November 2017 in my Mini Filofax planner

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This month was largely dedicated to gearing up for major upcoming transitions in our lives – part of which is our upcoming cross-country move.

Prior to the big move, we are selling some things. The largest is our rare and vintage motorcoach, so there’s been a lot of activity with showing it and having phone time with people near and far who want to see it. This coach wasn’t a recreational rig for us, for some time it was our full-time home while we were assigned to various locations.

We are also selling our tiny workshop my husband designed and built by hand.

Wanderlodge copy

workshop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition, we are finding new homes for our Alaska extreme-cold-weather boating, camping, and outdoor gear that we no longer need. Our next planned locale will more about flip-flops at the campsite rather than sub-zero sleeping bags!

This sell-a-palooza really highlighted how long it takes me to make pictures, re-take pictures, upload them, download them, crop them, re-upload them, re-size them, and has caused me to question if I am just so crazy-slow at it, or if it takes anyone else as long.

We also finally got basic cell phones! For months, we’d cycled through several models of older basic cell phones that just didn’t work well in our area’s very weak signal. We eagerly tried the newest little Nokia 3310 with 3G and, yay!, success!

My Mini continues to faithfully provide comfort and support every day. Here, you can see behind the November pages is the list of my monthly focus items. This particular list is most certainly focused on the above-referenced sell-a-palooza! As from previous months, the simple yet meaningful yellow sticky of lovely and heartfelt reminders moves forward every month.

mini monthly - nov 2017

mini monthly – nov 2017

Thanksgiving was delightful and I’m so happy Egg Nog Season is well underway!

Warmest wishes of love and peace to you and yours for the holiday season. 🙂

 

Previous month:  October 2017

 

Meet my Radley Mini organizer :)

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It is no secret that I heart Minis waytoomuch.

Anyway, I make use of a purse-only Mini – it’s not a wallet nor a planner; it’s a simple, utility organizer. In my purse it stores:

  • notesheets and small supply of stickies
  • contact info for some family and closest friends
  • certain, select few cards that I always want with me (such as roadside assist)
  • stamps!
  • receipts collected when out doing shops and errands, or receipts for something that must be returned
  • If I’m at an appointment and they give a next-appointment card, it goes in there until I get back home where I input it into my main mini (planner)
  • It is the place where we write down dimensions of some odd thing we need to shop for at the store, or some thing we found at the store that we need to check when we get home
  • any shop lists on stickies I’ve been compiling in my main mini get transferred into purse mini when we head out
  • directions to a few important places where I drive infrequently, mostly remember how to get there but have back-up if I need a refresher

In making Mini size inserts, I have learned from other folks about other organizers that fit the Mini Filofax size refills. It’s an impressive list, and one that tickles my heart is the Radley brand. My memory is Cathryn Cook had also began using a Radley mini as well some years ago. Sadly, I can’t find her great blog anymore. Her blog was the first I’d ever heard of a Radley mini planner. I don’t think they make these any longer.

The adorable Radley organizers I have viewed online are all very slim ring mechanisms. Mine is really tiny, I would venture to guess it is as slim as the Executive Mini Slim I had some years ago.

Earlier this year, this little pre-loved pup took over the purse mini duties.

And now, for the moment you’ve probably been waiting for… snaps!

The pom-pom, flower-y, fireworks here are actually each individual stitches of leather and thread.

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Inside, there are some pockets and a lovely lining which coordinates with the exterior design.

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That tiny little pocket you see on the left is lined with that same fabric! The pocket would be very handy for an emergency phone-call quarter, if you had one stashed for a payphone.

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Another thoughtful feature you can see here is this nifty, attached, leather page marker. If you have diary or calendar sheets in here, you can just slip that little tethered Radley medallion into your current dates.

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Here is the super-slim ring mechanism – also note that this model doesn’t have the wallet pocket along the exterior backside, which makes the binder even slimmer. Perfect for my purse organizer since it’s not my wallet.

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And on back – the brand name and another poof.

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I hope this was a fun viewing, and thank you for visiting! 🙂

 

Payphones | Hanging Up series

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I didn’t plan for this particular post. It was sparked by reviewing some of our photos and subsequently prompted by an article we found.

Nearly three years ago, we took a weekend winter wonderland adventure on the Alaska Railroad to the majestic Denali (also known as Mt. McKinley) in Alaska.

We ended up onboard with train conductor Harry Ross who has appeared on the Railroad Alaska television series. (Fun facts – they stop the train when there’s a moose or bear close enough for people to take photos, or a clear view of Denali from the distance. They also stop the train to pick up passengers who are waiting on the side of the tracks).

On this glorious trip, we squeezed into a tiny plane (absolutely freezing) on a gorgeous clear and sunny day to fly over and witness the splendor the tallest peak in North America.  On top of it all, the one time I was so fortunate to see the Northern Lights was on this visit.

Our cabin stay was in the tiny town of Talkeetna, which is said to be the town that inspired the fictitious town of Cicely in the 1990’s TV show Northern Exposure. (Apologies if the theme song is now playing repetitiously in your head.)

Talkeetna store and payphone

This store is possibly my favorite I’ve ever visited. Anyway, outside you can see  a payphone. (I wonder if that is an ice machine sitting next to it. I suppose even in the arctic tundra one will want ice in the summertime.)

While looking over  picture with my husband, I had asked the question “if they have a payphone in Talkeetna, why don’t we see more of them around other places?”

Since I’ve embarked on this breaking-up-with-my-smartphone journey, I’ve read lots of other people’s articles about how they have a basic cell phone, or only a home phone!  Some people just have a cell phone they leave in the car glove box (which is how many of us started out with a cell phone in the first place – for just-in-case).

One thing I’ve learned in my research is that more people than you’d think don’t have a cell phone at all. That is quite the contrast with the disappearing payphones in the United States. I’ve heard “no one uses payphones anymore because they all have cell phones.” This Atlantic article mentions they’ve been removed in part due to no longer turning a profit and for their use in illegal activities. However, after seeing several movies lately wherein the use of payphones stood out at me, I took great interest in this article at Motherboard, Payphones Still Make Millions of Dollars.

With today’s smartphones, it seems people are actually talking to other people far less, and rather sending messages via shares and texts, etc.  Sadly, this is also often the case when people are sitting together at the same table – not talking, but buried in their phones. Whereas the payphone is a direct and simple tool, like any regular phone, that connects two people to discuss or arrange something.

I guess so many phone booths have been taken away in the US because they were already losing money on them. Although I can’t help but to wonder what is the cost to just leave an already-built, already-installed, existing payphone in place. Particularly in a remote location like the one used by Deb in Napoleon Dynamite. As mentioned in this article at WAMC/Northeast Public Radio, there are times when a hard-wired pay telephone is needed by people. I consider them more as pay-as-you need utility now. And we all know everyone’s mobile phone has a dead spot somewhere or has no battery left – assuming everyone truly has a cell phone.

Here are some more payphone-related articles and stories:

Thank you for reading! 🙂

 

October 2017 in my Mini Filofax planner

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It has still been very warm here overall, although there was some rollercoaster dips into actual chillier temps. You know, 40 in the morning and then nearly 90 in the afternoon. Enough to provide some proof that October did deliver.

This month we began listening to our newest shared audio book for our car rides, the creepy and disturbing 1970-ish novel This Perfect Day by Ira Levin. I also enjoyed reading Walden on Wheels and listening to the Goodbye, Things audio book.

We’ve begun preparing for our out-of-state move early next year so there’s an abundance of random to-do’s. In the mini, I changed my weekly layout to two-days-on-a-page for now. This format is working particularly well at this time, since this is my personal-life planner and we have more of our-life to-do’s slated for the weekend. The extra spot for notes by the weekend works nicely for that.  And it allows room for the  doodles I’ve scribbled lately. (I just remind myself it’s not an art competition and no one is judging).

The somewhat indiscernible doodles the October monthly page include some creepy crawlies and a cauldron of eyeball stew.  On a weekday sheet, there’s a tiny crockpot and cilantro on a day I had some black beans and rice slow-cooking in the kitchen. Not to be confused with eyeball stew.

mini monthly - oct 2017

mini monthly – october 2017

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assorted days and weeks in october

 

I hope you’re having a super-fun and happy Halloween! 🎃 🙀 👻 🍬 🎃

 

Previous month: September 2017

Address books are a lot like diaries

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Much as seeing a glimpse of someone else using a planner or organizer, a sighting of an address book also sparks a moment of spaz for me. Old-fashioned and lovely, they seem so understated yet each has its own memories and tales to tell.

The older and messier the pages, the more enchanting they are. The markings through for new addresses when people moved and the updates of other changes are so interesting and endearing.

In days past, some address books stayed at home, with the writing desk (including if that was the kitchen table), or phone table, and the home telephone. Some were card file boxes and caddies, or rotary-flip-style Rolodex.

The nowadays term of “contacts” – rather than family, friends, people, names, numbers, addresses – conjures up more of a business connotation to me.

Mostly now all of those “contacts” are being carried around with us everywhere in smartphones, or stored on Facebook, LinkedIn, Outlook or email accounts on the web – always accessible, even though the number of times many of these contacts are contacted is disproportionate relative to the amount of time they’re with you.

I liked how personal addresses were in your personal address book, and work contacts were in your work rolodex, the client database or other computer software – at the office. It’s displeasing to me when, on my own time, I must scroll past work-related contacts on electronics, or even to have to click the filter option to take these business people out of view. I’ve read that our minds process 50,000+ fleeting thoughts per day, and just glancing at a work name on my weekend can send me down a mentally exhausting rabbit trail of eeeeek did I remember to send that email-package-presentation-quote-report-thing-I-promised-to-send-last-Thursday…

I keep a few consolidated address pages in my Filofax – family is grouped together and friends are grouped together.  This friends list isn’t every acquaintance but rather my closest friends who are practically family. I like looking at the handwritten entries on these pages when I’m addressing their birthday card envelopes or whatnot. Entries on these pages aren’t alphabetical, just all together, one after another, and this eliminates the need for many pages and A-Z tabs.

And now for some fun! Clickies!!!

I hope you enjoyed these, and thank you for reading! 🙂

 

Downsizing my work planner (continued!)

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There’s light at the end of the tunnel! I am mostly moved into my smaller work planner now, and have some additional details and snaps to share.

To recap from last message:

  • I am still mostly following my old system (detailed in just under one million words, here).
  • The new size is the FranklinCovey Compact.
  • I’ve hand-drawn some pages for the remainder of this year.

Here’s some of my hand-drawn weekly pages in the vertical format on the Compact size (4.25″ x 6.75″ – which is slightly wider than Filofax Personal size).  Federal holidays impact our order shipping, so they are most definitely written into my planner.

weekly work planner format

my hand-drawn weekly work planner

As before:

  • top row is items with a specific time,
  • middle section is Do or Due Today, and
  • bottom row is lists for This Week, not tied to a specific day.

I still fill these weeklies out at the beginning of the week, with the objectives for the week.

Daily spiral 6″x9″-ish notepad still captures in the inbound messages, calls, things that pop up, etc.  Any of these type things that get turned into additional action items get transferred to wherever they belong. If they get handled on that day, they just get marked through on the pad and are not copied anywhere else. If there is an important item like phone number or email address, I do transfer that into the contact card or whatever before crossing through the note.

Aside from sizing down, the biggest change I’ve implemented is adding a 2-pages-per-day. This is in addition to my daily spiral notebook. You could say the daily setup is sorted by planned stuff, vs. inbound stuff.

The 2-pages-per-day is all new for me. I wanted this format to assist me in keeping focus and getting on task.

Let me assure you that when you go to an office, it’s better that you aren’t looking at your laundry basket near your desk. Likely you can’t do your laundry there, so you really have to reconsider doing laundry when you’re working out of your home.

So, I am using the 2-pages-per-day to schedule the work day, and also to time-log what I really did. The scheduling is most-essential items for the day and anything that has a real time. Each morning, stuff from the current weekly planner pages gets allocated into the daily plans. My current work has some routine, daily activities, so those are input into the hourly slots as part of my scheduled work day.

However, the time-logging is new to me. It’s just a simple input system where each time I start something new that isn’t already written into a time slot, I just scribble it into the appointment times. These are just simple entries – abbreviations even – and aren’t even down to the exact minute. But if I am updating invoices and decide it’s time to break for my sammich, I can jot down “lunch.” When I start researching and calling for pricing on a new service, I just scribble in “pricing” in the general time slot. It’s a new habit, but it is starting to stick. Oh, and when I would like to take a mental break and just make sparkly eyes at pretty planners online, yes, I have to jot “sparkly eyes” in the planner, too.

When spreadsheets and workbooks need updating, and it doesn’t happen today, or yesterday, or even all of last week, then there is nothing to disguise why I didn’t do it. It’s written right there on the pages.

So this way I am having better accountability about my objectives, goals, and slacking when applicable.  Part of my weekly review on Fridays is to look over these daily pages to help me stay on track.

Here is the simple format I am using for the rest of this year – times on the left; notes, lists, observations, tracking stuff on the right.

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Here’s the monthly format. These are a reassuring visual overview and reference – no heavy planning.

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If it’s late at night and you need something to help you sleep, you can read all of the detail on my work planner system here.

Thank you for reading! 🙂

Also related: Running a Work and a Personal Planner

 

September 2017 in my Mini Filofax planner

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September is my favorite month. It’s my emotional equivalent of  Spring cleaning and always feels like a fresh start. Maybe in other places the weather is a little cooler with glimpses of Fall already, but it still feels very summery here to me.

This month we moved, did our first-ever storm running, and very nearly finished listening to the Ready Player One audio book (we’ve been listening to it when we are in the car together). I continued to focus on paring down stuff I don’t need, breaking the chains with my cell phone, and downsizing my work planner.

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Thank you for reading, and have a wonderful rest of your weekend! 🙂


Previous months:

August 2017
July 2017