebooks. Not only because of the possibilities to customize it but because the quality of the notebook is amazing and you can add as many or as little page as you wish. Also, you can change the size of the disks and that I think, is a huge advantage!

Filofax original in Navy – personal size
I used this planner for various things, it served as a planner where I would collect thoughts, ideas, lists and other content related to my blog. I love the size, the quality and the portability of this binder. It is amazing and one of my all time favorite planners.

Now let’s move on to the planners that DID NOT work for me — based on my lifestyle, preferences, planning style, and needs.

  • Day designer day on one page – This planner is beautiful and I was excited when it came out around July this year. This particular planner was created after a collaboration between Day Designer and Sky Blue. The books are inexpensive, come in various sizes and also in different designs. I loved the idea of carrying this planner because of the format but after using it for a month I realized that it wasn’t going to work for me. I feel very limited because of the pre-set format it comes in and overall, it just didn’t call on me so  I stopped using it as a daily planner and moved it on to using it as a workout planner where I just track my workouts, calories, and other health related matters.
  • Erin Condren Life Planner — I have written about this planner before. Not only because I find them extremely expensive for what they are, but because for me, I just think that the price is not worth it. There are many other planners are out there that are better quality and I personally feel that this line of products is over priced. My story with these planners dates from two years ago when I bought my first EC planner. I ended up selling it because I wasn’t using it. The boxes do not work for me and neither does the format. Then, Erin Condren released a new series of planners with rose gold coil and I fell for it again. I ended up buying at the exorbitant price of $95 usd. After trying so hard to really like the planner I ended up setting it apart and using the pages as a finances planner. The reason why I was so disappointed is because the coil was damaged, the planner would not lay flat, the cover was damaged, and I was just not happy with the product. That’s the last time I bought an Erin Condren Planner and my inserts will end this December.
  • Kikki.K personal size planners — while I love this brand I find that not all the planners work for me. I love the binders because they are beautiful but I ended up not using a few that I bought. I sold them and now I only have a bound planner with a day on one page that I will be using for 2017 as a journal/health diary. I don’t know why the binders don’t really work for me but I am a fan of the brand and I actually have bought a few other things for this year.
  • Franklin Covey compact size synthetic leather — I love Franklin Covey but when their binders are not made out of leather, the plastic smell is too strong for me to bear it. I bought two binders and I ended up selling them. While I love the brand and I have used one of their binders in classic size as a work planner, I am not sure how I feel about other planners so for now, I decided to stop buying ring binders and enjoy using my bound books.

Now, these are the planners that worked and didn’t work for me based on my personal lifestyle, needs and planning style but it doesn’t mean that they won’t work for you. I have tried many many planners and I am slowly learning about what I truly like. It is difficult to not get carried away by the hype of things when they are released so, if you are thinking of buying planners, I would recommend you to read and do some research about them before buying them. Remember that if a planner doesn’t call you, and if you can’t get yourself to use it then it is likely that it won’t work for you. Planners should be something you use every day and something you enjoy using. They are a tool that will help us keep our lives organized and our days flow with ease.

Thank you for reading and please, let me know what planners worked for you this year. I would love to hear.

Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog.

Em J

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Best pens to use on your Hobonichi

Choosing a pen for your Hobonichi Techo books 

Often, I see this question being asked by (new) Hobonichi users “What pens are best for the Hobonichi Techo?”. This is a bit of a relative question where the answers can vary a lot. There’s a myriad of pens and also a myriad of answers. Choosing a pen is a personal choice and choosing one for a particular type of paper depends on so many factors, for example:

  • Paper thickness
  • Width of the pen that you like
  • the boldness of the pen
  • Colors
  • Ink type
  • Fountain, roller ball or felt tip
  • and so on…

Personally, I like pens that are smooth, that are on the thin side and that have super dark ink, usually black. My favorite brands are Pilot, Papermate gel joy, Faber Castell and Staedlers triplus fine liners. I do love some fountain pains but my collection is not huge so I wouldn’t dare to recommend one for you because I am still learning about these. I do have a couple of Lammy pens and Faber Castell but I don’t know yet what I love — fountain pen wise.

Because the Hobonichi Techo is made out of Tomoe River paper which is a very special kind of paper — and the main reason why many of us love the Hobonichi books — Not all pens write the same and not all pens will offer the same experience. Personally, I have also used normal rollerball pens and I find that the glide. It is hard to get traction with them, and also because the paper is a grid kind, you can’t really write smaller with these pens.

I think I have tried all kinds of pens on my Hobonichis, from the cheapest to the fancy Lammy fountain pens and Faber Castell. I find that the ink needs to be on the liquid side, but not too much like the jelly rolls, otherwise it will smudge. From my experience the best pens to use on a Hobonichi techo are these and I hope you will find it useful, at least until you find THE pen that you love to use.

  • Faber Castell basic black rollerball pen
  • Staedlers triplus fine liners
  • Pilot pens, usually the most basic ones are amazing
  • Ink joy gel pens in 0.3 by paper mate
  • Paper mate flairs – although if your handwriting is large, you’ll end up using a lot of space on your notenook with these pens
  • Jetstream uniball in 0.5
  • Lamy safari

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Thanks for reading, let me know which pens are you favorite.

E. J.

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Saturday planning inspiration

Happy Saturday to you! Thank you for stopping by and having a quick read to today’s blog post. I decided to plan my day today with my Filofax Original in Navy. This is one of the first Filofaxes that I bought. I remember I kept going to my local stationery store in Boston and kept looking at how beautiful it is until I bought it!

This is a classic Filofax, and the navy color just adds character to it. I love carrying it around.

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Together with my Hobonichi in A6, these two have helped me carry on today, a busy Saturday, as always. If you ordered a Hobonichi for this year and your book is sitting on your desk waiting for 2017, I am sure you are still as impatient as I am to start using your new book. Mine looks like this and is my work planner/journal. Completely functional!

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This is a brief post today, thank you for reading and stay tuned for an amazing post that I will be uploading tomorrow, where I will be featuring Kayla Ocampo from Rainbowholic. Stay tuned!

Happy Saturday!

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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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