Monday, 25 June 2012

Is My Planner Failing...? And A Special Delivery To Make My Day!!!

Note: sorry, this is kinda long as it turned into two/three posts in one...

Hmmm... let me think about this question...

Is my planner actually failing, or am I just too distracted, trying to cram too many things in one place, and not using my system properly...?

So let's try and work this out:

          Do I love my current binder? Holborn Zip - yes, of course I do
Who wouldn't love this sleek baby?
             Do I love the inserts I have? Yes, yes, yes!!!

          Am I using the inserts appropriately? Well... I look at them and they make me smile...lots... does
          that count?   Heck - thought not :o(

OK, so I see the problem is me, not my inserts, so what am I doing wrong? Time for honesty - I am not being disciplined with regard to checking my personal items which need doing.

The last few weeks have been filled up with monthend (monthend tasks never go in my Filofax as we have a shared master checklist for this), writing up my 'Yellow Belt' project (a most hideous experience) and working on another project. The other main person working on this project was in our Z├╝rich office with me all last week and we had a brief run through of where we were and what we needed to achieve, and so my poor filo didn't get much action.

However, I had a HUGE list of personal to do's to get through, and even though my Holborn was open on my desk all week, I barely looked at him apart from to think how lovely he and his inserts looked, and that the list was huge and I really needed to get some of those tasks done TONIGHT... every night... It is now Sunday night, and although some of the tasks are done, there are still a lot not done (way too much to get through in one weekend). It didn't help that I left the beloved on my desk at work overnight on a few occasions, forgetting the fact that I have everything else in there that I need to do when I get home, so nothing gets done.
OK - it's quite a list that I need to get through...
Previously I had a set up with work to do sheets in one section, and personal ones in another - for me this required too much flipping backwards and forwards between sections, and invariably I wouldn't look at the personal ones at all.

Putting them all together seemed to work for a while, but recently things have been pretty hectic again, and the personal stuff always ends up taking a back seat to work stuff... I know, I know, that's not how it should be, but that's just how I roll.

So I got to thinking, what could make me start using me Filofax successfully again? Could I:

          a)    Just do it!!! Stop being so bloody lazy and get on with it...

          b)    Go back to my old set up of sensible, professional looking inserts, to stoop me being
                 distracted every time I open my filo (yes, I am frequently likened to Dory from Finding
Very clean and practical... and I do love them and writing on fresh clean sheets of paper
          c)    Re-consider my whole set up...

I have considered these options and have discovered some things about myself along the way:

          a)    until I have a major consequence of my failing to do a personal task I will probably continue
                 to leave these until they are late. I try really hard not to, but that's probably the truth. I am an
                 atrocious procrastinator. I probably spend more time planning to do things, and weighing up
                 whether I should do things or not, than I actually spend doing things.

          b)    this would probably help as with 'normal' paper I was more disciplined with the use of my
                 filo... but I like my funky paper... The nice paper that I have is pretty distracting, and as there
                 is less structure and the paper is so 'busy' it does make it more of a challenge to identify what
                 has been done and what still needs doing, and it does make it easier to get overwhelmed by
                 the sheer volume of tasks.
A bit on the busy side...
          c)    I have already mentioned in previous posts that I am considering giving up the 'one life, one  
                 filo' philosophy, not because it doesn't work for me, but because I don't feel that I need to
                 carry my work planning everywhere any more. I don't need to take it home every night. I
                 think that all I really need to have with me is my appointments info so I can easily check if I
                 am free on a particular day (though it is pretty rare for me to need to check anything like that
                 when I'm not at work).

Things I have discovered about myself:
                -     I procrastinate too much (I'm sure my DF has told me this before)
                -     I am easily distracted by random things (If I am 'in the zone' at work, nothing can distract
                      me, but if I'm having one of those days where I'm struggling to get into it properly, I get
                      distracted by everything).

So... what to do...?

Do I split my life between two filos, saving my pretty stuff for my personal filo... or do I stick with the one life one filo A5 for a bit longer with more appropriate inserts?

Well, monthend starts again soon, and then I'm on holiday for a couple of weeks, so I have to sort out a travel filo for the trip so don't really have time to set up two more filos from scratch.

Let's see what a streamlined A5 will look like...

Well, I started writing this last night and got into work this morning to receive my special delivery so I have to include that in this post before carrying on any further as it's just too exciting.

I have been waiting for these to come for the last week as I knew they had arrived with my friend but I couldn't actually get to them, no suspense in this one as I have already blogged about them as I was too excited to keep it to myself so without further ado, please welcome my two new babies:

Boxed and beautiful

Red personal Finchley

 The photo isn't doing the colour justice, it's actually a bit of a deeper red than this shows and is such a beautiful shade - nicer than I was expecting. I realised after I took the photo that I have taken a photo of the back of this for some reason - not sure what I was thinking, but it still looks lovely...maybe I got distracted by shiny things :o) 
A5 purple Malden
 Again, the camera doesn't do the colour justice. It's quite a strange colour in a way though, as it can vary so much depending on the light that it is in...

There's nothing wrong with these rings!!!
This is probably closer to the colour that I see in most lights...

Once I'd photographed these new darlings it was time to get back to the serious business of getting my filo set up sorted.

As you can see - it was getting a bit stuffed. It is a bit annoying when you can't add any more sheets to the front because the rings are too full and if you open them without going to the middle of the inserts then the front ones all fall off the rings...


But kinda full...
Clearly something needs to come out of there... have I made the right decision...?
 It was out with the huge number of sticky notes (I have used one since I put them in there), and the stickers (zero), the WO2P diary pages (ouch...), the timetables, the personal info pages and the International Info (none of which have been used at all yet) and out with my plans for my routines, they are not finished and were started months ago.

This means I am left with most of my set up left much as it was before, with the main change being that the WO2P has been moved out and the MO2P is now my main diary insert, with a few sheets of various random, non-matching sheets of paper in between... will stick with photos now as I have waffled for way too long...

No before pic for this one, but it's feeling quite skinny now

No more sticky notes - but I had to add a few sheets of Supercat to liven it up a bit

MO2P - will see how this works when I have to add appointments, but I don't usually have many, so it should be OK

Yes, I know it's still busy - but I'm going to give it a fair trial :o)
 OK, so that's done for now. Let's see how this works out - wish me luck!!!


Sunday, 24 June 2012

101 List Progress Check - Jun 24th 2012

Hello, good evening and welcome!!!

Keeping it short again today - behind on everything at the moment, but feel I would benefit from a very early night - I keep aiming for one, but it never happens.

So, this weeks progress:

Shakespeare - I have to say, I'm really not getting into Shakespeare - maybe if I saw it on the stage the way it is supposed to be I would find it easier, but to read it - eugh!!! I have now read Anthony & Cleopatra though, and I found it better than the others that I have read so far, so four down one to go. I'm due to read The Taming of The Shrew, and then I think that unless I get into it via joining a drama group or something, that I will probably never read another Shakespeare play again... which kind of saddens me. Maybe when I have finished the 101 things in 1001 days I should give myself the objective of reading one or two Shakespeare plays a year, but watching them as well and studying the text as opposed to just reading it.

Prizewinner books - This week I have started reading Midnight's children by Salman Rushdie. I like the style of writing that is used for this, with the story in the past interspersed with the current thoughts of the writer.

My working hours have been on track this week. I stayed late on Thursday (which was great as I was in  the middle of the most amazing thunderstorm - it was totally mental), and finished early on Friday as I was pretty much dead :o)

Supplements are still going in, and exercise has still not been restarted, must do something before my belly starts sticking out again and looking pregnant - it's weird the way that after you've had children, that is your stomachs natural shape unless you attack it...

I have just ordered Evita and Cabaret off Amazon, so will be able to get those when I am in the UK, so should be able to watch them this month as I have a couple of weeks off work.

We have our first family holiday booked up to start in a couples of weeks time so that'll be another one off the list, and then Ben and I have a weekend watching the Grand Prix at Hockenheim, while the boys stay with the grandparents... this is preparation for our two week holiday which we will hopefully be able to do next summer. This summer the boys will mainly be in the UK without us, but that will be good for their English as they speak Swiss German five days a week. If that works out OK then we may see if we can do the same again next year :o)

I think that's all for this week,

Will be flying to the UK next Sunday so will try to post an update before I go, as I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to between now and the end of July otherwise (although I will be trying to).

Have a good week,


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Could I Be The Luckiest Girl In the World...?

It is totally official - not only do I love Philofaxy, but I love Philofaxy Adspot. On Monday I will be taking delivery of my A5 Purple Malden and my Personal Crimson Finchley, but today I have decided that I need to have a look at pocket filos...

And guess what I found? Only that the wonderful Lady Tammlyn is selling her Pocket Ochre Malden!!! And guess who is the lucky person who is going to be receiving that little beauty??? Woohoo!!!

How good is that going to look next to it's bigger brothers?


Friday, 15 June 2012

101 List Progress Check - Jun 14th 2012

Sorry I'm a bit late with this one - it's Thursday evening and I'm trying to get this written now, but have a feeling that I'll be finishing it tomorrow, oops!!!

So, what's been happening since I last wrote? Well, I read my third Shakespeare play - I have to say that I'm struggling to get into Shakespeare it seemed much better when I did MacBeth at school. This one was "As You Like It", and to be honest I don't remember too well what went on. Something about brothers who didn't like each other (or may be that was one of the other two, or maybe both of them), a girl who had to dress as a guy so that her and another girl could travel without raising suspicions, a guy who fell in love with the girl, searching for here (I'm pretty sure that was the nice brother), and thats the bulk of it really.

On Sunday I thought that as it seemed that the boys had stopped winding each other up for a bit (I think they'd decided to watch a film), I would have a go at making some dividers for my wonderful filos, so had a rummage through my scrapbooking papers to choose the patterns that I am least likely to actually want to use so I could have a go and see how many dividers I could get out of one sheet of 12" x 12" scrapbooking paper... I know, I know - normal people would have just used a ruler to check... But I have to say I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I can cut the shapes out properly using a scalpel without cutting myself. I used a Scotch tape tab dispenser for reinforcing the tabs, and it worked perfectly (I think - I guess time may prove me wrong).

First attempt... not too shabby!!!
 I chose the thinner paper, as I think the thicker ones, although totally gorgeous, are going to be a bit too thick for me at the moment.

Without tabs v with tabs...
Personal and Pocket - I think my camera had been drinking...
I did a few sheets of personal sized sheets without tabs after doing my first one with, as I thought I would see how they looked, and thought I may be able to fit two A5 one personal and one pocket if I didn't include tabs. However, I wasn't keen on how they looked with the post-it tabs on, so started on the next sheet to see how I would get on doing A5 with tabs. As it turns out I can just about fit two A5 with tabs alongside each other, leaving enough paper over for a personal (if I do top tabs instead of side ones - I'm OK with that), and a pocket, so with all this paper I have I can in theory make a lot of dividers, maybe I'll need to buy some more filos to put them in...?

12" x 12" reassembled...
2 A5s... a bit tricky to distinguish the tabs here

Now we can see the tabs better :o)

I ran out of time to actually make the personal with top tab and the pocket, but am pretty
sure that piece will fit them on...
So in theory (providing I don't screw up while making them) I should be able to make two A5 sets, one Personal set and one Pocket set out of six sheets of scrapbooking paper - most excellent!!!

So although I can't cross of the challenge of making dividers in various sizes off my list yet, I have made a start with my trials and know that I have everything I need to make basic dividers :o)

I have been good with my supplements, although I did forget them one day and should start the three months again, but here come the excuses...
                    i)           I hate taking tablets as they frequently get stuck in my throat
                    ii)          the day I missed was Christopher's birthday party, where Marcus cracked his
                                 head open, so I had other things on my mind
                    iii)         it was one day, not a slippery slope :o)

Must get back to the exercise though before all the hard work I did is lost...


Thursday, 14 June 2012

What's In The Box This Time...?

I know, I know - my 101 blog update is late, but I still manage to blog the most important things...

I had a message today that a parcel I was expecting had arrived in our Weymouth office, and so it is only appropriate (after actually feeling almost ill from getting too excited by the fact) that I post a little teasing post...

What's In The Box...?

Can you guess what it is yet...?

But wait a minute... it looks like these pictures are the wrong way round...

Why's the box getting dressed...?
I'm getting a bit confused...

Where's it going...?
Oh I see, it's not one for me - it's running away to a new home (to be fair I am a rubbish mother...).

I wonder if we'll be seeing this one again...?   Tig, you're it!!!


Friday, 8 June 2012

Too Excited!!!

Super quick post, because I am a tad excited...

I was reading Free for all Friday on Philofaxy today and saw the mention of seventeen filofaxes being added to the Adspot page. After giving three away the other week I do have space for a couple more in my collection, but hadn't intended on getting any for a while yet...

Oops!!! I somehow managed to click on the Adspot page (I really have NO IDEA how that happened...), but oh my word - an A5 Purple Malden at less then half price and a Personal Red Finchley at way less than half price. No inserts in either, but that is a good thing, I have loads here and it would just give me more diary inserts to throw out.

So I did what any self-respecting Filofax lover would do, I weighed up the pros and cons of the purchases and considered my budget emailed immediately about both of them and sat waiting in anticipation - feeling very excited and nervous... clearly the A5 Purple Malden would already have been snapped up, but the red Finchley was a possibility. And I could consider some of the other filos on the list (which I had resisted incredibly well - it would have been very easy to mail about four of the others as well) while I waited to hear.

But I received a reply in seconds, saying that both were available within minutes the whole email ping pong re Pay Pal etc was complete and payment made - love modern technology!!!

So very soon I will be the very proud owner of two more beautiful filofaxes - I guess I need to start digging through my others again pretty sharpish to see which ones I can pass on to new homes as I need to make sure that I don't get into a situation where I end up with more filos than years, and there are a couple more on Adspot that I am quite tempted by...


Sunday, 3 June 2012

Going for the Professional Look...?

Well I have been having some fun this morning (well deserved after having to desert Christopher's birthday party to take Marcus to the hospital - not the nicest thing in the world, poor little chap, but at least it wasn't someone else's child that fell off the bench laughing and cut their head open). I thought it would teach him to sit on the bench properly, but this morning he still sat on it cross legged, so he is now being watched like a hawk to make sure he doesn't sit like that any more...

So, to chill out for a bit after another night of not enough sleep, it was time to put some pretty stuff in my Holborn Zip :o)

Picture heavy section coming up now...

My oh so professional Holborn Zip

OK - maybe not so professional after all...

A fab selection of sticky notes, with a top opening envelope behind containing my Paperchase and Moleskine stickers
The first section is my info section, containing FF registration sheet, sizing charts etc that come as standard with the FFs, my Indodispensible Data sheet and timetables (which I have yet to fill out), along with all my planning sheets to work out what needs to go into my timetable.

Blank timetables - I really must sort these out
The next section is still my Dodo pad inserts to track my food, exercise and supplements
Thankfully the marker is in the way so the exercise column is hidden

My today marker, overhauled with washi tape and Sentimental Circus stickers
After this we have a section for recording my hours worked and one containing my MO2P diary (which I don't look at - will be re-thinking this).

Then we get to my next marker which is for my main section.

I was going to put her on the current weeks page, but she gets in the way a bit, However, she is happy wherever she is - I think she may be a Martini girl - any time, any place, any where :o)
In the main section I still have my WO2P lined diary from Sweden, but have replaced my To Do lists between each page with A5 funky paper, and have added a smaller funky sheet for writing out quotes, or nice thoughts so they can be taken out of here and put into my Happiness Binder.

My first Super Cat sheet "Once upon a time, in a land far away... Make time to DREAM!!!"

And my first non "To Do" list, to do list. As you can see I have quite a lot to try to accomplish today...

Avery re-positionable tab used as a top tab to mark the current week

Another sample combination - cats and Super Cat

Mr Comic and Chou Fleur combination
Behind this section there is my annual planner - again, not looked at in quite a while, and then a section for storing some extra paper in case it's needed.
Random spare paper
After this I have sections for my 101 in 1001 Days list, addresses, project plans (not used).

Now I know I am pretty new to the discovery of the 30mm rings and how amazing they are, but today has seen me remove a fair amount of spare paper from my filo, because with all my pretty new stuff there just isn't enough room - will FF ever do 50mm rings...? I have more pretty paper than I can shake a stick at now, and haven't opened any of the fantastic writing paper sets that I bought to use in my A5 (Alice in Wonderland anyone? I can't wait to get her in here).

So, it's looking lovely and I'm already thinking of making some changes. As those of you who have read my earlier posts may remember, my Filofax obsession has paid off really well with the organisation of my work. So well in fact that it is now very rare that I bring any work home with me, and I usually get home in time to put my boys to bed. With this in mind, do I really need to stick with the one life one filo method?

Or would I be better off leaving my A5 on my desk at work every night (I have done so on a couple of occasions already and it was pretty tough, but this bad boy adds a fair amount of weight to my rucksack) and using a personal for everything else?

I may switch to a MO2P layout with lots of pretty paper in between as I don't actually have that many meetings, and it would give me more space to use so I could put more of my funky paper in it... ooh, now there's a thought...

I would consider a pocket as well, but they're too small for my pretty paper - ha ha ha!!! So many things to consider :o)


Friday, 1 June 2012

101 List Progress Check - June 1st 2012

Just time for a quick update before I go to work this morning as I am going to be super busy when I get home, arranging things ready for Christopher's birthday party tomorrow.

I've been pretty busy the last two weeks as I was in the UK for work last week, followed by a weekend seeing old friends before flying home on Sunday evening, ready to jump straight into the joys of monthend. I am hoping that once the party is over I can chill out for the evening (or at least get an early night and not be woken up by children at 4am...). Love them, but 4am - really?

Good news re the house in the UK though - the garden is finally done. Admittedly the lawn looks like a patchwork quilt at the moment as the turf is still bedding in and will be rolled once it has, but it all looks so much bigger and nicer then before, No brambles, palm tree, broken fence panels, and the bottom part of the garden has finally been reclaimed - it looks great!!!

Anyway, as well as being busy I have managed to be quite good, I read Shakespeare's "As You Like It", remembered to take my supplements and although my healthy eating went a little awry (and all that Bailey's at the rugby club on Saturday afternoon didn't help) my weight hasn't changed and I will be starting up the exercise again next week in an attempt to get fitter and finally see those abs :o)

I bought another classic film to watch - "Taxi Driver" with Robert de Niro and Jodie Foster, I also bought "War Horse" but that's not part of my 101, I just wanted to watch the film as the book was so good.

And that is me for now - time for breakfast and a shower.