I HATE wasting paper, well wasting things in general, so having numerous half-filled inserts bugged me. If you’re a Traveler’s Notebook user, you may have discovered that sometimes you don’t completely use up an insert for whatever reason. I’d like to share with you some ideas I’ve implemented for re-purposing those half-used inserts.

*Short-term Food Journal: this is great if you’re trying to figure out what’s causing heartburn or stomach aches, or whatever. This helped me narrow down my heartburn trigger to canned tomatoes, but not tomato sauce or paste.

*Shopping Lists: provided you don’t already have a section in your planner for this, shopping lists are a great way to use up paper.

*Car Notebook: if you get a random idea while on the road, jot it down while at a stoplight or have a passenger write it down for you. And if you have kids, having paper and a pen with you, can lead to tic-tac-toe matches and drawings while they’re in the backseat.

*Nightstand Notes: I don’t know you, but I get the randomest ideas when I lay down for the night. Just having a quick place to jot them down (because we NEVER remember them) is a good thing. And it means you don’t have to wake your brain up enough to search through your planner for the correct spot to put the information.

*Scratch Pads: ‘nough said

*Quick To Do Lists: this is great for temporary situations, like last minute get togethers or chore lists for kids if the chores aren’t typical ones (like weeding the yard; also, chore charts didn’t work on me and my brother. Daily lists did.)

*Card Game Score Sheets: my family loves to play 7 Card Rummy. Flip a page when you start a fresh game, or if you’re like my inlaws, have a running score sheet.

*Quick Brain Dumps: for when you absolutely have to empty your brain! I get like this every-so-often. Despite having notes pages in my planner, sometimes my brain calls for a legal pad or a smaller notebook to jot stuff down in.

*Splitting an Insert between two things: Carie Harling introduced this idea in one of her videos, and I cannot remember which one. She takes an insert and splits it in half, pretty simple considering you need to split the insert to put it into a TN in the first place, and uses the front half for one project and the back half for another project. By the time she reaches the middle, she’s done with both projects. Voila! No wasted pages (or not as many).

I’ve used this technique in my Knitting TN insert. Front half of a booklet was for my scrappy wrap and the back is for my mini skein 10 stitch blanket. It’s working great!

I hope you find some of these suggestions helpful! Happy planning!

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Everyone likes to save money. Here are some possibly unconventional / new ways for saving money in different areas of your life.

1. Check out the Bakery Clearance Rack at your local Grocery store

My local Wal-Marts have awesome finds at their Bakery Clearance racks. I normally pull full Italian bread loaves for $0.53 a piece!!! I cut each loaf in half, wrap them in aluminum foil, and freeze them. One of our favorite scores was finding 4 dual packs of garlic bread (6 slices per pack, so 12 total). Each 6 slice pack is in its own bag, so that 8 bags of garlic bread. I can’t make bread from scratch for cheaper than that. I know some people have issues with processed bread and wanting to know what goes into their food. To each their own. We keep our freezer stocked and haven’t thought about buying bread in a few months! Why aluminum foil and not plastic bags? Plastic is NOT an oxygen barrier*, foil is. This will help keep freezer burn down.

There are other goodies available on the clearance rack, BUT the last thing my waistline needs is clearance donuts! The Hubs usually has to drag me away after I’ve snatched all the bread deals and start picking up the donuts.

2. See what the highest deductible you can have on your homeowner’s insurance.

This may depend on your insurance company, but I do recommend checking with your insurance company to see what the savings would be if your deductible was at the max. And what to do if you to deal with a deductible that high? You have your Emergency Fund funded to at least the deductible amount. (I personally recommend having your Emergency Fund funded to up to six months worth of expenses OR enough to cover your deductible OR better yet BOTH!)

3. For scratch paper or filler paper for your planner, find cheap notebooks.

I’m always on the lookout for cheap filler paper for my planner. When I do find notebooks on clearance, and the paper is good quality, I buy it, tear the paper out, and cut it down if necessary for my planner. Examples: steno-pads found for a quarter, Casemate journals for $0.50, etc. My planner takes 8 inch x 5 inch paper, and finding Steno Pads on clearance so far is the best. Some other places to keep an eye out for cheap journals and notebooks are Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Stein Mart, Big Lots, Tuesday Morning, and Ross. The various Dollar stores may also have some acceptable paper (i.e. Family Dollar, Dollar General, Dollar Tree).    

4. Health Insurance Rewards

This may vary from insurance company to insurance company, but check with them to see if their online interface allows you to earn rewards to lifestyle changes, check ups, wellness assessments, etc. I have Florida Blue, which awards points to various things. If I go to the gym 100 times in a calendar year, I not only received $150 rebate on my insurance costs, but I earn points toward rewards. Unfortunately, Blue Rewards is ending at the end of the year, so I’ve been redeeming my rewards points for Amazon gift cards!! Whoot whoot!

5. Borrow, Trade, Barter, and Share

This is an old school way of doing things, but it works.

If you’re just getting into a new hobby, and a friend has been doing X for awhile, as to borrow some of their equipment. I did this when I first started canning. I borrowed a friend’s water bath pot and pressure canner to make sure this was something I wanted to purse. I do, so I’ve asked for my own for Christmas.

If you’re really good at one thing and a friend is good at another, trade skills or goods. I usually “pay” in food when it comes to having manual labor done on my property. Another one of our friends regularly barters ribs and pulled pork for my husband’s help with truck repairs.

*Line credit to Burt Gummer, from the Tremors 2 movie.

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Another year in the books. And with a fresh start ahead of us, I think it’s time to Spring Clean some areas of my life, specifically my digital life.

I recently decided to do away with an email address I wasn’t using anymore. Which lead me to doing the following:

  1. Going through each folder in that account to determine if content was still relevant. If the content was irrelevant, I deleted the emails.
  2. I forwarded any important or keep-for-now information to an email I was currently using.
  3. Changed my contact information on any website the old email address was on, so it was updated.
  4. Then once I shut that email down, I turned to my current email address, sorted all the forwarded mail, and repeated the process: going through each folder and deleting old and irrelevant emails, and if the folder was no longer needed, I deleted the folder.

I plan on doing this with Facebook groups, Pinterest boards I follow, and unsubscribing to unwanted emails as they come in.

It’s not only a good idea to clean up your online presence, but your overall digital presence as well. Here are some questions to ask yourself next time you have some time to go through your computer:

  1. Are there any files on your computer that you no longer need anymore?
  2. Can photos, videos, and other archival material material be moved to an external hard drive to clear up space? (I do this myself. Each year I transfer all the YouTube videos I’ve made to my external hard drive to get them off my computer.)
  3. Are there any eBooks or PDFs you read or meant to read, but no longer need?
  4. Any audiobooks, music files, movies (all legitimately downloaded of course) that you no longer want?

These are just some ways I corral the digital clutter. If you have any additional suggestions, please leave them in the comments below.

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[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvC_LZxcE8A%5B/embedyt%5D

WIPs:
Eric’s Blanket (it’s never gonna be done!!!)

FOs:
RH Cherry Red Squares (for Eric’s Blanket)
RH Royal Blue Squares (for Eric’s Blanket)

Acquisitions/Gifts:
Careful, I Will Defend Myself minis
Nako Rekor Minis (about the company)

Patterns Mentioned:
Grandma’s Favorite Washcloth pattern
Frankie Brown’s Original 10 Stitch Blanket

ETSY Shops & Yarn Stores:
Twin Mommy Creations ETSY Shop
Brew City Yarns Sell Off Page

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In a Coming Soon post, I discuss how Journaling and Reflection has helped me reach some goals over the years. I’ve even written and designed a few traveler’s notebook journaling inserts, with daily prompts.

We’re coming up on the end of the year, and the Passion Planner has some wonderful reflection questions to wrap things up. However, some of these questions are too general for me, so I wrote my own. I may or may not upload the files to my ETSY shop, for those who want to download them into stickers.

Monthly Reflection Questions:

1.      What is your overall feeling about this past month?   2.      Any noteworthy events?
3.      Name 3 lessons you learned this month.   4.      Writing Check In: what writing projects did you work on?
5.      Knitting Check In: what knitting/crafting projects did you work on?   6.      Side Hustle Check In: eBay, ETSY, Amazon, Craft Shows?
7.      Marriage Check In: any noteworthy things happen?   8.      Family Check In: any big family news?
9.      Work Check In: anything noteworthy happen at work this month?   10.  What are you looking forward to in the coming months?

Beginning of the Year Reflection Questions:

1.      What are you hoping to accomplish this year?   2.      What is your main writing goal for this year?
3.      What is your main knitting/crafting goal for this year?   4.      What is your reading goal for the year?
5.      Any big events coming up this year?   6.      By the end of the year, I will have accomplished _______________.

Mid-Year Reflection Questions:

1.      How has the first half of the year gone so far?   2.      How have you been feeling overall?
3.      Is there something you want to try differently in the 2nd half of the year?   4.      Have you started thinking about Christmas presents yet?
5.      What’s your #OBJ project going to be?   6.      Answer honestly, have you been taking care of yourself?

End of Year Reflection Questions:

1.      What is your overall feeling about this past year?   2.      Do you feel any different than you did at the beginning of the year? (If you can remember that far back.)
3.      List the top 5 highlights of the year.   4.      What are your top 5 accomplishments of the year?
5.      What are you looking forward to in the coming year?   6.      Did you accomplish what you wrote in Question 6 of the Beginning of the Year questions?

I also have 12 Mental Health Check In stickers for when I need to mental check up. I may use these as mid-month check ins.

Journaling and Reflecting is important. It helps you grow as a person and keep you moving towards your goals.

CBC Products ETSY shop

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The last two years in the Planner Addict World have had some pretty interesting trends happen. Some of which I have participated in, some I haven’t.

Things I Do:

  1. Color code

Bless those who only need 1 color. Or can use multiple colors, but don’t have to color code. A single color will cause everything to blend together. Too many colors, that are unassigned, results in a chaotic migraine. I have 7 colors: black = general; blue = work; green = inside the house / husband; pink = outside the house / homesteading; purple = knitting, crafting, side hustles; teal = writing; and red = crossing or checking off tasks.

2. Post Its!!!

I love Post Its. I think they’re one of the best inventions of all time. And when I say Post Its, I do mean the brand. Those cheap Target Dollar Spot things either don’t stick or stick so well that I tear them trying to peel them off. Waste of money for me.

3. Repurpose My Inserts

I’m all about using up what I have. When the Passion Planner stopped working for me (because of the size), I took some old 2015 Franklin Covey Blooms inserts and customized them. How? The binder I use is a custom made one with two rings, so the pre-punched holes didn’t line up. I also had to change the dates on them. You can see a walk thru of how is did that in here and here.

Things I Don’t Do:

  1. Use journaling cards

I don’t understand the point of them. I truly don’t. A blank page doesn’t frighten me. I have no problem spilling my guts onto paper, journaling or novel writing.

2. Fountain Pens

I own  a very nice fountain pen, but I’m terrified to use it outside the house (so what’s the point in using it with my planner) because it was my husband’s.

3. Have multiple calendars.

Yes, I have several TNs, Flex binders, and story notebooks on the go, but none of them are calendars. Like Karine Tovmassian says, have as many binders and notebooks as you want, but only ONE calendar!

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Here’s my video book review on another one of Michael Pollan’s books: Food Rules.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3clj5fuspwI%5B/embedyt%5D

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