What’s in my Bag (planner tote edition)

A response to a request from many of you – here’s what I keep in my Delfonics Utility Pouch.

October Planner Check In

Come see how things are going for me using the Hobonichi A6 for October and what I’m thinking I’ll do for November. How is the Hobonichi A6 working for me? Are rings in my future? (again)

2022 Planner Plans

Thinking about what I want to do in my 2022 planners. Here’s a quick peek at what I’m considering.

Product Review: Croc Cover | A6 Planner, Hobonichi

Felix, my fuzzy assistant, and I talk about the newest A6 cover I received for my Hobonichi planner.

(be sure you stick around for the outtakes)

Planner Girl: Favorite Planner YouTubers

I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite YouTube channels for planner videos. I have been watching them on Saturdays when I am working on my next week’s plans. I find it fun to see how other people are managing their plans – both creatively and practically.

Here are some I watch regularly:

MissVickybee – she does great reviews and I love to listen to her charming midwestern lilt. Always makes me smile.

Carie Harling – another midwesterner I love to watch. She has great ideas for planning and organizing a busy household. I found her channel when she was using the DIYFish pages and I was just trying them out. I keep watching because even though we are using different filler pages and planners I still manage to find a few gems of planning brilliance to try out when I watch her videos.

Amy Tangerine – She’s just a creative genius. I’ve enjoyed her products and her style for years with scrapbooking. Love watching her work on her Traveler’s Notebook pages to document her family’s activities. She’s actually almost got me tempted to do some scrapbooking in a Traveler’s Notebook.

TheResetGirl – Cori is one of the first YouTubers I started watching regularly. I love her style and her practical and creative use of her planners.  Her sticker designs are to die for and I love how she blends creativity and planning. My pages will never look like hers – just not my style – but I LOVE looking at hers.

The Planner Girls – another one of my absolute favorites. These two friends have very different styles and use different planners. But that’s one of the things I like. Seeing all the variety in one place. They also post pretty regularly and I love Aimee’s use of the Cocoa Daisy inserts (which is what I am using right now)

Florence Antonette  – another “rock star” in the crafty planner world. Love her style and her videos.

RhomanysRealm – I found Rhomany via “One Book July” and love her matter-of-fact approach to planning.  She’s got a great practical plan for planning and she’s also an incredibly talented artist. Her videos are always entertaining.

Alexis aka MissTrenchcoat – self-made entrepreneur. I like her ideas for managing your time as self-employed entrepreneur.  Her style is not mine, but I definitely find a few nuggets every time I watch her videos.

Gosh. I look at this list and I look like a YouTube junkie.

I promise I’m not.

But I do watch them pretty regularly – maybe once every week? Usually on Saturday or whenever everyone else is conked out at night and I can’t sleep.

I hope you check a few out – and if there are any you know of to recommend, I’d love to hear about it!

Planner Girl: August Update

As you may have already surmised from a few previous posts and hints, I’m a planner junkie. An unapologetic planner addict.  Have been for as long as I can remember.  When I was growing up my favorite part of back-to-school was the school supply shopping – all those pretty stationary supplies on the shelves! (be still my heart!)

When I started working full-time, I graduated to a “professional” planner – a Franklin Covey brand.  Loved writing down my daily schedule, my to-do list, tracking meetings and notes, etc.

In the past year or so I’ve been enjoying the plethora of planning supplies available on the market. I’ve tried several different planners – from ring bound, coil bound, even designing my own pages a couple of times.

I thought I’d share with you the latest iteration of what I’m using on a daily basis – a personal size ring bound planner.


My binder is a DayTimer that I bought used from another planner junkie. I love the buttery softness of the leather. It’s just the perfect size for portability – fits into my tote when I’m on the go.

Here’s the inside – I made a cute cover page and laminated it to protect the other papers inside. The back of the page has some post-its stuck to it to have handy if I need them on the go.


The little quote/photo is my motto. I love it – and it’s perfect for the work-from-home gal.  And the Abominable Snowman! LOVE!


In the little zipper pouch I’ve got some of my favorite stickers (monsters!) and some extra post-its, paper clips, etc.  Handy to have when I’m on the go.

The inserts I’m currently using are from Cocoa Daisy – I love the colorful pages. I just started using them a few weeks ago so I’m still getting used to the layout, but so far they’re working pretty well.

There are weekly pages and daily to-do pages. I’m only using the weekly pages right now. I didn’t feel like I needed the daily ones. I’m using the back of the prior week for my weekly task list and I cross off completed items with my blue highlighter. I love that technique as it makes the remaining tasks really pop off the page.


These inserts have a monthly theme. August’s theme was macaroons. Cute and colorful. Very perky for the dog days of summer.


For the weekly overview page, I write down any big weekly events and also my menu plan. Since it rests alongside my task list it gives me a quick view of what’s coming and what I need to be aware of as I’m making plans.

Once you turn the page, you open up to the weekly spread:


I’m using a combination of stickers, post-its and stamps.  The stamps are for recurring things like my vitamins/medicine, etc. and I’m using post-its to make the timed events stand out.

Here’s another week – this week – and I added my weekly menu plan and blog post planning to the To-Do page. (those To-Do flags I made)


And this is this week’s spread:


Some of the other items you see here (like my “Plan” clip and heart clip and the 3×4 card) are from the Planner Society monthly kit.  The August colors of the Cocoa Daisy kit matched almost perfectly with the August colors of the Planner Society kit.

Most of my stamps are from Studiol2e stamp sets.

The monthly view pages are a free download from the Cocoa Daisy website… Too cute.


I’m not really big on decorating – which is part of why I like these pages. They’re inherently cute without me having to put a lot of stuff on the page. I can use my stamps and stickers to highlight important items – and not get distracted by a lot of other decoration on the page.

So, that’s what I’m using THIS month! (ha!) Who knows what next month will bring? I’ve got the Cocoa Daisy September pages as well, and right now I’m planning to use those. But we will see… we will see…


(If you decide to try out the Cocoa Daisy inserts, would you let them know I referred you? You can use my email: lois.houston1@gmail.com THANKS!)

It’s always good to be organized – especially when you’re a planner junkie

I’m one of those people who loves a planner – if you follow any of my Pinterest posts you may have seen that I have a “planner junkie” board.

From as far back in  my adult life as I can remember, maybe even back into high school, I’ve loved to have a calendar/planner to track things in.  I’ve tried going digital over the years – had a Palm Pilot when they first came out and all that jazz (being the techy that I am, I had to give it a whirl) but I came to the realization long ago that I just have to have paper.

I think it has to do with my kinesthetic tendencies, but I love to write things down, make lists, cross the lists off, and see the progress I made on various projects in my life.

I’ve done the Franklin Covey bit, even dabbled with a European planner (which I loved in concept, but it was not practical for me).

Since I work from home and 95% of my work life is digital I’ve struggled with figuring out how to make a planner work for me in recent years.  I knew in my gut I needed one for my sanity and productivity, but it didn’t really make sense to write down my work schedule when it changes so rapidly with meetings moving daily and my work task list didn’t really need to be merged with my family to-do list.


What I’ve been doing is keeping them separate – I use an Arc notebook for my work to-do’s and then have been using an Erin Condren planner for the past three years. I love the layout and the bright, cheerful colors.  However, I have been struggling with the layout of the pages – trying to figure out how to make the Morning-Day-Night format work for me. I don’t really divide my days up that way since 70% of my day is devoted to my online work schedule.


And then I discovered the multitudes of Erin Condren fan groups on Facebook and the Erin Condren videos on YouTube. Which led me to the realization that this was my planner  (duh) and I could make it whatever I want.

Enter my latent scrapbooking tendencies, my crafty tools and color printer and now I’ve become a customizing planner fool.


Planner junkie?

For real.

So, now I’m happily prettifying my already pretty planner.  And you know what? I’m finding that by doing something as simple as putting new word stickers over the “Morning-Day-Night” headings has reinvigorated my planning/organization genes.  And I am LOVING that I’m once again keeping everything in one place… where I can find it easily.


Still not moving my work stuff out of it’s current home, but I like the separation of church and state, so to speak.

I’ve learned how to overcome some of the things that used to drive me nuts about the planner – like not being able to add in kids’ schedules and important papers (like instructions for doctor’s appts, etc.) – DIY “coil clips” to the rescue.


I’ve figured out how to make my own stickers, too, using my old Xyron Sticker maker and my color printer. I just resize whatever I want to be a sticker to 1.5” wide (which just happens to be the width of the day boxes as well as the width of the sticker maker) and run it through to make my own stickers.


Lots of folks use washi tape to decorate the pages, but I find it’s just distracting. I like small bits of color and art added here and there but I want to keep the planner true to it’s purpose: organizing my life.


I like keeping our menu plans in here – adding my to-do’s (now that I have nice lined stickers) and highlighting important things with colorful stickers.


Here are some of my favorite toys, I mean, tools, for decorating my planner:

I keep all my tools in a handy tote I had from my scrapbooking days – no longer gathering dust but back in use:IMG_6181[1]

And some of my favorite Facebook Groups and Blogs where I’ve been finding inspiration:

  • This is a GREAT article/video on using an Erin Condren planner – and one that got me really going on the whole concept of making my own boxes for the days.
  • My Erin Condren Simple (FB group)
  • Erin Condren Fans (FB group- fancier pages and lots of “loot”)
  • Plum Paper Central (another FB group – this one for a competing planner, but good ideas)
  • Great source for print-yourself stickers.
  • A good video showing how to make your own DIY “coil clips” to insert other papers (like kids’ schedules) into your planner) – another lifesaver for me.

So, what do you do to keep your life organized? Are you a digital person? Is it all on your phone or tablet? Or are you a paper person like me?  What type of planner do you use?