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The Art of Planners

The Art of Planners

If you Google “planners” you will get about a zillion results almost instantly. (Actually, I got 139,000,000 in .39 seconds) There is so much information available from Pinterest boards, to blog posts, to YouTube videos all with volumes of information on what people think is successful.

Perhaps the reason that there is so much information is that there is not one perfect system for everyone and this is absolutely true for me!

So, what I have done is taken parts of things from a variety of “planning styles” to create a system that works very well for me. This took a bit of work, because when I worked in the corporate world – Outlook worked perfectly for my needs. I combined that with some other online programs and my work life was well-organized.

However, now that I am self-employed and I work from home a digital planning system did not work as well. I am not sure why – perhaps the fact that I am a team of one, and what I am doing does not need to be accessible to others.

Now, I do use some excellent online resources for my work, Trello, Slack, and Harvest are wonderful resources for working on projects – and they make working remotely seem less remote! But, for my daily, weekly, and monthly goals – I really like a paper planner.

Last year I moved to the Midori Traveler Planner. It has become the best thing I have ever used. I did a bit of modification to it (thanks to Bradley at Stuff & Things) and now it is just perfect for me. I am not an “art” planner person. You won’t find stickers, washi tape, or collages of stuff on my pages – just simple planning – daily, weekly, and monthly/yearly. I use this insert for my planner. It helps me “stay in the week” and focus on the tasks that I need to complete. It helps me know where I need to focus my hours and how many hours I am spending on a project.

I borrow a few things from the Bullet Journal System – not many, just a few.

Sometimes, I have a task that cannot be completed in a week – a little arrow shows me I need to move it to the next week. In the new week, it gets an arrow to tell me this was a carryover project. Sometimes it gets cancelled entirely. I can easily look back to see how my week’s went and can keep clear records of the work I did. I think this will make tax time next year infinitely better.

I also have a journal insert for my Midori, which I use daily for my creative writing. This year, I have been trying to work on my creative writing so I am using Spunky Eclectic’s monthly journal prompts. I look forward to expanding my writing as the year continues.

The last insert I have in my notebook is just a simple graph paper insert. I use it to keep track of inks I like, of projects I would like to make, recipe ideas, Breed School notes, and just plain doodling.

Not in my planner – my monthly calendar – this sits on my desk open and visible. I use this to remember birthdays, anniversaries, personal appointments, etc. Things that are not work related, but I need to remember.

There you have my planning style in a very portable planner. Tell me – what is your “Planner Style”?

Thursday Things

Thursday Things

I have been obsessed with the patterns by JumperCables lately, especially this and this and this! Do I think any of them would look good on me? No. But that does not stop me from thinking about them. There is one that I think I can pull off – Puddle. This seems like an excellent summer project, mindless knitting that would not fill my lap and the end result would give me a lovely warm cowl come fall.

Konmari and my office have become such great friends. Now, to figure out what to do with over 200 CD’s… Seems kind of wasteful to throw them away (not to mention not environmentally nice) and I really don’t want another box of stuff to put somewhere. Any ideas would be appreciated…

I am so proud of Daughter Number 2 – this week she donated over 500 ounces of breast milk to some in need moms. And, she has over 700 ounces more to give. She is a super mom in my book!

I have been enjoying Sonya Philip’s Periscope broadcasts each week – she has great, thought-provoking conversation. If you have not tried Periscope – you should. A great way to get quick, fun updates from a variety of sources. Ones I especially love – Ysolda, Goulet Pens, and Kay Gardiner (especially when she reads through the latest Rowan Magazine…)

Making mistakes work is something that does not always happen. However, this week I had one that worked incredibly well. Best mistake ever…bias tape on the outside FTW!

As for now I am heading to watch some Netflix and work on finishing some projects before Easter gets here!

Ten Fabulous Things to Help You Get Your Holiday Cheer On!

Ten Fabulous Things to Help You Get Your Holiday Cheer On!

Carole knows that Christmas is fast approaching and for this 10 on Tuesday, she wants to know everything we enjoy about the Holiday season, well at least 10 of our most enjoyable things!

This is perhaps one of my favorite times of the year and selecting just ten items is a challenge for me! But, here is my Top Ten list of things to ramp up your enjoyment of the holidays! If you are lacking in Christmas Cheer, get this list going in your life ASAP!

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For the Love of the Pen

For the Love of the Pen

My two fingers on a typewriter have never connected with my brain. My hand on a pen does. A fountain pen, of course. Ballpoint pens are only good for filling out forms on a plane. – Graham Greene

Today is Fountain Pen Day!

Regrettably, I was late to the fountain pen party – I did not buy my first fountain pen until earlier this year.

I know! How sad is that!

Then one day a friend tweeted something that caught my eye and down the rabbit hole I went.

Now I start the day with a pen in hand doing a bit of writing in my Traveler’s Notebook. It helps me organize my thoughts as well as my day. I have found it a great way to focus and it has helped me notice things that need to be changed, it helps me keep track of projects and how much time they take, and I think the process helps me be more creative. Moreover, the act of writing with a fountain pen is pure joy.

Now, I do not dress my pages up as some people do. While I think it looks great, personally for me it is too busy, too much of a distraction, and just too “scrap-booky”. I prefer a blank page eagerly waiting for me to deposit words to it. I am happy that my writing has increased drastically since I began to journal with a fountain pen.

Unlike Graham Greene, I do not dislike the practice of writing at a keyboard. However, about this he is right – there is something quite different and almost magical when you take the pen in hand and let the words flow with the ink to the page.

Put pen to paper today, gentle reader, and celebrate the written word.

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