New Location

Hello everyone!

Since the last post, I’ve been working on developing a new site for my blog: http://talesfromapolkcountygirl.com

The content will be the same, so if you liked what I posted here, I hope you will considering hopping over to the new site and subscribing there.

This site will stay active and you will still be able to access past content.

Thank you for subscribing and following me here, and I hope to see you on the new site!


Back Story:

In my soon to be posted piece about Mead Flex Binders, I go on and on about their versatility. But I always wished for a smaller version. Well, playing around on the Mead website, I stumbled across the Mead Shopping Organizher.

I’m not gonna lie. I FREAKED! Yes, it was a two-ring binder, but I didn’t care about that. I had finally found what I wanted. My wonderful husband, when I was jumping up and down, handed me the credit card and said, “Order it.” Music to my ears.

When it finally arrived, my friend, Melanie, agreed to shoot the unboxing video.

<insert pictures and caption them>


Mead Shopping Organizher


Compared to the regular size Mead Flex Binder


“How to Use this Shopping List” Cardboard insert (that I’ll be using as a dashboard)

 IMG_1270  IMG_1272

Pockets on both dividers



 Blank Shopping list sheets (30 in total)


Coupon dividers (removed all of them, except for the divider)

IMG_1274 IMG_1275 IMG_1276

Website/Blog Username & Password log; Clear zipper pocket; Business Card sheet


I immediately tore it apart and reorganized it. I’m keeping the “how to use the shopping list” cardboard insert to use as a dashboard. I moved the card holder and zipper pouch to the front as well.

The Shopping List tab is staying the same, but I only kept three shopping list pages and the blog/website pages in this section.

The Coupons tab has been turned into a notes section. I removed the extra pocket dividers to make room for more paper. I already had a bunch of paper to fit this size notebook.


Moved the clear pockets to the front, behind the cardboard insert that is now a dashboard.


Moved the Website/Blog sheets to the Shopping List section


Added more paper. I had to washi tape the side and repunch them.


Current thickness of my refillable notebook.

A really nice discovery was that the two rings line up with the top and middle rings on a regular size Flex Binder. So what does this mean? I don’t need to buy a special hole punch!!! A standard size 3 hole punch will work just fine.

YES!!! Very happy! *happy dance*

© Cori Large February 10, 2015

Planner Review—Take 2

I wrote my original planner review piece about a month ago. I truly enjoyed using my Franklin Covey Sierra and it is still set up, but a few days ago I couldn’t shake this reoccurring thought every time I picked it up to use it: I wish I could bend it back like a spiral notebook.

After internally arguing with myself over this first world problem, I sought counsel from one of the many planner-centered Facebook groups I am a member of. Another member essentially gave me the permission I was looking for: “If you don’t love it, you won’t use it. So use what you love.”

That was a very liberating message to receive.

I listed out what I absolutely knew I wanted in my new set up: Project Manager section, Expense Tracker, At A Glance Calendars, Weekly layouts (Wo2pgs), and my address book. I removed the Writing section since I have a separate notebook for that. I will be putting a blog posting list in my Project Manager section though.

Crafts by Cori has had its own binder for years. The planner section was just a handy area for notes and reminders. In my Project Manager section, I’m keeping this year’s BEP (Break Even Point list), To Do list, and raw materials notes.

So I got through my first week in my new set up, and I’m still pleased with my self-designed inserts.

Each day has my work To Dos on one side, and each box becomes a separate sectional To Do list with lots of room. Very very pleased! *happy dance* My notebook is full of wonderfulness!

Here are some pictures to help illustrate:

Pen Band (1)

The Pen Band that holds all my pens that I use in my planner.


Planner Redux (1)

I’ve had the magenta one the longest, so it became my planner.

Planner Redux (2)

I took the inspirational page out of my Writing notebook (which is now a Green Flex Binder).

Planner Redux (3)

The Flex Binders come with 2 plastic dividers and 3 page protectors. Here’s what one looks like.

Planner Redux (4)

This the beginning of my Project Manager section. I’m currently trying to figure out what to do for Christmas this year.

Planner Redux (6)

Here’s a blank expense tracker insert that I made. It’s designed for a 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 binder, but I’m keeping it uncut for my bigger planner.

Planner Redux (7)

This is a January print out I got from MS Word. Nothing special.

Planner Redux (8)

Here is a blank weekly layout.

Planner Redux (9)

And here’s my weekly layout when I have all my To Do lists filled out. The right side columns with the black ink are all work notes. I have started highlighting my work hours, and don’t put anything work related down after 4 pm.

Planner Redux (10)

Address tabs. I may redo my address section, but I’m not sure yet.

© Cori Large January 16-19, 2015

The Master To Do List

Part 6 in the Cori’s Planner Pieces series

And so we come to it. The proof that I am insane!

Originally mentioned in my Jotters piece <insert link>, The Master To Do List (TMTDL) is a master list of odds and ends off the To Do lists. It was started in 2008/2009. Yes, that’s right, there are items on my To Do list from the past 5-6 years.

When I finish a Jotter, I add anything I haven’t done to TMTDL. I started this file on a modified version of Microsoft Word, so the numbering doesn’t change on me when I add and delete tasks. Currently, the starting  number is 5 and the ending number is 564. Now that doesn’t mean there are 559 items on this list; there are 162 items waiting to be crossed off. (Yes, I did count them for this blog post.)

Some of the are notes to myself about things I may need to remember at some point. Or I may need to create a Notes to Remember page. (I’ll knit on this and get back with you.) As I eventually complete items on TMTDL, they do get crossed off and their assigned number is retired.

When a Jotter is ready to be added to TMTDL, the crossed off items on the current version are deleted and the new ones are added with fresh numbers.

I’m the only person I know who does this. Hmm….maybe I’ll start a trend. (Or I’m part of a bigger group and don’t know it. Like with Bullet Journaling.)

Here are some pictures! I blocked out sensitive information with my thumb.The Master To Do List (1) The Master To Do List (2) The Master To Do List (3) The Master To Do List (4)

I’m getting ready to go through a completed jotter, so these pictures will be obsolete by tomorrow!

© Cori Large December 23-27, 2014

[part 5b of Cori’s Planner Pieces series]

In my last piece, I mentioned that I use a similar concept to Bullet Journaling to organize my writing notebook.

Writing Notebook (1)I use a Mead Flex Binder for my Writing notebook. I love these binders and will show how they help keep me organized in another post.

When you open my Writing Notebook, the first thing you see if a page I tore out of a magazine. It’s a woman running along a street, and the fall leaves are all around here. I love autumn and I thought this picture was lovely. Then I read the little box and knew I had to acquire this page. Writing Notebook (2)

The box says: MAKE YOUR ESCAPE. You are not your to-do list. You are not your have-tos or must-dos. You are not your job. Although your first waking thoughts likely focus on the needs of others and all the things you want to accomplish, you are, most important, yourself. Take time every day to remember than—even if it means running away from everyone and everything you love so you come back refreshed and recharged. The world can wait. You shouldn’t have to.

That message resonated with me, and a read it every time I open my notebook to write in. I encourage everyone to find a message that speaks to you and keep it close by for when you need it most.

After the message, I have a Topic Page at the beginning, where I list out the blog piece I plan on writing in the future. In the left hand margin, I list the color of the Post It flag I’ve assigned to it. Once the flag color has been assigned, I add the blog piece title to a blank page, any quick notes for the piece, and add the flag on the next line down to create a divider.

Writing Notebook (3)

Writing Notebook (4) Writing Notebook (5)

Writing Notebook (6) Writing Notebook (7)

I’ve been rolling this organizational system around in my head for a while now. I used to write all fiction and nonfiction pieces in bound journals. Learning about the Bullet Journaling system pushed me to go ahead and set up this binder. I’m soooo happy I did it. One of the main reasons I like this setup so much is that I can add more paper to each piece if I need it. Also, the bound journals were becoming expensive.

I’ve gotten more written in the last 2-3 weeks since I’ve started this binder than I have in the past six months.

I’ll be starting another binder to keep the completed and typed pieces in. They’ll be organized in a similar fashion: Table of Contents and pieces filed in the order in which they were completed.

© Cori Large December 23, 2014


[part 5a of Cori’s Planner Pieces series]

I recently heard the term Bullet Journaling on one of the many Planner Facebook groups. I educated myself on this concept and discovered that I use a similar system for my writing notebook. My writing notebook set up will be in another post.

A website that outlines and explains the Bullet Journaling concept is: www.bulletjournaling.com

There is also a YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfRf43JTqY4 starring Ryder Carroll. He does a really good job explaining setting up a bullet journal.

I’m not going to reinvent the wheel and give you the instructions on how to create your own bullet journal.

I only have a few additional comments I’d like to make to Ryder’s bullet journal instructions:

  • You don’t have to call the Index page, the Index page. I prefer Table of Contents, but you can also call this page whatever you want.
  • If you’re not a regular calendar user, this is a great way for sporadic organization.
  • This organizational system could be very handy for short term projects at work or as a general project manager set up.
  • For students, a new bullet journal each semester could be made up and it would allow you to just focus on the semester. Class notes, project notes, reading notes, etc.

I recommend going to the website and watching the video.

© Cori Large December 23, 2014.

Cori’s Planner Review

[part 4 of Cori’s Planner Pieces series]

My long-time planner was a DayTimer Avalon 7-ring simulated leather, 8 ½” x 5 ½” (compact size). When my life got really hectic, I upgraded to a Desk size Avalon, which took 8 ½” x 11” paper. I didn’t think this through very well because the Desk size also had the 7-ring set up. There wasn’t an extra hole punch around for me to permanently set up for 7 holes, and I couldn’t afford one buy one that did have that option.  Also, I would have had to do a custom order if I wanted paper with 7 holes—again, out of my price range.

When life slowed back down, I switched back to my compact Avalon, but found the rings were too small to hold everything I needed. A colleague had a planner the same size, but with bigger rings. She had a Franklin Covey.

The planner I currently use is a Franklin Covey Sierra simulated leather binder, measuring 5 ½” x 8 ½” in black. It came with a starter pack that I haven’t used because at the same time I had purchased my 2015 inserts, plus I still had my 2014 inserts.

My 2014 inserts are the DayTimer Coastlines, week on two page set up. I’ve been using this format for a few years, and it works pretty well for me. When I was still commuting to university twice a week, I actually bought an appointment book and used that to keep track of when I was driving, in class, working my part time job, and trying to have a life at the same time. I really liked the columnar set up and how much stuff I would write on it.

So when it came time to order my 2015 inserts, I searched to see if DayTimer, DayRunner, and Franklin Covey (FC) had a similar set up. I already knew I was switching to a FC planner. I needed the bigger rings. FC did offer the columnar format, so I bought a set of those in the Blooms ring-bound weekly.

I am soooo happy with my FC Sierra! It is very similar to the DayTimer Avalon, but with bigger rings! The bigger rings allow me so much more room for inserts!

Okay, so now that you have this background, here’s how mine is set up:

Planner  (1)

  • Inside left from cover: the pockets are full of random pieces of paper that need to by organized.
  • My dashboard is a business card insert page that I attach sticky notes to.
  • After the Dashboard is a General Reference section. I may remove this section at some point.
  • Yellow Divider: my first section is by Budgeting section. I keep a ledger of how much money I have in the personal and business checking accounts. Since I always have my planner with me, it seemed like a logical place for it.
  • Purple Divider: This is labeled as my Projects Section. This is more of a General Notes area than projects. I have two main project categories, and they each have their own sections. Notes in here are about upcoming events and needed information, outlining ideas for Christmas 2015 (Yes, I’m already thinking about next Christmas.), other misc. stuff.
  • Orange Divider: This section is for my side business: Crafts by Cori (CBC). I jot down craft ideas, reminders, To Dos, and anything to do with the business, except blog posts.
  • Green Divider: This section for my Writing. Story ideas, blog post ideas, CBC blog ideas (writing topics about the business are separate in my mind). There are a few book ideas I’ve been toying with and they each have their own pages.
  • Between the projects section and the calendar section, I put one of those cardboard backings as a divider.
  • Now onto the calendar section!!!
  • I still have November and December 2014 in here, and I went ahead and put my 2015 inserts in as well. These calendar inserts have two different styles.
  • Here’s a look at how DayTimer and FC have formatted their inserts.
  • What I’m really looking forward to with the FC inserts is all the space each day to put To Dos. I’m an overachiever when I comes to how much I believe I can get done in a day. I’m not so ambitious that I’d get the 1-2 page per day inserts, though. (I would also need to buy a bigger planner AGAIN!)

Planner  (2)

  • Behind the calendar is another cardboard backing I use to protect the calendar pages.
  • In the back, I don’t usually keep much back there because it’ll throw off how the calendar lays. Right now I’ve got some correspondence from a club I’m the secretary of and I need to file them. Also, something else that is always in my planner is the eulogy I wrote when my beloved grandfather died. Because we didn’t do a funeral, only a celebration of life, this was a way for me to grieve and work through things.

So that’s my planner! Like everyone else looking for planner peace, mine will probably change up when I need it to.

© Cori Large December 20-23, 2014