Thursday, 27 December 2012

Monday, 24 December 2012

All Stars guest post by Lime Tree: Filofax Swap #6 – Never Giving Up!

I'm delighted to have my next guest already... the beautiful Lime Tree! I sold her my Domino snake filofax and thought it would be fab if she'd like to do a post for me.

Hello, hello!

This is very exciting to be spreading my “Filofax Swap” Journey throughout the wonderful Philofaxy blogsphere! Thank you so much Anita for hosting my sixth Filofax Swap on your blog! I am very excited to be here! :)
My last swap, called "The Classy Attempt", was posted on Zoe's blog. By the time I was using that Filofax, I was already feeling really, really lost. I felt the planner failure coming from the one before that - a gorgeous Baroque, that you can check it over at Vanja's blog.

I had a feeling I had to start all over. But who wants to start all over in mid-year, right? To not do that (and keep myself in denial), the Classy Attempt happened.

After that clear failure, I had to bite the bullet. I had to make the jump, on a new binder and new size.

Guess, what size came next? This year alone I went from personal, to pocket, to A5, to compact, to personal, to slimline, and now... what? well.... A5 it was! This time for personal stuff only.

Here it is the beauty that took on the challenge:

Filofax Chameleon in Spring Green
My goal was to use it as my main daily planner as well as a planner for all the projects ahead.

The projects function was an easy sort out. The phone tabs would do the job:

To make it easy to find them I did a cover page as I added projects. Not in alphabetical order, just as they came to mind.

And it all just got beyond perfection after I read Nancy's post about sub-tabs and sub-categories! It totally knocked-my-socks-off!

I could now have a very general project name, like "yard" and have it divided by a gazillion of tabs WITHOUT having them poking out and making it all look messy! Look at that clean, clutter-free beauty!

This is obviously not the yard section! :D
Just genius! I can't thank her enough for that idea. Really rocked my world!

Anyway, soon, I realized that because of the clutter-free-hidden sub tabs I could add not just projects but also entire "life-sections" to those lettered tabs, like "Health" and use the short sheets and subtabs to separate even more like "PCP, "Dentist" "PT", etc.
Oh, heaven! I finally was envisioning a"one-life-one-binder" working for me! Heaven!

Meanwhile just the calendar was missing.....just that....

I, of course, started avidly watching videos and reading posts to find my inspiration. I then remembered a video with an insert that I was drooling all over at the beginning of the year. This one ----> jotje

I read on twitter or on her blog (don't remember where) that the daily sheets were not in use anymore. "Aha!" I thought, "maybe she will be willing to sell me the remaining of the year!"

Nope! She wasn't willing to do that. Instead, she promptly offered to ship it overseas and completely ignored my requests to pay for the inserts. Philofaxy peeps are just amazing like that! Really!

And look at the extra cutie goodies she added:

What a treat! :D
The stickers I barely use because I am afraid to run out of them :p

So I used the daily pages for a few weeks. Unfortunately, it was a total disaster. :-/

I certainly looooved to place my hand on a big, laaaarge, smooth sheet of paper to start writing on it, but really it was more space then I needed. And I thought that all the specific boxes for specific tasks would be helpful but it was too much structure for me. I would always "misplace" the notes a few days, record others in the "right place" and then get all confused and waste time going thru pages when I had to go back and look at something.

Here are the lovely smooth, very large pages:

Day on Two Pages
ok, now, what to do? I was really hoping those 2 page daily sheets would work....

"Maybe I should evaluate my needs first, then develop something that may actually work for me" I thought.

I did a few mock ups of a few layouts and posted a desperate cry for help on my blog:

I had so many great helpful tips! {And THAT'S when the project section started really shaping up actually! That's when I met Nancy's sub-tabs system.}

So, tweaking a little bit more here and there, I finally came up with a solution that would work for my monthly needs. Any ideas?

Well, this one here, is what came out of it:

Yep! My monthly calendar was a direct result of my own planner failure. :D

I used some hand-drawn sheets and once I felt the layout would actually work, I painted it all and added holidays for 2013. I am actually still using the hand-drawn one to finish up this year!

Funny thing is that I was so excited with my project, as if a light bulb popped out of my head, that I didn't even feel stressed out anymore for NOT having the weeklies and dailies sorted out!

I would just write on a blank sheet the to-do list for the week and mark appointments on the monthly ones. I was having so much fun painting the calendar! I guess I really obsess with the "perfect" layout when there is nothing else fun to obsess about, hehe :D

So as soon as I finished, I was back on to the weekly/ daily pages “stuckness”. I knew I needed to combine them somehow as a huge draw back for was to have to flip back and forth to synchronize both.

I knew two things:
I LOVED using the vertical columns.
I LOVED having separate sheets for to-dos and schedule (from jotje' sheets mentioned above)

Ok, great! Now what? How on earth does someone get to see two different things in the same page? I played a lot with a few layouts and the result of it you may guess, was the Weekly Daily Calendar:

Very, very, happy with the result! Projects, monthly, weekly and daily all figured out! YESSSSS!!!!

Tuck all into that gorgeous Spring Green binder and I am good to go, right? After all I am using an A5, a gigantic binder that fits EVERYTHING, right?

Well, yeah.....turns out that is a limit of what you can add to an A5. LOL (And bummer!)

I really don't like to write on skinny binders, because the rings are unbearable but I don't feel comfortable when my Filofax is stuffed and begging for mercy either. No, I don't want to deform the poor thing.

What happened next then?

Well, something had to come out of the binder to release the load a bit......

Yeah! The Swap Journey had to continue.....I had to adapt again and modify, tweak, jump and try a different binder.

BUT! I am almost there! SO close, I can totally feel planner heaven approaching! :)

My last Swap of the year is coming. And that will be a definite one! {will it?}

Keep very tuned! ------> Filofax Swap #7 - It was always You!------> is coming soon! ;)

Thank you, LT, for a great post and I look forward to hearing about your next swap!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

All Stars guest post by Femke: Meditation and relaxation exercises

I'd like to welcome the lovely Femke as my first guest poster for the Philofaxy All Stars tour. You can find her blog at and I participated in her weekly What I wanna know Wednesday feature here.

Anita’s asked me to write a guest post on her blog and so here it is!

Due to my burnout, I've tried many things to clear my head. The first thing I started doing is writing in my journal every night before I went to sleep. While that’s helped for a little while, I can’t seem to clear my mind easily.

I take Melatonin before I go to bed, that’s helped me sleep through the night, but still, I need to clear my head to fall asleep.

Many people have pointed me in the direction of meditation or relaxation exercises.

I've done meditation before, and that is hard!

The way I do it, is start with telling my husband that I'm meditating, so he won’t run into the bedroom and interrupt my meditation session. I also set a timer. I tend to meditate for 10 minutes, at least now.

I try to clear my mind, but most of the time it’s hard. I often carry a notebook with me, so I can write down the random thoughts that are always coming up during meditation. I write it down and then it’s out of my head during the session.

If I can’t clear my mind, I try to listen to my breathing. At first my breathing is fast and irregular. But once I'm in the mood, it’s becoming more calm and regular. This helps to focus on clearing my mind.

I'm still new to meditating, so this is how I started. I tend to work on clearing my mind and set the timer longer once it gets easier.

The other thing I tend to try is relaxation exercises. This one helps me to fall asleep. What you do is lay down, eyes closed and in a dark room. I then slowly tensing and then relaxing my muscles in my body, starting at my feet and finishing at my head/neck. I tense my muscles for 5 seconds each and then take 30 seconds to relax them. I count in my head, which also helps to clear my head.

Both techniques are helpful to reduce stress and clearing your mind.  

Thanks for a great post, Femke! I'm very interested in her subject matter as I've been meditating on and off for some years now. 

Saturday, 15 December 2012

My first post for the Philofaxy All Stars 2012 tour

This year's tour was announced here, but I just haven't got going with it after participating last time. Partly I think it's because it was announced whilst I was abroad, but I think I've been struggling with content for my own blog and haven't felt like I had any to spare, if that makes sense?

So, better late than never I have got involved with my first guest post, hooray! David has kindly published my post Friends, filofaxes and the Dalai Lama over at Dave's blog - adventures in chaos and I look forward to receiving his post for here.     

Coming up... I will have some awesome guest posts from Femke from Deligted and Lime Tree.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Dr Hilary Jones endorses shiatsu!

I am a member of the Shiatsu Society, the UK's leading professional shiatsu organisation, and have recently been given these to advertise that Dr Hilary is in support of it. I think this is great news as the Society is doing more fantastic work to help the therapy become a household name :) 

Friday, 7 December 2012

The Muppets: Habanera