Carpe Diem Planner

Planning in 2017

CD 1

CD 2

When I started my planner journey on the 1st of January I knew there would be lots of experimenting as I found the right fit for me. How I do things today is very different to how I did them 8 months ago, but all the changes I made have led me to the most efficient method for me. If it doesn't work for YOU then it's not going to make your life any easier or help to reach your goals.

Last year I wrote a diary every day. It was a Moleskin page a day soft cover A5 diary, like the ones I have bought (and not used) for years. Once I knew that I was able to commit to a daily diary/planning regime I treated myself to the Carpe Diem planner. The plan was to use the planner for appointments and daily plans alongside a Moleskin for memory keeping. This worked well for about 5 months.

Then I felt a shift.......

I missed paper crafting and memory keeping but knew that I wasn't going to get back into scrapbooking in the conventional way any time soon. The CD planner lends itself to 'making pretty' and with the addition of the daily page (ie page a day) inserts I had a great memory planning tool. At the end of each month I file the pages in a simple stories binder adding photos (see the CHEERZ category to get details of my photo printing) and elements. At the end of the year I'll have an album of 2016, I guess it's a little like project life!

Of course this meant I didn't have a planner. And I loved planning, even though i'm not hugely busy outside of my work day, I still enjoyed the process of planning and wanted to keep doing it. SO.....I treated myself to the Get To Work Book by Elise (link at the bottom of this post)! I was so tempted to buy this last year but really wanted to stick to the Moleskin. It's a brand I know and love and my CD planner was going to be my planner anyway.







I bought the 2016/2017 edition of the book although I much prefer January to December planners and diaries so I'll be buying the 2017 version as soon as it's on sale. With that is mind I did think long and hard because this isn't a cheap book, especially when you're not using half of it. It comes in at $55, and the ruler and book band are priced individually, in addition is international postage. BUT the hefty price tag is so worth it when you open the package and take the book out of the box! Firstly it is so well packaged and presented, and the little postcard of dashboard images is just perfect to pin up at my desk. The coaster I punched and put in my CD planner on the day the GTWB arrived, another great little piece of inspiration. Elise has written up the story behind each dashboard image which I love. Great thought has gone into every part of this product.

The clean lines and total lack of colour means there are no distractions. It's a book designed to keep you on track to reaching goals and getting things done, one day at a time. For me there is no making pretty, it's not for embellishing, it's functional and I love it. It's combined a planner for life, goal setting for yarn craft, blog post planner and budget keeper.

It's a great size book too. Lots of space for writing lists and setting tasks for the day as well as action items for the week and planning larger projects. It's been a great tool for me to keep track of my exercise too. There are great walk though videos on the Get To Work Book website so if you're undecided go check them out.

Top Tip: I stole the idea of using a highlighter to score off done items rather than crossing them out. It's so evident what/how many items have been ticked off, and is just visually vibrant!

So getting back to this blog posts title - Planning 2017 - I've decided to carry on this way of planning and memory keeping in 2017, and I have already had a little shop for 2017 supplies (although i'm not going to set up my 2017 planner until the week between Christmas and New Year). I've been using the two books alongside each other now for two months and i'm so happy I made the change. This fits my life and that's why it works!

Get to Work Book

My Carpe Diem Planner story

C xx

Pay day shopping list

Pay day shopping list

I love to shop! And I like to make my money go as far as possible! For this I use a pay day shopping list. A little list of things I would like to spend my hard earned money on when pay day arrives. I don't mean that I spend it all on pay day but I like to have an idea of what I want to buy when that pay cheque hits my bank account.

I'm also not an implusive shopper as the recent purchase of a Longchamps Le Pliage bag will prove. I saw a bag on a TV show in February 2013, and photographed the screen to share on Facebook to see if anyone knew what bag it was. I didn't get the exact one but was directed to the Longchamps Le Pliage bag and I instantly fell in love. I saw one in real life a few months later and knew I loved it enough to have one. As I was only going to have the one I wanted to be sure on size and colour. In January 2015 I decided on the size but didn't have the cash so would need to wait a bit longer. I nearly bought it in South Africa last December but they didn't have the colour I really wanted. And then in April 2016 when I had the money I planned a trip to Stamford in Lincolnshire where there is a shop I knew had them and I was going to buy it.

Now to be honest I don't think everything through for so long but I know in my heart that half the stuff I think I want and need will not be as important in a few weeks. Or I'll think 'seriously woman, you have a million (and that is only a very slight exaggeration) baskets already!' and I won't be tempted buy another one. Although to be fair, the one on the list pictured is very different to any of the others that I own.

Anyway I guess the point is that I don't always need and want everything I see and if I think about it just a little bit I can curb my spending and the stuff I bring in my house that adds to the clutter and ultimately ends up in a charity shop, village fete tombola or the council tip!

Did I mention that it's pay day tomorrow!!

Ciao xx

Lets take the stress out of planners

Planner month view

Planner post it idea

Planner blog post calendar

Planner blog post ideas

Planner week view

Planner expense tracker

Planner colour pens

Planner purse with pens and journal cards

(the diary entry in the second photo is Stitch and bitch, which we hold in our local pub. I'm not calling anyone a bitch, lol)

I wanted to do another planner update to dispel some of the stories I read when setting up and embarking on my planner journey and sharing a few top tips I've found along the way. Your planner must work for you and you need to be happy with how to record appointments and events. My planner is still evolving as I find bits to add that make my life easier.

A commenter on one blog planner post I read suggested using mini post it tabs to record events or appointments that may change. That way you can move them around and only write them in pen on the day or even after the event. I love this top tip!!

Blogging is not my business but I enjoy it and since returning to blogging last year I've been wanting to be a little more organised and clear about my blog content. So I went on a search for some printables to enable me to blog better. Scattered Squirrel has some great free printables and the month on a page calendar is perfect for high level blogging ideas. I've added them behind the tabbed month on two page spread. How well does March coordinate with the Carpe Diem Planner!!
Then I needed a more detailed level of planning aid and these printables from Five Sixteenths work so well. She also has calendar pages but I don't need the notes margin on the side. I don't usually make extensive notes on each blog post so a page or half page is a waste for me, however I can use a whole page for a very detailed post like this one.

It's never too late to add a page to your planner. For April I wanted to try an expense tracker. If it works it will stay, if not it will go :)

In the beginning I wasn't go to go with the coloured pens and colour co-ordinated keys etc etc. But three months in I dug out a pack of fineliners and thought I would give them a try. Because I need to have them handy I'm using a little clutch bag that my mom gave me years ago (she used to keep her old passports in it and I clearly remember it from my childhood) to keep the pens and my journal cards and stickers in. The pocket inside the front cover was getting rather full and this seemed a better plan. This year is all about the journey to a 'planner that works for me' and not about getting it right on day 1 (and getting fed up when it isn't!).

I used to worry that I have 'white space' on my planner. Sometimes a day in a week is totally blank - no plans or chores. Now I see that as a blessing as it means I have extra knitting/crochet time! How can that not be a good thing. Oh and it's a great spot to pop a sticker, lol.

One of the 'no-no's' I read about often is adding events after they happen. I guess you're not planning properly if you're always adding appointments/events after they've happened. And yes this is true, but it's not the end of the world. If you get to the end of the week and find you're filling in all the gaps with things that have already happened, then perhaps your scheduling time is not in the right place. I'm lucky to have an hour each Monday evening to myself where I can spend time working on the coming week. As well as being time I have away from home chores and work with nothing else to do, it makes sense to me to plan my week on a Monday. But that's not a rule and it doesn't matter when you plan your weeks so long as it works for YOU!

Choosing what to plan is also as flexible and adaptable as you need it to be. I don't plan my meals for the week. I have a list of meals on the notice board in the kitchen that I use to do the grocery shop and then just decide each morning what to make for that day. It's not something I need to record or want to think about too much so it's not going in my planner.

I tried to incorporate a knitting/crochet journal/planner into this one but it's not worked for me so I had to find an alternative which you can read about here. This new planner has fit into my yarn craft life perfectly!

Don't stress about content and getting it right first time. Learn to adapt and make this work for you, we all have different expectaions and needs from our planner. This is the only way I have managed to get three months of planning under my belt. And still LOVE it!

That said I am NO expert. These are my own thoughts and what things have helped me get comfortable and into good habits.

Happy planning and unless I find something fabulous to share, I probably won't do another undate until the end of the year.

Ciao xx

A month of planning

01 02 planner post 2

01 02 planner post 1

I'm pleased to say that I survived the first month of using a planner alongside my diary and totally loving the process.

Initially I wondered if I was making a big mistake outlaying cash on the Carpe Diem planner. Don't get me wrong it's pretty as heck and I love it but not knowing if it would sit on a shelf after a lousy few weeks of use was scary. Especially considering my planner track record!

It didn't all fall into place immediatly and I made a few blunders that would usually have left me feeling dissapointed. The first month of my planner doesn't look like I imagined. 
This is a huge learning curve for me, as I'm the type of person that wants to perfect a new hobby or craft or process before I've even picked up the tools. I over research and over analyse. My urge for something to be perfect on the first attemp often stops me trying new things.

The great thing about this style of planner is that the layout and options of style and design are flexible. I have moved a few things around as January progressed and have a much better feel for the pages I use most and those that I need and want but not all the time.

Initially I wanted to have four months in the planner at a time so I could add photos and ephemera and it not get too bulky. Then remove each month as it finishes, archive and bind it all together at the end of the year into a mini scrapbook. But it turns out I want to see and use the whole year. This became apparent when we booked a weeks holiday in September and I wanted to add it in my planner straight away. So i've added the month to view pages back in but not the weekly pages. This makes the planner less bulky and I get to access the whole year. A planner has to work for you and be adaptable to what's going on in your life, if it can't, then it's not the right planner for you.

One thing that irritated me was the 'curling' of the last page when I closed the book. It seemed to get a bit scrunched and bent and that was annoying. So I used a sheet of clear binding acetate, cut to size, and punched as a 'back page'. It slides against the inside fabric covering making the book close better protecting that last paper page.

Having found the perfect planner for me, I needed to form habits to make it work for me and ensure I use it. Of course it comes everywhere with me but if I don't take it out my bag and use it then it's just extra weight I can do without. Here's what is working for me so far:

  • Every morning when I get into work I get my desk draw key, pen (I'm very particular about the pen I use and mine comes everywhere with me!), phone and planner out of my handbag.
  • While my laptop is firing up I open my planner to today and check if there is anything to do or add to my days plans. I chose the weekly pages because I work full time and don't have a huge amount of 'out of work chores' in my life. This planner is for me and not work. I also glance back at yesterday to see that everything was done and carry over anything that wasn't and needs to be rescheduled.
  • My planner stays on my desk as a reminder to do any of the days tasks. If I have calls to make I take it with me to lunch or to the kitchen if it's a quick call that can be made while the coffee machine whirls out a cuppa, ie calling/texting to order wood, or book a car MOT.
  • I usually have a quick glance when I get in from work and if there is nothing left to do I don't look at it again until the morning. If however there are things to discuss with dear husband then I leave it out as a reminder.
  • On a Monday I have an hour after work before an appointment so I sit in a lovely quiet Hitchin pub, with a coffee and do some 'making pretty' on my planner. It's me time and a good opportunity for me to add any goals and review my yarn craft lists.
  • The weekends are slightly different. Saturdays can be quite busy, so although I'll add tasks to my planner I tend to also add them to a separate slip of paper that I can take with me. I have a quick look at the planner first thing and grab the slip of paper. I don't like to plan too much for a Sunday so I don't schedule any tasks on that day. I do however have a quick look first thing for birthdays.

This may not be how I manage my planner at the end of the year and my methods may evolve but this is working for me now. Good habits are the key to effective planning, ticking off tasks and reaching goals.

If you have an effective way of using your planner or ideas please share!

Ciao xx

Carpe Diem Planner - Part 2

CDP front of month page

CDP monthly quote page

CDP this month page

CDP month ruler

CDP March

CDP today ruler

A bit like diaries, I have had my fair share of planners and not managed to use one all year, or even for a few months at a time. I decided that if I could keep a diary in 2015 then I would treat myself to a new planner. I really wanted to split the appointments & plans and my daily thoughts into two separate books.

As this year has moved on and my commitment to daily diary entries has been proved I started to allow myself to do a bit of planner research. I read all the reviews and scrutinised each planner on the market and finally settled on the Carpe Diem planner. There are so many amazing planners on the market and this is such a personal choice but here's what I loved about this planner. I can add, move and get rid of stuff. Simple as that. I wanted a planner that I could adapt to me, that I could use for my yarn projects and blog planning as well as the every day. There are so many great planner printables that can be added to this folder too. This is a great base for me to adapt to suit me.

I am having the most fun getting the planner set up to start using in January!

The monthly divider tabs are plastic coated and is of a sturdy thick card with each page sporting a lovely image or quote. There is a double page month view, which is undated for you to personalise. Each month has a THIS MONTH page for birthdays, goals, important dates and don't forget. The planner came with weekly inserts but you have the option to buy daily pages. I have stuck with the weekly pages for now as i'm at work for 8.5 hours a day and don't need to plan that! The daily/weekly pages are undated too so you can stamp, handwrite or sticker your dates on!

The options for making this planner your own are endless and even though I won't be using it until January, I already have it in my handbag and can't stop admiring it :) Silly I know but I LOVE it!


Ciao xx

Carpe Diem Planner - Part 1

CDP planner

CDP plastic cover

CDP stickers in pocket

CDP sticker sheets

CDP stickers

Today I want to share some details and a little pre-use review of the new Simple Stories Carpe Diem Planner and products. I will split this post into two (check back next Monday for part 2) so it's not information and photo overload!

I ordered my planner from The Homemakery who offered a pre-order back in July (or was it June??), and chose the Robin's Egg colour. In October Simple Stories released better photos of the products so Homemakery offered the opportunity to amend your colour choice and we could start to get an idea of what additional items we would want to buy on release.
The Simple Stories blog had a few posts showing how each of the team had set theirs up. Of course by this time I was dreaming about my planner popping through the door!
Because I had pre-ordered I had the chance to order some accessories, and do the final planner payment, before the planners landed so it would all be shipped within hours of arrival. I was feeling slightly overwhelmed at that point so just ordered the number and icon stickers. I knew I would want more but needed to see the planner first. I had a little panic about the planner size, I was worried it would be too small to use as a planner/memory book combined, so didn't want lots of stickers I couldn't use.

The lovely team at The Homemakery shipped the goods with such efficient speed and when it arrived I was NOT dissapointed!
The binder itself is of excellent quality and well made, I always worry about dodgy stitching! The front plastic sheet is nice and thick and there are plenty inside cover pockets to keep the sticker sheets in! Of course there is a handy pen holder and cute little camera charm.

A few days after the planner arrived I placed another little order for some more bits:
Bookmarks - there are three in the pack. I have used one as a current month marker, one for the current week (I opted to stick to the weekly pages) and one to mark the next month so I can look forward every now and again.
A5 notepad - for a few extra note making pages that I can keep in the current month.
Dashboard inserts - these are great adding some dimension.
Insta quote, clear and reinforcer stickers - just cause you gotta have them.

I split the sticker packs in two so I have a batch to use in the second half of the year.

See you next week for more!

Ciao xx