Category Archives: Planning

Scaling Inserts: The Easy Way

This is not something I commonly need to do because I stick to one size planner. However there are several people in the planner community that will carry multiple planners. An on the go planner could be a mini or a pocket and then you can transfer finances into a larger personal or A5 planner which is a stay at home planner.  Steve emailed and asked for some help about creating one insert in multiple sizes and getting them to line up when printing. This question led me to thinking about the same insert and different formats and an easy way to do it – so I’m going to show you how!

Firstly create your insert. I am working with a mini sized template in Microsoft Publisher, so I used 0.32×0.32cm squares (the smallest square setting you can get) to get the feel of the layout and created an finance sheet that had the right proportions. If you need help with getting to that step try this blog post: Filofax: Make your own Inserts.

 

Scaling 1

Now open up another document and select a different size – for this tutorial I am going to use a personal size insert. You need to select the table, copy it and paste it into the new personal sized document.

Ctrl + A (Select all) -> Ctrl + C (Copy) -> move to new document -> Ctrl + P (Paste).

Now you need to lock the aspect ratio of the table. To do that you need to go to the layout tab and select the little arrow in the bottom right hand corner of the strip (it is highlighted in red on the previous post).

Tick lock aspect ratio -> Ok.

Once you’ve done that adjust the width of the table to the size you want. In this case I did 17.1cm to match width (I’m working in landscape mode) of the personal page.

Now 0.32cm is very small and now we have a personal we can afford to make that a little bit bigger. I counted the squares and realised I had 21 – so I deleted the bottom row to have 20 in total. I like to work with 0.5cm lines so I calculated how much that would be for 20 and it was 10cm. I unlocked the aspect ratio – the reverse of the previous step and changed the height to 10cm. This will make the rows taller whilst not changing the dimensions of the table in terms of column width.

Then I simple deleted two rows to give me space for my holes and allow it to fit on the page.

Scaling 2

I then made the writing a little bigger and I have my insert all ready to go.

To find out how to print it, check out my other post: Filofax: Printing your own Inserts.

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Starting University and need to think about Planners?

I’ve written before about helpful advice on getting started with University and what sort of things you can use your planners for but as it is approaching the start of the academic year I thought I would put some blog posts here for you to consult.

All Stars 2016: Using a Filofax for your Academic studies

My Filofaxes: A5 Dark Aqua Original (My University and language set up)

Planners I’m currently using

 


Planners I’m currently using

So I’ve had a slight change of planners. Nothing really major but I thought I’d share. I am currently using two planners. An A5 and an A6.

A5

I’ve recently switched my A5 planner from a clipbook to my A5 Dark Aqua Original. This planner holds my dissertation research for my research. It’s fairly simple. I have the blue and green dividers that come with the planner. The sections are as follows:

  1. To do list with Filofax to do pages. Mostly to use them up. I wouldn’t rebuy them.
  2. Reading list. Simple list of books I need to read, written on clipbook grid paper. I like the paper but it is not really fountain paper friendly so I wouldn’t repurchase.
  3. Primary material list. Like the reading list but for primary material I’d like to consult. Also on clipbook grid paper.
  4. Research questions and chapter breakdown. Again on clipbook grid paper.
  5. Reading notes. Written on Filofax paper, it’s not the best paper in the world and it’s not fountain pen friendly but I have a ton of it and I’m using it up.
  6. Lots of spare paper of different colours.

Pen: Handmade Asa pen with Waterman blue ink.

A6

For the six months of Autumn and Winter I am switching to my Van der Spek Light Brown touch me. This is the original touch me line so only has one pen loop.

I keep my planner fairly simple. I have no dividers but my layout is as follows:

  • Plastic divider pocket. I bought these on Ebay and punched them myself. This contains dashboards. I love using postcards, I get a lot from Nicole my pen pal and I loved them. She knows my likes so I get lots of blues, sailing related postcards and the Ampelmännchen 🙂
  • My contact details. This is laminated.
  • Addresses. I have just one page of addresses. It’s not in alphabetical order. It’s just my most used addresses and to save space they are just on one sheet. This is not laminated because my boyfriend is in the Navy and his address recently changed so I knew I’d have to redo it. I will probably update and laminate soon.
  • Birthdays. Also not laminated but will be soon. It’s on one sheet of A6.
  • Current month. This is a month over two sides of A6. It contains each day and birthdays and appointments written in. Birthdays are written in blue ink and appointments in Black.
  • Daily pages. I use a day on two pages for journaling, to do lists and appointments. I like to use a different ink and fountain pen each month.
  • Future months. I only keep one month of dailies in my planner.
  • Page for future dates if I don’t have the right monthlies.
  • Spare pages for journaling.
  • Gifts ideas page.
  • Fitbit badges tracker.
  • Spare grid paper.

Pens: A mechanical pencil, an Ampelmännchen pen ❤ (Thanks Nicole!), various fountain pens stored in a leather pouch in the back pocket – inks: black, ancient copper and ink of the month.


Depression and using a planner

Depression can be a debilitating illness and it is a condition that can affect one in four people. I, myself struggle with depression and often lose all motivation and struggle to maintain a basic, everyday routine.

For many, they might say what is the point in having a planner during those stages, you’re not doing anything and not motivated to do anything so why bother with a planner. However, I think using a planner during these times can be very useful.

A planner can contain many things, it could be a journal, where you just write how you are feeling, even if that is hopefully lost, alone and deeply unhappy. A planner can become a confidante, someone you can write things that you wouldn’t, or can’t, tell anyone else. I’ve used a planner for this in the past and it can be quite cathartic.

When you feel ready you can start to use a planner for other things, basic tasks, small tasks. Even if it is just to get out of bed, wash your hair and change your clothes. Sometimes in the beginning that is all you can manage and that is completely fine. Over time you can increase the tasks into going out for a walk, or cooking a more complex meal – even just recording what you eat. You can use it to track medical appointments, make notes on meetings you have with the doctor and monitor medication use and possible side effects.

Over time you can start to break larger tasks down into small manageable tasks, such as tackling one aspect of cleaning or part of a project.

You can then begin to use your journal to reflect. How are you feeling today? What made you feel more human? What do you think you can do next week?

It may not seem much in the beginning but setting tasks and completing them, no matter how small can give a sense of accomplishment and that you’re achieving something. Once these build up, you can start to get back into a routine and help you feel a bit better in yourself.

Recently I have found my planner to be a great resource for me when I have been very low.


Repairing paint transfer on a planner.

I am the worst! I swore I would try and get this blog to be a bit more active but alas life gets in the way. Today however I had some time to attempt to fix a planner.

I really wasn’t hopeful about fixing this one and I was extremely pissed off my Filofax Person Union Jack had ruined my VdS old TM light brown. 

It was on the front as well which makes it even more upsetting.

I removed all the inserts and decided to have a go with my diy hair treatment I had stored in the bathroom already.

My hair treatment is a fairly simple mixture of coconut oil, castor oil and essential oils so I figured it would be save enough to use on the planner.

I took a facial scrub brush which is very gentle on the face and I took a fairly decent sized blob of it and began to work it in front and back. I tried to give equal attention to all parts of the planner. After a minute or so I noticed that the painted areas where disappearing so I paid a little more attention to those areas and within no time the paint was removed. I finished it uo by wiping away the remaining oil.

The leather has darkened but I like it is so beautiful. I am almost tempted to move out of my Gris Blue and back into this one! 


Collections in my Planner: A Lifetime of Movies

This is the first in a new series of what Collections I have in my Planner. I follow the Bullet Journal system which is a series of rapid logging tasks in a planner, you can find a previous post on it here. Part of the system is collection making, which is grouping together a series of bullets on one page. Over the next couple of weeks I will share a couple of the collections I use. Today’s version is a Lifetime in Movies.

I got the idea for a Lifetime of Movies, which is basically as the title explains. It’s a collection of movies from every year I have lived. I did a search of IMDb for the top film of each year from 1988-2016 and I wrote the number one movie down. Now I did this in December which is suspect may have influenced the choices, as quite a few are Christmas Films, but hey some of those Christmas films are pretty good so I suspect they are pretty high up for a reason. I’ll be reviewing them over the coming weeks so check out my blog and see what I thought of them. I may revisit this idea after I have completed the list, if I was to do it again I’d probably look at most awarded movie of a year or something to give a variety and potentially reduce the number of Christmas films a little.


How to start a Bullet Journal

I am a member of several groups on Facebook about bullet journaling and one of the most asked questions is how to start. Followed probably by how to you get them to look so pretty.

I think we need to stop right there and pause for a second. I do not believe a bullet journal should be about making it pretty. It is first and foremost a functional tool. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be both functional and pretty. Yet, often there are comments on forums about how people have started, made it overly complicated and then find they are not sticking to it. You need to make a bullet journal work for you. If you then have five minutes to spare where you want to add decoration to it that is fine also.

This blog is intended to be a step by step guide to how to start a bullet journal.

  1. Pick up a bullet journal, if you have an old notebook lying around use that for now. Dotted is a popular choice, but I personally prefer grid. Lined works well to and you can always just a ruler to insert squares into a lined journal until you find a method you prefer.
  2. First watch the original bullet journal video!
    It will help you understand what it is.
  3. You can also check out the webpage: bulletjournal.com
  4. Start with your future log, count the number of squares on your page, divide by three. Draw lines and equally divide the page into thirds. Once done, repeat so all 12 months are covered. Next label them and add any events you already have for the months.
  5. Then start with your month. List all the days of the month in and then the corresponding initial of the day of the week. Write tasks in.
  6. Now on the next page write your monthly tasks.
    Note: This is where I differ slightly from the original. I don’t have a monthly task list.
  7. Next, either on a new page or underneath your monthly task list write today’s date.
    Fill out any appointments you have to do that day, any tasks, maybe some notes from your day. You can also journal. This is where you personalise it to your heart’s content. Maybe you are really bad at house cleaning and want to be motivated to do it more – write it down. It’s very satisfying to tick them off. When you have a task you need to do, write it straight away in your journal, otherwise you may forget. It’s handy to always have it open on the desk. If you are really bad at checking your planner try setting an alarm or a reminder to force you to check. It’ll become habit with time. At the end of the day tick off all the tasks you’ve done (you can do this as you do them too).
  8. Writing out the next day. Now this is completely up to you – you can do it first thing in the morning or last thing the night before. I tend to do it in the morning, unless I have an appointment. If I have an appointment I like to prep the night before, make sure I have the right details, know where I am going, maybe confirm the appointment is still on. Then proceed to the next day. A really important point to make is that if you have tasks from the previous day, don’t migrate them over to your new day. Just look back through your planner and see the open tasks you need to do. Then complete them. If you have a stressful day and really just want to focus on a simple list you must complete for the day – then I recommend writing down tasks again, and migrating them to today’s list. This will keep you focused and on task for the day.
  9. After your first month you can access how the bullet journal worked for you. Maybe dailies are really you thing and you would like to migrate to a weekly view, then you can start creating weekly layouts in your journal. Maybe you find you have tasks that repeat themselves almost daily, and rather than rewrite it out each day you could have a weekly tracker at the start of your week. Maybe you find some gift ideas you’ve randomly dotted in your lists could actually go on a separate page – in which case create a collection.
  10. That’s basically the basics of a bullet journal. The most fancy I get is changing out the ink in my fountain pen to a new colour every month. If you want to be more creative and use washi tape or colour in things – great go for it, but remember to stick to the basics of a journal. Sometimes journals can be great for when you are battling with depression. I didn’t always have places to go or people to see – but I could complete basic tasks, even if it was just brushing my teeth, making lunch and washing my hair. Baby steps helped me to become more human and work my way back into a normal routine. Maybe you use your for a photo diary and print a photo off everyday and journal a bit about your day. Use it to plan your dream holiday, your wedding, you academic studies. The trick is to find a way to make it work for you. But in doing that process don’t look at other people’s pages and feel intimidated.

Finally, the most important process I cannot stress enough is just use your planner. It doesn’t have to be perfect – life is not perfect. So you smudge your ink or you miss something off, you spell something wrong. That’s fine. It doesn’t mean your journal is suddenly terribly. I know that some people have OCD and a desire to be perfect but it really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things – you make a mistake but tomorrow or the next day you’ll flip the page over and probably never see it again. There is a Japanese concept called Wabi-sabi, which encourages people to see the imperfections in life and to celebrate them. Imperfections make things unique and special. Maybe writing February wrong one month will give you a bit of a laugh in a few months time. Maybe your toddler took a pen to your page and ruined it – or maybe they left you a little picture you will cherish in a few years time. Embrace these things and have fun.