2015: A round up!

So today marks an end to 2015. 2015 has not been the best year for me, but the last four months of it were dramatically improved. I started my blog on the 23rd August and since then I have writen  97 blog posts, had 6,249 visitors who have viewed a staggering 13,909 times! I’m astonished! Especially as my blog is only four months old. I am so overwhelmed by those figures, I am completely amazed by them and I am thankful to everyone who has visited and supported my blog since it started. I especially would like to thank Steve at Philofaxy for including me regularly in the Philofaxy web finds. Most of my visitors come from there. Steve, you do an amazing job and really help out people like me. Thank you for taking the time and effort to help us Newbie Bloggers out! My last attempts at blogs have been no where near as successful and I had quickly abandoned them. Whilst I was not really concerned about views and was just interested in writing my previous attempt of just focusing on one idea meant that I ran out of inspiration and interest, eventually giving up. Thanks to subscribers and people who comment – it really keeps a blogger motivated to carry on writing posts and I really enjoy doing it! I am truly honoured to have people not only view my blog but also to leave comments about posts and I even have  24 followers – thank you for thinking I am interesting enough to follow. I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for helping to support A random English life.

I have decided to do a bit of a round up of my posts and share with you some of the highlights.

This Year’s Movie Hit: Everest

This Year’s Movie Flop: American Ultra

My most viewed post: Filofax: Your Perfect Layout

So what is in store for the upcoming year for this blog? I’d like to add a couple new sections to my blog. I have a couple of posts I’ve been wanting to write for a while but sadly have not had time to them! So hopefully I’ll get those up too.

I have also joined the All Stars team, which is a team of Bloggers who will tour on each other’s blogs and write some posts. Although this is organised by Philofaxy, the blogs might not necessarily be planner related! So a big change is that I’ll have a guest blogger!

…and for me more generally? I have a couple of resolutions…seven to be precise that I would like to attempt this year. So far I have never completed a New Years Resolution for a full year, I never really get to the end of January, if I am honest. So I have decided to keep them a bit more simple in the hope that maybe I will achieve them.  They are:

  1. Drink water every day
  2. Cut down on Coca-cola
  3. Eat fruit and veg every day
  4. Write a journal
  5. Be more positive
  6. Keep writing my blog
  7. Monitor and keep a healthy weight

Numbers 1 and 3 are really simple to do because all I have to do is focus on eating a minimum of one piece of fruit, one piece or veg and drink one glass of water a day. Obviously I am going to try and do more than the minimum but if I don’t it’s ok. Likewise number 6, keep writing my blog is also going to be pretty easy, at least for the moment because I have a ton of ideas for posts and I need to keep bashing them out. So far I have no run out of inspiration and even if I do – I may drop down from 5 posts a week to say 2 or 3. Number 4, writing a journal is a little more complicated, but I am again going to try and keep it simple and not put pressure to write 3 pages a day or something, some days I may only manage a quote or a sentence – that’s ok. I think the hardest ones on there are 2, 5 and 7. These are because they are the most vague. What exactly is a healthy weight? Well I’m not sure, at the moment I am a healthy weight but I don’t feel happy the weight I am – so I am going to experiment with eating a bit healthier and finding a good balance and then maintain that weight. Cutting down on Coca-cola is also deliberately vague. Caffeine is a drug and I am very much aware I am addicted to the caffeine and the sugar. I need to whine myself off it – and whilst I’d like to say I could only have x amount a day, I don’t know whether I could cope. I have introduced a 31 day challenge to not drink a drop of Coca-cola. This I imagine is going to be extremely tricky, but we’ll see how it goes.

Do any of you have similar New Years Resolutions? Maybe you have some different ones you would like to share? I am thinking that maybe building a little support community for those with similar goals might be a way of helping everyone achieve them. I need to start investigating that possibility.

A Happy New Year to everyone and may 2016 be fantastic for you!

All the best,



Filofax: Getting ready for 2016!

I’ve only really been interested in making inserts and really getting into my Filofax since August. Since then I’ve made loads of my own inserts, experimented and had a lot of fun with it! So I’m really looking forward to the new one because it’ll be my first full year with my own inserts and really maximising the potential of my planner. So I’m getting excited setting it up. So this post it all about what’s making it into my 2016 Planner!

What am I using?
Well Autumn/Winter seems to have been the time everyone pulled out their beautiful Ochre Maldens and snapped absolutely beautiful photos of them. I feel in love with the Brown and it just looked so vintage and beautiful. I managed to get a super great deal on one, so I picked it up. This will be my 2016 planner for at least the beginning of the year, I may switch back into my Aqua Original later in the year.


So what’s in it.

  • Dividers

I have an array of several dividers that I made myself and reflect mostly historical themes and things I am interested in. I feel they reflect me and I really enjoy them. I will eventually write a blog on how I made these!


  • Personal Information

I dislike the filofax personal information pages. I find I only fill out a tiny bit of it because some of it just doesn’t apply to me. I also dislike how personal information on the back of the English page is French, whilst German appears on the Third page. So I’ve made my own. It has English on the front and German on the back and contains information that is relevant to me.

  • Week on two pages

I’ve done a post on these before and shown people how to make a similar version which could be completely adapted to make the same ones I have. They have the bullet journal style to do list on the left and the week on one page on the right. I have impressed myself by being organised enough to print all of them out for the year!


  • Monthly pull out

Again, I have a post on these. They’ve not changed at all.


  • Finance tracker

This is a very simple design. I have a ton of Filofax graph paper so rather than wasting it I just drew some lines on it to make a finance tracker. The first column, I counted five squares in drew a line, this acts of the date I ordered/paid for the item. Then at the opposite side of the page I have a column with one full square, this acts as a tick box to say I have received the item I have ordered – great for tracking delivery of online orders. Next to it I have a column of six squares for the cost. I have another date column of 5 squares which represents the day I am supposed to receive the item – I usually put the end date of the range. That way I can chase the order if it is taking longer than expected. The last column is the longest and it’s just for giving a description of what it is the actual item. I write each month in a different colour so I can see what I am buying each month.

  • German word of the day

Although I have my German word of the day in a mini, sometimes when I want to work on them my mini, which is my wallet is in my back or it’s not as accessible as my personal binder. My personal binder is normally close to hand if it is in my bag as soon as my bag gets put in the cupboard I get the personal out and put it next to me. So I figured I would get one of those top opening envelopes and just slot the week into them. When they are filled I will transfer them back to the Malden.

  • Journal Pages

I am hoping to set up my Original Jack as a journal for this year, but I figured that carrying multiple planners around would not work for me so I have decided to keep some places of completely blank personal paper within this planner as a quick place where I can write some of my journal. Then I will transfer them once the page is complete to my Original Jack to store them in.

  • Other items

These are generic list items, the template for each one is the same I’ve just changed the title. I have various lists:
– Blog ideas
– Books I would like to read
– Films I would like to watch
– Things I would like to do
– TV Shows I would lie to watch
– The Book Challenge, 100 Greatest books everyone should read from an article in the Guardian.

I always hate when I go to watch do something – watch a film, go do something and have no idea what I want to do, when there are always occasions I say I want to do X, Y and Z. So hopefully these inserts will act as a springboard for times when I do not know what to do!



Slightly different in design:
– Food inventory, so I can see what I have got in my freezer/cupboards and meal plan without having to go into the freezer and ferret around.
– Weight tracker


  • Note Paper

Finally I have my trusty note paper, this is just all the yellow paper I have, I have other colours from Filofax put I just put in one colour for now.

That’s my ready for 2016! I’m really looking forward to the new year so I can get myself even more organised.