Let’s make a plan.

School is starting this week! Egads! Time to get organized, or think about it so I thought today I’d share how things are set up here. Organization is a tricky thing, but what I’ve found is having  separate focused places for things as well as a bit of pretty is the ticket to keeping me on top of (or trying to be on top of) things.

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If you’re a regular here then you know all spring and summer I’ve been severely limited making my planning and organization absolutely vital to get key things done! I’ve also found joy in adding stickers to my planner on weeks/months I was just one-handed! I’ll take craftiness wherever I can get it. I’ve come up with a system, and during my forced down time I’ve also discovered some ladies making awesome products – for sprucing up your plans or just general craftiness that I’ll share as well.

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First up, let me tell you that Todd has been retired as “the planner”. I discovered that having everything inside one A5 sized planner made me feel flustered and frazzled and it didn’t work as well as I wanted. MUCH better for me, is the system I have going now which is:

  • A spiral bound 18month planner  that has all the family/dog/personal/kid/girl scout stuff from vacation dates to school functions to lessons etc.
  • A spiral bound much larger (pictured above) planner that has a very different page set up, and is exclusively for my myriad of work things from email reminders to tracking what I did to blog scheduling.
  • A ring-bound personal sized planner (pictured above) that I keep bits and pieces, to-do lists, grocery lists, etc.
  • Specific notebook/binder/other containers for specific projects (28 Lilac Lane has one, Vacation planning has one, my next online class has one…) that holds all specific plans, details, numbers, and brainstorming for those specific projects only.

This breakdown has really helped because what I was running into was I would open up Todd (Filofax) and be fully overwhelmed. Having things separated and set up more specifically has been WAY better already!!


Above you see the current three “always on my desk” – the work, personal, and list planners. Note that yes, the zippered one is Kate Spade which is pricey! I got it at an outlet for something insane like 90% off meant to be mine sale. Had I not, I would have gotten a Webster’s Pages one as I think those are great as well.

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Both girls have a personal sized Webster’s Pages planner in which they keep track of Girl Scout happenings, school stuff, chores, “points” (our version of allowance), and more. They will also make notes and lists when packing for camping and such – it’s been really good for us all to have them learning organization.

Three things I’ve found this year as I attempted to get away from a simple notepad and into more concrete organization of my life has been:

  • Sticky notes RULE! I will slap a sticky note on a day with anything from “call and schedule dentist this day” to “if you haven’t already, book dog sitter” type stuff. If for some reason I need to, I can just bump the sticky to a future date no scratching out no left behind and forgotten.
  • I won’t ever be a super embellished to the max kind of girl with this stuff. I am finding some joy in light decoration, but I don’t want it to take much time.
  • The to-do lists (I use, love, and recommend the pages from Cocoa Daisy!) are vital to my sanity and to this place not falling apart. Having it in the little personal sized planner means that it travels well and is in a zip-up place that I can’t have papers go flying/lost/whoopsie.

We did find some super cute things – so now I’ll share some favorites! Note – none of these sellers knows of this article nor did they ask me to post. All items purchased/just things we truly love! Note I didn’t go on a crazy shopping spree – these are things we’ve purchased over the last four months. I’ve just been saving it all up for this post so here we go:

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Thanks to Instagram, we discovered the CUTEST paper clips ever. To be honest we don’t neeeeed them – but the girls and I swap and enjoy the ones we found (see above).  Little Miss Daisy Rose is our unofficial provider of cute clips – and her service is excellent. Here’s a link to her etsy shop (note she does close it/go on vacation at times so set an alert or follow her on Instagram)

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Next up, let me tell you about Rebecca Vick. She is a fantastic artist, but she also makes custom tassel clips with ribbons that I thought was a great idea, so we decided to test her out. She was super quick to reply and before I knew it each of us girls here had one fabulously customized ribbon clip to have and love. Here’s a link to her etsy shop.

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Once again, Instagram is the ultimate enabler! I saw The Reset Girl (link to her site/shop) post that she was releasing a “Crafty” kit. From scrapbooking a crop to my work planner I thought… oh YES! This! And grabbed it up. Guys I used it up so fast, that I had to go back and re-order just the stickers. She has her own line now with Simple Stories, but also does exclusives and sometimes releases kits like this. Below you can see Bandit pup helping me break in this kit and get organized!

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Next up, is something I actually subscribe to. Now this is rare guys – I’m a big fan of randomly buying kits and I don’t like the commitment to one club. But I couldn’t help it. You see every month I was wishing I had subscribed, and every month her kits just got better…

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I’m talking about Christy Tomlinson and The Planner Society! I don’t always need all the goodies she includes but guess what? I’ve got two VERY sticker heavy decorating each day of their planners girls so this kit allows me to have some fun, and I have plenty of leftovers they’re welcome to share with me. There are also things like pens and washi tape and papers that I use in my cards and scrapbooking so it’s been working out well. It is ALL exclusives – which I am a total sucker for. I love being sent a surprise package of things each month that I couldn’t have found in a store. Combine that with the custom matching bags for every little thing? Well I feel I’m getting my money’s worth and then some. So impressed by her and this venture!

So there you have it – my current way of keeping the life of the Flaum crew and my small business under contro with just a splash of cute. My next goal is to work on decorative brainstorming and journaling. I’ll be doing a full post on that next month.

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Here’s a sneaky peek (planner society and reset girl items used) of what I mean by decorative brainstorming. This is for the class that will be coming soon-  more info next week! If you have any questions, or if you have thoughts/ideas on how I can get even better at this stuff please do share! I feel like organization is a constantly evolving beast and I’m forever just balancing and learning.

5 thoughts on “Let’s make a plan.”

  1. May, I kind of envy you, getting to revel in all this crafty goodness! I’m just not a planner girl, beyond Google Calendar. Not much opportunity to embellish, but it works for me anyways. I used to think that the definition of success was needing a planner. So–you are very successful indeed! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your tips & goodies. ~ Andrea

  2. Wow, you guys start school so early!! I could never be ready. I’ve always wanted my kids home and revel in my summers. Now I have 2 high school seniors, and a 12 yr old 7th grader. Anyway, I’m not a planner person either, but those things are really, really cute. Glad that you’ve found a system that works for you. That’s awesome. And as always, looking forward to hearing about your new class. Michelle t

  3. Great ideas and products,May! What brands of spiral planners do you use–I think you said you had two sizes?

  4. Its funny you should mention planning. I have been seeing a bunch of doctors. at every visit they add and take away things they want me to do. (we are working on getting me more mobile so i can shop again (especially craft stores) I had notebooks and post it notes all over the place in piles and could not find anything and could not remember it all (not even close) I thought i was going to loose my every lovin’ mind. I could not even function. and, there are more new doctors coming up. It was really good to read about your new system and why its working for you. I’m in the middle of going to arc system notebooks so i can move things around and have a place to pin the post it notes. I got a happy planner and i have been watching about a million you tube videos to see how to customize and decorate them myself. staples and levinger also use arc discs so I am reading reviews and looking around at my options. I’m feeling so much better about things and my husband is pleased also. I am so glad you and your sweet daughters are making so much progress. thanks for sharing all you do, hugs, treen

  5. Great post May – I love that little peek into your organisation systems. And it ‘s so great that you are teaching your girls how to be organised too.

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