Monday, November 17, 2014

erin condren life planner/notebook leftovers hack

I love planners. I really couldn't live without one. Managing my husband's sometimes irregular work schedule, my full time work commitments, and all of the boys' school and sports schedules means I need a seriously organized planner.
For the past 3 years, that planner has been an an Erin Condren Life Planner. There were many, many things I loved about it- I could customize the cover (and now you can buy interchangeable covers), and the colorful calendars and weekly schedules made me want to use the planner. There were also things I didn't love about it-it was very pricey at well over $60 after shipping and photo upgrades, there was no ability to customize the weekly pages to allow for everyone's schedule, and the corners of the laminated covers ended peeling pretty badly on 2 of the 3 planners.
So this year, I have been using a Plum Paper Planner from etsy. I will review it in depth in a sepearte post.
I wanted to share what I had done with the "leftovers" from my old Life Planners. each of my EC Life Planners came with a "notes" section that I rarely used. I also had an original month at a glace notebook from EC that I got my first year trying her products.
I really didn't want all of that cute note paper to go to waste. So I did the unthinkable, I cut the plastic coil from my old planners took out the notes sections and created a new notebook!
How did I do it?
step one: Remove the coil from old life planners and/or notebooks. For the older plastic style coils I had to cut the top coil and unthread it, for my metal coil planner, I used pliers to unbend the top of the coil and unthread. (Save your metal coil)

step two: Decide what to keep. This was tough for me-I had 4 covers to chose from. did I want three clear pocket inserts or just one? How many keep it together pockets? I loved being able to customize my notebook.

step three: Organize your pages. I chose my cover from my 2013 Life Planner, the back cover from a 2012 life planner, and the keep it together pocket from the 2013 LP. In between, I added lined note page, sketch pages, and unlined notes pages.

step four: Recoil that mess. First, make sure everything is lined up nice and neat. I used two giant binder clips (ironically from Erin Condren-not sure if they still send them with orders) to hold everything together. Then starting from the bottom up, I recoiled the notebook using my metal coil from my 2013 Life Planner. I used pliers gently bend the ends back to keep the papers from falling off.

step five: Enjoy your new custom notebook. :)

Questions? Leave me a comment and I'll try to help you out. Look for my review of the Plum Paper Planner later this week.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Organizing Is A Way of Life

As a working mom of four boys, I have to be organized. It's a matter of survival. Over the years, I've tried many different methods of organization in all areas of our life. From home organization (just how do you corral the clutter of four children?) to work organization (So many emails, so little time.) to free-time/extracurricular organization (soccer, lacrosse, basketball, cross country, and church groups, oh my!), I've had to do it all.
Dreamstime Stock Photo

I've had many friends ask me-just how do I manage a 40-45 hour work week, raising the boys and still managing to have a life. Organization. I hope you'll learn from my mistakes and share your successes along the way! Welcome to Organized By Christina!