A little bit of everything…

Category Archives: Organization


I began this year with one planner. I won a 2012-2013 Paperblanks planner and had moved into it before the end of last year. It’s a horizontal weekly layout or a week-on-two-pages as some would call it. I had trouble parting with my Moleskine weekly but I did it and transferred much of the overlapping months into the new Paperblanks.


But then something happened. I found a Orange Circle Studio weekly planner for just a dollar and I had a dollar so it came home with me. Could I use two planners simultaneously? What would I put in one and not in the other or should I put stuff in both?


Not long after a friend sent me a 2012-2013 Filofax refill which was the only thing stopping me from using my Olive Urban personal Filofax binder. The plot thickened. Now I had three options.

The fourth planner resulted from a pair of generous Twitter friends. One sent me a red Finsbury Filofax binder. A real one. In red. And it’s awesome. I love it. The other awesome Twitter friend gifted an awesome Dutch weekly calendar and monthly pages. The binder and refill combine forces to become option number four.

I have four planners for 2013 and I’m stumped. Absolutely stuck in plannered confusion. Should I try one of the others? Do I dare attempt to separate my planning into multiple places? If I try a different planner, should I copy everything over? I’m afraid to mark them up in case I should give them to someone else… Should I have a giveaway?

Any and all helpful advice or insight is welcome. I am still in the process of hunting down a new job so my needs might change again but for now… I just feel guilty not using the three other options. This has all become too confusing to figure out on my own. :)

My Plannerd Week 3

Here is My Week 3. Not a lot going on. Lots of job hunting and movie watching. I should start logging movies too. Might as well, right? One year I kept a list of every movie I watched. I like lists.

My BIC ReAction 0.5 pencil was my main writer this week again. I’m thinking I need to use some gel pens. Maybe get some colors going. Speaking of color, I tested out my PaperMate Intro highlighters in my Paperblanks planner and was happy to see very little to no show-through. Score! I’ll work on color coding more things since I have pink, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. I tried to find my neon color pencils but had no luck. I also can’t locate my Sharpie Gel highlighters. Doh.

Under my Paperblanks planner is House of Doolittle Weekly/Monthly Appointment Planner. A lovely friend sent it to me. I’m hoping to incorporate this into my system of tracking things.

How is your 2013 starting off? What planner are you using or do roll without one? Do you prefer inky or dry highlighters?

Be well.

I collect things. Odds and ends. Bits and bobbles. Ephemera. Miscellaneous things that catch my eye for one reason or another. I’ve found that keeping them in a bag makes keeping tabs on them a lot easier. Also, I think my partner in residence would agree it keeps things neater. Granted I still find ways to clutter up the clean. It’s a gift.

Tea tag tabs!

I enjoy sipping tea. It is liquid comfort in a cup. My addiction can be blamed on my father and grandmother. I can’t remember a visit with my Nani without my Papa bringing her a mug full of hot tea. Since my change in employment, I find myself digging in my tea stash for the perfect blend to match my mood. I keep some of my tea tags. I sometimes stick them in my journal but lately I was fubbling with a few ideas and this one seemed so obvious but I had never done it before nor have I seen evidence of it being used by others. I give you TEA TAG TABS!

Tea tag tabs!

I dug out a few tea tags from my bag of goodies. Tazo tea tags are particularly lovely. The Bigelow are colorful and very nice also. Occasionally I’ll sip tea with my China Buffet meals. Who doesn’t love dragons?

Tea tag tabs!

Some notebooks need tabs. Everything books definitely need a way to flip to desired sections or pages. Some planners also benefit from tabs. Labeling tabs isn’t always necessary but I can see a nice Dymo label stuck to these colorful tabs if needed. Color coding would be possible too. Green mint for Finances, Passion Purple for Projects, etc…

Tea tag tabs!

TEA TAG TABS! Will you use this idea? What will you be gluing tea tag tabs into? I’d love to hear your ideas – feel free to comment (as always).

Be Well.

First you start off with one pen… One simple fountain pen. Then you acquire a bottle of fountain pen ink. Then whoopsies you threw off the equilibrium of the universe and now have two bottles of ink but just one pen. That must change. Soon another pen crawls into your arsenal and brings a friend. Once again the unbalance is heartbreaking and destroys your karma so you get some more fountain pen ink.

We’ve all been there right? (If not, go on – try to get just one fountain pen and one bottle of ink – then stop back and let me know how your downward fountain pen related spiral is progressing. Fun, isn’t it? hehe)

So you have pens and inks coming out of your ears and its so easy to forget what pens are inked with which delicious color so I’ve thought of a great way to utilize those Rhodia No. 10 notepads we all have. You have one too right? The cutest most adorable little two by three inch pads of luscious and cooperative French Rhodia paper? If not you’ll just have to find one or two or three. (Yes I have issues with paper too).

Rhodia Fountain Pen Ink Tracker

First thing you’ll need to do is decide which notebook you are going to log your pens and inks in. This step is easier for some than for others. Next grab your removable glue stick. If you have never heard of removable glue sticks, you are in for a world of fun. They allow you to turn a piece of any paper into a removable sticky note. Mine is Avery brand but I am aware of other companies putting out the same product.

Rhodia Fountain Pen Ink Tracker

Tear out one of those cute Rhodia No 10 pieces of paper.

Rhodia Fountain Pen Ink Tracker

Write your ink name on it. Add a nice swab of it if you’d like or anything else that will help you recall why you adore that ink so much.

Rhodia Fountain Pen Ink Tracker

After the ink dries, flip over the paper and apply your removable glue stick. I let it dry for a bit before the next step.

Rhodia Fountain Pen Ink Tracker

In your designated notebook stick the ink under the name of the pen in which it is loaded.

Rhodia Fountain Pen Ink Tracker

TA – DA~! Its simple, its easy, its environmentally friendly. And best of all – you’ll always know what pen is inked and with which of your oodles of inks.

Don’t limit yourself to just an ink tracker. You can also create ink menus. Its autumn so maybe mix and match your ink swatches to create a great complimentary palette and then get to flushing those fountain pens! Or maybe you like keeping your bottles in spectrum order – why not have a record of what ink is in which bottle so you don’t have to disturb them all to refill. The possibilities are endless.

Enjoy and be well.

I’ve been asked what I carry around in my daily bag or “purse” if you prefer that term.

what's in my bag

Click to go to flickr - more sizes and notes available.

I carry WAY too many pens and markers. I’ve started using a make-up style pouch to hold them so I don’t have to unpack and refill my bag every time I search for THE one. The other pouch holds my Carmex lip balm, lip gloss, oil absorbent papers, nail file, contact drops, advil and other meds. My Circa/Rolla compact size planner is always with me. I’m getting myself back into the habit of writing everything down. Too many things nearly missed or late for my tastes. My journal is usually with me too. I like to doodle on the way to work. I’ve declared one glue stick for travel only so I never leave home without it. I try to keep clutter and receipts under control but you can see, there is usually some bits and pieces that manage to remain. The last thing I try to keep close at hand is my camera. Some days you will find a pack of colored pencils or a set of markers in my bag as well. Afterall, a girl always needs to be prepared.

Take care and be well.

July 12, 1979 was the start of my life as an individual. I hope to have many more years in my future. Part of me feels that I’ve failed myself. At such a young age I formulated certain plans and haven’t reached several of those goals. But on the other hand, I am still growing and exploring. That can’t be a bad thing, right?

I began this blog in March of 2007. Can you believe that its already July of 2009?! Where has the time gone… and how did I suddenly become 30 years old?

Back in 2007, I created a page that tells a little bit about myself. I reread it today and realized how much time has passed. I hope to accomplish a few things in the next year and I’m going to try to use this blog as a constant reminder that I need to keep focused.

I really want to get myself deeper into my art. Ideally a gallery show will occur but I’m not sure that is likely. I’ve heard that a local art store (with upstairs gallery) does a call for artists now and again. That will be my first path of possibility.

Next on my list of “self-improvement” is to read more. I read a lot of blogs but rarely find myself with a book in hand anymore. It makes me sad. I’ve been reading my current library selection for over two months.

I need to stop wasting time. I know I should turn the tele off more often and will have to make a more conscious effort. I need to break my current habit of just sitting and pondering what I should be doing. I also get lost at my computer. I need to keep tabs on how much time I’m letting slip past.

Organize, organize, organize! Maybe I should get this tattooed on my forehead or start chanting it as my daily mantra. Somewhere in the past months I have become completely unraveled. My planner is with me but isn’t helping any more. Bills are paid later than I care for, late fees at the library embarrass this librarian’s daughter, feeling like I’m forgetting things is really taking a toll. I picked up some 5 by 8 inch grid index cards from Office Depot for just 53 cents each pack today. Maybe I’ll use them. Maybe I’ll use one of the million notebooks I have acquired to go with my gazillion pens.

Here is a glimpse at my “currents”.

Currently Reading:
When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris

Current WIPs:
My ripple zig zag afghan in sunshine yellow and sky blue.
The tree drawing from my last post is in the same unfinished state that the photo depicts.
My crochet monkey is just a head and two rows of a neck.
A color pencil drawing I’m including with a package.

Current Pens:
Black Uniball Signo 0.7mm – pink awareness edition body.
Rotring Core with Private Reserve Supershow Blue.

Projects I’m mulling over:
More collages
Mini book (about 4 by 6 inches) held together with binder rings
Watercolor/Gouache painting to replicate one I dreamt about.

So much I want to do and so few hours in the day.

Thank you for visiting. Take care and be well.

Sunday was laundry day. I’m sure many of you have enjoyed the adventure of going to a public laundry. I packed up my Sharpie Ultra Fine marker & Sharpie pen, Prang Fine Line Markers, and my sketchbook and we set out. I managed to get three “doodles” done. Two were more sketch-like than I have done in the past. All of them play with activating negative space and color.

The sketchbook I brought is a 6 by 6 inch wire bound “Reflexions” that I purchased at Hobby Lobby. I do not care for how the paper takes the Prang Fine Line markers. I noticed quite a bit of feathering and bleeding of colors into one another. I had not run into that when I had used Bic permanent markers earlier. I also had no issue using watercolor washes in this sketchbook. Live and learn, right? In the future I will try some colored pencils and see how things look.

The Sharpie Ultra Fine is a great marker. I wish it were just a tad bit finer. I plan on doing a comparison of “Ultra Fine” markers one of these days. I found it difficult to get as fine of a line as I initially wanted and almost switched over to the Sharpie pen but resisted the urge. The Prang markers were inexpensive and I like the bold colors. One complaint I have is that the blue and purple are way too similar. I feel this ruined the first “doodle” of the day.

I love that the Prang set includes gray. Its a fast way to shade quick sketches and doodles. It also compliments the yellow and sky blue shown below.

I have a fascination with orange these days and love the bright and bold combination of red, yellow and orange. This was finished just before the dryers got done and laundry folding commenced.

Yesterday was another deadline day. I wasn’t sure what pen I was going to grab on my way out the door … Monday night I had considered my fushia Flair or my pink Sarasa. When the time came, I tossed my purple Magna Tank 0.5mm in my bag and headed to work.

These pens are made by Peachtree Playthings and bare the name INC. The set of blue, black, red, green and purple can be purchased at Wal-Mart. I have also found 2 packs of just the black and blue at the local dollar store.

The pens have a nice needle tip and substantial barrel. There is a nice grip area and the cap posts solidly. There is some drag when writing with these pens but it is not an unpleasant experience. The gel ink is smooth and the line is consistent. I haven’t run into any skipping or blobbing. This pen was a great choice for a deadline Tuesday.

The above photo shows writing samples for both the 0.5mm Magna Tank in purple and the Liquid Expresso in blue that I utilized yesterday. As I stated yesterday, for a medium liquid ink pen, the Expresso does a great job letting you write small in small places.

Today my arsenal included my Uniball Signo 207 again and EASTER EGG DYE!!! I know – egg dying is aimed at children younger than 29. Oh well :] Matt and I visited my parents for egg decorating and some Boggle.
We brought home 11 eggs … They may not look like much but our eggs are artistic and ma’velous. Most of the extra special ones are still at my parent’s. I think they sent us home with the ‘rejects’ lol.

Boggle is a serious game in my family. Everyone plays for keeps. Mom usually laughs because I dig my pen of choice out of my purse before we begin. Today it was the Signo 207 Micro in blue. I won a fair number of games so it must have been the right choice.

There, now we are all caught up :] Are you enjoying these “Daily Arsenal” posts? Want to share what pen you used today and why? Feel free to leave a comment.

Take care and be well.

Today was a hard day… being behind because of Friday’s insanity plus leaving work for an appointment mid-day meant I had to be on the ball. I accomplished what I wanted to before leaving tonight.

Here is a glimpse of what I had in my arsenal today.

From Untitled Album

In this photo: my assortment of work-issued highlighters, tons of paperwork (lots of past issues for reference), my printed google spreadsheet to guide me through my battle, my circa/rolla compact planner, a Sanford Liquid Expresso in blue, a blue UniBall Signo 207 micro and a Bic permanent marker.

From Untitled Album

Someone on DIYPlanner posted about Post-It addictions. I have sticky notes coming out of my ears. But these have to be some of my favorites. I love using them at work since they are humorous. I picked them up on clearance at Office Max. Click to see a larger version and read some the options. I have a square and circle pad of busy multi colored ones from a friend and the traditional yellow (work-issued).

From Untitled Album

Today’s pens were premeditated. I wanted to bring the Liquid Expresso on Friday but couldn’t find it easily. I was prepared this morning. The 207 spawned from the review over at Mind Most Peculiar I almost bought a 2 pack of the pink 0.7mm version yesterday while perusing Office Depot but stayed strong and resisted.

The Liquid Expresso is easy to write with and the color is bold and powerful. I don’t have to press at all to leave a nice dark mark and that helps me thwart any wrist complications in my daily adventures. The Signo is equally reliable. I can count a fine but smooth line that doesn’t take any pressure to leave.

I mainly used the Signo 207 in my planner to record personal notes and reminders, my times in and out at work and stuff at the Vet’s office I wasn’t going to recall because of emotions running high.

From Untitled Album

I would say the Liquid express writes like an average bold gel pen tip or the Paper Mate Flair. Its definitely not a fine line but I like the control. I don’t feel that it is TOO wide or unruly. The lines on my Google spreadsheets are not very large and I can fit a lot of info into a small space when needed.

The Signo 207 Micro writes smaller than the average 0.5mm in my opinion. The smooth and non-scratchy gel ink and small tip has really boosted this pens popularity. I hope to try the 0.7mm someday soon.

Both pens offer visible ink supply. The Liquid Expresso sports a durable, porous plastic point. I can’t comment on durability because I hardly press down with it. If you use it the same you can expect it to hold up well. As stated earlier, the 207 is a gel pen and unlike the Expresso, it is retractable. This feature is nice for those of us who misplace caps. The Expresso cap does fit snugly on the end so no losses are likely. The 207 is refillable which is a nice “green” feature. Both pens are available in other colors and tip sizes.

That’s all for today’s arsenal. Tomorrow is deadline day… what will my future hold – fushia or pink? A nice bold, attention commanding line that demands respect? or a small fine micro line that boast control and that ‘in-charge’ attitude? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Take care and be well.

Some of you may already know that I work at the local magazine. I work on three of our publications; my responsibilities include editorial, ad placement and page layouts. It sounds pretty concise but in actuality it is very intricate and stressful. I’ve come up with three different spreadsheets that I keep in Google Documents (just in case I have *another* hard drive die on me). I print out the one I need and keep can keep a close eye on progress.

Daily Arsenal 04.03.09

Friday was one of our deadline days. This photo shows my two pens of choice. The blue Pentel HyperG 0.7mm was not the pen I had thought of utilizing but it was handy. The red Paper Mate Flair was definitely on my mind. I like to coordinate my pen choices with my mood and a nice deep red ink fit just perfect.

There have been reviews of Pentel HyperG done before. Here are a couple links on the ones I can recall quicklly: Cheap Pen Review and Pen Addict .

Everyone holds their pens differently and each person has a varying taste for feel and design. Dowdyism couldn’t not handle (literally) the fin. I on the other hand barely notice it. I like the gel ink and the wider body. Both help me from developing writing fatigue.

The Paper Mate Flair is a classic felt tip pen and has been reviewed over at The Pen Addict. I love the ease of writing and the red ink has a lot of bang. Nothing says deadline day like this pen.

I don’t have any separate writing samples but you can see some of my notes in the picture. Lighting was not cooperating tonight.

Today’s arsenal included a Sharpie Ultra Fine marker & Sharpie pen both in black and my Prang Fine Line Markers. I did some doodles while at the laundry with Matt this morning. I’ll get those photographed and posted as soon as I can.

We also went office supply store shopping. Shopko had some Paper Mate products on sale for under a dollar so I snatched up a couple pencils and a couple retractable permanent markers. A visit to Office Depot ended my quest for the 6pk of Sharpie Pens including the orange and purple versions. We stopped at Target (not our town’s store) and they don’t have the Rhodia items yet. I wonder if its only select locations…

One more picture – one of my pet mouse Ripley.


Take care and be well.

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.