Deconstructing Kate: The Summer Slim Down

I generally carry a stuffed planner in anticipation of it being able to handle or answer anything that I need at a moment’s notice. Currently, I’m using my Kate Spade Wellesley Zip planner in Deep Pink in personal size. In it’s current state, I can zip it with no problem. However, truth be told, it is the heaviest item in my bag.

Before

Before

 

 

Before

Before

 

I have pocket size planners (Coach and Filofax) however, I’m not interested in switching to a pocket at this time (maybe later). I need my personal that is already set up with useable inserts, dividers, etc. to work for me without any additional expense. I needed to make it lighter and easier to carry.  I do not want to lug around a heavy bag all summer long and I decided to deconstruct and slim down what I carry in my personal Kate Spade zip planner.

I first emptied the contents of my binder. Starting over with a set-up is easiest this way because you are really forced to evaluate what’s necessary to carry with you and what can stay in a home binder (or storage).

Kate: Deconstructed

Kate: Deconstructed

 

Emptied and ready for a change

Emptied and ready for a change

I then sketched out what I thought were the most important “everyday carry” sections and items that I needed.

 

I also decided what was not needed – what I did not need to carry with me most of the time. Some of these items are note cards, post-its/sticky notes/flags, a plastic divider pocket (a second one), and notes that can be stored away at home.

Didn't make the cut

Didn’t make the cut

 

I then started to rebuild with items that I think I need to have with me on a regular basis. For the most part, I stuck with the plan sketched out on the above sticky note (with the exception of the hot pink journal, which is my food journal and I decided that I’d like to keep that with me throughout the day).

So now my planner is lighter to carry and streamlined. I have five sections:

  • Franklin Covey Her Point of View monthly and weekly pages for May and June; and the Kate Spade monthly and weekly inserts for July – September (I use a note page for future planning for the rest of the year);
  • To-do section, which contains my master task list and a work board;
  • Notes section with note paper cut down from a Target Dollar Spot list pad, and some lined loose leaf paper from Office Depot;
  • Exercise/wellness section, which includes a weight loss tracker, body measurements, and other trackers and lists; and
  • Contacts in case of an emergency.

I also have the mini-food journal and a Moleskine expense tracker tucked in the back secretarial pocket. It’s the small blue journal shown above and contains grid paper – perfect for expense tracking!

Food Journal

Food Journal

Notes

Notes

 

Notes 2

Notes 2

 

Exercise/Wellness Section

Exercise/Wellness Section

 

The summer slim down just in time!

After

After

 

K.Y.S.S.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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G.R.E.A.T. Planning

As we approach the end of another year, we’re all likely reflecting upon 2013 and hopefully looking forward to 2014. I’ve been taking stock of what I did well and what can be done even better – some things need a little work ;-). For the new year I am implementing a planning system that will be G.R.E.A.T. for ME. It’s a planning system that will reflect my:

Goals – Short-term, mid-range, and long-term goals for various aspects of my life.

Routines – Daily morning and evening routines.

Errands – Consolidating and reducing errands to be more efficient.

Appointments – Scheduling them appropriately being sure not to over schedule.

To-dos – Creating manageable, day specific and master to-do lists ensuring that things are actually getting done.

This will be the foundation of my planning system, which can be adapted to changing life circumstances. I can add  or remove subsections without disturbing the core principals of my system. The idea is to accomplish more, manage time more efficiently, fight procrastination, and increase motivation and consistency.

I’m fine tuning the set-up in my personal Filofax to fully reflect the system I want. I’m looking forward to following what I think will be a G.R.E.A.T. program for me. 😉

Screenshot_2013-11-08-00-57-01

K.Y.S.S.

The “Goal” To-do List

Does your daily to-do list reflect your life goals?

A goal is defined as the “object of a person’s ambition”. For me, it’s the bigger picture, the journey, the result of mini-goals culminating into that dream, the effort leading to accomplishment.

The goal to-do list isn’t an endless succession of daily, run of the mill to-dos. If they were, we’d be busy but not accomplishing much in the way of our dreams. Daily to-dos will be things that need to get done to manage life – run to the grocery store, do a load of laundry, deposit check at the bank, go to the post office, etc. While all of these things are necessary, they do not really reflect the pursuit of my life goals. That’s why a goal to-do list is needed.

Some inserts have space where daily goal to-do lists can be planned on the page, on a separate notes page, or by simply adding a post-it to your daily or weekly sheet. Even a little DIY on a blank sheet will do the trick.

The point is that we already have the tools we need in order to incorporate this idea into our daily plans.

Once a goal is established, the efforts toward reaching it must be tracked. Yearly calendars are a great way to track your progress and plan future tasks related to your goal. I keep one in my personal Filofax to track my exercise goals and progress.

Distinguish your goals from your regular to-do list entries and resolve to use the remaining days of 2013 working toward the object of your ambition. 🙂

K.Y.S.S.

Franklin Covey: Her Point of View Weekly Inserts for Filofax

I generally would not do a product review after such a short period of time but here goes…

I recently received the Franklin Covey Her Point of View Weekly Inserts and I am using them in my Filofax. I wanted to “live” with them for a while however, I think I’ve seen enough! These inserts are great! As I said in my previous post, I trimmed them to fit inside of my personal size Aston Filofax. The color scheme is pretty and the designs are whimsical. The days are lined, which makes for keeping things neat and easy to find. The week starts on Monday and ends with Saturday and Sunday (this block is split).

Franklin Covey HPOV Weekly Inserts (trimmed and punched)

Franklin Covey HPOV Weekly Inserts (trimmed and punched)

FC Weekly Inserts

FC Weekly Inserts

Each day block has a fine line going down the middle. You can use one side for personal tasks or school assignments and the other for business; or one side for personal to-dos and the other for tracking water intake, medications, exercise, food journal, etc. There are note sections at the bottom of each page for additional recording of important events, reminders, tracking, inspirational quotes, or gratitude. There are lots of options! The layout contains reference calendars for the prior and upcoming months as well as quotes for each week.

The weekly insert pages are not thick like the monthly pages. However, I have used several different pens on the weekly pages and have yet to experience any bleed through or show through. For example, I have used the Papermate Flairs, Sharpie pens, Recollections pens, Le Pens, and the Staedtler Triplus Fineliners. This is a nice feature because you don’t have to be so particular with the instrument you select to use in your planner.

I also have the monthly inserts and I interleafed the weekly and monthly pages. This works out nicely. I think it would work just as fine if you kept both inserts separated; it’s all a matter of preference in how you set-up your planner. The weekly inserts come with coordinating ‘Notes’ pages in between the months.

These are my inserts for next year. I plan to use another set of these for work. There is no need for me to search any further. Simple.

They can be purchased here on the Franklin Covey site.

K.Y.S.S.

Bullet Journaling: At-a-Glance Planner & Notebook System

Bullet journaling is becoming popular as a means to organize using paper systems.  I suspect that many of those folks, like myself, have been doing some form of “bullet journaling” or list making, without giving it a name. While I haven’t completely adopted the system as it is presented, I find it to be a good way to maintain and even enhance an analog or paper system.

I saw this planner and notebook system at Staples. While I do not own this one, I do own and use a couple of the At-a-Glance products that I will share in a later post. One of the At-a-Glance books I use is a planning notebook similar to what is shown in the below pictures. When I see new or different offerings in the range, I check it out. Since I do not own this system, this is more of a comment than a review on how I see it being helpful for the bullet journal users.

At-a-Glance Planner Notebook System

At-a-Glance Planner Notebook System

One of the perceived drawbacks of the bullet journal system is that it is difficult to plan further out into the future; some would say even planning a few days in advance can be challenging. There are a few solutions to that problem, one of which is to include a monthly spread into your journal in order to truly plan tasks and goals and not just list them.

The monthly calendar (l); and the planning notebook (r)

The monthly calendar (l); and the planning notebook (r)

Monthly calendar view

Monthly calendar view

The At-a-Glance Planner & Notebook  appears to be a multi-functional system that could be a great tool for bullet journaling and planning for the following reasons:

  • There are monthly and reference calendars for planning. The monthly spread is on two pages with enough room to write in events, appointments, birthdays, track and plan goals, and any other thing you may want to record.
  • The planning notebook has “hot spot” sections  to highlight important information or reminders. I use these for next steps when project planning in the notebook I have.
  • There are pockets and business card holders under the monthly section. One of the pockets is a secretarial pocket to capture things that may be taller than the planner itself.  You can carry bills, letters, and other things that you have to deal with on a regular basis. You can also stow stamps, envelopes, sticky notes and other accessories you may need to work with your planner.

The cover is not leather but has a smooth texture and is lightweight with a slim profile. The books around bound but the pages in the notebook are perforated. It’s perfect to fit inside of a purse or tote bag without adding weight and bulk.

It looks like a very clean and easy system to use that can maximize bullet journaling and planning.

K.Y.S.S.

 

The Hunt: Using Your Filofax As a Job Hunting Tool

In these economic times, many people are in transition through sudden job loss or impending job loss. However a job loss occurs can be stunning but it can be particularly disconcerting if it is a sudden loss as there is no time to prepare. This is a time when you must remain focused on the functionality of your organizer and making it work in your job search. It should be relied upon to keep your finances in check, your daily activities scheduled, motivational tools at hand, and of course, job search tools at the ready.

I’m in the market for a full-time opportunity, whether it is a job or exploring business opportunities for a part-time position that I have. In fact, I have a section in my Filofax devoted entirely to this “project”. If you’ve seen pictures of my Filofax, you’ve probably seen the section called “The Hunt”. It sounds aggressive because you have to be aggressive in this tight market; I wanted to be reminded of that reality. Everyone’s search will be different based upon your field however, some aspects of the job search are pretty universal.

The Hunt

The Hunt

I started out considering the lists that I wanted in my “Hunt” section. These are some of the pages I have in my section:

  • To-do List – I list things to-do that are directly related to the hunt like, “call recruiter”, “check XYZ job board”, “register for CLE”, “edit resume”, “create a resume highlighting X skills”, and so on. I try not to muddle my daily to-dos with my hunt to-dos.
  • CLE Opportunities – Where I can find free or low cost CLE courses.
  • CLE Records – Keeps track of the CLEs I have taken (when, where, number of credits earned, numbers of credits I need), and reports I need to make to the state.
  • Compensation received – Tracking any money that comes in that I must report later.
  • Applications – Some applications will be saved on the job board and others are via email. I keep a list just to keep me on track with those applications that are not captured on the job board. While, I may get a confirmation email, it’s simply easier to see in a list format in my Filofax.
  • Firms and companies – A list of the firms or companies in my target area.
  • Employer List – I use a Filofax address sheet to list my former employers’ addresses. Some online application systems require you to put in so much information. After the initial gathering, it is very easy to complete the forms because I have all of the supervisor names, phone numbers, addresses, email addresses, etc. It really helps to expedite the process.
  • References – I also use a Filofax address sheet to record their information.
  • Websites – This is a list of job boards and company sites with sign-on and password information.
  • Search terms – You may search for jobs using your former title but you’d be surprised at what comes up in your search as you expand terms. I keep a list of terms to search beyond “lawyer” or “attorney”.
  • Networking opportunities – List of events for networking at association or alumni events, personal relationships, and the like.
  • Business development ideas
  • Skills development – While I have some extra time, I use it to maintain current skills and develop new ones.
  • Contacts – List of contacts specifically for the job hunt like recruiters, human resources departments, and other important numbers.
  • Goals – Establish your goals and what you hope to find in a new position. Be specific regarding salary, benefits, location, work environment, company size, grade/level, etc. This is meant as a guide to help direct your search and to make informed decisions on compensation when you consider things like benefits, commuting times, and the locale of the position.
  • Volunteer opportunities

TIP: You don’t need pre-made inserts to do this. You can create exactly what you need by doing it yourself. It really is simple. All I did was write the name of the list on a blank sheet of paper. I didn’t search the internet high and low for inserts that ultimately wouldn’t fit my needs. As for the Filofax address sheets, I already had those on hand.

I also have a reduced size resume printed on different color paper. I did this because if I am out and about and get a call about a job, I can have my resume in front of me. Of course I know what is on my resume however, I can be sure to emphasize specific skill sets without feeling like I’ve missed an opportunity to really market myself. I printed it on a bright color paper so that it is easy to find (the hot pink stands out among all of the white pages).

The resume on hot pink paper

The resume on hot pink paper

This is what I keep in my “Hunt” section. For the day-to-day to-dos, I keep them in the diary section of my Filofax. Be sure to schedule things like exercise, daily household routines, reading, or whatever helps to keep you sane.

While the results of a job hunt can sometimes be beyond our control, our daily routines can help us stay focused, push through, and give us a sense of control through this transition.

K.Y.S.S.

Franklin Covey Her Point of View Weekly Inserts for Filofax

Yesterday, I posted a review of the Franklin Covey Her Point of View monthly inserts to show how I’ve been using them for the last few months. I received the weekly inserts from the same collection last evening and wanted to show a preliminary look at how I prepared them for my Filofax. I can’t really do a review since I just received them however, I will update this post (or do a new one) once I’ve had a chance to “live” with them for a little while.

As I did with the monthly inserts, I trimmed off the holes (about 1/4 in.) and punched them for my Filofax. They are also lined, have whimsical designs, and pretty colors. I really like these inserts! Now, that I’ve found the pages that I will be using for 2014, I can really focus on the actual planning – to-dos, goal setting, etc., which is the reason we use these things in the first place. 😉

K.Y.S.S.