Planner Girls Collective: Planner overview

Welcome to the new year and new round of posts from the Planner Girl Collective (formerly known as Confessions of a Plannerholic).  This is the first post of a regular series, and I aim to post every Monday as part of the group.  I will also link below all the other bloggers taking part in this series.
Right, back to the topic in hand; my planner overview… 2016 started with such good intentions, and I had lots of time to plan and be organised.  Then my life got a little chaotic towards the end of the year which led to my planning going pear shaped to say the least!  In actual fact it completely stopped!!!  I know I did a blog last week where I discussed a bit about this, and showed you my new layouts for the new year, so I wont bore you with all the details all over again.

I guess one of the reasons why last year was a bit of a struggle for me was really choosing my planner size and style of insert.  I did have an A5 planner which I loved, but felt it was too big for a while, so moved into a personal sized filofax.  And I have to say I do still love that planner.  But it got to a point where I just had so much to put in every day that I couldn’t fit everything on.  I also started a new job around the same time as this dilemma and felt that for work purposes having an A5 again would be much more convenient!  lol!

So I took the plunge and indulged in a second hand Carpe Diem and have not looked back since!  The size is perfect for me!  I don’t really carry my planner about with me in my day to day activities, but it is with me for work and is always out when I am at home.  This works really well for me, though I have to say I am considering getting myself a pocket size diary to keep in my handbag at all times just to make quick notes of personal appointments etc that I can then transfer into my A5 when planning neatly!  But this is something that is still to come…

When I made the move from my personal size to my A5 I decided to keep the same layout that I had previously had; a 2 day per page spread.  I felt this gave me just enough space and I could separate everything I needed to do.  But I soon found that I just had too much space, and with going back to work having to plan every four days was just getting too much for me.  I wanted to get back to regular planning as well.  I missed sitting down on a Sunday evening and just getting all my bits out and planning!  So now with the new year here I thought it was time for a change, and went back to a nice weekly spread.  It is this spread that I would be sharing on my instagram, as well as my monthly spreads.

However being as forgetful as I am I felt it would also benefit me to try out a daily spread which I have used to track things such as my fluid intake and my diet.  I am trying to be healthy though being pregnant am finding I am eating like a pig at times!  lol!  I am also trying to manage my time a lot better so I can be organised and stay on top of my life rather than let my life get on top of me.

Fingers crossed moving forward my planning will be much more functional and successful!  Please follow me on instagram if you would like to see regular pictures of my planning.  And I will blog more about the process I use with planning and how successful my system is going.  If you would like to see pictures of my most recent set up, please look back at my earlier post this month.

6 months to change my life update!

So at the end of September I wrote a blog regarding my goals for the next 6 months.  I know I haven’t been the best at sticking to them but thought now would be as good a time as any to quickly run through and hold myself accountable for what I have achieved so far, as well as set some goals for the last stretch of the path!

So for those of you who missed putlast time, these were my goals: 

Unfortunately none of these things have been achieved as of yet, and I know I really need to work on them if I want to achieve something great!

So let’s begin;

1) Turn my temporary work contact into a permenant position

So this one is still a work in progress, mainly due to the delay from the trust I am currently working for. However I have been informed the permenant position is likely to be advertised some time in the next few weeks! I still have to ace the application aced interview so my fingers are crossed. I’ve been working really hard in the role to prove myself, and am confident in what I am doing, but obviously I don’t want to walk aced round with the attitude that the job is mine.

I have to say work have been fantastic about my pregnancy too, and that has not deterred them from asking me to apply for the permenant post so I can only see that as a positive thing! I will definitely keep you posted as and when things happen!
2) Start a blog, posting two times a week

So I have obviously achieved the first part of this otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this now! Lol! However the posting two times per week has kinda gone away. I had started off so well, however found myself getting snowed under and not really giving myself the me time to do this effectively.

Now I am determined to get back into the swing of things, but have already found this difficult as this post is technically a day late! Lol! But I have still managed to get it out so am jot going to beat myself up about it too much. 

I am hoping to be a bit more productive and make sure on a Sunday I give myself the me time to both do my weekly planning as well as type up my blog posts for at least the up coming week! I know the me time is definitely needed and it would be nice to be that little bit more organised in my life.
3) Stop smoking

I really thought falling pregnant would be a great deterrent for me to give up smoking! My first daughter was a small baby and so this time I have to have additional scans to monitor growth etc. Now though my daughter being small can not soul be put down to my smoking, I know it was a contributory factor. 

So why haven’t I stopped? I panic at the thought! I really went a little crazy when I tried to stop last time, and though I have reached out for support no one has bothered to get back to me. I was meant to have a telephone consultation with a smoking cesation nurse, but she never called and then I got a letter through inviting me to a grip which only runs once a week on a day that I work so can’t attend.

Having said all of this, I have cut down. I am smoking less and hope that by the end of this month I have had the will power to stop naturally al, by myself. I guess that’s the best I can do! I definitely don’t feel as stressed with this pregnancy, probably because it is my second one. So fingers crossed the reduced stress levels should make it easier for me to give up.
4) Build on my planner insert business

I guess again  this is something that hasn’t had much of my love and attention as of late and it has shown in my etsy sales. Having said that I definitely want to get back on top of things and really make my shop the best it can be. I am currently looking at all my listings and updating them as well as looking at potential new listings I can get on to increase sale options.

Along side this I have been asked to be part of the pamper and plan planner con goodie bags! So if you are going then keep your eye out for a selection of my inserts in your bag! I have to say I am quite excited about this, and hope this too will help boost sales.
5) Finish my book and get it published

This item has now been removed from my goals. The reason being that it was just too much for me to take on right now. I have my idea and do plan on continuing to work on the project,  but for now I feel I have enough to focus on. But do watch this space as I do hope to come back to this at some point.
6) Get 500 followers on instagram

So when I set this goal I had around 100 followers and did think it may be a tall ask. Also throughout December I didn’t post os much as I would have liked. Which obviously didn’t help. However I am now trying to get back jn to the swing of things,  and even set myself the challenge of taking part in the planner addict box January picture a day challenge. It’s not easy, and I have just realised I forgot to post yesterday, but it is the first day I have kissed and am going to do my best to not miss anymore!

So far my following is just over 300 so by that calculation I feel that I should be able to make my target of 5oo by the time the 6 months comes to an end. 

I know I need to post as regularly as possible and showcase myself better, so that is what I am aiming to do! If you follow me already thank you so much! If there are posts you would like to see more of then please comment below. And if you don’t follow me and would like to, I’m @planwithhannah 😁
So that’s you all updated.  I have to say I don’t feel like I have achieved much at all so FAR! But I am glad that I have written this post because it has made me accountable for the goals that I have set and definitely spurred me in the right direction to get things done and hopefully see some improvements in the last leg of this journey.

This entry was posted on January 7, 2017. 1 Comment

2017 Planner set up

So as I mentioned in my reflective piece on 2016, my diary was a big thing that needed updating and refreshing!  I had completely lost touch with everything throughout December and it drove me insane!  I desperately need some more organisation in my life, especially with another baby on the way!  I hate being so ditsy and all over the place.  Organisation has to be key now for me moving forward.  I know I can do it with work, so now it is time to put it into place in the rest of my life.

So I decided to try a monthly, weekly and daily spread…  Why so many you may ask?  Well the monthly can be used for a nice simple overview of the month.  All key events, birthdays etc can be listed and I can answer questions regarding my availability without having to flick through my diary too much.  Below is how January is currently shaping up

Then I have a weekly spread which gives me a little bit more detail.  I’ve gone for a completely new lay out which is very similar to the happy planner or erin condren set up.  I have a task bar for the week and then have divided each day into three boxes – house, me and family.  I felt this would be the best way to make it clear what is going on and where.  I couldn’t be without my me box, but having the space for family and house stuff is definitely really helpful.
 
Then finally I have a daily spread.  I haven’t done daily spreads for ages but due to my every growing baby brain, I thought I would give it a go.  Plus I wanted to track my meals and fluid intake which these pages allow me to do.  I want to make sure that when I get my diary out I focus mainly on my daily spreads, ensuring that the tasks I map out weekly are put in the right place on my daily sheets.  I plan on reviewing my progress at the end of the month in another post and let you know the pros and cons of having so many spreads.

If you like the pages and want to order them, currently the weekly and daily spreads aren’t listed, but I do plan on having them up there soon!  So do keep an eye out.
http://www.etsy.com/shop/planwithhannahuk

Thanks for reading, and if you have any comments then please feel free to post

Reflecting on 2016

I guess for those of you who follow my blog, you will probably notice I have not been the most productive of late!  I have to say things have really gone a little tits up in my life over the past few months!  Not all in a negative way, but rather just life causing chaos and me falling out of sync with a lot of things; my blog being one of them.

So with the year coming to a close I thought it would be a good time to really look back at what has happened this past year (mainly the last few months), and try to refocus and develop a more organised head for the new year.  So here goes…..

 

Work

Thought it made sense to start with the most obvious change…  Back in September I began working again part time as a nurse.  It was a big step having been off with my daughter for a while, but a step I thought I was ready to make.  Arya was booked into nursery whilst I was at work, which I knew would do her the world of good too!

Initially things were great!  I found myself able to balance both my work life and my other commitments, such as my blog and etsy shop.  However, another life changing event (which I will reveal later in this entry) caused things to go a little off!  I also found the work more draining than I expected.  Not mentally as such, but I was much more tried on my days off and wanted to relax rather than do much else!  My personal dairy and Instagram pictures began to dwindle, and by December I have not planned anything neatly!  I haven’t even decorated much which is so unlike me!  All my tracking has gone completely off and I have found myself just going with the daily flow again, which I have found manageable, but I do realise how much I miss my planning!  And I found I was almost missing some appointments that I shouldn’t have, had I been proactively planning.

Having said all this, things have finally settled.  I absolutely love the job and feel like a valued member of the team.  The contract is only temporary, but there is now potential scope for a permanent position in the future, so my fingers are crossed!

 

Relationship

So I thought it would be worth raising this on a very personal note.  As I hope you understand I won’t be going into great detail.  However, back in October my fiancé found out about a big secret of mine which had a negative impact on our relationship.  It caused quite a few arguments, and I realised what I stood to lose.  It made me think long and hard about what I really wanted out of life, which of course is my wonderful man and family.

It has taken a while for us to work through our problems, but we are definitely getting there and have discussed how to make things better within our relationship.  Though my secret led to hurt, during the process of talking we realised other aspects of our relationship that we could build on and that has only led to what I can consider a strengthening of our bond.

I will not lie, there is still a long way to go, and I know that my deceitfulness led to trust being broken which is going to take time to rebuild.  But I know we are going to succeed, and still have plans to hopefully get married next year which I am very excited about!

I think the biggest thing I have learnt is that in order for relationships to really and truly work communication is key.  And that is not just in the everyday things, but also in the bigger things. Telling each other that we love each other, and being there for each other when one of us has a bad day makes the world of difference.  Being able to be open and honest about our feelings is really helping!

 

New beginnings

As I mentioned earlier, we received some news a few months back that was quite shocking for us both.  We discovered I was pregnant!  It happened a week after I started my new job too which I thought would make my work environment stressful, but actually they have been nothing but supportive.

So yes it was planned, however we only decided to start trying for a baby a few weeks earlier when my intention was to stay at home with our youngest daughter.  Had my job been offered a few weeks earlier we probably wouldn’t have even started trying!  Lol!  But I guess that’s just how life works out some times!

So we have had our first scan, and was so pleased to know our little baby is currently happy and healthy.  I am due on the 11th June 2017 and we will hopefully find out at the end of January what the sex of the baby is!  There are lots of potential changes that will need to take place in our house dependant on the sex (ie. Reorganising kids bedrooms etc.) but we are not rushing too much.

Due to my daughter being so small (only 4lb 1oz) I have been placed under consultants care, which means I need to have a few more scans than most women once I get past the 28th week just to monitor growth.  I don’t mind though because it means I get to see my new child that little bit more often so I’m quite happy.
Thankfully my morning sickness hasn’t been as bad with this pregnancy compared to the first which is nice.  I have been able to notice the foods and drinks that are triggering the sickness and have started to avoid them.  Ironically I can’t drink tea this time round, but have got back into black coffee!  The sickness is still there, but it does feel like it is easing too which is nice.

I haven’t had any unusual food cravings yet, though I didn’t get any with my daughter either.  I have enjoyed being able to pig out though over the Christmas period and being able to use the baby bump as an excuse!  Ha!

 

Etsy shop

So with everything going on with the new job and pregnancy etc, my etsy shop did take a bit of a back seat.  I haven’t really given it the time or love that it deserved.  And this clearly reflected in my orders as the business became quite slow.  But I do hope to have a good look at my shop and get things updated ready for the new year!

I really would like to be more organised with my shop moving forward, especially now all other aspects of my life are starting to settle.  I know when I will have some spare time to dedicate to my shop and so am going to make more of an effort to ensure this happens.

 

My blog

Well we all know this has not been great!  Lol!  But I do want to get back on my feet posting more often.  I know when I will be writing posts and hope to be getting them done each week, with them scheduled for posting throughout the week….

I will be continuing with my plannerholic series, though the title for this has now changed to Planner Girls Collective (PGC).  This will be regular posts on a Monday starting again in the new year.  The schedule looks very interesting and has definitely given me plenty to think about!  I am definitely looking forward to being involved!  I am still getting used to the idea of writing bucket lists, and giving my opinions on some things, however writing this series is definitely helping with this!

Then I will also be posting at least once a week with something a bit more personal.  I feel that 2017 will give me lots to talk about, especially with a daughter reaching the terrible twos and another baby on the way!  Lol!  I am also hoping to do some more adhoc personal pieces regarding up to date news features that catch my eye and that I have an opinion on.

 

Everything else

If you have got this far thank you so much for sticking with me!  I hope I haven’t bored you to death with my long ramblings!  There isn’t really much more to say.  As I have mentioned I completely lost touch with my diary, so do plan on giving it a massive overhaul this week and get a new planner set up ready for the new year.  This will be shared in due course so do not fear.  I also plan to get posting on Instagram a lot more again, and hope to be putting both personal and planner related stuff.  If you want to follow me then please look me up @planwithhannah

I am definitely looking forward to the new year, and embracing all the changes going on in my life.  It is going to be an interesting year and I look forward to taking you on my journey with me.  If there is anything you would like me to discuss in the future then please do message me and I will do my best to answer any topic suggestions.

Our need to gossip!

So this is probably my first highly opinionated piece since starting this blog,but thankfully there has been so much going on in the news around the world recently that it has spurred me with my blogging, and hopefully this is me getting back on track!

Apologies for all my previous false promises of getting back on track with my blogging. I have been looking at my schedule and trying to work out how to be more productive and use my time more wisely. So with the new system being trialed at the moment I am hoping that this will be the start of a more improved me! lol! If it is successful I will no doubtedly blog about it too 🙂 lol!

So back onto my topic for the day…. As many if you will probably have heard in the news this week poor Prince Harry’s girlfriend is being harassed by the press.

I guess I must be of the few people left in society who just doesn’t get it! We have become a society so caught up in wanting to know the ins and outs of celebrity lives! But what is the purpose of this? Are our own lives that boring that we need to rely on the celebrities of the world! What is this obsession with bitching about what people are doing? 

As an adult we speak out about bullying and how painful it can be. We all tell our children not to take part in any spiteful activities at school. Yet magazines fill our obbesion of celebrities to the max and in what some would deem as BULLYING!  We like to comment when someone is looking fat or not wearing their usual glamourous attire. Which ultimately is to make us feel good. But isn’t that the same as BULLYING? 

I am beginning to feel like I am part of a minority of people in the world today who doesn’t actually care about what celebrities are doing these days! Why do I need to know when things are going bad in other people’s lives just to make my life seem that little bit better? 

But also, celebrities are human beings just like the rest of us. Yes they are in the spotlight, but why should that give us the right to know the ins and outs of what they ate up to! Surely they deserve to have a private life if that is what they want! I think it is disgusting that there are celebrities out there who feel their lives are under threat or in danger because of the public need to know whats in their underwear drawer!  

I feel like I could talk like this for ages, and there is so much going on in society that I may have a short series of rants like this….. I guess maybe because I am that little bit older, and little bit wiser I can see through all the crap and just be a real person. But I worry about the type of society that my little girl is growing up in. I hope that as a mother, I can show her that there is no need for a lot of what is out there, and that she can be comfortable in her own skin.

Please stick with me if you want to read more posts similar to this. And if you would like to hear my opinion on a particular subject then please comment below 🙂 

Catch up time!

So I haven’t quite kept to my usual posting schedule recently because things in my life have been a little all over the place!  So I thought I would do a very quick catch up post and then hope to get a few more posts out this week to bring everything up to speed, and hopefully everything should be back to my normal schedule as of next week

Let me explain what has been going on recently…..

First of all the children have both been poorly, which hasn’t helped.  This time of year always means more bugs are about, and naturally the children always seem to get it the worst!  As a mum (and step mum), their well being always comes before anything, and my poor step son has managed to be hit by 3 bugs in the space of 2 weeks, so has really been through the mill!  Thankfully my little girl only caught 1 very badly, but has developed a nasty cold which is still giving her some grief.  I am pleased to say, apart from the snotty noses both appear to be on the mend right now which is awesome.

Secondly my shop has been rather busy the past few days, so I have had a lot of orders to prepare, and quite a few custom makes too, so again another big distraction!  But by the end of today I should be all caught up.  The pages I have been designing are so lovely, and I am so honored to be able to help people find planner peace with their inserts.  It makes me so happy to see people recommending me and people actually taking them up on their recommendations.  I just want to take the opportunity to thank all those who have supported me thus far!

Thirdly, and probably the most important of all, I am slowly getting into the routine of being back at work!  Though my job is only part time, having been a stay at home mum for a while, it really has thrown me being back at work and loosing those few days to both my blog and etsy shop.  Having said that I have developed a routine, and this is slowly coming together, though this week has gone out of sync due to my step son being on half term and us being busy doing things.

So I guess that’s everything….  My plan is to get my Confessions of a Plannerholic post out tomorrow, then my usual post out on Friday and have everything back to Monday and Friday posts as of next week.

Thank you for baring with me!

Confessions of a plannerholic… A-Z of Planning

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Confession: Planning is definitely something that has not come naturally to me, and I imagine most people feel the same.  So this is my list of things that have helped me get my planner to where it is now and as organised.  I hope you find this helpful…..

A – Always be true to yourself and your planner needs.  DO NOT be dragged into “making it look pretty” if that isn’t your thing.  If your planner doesn’t match your personality and needs then you will struggle to use it.

B – Be as creative as you want!  Not everyone can afford to spend hundreds (and I mean hundreds) of pounds on stickers on etsy!  Find other ways to make your planner work for you.  DO NOT buy stickers just because everyone else does

C – Consider what you want your planner for…. People use planners for a variety of reasons.  The three main ones I use is my daily personal size (which you have seen pictures of), a personal websters pages to keep track of my etsy shop and blog, and an A5 for all of my pen pal information and letters.  One of the things I have already found is that my websters pages is not being used much, and actually this planner probably isn’t needed.  But now I want another A5 specifically for the house and household things!  lol!

D – Do your research!  This may sound silly but planners and planner supplies do not come cheap!  Follow C and then do your research.  Make sure you get what is right for you.  IF you want stickers but can’t afford the expensive ones then look for cheaper alternatives.  There are many companies out there wo do lovely stickers at very reasonable prices.  Planners also come at varying expenses so don’t think you have to get the most expensive one on the market, try and find one that really suits you and your needs

E – Etsy is your friend as well as your bank balances enemy!  Let me tell you now, once you start it is very hard to stop!

F – Filofaxes are NOT the only planners out there!  If you’re new to the planner world then do not be sucked into always buying this brand.  Don’t get me wrong they are amazing, but there are many others out there so have a good shop round.  Some of the other ring bound planners you can get are Kikki K, Dokibook, Carpe Diem to name a few

G – Get crafty and personalize!  There are so many different accessories that you are likely to want once you get into planning, but remember a lot of it you can always make yourself.  Have a go, you may be pleasantly surprised at how much you can save

H – Have fun!  As much as a planner is there to help you stay organised, if you don’t like it you’re less likely to look at it and therefore it would completely defeat the object of planning!

I – Inserts must be fit for purpose!  One of the main things I have found with planning, is if your inserts are right, then you’re half way toward planner peace

J – Journaling is very therapeutic.  People use their planners from so many different things apart from actual daily planning.  The biggest being journaling; such as art or gratitude journaling.  If you have more than one planner (which trust me will happen), don’t let them sit empty on a shelf, try out other ideas

K – Keep going!  We all go through planner ruts!  This could be longing over a particular planner, or just not feeling the insert you’re using.  Talk to others (UKPA is awesome for that) and shake things up a bit if you can.  You never know what results you may get doing this.

L – Learn from others.  When it comes to planning I am always on pintrest and instagram looking at all the pictures of how others layout their planners so I can get ideas of what may work better for me

M – Mon they subscription planner boxes! These are definitely a brilliant essential to a planner girls life. Not all require regular monthly subscriptions, so it wives you flexibility which is massively important. There are quite a lot out there, but the ones I would recommend are Miss Brimbles and Ugly Bug.

N – No spend time is highly likely!  With all the pretty things that are out there to buy planner related, most of us take at least a month or so of each year out of buying planner stuff.  It normally means having a small pot at the end of the month which you will probably end up blowing on planner stuff anyway, but it’s always a nice achievement if you succeed!

O – Oliclips are a great way to bunch papers together. I’ll be honest I’ve never used them, but I currently have my eye on a few so this may change soon… 😉

P – Planners are your friend.  Being organised and keeping track of my daily life definitely helps with my baby brain!  I would definitely forget to do things if it wasn’t for my planner!

Q – Quiet time to plan is essential! Give yourself some “you time” to do this. You deserve IT! I always wait until the kids are in bed and Gavin is catching up on his TV to have some me time to chill and plan.

R – Rings are best!  Sorry girls, I could never leave the rings!  There are many other types of planner systems (Erin Condren, Happy Planner, Bullet journaling) but the flexibility that comes with rings will always be my preference.  It’s so nice to be able to feel like a change in cover and just be able to pop it all out and straight into another planner!  Or if you want to put a new section in, or take a section out then you can.

S – Stickers are awesome and highly addictive!!!!  My diary would look very plain and boring without them!  Being not very artistic, being able to buy functional stickers that allow me to plan in a pretty way.  My favourite shops at the moment are The Poppy Paperie and Happy Cutie Studio.

T – Try different planning methods to find one that suits you.  The whole point of having a planner is to have something that you find helps you map out your daily activities.  People end up coming up with many different ways of planning such as bullet journaling in a ring bound planner.  You need to find your own style.

U – Understand you! Your planner should be an extension of you and your personality. You need to find a system that works for you. I know I have probably said this already but it really is the most essential part of planning. Planning shouldn’t be a chore but something fun and helpful.

V – Voucher codes! I don’t think I would be able to fund my sticker addiction without these! Join facebook groups and check instagram for all the codes for planner shops on etsy, they really can save you a fortune!

W – Washi tape is brilliant!  You can use it for so many different things, but one of my favourite ways of using it is to reinforce my planning pages so that they look pretty as well as less likely to end up falling out.

X – Sorry got no clue on this one! If you can think of anything pleas comment below 🙂 

Y – You Tube is a brilliant source for so many things that come into planning.  There are so many tutorials on how to make things planner related, plan with me videos and many more.  Use this to your advantage!!!!

Z – zzz…. so we have come to the end, and yet again I have nothing for Z! Lol! If you have stuck with me till the end thank you! I really hope you found this useful!? 

Don’t forget to check out the other blogs in this series too, listed below:

This entry was posted on October 7, 2016. 2 Comments