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Organisation

    Organisation

    Planning for 2017

    Three weeks into 2017 and I’m ready to share my planner set-up for this year (so far). I’d like to say that these three weeks have flown by, but seriously it feels like we’re on day 100 of 2017 not day 21. That’s not to say it’s been a bad start to the year – I’ve actually had a pleasantly good year so far – it’s just dragged. (Might be because payday is still a week away…)

    Planning for 2017 | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    I was in two minds about restarting a planner set up for this year because I simply wasn’t utilising it enough to be worth it before Christmas. Something wasn’t clicking and I just rarely looked inside the planner. I figured that a bit of a change around would either reignite my love for planning and writing things down, or it would prove that I just didn’t really need it any more. So, 21 days in…

    It’s getting a lot more use than last year, so that’s a positive. I’ve started tracking different things, things that I know are useful and will keep me writing them. The bullet journal idea is still very much incorporated into my planning format, and it’s working really well. So my tabs include: Diary, for all weeklies/planning pages; Misc, for all collection style things; Lists, obvious really; Lang, because I want to start back my Spanish learning; Notes, just for random notes. Simple is the key.

    Planning for 2017 | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    The diary section starts with a year on two pages spread, just for future planning. It currently lists my birthday, races planned and holidays booked. Then we’re straight into the weekly pages. I designed my own as usual, and have kept it fairly similar to last years. The schedule on the left page just acts as a place to list my work shifts and any other things I may do. The addition on the right is for my fitness tracking. Being able to write a good amount of info about daily work outs is great, and it’s easy to see how I’m progressing each week, how little/much I’ve done etc.

    Planning for 2017 | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    In my Misc section I currently have a few different things. There’s a half marathon running plan (which you can see below), a page ready for listing all the races I complete, notes on good lower half exercises, a page with the Marvel film timeline (because I want to try watch them all) and a few blogging ideas. So it’s a little random, but that’s what I wanted. Just a place to keep long-term lists/notes.

    Planning for 2017 | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    The Lists section has in a few lists already like things to watch, restaurants to try etc. This is the messier listing section, for those that I don’t really need to look at very often and don’t need to go into the collections section. It makes sense to me.

    The Lang section is pretty much empty at the moment. It just has a page with the days/months/numbers in. Same for the Notes section, not really used yet. I don’t know whether I’ll keep this one – will have to see how used it gets!

    Lastly, you’ll notice there are two extra tabs… They’re not really in use, but I do have one thing behind the first tab. It’s a place where I can write down any personal earnings for this year – as in, blog earnings and the like, not job earnings. I created a little card cover thing so that you can’t actually see any information until you open the rings and open the covering. Makes things nice and private and was easy to do. I mean obviously it can be easily opened, but information won’t be visible to those just flicking through. You could use this for all sorts.

    Planning for 2017 | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Planning for 2017 | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    So far this is working for me and I’m actually opening my planner to see what’s going on. I think incorporating most of my blog/fitness information into the one planner is definitely helping – last year I used a separate blog planner and whilst it was great, I think that’s why my regular planner got forgotten. It’s just easier to have everything together.

    Are you using a planner this year?

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    Creative, Organisation, Stationery, Tips & Tricks

    Washi Tape Hack for Bullet Journals and Planning

    Are all you bloggers still using your bullet journals? If you are, I have a little tip to make planning and finding things just that little bit easier. I’ve been using this system all year for my blog planner, and I love the way it looks.

    Washi Tape Hack for Bullet Journals and Planning | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    How To Use Washi Tape Effectively in your Bullet Journal

    All you need is a roll of washi tape (or two, or three, or ten…) and your planner. Instead of constantly skimming through your notebook to find which section you want, or using a lot of different bookmarks and making the notebook bulky, washi tape can be used as an easy place marker.

    I have my blog planner set out with monthly sections, and random collections in between. To make it easier to find each monthly section, I’ve simply taken the title page and stuck a piece of washi tape along the top edge. You could use any designs here – maybe a different tape for each month – but I’ve just used this blue one on every month so far. I like the uniformity. You can see in the top image that the tape really stands out against the blank pages, making the months easy to find.

    This does add a little bulk to the notebook because the washi tape is in the same place on every page it’s used on, but it really is minimal compared to using a lot of actual bookmarks or clips along the edges.

    Washi Tape Hack for Bullet Journals and Planning | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Then, using the same technique, I’ve just placed a few pieces of different washi tape along the edges of certain pages. These include my blog stats, idea pages, books read, and random notes. It means I can quickly check an ideas page, or jot down some stats without having to leaf through every page. As bullet journals are pretty much organised chaos by design it just makes life easier.

    These ones I place randomly (you can just about see on so the first photo) because it just means they’re easier to spot. I’ve used the blue sky washi tape for any ideas pages, a dark green for my books read and there’s a couple of peachy colour ones for my stats pages.

    Washi Tape Hack for Bullet Journals and Planning | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    If you feel like you need a little more organisation in your bullet journal, give it a go! And let me know if you have any other tips like this – I’d love to hear more ideas!

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    Filofax, Organisation, Stationery

    Using The Bullet Journal Method With Filofax

    Okay so I’ve written variations of this post before (here & here) but this time it’s different. Oh yes, it’s different. Over the past few weeks, I haven’t really been using my Filofax for much. I just never made the time and didn’t have anything to add in besides my work hours. Then I watched Elelibee’s Bullet Journal Walk Through and it was like a switch had been flicked on in my brain.

    Using The Bullet Journal Method With Filofax | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    So basically, I’m taking all the things I like from the bullet journal and putting them into one page (or two, I guess) in my Filofax. My weekly pages weren’t getting filled, and I just couldn’t track everything I wanted. I also realised that I needed weekly to-dos more than daily as I was forever trying to fit things in and then not having the time. My weeks looked very much like they do in the photos in the second Bullet Journal post linked above. Note the tracker page? I wanted to use a tracker, but I was forever forgetting about it. Now I’ve got my weekly schedule, to-dos, tracker and space for random notes all easy to see at a glance.

    Using The Bullet Journal Method With Filofax | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Below you can see how I filled in last week. My weekly to-dos are very much following the bullet journal style. Coloured in when done, half coloured when started and I’ve actually migrated one too. The ! on the first task is because it’s important. Pretty self explanatory really. Then I have my schedule and all my work times in green, sticking to my colour code. Appointments still in pink, fitness in purple and any personal stuff in blue. It’s just a small section to write in my work hours mainly, but it’s all I need.

    On the right I’ve drawn a small tracker in, with the main things I want to keep track of at the moment. Not very much, but there’s still room to add more. I didn’t do too well last week did I? The notes section is for anything I need to remember – like my bank changing – or for things I’ve done, events that have happened. Oh and my notes about how to set up my new diary pages!

    Using The Bullet Journal Method With Filofax | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Using The Bullet Journal Method With Filofax | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    I’m only in my second week of using this kind of layout but I feel like it’s given my Filofax a whole new lease of life. It feels more natural to have my week like this, without really set guidelines on which day I’m on and what needs to be done today. With me sometimes only having one day off a week, the weekly to-dos are definitely working better. And I’m remembering to fill in my tracker – yes I really did just get that lazy towards the end of the week.

    This is working for me. I’ve got all the freedom of the bullet journal style, but still with all the freedom that the Filofax brings. I like the option to move pages around, and with a notebook you can’t do that. What about you?

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    Filofax, Organisation, Stationery

    Combining the Bullet Journal with Filofax

    If you’ve never heard of bullet journalling, you’ve managed to miss a huge community online – on blogs, youtube, facebook, instagram and who knows what else. A bullet journal is basically a diary, but it’s one that is super customisable and easy to keep track of various things.

    Combining the Bullet Journal with Filofax | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    I fell in love with the idea of a bullet journal, but using just a notebook for my diary isn’t workable for me, so I’ve been implementing this technique into my Filofax for a couple of years. This post from July 2014 still remains to be my most searched for and found posts on the blog. Crazy, right? My system has changed a little since that post, and I’ve taken on one of the pages that kept popping up in set-up videos, so it’s time for an update!

    As you can see above, I have a key to remind me what each symbol means. The check box is for tasks. This is basically anything that needs doing, with no set time. If started but not completed, I will colour in half of the square, and if completed I will colour the full square. Anything with a set time is labelled as an appointment with a circle bullet and when completed I’ll also colour this in. Lastly, notes are signified with a dash.

    Next on the list are ‘extra information’ symbols. A check box with an arrow means that task has been moved to another day, and one with a cross in it is not relevant any more. An exclamation mark is used for important details, a heart is used to show ideas or inspiration and a question mark used to show something that needs more research. These things aren’t everyday symbols, but they are there just in case a simple check box, circle or dash isn’t enough information.

    It’s really simple, and it keeps things organised for me. You’ll notice that I’m still using a colour code: green for work, purple for fitness, pink for appointments/reminders and blue for personal. This and the different symbols allow me to quickly glance and see what is happening. Sticky notes will occasionally be used, like the big reminder for my theory test up, but they’re not something I carry with me.

    Combining the Bullet Journal with Filofax | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    And lastly, the other major thing I have implemented from bullet journalling is something that I spotted on quite a few videos and blog posts. A lot of people design these ‘habit trackers’ each month, adding things in and out when necessary. I thought it’d be a great way to track a few things that don’t have a place elsewhere. I’ve still got my exercise in a monthly calendar, but I’ve put them on here too. I just think this really gives you a good overview of what you’ve done in the month. Some people track meditation, drinking enough water, not spending – you can do all sorts.

    Combining the Bullet Journal with Filofax | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    So that’s how my adapted bullet journal is working in my Filofax. The good thing about this is that putting the bullet journal into a filofax makes it even more customisable than a simple notebook, and that’s what I need! Hope this gives a little inspiration!

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    Creative, Filofax, Organisation

    My 2016 Filofax Set-up

    Over a week into the new year, and I have finally set-up my 2016 planner. It’s still a work in progress, because I’m trying a new system of actually keeping everything together in here, but I think it’s gonna work okay! I’ll make sure to update any major changes!

    2016 Filofax Set-Up // life of kitty

    The first thing I did was make new dividers of course! I hadn’t made any new ones for a good while, and I decided that this time I wouldn’t ‘name’ them. I have 6 generic dividers that can be used for any type of section. A few days ago I bought a laminator and now have laminated dividers! Oh how fancy, right? I think this is my new favourite thing to do. Easily pleased. My very first dashboard divider is a piece of card that I turned into a pocket and used a patterned acetate paper for the front.. So handy for storing little bits, as you can see below. I also made myself two smaller bookmark-style dividers to keep track of specific pages in the planner.

    2016 Filofax Set-Up // life of kitty

    In the pocket I have my name and details as well as the organiser registered number. The red and white striped card is a list of all my rugby teams fixtures this year – I’m so excited for rugby league to start! Also in the front I have my 2016 goals and a year at a glance calendar (from here!). Just little bits for easy access to information. The first section in my Filofaax is for notes. No photos for this, because it is currently just blank paper and pretty boring.

    2016 Filofax Set-Up // life of kitty

    Next up is my weekly section. I did start off using some weekly inserts that I bought from Wilkinsons, but I quickly remembered the reason why I made my own last year – no grid paper! Knowing that I didn’t want to use last years inserts, I had a quick look in my files and discovered that I had been sensible and saved the PSD files. I changed the lines and the font, added some number boxes and moved the dates around a little. Think they look 10x better! This was last year’s set up, and you can see the diary pages in there, as well as my old dividers!

    2016 Filofax Set-Up // life of kitty

    Then we have my fitness section. Here I’m planning on noting down food stuff, health stuff, exercise and everything related. So far I just have some monthly pages where I am tracking what exercise I have done, but soon enough I’ll be using the paper in there for some notes. I really like having a calendar like this to see what I’ve been up to… Definitely motivating when you see a few blank days! Luckily, I’ve managed to stick to the #YogaCamp challenge so far, so the calendar is looking good!

    2016 Filofax Set-Up // life of kitty

    The fourth section holds blog information and I’m going to use it for any job or creative information too. It’s basically going to be things that need organisation and noting down in my life, but which are too important for the simple notes section at the front. I don’t have a photo for this either because it is just note paper at the moment and has some blog ideas that I want to keep under wraps…

    The fifth section is for lists. I’m a list-maker. Always have been, and probably always will. Currently I’m just using the to-do pages that I got in the Wilkinsons set that I bought, and have used washi tape to cover the tops and give them titles. Books to read, films to watch, tv series to watch… Stuff like that. I’ve also got these tv series tracker pages that you can see below. I found them on PlannerFun and just think they’re so handy! I’ve only written down the House series so far, but it’ll definitely help when binge watching a few episodes… Sometimes I forget what I’ve seen.

    2016 Filofax Set-Up // life of kitty

    And finally, in the sixth section I just have some plastic wallets at the moment. This section doesn’t really have a title – it is just bits and bobs. I don’t know whether I’ll think of something up to add in there, but at least it keeps the wallets separated! In these I just have a few stickers, some polaroids and my library card. Something I haven’t actually used since before I went to university. Over three years ago. Oops.

    2016 Filofax Set-Up // life of kitty

    There you have it – my 2016 Filofax set-up. I’m still loving my personal brown Holborn, and I want it to hold all the information I need. Last year I separated my blog section into another filofax, and I found that I just wasn’t using either very much. I’ve decided that 2016 is for note-keeping. Writing down everything I want to remember, keeping fun lists, and taking that time out to focus on what is happening in my life, what I want to be happening and what I can do to make that happen. Taking control!

    Hope you enjoyed this look in to my diary, and if you want me to do a post on anything in particular about planning, let me know!

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    5 Reasons To..., Filofax, Organisation

    5 Reasons to use a Filofax

    lifeofkitty 5 reasons to use a filofax

    I know I don’t post about it all that much any more, but I still use my Filofax everyday. The reason I haven’t been posting about it is because my set-up never changes, but I’m thinking up related posts about organisation to come soon!

    So most of us now will use our smartphones for everything: keeping information, taking notes, reminders, numbers etc. I still use a digital calendar for things like my fitness/blogging schedules because then they appear on my phone and remind me as soon as I wake up. However, everyone who uses a smartphone will also know that the battery is never brilliant and finding wifi/data signal can be a nightmare. Enter the filofax – a paper planner, that does not need battery or internet to work. The life saver.

    5 Reasons to use a Filofax

    #1 – They’re durable. Okay so this really depends on what model you go for, but the leather ones at least are definitely durable. The cover will only fall apart if you’ve used it for decades, and even then, I’ve seen some that have been used for 50 years with no breakage. Unbound paper planners can rip quite easily.

    #2 – They’re flexible. It’s totally up to you what goes in your planner, and the rings mean that anything that can be punched can go in. You don’t even have to use a Filofax as a planner – there are many uses! Address book, recipes, career planner, blog planner etc. Whatever you can think of, you can do.

    #3 – Which brings to the fact that you have the power to completely customise what inserts you have and the order they go in. I don’t change my set-up often because I’ve found the layout that works perfectly for me. Others will play around every month, changing things up to suit their needs. I like my diary pages to look quite minimal and ‘neat’, but others will use lots of washi tape and stickers as decoration. The possibilities are endless here.

    #4 – Never need to worry about wifi/battery. As I said above smartphones battery can be unreliable. Writing information like a post code, or a number down means that it is always accessible, no matter whether your battery has died, or your wifi/data not working. I’ve been in this position before when travelling, and I’d especially advise writing things down when travelling abroad! Wifi is getting widely available right now, but you just never know.

    #5 – They’re pretty. Okay so this is totally a shallow reason but you’ve got to admit, a leather binder does look lovely. I really like the worn/used look, and I love just having it with me. It looks pretty, okay?

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    Organisation

    How I created an office space in my bedroom.

    lifeofkitty office space

    Moving back home from university was strange. Here I was, back in my bedroom – yet it didn’t feel like my bedroom. Of course, over the past three years I had been home for weekend stays, holidays and random little visits, but the majority of my ‘stuff’ was still in Carlisle and bringing everything home at the end of these three years didn’t immediately make my bedroom feel like mine. It just felt messy!

    I wish I had taken a before photo actually, because my bedroom has completely changed around in the short time that I have been home. (Has it really only been two weeks?!) I had two desks, both different types of wood, a small bookcase in yet another type of wood, a big bookcase in yep, you guessed it, another type of wood, my bed and my wardrobe. Deciding that I wanted everything white, I got rid of one of the desks and the small bookcase, bought a wooden shelf and painted that white and also painted the other desk white. Then white Ikea Kallax shelves entered my life, and my bedroom was complete! It’s not the best layout, but it’s the best I can get with the space I have. I still have my big (pine) bookshelf, but that is on the opposite side of my bedroom and hidden by the door, so I’m not too bothered about it. Yet.

    I thought I’d give you a little shelf tour, and show how I’m utilising this space. It may be small, but as this space is so separate from my bed, it feels like I have my own little office space and so far it’s working well!

    Desk Space

    lifeofkitty office space

    lifeofkitty office space

    The shelf was originally directly above my desk, but the Kallax shelves wouldn’t fit in this wall, and the shelf had to be in the corner of the wall due to wires… Annoying, but it’s not the end of the world! The shelf just holds my beloved Harry Potter books, little trinkets and candles. I have so many little bits, and that’s why my bedroom originally looked really messy. I needed shelf space, so this was ideal. And if you’re interested in making your own little blackboard, I have a tutorial here!

    My desk is somewhere that I am trying to keep as clear as possible. I have my pens, and a tray that holds everyday random bits, my key pot and a mat to put my drink on. Once I’m using my laptop, the pens are hidden, and I feel like I work better with the rest being quite minimal. This desk also has a pull out shelf, and here I’ll usually keep my filofax and anything I’m working with. The wire is my HDMI so I can catch up on TV whilst working ;)

    Shelving Space

    lifeofkitty office spaceOh, aren’t these shelves beautiful?! I’ve been admiring the Kallax shelves for ages because I just love the simplicity of them. The squares are huge, and it means you get lots of space and can organise the unit into different sections.

    So the top two square are books. On the left we have my TBR books. There’s two layers to this shelf, and actually, I have more TBR books at the back of the right square too! I like to keep my TBR separate from the books that I’ve read because it’s easier to see where I’m up to. On the right hand side I have non-fiction books. These are recipe books, reference books (wildlife, nature, astronomy and the SmartPOP books that I own), Wreck This Journal and Yoga. Books that I will use regularly and may be helpful when I’m sat here at my desk within an arms reach!

    The second layer holds all my toiletries on the left, and all my Filofax related things on the right. I need to figure out a way to sort my Filofax side out so I can show off my binders, but also so it is practical… In the little tub, I have a couple of pencil cases with sharpies and ink joy pens.

    Then we have my paper drawers and SMASH books on the left hand side of the third layer and all my unused notebooks on the right hand side. The notebooks could be organised better too, but I’m not sure how I’m going to sort those out! (Maybe using them would help? Hahah!)

    And finally, the blue box holds all my camera equipment and the square next to it contains all my painting stuff, stamping stuff and some stickers.

    I didn’t take a photo of the top of this shelf, but it just holds a couple of photo frames and more candles/trinkets. You can see these in the first image.

    Next to the big Kallax, I have the smaller version and this makes a perfect little corner to hold my printer, my wii, and sort of a little noticeboard. I have a regular calendar, a seasonal fruit/vegetables calendar and a 10k training plan stuck up there. The blue folder is from Martha Stewart and I’m finding it a really useful place to store papers and things that I may need to reference quickly.

    In the shelving space below, I have my fabrics and random stuff like chalk and waxpaper in the first square and food/protein/supplements in the next square. The bottom right hand square is filled with folders and stuff that I don’t necessarily need on a day to day (or even weekly!) basis and doesn’t have such easy access. The left side is all my cables and hard drives. The little trolly holds all my main scrapping stuff, with journal cards, tape, tools and all that. I bought it from B&M, and I wouldn’t say it is that sturdy, but it does the job!

    lifeofkitty office space lifeofkitty office space

    With all this stuff being stored in one place, I have everything in easy reach and it just makes life so much easier! Since getting these shelves, my room has also looked a lot tidier as everything now has it’s own space. As I said above, with this corner, I now feel like I have an office space, and it makes working just that little bit easier! I’m really happy with how it all looks. I can’t be the only one who needs to love their space to really work well? Right?

    life of kitty

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