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…

Exploring the Planner World

Hi All

My prompt to write this post was from a blogger group I am in on Facebook.  It was asking about the decline in the number of planner related blog posts.  It got me thinking about how I peruse the world of planners and my personal preferences.

I read little in the way of blogs, which is a shame.  There are some fantastic ones out there. If I do, it is usually as a result of seeing a link in a Facebook group or Instagram post.  I realised that I have a preference for Facebook planner related groups (I have a couple I frequent and a few I dip in and out of).  I also spend time every day on Instagram as I have a planner specific profile (@Planitzoe).  Here I follow Etsy stores I like and it also prompts me to them Google or search for items I am interested in which on occasion leads me to a blog or Pinterest.  Finally I also follow several YouTube planner accounts that post video’s regularly.

As a lady with a blog, I then started to think about what has stopped me begin a more regular blogger myself.  I enjoy writing, so why don;t I post at least once a week.  So my key thoughts were as follows.

Images – I personally feel that images are key to an interesting blog.  My preferred sensory cue is Visual and I am certainly drawn more to images (Instagram, YouTube) than just words.  This means I believe my blogs should all have good, interesting, clear and professional images in it.  I don’t have a great set up to take pictures, and find it easier to snap on my phone or iPad.  I have looked into apps that I can use on either to enhance them images but I never feel they are up to my personal standards.  I don’t get time to pull out the DSLR, I don’t own lights and being British rarely get enough natural light!  I’m not invested enough to buy light boxes etc.  So the thought of trying to take, edit and load suitable images is the time eater in my world and puts me off.

Subject matter – generally I write about things I think people want to read.  Sometimes these are not the things I want to talk about.  This is most likely lack of clarity on what I want my blog to be, for who and what purpose.  I feel that I need to re-purpose my blog to just what I want to ramble about planner related.  But, if it’s boring and nobody reads it, what is the point?!

ROI – to the point above, what should the return on my invested time be?  I know some people seem to blog purely for the opportunity to receive items to promote, but that’s not mu purpose.  I want to help people in the world of planners learn more about it.  Guide new people by sharing my learning.  Promote the pleasure of paper based planning in a world that is digital and virtual obsessed.  Finally to connect with like minded people and share in the pleasure of planning.

Frequency – this links in some ways to the images issue.  If I allowed myself to literally pop in and write a quick post without having to think about some of the above, I’m pretty sure I would post more often.

If you are still reading, congratulations and thank you!  You waded through a text heavy, image free, planner related ramble!  To this point, I would really appreciate your thoughts on this.

How do you indulge virtually in the planner world?

What are your thoughts on images?

What should a planner blog’s purpose be?

Which planner related blogs have you regular readership?

What subjects do you enjoy the most?

Ramble over, have an awesome week.  I hope your plans come to fruition and your rings stay gap free  😉

Zoe

Black Friday

I need new stickers like a hole in the head.  However, I did buy some on black Friday – rude not to, right?  I will share as I get them through, but I did actually pick some up in person at a UKPA planner mini meet on Saturday.  Stephanie, Queen of UKPA, has started making stickers under the name OMFG Stickers.  It includes some of her own original artwork too which is always great to find.

I bought a selection of her offerings including her new Sisterhood stickers, which I adore. They are also available as journal cards.

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Her pricing is also very reasonable at £2 for most sticker sheets and for the Sisterhood full set.  If you are partial to expressing yourself she also stock some stickers with F words on.  Great for when the going is tough and a emoticon poo just doesn’t express it enough!

I also bought from a few other stores, so will share once they arrive.  I’d love to know what planner goodies you all snagged this weekend?

Have a great Week.

Zoe x

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

 

 

 

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?