Trialling “The Little Black Book”

Good Morning Everyone!

So, I succumbed to the charms of the Moleskine Notebook.

Traveler’s Notebook and Filofax users, please don’t be disheartened – I haven’t left you! I’m just trying new ways to streamline things.  See, this is the problem.  I want EVERYTHING together – my calendar, my bills information, my cash envelope system, a place to keep receipts, my passwords, my cards, my notes, my spending tracker… it’s proving to be rather difficult!

The Midori Regular was perhaps the closest I could get to what I wanted. But it was NOT streamlining at all, it was heavier, bulkier, and I couldn’t even fit my notes notebook into the elastics as it was so full!

Next was the Midori Passport – which was actually perfect… for my cash envelope system, and as a basic purse/wallet function.  But I couldn ‘t carry my notebooks with me.  I got a lot of compliments on the Passport whenever I went to stores – nobody had ever seen a purse/wallet like it.  I’d hold up the queues explaining the brand and that it was primarily used as a notebook but you could switch up the inserts and completely customise to meet your requirements.

I was browsing Pinterest for more information on the Traveler’s Notebooks and how others utilized their Traveler’s Notebooks – call me curious, but I get so many ideas from others, and I customize them to suit my needs. One thing that had been grabbing my attention for a while was this thing called a Moleskine.  Sure, I’d seen these overpriced notebooks in the likes of Paperchase, WHSmith and Waterstones, but I just couldn’t justify spending over £10 on a notebook.  Sure, they have diaries, but they also have blank, sketch, lined, dot and grid paper too.  The things some of the more creative people had done with their Moleskines had me lost for words.  There are many, many talented people out there.  I wanted in!

I thought long and hard, and came across a web page documenting how to create credit card inserts to place on a page in a Moleskine (or any other notebook). I wondered if I could do a similar thing but over 2 pages of a pocket size, to create the cash envelope system.  But I’m a very curious cat… so instead of thinking very long, I bit the bullet, jumped in my car and shot over to my local shopping centre.

I purchased my pocket blank notebook for £9.99 in Waterstones. I decided on the blank because it meant that I could use the book for anything I wanted – I could create a calendar, I could doodle, write notes, create templates, glue things in… basically I could freestyle whatever I needed to.

I had also read that the “unofficial” pen of the Moleskine was the Pilot G2, which I found in Paperchase also. In fact, I found the mini/pocket size.  I purchased a black and blue.

Getting back home, I sat at my table and looked a bit daunted at the prospect of having to completely begin from scratch.

The first thing I wanted was to put the cash envelope system to use. I cut the back of my required amount of envelopes off and left a little lip to glue onto the pages, staggering each one slightly lower until they filled the pages.

Next, I needed a pen loop. I ripped an elasticated pen loop from and old La-De-Dah scrapbook that I’d never used and pretty much just taped it into the back of the book.

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I placed a 2016 year overview calendar, a pocket size printable taken from Wendaful Designs printed out and glued into the book.

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Then I started working on the calendar. I decided I only wanted one for the next few months, as who knows, by the new year I might be using something else, or I may have stuck to the Moleskine, loved it so much and need a new one!

In the calendar, I wrote my monthly bills in the dates they were due to come out of my account, I wrote any social events, holiday days, days my manager was not in the office, appointments and general things to remember. I colour code highlighting these events.

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After the calendar, I glued my monthly bills excel tracker in. Then I added tabs using labels that I’d got left over.  Got a sharpie marker and coloured the labels in black, then used a white gel pen to draw tiny little symbols to notify me what section is where.

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After all of that, I felt that the book was a little too “serious” still, and needed to inject a bit of colour, a bit of “me” into the whole thing.

So, this is where my Pinterest and Google searches came in handy. I’m a lover of anything vintage inspired, or anything whimsical, dreamy, bohemian.  They are my favorite type of photographs I love searching for, looking at and wishing I could take a photograph just as fantastic.

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I printed out a lot of photographs found mostly on google, creating photo collages and printing on normal printer paper to keep the book thin, and then cutting out and affixing to the pages using corner adhesives I’d purchased from Paperchase. I also used a photograph on the front of the notebook to give it a more personal touch.

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I’m not finished with the set up yet – I need to create an template and an area for writing out my spending and tabbing out dedicated sections for that and my notes etc…

All in all, I’m really happy with the notebook so far – it’s small, it’s thin, it’s portable, it’s sleek, it looks pretty cool, it holds almost everything I need (I just need to find somewhere to hold my cards still as I’m unsure that the Moleskine will still be as neat with 10+ cards in…)

The paper feels sublime, very smooth and easy to write on – I love the cream colour of the pages, and the cover feels soft and slightly grained, very tactile! I chose the non-hard cover as I wanted the cover to be able to mould to the shape of the book and get that thumbed through, weathered appearance rather than it being rigid.

I’ve been using this system for almost a week, and while it’s early days, I get really excited when I have to pen an appointment in or take it out for “something”. The only thing I am a little more “shy” about is taking it out for my money at the cash registers.  There is every possibility that I may need to remove my envelope system back into my Mulberry purse/wallet…

The planner peace continues!

Have you ever used a Moleskine to plan/track/place notes/journal/as a purse (wallet) before?

Kel

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Midori as a Cash Envelope System?

Hello Everyone!

Well, bang goes our last Bank Holiday in the UK until Christmas! It’s all uphill from here.

I’m an Autumn Girl though, so my favourite season is almost upon us. I’m excited… I love the crunching of the leaves, the crisp air first thing in the morning, the fashion… Oh, the fashion is phenomenal… The colours, the chunky sweaters and chunky over the knee socks and boots and skinny jeans and fedoras and scarves… I’m in my element!

But anyway, I’m digressing.


Lately it been debating whether to utilise my Traveler’s Notebook as a purse (or wallet, to our American Friends 🙂 ).

*Sidenote – can you see how different the leathers are on my Traveler’s Notebooks?  Both made by Midori, my Passport was my first purchase in from Amazon 2015, and from day 1 the leather felt smooth and almost shiny.  It’s almost impossible to scratch.  Whereas my Regular is made by Midori re-branded as Traveler’s Notebook purchased from The Journal Shop in May 2016 and right from the beginning it was dull, susceptible to dinks and scratches and felt slightly rougher and less pliable than my Passport.  I thought it was an aging thing but now I’ve used my Regular daily for the last 3 months and the oils of my hands not even providing any kind of patina to the leather yet,  I think I prefer the Regular though – I love the imperfections.  Does anyone else have 2 (or more!) notebooks by Midori that have completely different looks and feels that were completely different from day 1?  I know it’s leather and it will always vary etc, but these two are completely different colours and textures etc.

Anyway, no sooner as I’d wondered whether I would be able to utilise my Traveler’s Notebook as a purse, I wondered whether it ought to be in my Passport size so that I could bring that into play once again.

So last night, after doing some digging around, I came across a great series of videos on YouTube I absolutely loved…

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I was entranced. Amazed.  I watched the video’s a couple of times, making sense of them and wondering how I could manipulate the system to suit my needs.  I want £1000 in my Emergency Fund.  I want to pay off that pesky little Credit Card and my car.  I want to save 3-6 months expenses.  I want to invest 15% of household bills into a Pension.  I want to pay off my home early. I knew I needed this system in my life and to use it with my Traveler’s Notebook.  I’d seen photographs of tabbed envelopes on Pinterest and I’d been intrigued for some time, however I’d never really looked into it as I used my debit card way too much.

Any that’s the problem…  when I’m throwing my card around, I tend to not track it as well as I should, and before I know it, my funds are cleared out!  The lady in the video mentioned she is a tactile person and I think that I am, too.  Cash is more valuable to me than a card.

I’ve recently changed jobs and have switched from weekly back to monthly pay (thank goodness!) but although I’m feeling relieved I’m back on monthly pay, I was on weekly pay for 2 1/2 years so there is a little adjustment still going on at the moment… to be expected!  However, I love the idea of being able to work on the Dave Ramsey System.

So before I start poking around… Does anyone have any advice on using the Cash Envelope System, and rather, how you set your Traveler’s Notebook up accordingly?

Much Love!

Kel

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Wishlist: Filofax A5 Holborn Zip in Wine

Hi everyone!

I’ve been promoted! December our Assistant Manager left and I took the reigns assisting the Branch Manager. I’m all moved into my new little office area now and more and more work is coming my way… Par for the course!

However, I need a decent planner to keep me on track. So I’ve been searching for the perfect work planner, and as I need to remain true to my bohemian roots, a rustic looking wine Holborn Zip in A5 seems to match me perfectly.

Is there anyone out there willing to part with one?! Pretty please?

Give me a shout I’d be happy to hear from you 😉

Mwah!

Kel

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Appealing to all Filofax Users…

Hello All 🙂

This evening I got back home from a late Sales Meeting at 7pm and all I wanted to do was crash.  So I flopped on my favourite sofa and popped one of my favourite TV Series – The Secret Diary of a Call Girl.  I know it’s quite an old series now but I still love re-watching Belle’s “Glamorous” life.  Comparing to mine, it’s certainly full of glamour and drama and lots of money 😉  I’m a female – I’m allowed to indulge!

Most of all though, I love how Belle uses a Filofax to schedule appointments with her Clients and to write notes regarding her Clients preferences… ahem.

In Series 1, we see Belle using what looks like a Pocket size Ostrich Buttercup (that’s what it looks like to me – correct me if I’m wrong!)

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However.. into Series 2…  we see this beauty:

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The Personal Amazona in Red.  And I want one… really really badly.  I know, I just got me a Temperley Guinea… and it’s gorgeous – beyond gorgeous.  And I love it very much…  I’m just really liking the look of the Personal Red Amazona.

So… does anyone know of anyone that is selling one?  I’m checking the Selling Sites on Facebook and the Adspot on Philofaxy… to no avail 😦

People of the Filofax Community – help!

Much Love

Kel

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Review – Filofax Personal Malden in Purple

Recently I got the chance to review a Purple Personal Filofax Malden.  I was not paid to write this review – all thoughts are completely my own.

Some of you may be aware that I used to own a Grey Personal Malden.  I loved it so much, I would moisturise it with Valentino so it would smell as well as feel good.  I kid you not.  The leather on it was to die for – the texture was so soft, supple and wrinkled, it reminded me of an Elephant.  It looked expensive yet accessible, well made; with that done-undone look I love so much.  You know – the business look with a slight casual edge.  Or vice versa.  For me, the only let down was the colour – it was slightly too bland for me in the end, and so we parted ways and my beautiful Grey left for the shores of America.

So when I received the Purple Personal Malden, I admit I was slightly shocked!

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It did not come in a beautiful black presentation box, but a clear plastic protector-sheath.  Although that’s not what I’m reviewing, I must admit that for the amount these binders are, I still think packaging is key.  But nonetheless, I figured Filofax must be undergoing a re-brand etc.

The one thing I did like about the packaging was that the back showed a picture of the interior, something the old boxes would never do.  

I quickly unwrapped the plastic to reveal the binder in all of it’s loveliness.  

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The colour was rich, the contrast stitching really noticeable, the all familiar Malden had seduced me once again.  As this is not a description review (you can find this as well as measurements etc on The Filofax UK Website – Malden Personal Organiser Details Page) I took out the inserts only to give you a quick idea of how the layout looks:

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As you can see, the stitching and the colour is absolutely divine.  The zip is smooth and easy to open even with just one hand (for those looking at utilising this binder as a wallet function), all credit card slots and pockets are very accessible – the leather is extremely soft and pliable.  

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This is the kind of organiser that looks like it can mix business with pleasure, depending on your mood, inserts, usage etc.  You can style it however you want and the Malden will still find a way to make it look good.  It’s eye-catching; that’s for sure, but it doesn’t have that ‘in your face’ bling about it (unless you want to fill it with bling!).  It’s refined, well put together, durable and not showy by any means.  It’s country-homely but it wouldn’t look out of place in the big cities.  

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While it certainly doesn’t feel as soft and supple as my Grey, the Purple Malden does have it’s own unique, smoother feel.  I would go as far as to say it is on par with the Ochre Malden’s smoothness.  Like all Personal Malden’s, it does lie flat and it’s just as floppy.  Getting a scratch or stain on a Malden seems to add to the rustic, casual, laid back, traveler style of the binder, so toss it in your work bag – be as rough as you please – the Malden is a real workhorse for real busy people.

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And just because I’m feeling generous, I’m going to love and leave you with more photographs of how I’m using mine!  How do you use yours??

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Don’t forget, you can get yours at the Filofax store on Filofax UK Website Malden

Until next time, have a good day!

Kel

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Happy 2nd Anniversary to us! And a Mulberry is on the way….

Hello everyone!

Today marks my 2nd Anniversary with WordPress.  The time has shot by, I look back on just 2 years of posts and I see my journey go from a very wobbly beginning where I had no idea what I was going to use this blog for, if at all… to utilising it and sharing my passion for  Filofaxes, becoming more organised… and having fun unleashing my little creative side.

It’s all down to a previous job manager from a few years back, when I was in a role that required me to be extremely organised and one step ahead of the game at all times with an answer for everything.  I was the least organised person – and it was my manager that suggested I tried using a visual method – a planner/diary/calendar.

I became the most efficient person in my team once I got my desktop calendar and my windows calendar sync’d up.  I missed nothing, I was able to report on everything, follow up on things before they missed the Service Level Agreement Timescales etc…

It all started from there, and just a few years later I’ve gone from a disorganised mess learning how to juggle appointments, meetings and reports with a desk calendar, to a super organised calm and collected (and slightly more creative) lady with super sleek organisers.

But I could never have done it without the inspiration of the Filofax/Planner Community.  Everyone has been so helpful, so kind, so encouraging.  It’s those encouraging and inspirational words that keep me going and keep me moving forward, always looking for that next challenge, alway looking to give something back to those that believe in me.

And so, 2 years after purchasing my first pocket Filofax Metropol in lilac, I bring you to the last section of this post:

After being unwell all week and taking time off work from an ear infection and losing my hearing (yet again), I was scouring the internet for more inspiration for my Filofax… when I came across this beauty of a read (again) – Cat’s Corner – Moving into Mulberry.  I love, love, love Cat’s posts and those photographs actually really made me want a Mulberry Pocketbook of my own.

I found a vintage 1990’s one on e-bay that I thought was perfect, but I still had doubts.  For 18 months or more I’d been in a Personal size in some form or another… I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get back into using a Pocket size planner.  What if the pages were too small for me?  What if the rings kept getting in the way of my left handed… ness?  What if I couldn’t print everything I wanted to, on Pocket size paper?

I had NOTHING.  I would have to start completely from scratch.  And then it dawned on me. Maybe I was looking for a fresh start, a new challenge.

So I hit the Buy It Now button.

And now I’m worried all over again.

I don’t know much about the Mulberry Pocketbooks, if anyone has any knowledge (the description didn’t say much!) I’d be happy to hear about it!  The only thing I’m a little dubious of is the “window” at the back (please see photographs).  It looks a bit… hacked?

Does anyone know any good websites to print out stuff (like diaries and monthly calendars) direct onto Pocket Size Paper?

I’ll leave you the photographs from the e-bay seller 🙂

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Catch you later, you beautiful people!

Kel

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Back to Filofax I go…

Hi Everyone!

As yo may or may not be aware, I’ve been in the Traveler’s Notebook for about a month.  I loved it, for notes etc.  NOT for a diary or schedule planner.  I couldn’t get my brain around it!  I longingly looked to my trusty Ozzie Osterley time and time again, but thought I’d stick it out in the TN.  I couldn’t do it.  My creative juices were in full swing, I wanted tabs, dividers, today markers, laminated pages, RINGS!  The itch was too great.  I began some point the end of the week and Saturday evening saw me not on the dance floor, but laminating and cutting dividers out for my new setup.  Not much different to my usual Filofax setup either, I just tweaked it a little…  here’s my current setup that I’m working with.

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I found this little postcard in paper chase – I love it!

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Haven’t you seen this divider before?  It’s been recycled from my old stash of dividers 🙂

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On the back of the diary tab I have a “clipboard” printout, I’ve popped post it flags on.

You’ll also see my event sticker flyleaf.

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Then we have my week on two pages (printouts from Philofaxy and My Life All If One Place).  I still use the colour code system but instead of different colour frixxion pens, I’m using one black pen and highlighting with a corresponding colour (green – bills, orange – appointments, pink – reminders, yellow – social).  My today marker I made myself by cutting out photographs that I liked from the internet – the first is a Swim Deep Lyric (a local Brummie band, the song is called Honey).  The second is a coffee cup, the third is a Courteeners photo and the last one is just one that says “dream”.

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This is perhaps the main addition I have to show you today – My A-Z tabs have been remodelled into Jan-Dec & Year tabs.  Behind all tabs I’ve stuck the month to view…  like so:

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Again you’ll see I’m using the black pen and highlighters 🙂

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This is a printout from Philofaxy – the year view of 2015 so I can plan ahead if need be.

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Another recycled divider – my personal section has made a reappearance.  Behind this will eventually be a personal information section (something I’ve not got around to yet!)

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You’ll see I have 3 top tabs after my personal divider.  The first is my bills tab:

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With a postcard taped to the back of the divider.

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Then I have my Lists – christmas present list, favourite things I like etc.  Just little things that make me – me.

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Then I have my Notes section.  The song is Talk Tonight by Noel Gallagher.  I loved the Noel and Gem Archer semi version they did in 2006 :).  Notes is purely a catch all for my brain.

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Then we’re back to the side tabs, my matrix coding printout perfect for my Passwords tab.

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Passwords page.

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And finally – my travel tab – hold my maps, tube information, world time zones etc…

 

There we have it!  My setup – pretty simple, huh?

Have you tweaked your setup lately?

Lots of love

Kel

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