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!)

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.

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!

 

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.

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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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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!

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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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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 😉

Pen of the Week – Pilot FriXion Ball Erasable

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I mentioned in a recent blog that sadly I am the owner of awful chicken scratch writing.  Luckily for me there are pens out there that allow me to erase the worst of my writing and have another go.  I also find that sometimes plans change, so the ability to remove an entry or alter it in my planner is a real bonus.

The Pilot Frixion pen is available in a larger range of colours.  You can also get them as an erasable highlighter.  Although a little expensive for the pen, it is really very quick and easy to erase.  A useful feature too is that you can buy replacement ink inserts for them.  I have them with a removable lid and also a version that clicks on and off with the clip.

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It gets the name from the method used to erase the ink.  Heat is generated by friction when you rub the hard rubber eraser over the ink, that heat then erases it.  I say the name in the same way you would therefore say friction, although I have heard it pronounced Frix-On.

Ink

I only own the standard pens in black, red and blue ink.  A friend purchased a large pack of 12 lovely rainbow colours on the internet and they were really nice colours.

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The real attraction for me is the erasable ink.  In truth, I do find the ink to be a little pale in colour.  The flow too is not always smooth, resulting in sometimes a striated effect on the pen stroke.  However, I personally am happy to live with this for the excellent performance when being erased, even after some weeks of having been written.

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The yellow highlighter I own is a lovely vibrant colour.  I do however think the pink one is a little weaker than I would like.  Both erase well though.  Mine are all medium stroke at 0.7 and there is a fine stroke version available.

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Purchasing

I have seen them readily available in the UK in many places that stock stationery. I have even seen them in larger supermarkets, often on offer.  Prices are around £7 for a pack of three.

Overall the ability to erase is the main key feature for me.  I overlook the sometimes weaker coloured ink that is not so smooth.  I much prefer the clicker type, as the barrel is a bit smaller and I’m hopeless as retaining detached items of anything, so a lid is too risky!  I use mine in my on the go planner rather than my stay at home one, as I am more likely to need to erase from that one.

I’ve tried a Uniball erasable which had better ink but did not in my opinion erase as cleanly.  The Frixion is often the pen being used by the planning community.  It does not fit in my Malden pen loop, but honestly very little does.  But the clicker ones fit nicely in the gap behind the planner closure strap.

Let me know, what else is out there that performs as well as the Frixion in erasing but perhaps has nice colour?  I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts.

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?