KonMari Method – My Tidying Journey #11 – Clothing Summary

Magic of Tidying Up

Well, I’ve completed all the categories when it comes to my clothing, so a quick summary of my work is in order. As for the tidying, i still have items in my closet that will be cleaned in future categories, so I haven’t completely tidied it yet. My dresser and nightstand drawers are in much more organized condition and remain that way, but the closet is still a work in progress. We’ll have to wait until i finish the whole house before I can show the difference. However, I wanted to touch on a few points regarding my clothing cleansing process. In case you’re wondering, I’m following the recommended category order detailed in Marie Kondo’s book,  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

It’s possible there’s a major mind shift that takes place when you actually put all your clothes into one big pile. the overwhelming feeling of how much stuff we have just in clothing! Due to the limited amount of space I have, plus the fact that I take care of my Mom and it’s not possible to have a big mess all day just to satisfy Kondo’s requirements, it wasn’t practical for me to follow the KonMari method to the letter. Still, I was amazed at how much clothing I had in my wardrobe.

I think something else that happens when you put all your clothes into such a big pile is you realize that so much of what you own is not who you are. I didn’t have the big “Ah-hah!” moment because I did my discarding by sub-category, but even though I had already done a good purge about a year ago, looking at all my clothes within a short period, rather than just picking through the racks, showed me that i had several items that were good for me a few years ago but it just wasn’t who I am now.

As I write this, even though I’ve already driven my donations to the Goodwill and set aside a number of items to eBay, i’ve decided to let go of even more. Some items became more apparent once I started to catalog my wardrobe in the Stylebook app. Others came about because they nagged at me as they hung in the closet, or I decided to try on a few things and realized some shoes will always hurt and there’s just no getting over it no matter how much I love them. So, in addition to the tallies presented below, I’d say there will be an additional garbage bag and a number of eBay items to go into the pile. And, it feels good!

Here are the bags of clothing I donated to Goodwill.

I’ve noticed that now that i’ve pared down my wardrobe, I’m more creative in putting outfits together and I’m using items I rarely if ever used because I kept wearing the same things. The very first time I had to make a choice after I cleaned through my closet, I admit, I felt a bit of apprehension; I was definitely a bit anxious. I just took a deep breath and dove right in. It really wasn’t that scary after all. Now I challenge myself to wear different things. I pretty much have no choice. All the old stuff is gone.

One key reason for working through the KonMari method, at least regarding my closet, was that I wanted to make more efficient use of my space. Well, there’s less in it, but I’m not so sure I totally accomplished my goal. However, making my clothes look pretty is definitely an accomplishment! Folding items that need to be folded makes those areas look very organized. I often want to open my drawers to look at how neat everything is.

In my closet, I switched to the Huggable Hangers about two years ago. I couldn’t decide which color to get, so I went with gray. At the time, they didn’t offer a color that I wanted to use. Well…since then they introduced a vibrant violet purple! I was able to get enough hangers for my closet for a screamin’ deal and now my closet really vibrates with great energy.

Kondo mentions in her book that we should cut the tags from our clothes when we bring them home so they can fully feel part of our wardrobe. I hemmed and hawed about that for a while, in the end agreeing with her. As I was going through my hanging things, the tags kept getting tangled up; it was a nightmare. When it came time to fold, the tags would get in the way or snag. So, i dug out the scissors and cut the tags. Now my clothes are happier.

Kondo also suggests organizing your clothes from the heaviest and longest on the left to the shortest and lightest on the right. If I had just a simple closet on one wall, that might work. However, mine is two short walls and I need space on both of them. I always organized my clothes by category, and within each category I organized from light to dark, from short to long within each color. I think for the time being I’m going to continue to do so because I’ve done it that way for a number of years and it more easily fits my space.

These are some of the items I decided to keep.

I do have some evening gowns that I have no idea how to store. I love them and they bring me joy just to touch. However, they are long and bulky and can’t be hung due to their weight. Maybe once I’m done with the whole house I’ll figure it out.

In all, I parted with about 45 percent of my wardrobe. Maybe 50 percent. I’m still tossing. I had no idea I had that much that needed to go. My whole closet feels different when I slide open the door. It’s a really fabulous feeling, and once I get through the rest of the non-clothing that’s in my bedroom (when those categories come up), I just might accomplish my goal after all.

Before we get to books, I’ll still have a couple of posts on my thoughts on clothing per the KonMari method. Join my feed on Bloglovin’ or catch my Instagram posts to keep up to date.

Enjoy!

Cindi

This post contains affiliate links. It is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. Thanks!

 

KonMari Method – My Tidying Journey #10 – Accessories, Special Occasion Clothing and Shoes

Magic of Tidying Up

Yay!!! We’re at the last clothing category and they are three of my favorites. Which means, I’m going to have a hard time parting with anything. This post covers accessories, special occasion clothing and – wait for it – shoes! In case you’re wondering, I’m following the recommended category order detailed in Marie Kondo’s book,  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

Accessories can be overwhelming! After all, it includes everything from jewelry (earrings, necklaces, bracelets, watches, pins) to scarves, gloves, hats, and belts. It’s a huge category! I suggest breaking this down into its sub-categories to make it easier to deal with. I kept putting off this part of the cleaning simply because i knew I’d have to look at every single earring i haven’t cleaned out for years! One issue I have is I’ve never found a storage/display solution for my jewelry so i tend to grab the same items over and over, which gets boring considering how many items I have.

Now, I don’t own much quality jewelry. but as i live a relatively casual lifestyle, i don’t need it and i don’t want to have to worry about it. Still, the items i have look fine and work for me. But there are a lot of them! This exercise was good for me to finally clean through and somewhat organize what I have. I only gave away 10-15 percent of my jewelry because I really love what I own. The problem is I can’t find it because I haven’t settled on a way to store it that works for me. Stylebook might help me here but I have so much I can’t imagine how long it would take me to even get them in the app. So, my search continues.

I have few scarves and belts, so I kept everything I own. I don’t wear them very often but they do bring me joy. Many of my scarves were purchased on trips overseas so there are memories that come to light when I wear them.

I was quite surprised to find that I owned 15 hats! I live in a warm climate so I don’t really need a lot of winter hats, and i try to stay out of the sun as much as possible since i have fair skin. I kept four hats and gave the rest away.

Gloves are another item i seldom use in this climate, although it can get chilly in the winter. I only had a few pair to go with my coats, so I kept them

Overall, accessories is the clothing category that took the longest. Sadly, i feel I need to go through my earrings again…

This was a big category – accessories, special occasion clothing and shoes!

Clothing for special occasions. I lead a pretty casual life at this point, mostly writing, blogging and taking care of my Mom, so my social calendar is not as full as it might be. There are invitations I must refuse simply because of my responsibilities. However, that doesn’t stop me from looking for awesome bargains for special occasions. You never know when you’ll need that special dress! Plus, I tend to dress in what I call classic with a twist, so basically timeless designs, worth the investment if I find something I love at a great price. Some people need to wear the latest and the greatest, and while I enjoy doing so, I don’t have to.

I tend to view designer gowns as works of art. I’ve been fascinated with gowns since I was a kid. I used to sketch eveningwear of my own design all the the time. Bling it out and I’m on board! I’m also fascinated by how inexpensive some gowns can be purchased on eBay if you’re willing to wait and search enough. As an example. in the past, I purchased a brand new $3,500 gown for $66. Yep, that’s right, $66! And, it was authentic! I’ve also found some pre-owned dresses for less than $100. Many society ladies buy beautiful designer gowns, wear them just a few hours for an event, then sell them. Buying them at a good price is better than renting! Even if you need to pay for alterations, you’re probably still thousands of dollars ahead for something really exquisite.

I know, I’m supposed to be explaining how I cleaned through my special occasion clothing, but as I looked at the mere 22 pieces I owned, memories of my spectacular deals came to mind. Just touching these works of art brings joy to me. I did sell two gowns that I thought weren’t really my taste even though they were beautiful, but the rest I’m keeping until I either wear them, share them or replace them. The biggest issue here is how to store these beaded numbers which are quite heavy and may need to be stored flat. But, that’s an issue for another day.

Shoes. I suspect most women have a weakness in one of the clothing categories, and it’s generally handbags or shoes. I like to think my handbag collection is small since I’ll use my daily handbag sometimes for years before replacing it (although I do have a number of clutches) whereas shoes are worn every day. So, for me, my weakness is shoes. On occasion, I’ve topped the 250 mark but I’d already downsized to about 88 when I began this cleaning.

I tend to clean  through my shoes regularly, so it surprised me when I found 20 pair to part with. When you have everything in a big pile, certain patterns emerge and those 20 belonged to a part of my past that no longer applied.. I hadn’t worn any of them in quite a long time, so it was easy to let them go. There were a couple pair that were brand new in the box, so those I sold on eBay. Looking through them all at once also made it clear what I was missing. I’ve since added a few new items to the stash, and there are one or two more I could use.

Well, that covers each of the clothing categories in detail. Up next, I’ll do a final analysis on this entire category, then another post on what I’ve learned through this process so far. There’s still a whole house to go! The next category to clean will be books, but I’ll get to that in a few posts. Thanks for joining me on this journey. There’s much more to come.

Enjoy!

Cindi

This post contains affiliate links. It is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. Thanks!

 

Tame Those Pesky Details – January – It’s Time for a Corporate Image Makeover!

In my book, Tame Those Pesky Details (TTPD), where I focus on one specific item each month to keep your business in tip top shape, January is the month for Corporate Image. Your goals were set in December; part of achieving them will be to make sure you have the appropriate corporate image for your business.

This month, I’m going to use myself as a prime example. Toward the end of last year, I felt I finally had the vision I had been searching for regarding my online presence. And, I also knew that would require a lot of work!

I immediately looked at my website and all my social media accounts. It was time for a major makeover! My logos had been updated recently, so I was comfortable there, but my overall look didn’t scream ME!

The Internet has become more and more a place of images, so I concentrated on learning to take the right kind of photos. I spent hours scouring sites and bookmarking those whose photos really drew me in. I also took a wonderful online photography course through StrangeCharmed.com. It was extremely helpful to get my mind going in the right direction.

As for my website update, again I spent a ton of time looking at blogs I enjoyed. Usually at the bottom of the home page is a link to the company that designed the theme for the blog. There you can view the multitude of themes that company offers, generally for a reasonable price. I’d already decided I didn’t want to use a free WordPress theme for my update as they wouldn’t have the design elements I knew I needed. There are a surprising number of options available for paid themes.

I still wasn’t totally sure what I wanted my site to look like until one of my favorite blogs updated their site. Wow! I loved it!, It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but I at least had an idea. I continued to view company theme offerings until I found a similar one that was a perfect fit.

Once my website is updated, my social media accounts will follow. Will I finish all of this in January? Probably not. I’m currently in the process of getting all my ebooks ready for print and releasing a new novel. I want to have the print books for photos so I’m expecting to wait until I have copies in hand, sometime in February. However, I will purchase the theme and get done whatever I can, including setting up the store which is a whole new element for my site. Some other tweaks will have to wait a few months but those should be secondary.

I’ll do a new blog post once I’ve launched everything. In the meantime, I do hope you’ll enjoy my blog posts, Instagram photos and tweets on Twitter!

If you’d like to follow along through the year, purchase your copy of Tame Those Pesky Details. (link below) Print books will be available soon!

What corporate image challenges do you face online and what are your plans to fix them? I’d love to hear. Leave a comment below.

Enjoy!

Cindi

Planning – Your 2017 Motto

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Planning – Your 2017 Motto

January is nearly half over. Do you have your motto selected for the year?

A few years ago, much by accident, I decided I would have a motto for the year, a theme, a focus. I was chatting with a client about a project and he mentioned a discussion he had had with one of his employees. He made a particular comment that immediately struck me as what I wanted to focus on for the following year. I quickly adopted it as my motto.

I tried different ways to remind myself on a daily basis when I decided to list it as a recurring appointment in my Outlook calendar. From then on, every day when I turned on my laptop, a window would pop open and gently urge me to work towards that goal.

A couple years later, somehow I found two mottos to use for the year, one for business and one personal. I liked that combination and I’ve been doing so ever since.

I’m usually not one to share what my annual motto is, but a few months ago while browsing through Etsy, I came across this dashboard from TheFabulousPlanner. I loved it and decided it would be my business motto for 2017.

So, for this entire year, not only will Outlook pop up in the morning with my motto, every time I open my planner I get to enjoy this beautiful reminder of my yearly focus.

I’ve enjoyed having an annual motto more than I ever thought I would. It’s the perfect place to start when you’re planning your goals. If you know at a very high level what you want to achieve 12 months from now, all the goals you set should support that. It streamlines the thought process immensely.

How can you set your motto for the year? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Decide where you’d like to be at the end of the year, and describe it in a few descriptive words.
  2. Select one or two of those words that really resonate with you.
  3. Create your own motto, or find a section of a song lyric or quote from someone you admire that reflects that motto to you in a positive manner. Begin with, “Year of…” as in, “Year of Making it Happen.”
  4. Determine how you want to remind yourself of your motto. You can do as I do, or choose to write it down daily, meditate on it, post it on your wall, make it your screensaver – find what works for you.
  5. Double check your goals to make sure they support your motto.

Some people choose a theme song that reflects their motto. Others phrase it as an affirmation. The whole idea is to create a positive mindset to help you grow, improve and achieve your goals. Remember, each person determines what success mean to them so never compare yourself to others. As long as you continue to move forward, you are learning, growing and achieving.

There you have it! Super simple but so helpful.

Do you have a motto or theme for the year? I’d love to hear!

Enjoy!

Cindi

 

Chic from Home: My 2017 Planner Setup Part 5

My 2017 Planner Setup Part 5

In my last three posts, I discussed my main 2017 planner setup in detail. This final post of the group will look at the supporting players. It’s so funny how quickly you can expand your planner system. Just two years ago, I was strictly digital, craving something more visual. Last year I was in one Erin Condren Life Planner (ECLP). This year I have six binders. Yikes! Amazingly, I know of people who are using even more than that, for everything from meal planning to devotionals. Just join a Facebook planning group or two and your eyes will be opened onto a whole beautiful universe!

So, let’s look at the last three binders I’ll be using for the year.

    1. The Punctuate Planner from Barnes and Noble. I originally purchased this because I was certain I wanted to use something smaller than my ECLP and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money to try out my ideas. This little planner is only about $10, less if you can get it during a sale. If you’ve never used a planner or you want to try something new, it is quite a sweet little planner for the price. It has five dividers, WO2P horizontal format for 18 months, a page of stickers, a back pocket, pen loop plus a clear zippered pocket. Even if you only use it as a template for size and style, it’s well worth the investment. The other thing I like about the planner is that it has the year on the spine so if you’re using a personal Filofax or Louis Vuitton MM, you can store the contents of your planners by the year in about the space of a paperback. As I said, all in all, a pretty useful planner for the price.
          However, once I actually had the planner in hand and started working with it, I realized it was just too small for me to use on a daily basis. If I were to have to take my planner with me and I wanted to have something less cumbersome than an A5, it would be fine. It fits comfortably in my hand but I really needed something bigger. So, it’s now my fitness journal and leftover task list.What do I mean by leftover task list? It’s all those items at the end of the month from my main planner that I didn’t accomplish but still need to be done. If they were a priority, they would have been completed. So, they obviously aren’t super important but I don’t want to have to search through the weeks to find items I missed. When I’ve completed all my tasks for the day, I check them off and I put a star by the date. The items remaining will go into this little planner and I’ll get to them as time allows. Eventually, I may move the list to my main planner but I’m still toying with what else to do with this baby. So, it has its assignment for 2017.  We’ll see how it works.
    1. Personal Filofax original purple patent. I bought this preloved on eBay for a very nice price and it’s in great condition. I found it right about the time I bought the Punctuate and thought I had a one-two punch. I’d do my planning in the Filofax then store the year in the Punctuate. We now know that won’t happen. I have my LV MM monogram for notes and ideas, so I decided to use this planner to expand on one or two specific projects at a time. There are projects that require a lot of notes and activities, so this will work fine for the year. However, I think that as time goes on, aside from my notes agenda, I’ll be using an A5 for everything.
  1. Sticker binder. I can’t believe I’m talking about a sticker binder at my age, but I admit it. I have stickers! Now, I certainly don’t have as many as others I’ve seen. I realize how addictive it can become. I can always think of one I need or one I can’t find on Etsy and need to create. My biggest problem was I had no idea what I already had so I could actually use them. And, when I first began ordering, I was looking at what others were doing until I could find my own style (still searching…).I had the ones I used most in the back pockets of my ECLP, but I had to pull them all out to find the one I wanted to use. Inevitably, I’d realize that there were many that would get hidden. It just didn’t work for me. I decided to order a mini binder, dividers and clear sheet protectors/pockets and finally get everything organized. I love it! I separated it into five sections: home and entertainment; functional; business; health and beauty; and fun and fashion. I also added business card pages so I could keep the cards of my favorite sellers handy. Behind that, I had two 10-page bound sheet protectors that I received from a fellow planner in one of my Facebook groups. In those pages, I keep discount codes from the sellers, as well as all those little freebie stickers that come with your order.Now I can see exactly what I have and I know exactly where to find what I need. I definitely found some level of sticker peace; I’m not sure if I’ve discovered planner peace yet!I’ll leave links to everything I purchased for my sticker binder below. My only complaint is that although the dividers and sheet protectors are both made by Avery, the dividers do not extend out past the sheets. I plan to add a Martha Stewart tab to each so I can more easily find each section.

So, there you have it – my complete 2017 planner setup. I’m sure my system will evolve as time goes on, but for now I think this will work for the year.

What does your planner system look like for 2017?

Enjoy!

Cindi

Filofax 2017 Personal Organizer, Leather, Patent Purple, Paper Size 6.75 x 3.75 inches (C022433-17)

Avery Mini Heavyweight Sheet Protectors, 5.5 x 8.5 Inches, Pack of 25 (77004)

Avery Mini Business Card Pages, Clear, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, Pack of 5 (76025)

Avery Mini Plastic Durable Write-On Dividers, 5.5 x 8.5 Inches, 5 Tabs, 1 Set (16180)

Wilson Jones Round Ring View Mini Binder, 1 Inch, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 Inch Sheets, Basic, 362 Series, Customizable, White (W362-10W)

Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery® Tabs, 2-Inch Solid, Assorted Pastel Colors, 10-Tabs/Color, 3 Colors, 30-Tabs/Pack

Please be advised that some links in this post are affiliate links.

Chic from Home: My 2017 Planner Setup Part 4

This is the last of my three main planners I’ll be using for 2017, but I’ll still do one or two more posts on other items that will be part of my system for the year. I’ll touch base mid-year or so to see how all this is going as this is the first year I’m going the binder route. You can read my previous posts to see the setup of my other 2017 planners.

My third planner is my notes binder where I organize all thoughts Cindi. As a writer and entrepreneur, these notes are crucial! I recognized at an early age that when you have an idea, you need to write it down, lest it disappear into the cosmos never to be heard from again. I remember finding thoughts written in orange crayon on blue cardstock as a child, and I’ve kept it up ever since. The writing down part, not the orange crayon.  🙂

Over the years, I’ve used sections of my old Daytimer, legal pads, composition notebooks, notepads and virtually anything I can get my hands on in a hurry, from the back of envelopes to ticket stubs and show programs, to jot things down as they come up. Oftentimes, my brain will just dump idea after idea for several different projects, and they get written down one after the other with no coordinated effort to separate by project. Eventually, I transfer the info to notes files on my computer, but I have to jump from file to file as the notes are all over the place.

Well, hopefully, that has now changed. I decided I wanted to use my LV MM monogram agenda in the special way that it deserves. It will now house my forthcoming ideas, but in a more organized fashion.

I ordered some custom dividers from The Fabulous Planner using images owned by my company. Some are logos, others are designs from that part of my life when I had a bridal gown design business. The designs are mine but I paid someone who is far more skilled than I to make them beautiful. The images were just sitting around and I decided I wanted to be inspired by and enjoy them. So, I incorporated them into the dividers.

Each divider has a specific category of projects, identified both on the divider image and on the tab. I just used a Brother label maker to label the tabs. (Brother P-Touch PT-D210 Label Maker)

I tend to use two and three-letter acronyms a lot when I’m working on projects, so that’s exactly what you see here. Except for Blog. That’s pretty obvious. 🙂

Since I set this up, I’ve been using it daily. I automatically reach for it because I know it’s making my life easier by keeping all my notes organized. I don’t understand why I didn’t think of this before! I’ll still transfer the notes to my computer, but it will take less time because they are already separated by project. This little agenda makes me happy!

I don’t plan to keep anything else in here – no calendars, no clips or dashboards or anything. It will just be for ideas and that’s more than enough.

Enjoy!

Cindi

Please note that some links are affiliate links.

Chic from Home: My 2017 Planner Setup Part 3

Chic from Home: My 2017 Planner Setup Part 3

Once I saw the nude A5 Filofax original patent, I had to have it. I just didn’t know what to do with it. Then I watched an Alexis Giostra (aka Miss Trenchcoat) video on the 43 folder system.

I had no idea what the 43 folder system was until then, but it greatly intrigued me. For many years, I tried different ways of organizing my bills to pay, birthday cards to send, RSVP’s, registrations and so on, yet nothing seemed to work perfectly. Then, once I wrote my book Tame Those Pesky Details: 12 months of business tips and tasks (Aunti Cindi Presents), I added new folders to the system, to address the tasks needed to be done annually, month by month. I was searching for a way to make this all work together. Enter: Alexis.

Now, Alexis didn’t invent the 43 folder system. It’s referenced in a book by David Allen called Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. However, I liked her approach and the size of the A5 planner seemed to be just as much as I needed.

I found this lovely preloved planner on eBay as the foundation for my system. However, as much as I love the 43 folder system concept, I’m not totally convinced it will work for me, so I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on the setup. It consists of 12 folders (one for each month) and 31 dividers or tabs (one for each day of the month). Many people are crafty and create their own using card stock or file folders. I am not crafty. Crafty and Cindi are never used in the same sentence except to describe me as not being crafty.

So, I made my way to Target Dollar Spot (TSD, Bullseye Playground) and found packs of their mini planner pages. One pack included six dividers while the other had four folder/pockets. Of course I needed multiple packs, but at three dollars, each, it was very reasonable. I had a couple of five dollar gift cards I’d earned from previous purchases, so with my five percent off, the investment was pretty minor.

I did have to repunch the holes as you can see in the photo. Most people use washi to make it look pretty. I have only a few roles of washi (I know!) and I love them so much I didn’t want to use them on this. So, I had some old correction tape in my office goodies box and used that. It’s white and not so attractive, but it did the job perfectly and I’ll live with it for now. If I decide I want to upgrade, I can always do the washi thing.

On Instagram, I’ve posted a photo with the back of the dashboard, which is simply the 2017 year at a glance, and the first file folder/pocket. Alexis adds In and Out file pockets, but I don’t feel I need those now. What I did add was a clear envelope for each month to correlate to the tasks in my book, thus creating a 55 folder system. (Tame Those Pesky Details is currently only offered as an ebook but will soon be available in paperback.) I rarely need more than a place to put a business card, a note or a brochure for those tasks, so this works perfectly.

I turned to Jane’s Agenda on Etsy for the monthly tabs. They are awesome! She coats them so they are sturdier than normal, and so easy to use! I asked for a custom color combination and I think the black on ombre gold is just gorgeous! I had no idea this planner would turn out looking so pretty!

The other item I added in the pocket is the Celebrate Everyday calendar from my old Erin Condren Life Planner (ECLP). That way, I can check it out on a regular basis, buy birthday and anniversary cards as needed, and stay on track.

I plan to put each item in one week before its due date, so with mailing time (or shopping time), things should arrive as scheduled.

In more detail, here is how this planner is setup:

  1. Dashboard 2017 calendar
  2. January folder (because this is January)
  3. January clear pocket
  4. 31 dividers
  5. February – December folders, each followed by a clear pocket relating to the Tame Those Pesky Details task for that month

In a nutshell, the way this works is to rotate the current month to the front, keeping the daily dividers behind it. This system provides a perpetual way to keep on top of all your important dates!

Alexis does an awesome job of explaining the whole system, so I would refer you to her YouTube videos on the subject. In the meantime, I’m putting mine to work and excited to use it this year.

Have you tried a 43 folder system? What other ways do you handle this sort of deadline paperwork? Let me know!

Enjoy!

Cindi

Additional Links:

Filofax The Original Leather Organizer Agenda Calendar with DiLoro Jot Pad Refills (A5, Patent Nude 2017, 022387)

Avery Mini Heavyweight Sheet Protectors, 5.5 x 8.5 Inches, Pack of 25 (77004)

Please be advised that some of the links in this post are affiliate links.

Chic from Home: My 2017 Planner Setup Part 2

In my last post, I gave an overview of my planning strategy for 2017. Now, in these next few posts, I’ll break it down into the individual planners and explain why I’m choosing to go this route for the new year. I’ll also do a quick overview of some inserts I created myself in a separate post.

I’m always working on multiple projects, whether I’m writing books, working on websites, developing products, plus taking care of my Mom, so I really need to have everything well controlled. I went the digital route for a long time, but as I discovered the planner community, I went back to my roots and opted to include paper in the plan. It seems to have taken on a life of its own!

My main workhorse planner is this lovely Filofax Original A5 in deep teal. I hesitated to purchase it – even second hand! – because in many photos on different websites, it looked really green and that’s just not my color. However, I must tell you, this deep teal is GORGEOUS!!! And it complements crystal and gold beautifully.

This particular Filofax will include both business and personal calendars. It’s just too hard to maintain separate calendars, as I’m sure most of you are aware. I maintain the same calendar on my smartphone as well.

Here’s the breakdown of this planner:

  1. “Make it Happen” dashboard. Sounded like a great motto for the year! Looks very pretty when you first open the planner. (See photo on Instagram) Good visual reminder.
  2. A Cindi ownership dashboard.
  3. 2017 year at a glance calendar dashboard.
  4. 2017 goals. When I wrote these I had such a clear vision of where I want my business to grow in 2017 that I began accomplishing items on the list immediately! Some items may seem like to-do’s and others I’ve since determined I’m not so excited about, but the list is handy to reach and review on a daily basis.
  5. A lined sheet of note paper to identify 2018 goals. It will be here before we know it!
  6. A Filofax top load envelope/sheet protector. I put this behind my goals because if I find an article, get a business card or have other items that relate to my 2017 goals, I’ll just slip it in where it’s safe and I can find it when I need it. I had items to place as soon as I put it in my planner.
  7. A size cheat sheet. I can never remember what size things need to be, like Facebook covers or Twitter profile photos. So, I jotted down all the ones I use and printed it for my planner.
  8. My two months on a page yearly blog planner. This will be to identify recurring types of blog posts that I’d like to have every year.
  9. Month on two pages calendar. I’ve purchased mini stickers to help me use this as mostly a visual. One thing I dislike about most planners is the calendar overview is right before the month. Then, if I’m trying to find when was the last time something happened, I have to look through half the planner. Here, the whole year is back-to-back. If it’s July and something happened in May, I only have to flip two pages. I’ll identify things like meetings, doctor appointments,  mani-pedi-hair appointments and so on; not all the details or even the time and location, just that it happened. I’ll put the details on the weekly planner pages. I’m going to try this. We’ll see how it works.
  10. Week on two pages – entire year. These are set up to accommodate the Erin Condren vertical format stickers, so if I choose to use them, I can. I’m not much of a sticker gal, but at least the squares are standard size. I use the top square of the day for my to-do list, usually 3-5 items; the middle square for appointments and the bottom square for holidays, family, notes – that square is still flexible. The months are separated by card-stock calendar pages from Target Dollar Spot (Bullseye Playground) that I punched to fit the planner. I could also have used monthly tabs but this is what I’m doing for now. There is plenty of room. Regarding my task list, as I complete each task, I check it off. When I’ve completed the tasks for the day, I put a star above the date. Then, if I look back to find unfinished tasks, I can skip the days with stars.
  11. Financial section. The first part is a month on two pages, back-to-back, where I’ll simply note when I receive a payment and from what source. I want to track to see if there’s a pattern. As my business grows, this may be eliminated. I considered doing it on a month on one page vertical format, but this will bring me more of a visual.
  12. Income goals. I broke down my annual revenue goal by income category so I can track how well I’m doing compared to plan.
  13. Annual Bill Summary. This is an insert I created to track all those unexpected charges throughout the year, plus regular monthly bills. I plan to do a separate post just on this.
  14. Shopping log. This is an easy place to keep track of online orders. I normally just jot them down on paper, but now it will all be logged in one safe place.
  15. Business Expenses. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to include this or not, but I’ll try it for a year. I created my own rather than purchase because for me they were easy to do and I can print additional ones as required. My business is still small enough that logging these expenses rather than just using an app is easy enough.
  16. Wishlist. Some items may be more necessities, but a girl can wish, can’t she?
  17. A few sheets of blank note paper.

Month on two pages and the week on two pages inserts are from Etsy shop owner SewMuchCrafting. Dashboards and bookmarks are from Etsy shop owner TheFabulousPlanner. Stickers come from several Etsy shops but I have to give a shoutout to PaperLovingMommy. I use a variety of stickers from her but my absolute favorite are her annual holiday stickers. She has the most complete set on Etsy. They really make the holidays stand out on the calendar pages, and she includes things like daylight savings time. Sometimes she sells out so they won’t show up in a search. Just check back periodically and you’ll find them!

I do maintain electronic copies on some of these items, like the annual bill summary and, of course, revenues and expenses. I also track website traffic and social media likes/follows in a spreadsheet that is separate from my planner.

That’s it! As I said, I’ll be describing some of these in more detail in a future post. If there’s something you’d like me to describe in more detail, just let me know!

Enjoy!

Cindi

Chic from Home: My 2017 Planner Setup Part 1

 

My 2017 Planner Overview Part 1

My journey to finding planner peace has been a long and circuitous one. Have I reached planner nirvana? I’m not sure, but I think 2017 should be close. Check back in a few months to see how it’s going.

But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, let me give you a brief overview of my 2017 planner setup. I’ll post more detailed blogs on the three (yes, three!) main planners in the next few days. If we’re lucky, at some point soon I may even do a setup video. 🙂

This past year, I’d been using the Erin Condren Life Planner (ECLP) and quite enjoyed it for the most part. However, I really wanted to try a binder system as there were many custom inserts I saw on Etsy, in a planner group or wanted to create myself that would not work in that format. I spent hours outlining what I needed in order to achieve maximum productivity. So, 2017 will be the year of the binder!

I’ll be using three main planners with three (or more) minor ones for now. Each has a distinct purpose and if I utilize them correctly, this setup should keep me happy. I may add, adjust or subtract items as time goes on, but that’s the joy of a binder or disc planner. You can make changes whenever you like.

Here’s a quick overview of my planner setup for 2017:

  1. A5 Original Filofax Deep Teal – This will be the main workhorse for the year, housing calendars by week and by month.
  2. Louis Vuitton Monogram MM Agenda – This sweet baby will keep notes and ideas well organized until I want to use them.
  3. A5 Original Filofax Nude Patent – I’ll be trying my version of the 43 folder GTD system this year. Mine is actually 55, but who’s counting?
  4. Personal Filofax Purple Patent – I’m keeping this handy to use for specific project plans.
  5. Personal Punctuate Planner from Barnes & Noble – This will be a list holder.
  6. Mini Binder – I think I’ve finally found a way to organize my stickers!

As I’d never used a binder system before, the Filofaxes and LV were purchased preloved. They’re all in fantastic condition and I was very grateful to save some money!

I’ll do individual blog posts on the first three, and a combined post for the last three. If I add any more, I’ll let you know!

Thanks for reading and I hope that something I’ve utilized in my planner setup will help you to find planner peace.

Enjoy!

Cindi

Cindi’s Thoughts – How do you handle confidential information?

Confidential Information

How do you handle confidential information?

There’s been a lot of talk in the press lately about how confidential matters have been handled, and I was just curious where people stood on this subject. Let’s view it from a business perspective.

I worked in Silicon Valley for many years where I was given a lot of confidential information regarding product development, product launches and any number of other projects in order to properly do my job. I also observed early on in my career that even at the same company, not everyone was read into a project. So, if employees within a company aren’t allowed to know about the subject, why would someone think they can share that material with anyone outside?

To me, confidential is confidential. Whether obligated by a formal written agreement or a verbal acknowledgement, confidential data should not be shared with anyone who is not directly involved in the matter at hand.

Some confidentiality agreements (also known as non-disclosure agreements or NDAs) allow you to share the data with those you contract with to help execute the project. However, the agreements typically state that you are responsible for all those you share that knowledge with to keep the information confidential until such time as it’s made public by the company. So, don’t share unless you must.

When you share confidential information, you do a number of things. First, you potentially undermine the success of the project. If information is released too soon from a source other than a corporate announcement, a lot of bad things can happen including the complete failure of the project or business. In some cases, the information is never to be made public and is strictly for use within the company.

Second, you put the person you told at risk of releasing the information accidentally. It’s a small world and you never know who knows whom or what data might be valuable to them. Making an off-the-cuff remark while waiting for your Pumpkin Spice Latte at the Starbucks counter at Target could be overheard by a potential competitor even though it was a seemingly innocent location.

Third, you risk your own reputation. If people can’t count on you to keep your mouth shut, they won’t tell you anything. You’ll be deemed untrustworthy and may lose your job, your clients or even relationships with friends or family, depending on the circumstances. Why risk it?

Confidential means everyone is not privy to the information. In this age of social media, some people feel they need to share everything. Sharing confidential information on social media can get you fired before your next paycheck. Don’t do it!

I’ve had people hit me with the spouse or significant other excuse, that spouses tell each other everything. Really? EVERYTHING? And, when I do raise that argument with others, I’m often told of stories of couples who were married for decades and never quite knew what their spouses did for a living because they were required to keep their work life confidential.

If I look back to my Silicon Valley days, it wasn’t unusual for people who worked for different companies to wed. With all the secretive product development going on, I’m sure they didn’t sit around the dinner table sharing design specs.

Keeping your mouth shut and doing the right thing can have a negative effect as well. At one point, I had been working with a client for about a year when another company contacted me to consult with them. I was really excited until I discovered that their products would compete with those that my current client had in their long range plan. I had to turn down the new client inquiry. Unfortunately, my existing client eventually chose not to pursue that market so I lost the opportunity to work with a great company on a long term contract, impacting my bottom line. Still, it was the right thing to do.

So, now that I’ve rambled a bit about my observations regarding the sharing of confidential material, where do you stand?

CIndi