Old School Planning

In our digital age, it seems weird to have a physical, paper planner. However, when I’m managing my own business full-time, selling Thirty-One on the side, and trying to manage a social life, a paper planner just becomes easier.

Originally I had purchased the Passion Planner. When I ordered in the beginning of December I was told that I would have it by the end of January. However, February 9th rolled around and I STILL had not received my planner, nor was I getting any response from the company, so I requested that my order be cancelled. The following week my planner showed up in the mail, followed by an email from the company that it had shipped before they could process my refund. According the to the tracking label, it didn’t ship until the 14th, several days after I had requested the refund. Reading through the comments on their Facebook and Instagram page reveals hundreds (thousands?) of other unsatisfied customers who’s emails went unreplied to, planners arrived damaged or missing parts, planners arrived after orders were cancelled, etc. And despite frequently promising “daily updates”, Angelia Trinidad and the Passion Planner team only released vague, somewhat contradictory updates once ever 10-14 days. I like the concept of the planner, but the abysmal customer service left a very sour taste in my mouth, so I won’t likely be purchasing from this company in the future. I’m still waiting back on how they would like me to return the planner so I can get my refund, as the planner isn’t useful to me at the point.

Anyway, at the suggested of others in the PP page, I wend and ordered the Tools4Wisdom planner from Amazon, which is actually quite similar. It’s currently on sale for only $14.97 and Prime eligible! It’s actually quite similar to the Passion Planner, and came out before the PP did. I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and it’s definitely been helping my keep my schedule together quite a bit!  Here is the review that I can give so far after a few weeks of use:

PROS:

  • Spiral bound, so I can fold it over or spread it completely open.
  • Starts on Monday instead of Sunday (this may be a con for some?)
  • Plenty of space for to-do lists (personal and other) and goals for each week to be written down.
  • Starts at 5am and goes until 11pm
  • Goals and priorities list at the beginning of each month to get your thoughts organized.
  • Great customer service — followed up with me after my Amazon order and provided me with contact information

CONS:

  • Time slots are only labeled once per page (Monday and Thursday), so for the other days of the week you have to follow the boxes over if you want to write something in a specific time.
  • Space for writing is a little small in the weekly time slots.
  • Paper is a little thing to use with my Bic markers — colored pens work fine though.
  • Washi tape sticks to the paper and can’t be re positioned.

I am already thinking ahead to next year and am considering joining on the Erin Condren bandwagon if I don’t purchase Tools4Wisdom again. I have heard great things, although I struggle with paying $50 for a planner. (Pssst, if you use my link, you can save $10!).

Are you a paper planner user or do you prefer digital? Paper planner users — what’s your favorite planner and why?

Navigating Inadequacy

I’ve been unemployed for two months now.

I am happier now, overall. The daily stress of my job is gone, and the cloud that would hang over me even at home has been blown away. I have been sick less, and have been able to return to my old hobbies. I don’t wake up with dread in my stomach, and my panic attacks have become infrequent.

It is not without it’s struggles though. Financially we are doing ok right now but I know a single income isn’t a sustainable option for us. When something comes up that we want to purchase/do/etc and we ultimately decide that we shouldn’t, I find myself feeling inadequate. I’m not contributing to the home right now. It’s my fault we can’t do these things — fancy dinners, going out with friends, buying new video games without thinking about it… the things that we did only a few months ago.

I try to convince myself that it’s all for the best. This was something that I needed to do for both my physical and mental health. I was headed down an unhealthy road and I’m glad I got off when I did. But that doesn’t stop the feelings of guilt. I keep myself busy during the day with hobbies and housework, selling some of my creations to bring in some money. It feels like it’s never enough though. I feel insecure when family or friends bring up money. I feel “less” than others because I don’t go to work each day. The emotional toll is only a fraction of what I experienced from the job, but it’s still there.

Would you sacrifice your health for financial security? Did I do the right thing?

80 and counting!

Josh and I have officially completed 8 days of our 5-A-Day February challenge (we’ll complete day 9 tonight). We’ve gotten rid of EIGHTY things from our house! Most of them have been put in boxes or bags that need to be taken to the thrift store, a few have just been tossed away.

Here are a few pictures of the stuff we have ready to donate. I would say this accounts for about 65 of the 80 things – when it is set out like this it doesn’t look like that much!

5adaypic1 5adaypic2

We found a lot of puzzles and games that we don’t play anymore, and we are starting to put a dent in our clothing collections as well. There’s also been a lot of odds and ends and little trinkets, stuff that’s just been gathering dust. I’ve been limiting myself to just 5 each day, but I have a feeling that on the 28th I’m going to find a few extra things.

Some of the stuff that has gotten tossed or recycled… all of my planning pages and miscellaneous stuff from our wedding planning, paperwork from organizations that I am no longer a part of, a broken mirror, and an old bag of pipe tobacco.

Have you been trying 5-A-Day? If the concept of doing it every day seems overwhelming, make it work for you — take Sundays off, just do it on week days, only do it on even/odd days… There’s really no way to do it wrong, and I guarantee you’ll feel better at the end of the month!

5-A-Day February

I absolutely love spring cleaning. I hate clutter and messes – they fill me with an overwhelming sense of anxiety and drain my motivation. But no matter how hard I try to keep up with things, clutter seems to happen. Junk mail, pet toys, thrift store visits, subscription boxes, holidays… it seems like the items in my house multiply each week.

For the month of February, I decided to declutter by getting rid of 5 items each day. I didn’t want to set specific rules for myself, so I decided the 5 things could be anything, as long as it wasn’t just garbage from that day that should have been picked up anyway. Those 5 things then need to be sold, donated, or recycled. If I was going to try to sell it on one of the local buy/sell/trade facebook sites I needed to post it that day, and if it hadn’t sold within a week it went into the donation box. Once a week the donation box is taken to a local thrift shop.

I mentioned the idea to my husband, mostly so he would know why I was suddenly getting rid of things randomly. To my surprise, he said that he wanted to join in! So now we will be getting rid of a total of 10 things each day in February — that’s 280 less unwanted clutter that we will have!

Here is the chart that I created – we have this posted on our fridge so we can check it off each day as a reminder of what we’ve done so far. I also organized the days by different rooms in our house, so I wouldn’t feel like I was just randomly pulling things from different rooms. The last two days of the month are blank and I plan on using them to catch up in whatever room(s) still feel cluttered.

Filled in for my family

Do you want to do 5-A-Day February too? I posted a blank copy of the document below (in PDF format). Print it out and fill it in however works for you/your family.  If you’re struggling with ideas, here are a few to get you started. Once you start going around your house it will be easy, I promise!

  • Office – old bills and paperwork, calendars from previous years, pens/highlighters that are out of ink, old magazines and catalogs, ink cartridges from a printer you don’t have anymore
  • Bathroom – expired medicines and beauty products, hotel size shampoos/conditioners, towels and washcloths with rips or frayed edges, the rusty shower caddy you never use
  • Living Room/Family Room – controllers or remotes for electronics you no longer own, DVDs that you haven’t watched in the past year, candles with almost no wax left, the coasters that never actually get used, blankets and throw pillows that are worn out
  • Bedroom – mismatched sheet sets, trinkets that clutter the top of the dresser but otherwise just sit there
  • Kids’ Rooms – toys that they no longer play with, puzzles and games that are missing pieces, clothing with stains or holes
  • Closet – clothes, shoes and accessories that don’t fit or that haven’t been worn in ages, extra winter gear, baseball caps that aren’t comfortable or advertise a former job
  • Kitchen – small appliances that are missing parts, the beaters for the mixer that you don’t have anymore, the wok you got for your wedding and still haven’t used, cooking utensils that you have several of, coffee cups that are chipped or stained
  • Attic/Basement – old picture frames and artwork that you will never hang up again, holiday decorations that haven’t made the cut in the past two years, extra vases, old college textbooks
  • Garage – sports equipment that doesn’t fit anyone, balls that won’t stay inflated, old oil or fluids, tire chains for a vehicle that you don’t own anymore, lawn tools that are broken or rusty, cracked lawn furniture, old paint cans
  • Laundry Room/Other – collars and harnesses that no longer fit your pets, cleaning brushes with worn down bristles, empty containers that you’ve been ‘saving’

So, who’s with me? What are some of the rooms or items you can already think of declutter? Leave me a comment!

Download the blank 5-A-Day February document below and get started in your house!

5-A-Day Blank