Happy April Planner Friends! Well- I am officially back from my Entrepreneurial Spring Break and now that it’s over all I want to do is fill my planner with new ideas and inspiration to carry me through the summer. While I was on spring break, I did some decluttering around my home, sent a bunch of clothes to goodwill, and gave away some of my unused accessories to family members. I really wanted to do what I could to make room and pass on what I could from my life, primarily to show gratitude for many wonderful blessings that have come into my life recently, but also to keep myself in balance. Balance for me is one part streamlining of what I already have, and another part planning for what’s to come. So, in that spirit, the time has come to Spring Clean my planner as well! While I am going through this process, I thought that I would share some ideas to help you spring clean your planner as well! So, this topic is going to be a 10-part series during the month of April, BUT you can come back to this series or use these ideas year round to help you reset your planner when you need it. I hope you enjoy the series and that you will come back to my site often this month to see it unfold! Feel free to share and posts you particularly enjoy as well- that would be lovely!
Part 1: Clean or Replace Your Binder
Depending on the age and wear of your planner, one of the quickest ways to spring clean it is to literally give it a good scrub or replace it altogether. Many of us in the planner community see our planners as an accessory, not just a productivity tool, so keeping our binders in good condition or swapping them out for the season is reasonable. Here are some helpful tips to get you started.
How to Safely Clean Your Planner
Correctly identify the fabric of your planner: Depending on the type of fabric or material used for the interior and exterior of your planner, you will use different cleaning products. Make sure to identify each material by checking and labels or paperwork that came with your planner, or by contacting the retailer directly. If you aren’t 100% sure of the material, I wouldn’t risk damaging it by using a product made for a specific material, however, a mixture of warm water and mild soap are a safe bet if you just can’t find the information. For any product you use, make sure to spot check the formula in a small, hidden area of your binder to ensure it does not do any damage or cause the color to run or fade.
I also make sure to have a stock of Q-Tips and Lint Free Clothes handy when cleaning my binders!
Find the trouble spots: Before you begin cleaning your binder, I recommend assessing the damage and determining if there are any trouble spots. Cleaning up your binder is one thing, but dealing with specific stains is another. Don’t proceed with cleaning your binder until you have given it a once over and checked or any trouble spots like pen marks, stains or areas of rust/oxidation on any metal pieces. You will want to address these issues first with spot treatments specifically tailored to your binder material and the trouble spot. There are many different stain specific products available to help you spot treat your binder, like these.
Empty your planner: This may seem obvious to some, but remember to empty out your planner before you begin cleaning it. Check through and pockets and zippered areas and ensure everything is removed so you can get down to work!
Use a light touch: Whenever I’m cleaning any of my accessories, even my planners, I like to use a light touch so I don’t damage the item. You can always go back over areas with heavy build up if you are too gentle on a first pass, but if you are too rough you can do irreversible damage. Just be smart, work gently in small sections and don’t rush!
Let it dry: Once you’re done cleaning your binder, make sure to give it time to dry. Leather and faux leather binders tend to dry in a few hours, but if you have a cloth planner that required more product to clean, let it dry overnight before returning paper to it just in case! We wouldn’t want to ruin our inserts now would we?
If you’d like to watch my cleaning process, check out my 2017 Planner Setup Video where I give my leather binder a thorough clean at the start!
Replacing Your Binder
Of course, if you don’t simply want to clean your planner and want to replace it altogether- that’s a legitimate option. If you’re looking for something new, think about whether you want to swap your style or your entire system! It’s easy enough to swap one 6 ring planner for another in a coordinating size, but its a little more involved if you want to change from a ring bound to a travelers notebook style, for example. To get some great inspiration for your next planner purchase, check out my Planner Resource Guide Post on Picking a Planner! It covers some great basics for what’s available planner-wise to get you thinking about your needs.
I’d love to hear about your experience with cleaning your planner or picking out a new one for the season! Feel free to share your favorite products or planners down in the comments and be sure to share this post if you found it helpful!
April is right around the corner and so it’s time for another Free Filofax Printable Insert! Since Spring is about to be sprung, this is a great time to focus on a little spring cleaning! This month’s printable is a checklist of all the essential spring cleaning items that are usually forgotten, so challenge yourself to complete one task a day in the month of April and once you are done, you should have a completed refreshed view of your life! Of course, as I did last month, this printable will be available in both A5 + personal size Filofax equivalents! Of course, I also have your April 2017 Dashboard ready to go as well and when you download the Spring Cleaning Checklist, the Dashboard comes with it!
If you do download these free inserts or tech wallpapers, please let me know about it by taking a picture and tagging me on Instagram with the hashtag #StrangeandCharmed so I can see how you are making use of these goodies. I love seeing your pictures, and I can’t wait to like them and interact with you on IG! Make sure you’re following me @MissTrenchcoat!!
Of course, I love to see pictures of your planner inserts and wallpapers at home on your planners and tech gadgets! If you share a picture, please use #CharmedGTD so the whole community can see your setups and of course tag me @MissTrenchcoat as well in your pictures on Twitter & Instagram!
How to Turn a Filofax Binder into a Desktop Filing System
Let’s be honest, how many of us have an extra Filofax planner sitting around that we’d love to put to productive use? I know I do, and that’s why I am always thinking of new ways to use them. The great thing about Filofax planners is that they are more than just planners. They are high quality ring binders that can be used to store anything from your calendar and to do list, to your paperwork and mail. One of my favorite ways to use a spare binder, specifically a spare A5 (although you can also manage this with a personal size) is to create a desktop filing system. That’s right, a simple, easy to use file system that sits on your desk and is portable enough to keep your essential documents and reference information safe while on the go. Since I am a productivity junkie, I like to use the 43 Folders System to file papers, mail and information I know I need for later, but don’t want to go through the hassle of filing away in “deep storage”. We all have documents that relate to in-process projects, or emails we have printed out and stuffed into our calendars to keep for a project or event months down the road, and the rotating ticker file or 43 Folders System is a great way to manage those types of physical documents. So, let me walk you through what you will need to undertake this project and give you some simple steps to building your own 43 Folders Tickler File in a spare Filofax A5 Binder.
Step 1: Remove any old inserts or papers from your Filofax.
Step 2: Using a piece of 5 paper as a guide, take a file folder and using a piece of A5 paper as a guide, line up your paper with the top corner of your file folder where the edge and the fold meet and mark the dimensions of the paper onto the folder. Repeat this for all file folders.
Step 3: Using a paper trimmer or scissors, cut the excess file folder where you have marked the A5 dimensions so that you have an A5 sized folder. Repeat this for all file folders.
Step 4: On the front side of the file folder, make a diagonal cut from the top corner of the folder (where the edge and fold meet) down to about 2/3rd of the page. Also, remove any tab on the folder if applicable. Make sure to only cut through one side of the folder and leave the other side intact. Repeat this for all file folders.
Step 5: Using clear tape, tape the bottom opening and 1/3rd side opening of the folder shut, making a pocket that can hold papers. Repeat this for all file folders.
Step 6: Punch holes down the long edge of the file folder on the side of the original fold with the A5 punch. Repeat this for all file folders.
Step 7: Name 12 of your file tabs January-December, creating one tab for each month of the year.
Step 8: Add one monthly tab to each of the 12 folders. Distribute tabs as evenly as you can.
Step 9: Using your A5 paper guide, mark the dimensions onto your paper or card stock. Repeat this for all 31 pieces of paper or card stock.
Step 10: Using a paper trimmer or scissors, cut the paper or card stock along the A5 guide. Repeat this for all 31 pieces of paper or card stock.
Step 11: Punch each A5 piece of paper or card stock with your A5 punch.
Step 12: Number the remaining 31 file tabs 1-31 and apply one to each of the 31 pieces of paper or card stock cut into A5 dimensions. Distribute tabs as evenly as you can.
Step 13: Open the rings of your Filofax binder and put in the folder labeled with your current month.
Step 14: Behind your current month folder, put in the paper or card stock numbered 1-31 in numerical order.
Step 15: Behind the 31st page, put the remainder of the monthly folders, in calendar order.
How to Use Your Filofax 43 Folder Binder
Your Filofax tickler file has 12 folders, one for each month of the year and 31 individual pages, 1 for each of the maximum 31 days in a month. To use your binder, place notes, to do’s, documents or papers (fold A4 or US letter pages in half first) into the folder for the month they belong to. For your current month, place papers in front of the numbered of the specific day of the month you want to be reminded or will need a specific document. I like to use sticky notes with reminders on them as a placeholder for any large multipage documents that don’t fit comfortably inside the system, and I leave documents/lists in the current monthly file if they don’t pertain to a specific day but I want to work on them that month. This file is great for storing all those straggling papers sitting in piles on your desk and perfect for forward planning, even if you don’t have any documents related to a specific idea or event. Using list pads or sticky notes with a concept or idea and sticking it to a specific daily page or inside a specific month’s folder is a great way to job your memory for a project or idea you have now that you don’t want to act on until later. As the months progress, make sure that the current monthly folder is on top, followed by the 31 daily pages and then the rest of the monthly folders in order behind those. This keeps the folder up to date and because nothing is specifically dated you can use the system over a span a years without needing to change a thing!
If you would like to replicate this DIY for yourself, here is a video I made outlining the process and providing additional details that may interest you. If you do use this method, I would love to see it, so please make sure to take a picture, share it on Twitter or Instagram and tag me @MissTrenchcoat. Don’t forget to pick up my latest free planner printables over at http://www.TheCharmedShop.com!
Hello My Charmed Ones! Welcome to The Strange & Charmed 2016 Holiday Gift Guide!
The Most Wonderful Time of Year is Almost Upon Us! So, I thought this would be the perfect time to do a short series of gift guides before Black Friday and the holiday rush begins. Of course, since this is a Strange & Charmed Gift Guide, my choices for 2016 will be themed into categories that pertain to my readers. The first Gift Guide is themed for the Planner Addict in your life. Whether that be you or a friend! The second Gift Guide is themed for your Business Bestie. This may be a fellow #LadyBoss or co-worker that you want to spoil this year! The third and final Gift Guide is themed for the Homebody. This could be someone who loves home decor and entertaining, or a book lover who prefers to stay in on a cold winter’s night to relax and enjoy the comforts of home. Of course, with all three of these gift guides for 2016, I will include links at the bottom of the post where you can check out these items, start making your 2016 holiday gift list and get to shopping. So, I hope you’re excited for this series!
I hope this Holiday Gift Guide gives you some great inspiration for the Planner Addict in your life! Feel free to leave your gift suggestions for planner lovers down below to add to the holiday gift giving goodness!
October is rapidly coming to a close so it is time for our November Free Planner Printables and Tech Wallpapers! Novembers task list is called 30 Days of Thankfulness, and it contains a list of 30 easy to accomplish, feel good actions that you can take throughout the month of November to express your thankfulness to yourself, your friends, family and the world around you! I know I am a major proponent of making gratitude lists (which I do recommend in this printable!) however, I feel like there is so much more we can be doing on a day to day basis to show how thankful we are, and to really create memories through experiences that bring us to a greater understanding of the big picture of life. Obviously, since November happens to be the month of thankfulness in terms of the Thanksgiving Holiday (in the US), this is an appropriate time of year to cover the topic of thankfulness, however, you could technically use this printable over and over throughout the year, whenever you feel like you could use an extra jolt of positivity for your life!
Along with the November Thankfulness Task List, you will also get your November Dashboard, both of which come in A5 and Personal Filofax equivalents. Click here to download yours now!
Fall is here and for many of us planner girls, it also happens to be our favorite time of year! September brings that fresh start, back to school feel, embellished with sweet but spicy candle scents from Bath & Body Works, Pumpkin Spices Lattes from Starbucks and of course beautiful autumn accessories like riding boots and blanket scarves! The best part about the fall, in my opinion however, is Halloween! Other than my birthday and Christmas, Halloween is one of those days I wait for all year! I can’t wait! So, to celebrate this season I put together a set of printable planner goodies to help you personalize your planner for the Fall months in style! Let’s take a look!
The first part of my fall collection is called “Let’s Fall in Love” and takes inspiration from a Parisian Cafe! This collection includes 5 unique graphics that can be used as planner covers, dividers or dashboards for your planner, as well as a set of journaling cards as pictured above!
And of course, no collection would be complete without a set of vertical square planner stickers as pictured above! Print these out on full sheet labels, cut out the simple squares and Voila! You have a never ending supply of inspiration for your planner!
The second half of my fall planner collection is a homage to Halloween called “I Put a Spell on You!” Don’t you just love the lyrical inspiration for the names of these collections? No matter if the title of this collection evokes Nina Simone or a trio of witches from Hocus Pocus, this collection is going to have you spellbound with a collection of 6 cover art graphics and journaling cards. Take a look below at the designs and I’ll bet you’ll be enchanted!
And last but not least, a printable sticker set that you can use to cast a spell on your planner for inspiration and productivity this fall!
I can’t wait to see how you use these goodies in your planner, so make sure to take a picture and share it on Twitter or Instagram, tag me @MissTrenchcoat and use #CharmedGTD so everyone in the community can get inspiration from you as well!
It’s back and better than ever and I want to spend just a few moments giving you some important details about this year’s launch! First of all in case you didn’t know, the Charmed Life Planner is available in both A5 and Personal size Filofax equivalents.
2017 Charmed Life Printable Planner A5/Half Letter
The A5 version, pictured above, has a vertical week on two pages layout for your daily planning, along with month on two pages layouts, a master monthly task list and an expense sheet for every month! It’s a complete printable planner solution but this year I’ve made it even better. Printing inserts at home isn’t always the easiest, printers are not all created equal and there are different paper sizing standards around the globe that make designing a single usable file difficult to manage. After talking to many customers who use and love the Charmed Life Planner, this year I’m adding 2 additional files to your A5 Charmed Life Planner purchase to give you options when printing your planner at home.
The three (3) files you will now get for this size are:
US Standard Half Letter File (same as last year’s design)
US Bordered Printing Option (so those with printers that cannot print borderless don’t have to guess on how to scale the file)
True A5 File designed to print on A4 paper (for those of you who use A4 as your standard).
The 2017 Charmed Life Printable Planner in personal size is the same great day on one page design as last year with the muted time table for scheduling a full day of events and tasks! Due to its more compact size that prints well on US Letter or A4 , this planner was easier to print without issue and so there is no major design changes or additional files necessary. This size, as well, includes the month on two pages layout, a master monthly task list and an expense sheet for each month of the year.
This year I have decided to swap the Business Planning Bundle with a Functional Planning Bundle for both the A5/Half Letter and Personal size planners. The bundles will include the Charmed Life Planner in your choice of size, the Yearly Project Tracker, Project Planning Sheet and an additional Task List.
For a limited time, when you purchase ANY 2017 Charmed Life Planner or Bundle, you will receive two (2) great freebies!
#CharmedGTD Quick Start Guide: Inspiration and instruction for working smarter, not harder
Exclusive Downloadable Graphic “I’m a List Lover with a Planner Problem!”
Both Freebies are included in the downloads for your purchase automatically!
Make sure to check out my recent planner set up video for my full announcement and my updated planner set up video and I can’t wait to see how you set up your 2017 Charmed Life Planner, so make sure to take a picture and share it on Twitter or Instagram, tag me @MissTrenchcoat and use #CharmedGTD so everyone in the community can get inspiration from you as well!