My Planner Journey

Today, along with the other ladies within the Planner Girls Collective, I am going to share with you my planner journey and why I plan.

My Planner Journey

I’d never really felt the need for an official ‘planner’. I was one of the lucky people who just remembered. You know the kind, the ones who always remember birthdays, phone numbers, names. Well that was me, until I had my second child and became a SAHM.

That’s when everything changed. After my first I went back to work so my brain was still in use. However when my second arrived 14 years later, followed by my third 2 years after, my baby brain kicked in with full force and I slowly started drowning in appointments and paperwork.

Don’t get me wrong I’ve been a fully fledged stationery junkie for as long as I can remember. My mum used to work in an office and there was a never ending supply of pens, paper and sticky notes.

When I was little I loved starting a new diary at the beginning of the year and writing down all the important things you need to remember as a 7-year old! I never really got into the whole ‘Dear Diary’ craze, but I had a go once or twice.

Once I left school and got a full-time job I realised I needed some way to remember everything. I started out with sticky notes everywhere, until one day the cleaner lost one of my more important notes. After that fateful day, I moved onto a standard A5 notebook where I wrote down EVERYTHING! It had personal items, such as buy bunny food, in with work items, such as finalise year end accounts.

I also dipped my toe into the whole technology based planning when I encountered the various software packages at my disposal such as Outlook and OneNote. However, no matter how hard I tried I still couldn’t give up my paper. I always had a notebook nearby no matter where I was.

In 2012 I gave up my office job to be a SAHM and it turned out to be a complete shock to the system. Juggling the demands of a busy house together with the demands that came with a newborn baby meant I needed something to keep my baby-brain in check. I knew I needed to do something and quick.

During one particularly bad day I was browsing Pinterest when I stumbled across lots of blogs/advice about organisation. One such blog was A Bowl Full of Lemons. The information on this blog was a complete game changer and I slowly began to get myself back on track.

Planner Community

I began to set up my first planner and joined a group on Facebook. From there I came across the whole planner community, in particular a Facebook group called UK Planner Addicts. It was in her that I learnt that there are lots of other people out there just like me.

Since that time I have been introduced the world of Filofaxes, Kikki K, Bullet Journaling, Traveler’s Notebooks, Erin Condren, Happy Planners and everything in between.

I have learnt about washi tape and have found a whole new world of stickers and paperclips. It’s like I’ve found my tribe and I love it.

My Latest Obsession

Since encountering the planning community I’ve also been introduced to loads of other fabulous planning and journaling techniques. I’ve dabbled in memory planning and creative/art journaling and if it wasn’t for my planner keeping me organised with all my day to day things I wouldn’t be able to find the time for the hobby side of things.

 

So there we have my little planning journey. Don’t forget to check out the planner journeys of the other girls and find how how they became planner addicts.

 

Thanks for reading, until next time

Debbie x

Mrs Brimbles Box – April 2017

My first ever Mrs Brimbles Box arrived earlier in the week and if I didn’t know better I’d think it was made specifically for me.

This month’s theme was Book and Planner Nerds and it sums me up perfectly.

In the standard box you will find
  • 4 x 12×12 scrapbook paper – 2 designs, double sided
  • 1 x 12×12 journal card
  • 1 x decorative stickers – Book & Planner Nerds
  • 1 x planner stickers
  • 1 x decorative stickers – Nerd animals
  • 1 x A6 stamp set
  • 1 x pack of 15 tabs
  • 1 x pack of ribbon embellishments

As I chose the Big Box I also received some magnetic clips and some pens.

I absolutely adore everything in the box and will definitely be ordering future boxes. I love Mrs Brimbles designs all the characters/images herself.

Starting with the scrapbook paper, there are four sheets in total. Each side has a different design – there is a book one, a floral one, a stripy one and a scribble design one. I love them all and the colours are gorgeous.

I haven’t decided exactly what I’m going to do with them yet but I’m sure I’ll be sharing with you once I finally make up my mind.

Next up we have some journalling cards. There are a total of 11 journaling cards on a 12 x 12 sheet all of which complement the theme beautifully.

The stamp set is perfect and I’m pretty sure that I will be using every one of them at some point in my planners/journals etc.

I’d like to use them on the tabs that were included but I need to pluck up enough courage to give it a go.

My favourite items from this months box have to be the stickers. I love the geeky girls and animals. I’m pretty sure they will be making an appearance in my planner very soon.

Finally from the standard box we have the little embellishments. Mine are pink and purple bows some of which will be getting made into paperclips.

Additional Items

The Big Box contains a few additional items. This month they were a set of six magnetic page markers from My Prima Planner and a set of MAMBI pens from Create 365.

 

The Week Ahead – 03.04.17 to 09.04.17

I’m sharing with you my week ahead with you today. Hopefully this will be a regular thing that will be carrying it on over the coming weeks.

I’m hoping that by doing this it will make me look at my planner regularly as I have fallen out with it a little of late. And let me tell you that is not a good thing when you have so much going on so I really need to make up with it to ensure I don’t completely lose the plot.

This is something that is quite new to me. I’ve decorated pages in the past but not on a regular basis. I love looking at everyone else’s weekly pages and how they decorate their pages and have decided to go for it.

My current everyday planner is a week on 1 page with notes Travelers Notebook from Travelers Times on Etsy.

Anyway, I’ve waffled on enough, here’s how next weeks pages are shaping up.

I’ve chosen to use some stickers by Vintage Rose Studios on Etsy. This the gold sampler sheet (I also have the pink).

Gold Sampler Sheet by Vintage Rose Studios

I’ve also used some washi tape from my ever expanding collection.

The Week Ahead in my Travellers Notebook

As you can see I’m a pretty functional planner and like plenty of white space to write, however I do find that I use my planners more when they look pretty so like to use a few stickers and washi tape.

So there you have it, my decorated week.

Thanks for reading, until next time.

Debbie x

6 Months to Change My Life – Review

Back in September I set myself a set of goals in order to make some changes in my life.

Unfortunately I have fallen very short with almost all of my goals, so much so that I decided to abandon them at the beginning of the year. I spent some time reassessing my situation and trying to work out where I went wrong.

How Did I Do?

Personal Development

I have set up my planner and have almost set up my GTD system. However I haven’t been using them as much as I’d have liked recently.

Since the beginning of the year I have read a total of 13 books so I have managed to keep up with this.

Relationship

Again this is a 50/50 win. We haven’t been having as many date night away from home or our movie nights but the counselling is going well.

Health and Fitness

The less said about this the better. I haven’t reach my target weight, nor have I begun any kind of exercise routine.

Career/Blog

This is one area where I have actually made some progress. I’ve been trying to post regularly and have begun to look into ways to monetise by blog.

I have also been looking at some possible jobs in my local area which fit in with my family life so all in all I would say this was an area that I am winning in.

Charity/Giving

Again, I have made some progress on my goals for this area. I have been giving blood as often as I can and have been helping others where possible too.

The only thing remaining is to make a decision regarding the Dyspraxia Foundation role.

Friends/Family

Things haven’t worked out too well in this area. I have made some moves towards reaching my goals but unfortunately they haven’t quite gone to plan.

Finances

Not gone quite as well as planned due to some unforeseen expenses. However we have some money saved some I’m not counting it as a loss just yet.

Physical Environment

There is no way to put this other than to say that this area has been a total fail. That said I have got some new bedding, towels and paint for our bedroom so I did make some effort.

As far as the clutter goes, it’s still there smirking at me with all it’s friends – I’m blaming Christmas and birthdays for it all!

Wellbeing

As many mums will tell you, taking care of yourself is usually low on the priority list. Well, this mum is no different. No matter how hard I try to find regular time for myself I usually end up cleaning up after the kids or something equally as mundane.

Fun/Recreation

It’s easy to see where my priorities lie. I have managed to book a family holiday and had an amazing time for my 40th birthday.

We have also had some amazing family fun so overall this area is on track.

Where Did I Go Wrong?

After giving it some thought I think my main issue is trying to do too much in one go. It’s also pretty easy to see, after analysing my wins, where my priorities and focus lie. I love reading and writing so any goals relating to these areas are easy for me to reach. Whereas, things like exercise and eating healthily, aren’t things I overly enjoy (although I love the results) so I find goals in these areas harder to focus on.

Next Steps

I’m not giving up on my goals just yet, although I will be making some changes. I’m planning on reducing the number of goals I aim for within each area and will be focusing on the goals I find harder more often.

I will be back very soon with more information on my goals for the next 6 months so watch this space.

Thanks for reading, until next time.

Debbie x

My Planner Spring Bucket List

The weather is beginning to warm up slightly and the rain is still here so that can only mean one thing. Spring has sprung and as every good planner knows that means its time for a seasonal bucket list and the Planner Girls Collective are no different.

I love a good bucket list (as you will see over the course of this week) and Spring always makes me feel like making a fresh start. They allow me the chance to refocus my attentions and give me time to adjust my course should I have begun to stray (which I invariably do on a regular basis). So without further ado here is my planner bucket list for Spring

  1. Get back on track with my planner/planning routine. Things have be a little bit crazy around here at the minute. This has resulted in my planning routine suffering. I really need to get myself back on track before everything gets completely out of hand.
  2. Organise my planner and crafting supplies. Earlier in the year I bought a Raksog cart from Ikea to use to organise my planner supplies. However I have just randomly thrown everything in and it’s looking messy and disorganised and I can’t find anything. I really need to declutter my supplies and organise them better.
  3. Set up my new Filofax Pennybridge. For Mother’s Day my kids bought me a gorgeous purple Filofax Pennybridge after hearing me complaining about my current purse and raving about how I could organise my cards/vouchers etc (they do listen after all!!). I need to give a little thought about how I want to use it but I really want to get it all set up asap.
  4. Get up to date with my memory planning. I’ve had a couple of big events happen already this year and I really want to record them in my memory planner. All I need to do now is decide if my current journal/diary will work for me.
  5. Find a home for my Cricut machine so I can use it. My OH bought me the machine for my birthday back in February but due to lack of space it’s still in the box. I really need to find a home for it as I’m desperate to start using it.

I’m sure that with a bit of a kick and a lot of motivation I can get all this completed in time to enjoy the summer.

Don’t forget to check out what the other girls have on their bucket lists!

Thanks for reading, until next time

Debbie x

UglyBugPlans Mystery Kit Review

My birthday present to myself was an impromptu order of the January Ugly Bug Plans subscription kit. It was a total spur of the moment decision, as in I placed the order about 2 days before they were due to ship and I’m so glad I did.

This months theme was ‘Dare to Dream’ and featured lots of muted colours and dream catchers and I absolutely love everything.

Let’s start with the stickers. There were two sheets from Hazy Days UK and a sheet from UglyBugPlans. I love the colours of the Hazy Day stickers, the photos really don’t do them justice.

Also included in this months box was a pen, some washi tape, a dream catcher planner charm and some stamps.

I love everything in this box, as is usually the case, and I can’t wait to get the change to start using everything.

Thanks for reading, until next time.

Debbie x

2016 Planner Review/2017 Planner Setup

Welcome to the first Planner Girls Collective (formerly Confessions of a Plannerholic) post of 2017. This week’s post is all about reviewing our planners for 2016 (what worked, what didn’t) as well as looking forward to 2017.

At the beginning of last year I was happily planning away in my square moleskine notebook, which I was using as a bullet journal. This worked really well for me until around August when the school holidays found me completely losing my planning mojo and to be honest, despite several different bullet journal setups , I never really found it again.

What I did find though while reviewing my options was the world of Traveller’s Notebooks/Fauxdori’s and became a little obsessed (I now own 5 in various materials, sizes etc) and have decided that this will be the way forward for me in 2017.

I love the flexibility of the Travellers Notebooks as you can add and remove the inserts to suit your needs at any given time.

My set up is still a bit of a work in progress but here’s what I’m using at the minute. I have decided to stick with bullet journalling and am currently using my new Uglydori from the fabulous Michelle Mills (and Trevor) over at UglyBugPlans.

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Inside I have 3 large squared moleskine cahier notebooks which make up my bullet journal – one is for my overall monthly/weekly/daily planning, one contains short term collections (next 12 months goals/projects) and one for longer term collections (projects/goals likely to take longer than 12 months) . I know this isn’t the conventional way to bullet journal, but one of the things that deterred me previously was having to transfer collections every time I finished a notebook.

I also have a week on one page with notes from Travelers Times which I think will be used as an on the go blog planner (although I’m still playing with this setup).

In addition to my Uglydori I am also using a 5-year memory book, my Attitude of Gratitude Daily Journal and my Weekly Reflections Journal, all of which were Christmas gifts from my family (they know me so well!)

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I will be trialling this set up throughout January and will let you know how I get on and what changes, if any, have been made.

I’m still working on what other planners/notebooks I will be using but I’m pretty sure there will be some additional of memory keeping in there as well as some creative notebooks, all will be revealed when I’ve made my mind up!

Don’t forget to check out the other awesome ladies and their blogs/vlogs via links below and see what changes they have made from last year’s set ups.

Make sure you don’t miss any instalments from the Planner Girls Collective by joining our Facebook Group

Debbie x

Blog Schedule

I’ve been a bit of a busy bee today, I mean three posts in one day is almost unheard of but I thought that while I have the time to spare I would spend a bit of time trying to get myself in front as far as my blog is concerned because, as I mentioned previously over the past few months I’ve kind of let my blog slip and haven’t really been posting.

I’m hoping that now we are getting back in to a routine at home with the kids are school etc I will be able to spend a little bit more time on my blog and with that in mind I decided to put together a blog schedule to help with things and also in an attempt to hold myself accountable.

My overall goal is to post on a daily basis but at the minute I’d be happy with at least three posts a week until I get myself into the swing of things. However in order to avoid posting on one particular subject every day for a week I have devised a bit of a timetable to maintain some variety to my posts.

After some deliberation I have decided on the following schedule, however it may be subject to change depending on how things go.

Monday – Planner Girls Collective formerly know as Confessions of a Plannerholic
These will be predominantly planner/stationery related, however there may be a few surprises in there too.

Tuesday – Family Life, Parenting and Relationships
This could be anything from craft activities with the kids to family days out to date night ideas.

Wednesday – Home and Lifestyle
This could be anything from room redecoration to cleaning tips and anything in between. I have a lot of projects/ideas I want to try and finish this year and will also be looking for ways to make money in order to reach these goals.

Thursday – Stationery, Planners, Productivity and Organisation
I could be covering anything from reviews and set ups to unboxings and my latest hauls. I will also be covering my journey to increase my productivity by following David Allen’s Getting Things Done.

Friday – Anything Goes
Fridays will cover anything that doesn’t quite fit with my other days really so could be anything from book reviews to fashion, personal development to health and fitness and everything in between, basically whatever takes my fancy.

Saturday – Goal Updates
Anything related to my goals such as my weight loss, project zero etc. I will be aiming to cover a different subject each week.

Sunday – Weekly Roundup/Reviews
My aim on a Sunday is to post a weekly roundup of things I’ve been loving over the course of the week. This could be blog posts, Instagram photos, TV programs, You Tube videos etc.

The plan is to start working from this schedule on Monday with my first post for the Planner Girls Collective and then we’ll just have to see how it goes from there.

Personally, I can’t decide if I’ve been a little bit over ambitious but as the saying goes ‘Go Big or Go Home!’

What do you think of my schedule? Is there anything you’d like to see discussed? Feel free to drop me a comment with your thoughts.

Until next time

Debbie x

An A-Z of Planning – Confessions of a Plannerholic

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First of all apologies for the  absence this past week, things have gone a little bit haywire over here and have had a knock on effect with regard to finding the time and energy to get anything drafted let along published on my blog. Hopefully we have turned a corner and I should be back with you on a regular basis very soon.

Anyway, I’m very late with this week’s Confessions of a Plannerholic post in part because it almost had me stumped before I started as I’m a very basic planner and not fully versed in the whole planner world.  Initially I was just going to do a list of things you could plan/track, however I decided this was too easy and would not be so easily defeated so after a lot of thought I have finally got my list.

America – they always seem to have a better selection of supplies for planning than the UK.

Bullet journal – my preferred way to plan.

Creative journal – one of my favourite journals at the minute which houses my art journal and book journal. I’m currently looking to see what else I can add.

DIY Fish – my latest insert purchase. I have used them before and I loved them, however this time around they’re just not working for me.

Etsy – the best place to find planner supplies such as stickers, insert, dashboards etc.

Filofax Malden – this is currently on my wishlist and hopefully if I’m good Santa may be forthcoming. The only problem is I can’t decide between the ochre or the purple.

Getting Things Done – this applies both to the book by David Allen and the fact that without my planner to help me there is no way I would be able to get anything done

Hacks – every good planner knows of one or two hacks that can be used to make your life easier, if you don’t there is always someone in the planner community that can help.

Instagram – some of the photos that can be found here are like porn to plannerholics – here are a small selection of my recent favourites

Journals/Journalling – there are lots of ways to use planners and journaling is one such way.

Kikki-K – another big name in the world of planners/planning but one I have yet to have first-hand experience of. I’m still a relative novice when it comes to ring bound planners.

Lyra and Co – My go to Etsy store for all things fabric/planner related. I love her products.

Money (or maybe that should be lack of) because once you become a plannerholic your money will be unable to stay with you for long due to the call of the planners and all things planner related, which leads me nicely onto my next letter.

No spend – many plannerholics have tried (and failed) at no spend weeks/months. Personally I don’t like failing so have never attempted one.

Organised – every planner wants to be organised, however sometimes it doesn’t always go to plan

Paperchase – I love browsing around the products here, although for me personally their collections can be a little hit and miss. That said I’m currently loving their Gothic Garden range.

Questions – every newbie to the planner community invariably has lots of questions and there are loads of groups, blogs, vlogs out there to answer them

Rings – rings or no rings is one of the biggest decisions a planner can make, closely followed by the brand. Personally I use both but I think my preference is no rings at the minute

Stickers – with so many amazing Etsy shops it’s hard to say no to stickers in your planner. It is, however, very hard to decide which ones to choose.

Travelers Notebooks – this is the collective name for one of the more recent additions to the planner world and is a cover with several books inside. This type of planner speaks to me because you can have all your things together while at the same time keeping them separate.

UglyDori – a new creation from Michelle at UglyBugDoes. I’m currently trying to justify to myself why I need one.

Van der Speck – this is a new name for me in planners but in the interest of this post I have done a bit of research and they look gorgeous.

Washi tape – like stickers, if you like decorating your planners, washi is your friend.

X-rated, no not the planners but some of the conversations had by the planner ladies on some of the Facebook groups.

You Tube – there are some fabulous planner tutorials and flip throughs as well as inspiration for every kind of planner

Zen – that long awaited feeling you get when you have reached planner peace. Personally I’ve yet to reach that state and if/when I do I fear it won’t last as the planning world is an extremely fickle place and there is always something new and exciting just waiting to pull on the purse strings.

Well guys, I made it to the end and didn’t have to cheat (much). Hope you enjoyed reading it and be sure to check out the other awesome ladies and their blogs/vlogs via links below

Make sure you don’t miss any instalments from Confessions of a Plannerholic by joining our Facebook Group

Debbie x

6 Months To Change My Life: Week 1 – My Goals and Actions

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Back in March of this year a group of lovely ladies from UKPA decided that they were going to set a bunch of goals to make improvements to their life. Unfortunately I missed out on the first round but, since their 6 months were up last week they  temporarily opened their doors again as they prepare to start a second round and this time I am made sure I was there with a vengeance.

As the name suggests the idea is to set yourself realistic goals that can be reached within the given timeframe and will then hopefully propel you forward with your longer term goals. Personally, I have been ‘winging it ‘ a little over the past few months with many areas of my life so this seems like the perfect solution for me to start moving forward and I now have a group of wonderful people who are looking to make their own changes and will be there to offer support and accountability.

I have broken my goals down into my Level 10 Life categories and at first glance there may seem to be quite a few, but I am confident that I can achieve them and as they say ‘Go Big or Go Home!’

Anyway, here are my 6 month goals which I hope to have achieved by 18 March 2017. I have also broken them down further into 90 day goals and the further still to 30 days goals.

I’ve seen a few of the ladies in the group break down their goals on a weekly basis too which I think is a great idea and one I have decided to follow, although my current list covers this week and next.

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For the first time in ages I feel a lot more positive and motivated about my life and I’m hoping with the help and support of the ladies in the group and my readers this will continue and come March I will have made some amazing progress towards my long term goals.

There are a few ladies from the UKPA group blogging about their goals, if you want to read about them you can check them out here.

Do you set yourself regular goals? What are your plans for the next 3-6 months? I’d love to hear from you and hopefully we can support each other on the road to reaching our goals.

Debbie x