Has your brain even been so overwhelmed that you couldn’t think straight? Out of sheer desperation to quiet the chaos, have you ever just grabbed a notebook or sticky notes or a legal pad or ANYTHING to spill you guts onto via pen or pencil? Some call it Brain Dumping, others may call it Quieting the Chaos (okay, I haven’t heard anyone but myself say this). We’ve all been there a time or two. Here’s how I experienced and dealt with brain dump desperation.

Since returning from England, I was having a rather difficult time getting back into my blogging groove. I had been so organized in September and at the beginning of October, once I was back state-side it was hard getting blog posts up. Hang in there, lovely readers; I will be circling back around to brain dumping soon.

I had all these thoughts, to do’s, must do’s, blog post ideas rolling around in my head, and I couldn’t think straight. Legal pad lists didn’t help. My EDC (Foxy Fix Marina #5) wasn’t appealing to me for spilling my guts.

Out of desperation, I searched my office for a notebook, post its, ANYTHING that appealed to me. I wasn’t expecting to do this, but I grabbed my Mini Flex…

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Now, I had not used my Mini Flex in a LONG time, almost a year. I don’t know why it was calling to my but it did.

Still set up when I last used it, I flipped to an empty page and let go. Page after page of whatever came streaming down from my head, down my arm, and out through my hand via the Pen.

Now, this does not mean I’m back in the Mini Flex as my planner, or I’ve suddenly abandoned my Marina. Farther from the truth!

Karine Tovmassian, of The Streamline Life, Thinker Extraordinaire, and Plannerology, said it during one episode of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Plannerverse: “Planner peace is whatever is working for you at that point in time.”

And apparently my brain needed the Mini Flex. Fellow planner addicts who’ve seen Carie Harling’s videos have heard this before. Sometime’s your brain just needed something different. My poor, confused brain needed a book full of disposable pages, ones I could rip out and recycle when all the tasks were done, not a bound book.

Have you ever experienced this? What manner of brain dumping (legal pad, sticky notes) helped you?

Links to Past Mini Flex posts:

Original Cover

Product Review: Mead Shopping OrganizHer

My Love of Mead Flex Binders

More Mead Shopping OrganizHer Findings

Mead Flex Binder as a Travel Notebook

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Customizing Your Flex Binders

3rd attempt-desired design 2nd attempt-fall themed 1st attempt at new cover-fall themed

Mini Flex Covers

Flex Binder Collection

Product Review: Regular Flex Binder

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Obsessed? I prefer the Term Enthusiast

Flex Binder Organization

Mini Flex Hoard in Use

Mini Flex Fridge Notepad (1)

Travel Flex Binder

© Cori Large 15-17 November 2016

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Mel's Travel Flex (2)

Mel's Travel Flex (1)

The pink pencil case was made for Mel, but the while flex is mine. Her’s was blue.

I forgot to take a picture of it.

When a friend of mine was going to Greece for work, she told me she needed a notebook to take with her. Preferably something compact.

Since I’m a huge fan of the mini flex binders, I suggested one of those. Unfortunately, the mini flex wasn’t compact enough. I had recently scored a clearance deal on the regular size flex binders because the covers had been damaged.

The most damaged one became my guinea pig. I punched a few pages from one of those refrigerator notepads and used that paper as my template.

Using my paper cutter, I trimmed the plastic covers down and used my All-Purpose shears to cut through the ring mechanism. Once all the cutting was done, I punched more paper to fill it up.

I sent Mel some pictures, and asked her was color she wanted. She wasn’t getting my prototype white one!

I made her a blue one and she also asked me to find a pencil case to fit on the rings. A two-ring case didn’t exist. So I found a cheap one that I could put those metal rings into and make it into a ringed case.

Here’s what she had to say about using it:

It came in handy while traveling for work, and making notes about various tourist attractions and hotels that were available.

The pencil case not only held her pens and sticky notes, but she was able to put all the business cards she received in there so she wouldn’t lose them.

One issue she had, and Mel emphasized that it wasn’t anything I did, was the sticky notes she brought were almost too big for the pencil case. She said she should have checked that before the trip.

I (Cori) will be travelling in the fall and plan on taking a mini flex with me for notetaking and general writing.

© Cori Large March 17, 2016

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Two months ago, I learned that a product I love was on clearance. That product is the Mead Shopping OrganizHer notebook. I ordered 50 of them and have started to use some of them. And by some I mean 7. I have given 4 away. So I’m down to 39 still wrapped up and waiting to be used.

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Here is the list of how these are being used so far:

  1. Given Away—Philip
  2. Given Away—Mom
  3. Given Away—Ann
  4. Shopping Lists & Coupons (the original intent of this product, separate post coming)
  5. Knitting & Crafting Notes
  6. Fictional Work: Theatre Troupe
  7. Fictional Work: The Ultimate Recycling Machine
  8. Fictional Work: NaNoWriMo 2015 piece
  9. Fictional Work: National TTMM
  10. Became my new EDC-refillable notebook. I retired the original one I bought a year ago, because it was starting to fall apart.
  11. Given Away-Inlaws

This is how it’s going at the moment.

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YouTube video link: https://youtu.be/_hjy4oyd8wM

© Cori Large March 4, 2016

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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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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.

Rose Gold Personal  (4)

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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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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Yes, people, it is another Flex Binder post!

As my friend, Canyon, amuses: Yes, I am obsessed! (Though I prefer the term enthused.)

My collection consists of 7 being actively used: berry, cobalt, green, black with purple/blue/gray camo duct tape, work black, black w/ pink zebra duct tape, red, and light purple. And these are all regular size binders.

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And of course, I’m mentioning my Mead Shopping OrganizHer notebook (aka the Mini Flex).

My To Be Used Stash consists of 1 black, 1 green, 1 white, 1 red, and 2 cobalt. 6 in total.

So, yes, I have quite a few. And here’s what I use them for:

Berry: general usage; filled with notebook paper

Cobalt: one of my writing notebooks; currently housing 2 fiction and 2 nonfiction works

Green: another writing notebook; currently housing 18 separate story/book ideas

Black w/ purple/blue/gray camo tape: financial binder, with cash ledger

Work Black: this one stays at work, and gets used when I go to meetings

Black w/ pink zebra tape: another writing notebook; housing 1 nonfiction piece

Red: another writing notebook; housing 1 fiction piece

Light Purple: my financial one. If I were to become incapacitated for any reason, this is the binder that would keep my husband from losing his mind of the finances.

And my mini flex is just a refillable notebooks with 8.5 x 5.5 paper.

Here’s a link to the YouTube video: https://youtu.be/Msu9WXvQ8x4

What’s your collection?

© Cori Large 13 Sept 2015

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