Planning to stay Organized

Someone on social media said that the first two weeks (or so) of the year is the free trial, and I would have to say in my case that that is pretty accurate. Almost as soon as I put SPARK out there to the universe, the shifts began to show up in very big ways – I’ve been having to process some and deal with the consequences of others. It’s all good, but not everything in life happens on social media. I had planned to write this blogpost at the beginning of the year, but then…shift happened. Oh, and to those who are keeping track – one of the best gifts ever arrived in the form of Henry, who just makes me smile everytime I get a new photo. So, 2019 is definitely off on a journey very different from last year.

2019 has a lot to pick from on the buffet creative wise, and I find it impossible to do that without a good planner. This year has more moving parts to keep track of than I’ve had in the past, and that means I HAVE to have a planner AND TO USE IT. I’ve found one that I love, and after a few modifications, it’s perfect. I heart My Quilter’s Planner.

My 2019 Quilter’s Planner – after a little customization

I was fortunate enough to receive this as a gift this year, and to say I was pleased is an understatement. I love a good Orange Peel pattern, so from the beginning, I have loved it. As soon as I opened the monthly section and found that it had the show dates for some of the more prominent shows included…I was hooked. I’m sure that not everyone is in there, but that’s a biggie when you’re planning several months out with customers. This planner also comes with several projects, and a sew along…you can see in the picture on top, I’ve gotten block one done of the Sew Along.

Let’s talk customization at this point, because after several stops and starts here, I have one feature that I look at more than others…I LOVE a discbound planner, which allows me to take pieces out and put them back in without too much difficulty. The Quilter’s Planner isn’t a discbound system – or rather it wasn’t one when I received it. It was easy enough to find a video on uncoiling a planner – it turns out that it’s easier than you might think. I did mine in less than a minute – the key is keeping your pages together and in order – binder clips helped me then. After things were unspiraled, I simply punched them with a punch that is made to go with my discbound system, and I was off to the races.

My January discbound monthly set up…it works!

The QP has several extra sections to it beyond the calendar part – it also has several patterns, a really useful reference section, and a place to keep your project files together – a perfect place to tame my UFO list – because if it’s out of sight, it’s also out of mind. I may get somethings off that list this year.

I took an older Brand X calendar that I had laying around – also discbound – and used it to add sections to the back of the Quilters Planner for Goals, Blog Stats, an online course that I’m working on, and a note section for my clients. Those papers can then be transferred to their files. You will see a size difference between the QP and the Brand X one – the Quilter’s Planner is ever so slightly smaller than a standard 8 and a half by 11…so here’ what that looks like.

The page with the green stripe is from the original Quilter’s Planner

I put the original oversized planner covers onto the front and back, which offers my Quilter’s Planner additional all weather protection. Now, to see about a cover. Looking around my stash, I saw the only thing that I could possibly think about using…

This is my planner cover – Cork! I had never seen anything like this…

I couldn’t use the patterns that Quilter’s Planner gives online, because the dimensions given were too small for my ‘frankenplanner’. I used the piece of cork above, coupled with a scrap of cork from another project, a hair tye and a button to make a pattern based on the brown bag book covers of my school days to complete my planner. I found that making a planner cover is a perfect application for working with cork.

So now that I have the tools, it will be interesting to see how this plays out…stay tuned. I am packing more of the Sew Along Blocks to bring with me on retreat in the next couple of weeks.

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