Meet Mrudula Reddi – Traveler’s notebook user

Hi all — This is the last installment for 2016 of planner lovers from around the world. Today, I am introducing you to Mrudula who is located in India. I have seen her videos on You Tube and I thought that her ideas and proposals for us, planner people, were amazing. I am here featuring her story and her planner ideas. I hope you enjoy! Thank you for reading and happy end of the year.

Who are you? What is your name –it can be your name on Instagram if you want to– where are you from and where do you live?

My name is Mrudula Reddy, I am a landscape architect in India. I’m known as journalingmylife on You tube and journalingmylifehere on Instagram.  I was born is a small town call Narasaraopet, which is located in southern India. I am a south Indian and have had the pleasure of traveling quite a bit around the world with my parents. Currently, I work for the Government of Andhra Pradesh as an In-house landscape architect which involves a lot of traveling too.

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

I am using quite a few now,

  • I have a Taroko shop FN size TN that I use to house my bible and a notebook for Sunday church.
  • Another is a standard Midori Traveler’s notebook in brown which I use onsite when I have to travel and record site markings.
  • I have my EDC which is a pocket wide from Naked cow in the flapjack leather that  I use the MOST, It has a few inserts but the heart is a pocket  moleskine planner which I cannot live without..;)

I also have two beautiful brown mavericks, one FN size and one Extra wide for my husband, who I roped into travelers notebooks too..^_^

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Why do you journal and why did you decide to open your YouTube channel?

I love stationary, let me start off there. I have started my planner journey in 2016, but found out about  the planner community a few months after that, I felt so inspired by the setup videos I saw and felt there weren’t any Indian planners on youtube so I thought as a hobby I will go ahead and try putting up a video, and after that I just enjoyed doing it so much more than I expected, I love the way everyone in the planner community are so kind and positive.

Why did you decide to start journaling or using planners? and why do you like it?

My grandfather visited my family once in Texas and the first thing he asked me was for a diary, I was a little girl and I went with him to a local dollar store and bought a book with him. He wrote everything we did during his stay with us, shortly after leaving back to India, he passed away. I decided to keep that diary he kept as a memory, and every time I look through it I feel closer to him. I’m sentimental and forgetful, I needed a planner and putting pen to paper feels so safe, and long lasting.

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What drives you to continue writing things down on paper instead of using technology?

There is a person called Bulletjournaljoy on Instagram, she posted a picture of a stack of her finished bullet journals. That picture is so motivational and compelling to me. I wanted me own stack of books that I could flip through and relive my memories.

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

My dream is to simply have no regret. That sounds so simple but so hard to achieve. Looking back at my life thus far, I revisit a few of my pivotal life changing decisions I made that brought me where I am. I can say I have no regrets thus far. Take the chance and do what you want to, live life with no regrets, that’s the best gift you can give yourself.

What are your favorite stationery shops?

What a tough question to answer! I have OCD, (my husband believes that) I liked MUJI, I went there recently with a friend and I enjoyed how interesting the stationary there is and how well organized it was. Definite OCD porn. Haha..! I picked, but a few things that I use every day.  I like stationary with more of a function than an aesthetic.  I need to go to more stationary shops to add to my love for MUJI.

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

Bulletjournaljoy is my kind of people, I also like Desiree from mommyreporter, Siopaopei, Byabya, and of course jose naranja.

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

I have a simple motto, function above aesthetic. I like washi and stickers but I prefer them to have a reason which is greater than just an aesthetic value.  I sometimes sit in front of the tv and enjoy using washi, but for day to day, the fact that my planner helps me with my work and life is simply what motivates me. I love being organized enough to not forget birthdays and plans. Instagram always helps. 😉

Tell us about 2017, what are the next steps and how do your journals help you get there? Where do you want to be next year with your YouTube channel?

I’m so excited to answer this question! I have added to my EDC for next year, and I hope to put out more content which is relatable to others and also fulfilling to me personally. I would like to get more exposure to India and Indian planners.

Thankyou for having me on your blog, I appreciate it. Have an amazing day

With regards from India.

Mrudula Reddi

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Thank you so much Mrudula, for being my guest this month and for sharing with us all your insight into your planner system and your favorite stationery. I appreciate the time you took to answer my questions.

Have a fantastic 2017 you all!

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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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Planner stories from around the world

On the second installment of Planner stories from around the world, a new section that I started blogging about a couple of weeks ago, today I am featuring  My Summer Touch. Initially, I called this section “Dream chasers” but I am still undecided about the name so, for now, let’s call these stories “Planner stories from around the world”. As a reminder, this is a section where I will be featuring stories from people within the planner community, who are writing their own stories. People who have the courage to be creative, act on their own dreams, be happy and write new beginnings with YouTube channels, online stores, blogs, planner systems and so on.

Enjoy Clara’s story and please, share it widely. Thank you for reading and if you have suggestions about someone I should reach out to, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments section. Enjoy!

Planner stories MySummerTouch

1. What is your name, where are you from and where do you live?
My name is Clara,  people know me as MySummerTouch on YouTube,  Instagram,  blogger, Twitter,  Tumblr,  periscope.  I realize that it’s  a lot.  And I am Marusya Ivanova on Facebook! Ha ha!  A whole another story about this name! I’m from Russia,  lived for several years in the US  and then I came back to a different part of Russia where I am right now.

2. What notebooks do you currently use, what for and why these particular notebooks?
I have quite a  long history of using different planners and journals. Originally I “came out” on YouTube as a planner lover,  showed a lot of Filofaxes,  and then my love explored in using Franklin Covey,  Midori Traveler’s notebooks,  Hobonichi,  Lovedoki.  Fairly recently I started to show my journals,  and this love turned out into the love of art journaling, which I am yet to show.

3. Why do you journal or plan?
I just recently realized that I have always loved planners and journals, loved to collect books on time management,  artist journals,  traveler’s notebooks,  sketchbooks,  and have always watched those on the Internet,  on YouTube particularly. I love to be organized,  love to organize,  and love to write things down.  Even poured out myself on paper,  and I love beautiful things,  so it all came into what I’m doing today.  I’m on Instagram every day,  and I try to post out videos on my YouTube channel MySummerTouch every week on weekends.

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4. Why did you decide to open your youtube channel?
After some time after getting back from the US, I realized that I forgot my English,  and started to listen and read books in English.  It wasn’t enough,  I wanted a real chat with people from all over the world.  I always loved YouTube,  and the main thing that I was watching on it were planner videos,  so it was a no-brainer to start a YouTube channel about planners and productivity in English.

5. What drives you to continue working on your channel?
I have the need to share my joy and my happiness with other people,  and I enjoy the interaction with people literally from all parts of the world.  It makes me happy.

6.What is your dream and what would you say to people who are working to achieve their own dreams?
I’d say,  there is no failing,  just not enough attempts.  If you won’t stop achieving your dreams,  you will get what you want! Don’t ever stop,  it’s worth it to continue to pursue your dream! My only dream right now is to be happy, I’m getting there,  I’m much happier now than before!

7. What are your favorite stationery shops?
I like to visit one of the big towns that are closest to where I live, there they have a huge bookstore that sells stationery and art supplies,  and I spend there half a day just choosing things I love to try out.

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8. Who are your favorite journalers, entrepreneurs or people that you look up to?
My absolute favorite instagrammer is @janethecrazy, I enjoy beautiful Midori Traveler’s Notebooks that she writes in,  her style is absolutely perfect,  I would say,  it’s  creative mess.  And I consider my art journaling teachers Mary Ann Moss and Teesha Moore,  love their color sense and artistic expression!

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9. How did you learn to journal the way you do, and what keeps you inspired?
I started to journal because I needed to clear out the mess in my head.  It’s almost necessary,  I’d even say it’s necessary to keep me thinking clear. Then I was bored with just plain pages,  then I bought my Midori Traveler’s notebooks in China,  and started to decorate my journals with magazine clippings and writing over them.  Now I am fully into painting and sketching.  There is nothing more inspiring than an artistic journal to me.  Just yesterday I received two  private messages on Instagram,  one said that my all my work is just amazing,  another one said that my journals inspired the person to make her own artistic journals.  I was surprised and pleased.  I’m glad I get to inspire people!

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10. Tell us about 2017, what are the next steps and how do your journals help you get there?
I hope to turn my journals into something more beautiful and pleasing to my own eyes.  I am my own harsh critic,  I try not to destroy pages when I don’t like them.  My next steps will be improving my calligraphy and to combine my art journaling and journaling together in one place,  even to combine it all with a planner,  all into one place,  so it will be one journal for everything – journal,  art journal,  sketchbook,  commonplace book.  I also want to learn to paint as a professional that will be a lot of work,  but I’m willing to go there.  Just recently I have drawn a model’s face in my Hobonichi,  and I was so immersed in it,  that I almost physically felt happy.  I completely forgot about time,  and I had something to show as a result! I want to draw more faces and people in general.  It makes me relaxed  and feels like meditation. I encourage you to try it too!

Thank you! 

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You can find Clara at:
Blogspot: mysummertouch1.blogspot.com
Instagram: @mysummertouch
Tumblr: Mysummertouch
YouTube: youtube.com/MySummerTouch

Thanks so much Clara for sharing your story with us and for inspiring us to do what makes us happy!

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Best websites to find Hobonichi covers

One of the ways to buy a cover for your Hobonichi is through the official Hobonichi websitewebsite. However, if you live outside Japan and you have ordered from the Hobonichi store, you soon noticed that the shipping costs are sometimes equal to half the price of a Hobonichi book or more –depending on where you live.

What happened to me was that I placed an order for a set of things but I didn’t order a cover for my weeks Hobonichi. When I received the order I regretted not having ordered a cover, but I didn’t want to place an order whose shipping would be much more expensive than the articles themselves. This is when I started looking into alternatives for my weeks cover, and I found a few options which I thought I should share with you.

Here they are:

  • What I ended up buying for my weeks was a Filofax Saffiano Zipped binder. The reason why I loved it was because the Hobonichi weeks fits perfectly, it was tons of pockets and also –the best feature of all– the rings are removable and you can use it simply as a weeks cover!

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  • You have Jepens.com which sells both, the hobonichi covers and the book in A6. Actually, I bought my Hobonichi in A6 from this shop and shipping was free.
  • Kawaii Tokio on Etsy sells covers and some accessories as well
  • Lunablue bags also sells covers on Etsy, and basically Etsy has a myriad of options to find a cover for your books
  • Amazon also sells some covers
  • FoxyFix sells leather covers, beware of choosing a cover that’s the right size and width.
  • Gillio Giramondo has amazing leather covers as well, although more on the pricey side

So, here you have them. If you placed your Hobonichi order but forgot or didn’t want to order a cover, there are many options out there where shipping is less expensive and that are great options for your Hobonichi books.

If you have ordered covers from other places, do let me know in the comments. Thank you for stopping by!

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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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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Five reasons to use grid paper in your Filofax

Happy Sunday beautiful people! As you all know I am in love with this personal size Filofax original in navy. I just think it’s one of the most beautiful planners out there, also, as you all know I use this planner in addition to a few others. Each one has a different purpose and contain different information. This particular one houses all my blog related things, I run two blogs so I need tons of paper to organize this information, ideas, thoughts and editorial calendars.

For me, just as it happens to many stationery enthusiasts out there, the quality and feel of the paper I use in my planners DOES matter. I am not the biggest fan of the Filofax inserts that come with the binders when you buy them but I do love many other of their inserts. I don’t own a printer so I can’t always print my own calendars and when I do buy inserts I usually buy them on sale. Last year, I actually bought a packet of their notes papers from my local stationery shop in Boston. This packet contained different colors of paper and also different types, some of the pages were lined, some other ones blank and some others were grid.

Now, let me tell you how much I love having grid pages in my binder and the reasons why I think they are useful are mostly grouped in these five categories:

  1. Grid paper makes it easier to create tracking charts that can help you keep track of habits and will definitely help you change your lifestyle to that one you desire to have.
  2. It is super easy to write own, unless you have gigantic handwriting, grid paper will definitely help you to write easier because of the lines. The lines are the secret to having a better perspective of the space you need to create your weekly layout, tracking charts is simply jot down your notes and ideas.
  3. Grid paper is helpful when you are creating your own layouts. If you are like me and don’t want to keep buying inserts every time, you can create your own. Grid paper is a great alternative to make this happen and make it easier.
  4. It is great for art projects or creating blue prints, if you are someone who enjoys re-creating your physical space so that you can organize it better or improve your house, grid or graph paper will be great for you. You can have a more clear and better guides to help you determine proportions, measurements and simply, have a more clear understanding of your page.
  5. It is great for financial planning: If you are like many of the planner people out there, you also use your planner for organizing your bills, tracking your finances and writing down your expenses. Grid paper is great for this because by the nature of it, you can do an easier allocation of expenses, lists, tracking your numbers and creating different columns, rows and areas on your page where you can write down different concepts, numbers and check numbers. If anything I do think that grid is great for numbers and bills!

So go get yourself a regular notebook from staples or your local office store, cut it down to size and make yourself some inserts for your planner. You will be amazing of how much actually the kind of paper you use will help you make your planning easier or harder and how much grid paper will help you for different purposes, even if all you do is write down notes, just like I do.

Do let me know what you use grid paper for and if you find it useful. Thank you so much for stopping by and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog if you like the content.

See you next time!
Em

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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

To do lists that help you get things done

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As you know, I am a mom, a working mom and as many moms out there we have tons of things to do and very little time. Things get complicated when we can’t just get out of the office to go to the bank or run to the post-office so moms usually have to become creative to get things done – on time!

So here’s my take on how to create a to do list that will actually get done.

1. Keep it simple and concrete – Plan the things that you need to get done, and add them to your planner, especially if they are time-sensitive. Be realistic about whether you will be able to go run an errand that will take at least 30 minutes during your lunch break if this can only be half an hour. So think realistically when planning your to do list and ask yourself: Will I find the 30, 10 or 20 min that I need to go run this errand, make an appointment, call someone, pay bills, check my email, send an email, etc?

2. Prioritize – Some actions are time sensitive so you will want to prioritize those that need to be done BEFORE or BY a specific day.

3. Plan your day and insert your to dos into those windows of time that you have in between tasks. For example, I usually try to plan my day based on my appointments and things that are subject to other people and can’t be changed, then I schedule time sensitive tasks or actions, and then I add emergent tasks whenever I have a window of time where I can squeeze in an errand or an action.

4. Use a notebook, also known as “brain dump” where you will write down EVERYTHING that you need to do during your week or month and then, once you allocated those things to your week or day, identify your to do lists. Add these to dos to your day as you plan your day in the morning or the previous day.

5. Know how much time will a task take to be accomplished. This will make it easier for you to assign your to dos to your days and plan accordingly.

Of course, don’t forget to keep your list at hand and wherever you can see it or take it with you. I usually keep it in my planner. If it’s a ring planner I punch holes to it and add it as one of my inserts. I use my hobonichi techo and usually I write down the To Dos on a separate piece of paper and stick it to my Hobonichi’s cover to keep it handy. It is very easy to get things done, and actually this is also a great strategy to stop procrastinating! Good luck and let me know how it goes.

Thank you for reading!

Em J