Making It Mine

The RAK program is so popular it needs its own planner to stay organized!

I saw a post for a used planner for sale and literally bought it in 30 seconds flat!

It arrived in a few days and I put it immediately to use keeping track of all the RAK requests and anything else of interest from the Erin Condren groups.

Here is the planner as I received it in the mail.

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The cover is a soothing Cornflower Blue in the Gingham pattern with minimal customization.

I tried several things to cover the name but finally just ended up using my favorite pin stripe Washi tape and some cute ABC stickers to write “RAK 2014”.

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To protect the stickers and keep the Washi from peeling, I put a small piece of clear packing tape over the area.  You can just barely see the left bottom corner of the packing tape in this next photo!  A person would have to look REALLY HARD to see the packing tape, so it is a good option for protecting any decor that might be added to a used planner to cover the other person’s name.

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On the inside, I used complimentary colored pens to keep track of RAK requests, new people, international requests, and notes about anything that was necessary to remember in managing the various Erin Condren groups that I started.  I was giving out between 300-400 names weekly, so there was a lot to jot down!!

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This little “used” planner (though it was completely brand new), has and is totally serving its purpose.  I think the cover turned out just fine and I am grateful that I found a used one that I could purchase for this purpose!

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Washi Tape to Decorate

There is a lot of talk about using Washi tape in the Erin Condren Life Planners.  If you’ve never heard of Washi tape, well, let me introduce you to it right now!

Washi tape is from Japan, it is like masking tape, only it comes in hundreds of patterns, colors, and several different sizes.  The good Washi Tape is removable, and you can mark out blocks of time in your planner for vacations, holidays, and school breaks.  You can write on it with a Sharpie, and it doesn’t bleed through the pages.

I just dusted off my exercise/diet planner because it’s a New Year, and you know how we all want to start off the New Year right, so I took some time to get my planner ready to record my food intake and exercise output.  What I have done on these pages could be done in any planner, not just one that is dedicated to fitness, etc.

I decided to use Washi tape to decorate each page of the planner, while also covering up the redundant words above the lines at the bottom of each page.  I chose tapes that coordinated with the monthly colors and I really like how it has turned out!!

Here is a quick look at each month…

January

Snowflake washi tape, very fitting for this time of year in the part of the country that I live in!

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February

Hearts of course!

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March

Green, new growth, and springtime!!

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April

April showers, so I had to use the adorable cloud and heart Washi tape!!

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May

May flowers, bright and cheerful!

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June

Warm colors for a warm month, or the month that begins to finally get warm around here!

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July

I didn’t have anything patriotic, so I decided to use my cute owls!

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August

This Washi tape reminded me of cut grass in rows, so it seemed fitting for the month!!

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September

Absolutely fell in LOVE with this Washi tape!  I’ve never seen it before, and it was perfect for the start of school time!!

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October

This is the coffee Washi tape I bought 3 rolls of to share with my friends on the Erin Condren Fan Club on Facebook!  I’m pretending it’s hot chocolate for me, since I don’t drink coffee!!

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November

This Washi was just cute, friendly, and happy, perfect for November!!

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December

This one is a little thick, but I really liked it, so I used it anyway!!

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I am using the regular weekly spread in the Life Planner to record what I eat for Breakfast, Lunch, and Supper.  I am using the lines at the bottom to record any exercise that I do, and I am placing a sticker at the top of each day to record my water intake.

You can still see the words under several of the Washi tapes, but I’m not going to worry about that.  By the time the entire page is filled in with food and exercise, the bit of words that show through won’t be noticed at all.

I am trying to make this planner very color coordinated, so the stickers and pen color used each month will match the duo of color for that month.  The colors for January are Seafoam and Orange, so I am using Seafoam for the stickers, and orange for the ink color!  I can’t wait to see if I like the way it looks, doing it this way with coordinating colors.  It will be a fun experiment!

This Bag Rocks!

I ordered my own brown bag so I could see it in person!  I like this little thing.  It seems tough and sturdy and durable.  It does remind me of burlap so it’s not exactly a sleek or refined type of item.

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It sits upright on its own and it holds its shape without sagging or falling over or bending.

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I jammed all of these books in it before heading to the library.

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I was delighted to discover that it would hold a regular 3-ring binder.  This opens up tons of possibilities with this bag.  This is the small gift bag, so I wasn’t expecting it to hold numerous things, but it easily carried the 3-ring binder, 3 library books that I needed to return, and my planner and my phone.  With all of those things in the bag, it did not fall over, but just sat there waiting for me to grab it and run out the door!

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At the last-minute, I threw in my wallet as well, and tucked it under the planner.  Everything still fit and I could grab the handles comfortably to carry it out to my car!

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I think this bag will hold up to a lot of wear and tear.  It is probably not going to show smudges or scratches.  I think it’s a great little bag and I’m glad I bought one for myself!

In Love With My Event Stickers

I am in Event Sticker heaven!  I just love my event stickers and use them all the time in my planner!  I love all the colors and love using them to motivate me to complete certain tasks!

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I put reminders to call my family members, and mark down when I do a special mall/shopping day with my daughter!  I have stickers for club meetings for my son, and library days, and menu planning!

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I mark my Flylady zones and keep track of all the movies we watch (mostly because I think we watch too many of them, and I’m about to order stickers for books I’ve read, as I think it would be much better to have more “book” stickers than “movie” stickers)!!

I have them color coded and at a glance, I know exactly what needs to happen!!

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My planner evolves each week, with all the most important things placed on the pages first!!

I am trying really hard this year to get our finances in order, so am marking each bill due with a green Pay Bills sticker with the business and amount (I have a whole entire sheet of these on order because I already ran out).

I love tiny check boxes, and use a fine black Sharpie to write on the stickers.  I have stickers for each family member, in “their” color, so all appointments, or anything that pertains directly to that person is marked with their color of sticker!

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I have ordered stickers for each of my blogs so I can be sure to do my weekly blog posts, and not forget to make those happen on time!!  And I’m going to also order black stickers with the word “Piano” on it, so I can record when I practice/play/enjoy the piano, one of my favorite hobbies!!  I want to be able to look back at my year and see the things I did just for me (piano time), to know that I not only invested in my family and their happiness, but I took care of myself as well, and did things that brought joy into my own life!!

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The event stickers come in 35 different colors, and I love having a rainbow of them in my planner!

Some things I’ve learned about the event stickers…

The words don’t show up very well on the colors Pear, Butter, Lemon, or Light Blue.  If you want to write on your sticker with a black Sharpie, the writing doesn’t show on Chocolate, Black, Navy, Charcoal, or Mocha very well!

If you want to order stickers that match each of the month’s colors, be sure to check out my Color of the Months blog post, to find out exactly which colors to choose for your event stickers!

Here is my list of event stickers so far (in no particular order), and the colors I chose for each one, and the reason behind the colors:

Daryl – Orange – Because that’s his family color
Kristy – Pink – Because that’s my family color
Darien – Cornflower – Because that’s his family color
Kaelyn – Lemon – Because that’s her family color
Kendrick – Kelly Green – Because that’s his family color
Write Letters – Light Pink – Because it’s something I need/want to do, and it’s in my color shade
Special Dinner – Pool – Because everything food related is in Pool
Potluck – Pool – Because it’s food related
R.A.K. – Gold – Because RAKs bring sunshine into someone’s mailbox (or my mailbox)
Movie Night – Navy – Because Navy is like the night sky, and that’s when we watch movies, at night
Call Friend – Light Pink – Because I want to do that more often this year and pink is my shade of color
Call Mom – Hot Pink – Because I love her, and it’s in my shade of color again, but more vibrant because it’s very important
Call Kim – Purple – Because it’s my sister’s favorite color, and I need to call her more often
Anniversary – Light Gray – Because we are getting close to our Silver Anniversary
Lazer Tag – Gray – Because it’s dark in the building and kinda smoky in there too
Sky High – Teal – I don’t know why I chose this color for this
Mall/Shopping – Butter – Because it’s something I do with my daughter, and it’s in her shade of color
CMWF – Orange – Because it’s my hubby’s work
Road Trip & Travel – Coral – Because it’s one of my favorite color of stickers, and both of these activities are some of my favorite things to do
Snow Skiing – Baby Blue – Because it looks like winter and snow and cold
Hiking & Camping – Mocha – Because it looks like dirt, and you get dirty when you go hiking and camping
Tennis – Pear – Because it’s the same color as tennis balls
Swimming & Water Skiing – Turquoise – Because it looks like beautiful refreshing water
Bubble Bath – Hot Pink – Because it’s one of my FAVORITE things to do, and it’s in my shade of color
Door Decor – Beet – Because Beet is super pretty and Door Decor is a happy thing I do each month
Pathfinders – Army Green – Because it’s my son’s club, we march, and it’s in his shade of color
Library – Tan – Because our library’s name has “Prairie” in it, and tan makes me think of the prairie
Plan Menus – Pool – Because it’s food related again and it’s a very calm and soothing color, though dealing with food does not leave me feeling calm and soothing, so I thought I needed some external motivation and help in that area
Various School Related Stickers – Red – Because the little red schoolhouse is always Red
Specific Bill Related Stickers – Green – Because green looks like money
Dogs – Taupe – Because muddy little paw prints are usually brown, and Taupe is a light brown that I can write on
Pay Bills – Green – Because it’s about money again
Zone 1 – Dark Orange – Because that is the color Flylady uses for Zone 1 (next time I’ll use Dark Red)
Zone 2 – Gold – Because that is the color she uses for Zone 2
Zone 3 – Cornflower – Because that is the color she uses for Zone 3
Zone 4 – Kelly Green – Because that is the color she uses for Zone 4
Zone 5 – Beet – Because that is the color she uses for Zone 5 (purple would also work)
DRINK H2O – Turquoise – Because that’s the color for water related things
Shine Sink – Lavender – Because it’s a chore, and Flylady loves purple
Mini Tramp – Seafoam – Because it was a nice color that I hadn’t used yet
Fab Abs – Coral – I don’t know why I chose Coral for this one
PROVERBS – Butter – I don’t remember my vision behind this sticker or this color 😦

And if this isn’t enough, I’ve got stickers ordered for my 3 Blogs, Piano Time (black), a few more specific bills (green), Attack Clutter (lavender), Pay Bills (green), and I’m always trying to think of more, especially those that will motivate me to accomplish something or develop a needed habit, like reading more books, or some type of exercise, or some type of cleaning routine!

If you haven’t tried the Event Stickers yet, go for it!  It’s an easy way to bring color into your planner pages, and a great way to color code, set goals for yourself, and bring some variety into your days!

Before and After Dec 9-15

December 9-15…the first week!

Oh! What a Week began with much anticipation and excitement!  I color code, so each color refers to a specific individual in our family, and purple alerts ALL of us.  I use a cloud bubble to bring extra attention to an item.

On Sunday, the 8th, I filled out our week.

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I added things as the week  progressed.  On Thursday, there were 2 chores that my kids needed to do THAT DAY.  I also wanted my husband to help them, so I put a cloud bubble around their chore with orange, my husband’s color.  Since we are still in the training stages, I pointed out both that I had added something to their days, and that I wanted my husband to help them do the task.  It sort of worked.  I’m pretty sure he helped with the bed, but I know he didn’t help with the porch furniture.  But both chores got done, so that was the important thing!

On Sunday, the 15th, our week was finished!

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Things were added along the way.  I loved grabbing my Sharpies and writing new things on the schedule.  I love that this is only the beginning and this system will be fine tuned each week.

Right now, it is mostly for events and appointments that involve my family members, and any event or appointment that I have, that also impacts their day.  The chores listed are things that are not every day or every week chores. I notice them, quickly jot them down so I don’t forget about them, then point them out to the individual! I do plan to list the laundry days each week at the bottom.

I loved having it on my fridge. Next week is already up and I can’t wait to see what the week will bring!!

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