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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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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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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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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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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Living a happier life: Discbound notebook

It is well known that there are many benefits to writing things down, be it your thoughts, your feelings or your errands. Writing things down helps you organize your thoughts, reflect and put things in perspective.

Today, we all are bombarded with information and we are constantly plugged to our electronic devices, often we don’t really take a moment to sit down and reflect on what we are doing with our lives or even what we are experiencing or feeling. Especially when we face challenges or difficulties with our lives.

For me, life is particularly hectic, busy and sometimes crazy. I do community work as a profession, I am involved in social justice things and my partner is also involved in this kind of work. Since I became a mom I felt the need to have a creative outlet since I have always leaned toward doing some kind of crafts, planning and writing. I can’t draw or paint but I have always been a planner and have always used pen and paper to write my thoughts, since I can remember. I have always had notebooks and have been constantly obsessed with managing my time, creating my own day layouts and also plan.

Lately I thought, I have been using my planners to manage my time, organize my and my family’s life and just to strive and try my best to be an organized working mom but I have not been writing as much. I do have a journal and sometimes I use it as a scrapbooking thing, but I felt that I didn’t get myself to sit down and use it. It has been more of a task that I force myself to do mostly because I don’t want to waste the notebook.

I recently wated Alexis Giostra where she talked about one of her notebooks that is actually a disc-bound notebook. She showed it a long time ago and I went to look for it but this particular line wasn’t produced anymore. Recently, I heard that Martha Stewart had come out again with her disc bound system that is sold at staples and decided to see if was available at my local staples. Well, guess what? I found it! I bought it not really knowing what I would do with it but when I came home I decided that I didn’t want to use it as another planner so I turned it into a notebook. I call it my “freedom notebook”.

The freedom notebook is a compilation of several sections that I customized, decorated a little bit and added to the notebook after buying some extra paper and some divider tabs. All of these things are from Martha Stewart just because I thought it looks nice and it is very inexpensive. This notebook has the following sections:

  1. Dreams – To jot down thoughts on a life that I desire to create
  2. Stories – Because once upon a time I wanted to be a writer
  3. Prayers – Because I want to go back to my buddhist studies and want to keep things that are relevant or important to me in here
  4. Travel – Because I want to stay inspired to continue traveling and seek for new places to go with my family
  5. Wisdom – Just to write down thoughts and conclusion on my own findings about the new direction I want to take with my professional life

Since I came up with this “freedom notebook” I feel much more inspired and eager to write. It helps me process my thoughts, ideas and also helps me articulate the things that I don’t say to anyone but that are in my head often.

There are many benefits to having a notebook like this. The disc-bound system is particularly great to use because it is the best of both worlds, you have the capacity to customize your notebook like with a ring binder but you also have the capacity to carry it as a notebook, similar to a spiral bound notebook except you are not constrained to using it as is for the whole time. You can add pages to it, inserts, cards, notes and so on. I love it and I recommend you creating your own notebook so you can have a more fulfilling and reflective life where you will find and create your own happiness.

This is how my “Freedom notebook” looks like:

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Let me know if you have a similar notebook like this and how you use it. Also, I have a traveler’s notebook that I bought with the idea of using it similarly but for some reason it is not working for me, so I carry my traveler’s notebook for planning and projects and other things.

I am surprised and amazed of how much I actually love this system! I am even thinking that it can totally work as a future planner or bullet journal but we shall see about that, for now, I am super happy with this notebook and it has added value to my life! I feel more inspired and eager to sit down and write. It definitely is doing the trick for me!

Thanks for reading planner friends,

Em

Turn off distractions – Stay focused with your planner

Has it ever happened to you that you find the time on a Sunday night or Monday morning to set up your planner and write down all the things you need to do for the week? Then the week comes and you find yourself migrating or transferring some tasks on Monday to Tuesday and then from Tuesday to Wednesday and so on until the week ends. Sometimes, we actually manage to accomplish our daily goals and manage to complete at least our top priorities, but often we also don’t get there or are even close.

New year is one of my faaaaaaavorite, most fun celebrations, I have always liked it because that is an opportunity for everyone to come together and celebrate or at least try. It gives us a chance to re-set our lives in a big way, make up for mistakes and try to get back to track or initiate new things, plan new things, start anew, change our lives. We are inspired by endless possibilities of change. Aren’t we?

It now it is already April and with the beginning of Spring comes, we all begin to wonder “what am I doing?, this is not what I had planned on January 1st!”. The initial motivation that had us with a huge sense of hope on January starts to fade. In addition to our motivation wearing off we also have all these pictures and Facebook or instagram or pinterest or email notifications remind us of what we want and don’t have. These are also called: DISTRACTIONS. The good new is that we can always re-set our lives – I believe so – and go back to basics, where we can focus on our goals, on our plans and on the things that make us happy. After all, what did we come to this life for but to be happy?

Happiness starts with connecting with yourself, with being in touch with your fears and your dream, the ups and downs. Happiness also, doesn’t just “come”, we ought to work for it, we ought to get up early, to go bed early, work out, be mindful, eat healthy, nourish ourselves, spend time with family: DO WHAT MAKES US HAPPY.

It is not a cliché, this really is how we can become happy. Also, planning and sticking to your tracking chart, changing the way you plan (maybe), changing your habits, staying on track with your goals, and most important setting up actionable – little steps – that you can take to achieve your goals, to be happy.

Because I know the struggle I came up with a few things that I think can help you and me to stay on track with those goals that we set on the even of December 31st of the previous year. I hope they will help you and that you can actually bring yourself to be more aware, more conscious and more focused and intentional about your plans. Because remember, your day to day appointments and to dos have  A LOT to do with your final goal. The one you will revisit every month or every week, and then every end of each year.

  1. Turn off your mobile devices: I do remember those days when mobile phones were not as prevalent in our lives and at times it feels like there’s no escape but there IS. Simply turn off your notifications and be mindful about your time. Set yourself a goal of working for periods of time without checking your phone.
  2. Work more effectively, not harder: Set yourself a goal of working for 50 minutes on something and take 10 minutes break. Stay focused during those 50 minutes and set a goal of staying at work for those 50 minutes before you can take a break. This is a great way to work and finish something if you need to.
  3. Be aware of your habits and thoughts: Really there is no magic formula to staying motivated and the only way to do things is to actually do them. On your planner write down the things that you tend to do that are distractions such as watching tv when you should be starting a new project, not sticking to your plans, feeling down when you don’t know how to start or even giving up when you feel a task is too large or too complex to even bother. Be mindful about your mental patterns and change them. Mindfulness and awareness can make you adjust your actions to developing good habits and finishing things so that eventually you can reach your goals.
  4. Use your planner as a tool to help you plan your time: Time is precious so waste it wisely! A planner is a great tool to help you know how much time you have, what appointments you have and when and how you can work on something. It will help you know how your days look like and what you need to adjust to get things done.
  5. Write it down! It is proven that when we write things down it is easier to stay focused on the things that need to get done. When you write things down, you empty your head to make more space for the things that are important. Also, by visually seeing a list of tasks or events, you will know how much time you really don’t have or do have to do something or waste it on a distraction. Use your planner to create a section for notes, reminders or a brain dump and use it to guide you through your planning process.

Distractions are everywhere and it is up to us to stay on track by revisiting our goals, our thoughts and our intentions. Stay on track by continuously being aware of your thoughts and change them by positive ones. It really becomes easier when you do it often.

I hope this was useful and that you will let me know what your thoughts are on these suggestions. Thank you for reading!

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A planner for (working) moms: Survival mode on

If you are a mom you know how challenging it is sometimes to take care of everything, let alone if you also work full time, AND try to serve your community with projects on the side (and you want to blog). I only have one child, he is almost 2 year old and he moves non- stop. At the same time, I am someone who can’t handle a messy house, I just can’t, never have and it’s very difficult for me to relax if my house/desk/car/office is messy. This said, I add even more stress to myself by wanting to have a clean house at all times, even with a toddler.

I work full time as a Community Organizer in a non-profit organization, being a community organizer full time and mom/wife/pup-mom can be difficult sometimes so I depend on my planner to help me deal with life, or really, just to survive until my child grows a little bit more. I have never bought an already-made planner for moms simply because I can’t related to many of the products sold out there. I have my own demands and I find it that many of the mom planners out there are not suitable for me. Kikki-K does have a few binders that I think would be great to have, but they are separate binders for different areas in your life. Not really a planner.

So I put together a list of sections that I think the ideal (working) mom planner should have. If you are a stay at home mom, some of these sections might be irrelevant but that doesn’t mean that you have less work, it just means that our lives are compartmentalized differently. What sections can you put into your planner if you want to be able to remember everything and deal with everything without forgetting that you have to do it?

I believe the perfect mom planner should have:

  1. A beautiful, inspiring dashboard that will keep you going when you feel your are running out of steam. Not to forget a flyleaf to put sticky notes on the go when you need to make sure they make it to your planner, for you to allocate them to the pertinent section
  2. A personal section where you can store your darkest thoughts (HA!)- or really where you can store all things pertaining to yourself, mom – because I find it that sometimes we put ourselves last in the list of people we need to take care of
  3. A yearly, monthly, weekly and/or daily calendar – when you are mark down vacation, holidays, birthdays, special events and events in general that you need to plan in advance (and remember) appointments, bill reminders, bill deadlines, reminders, etc. and a daily section if you prefer having a lot of space to write down everything related to both, work and personal life.
  4. A work section – if you are a working mom and need to keep track of appointments, reminders, meetings and to dos.
  5. Family section – where you can write down any trackers (in case you are tracking your children’s health or sick days) reminders, homework, school projects, husband schedules, husband reminders, etc. All of these can be sub-sections.
  6.  Menu and lists – to plan your meals and make sure you have a list prepared for when you go grocery shopping.
  7. Projects, can be house projects – meaning family related – or work projects as well.
  8. A brain dump – because every mom needs one if we intend to survive!
  9. Miscellaneous, where you can store information such as contacts for school, veterinary (if you have a child-pet), other moms, play dates, places, doctor’s, hospitals, family, and maybe even to write down your passwords.
  10. A notes section – if you are like me who since became a mom seems to have lost her memory along the way, we need to write down everything so the notes section is essential.

 

 

These are only some of the sections that I suggest you can come up with to put together your own planner. Remember that your planner should be the place where you can store your thoughts, ideas and life vision. It should be a tool to help you navigate life a little easier, especially if you are a working mom. I am someone who is a planner and always has been so I like to plan my days ahead of time, also because I have too much to do all the time, but you don’t have to know what’s happening next week to use your planner. Planners are also great to store ideas and be more intentional about what you want to do and how you want to use your time. Remember that time is a scarse resource so we should be wasting it wisely. Now, if you need more inspiration on additional sections that you can use to put together your own planner, Pinterest is a great place to visit. There you will find a ton of ideas for more sections that could be useful to you.

Whether you are a mom who also works outside the home or only works at home (the so called stay at home moms) planners are a great resource that will help you also remain inspired and up to date with your goals. We, moms, should also be taking care of ourselves it being by working out, doing 30 min of meditation, taking a bath, getting a haircut, or whatever makes you feel happy and that will help you re-charge your batteries. Use your planner because there is no other way around learning how to best organize and manger our time.

Time is a scarce resource,  waste it wisely.

Thank you for reading, I hope this was useful and gave you some inspiration to create your perfect (working) mom planner.

Em J

Filofax series 2: What is a dashboard?

The great dashboard is sometimes one of the sections that can be a little confusing for some of us. Especially when someone is trying to get into planners or is new to all of this.

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A dashboard is usually placed at the forefront of a section, a planner or as a front page. This is the place “to go” when you are looking for something important, additional information, a quick place to write down an idea, or a place to host emergent tasks or thoughts. It usually is a flyleaf or a laminated page, mostly because these materials allow you stick  post-its to it easily. Also because these materials stand out and are easy to locate when you are trying to find the right place to write something down.

Dashboards are the first page of a section or subsection or of your entire planner, this is ideal because you know you can always stick a post-it to that particular place. Also, if you write things down on sticky notes, this is the place to put them temporarily, and then transfer those ideas, thoughts or tasks to its corresponding section or day.

I love having dashboards made out of laminated scrap-paper or flyleafs. This is the place where I put a bunch of things and the place to go for when I am trying to remember an emergent task or a thought that has not been moved to another section.

It is up to you what you put on your dashboard but think of it as the page where you temporary things can live or where you can secure your sticky notes without these falling down easily. You can create a dashboard for your A5 binders, personal size, fauxdoris and even hobonichis or spiral bound planners.

How do you use your dashboards?

Happy plans!

Em J