Sorting Saturday 

  
I’m busy sorting recipes today. Getting my pile of printed recipes sorted and in binders. 

Just came across one and thought “That looks good!” (It was one of my own recipes! LOL)

If you’d be interested in seeing my recipe management system, let me know!

What are you up to today?

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

Lists here, Lists there, Lists, Lists, everywhere

I am a big list-maker.  I am also a big paper girl. I love the tactile sensation of writing things down… and then the satisfaction I get from crossing things off the list.  Whether it is groceries, gift lists, to-do’s, packing lists, whatever. I have a list for it. (surely I’m not the only one?)

Here are some of my lists:

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The obligatory “HONEY-DO” list, the planned dinner choices for the next week, and the grocery list – notice that someone wrote an address on my list – sacrilege!  🙂

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My husband laughs at me because I rewrite my grocery list before going to the store.  Call me crazy, but I like a nice, neat, LEGIBLE list when I go shopping. But when I’m adding things to my list as it hangs,vertically, on my refrigerator, legibility is not what I’m going for. I’m just documenting things I need. So,I rewrite the list before I go to the store. Invariably, this reminds me of things that are NOT on the list and should be. It also helps if I decide to pull out the coupons. Then I can mark for which items I have coupons and be sure not to forget to turn them in at the checkout.

Christmas is the king of list-making time for me.

I have the “TO BUY” list. The “TO MAKE” list which goes nicely with the “TO GIVE” list as I usually give homemade goodies to our friends and family. (which reminds me that I haven’t made this list yet (eek!).

Then there are the shopping lists for the kids (which has to be very discreetly tucked away as my 8 year old is now getting very snoopy about things like Christmas gifts) and the list of things to purchase for my husband and the stocking stuffers. 

I am not doing very good with the list writing this season, though. I have gone almost completely digital this year with my calendar and time management (which was a HUGE adjustment for me – I still carry a little bitty calendar as my “binkie” because I’m so tied to writing things down!)  I did a lot of purchasing online this year and used my email confirmations of my purchases (stored in a folder that was mislabeled to discourage snoopiness) as my “PURCHASED” list.  

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But, I’m feeling rather disorganized because I never made the master “TO BUY” list.  So, tonight I sat down and wrote one.  Now, I’m feeling a little pressure because I have so much to do! I will have to schedule a shopping day soon and get it knocked out.  I am pretty good at that, though. IF I have my list.

What about you? Are you a list maker? Or do you fly by the seat of your pants? (I love that phrase!)