2017 Planners – This is what I am using

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

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

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

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

My planners are:

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

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

Thanks for reading and happy planning for 2017!

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

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When in doubt, be a unicorn – Happy Monday!

Stationery Mondays

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

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

Thanks for reading this short post,

Em J

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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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Maximize your time, use it wisely

It is no secret that I use several planners at the same time. Why you may ask!? For me, it works! Using several planners allows me to sort of “divide” my life into the different realms that I need to differentiate to be most effective. I am a working mom that also handles a lot of things at home, for instance, our bills, financial matters, shopping lists, doctors/vets appointments and so on. Having one single planner for everything just doesn’t do the trick, hence, the various planners that I have.

One of these planners is my passion planner, which is a simple but very effective bound planner that I use for all things related to my family, my personal time management and it helps me have an overview of how we spend our time, our days and what needs to get done. Th reason why I love my passion planner is because not only does it help you have a road map if you entire year but also, by organizing each day and having a visual overview of how you spend each day, you are able to manage your time better. The layout of this planner is simple, and it also has space for being creative and decorate it if you want to. Each day in this planner is divided into time slots, with room for goals, focus, personal lists, work lists, and a reflection are of positive things that happened in the past.

When I started using this planner I realized how helpful it was because it actually lets you see what you do with your days. By coloring or marking your tasks and placing them where they belong – assigned to a particular time during your day – you are able to see, for example that from 1 PM to 3 PM you spent your time cleaning – or doing nothing – or that between 8am and 6pm all you did was just work and in between you squeeze in some time to read. Or actually, see when you can squeeze in some time to read when you are at the office.

This planner gives you space to see what tasks you need to do for work and for your personal life, for me, even though I use one planner for work – my hobonichi techo – and one planner for all things home and persona, it still helps me see what’s what I need to do that week specifically for work (whether it will be a regular work week or whether I need to go somewhere other than the office).

By having a visual division of your days you can easily see where your time goes, whether you spent too much time watching TV or where you actually should have been at the gym instead of laying on the couch.

Obviously, you don’t have to use a Passion planner but I am using this example to illustrate how, by using your planner, you can have a better idea of how you spend your days and actually your life and whether you need to adjust that if you are working toward a goal. Also, there are various tools that can help you visualize what you do with your time, one of these ways is using a spiraldez or chronodex insert.

The chronodex y a great tool designed by Patrick Ng and adjusted by Kent from Oz  this great tool will also help you see how you manage your time, what you do during the day what you need to adjust if you want to become more productive and achieve those goals that have been on your planner. The chronodex y actually very easy to use once you get the hand of it and here Patrick Ng explains all about it. You can also look for videos on You Tube where various amazing planner ladies-men teach you how to best use this great tool.

Here you have it, a few thoughts on how to use visual tools and planner layouts to best know how you spend your time and make adjustments so you can be your most productive self.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments box if you have ever used any of these tools or also let me know what tools you use to be productive and get things done.

Have a great week!

Em Jorden

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Three reasons why the traveler’s notebooks are super fun

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I have been using a traveler’s notebook in field notes size for about a year and I love the size. I enjoy using a traveler’s notebook because of how versatile and fun they are. Also because, for some reason, your creative energy goes a little crazy. You feel more free to use the notebooks however you want. I love this!

I recently purchased the new Webster’s pages traveler’s notebook. They are so nice! good quality and they have tons of pockets. I also took the time to cut some notebooks to size, I decorated the pages and actually did some kind of set up. At least a set up that can function for now until I figure out what exactly I want to do with this cover.

But nevermind the details. Traveler’s notebooks have a different feel to them than ring or spiral bound planners. Here are a few reasons why I think traveler’s notebooks are great fun and great to use when you ate doing more things than just planning your days.

Reason 1. You can find all kinds of inserts and add them to your cover as you please. You can also add, remove or exchange inserts depending on your needs at a specific point in time. These days you will find mixed media, ruled, tomoe River paper inserts and much more. The sky is the limit so to say.

Reason #2. You don’t have rings or a spiral on the way. Maybe this is one of the most fun things about it. I love my Filofax but sometimes I actually end up taking the pages out individually so I can write on them because the rings can be a bit on the way, depending on how your writing style is, but for me, they do get on the way.

Reason #3. You can add as many or as few notebooks as you want. You can also do this with a ring binder, at least until the rigs snap open because you added too many pages. The traveler’s notebooks covers allow you to add notebooks or remove them without much headache. With the Webster’s pages in particular you don’t have over hang because the covers are wider and a little bigger than the regular midori sizes. These cover are extra fun because of the size, which I wasn’t sure about in the beginning but now that my notebook is so stuffed, I am madly in love.

These are only three reasons but I would add that they are portable. They are easy to carry with you, especially if you add all your necessary notebooks in one place you are all set for a trip. They are well made and the strings can be changed if they get lose.

So here you have them. Do you have another reason why traveler’s notebooks are fun to have? Please let me know. Thanks for reading and enjoy!

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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Filofax series, part IV: The “Lists” Section

Welcome back to the last installment of my Filofax series  today we will be talking about the lists section. In theory, this section should be straightforward and easy to understand but there are also sometimes occasions where we are not exactly sure what to include in a list.

The reason why I think it is important to have this section in a planner is because lists help have a better idea of what the components to a project, a thought or a plan are. The possibilities are endless! Lists help us empty our minds and create categories or group items into different categories of things. For example, you can make shopping lists and know that you have that list available when needed. You can also make lists that help you know what you need to do to accomplish a goal or a project. For example, you can make a list of items you need to set up your home office. A list like this will support you in numbering the pieces of furniture that you need, or the items that you need to buy or how much money you will need to budget for this project.

You can also make lists of books that you want to read, and the list will help you keep them in mind when you need to borrow them from the library, look for them or buy them.

It is very simple and you really don’t need to have a special insert for this section. For example, what I do is to add pieces of paper from different note pads that I have around my office, I perforate them and add them to my planner. My lists section is a collection of paper in different sizes, colors, types and even shapes. I love it! It is fun and it also keeps your mind busy in creating an entire section that can be customized to your needs. You can also make lists just for fun!

Last year I participated in the “lister’s gotta list” challenged launched by The restet girl and it was fun. If you are someone who loves listing items and group them in categories for your projects or plans, then a “Lists section” is definitely the way to go.

How do you use this section and how does it help you? I´d love to know so please leave your comments under the “comments” section here in the blog.

Thank you for reading and until next time for another Filofax series.

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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Filofax Series, part III: The notes section

Let’s continue with the third installment of the Filofax series and today I will talk about the very basic and very important “Notes” section. This is of course not always an section only for random notes but I believe it can help us organize our ideas, find solutions and write down your thoughts or general notes for you to follow up on later.

The notes section is the place where you can actually create subsections for thoughts, ideas, reminders, brainstorms, brain-dumps, road-maps, laying out your projects, scribbling, brain-dump, descriptions on something, favorite places or things, the list is endless really. What is important is that you remember that this is the section where you can more or less empty your mind to make space for the important stuff like appointments, goals and happy moments. 🙂

For example, the notes section in both of my Filofax binders are the place where I can sit down and brainstorm on blog posts, find names and determine how I will breakdown each topic. I also use my notes section to take notes on meetings, conversations, personal meetings with people, ideas to follow up on, take notes on articles that I come across on the internet – and highlight any pieces of interest that could be useful for my blog later on. The notes section is a general place where I know I will find information on topics and ideas. This is the place where I sometimes write the names of books or websites that are important for me to check out to take ideas from there.

My notes section is destined for information that I can refer to later on when I am planning specific things. The information on your notes section will also become information on your calendar pages, goals sections, dashboard or even be part of a project in your projects section.

In terms of the kinds of inserts that you can use, I usually use plain paper, sometimes from the Filofax line, sometimes random paper that I punch and cut to size from other notebooks, or sometimes I even add different sizes of pages that I take from other places. You can also use specific inserts that you can get from pinterest, maybe some freebies or layouts designed by other bloggers.

I have to say that it is also fun to have papers of different colors and designs, if you don’t think it can distract you or drive you a bit crazy. Some people prefer just plain paper, for me, this section is the place where I can go a little crazy and it doesn’t matter much what kind of paper I have so I usually go free-style with it.

I also keep a small field-notes size notebook that I bought on discount at Papyrus that I keep in my filofax just for me to journal or write more of personal thoughts that don’t necessarily need to be allocated to the rest of my pages in the planner.

For moms, the notes section is where you can also store notes on your children’s lives or husband’s schedule and what not. You can basically write down everything and anything but try to identify the kind of information that you store there so you can also refer to it or consult later on when needed. The notes section is to help you find information or references for future projects or plans, so use it and go crazy with it!

Thank you for reading and until next time in the Filofax series.

Em J

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