Planners, journals, and thought-bubbles

The last few months I’ve been looking into hobbies and what to do in my ‘spare time’.  A large part of this has been thinking back to what I used to like doing growing up.

As a teenager, I loved keeping a diary: not a ‘dear diary’ journal but a record of what was happening in my life at the time, even if it was ‘assignment due’.  Few years on, I LOVE pretty stationery (long-time Kikki-k VIP). More recently, I have journalled, jotting down feelings during times of high stress.

Add to this the general organisation it takes to be mother, worker, sister, aunt, and friend in 2016, I also needed something to see my week-at-a-glance, contain paperwork, and general thought-bubbles.

Several hours of research later, here are the journals and planners I looked into and what I thought of each:

Desire Map Planner by Danielle La Porte – sold out for 2016, it was available in both daily and weekly views. Pitched to position your ‘day-to-day alongside your dreams’ this was very tempting.  I didn’t choose this one as I still use my electronic calendar for my daily schedule (pop-ups reminders).  I am still torn about the weekly version though, and it might top the list for 2017. If anything, head to the website and sign up for Danielle’s daily #Truthbombs

Passion Planner – Another ‘all-in-one weekly appointment calendar, journal, goal setting guide, and to-do list log integrated in one’. A great thing about this planner, is that you can download a pdf and print your own if you wish. Plus you can choose if you want your week to begin on a Sunday or Monday (although I can’t imagine why anyone would want their week to start on a Sunday and have their weekends split up). They also have a ‘pay-it-forward’ program, where you can purchase a planner for someone who can’t afford one themselves.  Like the Desire Map Planner, this one went into the hourly schedule, which is too detailed for my needs.

Plum Paper Planner – this one was getting closer to what I needed, and it has 15 different add-ons (Baby Planner, Blog Planner, Budget Planner, other things you need to plan that don’t start with B) and this is what swayed my decision away from this planner – too much choice!

Daily Greatness Journal – I love the colours in this journal. It would make me want to open it everyday.  It’s great if you’ve got a big goal to achieve, and is available in specialised versions if those goals are focussed on yoga, training, or setting up/running a business. Undated, so you can start using anytime of the year.

Erin Condren LifePlanner – this is one I chose for 2016, with the ‘menu planner’ add-on.   When I started my research for planners, this one came up again and again.  What won me over, was something that has become a bit of a hobby: planner stickers! After customising the cover, I wanted to add some colour to the inside pages too.  Another internet search, and turns out ‘planner stickers’ is a whole industry.  There are some beautiful stickers available on Etsy and I’ve found Vintage Glam Studio with free printables!

So, it’s the beginning of February – has having a sparkly planner been useful so far in 2016? I do have it open on my desk at work, so I can jot down things when I think of them. I need to get into the habit of checking it before bed, and referring to it over the weekend when I can be a bit more creative.  I’m not 100% sold on the Erin Condren layout and I’ll continue to tweak what I capture throughout the week.

What keeps you organised and on-track?



I know, it’s been a while. And I’m not at all happy with my creative progress. In fact, I’m still asking many of those same questions.
So here goes. Again.

This year meme

A bad habit I’m going to break: Overthinking. The Anxiety Toolkit is my next ‘to-read’ book.

A new skill I’d like to learn: Meditation. I’ve done Yoga over the years and I’d like to improve this, plus add meditation to the process. It’s ‘my yoga practice’ because even if you’ve done it for years and years, you can always get better with practice.

A person I’d like to be more like: Me a couple of years ago, when I didn’t worry so much.

A good deed I’m going to do: oh, I have to think about this one – it’s been a bit inward looking so far.  There will be a lot of donating to charity when we clean my nan’s place. Plus purchases from charity stores/receiving gracefully for my place when it’s ready.

A place I’d like to visit: a music festival. I’ve never been to one and would love to share the experience with friends.

A book I’d like to read: Many!  Only a few weeks ago, I’ve rediscovered my love of reading and have already read two books this year. Goodreads Reading Challenge accepted (25 books for me this year). With Book Group books (12) plus some other recommendations (lay ’em on me), I think that’s quite achievable after not reading for a couple of years.

A letter I’m going to write:  to Santa on E’s behalf (and I’m sure I’ll sneak in a mummy request!)

A new food I’d like to try: I am SO looking forward to cooking my first roast dinner in my own oven in my own apartment!

I’m going to do better at: I like this one, as even though I think I’m doing pretty good right now, we can always do better.  I’m going to do better at continuing what I start.  I’m a ‘opener’ according to Gretchin Rubin:  I love starting new projects, (er, you may have read a blog post or two 18 months ago and none since) and need to do better at keeping the momentum going.

With thanks from Sunday Stealing (and yes, I know it’s not Sunday, and a little late in January to set yearly intentions, but better late than never!)

Breathe out…

It’s done!

Today I submitted my last assignment for my graduate certificate in change management. And what a lot of change I’ve dealt with over the past 19 months!

No more study-guilt. My course convener said during induction that when we’re done, we would miss the study… Um, ok…

Right now I’m going to enjoy having my evenings back. Season 4 GoT is ready to binge, and I can’t wait to see Outlander! I have my son’s 2012 and 2013 photo books to produce. womankind and alphabet journal magazines to read and the 2015 Ikea catalogue just arrived. The ‘when I’ve finished my course’ to-do list is about a page long!

And now there’s time to really find that creative outlet: is it this blog? Is it knitting? Quilting with my mum? Who knows? But now there’s the chance to explore it.

Very excited for what’s next!