New intentions are like New Year resolutions… (and exciting design team news)

I guess they are made to be broken?!  Ironically I should pop “blog posting” in my planner so I remember to keep you all updated.

So…the Planner Addicts 2016 Big Meet in Birmingham was amazing.  It was just SO nice to be able to meet many of the beautiful ladies I have been chatting with for so long.  Without exception everybody was even nicer in the flesh.  I even got a shameless selfie with Anna Brim (Mrs Brimbles).

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Anna Brim and I at the UKPA Big Meet 2016 in Birmingham

The day was organised beautifully by the planning team.  We even had a guest speaker, Kristina Karlsson of Kikki K giving us great tips for life. There was an epic planner stack and of course, cake and tea.  I was only sad I could not stay the night.  However next year somebody very close to me is on the planning team for the 2017 meet.  She will of course need her “wing man” with her all weekend to keep her on point….

In other news, I found out today I made the design team for Your World of Colour Etsy store for the lovely Carlyann Price.  As a sticker addict it’s awesome that I can help a new store get going and input ideas (I have lots) for new stickers.  I also can offer everybody a discount at the store of 15% when you spend £8 minimum with the code PLANITZOE15

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I also spent time today setting up my red Filofax Finsbury personal as a Christmas planner and moved into a gold Filofax Saffiano pocket for the Christmas period.  I guess I’m feeling festive. I will snap some pictures and share.

I’d love to know if you use a separate planner for the Christmas season, or even what is on your Christmas present list stationery related for yourselves?

Take care all

Zoe  x

 

 

 

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UKPA Big Meet, ECLP & New Intentions

Wow – what a year so far.  It’s been a crazy few months for me, and unfortunately this blog ended up on the back burner for a while.  I was made redundant after 15 years at the same place.  I started a new job in July which has been a challenge and it involves a longer commute each way.  We have had to work out as a family how we need to alter our days to cover this.  I’m not 100% there, still trying new things, but I feel ready to pick this blog back up.

The main motivator is that I will be attending The UK Planner Addicts group Big Meet 2016.  It is the very first one and I was very lucky to get a ticket.  The event sold out in under 10 minutes!!  I am really excited about meeting new like minded friends.  Getting to look at all the different planners.  Buying lots of stickers from the Etsy stores present of course.  I hear the goody bag is epic too.  So it’s a great subject to blog about.  I will take stacks of photographs and share everything I can.  We also have a guest speaker attending, Kristina Karlsson the founder of Kikki K.wp-1474726470908.jpg

In other news I caved and got an Erin Condren Life Planner.  I now have an 18 month neutral vertical with classic coil, which I purchased from a planner group in the UK.  I also got a lovely cover for it.  I love it.  But the sticker obsession is real!  I’m still working out my style.  I know I’m not a fan of glossy stickers as they are hard to write on, more expensive and thicker.  My planner is already chunking up with each decorated week!  I tried a few no white space weeks and I just can’t cope with the visual aspect of that.  I need a bit of white or I can’t see the wood for the trees.  I still use a pocket Filofax for out and about and the ECLP stays at home.

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So that is a summary of where I am at.  Watch this space for UKPA Big Meet posts.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram for plenty of Big Meet 2016 images, as that is where I intend to put everything on the day as we go along.  Let me know if you are going too, I’d love to meet fellow UKPA bloggers.

Happy Birthday to ME!

Hi all, just a quick post on my birthday! You know you have special friends when they buy you stationery wrapped in Unicorn paper. I have truly reached that point where I’m less bothered about my birthday than everyone else. I’d rather spend an evening out with friends with lovely food than go clubbing.

On the planner front, I currently have some peace. I use my Life Designer planner at home and still my pocket Malden on the go. I’m hoping a friend might pick me up the ECLP in New York in November. Otherwise I think I will take the plunge and order one for 2017. I have reserved a new platinum Carpe Diem A5 for July, as I’m thinking of uncoiling my LDP. It’s getting chunky with stickers! I will post of course all about that. Have a beautiful day one and all.

Erin Condren Life Planner Launch 2016 – who’s in?

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Will I or won’t I?

It’s that time again when everyone seems to be getting super excited about the new Erin Condren Life Planner launch.  As per my previous blog I have always considered getting one.  I have therefore followed the pre-launch information with interest.  Having never owned one it has been educational to follow the launch.

This time they have continued to offer the three layout options, the ever popular vertical, the horizontal and hourly.  This time you can select either the usual coloured weekly pages, which now sport a watercolour effect at the top of the dates, or a new neutral version.  The neutrals are white pages with black through to dark grey on the header bars.  I have read many people saying they prefer this as the watercolours on the coloured one make sticker matching a challenge.  However, somebody also wondered if the black of the top set of bars is too dark and will show through some header stickers.  Time will tell I guess.

The binding coil is now also being offered in black.  I did hear that last year the rose gold one was chipping for some, so I am interested to see if that issue has been resolved, it would look far worse on the black coil.

There is also the Luxe version which features a leather effect cover in three colours, with a quote on the front.  I believe it is a thicker cover than the standard one.

As it is mid-year, for $5 you can have the 18-month version.

Million dollar question, am I buying?  Nope.  I’m still holding out!  Why?  Well last year there were some problems with orders placed in the initial flurry with quality.  Some of the prints were off, coils faulty or incorrect items sent.  I also still think that by the time I add on extras (of course), delivery and potentially customs, it is a very expensive diary.  Also I am currently happy with my Life Designer Planner which is laid out as per the ECLP vertical and fits the stickers made for it perfectly.  I am still playing with decorating and finding my groove and style.  That runs until December so at the earliest I might get the ECLP nearer the end of the year.

At the recent Geaux Wild planer conference in New Orleans, Erin Condren was a guest.  I gather she mentioned a possible European supply being set up in the future.  This would make absolute sense and potentially make it a more palatable option for me and many others outside the US.  I have a friend planning a New York trip in November.  A Staples visit might be on her schedule (especially as she may be easily converted herself to the way of ECLP!)

I am curious to see how the launch goes tomorrow, and what experiences there are with the first rush.  In addition, I would like to see more reviews and see how people get on with both the neutral and coloured versions.

I am really interested in all your thoughts and experiences:

  • Are you buying one now or waiting for year end (if at all)?
  • Which one/s?
  • Have you always had ECLP or is this your first?
  • Are you US or elsewhere?

If you have/are getting one, hit me with your blog/Instagram/YouTube link, I need to live vicariously through you! 😉

Happy purchasing (or not).

Spring planner switch…or is it?

Hey friends!

Just a quick update, things have been a bit manic and my planner activity is slow.  However I did decide to swap out of my beloved pocket Malden Filofax for my pocket Hearts Filofax.  I felt that it would be nice for spring to have more colour.  That and the Hearts is much lighter.

I literally swapped everything across, although I did swap in some more spring like coloured dividers I had.

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Pocket Hearts on Bournemouth beach last summer – just because!

I miss my Malden!  The extra back and inside pockets are much better.  I love it’s feel and it just makes me feel whole. I know, pretty weird.  I might keep the alternative dividers but I expect to be back in the Malden shortly.  Although I may give the Raspberry Finsbury a turn as it has better pockets including the long back one.

I’m seriously considering selling my pocket cross Filofaxes and maybe even the pocket Chameleon. Hmmmm, needs more thought!

Maybe the sun we have had in the UK this week has got to me!

 

Planner Tag: Questions and Answers

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I was planner tagged by Zoe Plans to answer these questions, so here goes…

THE PLANNER TAG QUESTIONS:

  1. How were you introduced to planners and what was your first planner? My first planner was a Filofax personal sized Finsbury.  I’m not sure why or how but I had wanted a Filofax for a very long time.  I still have her and will never part with her.  She is battered, cut, rusty and very well-loved!  I may even share a blog on her one day.
  2. How many planners do you have and what are they used for?  I have *cough* 12 but only actively use two.  I use a Malden pocket ochre for on the go planning and a Life Designer Planner for my stay at home decorated one.  I also have the old girl pink Finsbury, and also a cherry red personal Finsbury and a gold Saffiano personal sized.  My pockets are the Malden, Hearts, Raspberry Finsbury, brown cross and red cross.  I also have a Personal Planner that I spilt coffee on and could not bring myself to use again.  I have an old black leather mini one by WHSmiths and a Caramel personal Websters that I won.
  3. What is your favourite brand of Planner?  I have to say Filofax as I own eight!
  4. How long does it take you to update your planner each day?  I tend to spend only 5 minutes or so each day. I have a decorating session every week or two and tend to decorate ahead a bit.  I have a full-time job and a toddler, it’s hard!
  5. When did you first start decorating your planner?  I discovered a Facebook group in the UK around January 2014 and it started really from there. I also started looking at YouTube videos and Instagram images.
  6. What is your favourite pen for your planner? I use a Frixion in my on-the-go planner and Papermate Flairs in my stay-at-home decorated one.
  7. If you could use one embellishment what would it be? (i.e. Stickers, washi tape, gems, etc.) Stickers, the possibilities are endless and you can even get “washi” stickers.
  8. Favourite place to get Planner supplies/goodies. (Etsy shops can be included) Etsy full stop!  Current favourites are Chocho and Mimi, Isabelle the Owl, Handcrafted by Sheree and The Plump Planner.  Non Etsy stores I love are BonBonsKawaii and Suzy Stick ItColemans are great for Filofax in the UK.
  9. What is your Planning routine?  Grab time wherever I can, I tend to have to be alone in the house. I use my Malden to check what is coming up, as I fill that in as I go along.  I then pick a theme and go nuts with stickers.  I am still playing with my layouts in the Life Designer Planner so it varies each week at present.
  10. What inspires you each week for your weekly layout? (i.e. Holiday, Birthday, Season, Colour, etc.)  Depends really on my mood, if there is a particular event or a nice sticker set burning a hole in my sticker box. I have also done some of the various themes set in my Facebook Planner group.
  11. Who is the first You Tuber that inspired you to decorate your Planner? Like Zoe Plans, the first YouTuber that inspired me was Living The Wife Life I also loved Devanf17 but she seems to have stopped loading videos this year sadly.
  12. How many Planners do you decorate?  Just the stay at home one. I recently stopped decorating my pocket with washi and lots of stickers and staying more functional, it’s been a blessed relief!
  13. What Planner would you recommend to a first time user and/or Planner to decorate?  I would say go with something cheaper if you are brand new and not sure how you will use it. Paperchase do nice ring planners in the UK.  If you like spiral bound, then Personal Planner are a good option.  If you feel the need for an ECLP but can’t face carriage and customs (like we have in the UK) then the Life Designer Planner fits all the ECLP vertical stickers.
  14. If you had to pick only one planner which would you use and why?  The Malden pocket ochre, it’s my baby.
  15. Bonus question: Show your washi tape stash and is it out of control? It’s semi under control, but still ridiculous!

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  1. Who do you tag to do this tag? I tag Puddle Side Musings, The Stationery Geekette and Into the Teapot.

Thanks for the tag Zoe!  I would love to know your answers to the questions, let me know if you post your own answer or have any other questions prompted by my answers.

For the Love of Malden (all about my Filofax Pocket Malden planner)

Late last summer, I discovered that a pocket size Filofax worked beautifully for my needs.  Provided it was one of the ones with the 19mm rings, it holds everything I need and is small enough to carry with me.  I have always loved the look of the Malden range, and finally succumbed to ochre loveliness in November 2015 from the UK website Colemans.

front

It was love at first unboxing.  It is made from beautiful soft leather, and the ochre colouring looks so classy.  It has the 19mm rings and came with cotton cream 2016 inserts.  I’m not such a fan of the Filofax inserts however, I find the paper a little thin for my liking.  I keep it in a cover with butterflies on made by the talented Joey from her Etsy store So Joey.

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So let’s crack on with it and walk through my set up…

Inside front

The Malden comes with three pockets inside the front cover and a zipped pocket.  In the largest one I keep heart check box stickers from Handcrafted by Sheree on Etsy, a project life card that says “Dream Big” and some clear ring reinforcements specifically for pocket size.  It is approximately 7cm deep so can hold reasonable sized items.

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The next pocket at approximately 6 cm deep has my NHS blood donor card (same size as a credit card) a couple of membership cards and some Panda sticky notes.  The third 5cm pocket holds first and second class postage stamps.  I currently don’t have anything in the 7cm deep zipped pocket.  I’m worried about marking the leather if I put anything in it, as it is not particularly deep.  I have attached a small metal Butterfly I found to the zip.

My dashboard is a laminated sheet of family photographs.  I also have a really cute charm attached to the second from bottom ring of a Kawaii toast with chocolate spread I bought from the lovely Ruth from her Etsy store Kawaii Studios.  The dividers are ones I made myself from papers I got from TKMaxx.  They are called Steampunk Botanica, a recollections signature special paper pad from Michaels.  I tend to keep small sticky notes on the reverse of my dividers for ease.  I have also recently added name tabs to each from Girl of All Work, purchased from the Suzy Stick It web site

Section 1 Calendars

My inserts are from Piaric in the US, and are on beautiful thick, smooth white paper.  The first page behind the divider is a 2016 calendar.

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On it I have circled family and friend’s birthday, one colour for each.  I did order the 2016 fold out year calendar, but have now removed it as I just do not use it.  I then have month on two page overviews for the year.

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I complete these ahead of time with things I know are due such as birthdays.  I then fill in something that happened that I might wish to remember once the date has passed, from my weekly pages.  I use a small bronze Butterfly paper clip to mark the current month.

Next is a laminated quote “charm is the ability to make someone else think that both of you are pretty wonderful” which I love.

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I then have the Filofax registration number in case of loss and the personal information pages.  This is paper clipped together with several past weekly pages.  It means I can open the weekly calendar to the current week.  I tend to file away used weeks in another pocket planner not in use, and keep about 4 weeks-worth only in the planner.  I have a summary on the monthly pages of key events so rarely need to refer back to the weekly pages.  I have the rest of 2016 weekly pages in the planner with me.deco week

Let’s discuss the delicate subject of decoration.  I love a decorated page.  It allows me to be creative and also encourages me to use the planner more if I enjoy looking at it.  However, in all honesty pocket size can become a little small to write in if it is sticker and washi heavy.  I recently acquired a Life Designer Planner that I use as a stay at home planner.  That gets decorated to the hilt.  Since I got that I stopped decorating my weekly pages in the pocket.  I do still punctuate with small stickers, but it is mainly a scribble in on the go, “to do” and appointment tracker.  I use the stay-at-home planner for recording events, TV shows, weekly food menu etc.  My photographs show two decorated weeks and a functional one.

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week func

Section 2 Expenses

Each month when I am paid, I record the payment of bills and any funds transferred in here.  I also have a hole punch project life card on it reminding me what my regular transfers are.  I do not track every expenditure, just the big items each month to ensure I do them and they are timely.

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Section 3 Contacts

This section has taken time for me to get right.  Originally I has the A-Z dividers in, but I found this made the planner too thick.  I then had post-it tabs with the letters on I added myself to the contact pages.  However, this just looked ugly to me.  Now I have just the pages and no alphabet markers.  It’s still relatively easy to find the contacts as they are in alphabetical order.  I rarely use this section and I’m still in two minds if I really need it.  I also have a hole punched project life card on with a list of the names of our neighbours.  We only have 8 houses in the street and it is really handy at Christmas!

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Section 4 Lists

This section is hard to name.  It has information in it I need to refer to.  So it has a list of all the Disney movies my daughter currently has on DVD, as I always forget what we have.  It is useful when I’m out shopping if I see a bargain, or if I am asked at birthday or Christmas time what she wants.

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Next are my 2016 goals written down, a good visual reminder to keep me on track.  I then have a list of every True Blood episode.  I have the entire box set but it is taking a very long time to watch them.  I forget where I got to so I tick each episode off once I have watched it.  I’m only on season 3 and had them since Christmas 2014!

blood list

I have a list of every job I have seen Miss Rabbit do in Peppa Pig.  Yes, really!  It’s a challenge my husband and I set as we were trying to remember them all.  I only have 21, sure there are more!  Then a few pages of Filofax to do pages.

Section 5 Notes

General notes so the first page is Royal Mail prices.  Then various things such as a Filofax wish list, a list of pocket planners with 19mm rings from Filowiki, (THE place to learn about Filofaxes) some work notes and then family clothing sizes.  Behind the remaining blank notes pages, I have the folded London Underground map and folded work map both from Filofax.

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underground

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Section 6 Stickers

The final thing in the rings is a top opening pocket with small functional stickers specifically for the pocket.  Small icons to satisfy my decorating need to a minimum.  This too has a small butterfly paper clip on the top to avoid any falling out.  My butterfly paper clips and many of these stickers are from BonbonsKawaii.

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Inside back cover pockets

I have a small note pad in the smaller top opening pocket and a spare laminated divider with some reusable Martha Stewart tear drop stickers on it in the 8cm deep pocket.

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I find the pen loop too small for my favoured Frixion pens, so it stays flat and unused.  I put my two pens, one black Frixion pen and a Frixion highlighter under the closure loop instead.  Finally, the pocket Malden is one of those fantastic planners that has a pocket running the full length behind it.  In here I have my AA recovery information.  This and the zip pocket is one of the reasons people often use it as a wallet.

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Pros and Cons

This works for me so well.  I own quite a few pocket sized Filofaxes, but have had no desire to move out of the Malden yet since I moved in back in November 2015.  I just love it, the feel, the smell, the fact it lays flat.  The sections work for me at present and it fits nicely even in the protective pouch in my handbags.  It looks classy and I’m not embarrassed to pull it out in public or at work.

Really the only down side is I find the leather can mark easily.  I really don’t like it scratched.  I don’t mind the general wear you get, such as the crease on the front by the spine where it lays open, but I found even a nail scratched across it can leave a mark.  This is why she lives in a cover, as things in my bag would certainly mark it.  Some people adore the way it wears.  I’ve even seen them with dark patches on them where the oils from your skin darken the leather on the closure loop or where it is held.  The protective case does make it a little bulkier, and if I use a non-leather Filofax pocket such as my hearts, I don’t use it.

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In summary, I don’t regret for a second spending the money on the Malden.  I agonised for over a year if it was worth the money.  I can hand on heart say it was the right decision for me to get it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or answer any questions you might have, so feel free to comment below.

P.s. I told you my handwriting was chicken scratch 😉