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Here is my January 2016 list of interesting blog posts:

Blog Related:

8 Things Bloggers Wished Their Friends Knew http://www.allthethingsido.com/things-your-blogger-friends-wish-you-knew/

Cooking Related:

Mason Jar Food: 23 Healthy Mason Jar Meals You Can Make in Minutes http://www.fitvivo.com/23-healthy-mason-jar-meals/

Ham & Cheese Ore-Ida Totchos http://www.chocolatenchildren.com/2016/01/ham-and-cheese-ore-ida-totchos/

Making Your Own Brown Sugar http://joythebaker.com/2010/08/how-to-make-brown-sugar/

Finance Related:

I retired at 30. The best part isn’t leisure — it’s freedom. http://www.vox.com/2015/7/27/9023415/mr-money-mustache-retirement

How I left my job and built my online business http://www.strangecharmed.com/business/how-i-left-my-job-built-my-online-business-replaced-my-income-in-6-months/

Knitting Related:

In a Knitting Club, I found a cure for selfishness and cynicism http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/facts-and-arguments/a-stitch-in-time/article28223076/

Planner Related:

Do we need to spend money to plan? http://mysummertouch1.blogspot.com/2016/01/do-we-need-to-spend-money-to-plan.html

Paper diaries outsmart electronic age http://www.smh.com.au/business/consumer-affairs/paper-diaries-outsmart-electronic-age-20160105-glzqln.html

Make It Monday: Three Ways to Bind Your Own Planner http://www.fivesixteenthsblog.com/2015/12/make-it-monday-three-ways-to-bind-your.html?showComment=1453233774298#c1524940341977464935

My Patronus is a Filofax http://www.lostinfiction.co.uk/?p=2831

Surprising Day Planner Secrets http://www.giftieetcetera.com/2016/01/surprising-day-planner-secrets.html

Why I Write It Down http://www.giftieetcetera.com/2013/07/why-i-write-it-down.html

What is Working Right Now https://frostywindow.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/planner-update-whats-working-right-now/

Free Planner Printable http://www.plannerfun.com/2016/01/just-lined-columns-printable.html

Combining Bullet Journal w/ Filofax http://www.lifeofkitty.co.uk/combining-bullet-journal-with-filofax/

School/Student/Education Related:

6 Struggles of Grad School Students You Need to Understand (and Accept) http://royaltyinreality.com/2016/01/12/grad-school-struggles/#more-727

Writing Related:

The Tortured Art of Writing http://forreadingaddicts.co.uk/literature/the-tortured-art-of-writing/2497

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Once again I happen upon the Mead OrganizHer Shopping Companion notebook (aka the Mini Flex) on the Mead website and it’s on Clearance. When I informed my husband of this, his response was “How many are you going to buy?” If you’ve been following my blog and YouTube channel for awhile, you know I LOVE my Mini Flex. Some would say I’m obsessed. I prefer the term enthusiast.

I called the Customer Service number to ask if it was possible to buy them by the case. Yes, you read that correctly. I wanted to buy a case of Mini Flexes. The very helpful lady on the phone informed me that they only had the purple cover available (the color I don’t have). 868 of them were available in fact, at $2.99 each.

So guess how many I bought?

50 of them. Not going to lie, I did briefly consider buying all of them, but that was too much money. I got free shipping and used a 20% discount code. Ultimately, I paid $119.36 for 50 brand new mini flexes.

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My friend, Canyon, asked me why. Other than my automatic response of Why not?, the only thing I could come up with is that I love this product so much that if it is being discontinued by Mead, I’m going to need enough to last me for the rest of my life.

Yes, I know I’ve made my own Mini Flexes from full size Flex Binders, but it’s just not the same. To paraphrase, one of my favorite quotes: Some call me obsessed. Over-prepared. Maybe even a little crazy. But I know what it’s like to lose out on a favorite product by missing a clearance sale.

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YouTube link for the Unboxing Haul: https://youtu.be/frJLtxgUb_A

My enthusiasm for this product has not changed. Compare to the initial unboxing video of my first one: https://youtu.be/frJLtxgUb_A

© Cori Large Jan 5, 2016

 

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This post is literally a month late, but oh well! I received two very nice binders for Christmas, and now I’m suffering from Binder Indecision.

My Every Day Carry is my Day-Timer portable Rose Gold planner. It goes everywhere with me.

Other notebooks in use: my Mini Flex and a 3-3 format notebook from my MIL.

Newcomers to the picture: Day-Timer desk size Malibu in Teal/Aqua and my cousin-in-law’s vintage (20 year old) A5 Filofax Finsbury. The Binders I received are A5/Classic/Desk size. So I can use the same size paper in both binders.

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Dilemma? Love the color of the Malibu, but the A5 Filo functions better.

  • Personal inserts fit the rings for the A5.
  • A5 and personal insert holes fit the rings of the Mini Flex.
  • A5 holes fit the holes of a standard 3-ring binder.

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Now that I have the A5 in my hand, I have a better idea of what I’m dealing with.

12/26/2015-morning: Philip has given me the okay to return the Malibu. I’m looking into an Electric Blue A5 Finsbury on Amazon.

12/26/2015-afternoon: After a trip to Hobby Lobby, I believe the universe wanted me to keep the Malibu. I found packs of 100 sheet, 7 hole punched paper, for $3.99 each. So the Malibu will be used for my Spring class.

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1/3/2016: During a trip to Walmart, I found more packs of 7-hole punched paper!!! Why have I know seen this before?

In conclusion, the A5 will be used for my writing notebook and the Malibu will be for class notes.

© Cori Large 12/25/2015-1/3/2016

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Creating a Page Marker for Your Planner

Not every set of inserts comes with a page marker. And not everyone wants to spend money on unpunched plastic ones from Target.

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When I needed a quick page marker for my Mini Flex, I took a paper bookmark I had gotten from the library…

…punched it with the appropriate punch…

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…took my scissors and snipped the holes so that the bookmark could be added or removed like paper in an Arc notebook…

IMG_2185…and inserted it into my Mini Flex.

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Now this page marker isn’t going to last forever, but that’s okay. It is a quick fix with materials I had on hand.

And because I have a punch for my portable size Malibu, I can make another on for that planner as well.

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© Cori Large October 29, 2015

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FC Sierra

It hit me the other day that one year ago, I was using a Franklin Covey Sierra Classic Size with 1.5 inch rings. Since then my planner journey has been all over the place. After discovering the Planner Addict World on YouTube and Facebook, I tried making my own inserts for the Sierra because I wasn’t happy with the Blooms WO2P inserts I had gotten for 2015. I then made some Folio size inserts (8.5” x 11”) and tried using one of my flex binders as a planner. You can read about that here and watch the YouTube video here. This one was actually pretty nice. If I ever decide to go back to a full size planner, I think I’ll use my own creation. These posts and several other early related blog posts can be read in the Planner Pieces Series here.

IMG_1264 Current Journal Next Journal

Then I found the Mini Flex (aka the Mead Shopping OrganizHer notebook). I tried using that as a planner and then as a bullet journal. Then I tried Bullet Journaling in bound notebooks on and off from April to July. I really liked the Bullet Journaling system over the summer, when I have less going on.

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When the school year gearing up in August, I switched back to a ringed planner. I purchased a Day-Timer portable size Rose Gold Malibu and have been using it ever since.

During the year, I have acquired and resold different types of planner containment units. All in the hope of finding that elusive Planner Peace. I won’t say I’ve achieved it and haven’t given up either, but I’m not in such a rush to trade out containment units as I was.

I would not have guessed this is where I would be planner-wise a year ago. If anyone’s interested, the YouTube video that started it all was My Purpley Life’s video. Jennifer started it all. My decent into madness!

If you’re a member of the planner addict world, how has your journey gone? Please share in the comments.

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Figuring Out Your Ideal Planner

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If you’ve ever looked up planner video on YouTube or are a member of any of the planner Facebook groups, you have no doubt felt overwhelmed by all the options out there—and I’m just talking about the containment unit itself; not stickers, pens, inserts, washi tape, etc. There are many blog posts and YouTube videos to help get you started.

There are brands from all over the world and at a variety of price ranges: Filofax, Kikki K, Erin Condrin, Kate Spade, Day-Timer, Day Runner, Franklin Covey, At a Glance, Bullet Journaling, Midori Traveler’s Notebook, Fauxdori’s, homemade & DIY, and many more.

In my opinion, the easiest place to start is deciding whether or not you want a planner that you can add and move stuff around in OR something that is bound together. A move stuff around planner would be a ring one, disc bound, and arguably traveler’s notebooks. A bound together planner would be a bound book or spiral/coil bound book.

Personally, I like being able to change the guts of my planner around as I please, so I use a ring bound planner.

The next thing to do is figure out what you want your planner to do for you. Calendar? To Do lists? Notes? Projects? Address book? What do you want from your planner? And how will you need it to function.

Your answer needs to be more than “I want to get organized.” Let’s start with a relatively simply example: calendars. Monthly, weekly, daily, or some combination of 2 or all 3? If you take each section and really think about what you want from it, eventually the planner you need, as well as the one you want, will come together.

Other examples:

To Do lists>>>brain dump/catch all’s or categorized? (You can have both! I do!)

Projects>>>work or personal. A page for each project with notes, timelines, etc. Alphabetical or by deadline?

A to Z file>>>also known as the Address book. There is a trend to store quick reference notes here, like clothing sizes or book titles or important notes you don’t know where to keep.

The thing to remember is that just because a planner comes with certain sections and inserts, doesn’t mean you are stuck with them.

If all of this information was overwhelming, I apologize. The planner world can, ironically, be overwhelming. How about something simpler? Get a cheap planner from the dollar store. Start using it. As you go along, if you find yourself wanting something different, like wanting to be able to move stuff, make a note of it in your planner. What do you like, what don’t you like? Write it all down.

There is no one right formula to figuring out what planning system works for you. A system that works for one person won’t work for someone else. It’s all about finding out what works for you.

This is a process that can take some time and it came be frustrating. But eventually, you’ll figure it out.

© Cori Large April-December 2015

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  1. As I look out my window…rain. It’s a rainy day here.
  2. Right now I am…powering through my To Do list. The day on one page inserts have helped me see just what all I can get done without going crazy.
  3. Thinking & Pondering…why humans don’t have a sleep reserve that’s similar to a battery.
  4. On my bedside table…my planner, water bottle, lotion, eye mask, cell phone.
  5. On my TV tonight…possibly Grimm.
  6. On the menu this week…dunno yet. Need to work on my dinner menu tonight.
  7. On my To Do list…reading for my class.
  8. Happening this week…my wacky work weeks start.
  9. What I am currently crafting…more dishcloths more craft show inventory.
  10. My simple pleasure…at the moment: a nap. Vit B and coffee haven’t helped.
  11. Looking around the house…not too bad. I was able to clean up a lot yesterday and get ahead of laundry.
  12. Random picture from camera…

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I finally got the frame for my Pride & Prejudice novel poster.

  1. What I am listening to… listening to 80s power ballads, trying to wake up.

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How many out there have too much of something and feel slightly guilty about it? Shoes? Purses? Earrings? Tools? Yarn? Planners? Washi Tape? Scrapbooking supplies?

I discovered the Planner Addict World December 2015, and I haven’t climbed out of the rabbit hole yet. In my experimenting with various styles of planners and containment units, I’ve figured a few things out, but I am still tempted by all the pretties!

One night while lying in bed, my husband commented that I was thinking too loudly (an inside joke between us) and what was I thinking about. I admitted to feeling guilty about my indecisiveness in regards to what type of planner containment unit I wanted to use and how much money I was spending on trying to figure things out.

(For the records, I’ve probably only spent $150-200 and I’m buying used and re-selling when I figure out one doesn’t work for me.)

So after all that why do I feel guilty? I hate being indecisive and constantly trying new things, i.e. planner containment units, purses, etc. I KNOW! I’m a weirdo. I don’t like having too many of a particular thing because I feel like there is no point because I won’t use them all regularly.

Does that make any sense?

Is there any part of your hobby you feel slightly guilty about?

© Cori Large December 8, 2015

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*Long post, picture heavy post*

I found this delight at my local thrift store for $1.00. It is a 7 ring format, just like Franklin Covey and Day-Timer. There are a ton of inserts in it, but the dates range from September to December 1992. This calendar format matches up with the year 2015.

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The calendar inserts of Day on 2 pages. There are a multitude of other tabs and inserts:

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  • Phone and Address tab w/ inserts
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  • Values and Goals tab w/ inserts
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  • Finances tab w/ inserts
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  • Key Information tab w/ the following inserts:
    • Personal information
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    • Friend/family list
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    • Medical record
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    • IMG_2273
    • Special days
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    • Gift list
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    • Gift ideas
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    • Family advisors
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    • IMG_2278
    • Travel information
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    • Credit card and bank account references (back when stealing someone identity was harder)
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    • Business expenses and auto log
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    • Franklin Time Log
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  • Ready Reference tab w/ the following inserts:
    • Spelling dictionary
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    • Air distances between world cities
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    • World map and time zones
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    • International dialing codes
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    • U.S. road mileage
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    • Time zone and area codes for the U.S.
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    • First Aid & Choking instructions–not pictures in case info in out of date
    • When breathing stops instructions—these are out of date CPR instructions
    • Calorie and cholesterol chart–no pictures in case info is out of date
    • Weights and measures
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    • Exercise log
  • Planning/Calendar tab w/ the following inserts:
    • Future planning monthlies, April 1993-March 1994
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    • Future planning Year on 2 Pages, 1994-1998
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  • Numerical Dividers #1-6 w/ the following inserts:
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    • Daily record of events
    • Blank lined paper
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The rest of the binder:

  • ID pocket
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  • Front and Back covers have pockets
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  • 1 vinyl pen loop
  • Made in U.S.A.
  • Good rings, no gaps

Other thoughts:

  • This could be used as an archival binder.
  • There is no closing mechanism, no snap, no Velcro, nothing.
  • The cover is cushy and squishable.
  • The binder is in excellent condition.
  • Ring measure 1 inch.

I shared the inserts with my mom, and don’t honestly know what I’m going to do with all of this stuff. The inserts will get used one way or another. Not sure about the binder. For $1.00 I couldn’t pass it up.

Here’s the YouTube video link: https://youtu.be/14JmSKgFPDY

© Cori Large December 1, 2015

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My Library at my first apartment.

My Library at my first apartment.

Here are all the books I read in 2015, with short reviews or summaries.

Maggie Sefton Knitting Mysteries #10 Cast On, Kill Off even carefully laid plans can backfire
Maggie Sefton Knitting Mysteries #11 Close Knit Killer eh, no sympathy for murder victim
Lee Schnedbly Being Happy Being Married: a Guide to Building a Better Relationship every couple should read this
Maggie Sefton Knitting Mysteries #12 Yarn Over Murder as wildfires range, murder is solved
Maggie Sefton Knitting Mysteries #13 Purl Up and Die over-protective mothers don’t help children
Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child Pendergast Series #14: Blue Labyrinth couldn’t put it down
Molly MacRea A Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery #1 Last Wool and Testament irritating cops, mopy ghosts, granny’s a witch?
Molly MacRea A Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery #2 Dyeing Wishes annoying ghost, mom in denial, spiveys
Molly MacRea A Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery #3 Spinning in Her Grave embezzler, icky realtor, unwanted kiss, fire
Molly MacRea A Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery #4 Plagued by Quilt no sympathy for murder victim-abuser
Jenn McKinlay Library Lover’s Mysteries #1 Books Can be Deceiving plagiarizing a*hole; crazed stalker; incompetent police captain
Jenn McKinlay Library Lover’s Mysteries #2 Due or Die obsessive stalker; theft of rare books; sniper shot’
Jenn McKinlay Library Lover’s Mysteries #3 Book, Line, and Sinker (Dec 2012) pirates, ex-fiance, awkwardness all around
Jenn McKinlay Library Lover’s Mysteries #4 Read It & Weep indecisive Sully, Munchausen’s, vindictiveness
David Allen Getting Things Done: the art to Stress-Free Productivity good ideas, kinda confusing at times
Shelia Connolly Museum Mysteries #1 Fundraising the Dead interesting from a library worker’s perspective
Marie Kondo The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: great advice, nice sound bites & quotes to live by
Michelle Knudsen Evil Librarian  
Janis Owens American Ghost small town secrets get dredged up
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee At Knit’s End: To be read over and over!
Paula Hawkins The Girl on the Train Love Octagon gone wrong
Victoria Abbott A Book Collector Mystery #1: The Christie Curse alright, hard to relate to protagonist
Victoria Abbott A Book Collector Mystery #2: The Sayers Swindle interesting, mob related
Victoria Abbott A Book Collector Mystery #3: The Wolfe Widow did not see it coming
Kathy Reichs Temperance Brennan series #15.5 Bones in Her Pocket  

What did you read last year? (Can’t believe 2015 is over already!!!)

© Cori Large January 2, 2016

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