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With as many flex binders I have, I have been asked how I stayed organized with them and don’t forget what is in which binder. And the honest truth is, I keep a list. The list gets updated whenever the contents change.

Here’s a quick list of what is in each regular size flex binder:

Pink/Magenta/Berry: general notebook, just full of notebook paper

Black w/ Pink Tiger Stripe Duct Tape: full of dividers; another catchall; address book

Red: I’ve moved my non-fiction books that are on my Goals list to this notebook: Bobbin Lace Workbook, Genealogy Workbook, and the Recipe book. The Journal Prompts book will eventually be added to this one.

Purple: Crafts by Cori paperwork

White 5 subject w/ Real Tree ® Pink Camo: Nutritional Anthropology class notes

Green: Goal setting and progress updates

These notebooks do change out their contents fairly often. Or I combine things and leave some of them empty.

© Cori Large 3/4/2016

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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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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.

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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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Hey everyone! I’m back after a week hiatus to enjoy the Christmas holiday with my in-laws. This post is one I wanted to post earlier this month. It goes into how I’m setting up 2016 to be a very productive year. Enjoy!

***This is NOT a sponsored post. I do NOT own a Passion Planner and have NOT received one for this post.***

In a previous post, I wrote about my admiration for the Passion Planner system and how its structure could be used in my life. This post is about how I used their system, but not their planner.

I sat down and seriously thought about what I wanted to accomplish and all that it entailed. I ended up dividing my 11 potential goals into 3 categories: Writing, Crafts by Cori, and Tales from a Polk County Girl. I’ll be breaking down each categories and what the various goals in them are below. Each goal has the steps branched off of it that I needed to do in order to accomplish them.

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My Writing Goals:
*Recipe Book

*Genealogy Pamphlet

*Journal Prompts Book

*Bobbin Lace Workbook

My Crafts by Cori Goals:

*Craft Show Prep

*ETSY shop

*eBay

*Amazon

This goal was more about how I could bring in more business and sell more.

My Tales from a Polk County Girl Goals:

*The Blog

*The YouTube Channel

*Cooking thru the Book (this one is still in stewing mode)

The Passion Planner system is set up where you work on three things related to your goals each month. I couldn’t limit myself this way. I have 11 goals, all which are continually moving forward and need to be worked on. So I deviated from their system at this point.

In order to achieve these goals, I made up a flex binder (not a surprise for regular readers) with each goal and its completion steps.

I, then, made a monthly target/task list, where I took the first step of each goal and wrote it down. My monthly goal is to work through this list, getting as many tasks accomplished as possible. I understand that some tasks may take longer than a month to complete, and I may be expecting too much from myself, but I have a Go Big Or Go Home mindset.

Flex Binder pictures:

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The completion steps lists will also double as a progress log. I will be making monthly progress entries so that I know where I am in the project. Here’s what my very first monthly target/task list looks like:

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Wish me luck, people!

For those that do mind-map, set goals, and/or use the Passion Planner, I hope you are able to accomplish what you’ve set out to do.

For those who want to set goals and work to accomplish them, good luck. Don’t be afraid to take baby steps. Remember the saying: Rome wasn’t built in a day. (Something I’ll have to remind myself of, no doubt.)

YouTube Video Link: https://youtu.be/wcKdob43h-g

© Cori Large December 1, 2015

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***This is NOT a sponsored post. I have received nothing for this post.***

I do not have a Passion Planner. I have only used the free printable from the website. And searched Pinterest for pictures of how people have used their Passion Planners.

A quick list about what I really like about the Passion Planner system:

  1. The planner has a full Saturday and Sunday. THANK YOU! The majority of my week is spent at my full time job, and it’s the weekend where I need room to schedule and stretch out.
  2. I wish I had had this planner in high school. This is an excellent tool for young adult trying to find themselves and figure out what they want to do with their lives. High school and college students would benefit from this planner greatly!
  3. I LOVE the journaling questions. I use the monthly reflection questions each month, and will be doing the end of year questions in a few weeks.
  4. Loved the mind-mapping exercise. I’ve been using their method to do my own goal setting. (If you’d like to see where I went with this, subscribe to the blog for the future blog post.)

One thing I do need to mention is the 2015 Kickstarter video was my gateway into the Planner Addict World. A friend of mine had shared the Kickstarter video on her Facebook page and I watched it. After the video, related YouTube video suggestions came up and I couldn’t believe there were people making planner videos! But that’s a separate post.

I really appreciate what creator/founder/CEO Angelia Trinidad has created. Check out Passion Planner on their website and various social media pages:

Website: http://www.passionplanner.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thepassionplanner/?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/passion_planner

Instagram: http://instagram.com/passionplanner

Tumblr: http://passionplanner.tumblr.com/

Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/passionplanner/

© Cori Large December 1, 2015

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My long-awaited (in my mind only perhaps) Mead Flex Binder Product Review!

For those of you who read my blog regularly, my love of the Mead Five Star Flex Binder is no secret. So why, some may ask, am I just now getting around to doing a product review of one of my favorite products.

I’ve been meaning to do this blog post / product review for a while, but there were other things I wanted to blog about instead.

So let’s get right down to it.

Product: Mead Five Star Flex Binder

Appeal: Functionality of a binder with the bendability of a spiral notebook. What’s not to love?

I’m a righty who writes like a lefty. What does that mean? It means that I turn whatever I’m going to be writing on I turn to about a 45 degree angle. So it I’m trying to write in a regular binder or composition book, etc. it gets a little awkward.

In my opinion, these binders can take a lot of abuse. The berry/magenta one I’ve had for ten years, and only recently has the webbing around the rings start to become detached from the front cover. The rings are starting to loosen up as well, so I may be retiring this one soon.

My 10 year old Flex

My 10 year old Flex

The webbing is starting to tear, but this only happened recently.

The webbing is starting to tear, but this only happened recently.

Bent back like a spiral notebook

Bent back like a spiral notebook

Up close look at the rings

Up close look at the rings

The Mead website shows a lot more options that what I have seen in the store.

At the Staples in my town, I discovered the 5-subject Flex. The 5-subject has bigger rings. I didn’t know these existed. Granted I haven’t paid full price for a Flex Binder in 10 years (since I bought the berry/magenta one).

Also depending on the store I’m in, the color options vary. Some have the standard colors from the website, and other have discontinued colors.

Yes, these binders are expensive. The prices ranges from $7.99 to $15.99 depending on what store I’m in. Despite the cost, I feel they are worth the investment.

If you’re interested in this item, but think it’s a little pricey, wait for the school supply clearance racks. No joke. That’s how my collection has grown over the years. I think the most I ever paid for a clearance binder was $5.00 + tax.

There it is, people, the long awaited (or just in my mind) product review of the Mead Five Star Flex Binder. If you have any additional questions, please leave them in the comments and I will answer them as soon as possible.

YouTube video link: https://youtu.be/DrYRmlva-tk 

© Cori Large October 29, 2015

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Blank Page Possibilities

Some people like structure, others prefer a blank canvas.

Another blogger I follow, Giftie Etcetera, wrote a post about transforming blank paper into a planner insert. You can read that here.

That post got me thinking about my ideal planner insert. Now, I do need monthlies for planning and future planning, and I like having weeklies because it’s a nice visual to see my week at a time. More

Spice Cabinet Update

In a previous post, I showed off how I turned an entire cabinet beside my stove into my Spice Rack.

My husband and I love to cook, and we have just about every spice available. This does not include spice blends and mixes. I arranged this cabinet a little over a year ago, but our spice collection has grown since then.

Over the weekend, we bought two 3-tier all-purpose storage racks from The Home Depot.

We attached them to the inside of our kitchen equipment pantry.

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Here’s a side view.

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All of our less frequently used spices went here. And the cabinet became where our most used spices were stored.

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The breakdown of the number of spices we have are:

*47 on the pantry door

*31 in the cabinet

*15 in the reserve.

The reserve spices as ones that are replacements others when we run out, i.e. curry powder, paprika, dill.

We’re considering getting a third, but we shall see. The equipment pantry is very fragrant now.

© Cori Large October 29, 2015

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