As a bit of background for you, I had previously been using a smaller red leather Debden Diary, which I bought at OfficeWorks. Whilst it was adequate, I found it just wasn't quite doing the job for everything I wanted to put in it. Being an organiser and someone who likes to put pen to paper, this smaller diary whilst very portable, just wasn't meeting all my needs.
After doing some research I decided to give the Kikki K Leather personal planner a try and once I was in the shop I only had eyes for the mint green - it was love at first sight!!! The colour is divine and I especially liked the fact that it had more room and came with tabs to divide up my to do lists, work and projects I am involved in. So far I have been impressed with it's mix of practicality and prettiness! I like that I can customise each section, and yes, I did buy some cute stickers, so I can add my personality to it, which for me is a huge bonus.
So far I have customised it to reflect my personal & work life. Firstly is my all important calendar which I can't live without! A must for me is a yearly overview plus a handy monthly view (shown on two pages) planner, which I find great for plotting school holidays, trips away, birthdays and functions.
Next I have set up tabs for my Meetings, my To Do's, Random Notes!, plus a Work Tab. Then I added two extra tabs that I find so important - one is for my Focus Cambodia charity work and another for the planning of the recent Everywoman expo I attended with O2B Organised, I'll probably always have one or two tabs to monitor any Project on the Go I have.
After using it for about 3 months now I can report it's well worth investing in. I love the sections in the inner cover where I can keep my business card, and I also have a cute Today pad where I can list my Top 3 items to get done. There is also a nice zippered section to keep important info in-or your stickers!
The biggest bonus of this planner is that you can customise it to suit your life. The pages may be a little thin, but thats not a huge problem in my eyes. The fact that you can buy a multitude of inserts, pages and accessories and tailor it to organise your life is great. Each year I can just update my diary and carry on without a hiccup.
I'm pretty passionate about tailoring organising solutions to how each individual thinks so this planner works a treat in my opinion. Just like when I am helping a client get organised, I find when something is suited to the way you think, it becomes easy to manage and maintain it.
Oh yes....this planner also comes in a range of cute colours and patterns to suit your individual taste :-)
What sort of planner are you currently using? Do you like to customise yours like I do?
Secrets to making Meal Planning easy
What should I cook for dinner tonight?
If you've never Planned your Meals before I promise this will be a life changing event for you! Have you ever found yourself standing in the supermarket wondering what to have for dinner tonight? Or ducking out to the local to pick up ingredients at inflated prices to finish that nights dinner? Or just feeling like screaming when the kids ask "what's for dinner tonight Mum?"
Planning your meals for the week stops the stress and uncertainty and really does save you time, stress, energy and money.
If you've never done this before a great way to start is to quickly think of 5 easy, healthy meals that are favourites in your household and write them down....next allocate each meal a night. There you go-in it's most basic form, your meal planning is done! I know it seems too simple and there are a myriad of beautiful planner pads that you can buy to help you, but it doesn't have to be difficult!
"What - That's it?" you say... I told you it was easy, it really doesn't need to be difficult or time consuming to be worthwhile. Ladies, I'm all about making your (and my!) life easier!
As you're jotting down your meals for each night (I record mine in my family planner) make a list of the ingredients you need to make those meals on your shopping list. It's great if you can do your meal planning the night before your grocery shopping trip is scheduled. Truly it's that simple!
Next week mix it up a little, add in some new recipes. Start to think of what activities are on each night.
If you're expecting a killer, hectic day at work on Tuesday - Plan the easiest meal you know.
Do the kids have late sports practice on Thursday? Plan a spaghetti bolognaise with hidden vege's or some such recipe that is dead easy and everyone in your family loves. (The hidden vege's mean you don't have to feel a shred of guilt about how easy it was to prepare!)
Each week incorporate a meal that you can make a double batch of. Eat one half on the night you cook it and pop the other in the freezer for a later date. Like the killer hectic nights.
I call these FREE meals, free of stress and free of guilt!
Examples of a few I often make are : Stews, Curries, Casseroles, Bolognese Sauce and Chilli Con Carne.
When you know you're going to having one of those super busy days that leave you exhausted, take your FREE meal out of the freezer in the morning to defrost and all you need to do is
cook up rice or pasta and steam some vege's/make a salad and dinner is done.
It really reduces the stress of getting a quick, healthy home made meal on the table a cinch.
You don't always have to work hard, if you work clever!
Sharon is a Professional Organiser based in Perth, Western Australia, who loves sharing her passion for beautiful, functional, organised spaces with her family, friends and clients. If you would like any information on how getting organised can transform your life please don't hesitate to get in touch by email or telephone.
You can also connect with Sharon and O2B Organised via Facebook and Pinterest.
Why not start on your journey to the organised life you deserve? In this blog I'll share organising hints, motivation and tips so you too can experience a calm and stress free organised life.