Create Your Cover

You know from my last post that I love the Erin Condren Life Planner (ECLP). One of the reasons I do is their interchangeable covers. That’s right. You can order separate covers and change whenever your little heart desires. You can have covers for the seasons, your mood, favorite colors, etc.

I didn’t think I would want to change my cover out much. But then I ordered a cover with a butterfly. Well, that was it. I was hooked. Oh and they had a buy one get one free cover sale as well. I bought three. Why didn’t I get four? There wasn’t anything that was screaming at me, “I have to have this cover ASAP.”

My first cover was the mint green seahorse cover. You can personalize it with your name, family name or quote. I chose my first name and then Yoda’s best known line. “Do or do not – there is no try.” When I ordered that I really needed to hear that quote. I still do.

seahorse cover

The past couple of months I have been feeling like I am going through some sort of change. Midlife crisis maybe? I didn’t get a sports car or run off with my secretary. I am my secretary. So for my next cover I chose a single butterfly. It seems to be becoming my personal symbol. A butterfly is a symbol of change. Change can be frightening, so it is important to remember that change can be good. The results can be just beautiful. So what if you have an ugly start? You can have an incredible breathtaking ending.

butterfly cover

I also got one about being thankful. Happy people aren’t thankful. Thankful people are happy. No matter what happens in life, be thankful and be happy.

thankful people

The three I ordered from the BOGO sale were: a quote on strength from their collection for breast cancer awareness month; my Halloween cover, I’m not a big fan of Halloween but I thought this cover was really cool looking, and third one was so the adventure begins. This one refers to my blog.

skull crossbone halloween cover strength cover and so advernture begins

I am spending more time writing and deciding what kind of blog I want to have. Do I want this to be a hobby? Do I want it to make money? I also have been thinking of a business that would be on Etsy. More to come on that. No, it has nothing to do with planners. Shocking, right?

It is very easy to change out the covers. You get a postcard with each order and there is video on the website as well. Do it once and then you know what to do from then on.

I am already thinking of some more covers to create.  Have fun creating and happy planning!

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I think I found the one

You know how much I love planners. I keep bouncing between paper and electronic…Cozi and Google Calendar…Arc, Filofax, Erin Condren Life Planner, Day Planner, etc….I’m not entirely what happened to my thinking, but one day I pulled out my 2015 Erin Condren Life Planner which I had stopped using again. I decided to start filling in appointments again. I had gotten a new 31 purse and the ECLP fit in the bag perfectly. Walah!

I have been using the ECLP daily now for a couple of months. The 2015 one I had ended in August so I ordered one that started September 2015 and goes through to August 2016. In this new version there was one significant change which I am just thrilled about. The days are broken into three sections. Last year’s version the sections were Morning, Day, Evening. The new version the days are still broken into three sections, but now there are no labels. You can make them be whatever you want them to be! What a novel idea.

The format that I have been doing and seems to work pretty well for me is: Appointments, To Do, Miscellaneous. I recently ordered some customized stickers from http://www.erincondren.com for the three sections and they are: appointments, to do, blog. The stickers should be here in a couple of days. I am so excited! I will post a new pic when they arrive.

Below is a shot of a previous week. I added washi tape around the borders of the pages. I used Cross washi tape to mark our time in Church; green and white polka dot tape for the Eagles game; a yellow sticker that came with the planner for our Choir practice.

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You’ll see some of the appointments are highlighted. I tried over the years to assign each of us a color for appointments in my planner, but it doesn’t really matter. If there is a really important appointment or something I need to do specific for an appointment then I highlight it. I also circle tasks that need to be done so they grab my attention.

This definitely seems to be the planner for me right now. I love how I can personalize it so much right now. And did I mention that the covers are interchangeable? No? Well, that will be another post. Are you intrigued by what you see? Check out Erin Condren Life Planners for all the planners they offer: teachers, wedding planners, notebooks.

If you want to get one for your own, click on  Kristine’s referral link and let me know what you decided to get. 

Happy Planning!

Under Appreciated Tool

There is one item I believe to be an under appreciated tool – the timer. Every home has at least one, most likely more. There are timers on microwaves, ovens, cell phones, computers/tablets, and even watches – does anyone wear a watch anymore?

I never gave timers much thought until after I was married and I started a direct sales business that sold kitchen tools. One of the tools was a kitchen timer. I started using it at home and I was hooked! Food in the oven didn’t burn anymore 🙂 As the years have gone on I have found many uses for my handy dandy timer.

I have used my timers for:

* cooking and baking

* to determine how long chores took

* timeouts for my daughter

* length of time she needs to read for homework

* track my exercise at home

I think the two ways I use my timer the most anymore is for cooking and baking and chores. I used to dread emptying the dishwasher. For some reason it seemed to take forever for me to do it. So one day I decided to follow the advice of FlyLady and time how long it takes to empty the dishwasher. I was making soup in the microwave – 3 minutes. So I decided to see how far I could get in 3 minutes. Well, much to my surprise I had about 2 or 3 items left at the end of the 3 minutes but those only took seconds to put away. From that day on, I stopped dreading the dishwasher. Quite often I empty the dishwasher while I have something in the microwave cooking.

So if there are any tasks you dread doing at home or at work use your timer. You can

1. set it to count up to see how long a task takes

2. or you could set it for a set time and when the alarm goes off, stop what you are doing and do something else.

Use your timer. I bet you will be fan just like me.

Evernote – electronic notebook

I like paper. I love paper planners and notebooks. As a result, it means I have paper piles all over the place. My boss discovered an app of an electronic notebook called Evernote.  You can access Evernote on the web and on your mobile devices. Best part is there is a free version!

I was intrigued with the site at work so I installed it on my phone and computer. Soon I was creating “notebooks” for the church committees I am involved with, a rolling to do list and craft ideas. It is very convenient. No more paper lists. I’ve scanned in documents for committees so I don’t have to carry paper around with me all the time.

You can even record audio and capture website links too. I have over 20 notebooks and over 400 individual notes. It is a wonderful online, electronic filing cabinet of sorts. And of course if I no longer need a note or notebook, it can be deleted. Poof! Just like that. Check it out. Just go to www.evernote.com and give it a whirl. Let me know what you think.

Paper calendars, electronic calendars, oh my!

Wall, desk, spiral, binder, electronic, pocket.  So many choices of calendars to choose from.  You can get them for free, for a dollar or spend a hundred dollars on a system.  I have to admit I maintain 3 calendars at one time.  Each time I get rid of one I go through withdrawal and I need to start it back up again.  I told you I needed help.

I have a family wall calendar, a calendar on my iPhone 4 and a paper planner that I can take with me to meetings and such.  I am not confident in digital systems enough to have my entire family’s schedules solely on a computer/phone.  What if the system crashes or worse yet we lose power and my phone/tablet are not charged.  But then I like the idea of having it on a phone or tablet so I don’t have to carry around a paper calendar in my bag.

Our family wall calendar is from www.flylady.net.  it hangs in the kitchen close to our main phone.  the boxes are large enough to write our appointments in them.  With this calendar, I use highlighters for each of us: pink – daughter, yellow – me, orange – hubby.

wall calendar

Electronic calendars.  My current phone is an iPhone 4 and comes with a calendar.  I have also used www.cozi.net which is a free family organizer app.  It has a calendar, shopping list, to do list and journal.  When I access Cozi on my desktop I can save recipes and create a meal plan.  That is really cool and helpful.  However, I have stopped using it and started just concentrating on a 5×7 3-ring binder paper planner.  Then I got this…

Google Nexus 7 tablet

For Mother’s Day hubby surprised me with a Google Nexus 7 tablet.  This thing is SWEET! I can download apps, music, movies, etc.  With this tablet I have started using Google Calendar and when I set it to display one week at a time I can see all my appointments and events at once.  I am really liking the look of that.  I can update it on my desktop and color code the appointments for each of us.  Then today in the mail I received a brand new planner, the Planner Pad, which I found out about from another blogger, Aby from www.simplify101.com.  She wrote an article about it called “Finding the Best Planner.”

Planner Pad

I chose the planner that starts this July, just in time for my daughter’s summer camps and our family vacations.  Sigh.  I just went through it with a pencil and wrote in the appointments and events we already have scheduled as well as time off from school for the coming school year.  Yes, I know, this school year isn’t over yet and I have all the days marked off for the coming year.  Actually, having them on the calendar now really helps with any advanced family planning we may do.  If I find out someone is getting married or my in-laws would like to take a family trip somewhere I can start figuring out alternatives if needed to my daughter’s school schedule.

Ideally, I am thinking one electronic calendar and one paper calendar should be sufficient.  Our wall calendar goes to December of this year I believe.  I’ll see how I like using Planner Pad to determine if I need to order another wall calendar.  If I prefer the Planner Pad then this will be the new family calendar for hubby and daughter to check when making plans.  I guess I will need to keep our desk clear.  But that is a whole other topic to discuss.

So what kind of planner, calendar do you prefer and why?