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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

discbound_notebooks

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.

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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.

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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

Planning! Ok lets start…

Part 2 of 3

Last week we looked at reasons why you might want to or need to start planning.  You had a little exercise, on one sheet was the old way of planning, where you probably wrote too many to dos and didn’t get half the things checked off and probably forgot to check stuff off or even to refer to it during the week.  It might have been nice marking some of the things off, but a little frustrating not getting everything done.

On the second sheet (or sheets) is where there was value, its where you had your brain dump, cleared your head, there would have been more satisfaction and relief with the second sheet.  But now what to do with it… I follow David Allen’s Getting Things Done Method of planning and once you get started I find it the easiest and most effective.

First you need to take time and make sure you’ve everything on that (second) list, collect everything you must do, want to do, dream of doing, anything that’s unfinished or you are waiting to make a decision on.  Empty drawers, go through your inbox, old notebooks, walk around your house (applies to home, office or both).  This is the collection stage.

Once you have collected everything, process it… for every item ask yourself; what is the very next thing I need to do to get this done, if its only one thing that will take less than two minutes, do it.  Otherwise put it on your next actions list or delegate it to someone else or file it if its reference that you might need at another time.  You need to separate everything under the following ..

  1. Project list (anything that will take more than two steps to complete) You can separate your projects lists into home, business and personal, but make sure you give each equal priority.
  2. Next actions list (single action times)
  3. Inbox (open items you still need to make a decision on)
  4. Reference (information you may need again)
  5. Someday maybe (you don’t want to action now but maybe in the future)
  6. Waiting on (you’ve delegated to someone or waiting on something)

Now you can start filling out your calendar, but only with appointments/meetings and date specif projects/actions.

I divide out my next action list into mini lists, where they are relevant and I won’t miss them, so I have…

  • Desk (when I’m at my work desk, something I need to focus on on, or print or do at my computer)
  • Errands (when I’m out and about)

You need to look at your next action list every day, taking note of the things you could be doing that day.

You need to look at your projects list at least once a week, to update and look at what you need to be adding to your next action list… I’d have 5 to 10 projects on the go at a time, but keeping it simple just looking at the next step on each.

Have a couple of ‘Inboxes’ for new items/idea, a physical one that you can throw stuff into and notebook/planner/app to write things/idea down as they pop up. Keep that head clear, pop everything down (unless you need to do it right away and then do it!!) but trust in your system that you will empty these inboxes when you are doing your weekly review and add to your projects.

I’ve read David Allen’s book a few times and other blogs to get different views on the method and definitely think its worth giving a go.  Kara from Boho Berry had a few interesting blogs and I love her visuals to explain it

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But how does this work in a practical everyday way…

The simplest way is demonstrate how I use it is to let you know how I planned today, Wednesday March 7th 2018..

In my planner I filled out all appointments, meetings, activities and deadlines for projects in my monthly calendar.  Every Sunday I empty my inbox, update my projects list and next actions list (takes me 15 to 20 minutes because I do it every week).  I also fill out a weekly planning sheet, I pull any appointments, activities from my calendar, I look at my next actions list and if there anything that needs to be done on a certain day I write that in.  And I write my pillars in, these are the everyday tasks I need to do to keep everything moving forward.

Everyones pillars are different, I’m a work at home mother so mine are between home and work tasks.   I have a basic cleaning routine, that’s roughly based on Fly lady’s model, I do one daily cleaning task and one zone cleaning task every day.  So today my daily cleaning task is vacuuming upstairs and a general pickup upstairs, my zone is halls and today’s task is wiping down the front and back door.  I’m sure I’ll spot other things that need doing as I’m going, but I get around to everything by following the routine and if I veer off and start doing other things it just messes up my day.  My house isn’t perfection, I’ve three kids, I cover most things every week and that’s fine… Momentum not perfection.   (I’m not planning out things like cooking and cleaning up after dinner etc, or even laundry as they just get done every day).  My other pillar are my work tasks, things like replying to customer enquiries, sending out invoices, getting parcels ready for delivery, I do as needed.  But I have days set for key activities, like blog writing, admin, scheduling posts etc.  today I’m editing and scheduling this blog.

Between school and playschool drop offs, collections and activities I have two blocks of time to get everything done… and I’ve a two year old at home….

Today…

When I get up I have a coffee and look at my day ahead so I know exactly what I need to do … Momentum not perfection… if I run out of time I move on and come back to it later, or it doesn’t get done today, it’s not the end of the world.

After school drop offs – I’ve a two hour window to get stuff done

Planned …

Work Tasks (1 hour max)

  • Edit blog, do graphics
  • Schedule blog to post later in day
  • Send invoices
  • Chase supplier about delivery
  • Next actions list – desk.. register warranty

Home Tasks (1 hour max)

  • Pick up upstairs
  • Vaccum
  • Zone – doors

If I get that done I’m having a coffee before the playschool pick up, my lunch and then the school pick up.

Afternoon

Activities and play-date this afternoon – but have an hour after lunch

Planned…

  • finish any work tasks from this morning
  • next action list – 5 minute list item before heading out the door

Evening

Homework, dinner, tidy, bedtime, put away laundry and I’ll have a final look at today tasks, emails, messages etc that need to be finished.

I wasn’t in town so I didn’t look at my errands list, I was at home but didn’t look at my home list as I had enough to do.  Don’t set yourself too many tasks in one day, if you find you have time by all means go to your next actions list but planning isn’t about working harder, its about getting the most out of your day while moving forward ..

Momentum not perfection

Let me know what you think, is this a planning system that could work for you?  Next week I’ll look at different types of planners and how to choose one that will work for you.

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

Planning

Planning! Where do I start?

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 with last minute errands or tasks?
  • Do you write down to do lists on different pieces of paper or apps and loose them, or forget to look at them?
  • Do you forget about the movie you wanted to see or book you wanted to read?
  • Do you forget what you had planned for dinner, or forget to pick something up in the shop?
  • Do you find you skip from one task to the next without completing anything?
  • Do you get annoyed with yourself for not getting enough done?

 

If any of the above sounds familiar to you, it may be time to start planning.  Many of us are excellent at planning in our work environment but fail to carry it through to our home lives.

 

So lets try an experiment, this week you need to grab two pieces of paper and a pen.

On sheet 1,  write out your week, 7 days, with any appointments, non nonnegotiables that have to be done, etc.  Then write a basic list of to do’s, nothing hectic what you’d hope to get done this week, any errands you need to get done, anything you need to buy.  Stick it up somewhere you will see it and mark things off as you get them done.

 

On sheet 2, Start with a blank page, also open a notes section on your phone or even text yourself.  This is where any time one of those I need to, I want to, I really should, That needs to be … all those things that pop into your head.  Don’t do anything with them just make a note of them (unless its something that needs to be done this week and then write it on Sheet 1), you may need more paper – even sit down with a glass of wine tonight and just clear your head.

 

Dont try and get ahead of yourself, planning is all about getting more done with less stress.

 

Next week, Part 2 … don’t worry about that till next week

 

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

Planning

Why I use a planner?

Why do I plan?  Why do I plan on paper?  Why do I use the type of planner I use?  Questions I have asked myself repeatedly since starting my own business, and I thought it was as good a place as any to begin my blog.

 

I had my third baby in January 2016, and life became infinitely busier.  With two other children, one just about to start primary school and one playschool getting by was not going to hold things together much longer.  I lived in a house that looked to anyone visiting tidy and relatively clean, but every available hidden space, drawer and empty jar was choc full of “stuff”.  Panic and mayhem would ensue every time we would need to find something that we hadn’t seen for a while.  My then 2 year old lost the car keys one day, after months looking for them we eventually gave up and ordered a new set as we were too nervous with only one set of keys … just in case it happened again.  The day before we collected the new set we found the original keys stuffed in a travel cot that we weren’t using – too late to cancel order – lesson learned for €250!!!  Let’s not even start talking about the piles of kids clothes (grown out of, to grown into, to donate, to give away) stuffed into bags and shoved anywhere we could get space.

 

I remembered my days of control, my days when I knew what I was doing, when I had a plan, when I got stuff done, when I was working full time, with no small people to mind.  I found one of my old Filofaxes, Ironically the last one I owned; the year I got married. Why I felt I didn’t need to plan so much after I got married I’ll never know.  Maybe it was with rose tinted glasses, but looking through my appointments, to do’s and action items; I thought there’s my answer, I need to start planning again.

 

I had a few failed attempts since becoming a mother, with various apps on my phone.  It was something I had on hand all the time, surely there was something that would help me get organised.  Strangely a lot of the home cleaning routine apps had lots of bible reading and scripture studies tasks.  I’m a catholic, and with an emphasis on Irish Catholic at that, so let’s be honest that kinda thing does not feature in our lives.  I downloaded, tired for a while, and gave up/forgot about loads, they never seemed to tick all the boxes, and they were impersonal and easily forgotten about, a little swipe and that reminder was gone forever.

 

Then came my new guilty pleasure, YouTube cleaning videos, while sitting on my backside, drinking coffee and feeding my newest little baby I watched power cleaning videos, cleaning tips, cleaning routines, how to keep a clean home, how to keep a clean and organised home.  I then bought my first planner in years, I needed to come up with a plan – I felt I couldn’t move forward until I had the basics in control, and that meant decluttering, coming up with a home routine.  So I did, pickled together from bits of Konmarie, clutterbug, how jen does it, fly lady and many many others, I wrote out a plan.  It took me 5 months, I was doing it right – initial plan was 3 months but it was a learning curve.  I decluttered and organised my house as best I could.  The relief, the weight lifted, the house feels lighter – not saying its spotless or anything but its way better and easier now.

 

I got the bug, what else could I plan for, to organise.  Next was budget, let’s get that sorted, there’s so many little jobs I want to do, places to go with the kids: I needed to budget for these things. I needed another planner as my original one was a diary so no room for extra planning, days out, to do’s, menu planning, capsule wardrobe planning (new thing), Christmas planning, birthday planning, getting all those to do’s, want to’s, would love to’s, the kind of stuff that circulates in your head when you’re trying to go asleep, down on paper.  Not an app, apps are not the same for this sort of thing.

 

I had a problem, I had a pile of notebooks and diaries going at the same time, it was too complicated and I started to lose focus again.  I needed a system that kept everything together and worked for me.   I started looking for a planner, new obsession planner YouTube videos.  At this point I’m going to skip through quickly as I’m not out to slag other types of planners, and start sounding like an infomercial.  Suffice to say, I stuck with the Filofax type ring bound planner that gave me the flexibility I needed.  Do your own research and figure out what type of planner meets your needs.

 

I wanted a pretty one, that did the job, but they were impossible to find here in Ireland.  The home of the planner at the moment is definitely the USA.  There seems to be a real renaissance in paper planning, with a huge craft type of following with people decorating their planners with stickers and accessories.  The crafty, decorating side of things would not be so popular here, but there was a gap in the market for planners that were functional and beautiful.  I found the Simple Stories Carpe Diem Planners on line initially but struggled to find a way of getting my hands on one without paying huge shipment costs from the USA.  A business idea was born… I’ll say no more

 

My planner and me

 

I use my planner all the time, it holds my life, big enough for everything.  I use it for planning the day to day, reminders of things in the future, and a bucket to catch all the random thoughts and idea that pop into my head so they are not running around my head when they shouldn’t be.  It allows me to relax because everything I need to remember is there. It’s big enough that I can’t lose it, and I can customise it to my heart’s content, popping in and out paper and dividers as my plans and focus change.  I don’t have to worry about dropping it in the loo (or someone else), dropping it and breaking it (or someone else), or it being robbed (obviously by someone else).  I can plan my weeks, weekly and I’m not constrained by a set layout or schedule, each week looks completely different because it is, that’s life.  And at the end of the year I will be able to get new inserts start a brand new years and file my old ones, to look back at in years to come, and remember just how crazy my life was, with three small children.

 

 

 

My Facebook Business Page is under Paper Ink Planners – Ireland, and I am on Instagram under Paper Ink Planner – love some extra likes and followers and you can contact me if you are interested in getting your own planner. 

Paper Ink Planners – Ireland