As I mentioned in my last post (if you remember it, it was a zillion years ago…) I’ve been a bit swamped. In an effort to dig myself out I bought myself a planner. I did try out some apps and did a ton of research on them, trying to find the best ones. What I found was that there were a lot of good ones, but nothing great. They were also really specific, calendar apps, cooking apps, notepads, etc., they were all separate apps. Now don’t get me wrong, that’s fine and I’m not asking these developers to revamp an app to include things that don’t interest them. If all you want to think about all day is cooking you’re not going to create an app that reminds you to put in a load of laundry. But I did need something to help me stay on top of both cooking and cleaning, that’s where paper came in. Do you remember it? It’s this flat white stuff, you use these little sticks to make marks on it. You can find it in most stores, and I bought some.
This is the planner I bought. It’s a Martha Stewart discbound notebook planner from Staples. Sadly the line is being discontinued and they were out of the blue ones. I was able to score this one on a big discount though and the cashier had a coupon too, score! It came with the tiny silver discs and I bought some of Staples own Arc brand discs in hot pink, they’re the next size up. The notebook came with a lot of basic lined pages and I set them aside in favor of some task specific printables I’d found. There are a lot of printables out there, both for free and for purchase. I tried my hand at making some but quickly discovered it was outside of my skill set. I flirted with buying some, but was eventually able to find free ones that I loved. This site, Scattered Squirrel has a ton of them. Most of the ones I downloaded are from this lady’s site, a few are from other places. I don’t know if Jesus told this particular blogger to make them free, but it seems like why so many other bloggers are doing it. Whatever, I call it an even trade for Catholic guilt.
I printed out a ton of different ones so I could test them all. Every couple of weeks I’m going to take out the old pages and put in new ones. I’ll keep that up until I find the specific sheets that work for me. Right now I’m getting the most use out of the monthly calendar sheets, menu planning sheets, cleaning sheets, and general note sheets. So in the future I’ll probably remove the weekly and daily ones. Though I may wish to add them in on weeks I’m traveling. Just because there’s so much that doesn’t merit going into our digital calendar and I like to know what we’re doing each day. While we’re away I find myself asking my husband “what are we doing X day” over and over again. Now I’ll just be able to write it down in one place and refer to it as needed. I had used the notes app on my phones for years, but it ends up cluttered. I literally have dozens of notes going at any given time, with lists, addresses, recipes, and more. Now I’ll be able to write these things down in their designated spot, and when I don’t need them anymore I can just take the sheets out and toss them. I’m far less likely to let clutter build up in a paper binder than I am in a digital format. Just because I don’t want to have to lug the excess but on my phone it’s not taking up space in the same way so I delete nothing. Not good.
Here’s a look at how I have some of it set up. I’m just getting started with this so it’s a bit more bare than many of the planners I’ve seen on there blogs and Pintrest. That’s okay, eventually I’ll figure out what I want to have in there and I’m sure every pocket will be full sooner than I expect.
Sorry for the dark photos, I haven’t had time to take many photos during the day. So it’s night time photos or no photos at all.
In one of the card pockets I have my travel washi tape. I just took an old hotel room key from my sons stash (he has dozens and won’t miss it). Then I wrapped the washi tape around it several times. In the zip pocket I have a half sheet of stickers. Behind that I have several sheets from a notepad I found in the Target dollar section and punched using my Arc hole punch. Right now it has a list of all the coupons I have that are good this month, how much they’re for, and when they expire.
This is my dashboard. I didn’t even know I needed something like this but found a ton of boards and pins on these on Pintrest and realized it might actually be a good idea to have one. You can buy or make them, I made mine. I used some Christmas wrapping paper from Paperchase they had at Target and some laminating sheets. I do hope to own a laminating machine in the future (a long held dream) and they’re really cheap at Costco but I don’t have the space for it so it’ll have to wait. I can’t remember the brand I used, Avery or Scotch but I bought them at Target, they were inexpensive, well sized, and leftovers take up almost no room in the closet. Now granted they’re not very thick sheets but they get the job done. I cut out two sheets of the wrapping paper, taped them wrong sides together and laid them in-between two laminating sheets. I cut them out and punched them. After I did that I realized they weren’t going to be sturdy enough so I wrapped the edges in washi tape. and re-punched them. I actually wish I did that in the first place cause it looks so cute and a lot more polished. Now I have a place to lay out all of my sticky notes and page flags (bought at Target and Dasio). They take up so much less room than when I had them in the zippered pouch and I’m actually able to carry a wider assortment. On the other side of the snowflakes I have a bunch of notes that I wanted to keep front and center. I love that I can now move them around without wearing out the adhesive. And since these were so inexpensive and easy to make I can update it each season. So after Christmas I can make a new house one, in February I can have hearts, and Disney ones for March, and so on. I hope to have a decent sized stash to pull from in the future just to keep things fresh and interesting.
This is my monthly page. It’s missing some dates and even has one that shouldn’t be there. But it works This is one of my most commonly used pages and I don’t know if I’ll need to have more than this in the future. As I’ve mentioned above I just don’t really use the day or week at a glance sheets. Perhaps that’ll change in the future, but for now we’re just not that busy. I used washi tape to embellish and block off certain days. I like that I can remove it if I need to. It also adds a fun splash of color.
I’m using this page a lot as well. I really got behind with all the travel and then getting sick. One week with everything written down like this and I’m almost back to zero. Granted I’m leaving for California in just days. But I’ll have this to lean on again when I get back so I’m not concerned. I just realized I have some of the letters backwards in towels, I’m dyslexic and this does nothing to help correct my constant mistakes. But I know what I’m trying to write and that’s all that matters.
Sadly I do not have a color printer. I was so bummed when I discovered last year my husband bought one that only does ugly black and white copies. In the future I’m sure we’ll purchase a color one. Until then I’ll just have to keep embellishing the pages. I don’t mind though! I used washi tape to embellish the page dividers and I have a ton of pretty fine point Sharpies as well as Avery markers. They sell much better Avery ones in Asia and I could probably ask my MIL to pick some up for me as I know for a fact some they’re sold in Singapore. But for now I’m fine with the colors I have.
If you were wondering about my washi tape collection here’s a bit of what I own. These all came from either Target or Dasio. And all of the Target ones (with the exception of the sprinkles one in the dispenser) are from Scotch. You can also get them at Staples, they actually have the best selection. I swear they never order it at Target, so I’ve had to go to a few to get all of these. Dasio, if you’re unfamiliar, is a Japanese $1.50 store and I’ve really done well at my local one. The few we have here are really small, but they’ve just opened a new one that’s not in a shopping mall. I haven’t checked it out yet and I’m hoping it’s bigger than the two I currently frequent. You really can’t beat $1.50 for washi tape. Some of them don’t have as much tape as the $3.50 Scotch rolls, but others (like the three striped ones on the left) have a ton more so it evens out. I got the little punches from Target and they were only $2! I really scored with those and have already put them to good use. They’re the perfect size to make washi stickers with and won’t take up much space on my calendar. So they’re really perfect. I hope they get some more shapes in, they only had these and a mustache one.
People always ask “how do you use washi tape” and there are lots of ways. It’s pretty, you can write on it, it comes off cleanly, and is reposition able so really the sky’s the limit. Here’s a little shot of how I used my washi tapes and new punches to dress up my phone. There aren’t many cases to pick from yet as it’s so new. I didn’t want it to get scratched and I also wanted it to be a bit more colorful. So I just ripped strips of tape and alternated them. Then to add a little more interest I punched some stars and hearts from a tape in a coordinating color.
I did roughly the same thing on my iPad. It was a birthday present so I broke out the birthday tapes (from Dasio) and got to work making stickers with my new punches!
I have the best husband. ❤
Since I couldn’t let the outside of my devices have all the fun I used Cocoppa, which I’ve written about here to refresh my icons.
I really can’t control myself where Christmas is concerned. We’ve already been watching Christmas movies, for months. Now not all apps can be given a makeover but most can. The last time I wrote about this app fewer of these could be done over (like the App Store and Mail for example) but now you can! I made a couple of them because I couldn’t find any I liked and I made the wallpaper as well. I used Stencil which I wrote about here. Stencil is a paid app which I think was totally worth it as I still use it all the time, Cocoppa is free as always.
I hope to take some photos before I go away, then if I have the time I’ll be able to write a few posts. Unlike last time I don’t have anything scheduled to post while I’m away. I do have a little done with my felt food and unless I want to have to hand it over to my son now I can’t photograph it during the day. So maybe I’ll get to it once my son is in bed tonight or tomorrow. I bought the fabric for my pajama pants and I still haven’t even washed it, let alone started sewing. It’s going to be a long cold winter if I don’t get on it soon… Spoonflower is having a buy one get one sale on fat quarters so I bought a couple. I’m not 100% sure what I’m going to make with them, but I’m hoping to come up with something simple and write a tutorial. It’ll just be a tiny amount of fabric so it’ll be an accessory of some sort. I may buy another couple before the sale is over. Just to have a little something fun to play around with.