Pocket Malden Update

I  shared my set up of the Ochre Pocket Malden in April 2016.  It’s proved to be a popular post and I thought it would be useful to update you on it, as it is still very much in daily use.

I made a decisions around November 2016 to cease putting it in a protective case in my bag.  It was making it heavier and bulkier than necessary and although pulling it out of a case is minimal effort, I still found it a pain.  I reasoned that worst case I could buy another if I hated they way it looked as it aged.  I need not have worried, it has picked up some scuffs and scratches but still looks lovely.  I have the Malden travellers wallet in the same ochre colour that I use as my purse.  That too looks fine with signs of wear.

My current dividers are pink and green ones that I feel are spring like.  I do sometime change them as I do not change the planner now as I just love it so much!  I have a cute butterfly attached to the zip inside I found in a planner I picked up from a charity shop.  I also have a coffee cup one.  I have had planner charms attached to the bottom ring but they invariable get broken in my bag.  The pockets inside have mainly planner stickers in them.

I am using monthly view pages so I can have an overview of the month’s plans.  Because the planner is so chunky (I call it Fat Boy) I remove used weekly pages periodically.  I do keep the whole year monthly view in there as that gives me a key date or events overview instead of keeping all those weekly pages.  I did start off with a year to view but found I use the monthly instead far more so |I removed it.

I decorate my weekly pages.  I pop a little check list onto the top of the page to add my top priorities for the week.  I tend to have a vague theme each week, some weeks are decorated more than others.  I tend to express my sticker obsession better in my Erin Condren Life Planner which stays at home. I store used pages in planners not currently being used.

I have a small contacts section and a finance section where I track my money transfers each month when I am paid.  The just a few notes pages and lists such as all the Disney films my daughter has so we don’t repeat buy!  I really only use these sections.  I played around with various sections but they were just not used (such as order trackers etc.)  SO my sections are: Diary which are my monthly and weekly pages, contacts, lists, finance. notes including a world map and London Underground map and then three clear pockets with stickers in.  I have  small note pad in the back for just jotting things down on.

My pen is a lovely rose gold one I picked up at Christmas from B&M store.  It is metal so has a lovely weight to it. It’s a black gel one.

It’s really working for me.  I could probably slim it down if I removed some of the spare stickers, but I’m happy with it.  I love the fact a Malden is just so stuffable!  I have looked at the new Kingfisher colour Malden that Filofax finally released in pocket size.  I love blue, so may ask for one as my birthday gift in June.  Pocket is a fine size, I just find personal too large to carry around with me.

So that is where I am right now.  Still loving the Malden.  I wish I had bought it sooner, it might have saved me buying loads of others (but probably not!)

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Planner Peace and How to Find it?

Planner peace.  I heard this first many years ago when I first joined UK Planner Addicts on Facebook.  What is it?  It seems it is applied when somebody finally finds THE planner and set up and no longer feels the needs to keep buying or switching planners. Sounds good huh?  Sure does, but…does it exist?

I entered the world of planning (born again planner, having left around 2000 and returned 2014) with a very battered Filofax Finsbury in pink.  I loved her the day I got her, but fell into managing my day through Outlook at a work, a cheap diary and for a while my phone planner.  I was excited to set her up again and began googling for ideas.  Fatal!  Suddenly my eyes were opened to the state of my poor well loved Finsbury.  She had scuffs and dinks and horror…rust on her rings.  This is how my ongoing obsession with finding the perfect planner began.

After trialling many different options, I finally settled in 2015 on pocket Filofax for on the go and a larger coil bound for home.  This became a pocket Ochre Malden and an Erin Condren Life Planner.  Planner peace.  I don’t alter the set up of the Malden as I’m happy, and I’m very glad I settled on getting an Erin Condren for home.  I sometimes bounce out of the Malden into another pocket Filofax, but rarely last more than a week or so before I go back to the Malden.  I change up the way I decorate each week in the EC and that suits my changing mood.  If I dislike a way a week is decorated, it’s gone within seven days and I do something else.  This seems to help my peace.

So is it the elusive planner peace I have found?  Who knows. Does my eye wander and look at other planners.  Yes, I am a planner addict.  Do I feel the need to change the two main ones I use, no, not right now.  Might I in the future?  Yes, maybe.  Life changes, our needs change.  I think planner peace is what works for you at that point in time.  That could be for a year, it could be for a week.  I just purchased a Recollections ring bound planner in personal size (shhh….don’t tell my Filofaxes) as I fell in love with it (it’s holographic, what’s not to like?)  I’m playing with day on one page to see how I like it, but it won’t change how I use my other two.

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Can you find planner peace?  Yes, depending on what you call peace.  I had to learn what works for me and not get side tracked by glorious things like using a bullet journal in a beautiful leather Travellers Notebook or the ease of decorating pages in a Happy Planner because they can be removed.  It’s a bit like having a car you like and suits your needs.  That doesn’t stop you wanting a better, more expensive car, but practically you know what you have meets your needs (and pocket.)  I found when I was bouncing around different planners I fell out of love with planning for a while.  You hear people referring to it as “I lost my planning Mojo.”

If you love planners it would be a rare thing for you to settle on just one forever.  Best way is to not actively seek planner peace, rather trust your deep down feelings and thoughts on what you are really drawn to (mine is leather Filofaxes) and stick with that.

Now if I can just find handwriting and pen peace…

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.

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).

Planning Stickers from Callie Rose Co

I admit I probably spend far too much time either browsing Etsy for planner stickers, or browsing Instagram for sticker stores on Etsy I might like.  Over Easter, several of the stores I have marked as a favourite, offered great discounts.  It would have been rude not to take up the opportunity to try out some of those lovely stickers I have been eyeing up.

Callie Rose Co is a store I marked as favourite some time ago.  As a person that needs instant gratification, I tend to mainly order from UK Etsy stores as delivery tends to be faster.  I fell in love with her full box quotes.  My order arrived promptly and was packaged well.  It included a beautiful postcard sized business card on which Catherine had beautifully written my name.  I am always impressed by beautiful writing as the reluctant owner of chicken scratch writing.

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The first entries to my cart are both sets of the full box pastel motivational stickers.  Each sheet has 9 motivational quotes and are available for either horizontal and vertical Erin Condren sized boxes.  These are just £1.90 per sheet excluding shipping.  I am using a Life Designer Planner which has the same sized boxes as the Vertical Erin Condren Life Planner, as my stay at home planner.

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Next I chose the Spring Blossom Core sticker weekly kit.  This included full and half box blossom patterns, full sized ombre heart checklists, and lots of header stickers.  This was £4.50 excluding shipping which is a great price for everything you get.

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I also added some scalloped quarter appointment stickers which were £1.90 excluding shipping.

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The delivery cost within the UK for these was £1 and I used the Easter offer voucher for 25% off.  It is always worth following Etsy store owners Instagram accounts, as they do share special discount codes and offers there.

They look and feel lovely, and I can’t wait to decorate a week in them.  Such fresh and spring like colours are so cheery.  Nice clear, clean images and perfect cutting.  I already have my eye on the Pink Lemonade kit in the store and have the discount code sent with my order, burning a hole in my sticker pack.  There are also fab Harry Potter and Game of Thrones stickers for episode tracking available.  I will definitely be ordering again with Callie Rose Co on Etsy.

These stickers were purchased with my own money and these views are my own.

Erin Condren Life Planner (the itch I’m trying not to scratch)

Firstly, may I say I adore a Filofax.  I have several personal sized, the Finsbury Breast Cancer in pink being my first ever.  I also discovered I can work daily with a pocket size.  I’m currently in an Ochre Malden which I’m finding it hard to move out of in favour of a more spring-like colour.  That and the ring size of the pocket Malden is superb.

I’m a member of a wonderful Facebook planner group.  They are an awesome group of people.  Their support always goes further than just enabling me to buy more planning things.  However, enabling is their MO.  I swear, I have purchased more items that I never knew existed but suddenly needed, right now.  As such, I now own a laminator, various stamps, project life cards galore (pretty, but as I don’t actually do PL…why?) and pens and page flags to last me a lifetime.  I keep seeing that Erin Condren Life Planner (ECLP for short).  What IS it about that planner?  Is it the covers?  The coil?  The stickers?  Maybe it’s one of those things that I’ve been so exposed to visually on Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, it’s always on my mind.

I tried the Personal Planner.  A lovely quality, fully customisable planner.  It’s such lovely quality, really function and excellent value.  But…not an ECLP.  Sadly, my Personal Planner had an intimate moment with a cup of coffee.  The back cover got all crinkled and I was so heart-broken it was no longer perfect I couldn’t use it any more (first world problem, I know).  That and it wasn’t an ECLP…

I moved back to Filofax and discovered that I could work daily in a pocket size, after picking up a Raspberry Finsbury in Staples at a bargain price.  I finally relented and bought a pocket Filofax Malden in Ochre. My dream planner.  I waited patiently for my Piaric inserts for 2016 from the US, knowing that the elusive “planner peace” would then be mine.

It was.  For about three months.  But damn, that ECLP itch was still not going away.  Why?  It’s not cheap, plus by the time I caved in and bought all the extra’s I’d get charged customs. They launched a rose gold one last year.  Arrrrrgh!  Fingers in my ears, la la laaaaa.  Can’t see it, don’t need it.

I’ve not caved in yet.  However, I’m using a Life Designer Planner as a stay at home planner along with my pocket Filofax.  I decided as it was on offer recently I would try out the vertical style and ECLP size layout.  I will update soon on how that is working out and if the ECLP itch has been scratched.

Anyone else itching?