goals · planner set up · Planning · travelers journal · Uncategorized

How I have set up my 2019 Planner

Its the time of year for sharing planner set ups, so I thought I might as well. I find it very interesting to read and watch videos on other peoples set ups. Mine is very practical and functional and works for me. It may not suit you, but thats ok, and I may tweak and change things as the year progresses, but thats fine too.. its one of the things I love about planning on paper and especially Travelers Notebooks.

I use a personal sized Prima Planner TN, its my everyday carry and wallet, this baby goes everywhere with me!!! I sell them in my shop, as well as inserts for travelers notebooks. But this size doesn’t come with preprinted daily/weekly/monthly inserts like the standard size, so last year I used blank insert books and drew my own lines etc, I use a bullet journal style so it worked perfectly for daily planning as some days I’d use a whole page and other days only some so I could start the next day underneath. No waste and it worked perfectly. This year I decided to use printables. Just to see how I got on and so I could answer any of my customers questions about them. I used Annie Plan Printables for everything, kept it simple. So what do I have.

I work from back to front, at the back my first book is my annual calendar with all my future planning, special dates, appointment etc and I also have my projects in that book too (jump banded together) Projects are any of my to do’s and projects that have more than one step, so I have everything from photobooks, garden stuff, passport renewal, decor ideas, etc in here.

Next book is my first quarter, Jan to March weekly pages, where I have pulled the relevant info from my calendar, and I’d have more details on activities, to dos that need to be done by specific dates. There is also a tracker for each monthly where I track health stuff like exercise, medication, etc and where I track my daily and zone cleaning, ie if I did it or not.

The next book is my daily planning pages, that’s where I jot down the night before what I can do the next day (pull from the weekly pages, projects and my lists), I’d fill in my set school runs, kids activities, work stuff in first and then figure out what I can do around that… some days its not much more.

Last book is my lists, I have everything from errands I need to do in town, stuff I need to do at my work desk, my 5 minute list (fave list where there’s stuff I need to look up etc and I’d have 5 minutes while waiting to pick up someone, at an appointment etc), I have pages for each of my kids with their PPS number, shoe size and last date measured, gift ideas (they might mention something in passing), things I’d need to buy them etc, list of books I want to read, places I want to go, free places to go with the kids, wish list for myself, various work lists, etc

And that’s it, its a buster, but I have everything I need and I’m dipping in and out of it all day. But it keeps me sane and helps me get stuff done. I’ve added a few free printables from cocoa daisey and some carpe diem stickers for functional reasons and a little colour.. all optional of course.

Next week, I’ll look at menu planning, and the best healthy buys you can find in aldi… we all make the effort in January.

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest Mammy Planning, and on Facebook Paper Ink Planners and on Instagram Paper Ink Planners

bullet journal · Planning · travelers journal · travelers notebook · Uncategorized

What are travelers notebooks?

So what is a travelers notebook?

Travelers notebook or travelers journal, depending on the brand is a book like cover containing a number of elastics that can hold individual notebooks or inserts.  As the name suggests they were originally designed to protect these notebooks/inserts during travel, which means they are perfect for carrying and popping into a handbag etc.  Instead of having ONE planner, I can have 4-6 different notebooks inside each cover that all contain something different.  They are customisable to your needs, which can be a little overwhelming at the start. but here’s some ideas to get you going.

Weekly/Monthly Spread.

At the end of the day, your travelers notebook is a planner, so having a weekly and/or monthly spread is a good idea.  You can keep it as simple and as fancy as you like.  But just find out what works for you.


I have a very simple weekly calendar in one of my books, working on my fancy writing.

other ideas and image from by creative_rose, xomiamoore and christina77star.net.

Daily Spread.

I use one of my notebook for a bullet journal style diary.20180411_191842.jpg

I like to use it as a reminder first thing what I need to get done that day, but unlike a conventional pre-printed diary I just enter my new day underneath, so if I end up using one full page, a half page or even two pages there is no waste.  What you include in your daily pages is up to you.

Images by decade thirty, boho berry and buzzfeed.

Meal Planner.

Why not have your meal planning and grocery list in one place.  It makes tracking spending easier.

Pictures by Em Schwartz, boho berry and @gothamhau


Event Planner.

These can be birthdays, holidays, Christmas, starting school, etc  In one handy notebook have all your events for the year, adding gift ideas, adding to packing lists, things you need to buy in advance as you go and have them with you when you are in a position to buy.

Images by letter it write,  penpapersoul and Evieandsarah.com.


Budget Planner.

Track your spending and budget during the month.  Travelers noteboks are idea for this they are designed to be carried around.  There are lots of layout options out there.

Images by wonderfulydiy.com, boho berry and written.intentions.

Other ideas for notebooks.

  • Fitness or weight loss journal.
  • Travel journal (the obvious one, details of trips, where you ate, postcards, stickers, tickets etc).
  • Recipes, new ideas you pick up.
  • Gratitude journal.
  • Memory journal (pictures, tickets, activities, funny things kids said, etc)
  • Lists (books to read, places to go, films to watch, net flicks series to watch, items to buy).
  • Project management.
  • Work ideas.
  • Wish list, inspiration.
  • Family diary (tracking everyone else).
  • Sports/Activities diary.


I love planning with pen and paper, so I’m finding the traveler’s notebook system is one that really works well for me.

I have a work one, and my everyday home one which is doubling as my wallet, it really means it goes everywhere with me.


Next week, I’ll go into a little more detail about bullet journals, and if there is anything you would like to know about ask away.

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest Mammy Planning, and on Facebook Paper Ink Planners and on Instagram Paper Ink Planners

Planning · Uncategorized

Planning… How to choose a planner?

Part 3 of 3

Over the past couple of weeks I have introduced you to the idea of planning, why you should consider it. how to start yourself off and how I plan. Now we are looking at how to choose a planner that will suit you. There are so many of different options out there – weekly planners, monthly planners, daily planners, spiral bound, disc bound, ring bound, traveler’s notebooks, bullet journal, and the list goes on! But which one is right for you?


There’s a few things you should remember before choosing your planner

1 – A planner is simply a tool to help you get organised, its not going to do it for you. It will help you plan your time more effectively, but its not going to give you more hours in the day. The better your skills become at planning the more you will get done with the time you have.

2 – Don’t wait until you find the perfect planner before getting started, there’s no such thing as the perfect planner for you – but you will find one that works for you now and which may be different from what will work for you in a year. Your planning needs will evolve and so will your planner.

3 – What do you want? Sit down with a pen and paper and figure out what you want to plan. Its easy to get caught up with ideas from Pinterest and blogs on things you should be or could be planning for but, what do you need.

4 – If you are using a planner already or used one in the past think about what worked well and what didn’t work so well.

5 – Now think about what would you like to be able to do with your planner…

  • Size – do you want to carry it around with you, or leave it on your desk at home or work?
  • Detail – do you what to plan out every aspect of your day, or would you like an over view of what you want to get done in your week/month – or is it a mix? Do you need to include your children’s and husband’s schedule as well, Do you need good page organisation and lots of space to accommodate everything.
  • Permanent or removable – are you happy with a fixed layout, or would you prefer flexibility, and how flexible?
  • Binding – Will it be strong enough to carry in a bag without getting damaged. For example if you want to carry a spiral planner you will probably need covered wire for durability.
  • Extras – Most planners include extra things like pages for taking notes, birthday pages, etc. Think about which ones you will actually use and which you won’t, and know which ones you can’t live without. Do you need the option of adding extras?
  • Design – apart from how pretty it is, Are there pockets for storage? Plenty of pages for notes?
  • Timeline – some planners start in August and end December the following year, others are 12 months, January-December, others are undated and can start any time.
  • Style – you are going to be looking at your planner a lot over the next 12 month, and if its something you love to own and use, it will keep you motivated to use it.

Planner Size

The planner size will depend ultimately on your preference and how much you want it to hold. But to give you an idea of sizes available, these are the sizes of paper inserts for ring bound planners, but most planners come in these standard sizes.


The next consideration is your preferred layout, the most common are monthly, weekly and daily.

Monthly Planners

If you like an overview of your month, a big picture view of appointments, activities and events and a place to write done a few key to do’s or goals, a monthly planner could be perfect for you.


Weekly Planners

The next level up is a weekly planner, giving you more scope to add details to your days and giving you space to add more daily tasks and goal setting. There are different options of layouts with horizontal, vertical or even hourly – find the style that suits your needs best.


Daily Planners

When you really need to organise your day in detail, by hour or just have so much to plan for each day then you may need to move up to a daily planner, basically having a page for each day. Layouts can vary, with options of finding one that has the hours broken down for you to a blank page per day… find one that suits your needs


Types of Planners

6 Ring Binder

Probably the most popular type of planner, with so many fabulous designs and are reusable year on year. Examples include, Filofax and Carpe Diem. These aren’t cheap planners that you use for 12 months and throw out. They can be personalised and are designed to be reusable, and will last years when well maintained. There are lots of options to personalise them with many shops supplying different inserts.


Discbound Binder

It combines the personalisation of a binder system, but a lighter system. They can be folded back on themselves making them easy to write on. They are not as common as other types of planners.


Coil or Spiral Bound Planners

Coil/Spiral bound planner systems are also a very popular option. They are distinctly known for their heavy metal coil that are strong and durable. Now, these planners are not reusable, which is important to keep in mind, and many coil/spiral bound systems can run you the same price as a reusable binder.


Wire bound Planners

Like coil bound planners, wire bound planner systems are also not a reusable option because they are spiral bound, however, these planners are slightly different from coil bound planners because their binding is a cinch style wire, instead of the heavy duty coil. Generally speaking, these planners are less expensive because of the lower cost binding method used.


Book bound planners

As the name suggests, these planner systems are bound like books! Again, they are another non-reusable option, but generally speaking these planner systems are much more compact. So this is an option for those who prefer simplicity.

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Traveler’s Notebooks/Journals

Traveler’s notebooks are a planner system that are becoming more and more popular. Based on a unique binding of a reusable cover with a string band system that holds a variety of small bound notebooks together within the cover. In part this is a reusable system because you can use one cover over and over again, and in part this is a non-reusable system because the bound notebooks inside tend to be smaller notebooks and are easily filled up and need to be replaced depending on the frequency of their use.

TravelerNotebook mockups

Planner Accessories and Refills

If you purchase a reusable style planner, your planner will either come with a selection of inserts to get you started or you will have the option to select your inserts. There are a number of shops online that sell an even greater variety of refills and other accessories comparable with many planner systems

Oh yeah … what is a Bullet Journal

A bullet journal is a method of journaling and note-taking that uses bullet points as the core structure. You can use any planner that takes your fancy, but usually you will see people using a book bound journal or planner or a travelers notebook. You can keep a daily log (stuff you need to do or have done today), monthly log (traditional calendar with list of stuff you need to get done that month), rapid logging (symbols to help you keep track) and a future log (year at a glance). The main idea behind bullet journaling is that you jot down quick notes instead of writing long sentences. Its like a diary, todo list and journal in one.

Over the next few weeks I’ll go into a little more detail about travelers notebooks and bullet journals, and if there is anything you would like to know about ask away.

I hope you found this useful in helping you choose your new planner.

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest Mammy Planning, and on Facebook Paper Ink Planners and on Instagram Paper Ink Planners


Planning! Where do I start?

Mammy Planning

Part 1 of 3

I started this series before Christmas, but never finished it (irony lol) and also I got very busy with my business.  I will finish it this time …promise

You’ve seen the posts, blogs, articles before….. Planning for a successful week, Setting Plans for the New Year, How to set up a Bullet Journal, etc – but have ignored them, as its not really your thing, too much hassle, you’re not organised enough.  But is it?  Have you ever wondered do you need to start planning?  And just don’t know where to start!

Ask yourself the following…

  • Are you overwhelmed by the amount of things you need to do and remember?
  • Do you lie in bed awake at night thinking about the things you need to do?
  • In the mountain of “stuff”, do you find you forget things?
  • Do you find yourself in a panic or rush…

View original post 371 more words

christmas · Planning · Uncategorized

10 Week Plan for a Stress Free Christmas.

Almost everything can become less stressful when a little thought and a plan is put in place.  10 Weeks out is the perfect amount of time to start getting ready for Christmas, its close enough to feel like you’re not starting too early and far enough out to give you enough time to have everything in place.  The following is my 10 week plan to a stress free Christmas.  It’s flexible enough to be modified to suit your needs, but getting a few things done every week will mean by the time Christmas week comes around you will have time to relax and enjoy the festivities instead of last minute stressing.

Little P.S. before we start; I’m not even going to suggest when you should put up your decorations or tree, everyone has their own opinion on that.

10 Weeks Out

  • Conduct a Christmas Audit – have a look around the house for decorations, wrapping paper, sticky tape, gifts you have already purchased, ingredients for baking etc; anything you don’t need to buy again – make a list of what you have a what you need.
  • Write out your perfect Christmas schedule, basically your wish list of activities, places to go, people to see and when you’d ideally do them.
  • Write out your gift list, who are you buying for what are you getting for them
  • Write out your Christmas budget, what can you afford to put away this month, November and December – merging you wish list of activities, gifts for family and friends, and what you still need to get (yeah I know basically everything!! But at least you know what you can afford now). Also keep a track of all spending to help you budget next year.
  • If you need to book anything, eg santa, dinner with friends etc, now’s the time to do it
  • Now’s the time to get those Aliexpress/Wish orders in if you want to get them in on time
  • Buy a Christmas scented candle, might as well get the ball rolling

9 Weeks Out

  • Write your Christmas card list, who are you posting to, who are you giving by hand
  • Buy teachers’ gifts, and cards and/gifts for school friends
  • Buy ingredients for Christmas baking (cake, pudding, mince pies, cookies)

8 Weeks Out

  • Buy friends and neighbours gifts
  • Buy sticky tape for wrapping
  • Buy command hooks/strips for hanging decorations
  • Schedule confirmed plans and activities into your Christmas calendar
  • Get baking!! Time to make Christmas cakes and pudding. Make mince pies and cookies now and pop them into the freezer

7 Weeks Out

  • Make your on line shopping wish list, check out deals and offers – Black Friday is 24th November this year so special offers will be offered around this time
  • Declutter your wardrobes, time to throw away some items – maybe some relatives are asking for gift suggestions, this year you could actually tell them what you need
  • Buy Christmas outfits/PJs
  • Get your family portrait taken for your Christmas card, if you order them

6 Weeks Out

  • If you make hampers, start them now
  • Buy the last of the family gifts, don’t forget your partner
  • Order Christmas cards if you get them specially printed
  • Or buy your Christmas cards

5 Weeks Out

  • Make or buy your advent calendar
  • Buy wrapping paper and gift tags
  • Buy Christmas crackers
  • Write Christmas cards

4 Weeks Out

  • Stock up on the drinks cabinet
  • Stock up on pantry items
  • Buy/Order your Christmas Wreath
  • Order flowers for presents, family graves etc
  • Post gifts/cards to family and friends in Australia, New Zealand, etc by the end of this week

3 Weeks Out

  • Declutter kids toys, bin/recycle broken ones and donate good ones
  • Post gifts/cards to family and friends in USA, Canada, etc by the end of this week

2 Weeks Out

  • Make ginger bread house
  • Wrap presents
  • Go for a walk/drive to see Christmas lights in your area
  • Post gifts/cards to family and friends in Great Britain and Europe by the end of this week
  • Buy icing for cakes, cookies etc

1 Week Out

  • Print out Christmas printable and activities for kids
  • Post gifts/cards to family and friends in Ireland by the end of this week
  • Read Christmas stories
  • Watch Christmas movies
  • Ice Christmas cakes, cookies, etc

Christmas Week

  • Enjoy, time to set your own Christmas Traditions

There’s loads of free printables on Pinterest to give you inspiration, and a little motivation to get started.  And as I said earlier this is a guideline, feel free to make this list your own.

If you found the above helpful I’d love to hear your feedback.  Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest Mammy Planning, and on Facebook Paper Ink Planners and on Instagram Paper Ink Planners