A little bit of everything…

Category Archives: DIY Planner

When you wake up in the morning and start your day, do you grab a special pen or marker to accompany you?

Yuh I am **that** wierd!

I have discovered that I am not alone in my infatuation with all things pen and paper related. Many folks over at DIYPlanner share in the love of paper – notebooks, journals, planner pages, hardbound, spiral bound, disc bound, etc.etc.etc.

Now I have a new array of blogs added to my Google reader that cater to my pen addiction (and the paper thing too). These people love their pens and know how matching your writing utensil to your mood or gig can really make a difference. Check out the following to really get your nib dipped: OfficeSupplyGeek, The Pen Addict, Good Pens,
& Unposted

Would you like to hear a story? Of course you would, right?

When I was growing up, I often used my saved money to purchase pens and notebooks rather than other goodies. Candy is great but it doesn’t last a long time. A good pen – or a new notebook to jot ideas in – now that is an investment. I can remember my father taking me to the office supply store and supporting my desire to try all the different pens and markers. I had a complete set of sharpie highlighters by the time I was in high school. Every color in the regular and pocket size. I had sharpie markers coming out of my ears. My pen drawer? My pen drawer was overflowing and often attracted the attention of my mother. She never really understood but I think she liked the fact that it was a safe addiction.

Each person who values a good pen has certain aspects they require – smooth ink, effortless writing, thin or wide barrels, weights, lengths. Remember to keep this in mind as you explore the world of pen reviews. You may think a certain pen is the bee’s knees while another hates it with a passion and banishes it to the dreaded “loaner” line.

Now on to My Daily Arsenal.

Have you ever glanced around and seen someone using a pen or notebook and were to shy or embarrassed to ask about it? Lets say I have developed the odd hobby of exploring the internet looking at what other people are writing or drawing with and in. I also like seeing work spaces and office paraphernalia. This will be your chance to see what I am out in the world utilizing on a given day.

Let’s give this a go, shall we?

today's arsenal shot

Click to see notes on Flickr.

The BIC pen was a good choice today. I do a lot of quick writing at my job and gel ink really treats me the best. I have tendinitis in both wrists and I get writing fatigue quickly if I’m not careful. Gel ink is effortless when its done right. BIC has been a fall-back brand for me. I can always rely on their pens to last a long time and I rarely run into a dud.

The neon Magna Blast pens in pink, orange, green, blue and purple are my splash of sanity. Color is so important to me. I don’t have walls of my own to decorate (I have taken over the circuit breaker box though). I often mark things with neon when I don’t feel like highlighting. I mark dates of editorial copy I have used in different issues or the movie times as I enter them for the 6 cinemas we include in our publications. I’ll even drop a post-it note to a co worker in a bright color. Blue and Black are great and reliable but … lets face it. Color makes our days unique and really helps something pop in a see of paperwork.

The cutie whale deco stuff just sat on the sidelines and mocked me… I have ideas and I will get to them. Today was just not the day to do it… so stay tuned.

disaster zone?

Click to see notes on Flickr.

This disaster zone is to the left of my keyboard. I have my snacks because I never know when I can escape for lunch. I also had a kidney stone in 2004 so water is ALWAYS within arms reach. I even have been known to preach about the importance of staying well hydrated. Have you had all your cups of water today?

The compact sized circa/rollabind planner is my life. I have all my personal goodies in this book and have found I really cannot function efficiently or effectively without it. I plan on blogging more about it very soon and have some photos in my Flickr pool if you can’t wait. I have a BIC Triumph 730R clipped to the cover. I love having a pen right with it so I can punch in and out at work and record the times inside. This really has helped me keep a handle on my work schedule.

My Compact Circa Planner/Organizer/Life Aid

Click to see notes on Flickr.

There you have a peak into my arsenal from today. I will try to snap some writing samples next time if time will allow. Today was just busy-busy with the deadline tomorrow. Please feel free to leave your thoughts or just a random comment.

Be well and take care.

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Notes page with grid

notes-grid-floral

Feel free to download it and use it but remember it is mine and should be respected as such.

I am attempting to restart my creative side… this is the first page I have created in some time.

I utilized GIMP and CutePDF – both free options available online. My finances will not support loading my new laptop with expensive programs. I can still DIY with the best of them! :)

Keep you eyes open for additional forms and dabblings in digital creativity.

I am still crocheting and reading regularly – I think that has really kept my brain working on future projects.

My current set up for keeping myself organized and sane consists of

  • Calendar on the fridge: I keep track of due dates for library books, bills, pet meds, appointments, city recycle schedule, etc
  • Compact circa “Everything Book”: I strayed away from circa for awhile but I came running back. I glued in mini calendars for 2009 and have restarted my attempt to track everything in portable form. I track: bills, expenses, appointments, time totals for work, books to read, someday-maybes, projects, important phone numbers, etc

It isn’t complex and best of all… it is working – When I stick with it.

My at home organizing quest is in progress, albeit moving slowly because of balancing work and an outside life. (lets say work often takes all my stamina). Currently I am circa punching all my important papers and adding them to one set of covers. I have jumbo discs at hand if needed but right now am only on large ones. I want to invest in good quality covers and dividers at some point but right now it is just an attempt to tame the plethora of paper piles I have inadvertently accumulated over the past months.

Oh and I should mention – I have left my crochet comfort zone! I am attempting a full size blanket :D Stay tuned for pictures… its not very blanket-like yet but it is growing.

Be well.


Wow… it has been a long time.  I hope to keep things more frequent – actually thats why I’m here. I’ve fallen out of my organization-productivity groove and I am desperate to find a new one (if not rediscover the old one). Are you curious? Continue reading


If you would like to make a link clickable at DIYPlanner.com or another website, you may need to use a tad bit of basic HTML.

 <a href=httpaddress>your words here</a>

 <a href=http://www.diyplanner.com>DIYPlanner</a> will look like this: DIYPlanner

Hope that helps!  :D


If you are anything like me… you find yourself out-and-about wishing you had brought a second notebook with you.  I love to sketch and draw – even for non-artistic purposes.  For example, I see something I would really love to create a DIY project for.  If I have my hPDA with me, I at least have something to jot down some quick notes.  But what happens when I want to record the visual aspects or start drawing up plans?  This ‘hack’ will hopefully solve that problem.

Jun08_98

The only difference in construction from making a standard Circa/Rolla notebook is extending the back cover to accommodate the top discs for the “second” part.

I simply added just under a quarter of an inch to the top of the back cover. 

Smurfing (or Circa/Rolla punching) was quite simple.  I took one piece of my pre-punched paper and aligned it so the cover extend just a smidge past the bottom of the sheet. Then I punched the left side. 

Since I am addicted to “Junior” sized notebooks (5.5 by 8.5 inches), I cut my sketch paper to a width of just 5 inches.  This allows plenty of room to clear the side discs. 

I cut my cover to just over the standard “Junior” size.  I like my covers to protect the inside pages.  I may have to cut a bit more off of the top to ensure the top discs do not interfere with the closing.  But this is just a minor adjustment that can be made at the discretion of the user. 

And there you have it – a DIY Combo Notebook.

Jun08_96 

Currently I am working on something in an hPDA size using this same idea – some cards will be standard index cards and the other ‘notebook’ will be sketch paper. 

Another application of this same idea is in the works…  imagine a “DOCK” for your hPDA.  The same idea applies but the extension will be on the cover of my notebook.  Only the smurfs will be punched which will all the discs of my hPDA to “DOCK” on the top of my planner!  :D  Stay tuned…