Trying out the Chronodex: please, no planner-pressure!

Planner anxiety, planner stress, planner pressure… We all hate it!

We watch too many YouTube-videos and they make us want to go all perfect. The prettiest stickers, the loveliest washi and Frixions only – god forbid we would scratch something out!

I am a perfect example of Planner Peer Pressure, and until recently I was a Frixion-only girl that would go back and fill in appointments and tasks for days, or sometimes weeks passed, because I couldn’t bear the sight of empty pages. They made me feel… Boring, or inadequate, or… I don’t know.

Juggling with set-ups and inserts and trying to find ‘my’ system, I recently (aka in April or something) managed to set my A5 up in the ‘perfect’ way for me. I haven’t changed anything since, and that is a first for me.

But carrying that heavy planner around in my handbag was just silly, so after months of screaming that personal size was not for me, I caved and went ‘back’ to personal. I double now: personal in my handbag, A5 at home and at work on my desk.

OK, so that was that. Personal in the handbag it is. But wait – what inserts will I use? Agh. On came the planner pressure again.

I fiddled around with printables to see what worked, and tried three or four calendars at once to see what I used and what remained untouched.

So far, I found out:

  • I need a Mo2P for a general overview.
  • I need a Wo2P (cotton cream with equal weekend spacing, thank you Karen!) for weekly appointment planning
  • I need some form of daily notes & tracking but the Wo2P is too small to include that as well.

Kim was so kind to send me a Do2P from Day Runner to try out. I LOVE the space it gives me, but I can’t work with the pre-printed hours: my day ends at about 11PM and the pages only go until 5PM. I’ve been using the notes page for the extra hours, but most of the times, my evenings are more filled up than the day is. So I need a fix for that.

Also, I only use the Do2P during the week. It does not get used on the weekends. Not at all. There, my Wo2P is enough. If there are free days during the week, I’m pretty sure I won’t be using them either.

Thèn… Jhosie shared the Patrick Ng Chronodex-templates on her blog and, well, I fell in love with them. I’m a chaotic, visual person and I immediately saw what benefits it could have for me. So I printed out Jhosie’s papers and the Patrick Ng ones as well, to see which ones I like. I will start using them over the weekend.

I will use them as Do2P: Chronodex on the left, blank page on the right, for scribbles, to-do lists, post-its, … By using blank templates (no dates mentioned), I can just use one when I feel the need to. Every workday? Only Tuesdays and Fridays? Who cares. No white pages, no planner-pressure, just a clear, visual solution when I feel I need extra room for planning and notes.

Does anyone else use this flexible system of just taking a planner page when you need one, rather than using one every day by default?

PS: No more Frixions, either. Coleto FTW!

 

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Pocket size Gillio Mia Cara in Gold

So, it was about time I adopted another Gillio baby, don’t you think?

The little story behind my gorgeous Mia Cara in Pocket size, for those who missed it:

I had a Pocket Amica in Croco Brown, limited edition shiny croco. I’d been using it as a wallet and that went super. But still, seeing all of the binders with golden rings… It gave me the ‘wanties’. So, I asked Tom at Gillio to put in gold rings. When I went to him to do that, we discovered that it had a different ring mechanism in it! It was a discontinued, limited edition binder from a couple of years ago. So we couldn’t put the rings back in… Just my luck!

Tom immediately took it to their workshop in Brussels to have it repaired, but apparently it couldn’t be done without doing a full “binder-opsy” on the poor thing and slicing it open to replace the inside. So I asked him to switch & upgrade to a Mia Cara!

I will show some set-up pictures later on… Love how it is already getting its patina (see picture of the back: the strap is lighter than the rest) – I chose the one that was in the window display. I fell in love with it!

Some pictures for you to drool over!

(Sorry for the crappy layout & background – I was being a lazy ass lying on my bed when I unboxed… :-D)

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I did a little pen test for you: from left to right: 4 colour BIC pen, 4 barrel Coleto pen, and even a 5 barrel Coleto pen without any trouble!

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/enabling alert/

Stop drooling people! Order NOW before they are sold out!

/end of enabling/

(I don’t have to write the disclaimer thingie that I am not on the Gillio payroll and they are not sending me checks to say this and blablablablabla… You all know me by now, right? ;-p)

Save the date!

Wonderful guys & gals: take out your planners, your favourite writing gear (and some financial paper to start saving up for it!):

FILOFAX & GILLIO MEETUP WEEKEND

in ANTWERP, BELGIUM

from Friday, November 29th ’till Sunday, December 1st.

Source: dailymail.co.uk

Source: dailymail.co.uk

Source: ecoobe.com

Source: ecoobe.com

I’m still in the middle of all of the arrangements, but we will be entertaining ourselves with following activities:

Friday: evening dinner in the wonderful center of Antwerp, some drinks and sightseeing, AND some special guests…!

Saturday: put on your most comfy shoes for some serious SHOPPING throughout Antwerp & Wijnegem Shopping Center (home of… GOLDPEN by Gillio, of course!)

Source: paradiseintheworld.com

Source: paradiseintheworld.com

Source: goldpen.be

Source: goldpen.be

Source: antwerpsekempen.be

Source: antwerpsekempen.be

Lunch & dinner I’m still organising… Depending on how many of you are joining us 🙂

There will be plenty of time to talk, eat and drink, get to know eachother and exchange ideas!

On Sunday, shops are closed here (yes, I know, absolutely terrible!) but depending on the people that are still here on Sunday, I have some activities planned you will read more about in future posts! (Arrangement still to be made…)

If all else fails, there will be plenty of time to discover the city of Antwerp, the harbour, the old center, the wonderful museums, etc.

Hotel arrangements: there are plenty of small hotels and B&B’s in Antwerp, but in my experience, good value for money is IBIS Antwerpen Centrum, where you can stay two nights as from €130. If you share a room that would only be about €65 for each person… A bargain, right? 😉

Transport: Antwerp Central Station is easiest by train; if you are flying in, you can fly to Brussels (Zaventem), Charleroi, and even Eindhoven (the Netherlands) which is only an hour from Antwerp. Check what the cheapest flights are, and let me know, I might be able to pick you up at the airport!

 

Now. Who’s with me?

 

 

To Do lists vs. Ta Da lists

There has been quite some conversation going on in the new ‘Filo Focus’ group, and amongst other things we were talking about ‘hacks’ to keep your attention on your tasks and projects. I’m a classic case of non-DX’ed ADD (which gets A LOT better with taking omega 3-6-9 capsules… but only IF I DON’T FORGET TAKING THEM :p) so my life is based on To Do lists. If I don’t write it down, it doesn’t get done. The Post-It industry has profited a lot from my purchases over the last couple of years.

But, as I discovered many of you have experienced, I sometimes just can’t seem to start. I’ll be at home with a looong to do list but I get anxious at seeing all of those unfinished tasks (sometimes several pages, if I go all GTD and clear my hear on paper) and I just get, well, overwhelmed. At the end of the day I won’t have anything done.

At work, this happens to me too, sometimes. Luckily I have short deadlines (I work SO good under deadlines) and I get everything done just fine, but beginning, or planning my day, seems to be a struggle over and over again. I had two weeks off from work, at home with my son, and used that time to think things through before going back to work tomorrow.

So! I had to think of solutions. I started by analysing my problem. It all comes down to:

– being overwhelmed when seeing a large list of tasks, and not starting anything

– having the attention span of a mosquito

– feeling inadequate when I haven’t crossed EVERYTHING off in the evening, aka setting too high standards for myself

– loosing track of time

What have I tried the last week? Writing Ta Da lists next to my To Do lists.

Ta Da lists are a concept I use from the Flylady system. It’s a list of accomplishments. It really gets me motivated to see my Ta Da list in the evening and being happy with everything I’ve done. I still use my master To Do lists (in my A5 for work and in my Personal for, well, personal :p) but I write a task on my Ta Da list everytimes it is finished.

I started doing that at work a couple of weeks ago, on my Time Management inserts in my A5 Gillio planner: I write down what I’ve done, on what day, and what category it belongs to. That way I can see what project takes up most of my time.

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That was working out great, so I’m now making Ta Da lists in my Filofax at home as well.

IMG_0538

 

I also use a timer set to 15 minutes, because if I enter the bathroom to do some laundry, you can be sure I will discover something else that grabs my attention either on the way to the bathroom, or inside the bathroom. Like the shoe rack in the hall that could use some organisation or my ever growing stock of cosmetics that need re-arranging. The timer reminds me I was actually there for something else 😉

I can afterwards put this Ta Da list next to my master To Do list and cross off what has been done. The satisfaction of filling this little post-it is great, it encourages me not to leave it empty, and I try not to overthink: if I did it, it goes on the list. Not debating with myself over ‘is that really an accomplishment, taking out the trash?’. Yes. It goes on the list.

And I keep them in my planner for some days because I like how it reminds me I’m on track 🙂

Does anybody have other hacks to share?

Filofax Deco in Ivory

Beginning of this year, I stepped into Goldpen here in Wijnegem Shopping Center with my mom and asked the nice man there (aka Tom of Gillio) if they sold Deco’s. He totally lured me over to the dark side and Gillio-mania began, but I still wanted the Deco to serve as my diary, journal and on-the-go planner.

Last week, the wonderful Nati Zou sent me her personal sized Deco in Ivory after I’d been looking for one for quite a while. Here are some up close & personal (pun intended) pictures of the newest addition to my collection… I’m becoming quite the collector, although I’ve always screamed being a one-planner-girl… I guess that’s the influence Philofaxy-people are having on me! 🙂

As I still had the Croco Grey Compagna (before sending it out to the winner of my giveaway on YouTube), I thought I’d include some pictures comparing the two as they look a lot alike.

Picture heavy post!

First of all: here she is, my beautiful Deco. I’ve never been any good at naming my planners so I won’t 😉

It arrived in perfect condition with perfect rings, thanks Nati…

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The inside is lined with beautiful cream-coloured suède. It has one pen loop on the left but being right-handed, that’s not really a practical place for it to be – for me.

I keep my Swarovski pen in there but I usually carry a little pen bag around with Frixions so I only use it to scribble something on my post-it dashboard.

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On the left there are several credit card pockets, one large pocket and a zipped compartment, which is quite stiff – not suited for use as a wallet, I think. It would take me too long to get any cash out.

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The planner came stuffed with beautiful cotton cream inserts – I’ve never had these before but they are stunning, and so much easier to write on then the plain white ones… I wonder if they come in A5 too?

There is To Do-paper:

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Ruled note paper (ideal for journalling, with the little box at the top of the papers to write the date!)

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Plain note paper, more journalling-ideas coming up…

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Mileage-log paper (never seen those before!):

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And tabbed telephone papers – I think I might store some internet password clues in there.

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In the back, there is one large pocket, envelope-style, with a popper button. I’m storing keepsakes in there (cards, movie tickets, …)

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It’s also made of this wonderfully soft suède material, love how the colour slightly changes when you rub it!

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And finally, compared to the Gillio Medium Compagna in Croco Grey.

As you see, the colour is almost identical, I’d say the Deco has a more yellow-ish tone of beige then the Gillio.

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The strap of the Gillio is a lot wider (and the pen loop is on the correct side!), but… The Deco has that gorgeous lock!

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The Gillio has slightly larger rings, but I’m pleasantly surprised at how much the Deco can hold!

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By now, the Deco has been set up (more details on that later…) and the Gillio has been kissed, cuddled and sent off to a better home after my YouTube giveaway!

Any other Deco lovers out there?

 

 

You guys are everywhere!

I knew there were FiloFanatics all over the world, but this is just crazy. Sorry for the long post but… This is cool 😉

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Gillio Giveaway: contestants!

Wow, wow. Just… wow.

I did a video on YT announcing the giveaway of my Medium Compagna in Croco Grey, as you might have seen, and yesterday the final contestants sent me the links to their videos. The contest is now officially CLOSED!

You guys have been SO creative and inspiring, thank you for all of the effort put into this contest. I loved watching all of the videos and hearing all your creative ideas on the “ideal” GIllio planner.

I will announce the winner within the week, but I need to talk to the peeps at Gillio and see what they thought, plus some other ‘independant’ judges (my best friends!). But here are all the responses I received, for you to sit back and enjoy, and be inspired.

Please let me know if I forgot anyone, there were some problems with some of the video’s apparently…

Competing to win the Medium Compagna:

SecretAgentBover: www.youtube.com/watch?v=djuKUIKD2T­Y

Melanie0936: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpQr4aQsGp­s

BookRaterTV: www.youtube.com/watch?v=EifF4PnaLG­s

Amyandian2011: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYRmuwP5of­Y

TheLittleInk:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjuiBxB0Qx­M

Mysummertouch: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAbrwqLTjnY

Charlotte P: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTRjhjGf_GM

ValsPrettyGlam: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLH0E41G_A9aLkUnJZ5-S8HR0V8uF4S8ym

WhirlyBlossom: www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFFs7Lv0d3­Q.

Soffr82: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDfLHJyVPt­M

Fluffycatsdad: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWUAX3gS7FY

Nongluckmanow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHd1-5LalcI

Good luck guys!