I do a Monthly Review each month. Usually it’s quite structured, where I have certain categories such as “What I learned”, “What I want to try next month”, “Challenges”, “Wins”, etc.
This month, I tried something different. I put myself “in the zone” by setting up my page and then I just wrote. Here’s what I came up with:
Me Time is a Real and necessary thing. It’s true, it is. This month, I wore myself out. I tripped on the dog leash and tore a muscle in my calf, and made it worse by not resting. I picked up a nasty flu-like virus, which knocked me out for a few days, and I rarely left work before 7pm. I’m tired, almost to the point of being burnt out.
It’s funny, my word of the year is Nurture – I vowed to take care of myself this year, and I haven’t really kept that promise to myself. So – it’s time to take a little more care. I still can’t slow down too much, but I CAN take rest days, and properly rest. Even just take some “me time” every few days.
We can do it.
I need to get back on track with my work social media. With the ridiculously busy days, and me taking on someone else’s job while they are on medical leave, some parts of my real job have had to take a back seat. And actually, it’s my favourite part of the job. I used to spend some time each week preparing social media posts for the week ahead and I had a very active presence for my work’s social media. This requires a creative switch to be turned on in my brain – however, the “other” job is very analytical – lots of spreadsheets and numbers and forecasting and reports. By the time I have time to do the socials, it’s far too late in the day, my brain is fried and all creativity is lost.
It’s time to get back on track.
Investigate scheduling apps – I think the best way to get back on track is to set a schedule. Whether that’s with the use of scheduling apps, or simply by using Calendar reminders, I need to try something to make it happen. I’ve just set up my social media tracker for May, and I’ve also written a social media to-do list. That’s certainly a start. A content calendar is next on my list!
We can only do so much – learn to say no, learn to delegate, learn how to put your own life mask on first.
Prepare for meetings in advance. My days are so full of meetings these days, that I don’t often have time to prepare for them. I used to do research before my meetings and be fully prepared for them. I need to get back into that habit. It’s good to:
Don’t expect others to change their behaviour and then be surprised when they don’t. This is a big “lesson learnt” this month. I was surprised, and very much disappointed, when someone treated me the way she used to – with no respect for my time, with no appreciation for work done, and with unrealistic expectations. I should have known, but I somehow expected things to be different.
I don’t believe that people can’t change – I believe they can – but they have to want to change, and see the value in doing so. It was naive of me to think otherwise, or perhaps just hopeful, wishful thinking. Instead, I have to take a step back, take a deep breath, and logically explain what I need, what I can and can’t do, what I’ve achieved, what’s next.
So that’s my April 2018 Review. Did you learn anything new in April? Did you vow to do something different in May? Let me know, I’m keen to hear from you!
As one of kikki.K’s Planner Insiders, I was sent this fabulous “Count Your Lucky Stars” planner – it’s holographic! and covered in tiny cute little stars.
It really is a lovely planner – it feels great in my hands, it’s incredibly cute and it’s so shiny with the holographic effect. It’s not one of their leather planners, so the price point is a little lower, but it has the same perfect quality of a kikki.K planner.
With silver rings. and button and silvery holographic dividers, this planner is delightful. It has a whimsical and slightly spiritual feel, with the moon and the stars, and the four leaf clover.
With my planner, kikki.K also included some accessories – the gorgeous holographic pen you see above, three rolls of holographic tape, a pack of silver glitter stickers, a pack of adhesive notes and a pack of adhesive pockets – what a great idea these are!
You can attach the adhesive pockets to your dividers to create a place to store receipts or stickers or other pieces that you need to secure a little better than just slipping between the pages.
You can watch my video review of this planner on YouTube:
It think it’s an adorable planner, perfect for teenagers as well as us #kikkikplannerlove adults 💕
What are your thoughts?
See more on the kikki.K website.
In my recent post, I mentioned that I am one of the first kikki.K Planner Insiders. This is so exciting and it is starting to all come together in the background now – I can’t wait to share it with you.
One of the first things that this involves for me, is being featured in their April newsletter. Woo hoo!!
In this feature, I’m sharing my kikki.K Planner Collection.
You can also see my collection on YouTube: youtube.com/c/desleyjaneplans
I have been kind of obsessed with kikki.K for a few years now, as I’m sure you know. I’ve always been impressed with the brand, ever since I first saw one of their stores – they are beautifully designed, so welcoming and, if you love stationery like me, then they are a little piece of heaven. My happy place 🙂
I had been through years of having diaries and organisers, but it wasn’t until kikki.K that I decided I needed a planner. That’s when I fell into the world of YouTube – I watched so many videos and discovered this wonderful #plannercommunity – a truly welcoming and fun group of people who inspire each other every day.
So I went along to kikki.K Garden City in Brisbane and was helped by the lovely Kimberley and I purchased my first planner – the Ice Blue Perforated A5 planner.
It’s beautiful. I am a pink girl, all the way, but this pale icy blue just spoke to me and I had to have it. And I loved it. I still do. I use it as a reference binder at home – mainly information that I’d like to keep but don’t need on the run. I also keep old spreads that I want to keep as well, which I think is a great way to use the beautiful planners that you want to keep in circulation.
Not long after I purchased my Ice Blue planner, the Thrive range was released and I absolutely fell in love with the Pink Lavender collection. Could I possibly own more than one planner? Could I?
Turns out, I could. Quite a few more than one actually 😁
I purchased almost all of the Pink Lavender range – planner, organiser, travel wallet, pencil case, even the blanket! Yes, there was a gorgeous blanket, and I love it.
I decided to try the Medium sized (Personal sized) version of the Pink Lavender as well, and I found I quite loved the size for an everyday on the go.
Of course, then came Valentine’s Day (2016) and the Met You planner arrived in stores, limited edition, and absolutely gorgeous. So another planner was added to my collection.
Ahhh, happy place 😊
I stayed with these for a little while, but then came the zipped planners, which I think are my favourite style. They’re so compact and easy to carry. I do love them, so I also had to get the Fall in Love With Your Life version as well, and it’s the one I’m currently using as my every day 9-5 job planner.
So much colour, so much love. I love to stay organised, well at work anyway 😏
Multiple planners? What a good idea.
Just a quick little post today.
I’m so excited to announce that I am a kikki.K Planner Insider! How exciting!
There’s a small group of us, from around the world, just six of us so far, and we have been selected to join the team and share all the exciting kikki.K goodness with you all.
I’m sure you know about my kikki.K addiction already, especially if you follow me on Instagram. It’s definitely my happy place and I’m so happy that I live in Melbourne, where the company was created, and I can visit a store anytime I want.
The Planner Insider team is all very new and just launched today but I can’t wait to come back and tell you all about it soon!
If you want to meet the rest of the team, pop over to my latest Instagram post where I’ve tagged the other team members as well.
Ashleigh from Plum Mashable is the first Planner Insider to be featured. You can watch her fabulous review of Kikki.K’s new Wedding Planner here.
I have been re-thinking how I use my planners and which planners I use for which purpose. As I mentioned in a previous post, I had shoulder surgery in November last year – I tore one of the tendons right off the bone. It is a long slow road to recovery but I’m on track.
What this means however, is that even now, about two months later, I cannot carry anything heavy with my left arm. And my right shoulder is becoming strained from taking all of the weight of whatever I carry.
So, I can’t carry multiple planners, and certainly A5 planners are a little too heavy when you consider everything that I need to carry on the day-to-day.
So… I switched back to Personal Size. You may know from Instagram that I have been Bullet Journalling in my A5 kikki.K “Fall in Love With Your Life” planner. I’m still using that planner, but I usually leave it at work on my desk during the week as it is now specifically for my job. I’ll write about it soon.
Today, I want to tell you about my move to pre-decorated inserts. I have been quite intrigued by the Cocoa Daisy planner kits for some time. I think they’re really pretty and they include so many little bits and pieces to accessorise your planner.
But, it means that the layout is set (bye-bye bujo) and the decoration is mostly done – each page is beautifully designed to match a theme for the month. I love the idea, but when I started to move into it, I was struggling to figure out what to do. Coming from Bullet Journalling, where I created every layout, it was weird to not be creating any layouts!
So, I watched some YouTube videos and I sat down one afternoon with all the kit pieces and just started making. The theme for January is about travel and adventure, featuring beautiful vintage maps and inspired by forging a new path. Being a frequent flyer just a few short months ago, I had some photos that fit the theme and I was keen to use them in my planner, as that’s something that I’ve been wanting to do for some time.
Colour-wise, the theme is not something I would ever have chosen, but actually it’s lovely and I’m enjoying having different colours for a change (plus I’ve added some pink along the way!).
As I said, I struggled at first, because I was a little restricted by the layout, but once I put my “stamp” on the pages, so to speak, I felt much more comfortable and really moved into the planner properly.
I’m enjoying the process and I’m really looking forward to the February kit – it’s bound to be full of pink and hearts for Valentine’s Day, right?!
How about you? Do you have any tips for cutting down on what you carry, while still being functional and enjoying your planner?
Are you using any pre-decorated pages?
I was recently asked to review this Japanese-stationery subscription box from Arigatou Aiko. It’s an Australian box of curated Japanese stationery items.
You can find it on their website here. And I have a special code if you want to order one before January 24 and get 10% off – just use the code NEWYEAR18.
This box sparked my idea to start a YouTube channel – can you believe it?! I kind of decided with the new year to begin a channel, but tonight I took the plunge and dove in.
So if you’d like to watch the unboxing, please go here.
And now, some photos of what you will find in this cute little box:
The box is $39.95 per month (or $34.95 if you subscribe) and you can cancel any time. It ships from Melbourne, Australia, currently only shipping within Australia. The team behind the scenes are so lovely to deal with.
If you like Japanese stationery, definitely taking a look at Arigatou Aiko.
And so it’s 2018. Happy New Year!
It’s been a little while since I posted here. As some of you know, I tore the tendon off my shoulder and had to have surgery. It was incredibly painful and has been a long recovery process – so far I’m only 6 weeks post-surgery. I still can’t use my left arm properly but I can use my camera again 😊
I joined Ali Edwards One Little Word this year. For those of you who don’t know what this is, you choose a word for the year and let that word help guide your decisions and shape your experiences. If you join the official One Little Word Class, you’re given monthly prompts to help you celebrate and live your word.
My word for 2018 is Nurture. I learnt last year that I’m not invincible! It shouldn’t come as such a shock but it made me realise that we need to take care of ourselves a little better.
This year, I will Nurture my mind, my body, my relationships and my career. I’ve always been a nurturer of others, that’s just my nature (yes nature AND nurture 😉) and I will continue to do that, but I plan to be more mindful of my own needs as well. A major part of this is journalling and I’ve started the year with a few Instagram challenges to help me with prompts. I’ve joined these challenges:
At the moment, I’m in my favourite Kikki.K Met You personal size planner. I love this gorgeous planner. I’m visiting my family in Mackay, Queensland at the moment, and so I’ve brought the bare minimum of supplies with me.
I have, however, purchased a new planning system! I’m so excited. It’s coming from the US, so I have to be patient, but I’m very much looking forward to setting it up and sharing it with you here and on social media.
At the moment, I have my reference binder at home, and then I carry my sweet little Met You with me and it has everything else in it at the moment. I’m looking forward to adding my new planner and it will be the one that I continue to journal in.
I’m mindful of carrying too much now, since I tore my shoulder. The tear began due to strain on the tendon from carrying very large and heavy handbags. So I have learnt my lesson and I’ve pared down what I’m carrying each day. I’m also investigating carry-on luggage that I can use day-to-day for just going to the office.
More to come soon, as I go through the prompts and set up my new systems.
Again, Happy New Year! Let me know how you’re going and any changes that you’re making for 2018.
I’ve discovered a new brand of stationery, called Spencil.
It’s super-cute, a little like Smiggle, I guess, but much cuter and it feels like really good quality. I picked up a couple of things, but I was travelling, so couldn’t go overboard.
It’s a really lovely brand, lots of fun, and they have a program where you can help fundraise for your local school, just by shopping. They are based in south-east Queensland and have just a couple of stores so far, but I am certain they will expand. You can find them here.
By now you must know that I’m a kikki.K addict. The brand just speaks to me.
The products are gorgeous and I love how inspiring they are. I do use some digital planning systems – it seems almost impossible to escape Microsoft Outlook, but I’ve always been drawn to paper. Particularly for planning, I need to sit and gather my thoughts and then write it out. I think the “writing it out” part helps to cement that in my brain, it really helps me to focus and then remember.
But back to kikki.K – in addition to the gorgeous and inspirational products, the stores themselves are styled in a way that speaks to me. I love the base of white, with the pops of colour. That’s the aesthetic that I aspire to and I think my own home has aspects of that aesthetic.
So I’m always drawn to spending more time in-store. When they began running workshops, I jumped at the chance to go to one. I’ve done the Planner Workshop (twice), a Christmas Workshop, a Mindfulness Workshop and the new Dream.Do.Enjoy.Share Workshop. And I really loved all of them.
The Planner Workshops are fantastic. I went to my first one when I was quite new to planning, and I went to my second one last year, when I already owned (and used) 4 planners and a bullet journal LOL.
But still, I found it useful. It helps you to brainstorm the best ways to use your planner, to work out what you want to track and therefore what sections to set up. It also gives you some insight into their Habits and Goals Workshops by giving you some tools to help you prioritise your tasks – which tasks are the ones you absolutely have, which ones will make your life easier, which ones can wait.
The Christmas Workshop was lots of fun. I still go home to see my family at Christmas and the planning is all done by my Mum (I know right, so lucky!) so the planning part of the workshop was not so relevant to me. Although I can see how awesome it would be for people who have to plan the whole event out.
I really enjoyed the Mindfulness Workshop as well. It’s not something I would have considered attending a few years ago, but as I get older, and as my work makes me more stressed (well, my old work did), I came to relish those moments of Mindfulness. The workshop gave me ideas for practicing Mindfulness, to help me to prioritise myself when I needed to.
What I love about the workshop (apart from the free goodies that you get to take home, and the Lindt chocolates that you get) is that they give you the tools to continue practicing what you learn. While you’re in a group and everyone has different ideas and needs, they still help you to brainstorm your own needs and apply what you’ve learnt to your own life.
Finally, the Dream.Do,Enjoy.Share. workshop – this was my absolute favourite. Longer than the others, and the newest, it was such a great evening. The content was amazing and thought-provoking and powerful, and even quite emotional for some of us. Aside from that though, it was a perfect intersection of women attending. They were fun, interactive, empowered, unafraid women. It was an absolutely inspiring night. Some of us have kept in touch and we meet up every couple of months.
So, a little about the workshops in general. You pay a fee, but the gift that you receive on the night is usually worth more than the fee. Plus you get a discount off everything purchased on the night, as well as $10 off your next workshop. The instructor introduces herself and the course, and then invites us to introduce ourselves and say something about why we are there and what we hope to achieve from the workshop. She then takes us through the material – either through the planner, or through the workbooks that are provided as the gift. Everyone is given ample opportunity to participate and interact and I find that the people who attend seem to be quite open and honest and genuine people.
If you’re considering a workshop, I would say – if you can spare the $40, do it, it’s a great experience. At worst, you’ll have a night out with like-minded individuals and take home some gorgeous stationery. Almost certainly, you’ll have an inspiring and amazing evening. You may even meet people who you continue to interact with, long after the workshop.
Oh how I love this beautiful thing.
I really found my groove with bullet journalling. I will probably always incorporate a part of it into my planning life.
Right now, I use it only for my calendar. “Collections”, as they are called in the bullet journalling world, are kept in my ring bound planners. But more on that in other posts.
As I’ve discussed in previous posts, my planners are for the different parts of my life – photography, planning blog and IG, work, home. I don’t have day-to-day “calendars” in those planners. I hate the idea of having multiple calendars. I needed a system where I could keep of track of all those different aspects in one place. And so I use my bullet journal for all calendar activity.
I have a Leuchtturm 1917 A5 slim dot grid journal (that’s a mouthful), and I have it in a kikki.K leather notebook cover.
I think what I love most about using this system is that it’s still as beautiful as a traditional kikki.K planner, it has lovely details, and it has the pocket set up inside to allow me to decorate to my heart’s content.
You can see here, that I’ve decorated the pockets and I’ve included my business cards.
So bullet journalling. If you don’t know what it is, you should go to Ryder Carroll’s site to
see how it was originally set up. We planner girls have added our own spin to the system to make it pretty but still incredibly functional.
For me, I’ve pulled in the parts that work for me.
I’ve started my journal with a title page, shown at the top of this post. The postcard on the left is one of my own (my addiction to macro photography is real).
Next up, I have my future log. When I set it up, I ran it from April to September because I wasn’t sure how long I would take to fill the
journal. So to cope with any events that popped up for October and beyond, I added this little feather sticky note. And I could add as many as I need to record any future-future events.
As a side note, I think one of the most satisfying parts of bullet journalling is the hand lettering. I’ve always loved calligraphy but prefer the more modern lettering styles. So, I use my bullet journal as an opportunity to practice my lettering whenever I can. I’m not great at it, by any means, but I love doing it, and I love the effect. It just adds something special.
After my future log, I dive straight into the monthly layouts. I have a couple of monthly pages that I use.
First, I like to do a title page, and this is on the right hand page – it’s the opener to the month ahead. I use different styles each time. Sometimes this gorgeous ring system, which so many people on Instagram are doing. I didn’t invent this, I just loved it so made a version for myself. This is nice, because it gives you a visual representation of how your month is going to look. For me, I was travelling a lot at the time, so I shaded in the dates that I was away, just so I could easily see when I would be around for any events at home.
I also used to include the traditional “down the page” monthly list but with the ring calendar above, I was finding it less useful.
One of my favourite spreads is the “Focus” and “All the things” page. I like to choose 3-4 things for the month that I know I have to get done and have them listed as a reminder, so that when I flip to the month, there they are, waiting for me!
“All the things” is my version of a brain dump. I despise the term brain dump, I think it sounds awful, so I call mine “All the things” and I literally list all of the to-dos that spring to mind. Sometimes, I try to make separate lists for each part of my life, but I find that can stifle the process, so I usually just write until I’m done. And of course, I can go back and add to it at any time, but usually new items are added within the weeks where they happen.
After this, I do a weekly spread. I struggle with the weekly spread. I’ll show you what I used to do and also how I’ve changed it. I used to do a single page for the week, and then start my days. I would only set up Monday in the daily spreads, because I like to let the day use up as much space as it needed.
I think this layout is really pretty and I used it for four months in this bullet journal, but I was finding that I would fill out what I could on the Sunday when I set up the spread, but then I would never come back to it. I would just add new appointments into the days or into my Outlook calendar. It was almost a waste.
So I’ve recently changed it to a two-page spread for the whole week, with no separate daily spreads. Please forgive the photo quality, it was an iPhone shot on Sunday evening “before the pen” 🙂
I’ve just had a week in this layout and it seems to have worked. I like having my weekly goals, notes and to-do list all available to me during my week, without having to flip pages. I have one bookmark on this spread, and one back on the “all the things” spread, for easy access.
Finally, at the end of the month, I do a monthly review. Having recently just applied for an started a new job, now more than ever I realise how important it is to have a log of my achievements. I think we forget the really awesome things that we do and achieve throughout the year. Not only should we celebrate those things, but we should also keep track of them. For work, we should keep them for our quarterly reviews, for pay reviews, for job applications. And on a personal level, it’s again satisfying to remember – “hey look, I DID that! it was me!”.
So that’s my bullet journal. I’m very attached to it. It’s pretty. It’s functional. And I freak out if I can’t find it.
I recently purchased a new planner, and it’s a zip around, which I find incredibly appealing for an everyday carry – imagine I can fit everything in it! Money and phone as well as “all the things” LOL.
So, in usual #plannergirl fashion, I may change all this up very soon, but you know what? I’ll keep you posted.
Let me know if you do something similar to me with your bullet journal and calendar system. How do you use yours?