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Monday, February 9, 2015

Making Time to Plan!

Making Time To Plan!

How often to you forego your planning time? For us, it is a rarity!  When we decided to go back to paper planners, we went all in! We invested in the Erin Condren Life Planner because we found it the most functional for our needs. We decided, also, to use our planners as memory books / scrapbooks / journals, so decorating/  jazzing up our layouts is a dedicated effort to use our tools to accomplish our goals - however big, however small. We typically take time at least once a week to plan and decorate, (really more with adjustments and updates).

This is the first week we've had a really big blip in our scheduled planning time. We were out of town for several days co-hosting a party and celebrating a family landmark.  It was well worth the time away! There was a LOT of planning that went into the event (as with any project), and a beautiful family memory was made!

The Happy Couple celebrating 60 YEARS of marriage!!! Awesomesauce!  

Now it's time to get back to everyday life! So our week is already underway, and we feel like something is missing...oh, right... our planners...our plans for the week... Tuesday evening is solely dedicated to our layouts for the week - and just maybe the following week!!! It will feel so good to get back on track! We also have Happy Mail to get out (some of it is a little late, some will go out on time and some will be an unexpected surprise to some special people)...

Tuesday work days are always particularly busy (more so for me than Regina)! It will be something to look forward to after a long day at work - that creative outlet we seem to enjoy... And just getting down on paper all that we need to accomplish gives us that visual that works so well for us!

So who else is behind on updating their planners? Who hasn't even started?  Who has hit a creative road block or just can't move forward?  Talk to us, to each other! We can all be motivators, encourage one another to share ideas and help you get back on track with your planners or even to get started!!!

Look for pictures tomorrow night!! And thank you for following our blog and posting on our FB page!  We are growing so quickly, it's exciting!!

Happy Planning!
Amy & Regina

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Erin Condren Life Planners: Our First Spreads

Erin Condren Life Planners:  Our First Spreads

Planning your first spread in your Erin Condren Life Planner can be overwhelming! We wanted to share our first weeks with you since we're fairly new to this fabulously fanatical, fun & frilly, frenzied planner hobby!  

Regina and I have a lot of the same tastes, like a lot of the same things...AND we equally have as many different likes / tastes. Also, as with everyone, we have different approaches / methodologies to functional practices - work processes, creative activities, house cleaning and cooking. When it comes to creative outlets, Regina, generally speaking, gets an idea and runs with it while I have to have a whole big picture vision of the end result before I even put something down on paper. We can be equally as simple as we can be complex, so that's always a toss up. 

***For those of you who haven't signed up at the Erin Condren site yet, please see note at the end of this post!***

Always remember that your planner is YOUR planner. ITs sole function is to do whatever you need it to do:  help you keep track of activities, help keep you on budget, on schedule, on task, help you stay on your health routine, help you keep record of gratitude and memories, help keep your creativity flowing, help keep your mind active...and so on and so on and so on... (remember those commercials, lol?!)! YOUR planner can do one or ALL of those things. It's up to you! 

We definitely recommend planning time in your schedule to "plan"... Whether you take 10 minutes every day, 30 minutes twice a week, an hour once a week  - doesn't matter...make it work for you. But if you're going to invest in the product, if you're going to invest in the supplies to "dress it"...USE IT! It's really easy to make those purchases... It takes follow through to DO IT! 

So we here and now challenge each one of you... 


Now for the trip down memory lane...our first spreads! We were in the midst of final Christmas planning, so it was fast & furious for us. We opted against ordering the "remaining months of the current year" in our planners as we figured they wouldn't arrive in time for us to put them into use. Ahhhh, but they did! LOL! So we only had half of Christmas week in our ECLPs. 

Amy's first spread:  As mentioned, we were in the throes of Christmas activities, so Amy really tried to transition our functioning "to-do" list into her new planner. She used a sheet from our personalized note pad to function as the early part of Christmas week. It's got glitz and glam, to-do's, washi tape and stickers! 

Regina took a simpler approach and just decided to start her spread where the planner started, Christmas Day! She went with a little washi, a few stickers and a few notes (since Amy had most of our notes in her spread that week). 

As you can see...two totally different approaches, perfectly functional for each of us. These pics were taken when we finished decorating them. Since then, we checked off completed action items, updated activities (for example, we didn't go to the grocery store that weekend - too pooped out from the Christmas rush)!  But you get the idea... YOU decide how functional, how much, how detailed, how minimal ...rambling, yes... bottom line...

Make your ECLP fit into your life, don't fit your life around it. 

Have specific questions on how to get started with your ECLP? Message us, or post them here! This is such a fun fan community, that you are sure to get all the help & inspiration you need! 

***If you haven't signed up yet, copy and paste the link below into a new browser window, register with your email address and set a password. By following the link below, you'll get a $10 welcome coupon via email, and, in the spirit of full disclosure, we'll get a $10 referral credit when your first order ships (not until then). ***

Happy Planning!
Amy & Regina

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Wacky, Wonderful, Wholly Guacamole World of WASHI!

The Wacky, Wonderful, Wholly Guacamole World of WASHI! 

How many of you really KNOW what washi tape is...? Rather, how many of you HAD NO CLUE what the term meant, how to spell it, let alone what to do with it, before you became obsessed with everything Erin Condren / organizer / scrapbook supplies?!

To be honest, washi was a new term to us as we started delving into the world of the Erin Condren Life Planners (and we're scrapbookers, crafters and stampers from way back who had taken a hiatus for several years). Like many of you, we quickly became OBSESSED wild women wanting washi tape...seeking it out at every possible location...scouring etsy stores, amazon shops, all the group posts, the craft / hobby stores, dollar stores...looking exclusively for uniquely designed washi tape!

It is certainly a staple in our planning supply stash, an ever-growing stash, at that. Washi tape must have reproductive beams of some sort that send out signals which control our wallets and pull us in by some wild magnetic strength to stores and buy - buy - buy!!! LOL! Of course, no such myth exists, but it IS an easily addictive impulse purchase... SO BE PREPARED!

Our best lesson learned:  one role of Washi tape goes a LONG way! 

So some helpful advice...
*PLAN:  Go out on that shopping spree with a plan! Do your research online, browse the pics on the group pages and find things you like, styles / patterns / colors...
*THINK before you load up that cart...Try to get a vision of how the things you've added to your cart
will work together in your planner to make it as functional and fun as you need it to be!
*SET A BUDGET: Set a budget for yourself for that first time washi purchase... You may want to include room in the budget for stickers, pens, adhesive paper (i.e., Hobby Lobby has a fun new product), etc. ...
*DON'T SETTLE:. If you don't find what you're looking for, keep looking! You have to really envision that washi tape in your planner in some design - or you envision sharing it with a Planner Buddy or in a RAK... If it doesn't fit into those two categories (use yourself, share with friends), then put it down and step away. It's tempting to just buy it, but if you really don't have a clear plan for it, put it down and step away from the washi!

There are so many cute designs out there for washi tape! We WISH they were all in one place...but they're not. SO be open and really shop around for what you want. Etsy shops for planner supplies draw us when we're shopping for functional stickers that we use for everyday tasks/chores, etc. But  washi shopping on etsy isn't something we enjoy to be honest. It's being in that creative mode, maybe, instead of the utilitarian mode... The wacky, wonderful, wholly guacamole world of washi DOES exist! It can easily become a black hole. When you learn how far one roll truly goes, you'll quickly find that, eh, maybe buying the samples that Etsy vendors and user groups sell. Or exchanging with your Planner Buddies once you know each other's tastes can be a good resource to help you keep your actual ROLL collection count down. We currently have about 200 rolls of washi tape that we've collected since...December... Granted...MOST ALL of them were on MAJOR sale (see our previous post below to help you find those bargains!)

Bargain Shopping Tips & Pointers for Planner / Scrapbook Supplies!

To wrap up this rambling post, purchasing supplies before your planner arrives is a smart idea if you have a general sense of how you'd like to decorate your months / weeks.  Or if you KNOW you like a certain color scheme and want to stick with it, or if you have a seasonal theme planned, okay... Those are valid reasons to start purchasing supplies for your planner before it's even arrived.  We can't honestly tell you to  start small because we purchased all the items above before our planners even arrived...We'd love to hear and see pics from your first planner supply shopping spree!  Remember...

*Plan ahead, *think through the items in your cart, *stay within your budget & *don't settle!

Add us to your circles and let's stay in touch! After all, the biggest part of this Erin Condren Life Planner community is the UNITY!

Happy Planning,
Amy & Regina :)