Showing posts with label planners. Show all posts
Showing posts with label planners. Show all posts

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Journey Continues...




Sometime, in the middle of August, I found the disc system to get a little obnoxious. I added four vertical bookmarks, hand-punched by me. I trimmed them a second time but still found the pages difficult to turn. Even without the bookmarks, the pages had become difficult to turn more than 2-3 pages at a time. It was kind of frustrating when I wanted to flip back and forth from planner to trackers.

It was time to go back to the old fashioned ring binder. I didn't think I wanted to go smaller. I haven't been a fan of the A5 size of most bullet journals. So, I went to the 8.5 x 11 size. The ring binder definitely made turning pages easy again, but it took up so much space on my desk.

And, I found the thought of journaling/scrapbooking an entire page a little daunting. I avoided journaling anything for the first 3 weeks. I spent the last few weeks trying out different options.

I went back to the composition sized (7.75 inches x 9.75 inches), but in a spiral notebook. I wanted to keep my pages mobile so I clipped the pages where they connect to the spiral binding.



This gave me the ability to move my pages around, and they still held together well, plus I could turn the pages easily. I made my calendar pages and some gratitude pages.


I especially liked the ability to fold my journal in half to write, but the gratitude pages on the bottom side fell out. Well, that turned out not as convenient as I thought. Bummer.

The next option was the A5 size. I don't like the regular bullet journals where they make an index of pages instead of being able to move them around and group like pages together and add pages where needed. That wasn't an option for me at all.

I thought I could try that size if I could find it in a ring binder. There are a lot of possibilities out there, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money on an experiment that may turn out temporary. I found a clear plastic, 6-hole binder in the A5 size for $7.99 on Etsy. I could do that.

At first, I thought the calendar was way too small to write in, but I decided to give it good try so I made all the pages I normally would use. I even made little pocket divider pages from the full size dividers. It turned out kinda cute. Actually, it is stinkin' cute.


Getting used to the calendar size after an 8.5 x 11 page was not as hard as I thought it would be. I write a little smaller, which I like my handwriting better that way. This size fits my desk top with room to spare, but the ring binder is not quite an inch, which meant something had to go.

My spiritual journal, where I chronicle "How has the Lord reached out to me this week," and notes on lessons and conference talks would go in this journal:


I've been using this A5 lined journal for over a year, just for church stuff and then copying the pages into my regular journal. I decided to reduce and simplify. This little journal works well without duplicating my efforts. I don't need to move pages around and rarely ever add pages to it.

Next, I had to find a home for all of my menu/meal planning and shopping lists, cleaning and chores schedule, and my financial pages.

I renamed my 8.5 x 11 planner as the "Family Management Planner." It has my bill-paying trackers, password trackers, contacts list, meal planning and shopping lists, gift lists, wish lists, etc. That frees up my little A5 ring binder to just be my planner, journal, and a few trackers. I am very happy with this new size and that I found it in a ring binder. A5 found a new convert. It really is a nice size to fit in my bag and on my desk and it is big enough I can read it.

Always journaling,

Monday, September 25, 2017

4 FREE Printables to Organize the Odds and Ends of Life!


Confession: I have over 90 different accounts, each with their own website and password. This includes everything from insurance and banking to Amazon and Etsy. Online shopping has never been easier! However, there is no possible way I'm going to remember all of those passwords and account numbers.

At one point, I had all of the websites and passwords listed in a notebook, kind of helter-skelter as I started using them, but my husband was so lost and asked me to please alphabetize them. That took some time, but I entered them all into an Xcel spreadsheet and sorted, then I printed them out.

You won't be able to sort this form, but it can help if you don't want to bother with Xcel, or it can give you a jumping off spot to start your own Xcel list.

Next is my Monthly Bill Tracker:

I'm a visual person. It really helps me to map out all of my bills and see where they land during the month, especially in relation to the paychecks.

It also serves as a reminder for all of those auto debits that come out of my account when I'm not looking.

Print it out and adapt it to your needs.



Cleaning/Chore Schedule:

o First, on a scrap piece of paper, I list all of my chores.
oSecond, I divide them into Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and semi-annual chores.
oThird, I block out time on my daily and weekend routine boxes when I will likely be able to tackle those chores.
oThen, I try to stay flexible. Life rarely goes according to plan. Sometimes I'm lucky if I can grab small snatches of time.
Star the "have-to-dos" and get them over with first.
oWeekly chores like laundry can be listed in order of the day of the week, if you choose. Try to establish a routine. Chores are more likely to get done if you are consistent. Don't be too hard on yourself if they don't happen. For some, a routine is a luxury.
oMonthly chores are those things that only need to be done once a month. I try to do one a week.
oSemi-Annual chores only need to be done every six months, like spring cleaning. I try to do one of these chores every week.
That way, my monthly and semi-annual chores won't pile up and I don't feel so overwhelmed.

8 x 11 Dot Grid Paper

Recently, I went back to the 3-ring, 8 x 11 binder. I liked the disc binder system but it got to be such a pain to turn more the 2 pages at a time. Plus, I had to make all my own pages because I chose the composition size book. That size is not readily available. There are lots of sizes very close but nothing floats my boat quite like the composition size, for some reason.
Anyway, I needed a new source of inexpensive dot grid paper, so I made my own. Then I discovered that if I print the dot grid onto a higher quality paper, my markers won't bleed through. Try 27 or 32 pound paper. that quality also has a smoother finish.

I hope these little printables will help you build your own planner and journal.

Are there different forms you'd like to see in the Library of Awesome? Leave a comment and I'll see what I can do.

No matter what happens in life--Keep Journaling!

Always,


Monday, September 18, 2017

Cut Menu Planning Time in Half!


I don't know about you, but I used to waste a lot of time holding the refrigerator door open wondering what I was going to make for dinner. Kids are hungry, the bread winner will be home soon wanting some amazing, yet thrifty meal...Oh,the stress. That's the same time you're trying to help someone finish their homework while listening to another someone read, etc., etc.

I decided I had to have a plan of attack...
So here's what I did:
First, I made a list of all my family's favorite meals. Don't bother listing meals the kids absolutely hate. It's not worth your time and effort to waste the food anyway. Make sure they are nutritious, but tasty. If you haven't got many recipes, email or Facebook some friends and do a recipe exchange. Avoid fast food. Those are for the rare emergency. There are a lot of meals you can make ahead of time and freeze--just Google it. I love using my crockpot for busy days. There are a lot of set-it and forget-it type recipes out there. 

Next, I printed out 3 blank calendars and mapped out the meals. This helped me plan more variety instead eating chicken all week long. I could plan an Italian dish, maybe a casserole, or pulled-pork. This also prevented me from repeating the same recipe too often. A 3-month rotation is about right for us. With the one-month rotation my husband felt like, "we just had this." Three months gives him time to forget. If you plan for leftovers you only have to plan half the meals.

Next, I print out 5-6 pages of the Shopping list. List your menu items for one month at a time. It may take 2-3 pages depending on how many different meals you have on your calendar. Under each menu item list the ingredients you have to buy special for that dish, don't bother listing staple items. Keep each list behind the calendar they go with so your ingredients are easier to find.

Copy your master Shopping list and mark the items needed for your next shopping trip. If your list is sparse, write it down into one easy-to-read list.

This takes some time initially to make your list and list all of the ingredients, but it takes hours off the menu planning and shopping list.

Enjoy Always,


Monday, September 11, 2017

Track your Birthday Milestones and Gift List Easier with FREE Printables


When my kids were little we only had to keep track of the 7 birthdays of our immediate family. As they kids all married and had children, 7 turned into 30. What a delightful problem to have, right?

I have a pretty good memory. I've added these dates to many calendars over the years, but I started to forget how old each grandchild was and what year they were born. 

Yikes! I might miss a milestone birthday. I like being prepared ahead of time for the milestones. We celebrate every birthday, but we have traditions at certain birthdays, like blessings, baptisms, ordinations, acceptance to Hogwart's, etc.

On the Birthday Milestones page I write the name and birthdate complete with the year, then add their age in every year column. Then I highlight the milestones. That way I know how many milestones to prepare for in that year.
On the Gift List page I include the ages to remind me to find age-appropriate gifts as well as the milestone gifts. On this page I list all of the birthdays in order of the month they fall in, kind of like a perpetual calendar.

I list the birthdays in order and leave a couple of blanks in each month for additions to our family. I think we are done having new grandbabies but I have room for surprises.

You can also use the gift list page for Christmas. It's never too soon to plan.

Give it a try and see if it helps you. Remember, you can always access all of my printables in the Library of awesomeness (aka FREE printables) by subscribing to my blog. You will get the link in your welcome email.

Always,


Monday, September 4, 2017

How to Make Journaling Easier with FREE Printables!


I have a good friend who is interested in journaling, but afraid to start for fear of "making a mistake."

First of all, there's no such thing as mistakes, only experiments!
You have to explore and experiment. How else are you going to know what you like? Besides, you have to practice.

But, what if you had a little help?

In the Library of FREE Printables there are 6 pages of arrows, tabs, banners and icons in blue, red, yellow, green, purple and rainbow.

Print what you need onto full sheet adhesive paper and cut out. OR, if you have a sticker maker, print out on regular paper, cut and run through your sticker maker.

There is also a rainbow page of larger banners:
Subscribe to my email list and I will send you the link to access the FREE Library of Printables.

Monday, June 12, 2017

My Memory Keeper

Ok, so I have noticed one drawback with the Disc binding system:

The size of disc determines how many pages you can hold in your journal/planner.





This is my current planner/journal. I started with 2 pages of yearly calendar, 24 pages of monthly calendars and 48 pages of gratitude pages for the year. Add to that 5 pocket dividers that I really wanted to keep from month to month. I could see that as I filled in each month this size of disc would not be able to hold more than a couple of months.
I decided that at the end of each month, I would make sure I had completed all of my entries, then move that month to a Memory Keeper. This book has the larger blue discs.



This is my Memory Keeper for 2017. It currently holds Dec 2016 (when I started the disc system) through May 2017.
I think I can fit one more month, then I will need to make another Memory Keeper for the second half of the year.


This is a journal page from May.


This is a journal page from March.
I enjoy flipping back through the year.

 Moving my past months' planner pages to my Memory Keeper allows me the space I need to keep my goals, trackers, and lists from month to month providing me continuity; things like my household chores, meal planner, shopping lists, and exercise tracker.

What is your favorite planner system?

Happy Journaling,


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Build it Better Yourself

Journals and Planners: Build it Better Yourself.

After years of searching and investing in all kinds of planners I never found the perfect planner. I knew the only way to get what I wanted was to build it myself.

I started by doing research. I searched Google, Pinterest, and Facebook (Bullet Journal Junkies, LDS Bullet Journal and Minimalist Bullet Journals). I pulled all the best ideas and adapted them to fit MY life.




I discovered the DISC system. This was intriguing, but nothing I saw came in the size I wanted. I decided to stay with the composition size notebook for several reasons explained here.

You can achieve nearly the same results with a spiral bound notebook if you clip all of the holes on your pages.

Here is my list of PROs and CONs:
PROs
  • Pages can easily be moved.
  • Dividers can be added.
  • Covers can be changed anytime you like without having to get a whole new planner.
  • This system makes it easy to build a planner yourself.
CONs
  • Covers need to be softbound so they can turn easily.
  • Paper needs to be a better, thicker quality if you move them around a lot.
I tend to be a bit of a minimalist. I'm more about function than art, but I do like to doodle some. Here is a tour of my planner/journal:

This is the inside cover made from a scrapbook paper
and cardstock then laminated.


Our Family Yearly Planning Calendar


This is a pic of the blank printable in the Library:



My Monthly Calendar with my little to-do tick sheet.



I like my calendars to be blank canvases so I can decorate
differently for holidays or mood swings (the fun kind).
There are 4 boxes for menus--one box for each week.
Must-Do's are written in red on the day it has to be done,
then Should-Do's go in the first column and
Bonus to-do items go in the last column for those
rare times when you actually have a few spare moments.
You'll never waste time waiting somewhere if you have a list.


I have 4 Gratitude pages for every month.
My goal is to think of and write the 3 best things about my day.

There are four pages to the updated version in the
Library of Printables

This is just a plain journal page whited out so hopefully you can't read all of my secrets.
My journal pages and scrapbook pages are mixed in together.
This is one of my scrapbooking pages. I added button overlays to cover up dates. And yes, I did an Escape room with my kids and grandkids. It was lots of fun! 3 generations in one room
working as a team.
https://www.lds.org/blog/sunday-journaling-a-new-tradition-for-the-new-year?lang=eng
You can copy and paste the link into your browser.
I got this idea from my church's website about Sunday Journaling.
I love taking a few minutes to remind myself of
God's blessings to my family.
One of the best things about the disc system is the
ability to add pocket dividers.
For the composition size planner I had to cut the dividers down.
Mark the holes from a piece of paper already
punched for disc system.
Then use a regular paper punch and cut slits to the holes.

The outside cover is made from a flexible cutting board I bought from The Dollar Tree. It is thin enough to see through and can be easily cut on a paper cutter. You can also use a good pair of kitchen shears. Mark the holes from a piece of paper already punched for disc system. Punch the holes with a regular hole punch as shown. It takes a firm grip and a good squeeze.
Then you need to clip the holes just as you did on the pocket divider pages. For both the outside and inside covers measure the width of the pages plus the divider tabs on your divider pages to make sure everything gets covered.


One last thing...
I used the Happy Planner Disc system (discs only, not the pre-printed stuff) because they had different sizes and colors of discs. This is the paper punch that you need to use if you want to try this disc system. There are others out there. Just look on Amazon. This is what I used. It has some limitations. It can only punch 2 sheets of paper at one time.
So you can't use it for the covers or the pocket dividers.
If you look closely, I added washi tape to the end borders
so I know where to punch for composition size papers.


And...
I used the dot grid paper from this composition notebook I found on Amazon. Man, I wish I was an Amazon affiliate...someday. It is a little large so I had to trim it and punch it, but it is nice quality paper with only a little bleed through that you may have noticed on my scrapbook page.
For your planner/journal your imagination is the only limitation. You can make it whatever size you want with the kind of paper you want. It's all yours. Don't be afraid to experiment! You will find some things work better for you than others. Think of it as a QUEST and enjoy the journey!

What have you found to work in your planner/journal?

Happy Journaling,



Monday, June 5, 2017

The Experiment

This stage took me three to four months of designing pages and using my journal/planner daily to determine what pages I'd actually use. The only thing I knew for sure was that I  wanted to make my pages only once and then copy off more as I needed them.



I started with a composition notebook for a few reasons:
  • I like the size (9.75 x 7.5), will fit in my purse, and I can add more pictures. I also have more room to write on my calendar page.
  • They are inexpensive. I can get these during Back-to School sales for 50 cents. It didn't matter if I totally messed up my experiment.
  • I used so many composition notebooks in college that using them now feels like going home. I buy stacks of them every year even if I don't need any.
I made lists of everything I wanted to keep in my journal/planner.
  • Monthly calendar with a to-do list
  • Gratitude pages
  • 13 Virtues of Benjamin Franklin
  • Quotes
  • Reverse Bucket List
  • Story and Blog post ideas
  • To be Read list
  • Home projects
  • Fun with Grandkids
  • journal pages

I designed a blank monthly calendar with space for my to-do list for home stuff and writing goals. I have to add the dates and holidays but I don't have to plan out a new spread every month.



4 Gratitude pages came right after the calendar. I numbered each day and left 3 spaces per day. I should be able to find at least three things to be grateful for!

13 Virtues is a habit Benjamin Franklin started to improve his life. I took many of his ideas and added some of my own. I focused on one virtue every week. At the end of the day I evaluated my behavior and wrote it down.

I added a quotes page, a page for story ideas and blog posts, a to-be-read page, a fun with grandkids page...


And journal pages. I discovered having journal pages with my planner helped me write more consistently because of the convenience.

I experimented with tabs and borders and added pictures wherever I wanted. I tried out different colored inks. I tried out almost everything I saw on Pinterest.




I used stickers for the index instead of numbering pages. I thought it was brilliant at the time. I also added paperclips to the calendar pages for faster access.

At the end of four months I could see which pages I actually used and the ones that went to waste, like my doddle page or my Amazon wish list page.

PROS
  • I really liked being able to see my whole month and to-do list at the same time.
  • I was able to group my gratitude pages together after each calendar.
  • I really liked the size. Like I said before, big enough to add pictures and be able to write on the calendar and it still fit in my bag, but I also found that it fit my desktop perfectly.
CONS
  • I still had pages I didn't use.
  • I could only schedule one month at a time. Future trackers were just another list. I needed to see my months mapped out.
  • I had to tape in extra pages or cut out pages when I miscalculated how many pages a spread would take. I still wish I had more mobility.
Enter the Disc system.
To be continued...

Happy Journaling,