February 1, 2017

FEBRUARY GOALS


Oh my, that went by quick. We're already in the second month of the new year, and I'm (admittedly) disappointed that I haven't actually done anything major this month. I think I'm gonna aim for something each month, something I can remember and know that that was the highlight of the month. It doesn't have to be specific, and it doesn't even have to be something great, it just has to be something different from my every day norm. I think that's the only way we know we're improving with our lives. Anyway, here's a look at how my January went:
  • Read: FAIL
    I'm actually disappointed that I didn't pick up or flick through a single book this month. Let's hope February will be different.
  • Work: TICK
    I must admit, the last week of January would probably be the highlight of the month, if only because my boss noticed how much I was working. Hah. I'm still excited to take on crazy workloads for the time being, so forgive me if I'm away from social media for a bit!
  • Blog: FAIL
    I tried. Really.
  • Exercise: TICK
    I'm actually pretty proud that I managed to go through the whole month exercising in my room, missing just two days of exercise for very good reasons (once it was 37 degrees celcius, and the other, I was just too exhausted from work). Hoping to keep this up for another 70 days to see if there are any major changes to my body by day 100.
  • Journal: TICK
    I'm actually still pretty up to date with 3 of the journals / planners I'm planning to use throughout the year, so yay!
  • Expenses: TICK
    I'm not too sure how much I spent this month (and I don't want to calculate), but because the sales have died off since Boxing Day, I feel like I haven't actually spent much on things I don't need. I hope to keep this up in February and with all the extra money I'm making from my crazy work schedule, my savings would be getting a great boost.
February is a short month, no doubt, but I'm hoping to get things done to its full extent either way:
  • READ: Unlike last year, my reading seems to be taking a backseat. I can't seem to find the motivation to pick up a book or my kindle. Let's just hope I can fit some time for reading this month
  • WORK: I'm still on the work all day every day ride, and haven't burnt out yet.. which is a good thing. I still have all the energy in me and I'm hoping to go just as hard this month
  • BLOG: I'm going to try to keep this blog up to date, but forgive me if I fall behind!
  • EXERCISE: I'm aiming for at least 100 days of weight training, and I really want to see if there is any difference by the end of those days. I love that I've kept up with it for the whole of January, so let's hope February stays the same
  • JOURNAL: I'm loving journaling in my Hobonichi as it allows me to keep everything in one place, and I can't see February being any different!
  • EXPENSES: I think I'm going to relax my expenditure just a little. I haven't actually been spending much, and with all the overtime shifts I've been picking up, I think it's fair that I reward myself at the same time
  • SELF DIRECTED STUDY: I'm going to aim to do something new every month. I used to have similar goals each month last year, but I think I need to fit something different in my life to better myself. This month would be self-directed studying. It's been the best not needing to study eversince I ended my degree in 2015, but now, I'm itching to get more knowledge in my head. I've been mixing around a lot with ED doctors and nurses lately, and sometimes, it sucks that despite the fact that I'm a medical professional too, I don't exactly have that in depth knowledge of the drugs / terminology they use. I've picked up a few books from Book Depository recently, so I'm planning to study some drugs / medical emergencies when I can. Hopefully that will bring me up to speed and with the crowd.
It's going to be a full month again and I can't wait to see what happens by the end of it!

January 22, 2017

GILLIO COMPAGNA

Oh my. I know the price was (and is) steep, but I think every planner addict should own a Gillio Firenze planner once in their lifetime. Believe me, you won't regret it. And it's probably bad superficial to say that it's made me love ring bound planners again, but it really has (to the point where for the first time in years, my MTN is taking a backseat!). I unfortunately purchased the Gillio a few hours too late as apparently they increased the price right after. But as I didn't quite know what the price was before the rise, I'm happy to live in ignorant bliss. I purchased the Gillio Compagna Medium in Epoca Gold as for one, that was the one I actually wanted, and for another, all my second choices weren't in stock (and I wanted it now!). So in the middle of the night, under my covers, I decided to purchase the one thing I never thought I'd buy.

Fast forward exactly one week later, and the much coveted Gillio Compagna was in my hands, faultless and beautiful. But first, here's a look at it unwrapped:


It came in a strong brown box that Filofaxes used to come in. I must give credit to Filofax for bringing those infamous boxes back with some prestigious models though (like the Heritage). What Filofax lacks, however, is this dust bag that the Gillio also comes in in the box:


One last unwrapping and here it is in all its beauty:


I must admit, the pictures were taken a day after its arrival (as it decided to arrive when I was working late that day), so the insides are already filled with my current planner refills. While waiting for my Gillio to arrive, I read a number of blog reviews on this particular model, and trust me when I say that none of them were exaggerating of how well made the planner is (not to mention, it smelt wonderfully leather). Just from holding and feeling it between your fingers, you're able to tell how luxurious, heavy and thick the leather is. Accidentally scratched your planner with your fingernails? Just rub them off with your fingers. That's how amazing it is.

But apart from the leather, the Gillio Compagna is famous for its pockets, especially the full length pocket at the back (seen below). Admittedly, I'm not much of a pocket user, but given the chance, I'd fill them all up nevertheless. Hah.
When it comes to the rings, compared to Kikki K and Filofax, you can tell that the Gillio is on a different level of strength and quality. It snaps nice and shut with no gaps in them whatsoever. It seems to be made of thicker and sturdier metal too, so I don't expect it to bend anytime soon. Not to mention, the ring diameter comes in at 25mm, so you're free to stuff it as you will.

As I've made the move from my MTN to this planner, I'm planning to fill it with everything that my MTN used to hold, from a diary, art, scrapbooking, expenses and the likes. The one thing I've missed with ring binders is your ability to keep the pages you need over and over again, and throw out the ones you dont. Not to mention, the ability to shift pages around and add in little ephemera when you fancy.


I can't see myself converting back to my MTN anytime soon, although I do wish the page size was a little bigger for more information coverage. But hey, it's nothing I can't get used to. I'll be throwing in some planner peeks throughout the year, so keep a look out for that. And if you're still contemplating over whether or not you should press the button and get that Gillio, I say go for it. You won't regret it, I promise!

January 11, 2017

30 DAY MONEY CLEANSE

Ok, so as much as I'd like to forever spend on anything and everything I go 'ooooh' at, I know I can't. I must admit, I have been working quite a bit of overtime at work lately, but that doesn't mean I should spend it all at the end of pay period! So recently, Personal Capital started a little 30 Day Money Cleanse guide with tips to help you save. You can keep track of your weekly and monthly budgets with their free personal finance software hereI've shared the image below and hopefully you'll be able to take some advice from it too:

I'll be setting this Money Cleanse Guide up in my Personal Planner - where all my expenses are located - and hopefully, I'll be able to stick to it for the month. There are some bits of information on there which doesn't quite apply to me as yet, but I'm sure they'll be required in the future. A look into the layout of my Money Cleanse for inspiration will be available to view at the end of each week, and hopefully that will motivate you to take this challenge with me too!

Stay tuned!

January 7, 2017

2017 PLANNERS (UPDATED)


I tend to always update my planner list during the first month of the new year (like I did last year). I guess we never know what we need and how we'll be using it until we're actually using it.We can plan on how we want to use them all we want, but in the end, it always comes down to practicality. But anyway, here's a look at the initial 2017 planner line up and their uses:
  1. JOURNALING - A6 Hobonichi: This is probably my third year trying Hobonichi out, and I hope the third time's a charm. Compared to the last two years, my use of Hobonichi has always been vague - not knowing exactly what I wanted to do with it, its use faltered and was soon thrown aside or sold away. In 2017, it's role is plain and simple: journaling. Nothing more, nothing less. The page size should be enough for my daily ramblings and the grid set up will help get my journaling done without worrying whether or not my lines are coming up straight.
  2. TO DO - Small Daily Moleskine: I was at first struggling to find a role for this baby. It was an impulse buy, thinking it would fit in the leather cover I bought in Toulouse, but I realised soon enough that I didn't actually have a notebook to replace my daily to do's that used to take place in an undated passport sized notebook. With it being a dated day-to-a-page, together with its small size, it will be perfect to write all my daily to-dos (without cramping), keep track of my activities and plan ahead if need be. Wonder why I never thought of this earlier!
  3. EXPENSES & WORK - Kate Spade Personal Planner: I must admit, I was all for using my new Kate Spade Planner (which hasn't even arrived yet!), but then I saw the Filofax Original Burnt Orange Personal size and my fingers are getting the itch to buy them online! Either way, Kate Spade or Filofax, as this will be a ring planner, I'm sure other subjects will be added in once I discover them. But for now, both my work hours and expenses will be kept in this planner to help keep track of my life.
  4. VISION PLANNER - Bloom Daily Planner: I won't be surprised if my usage of this falls off eventually. With it being a Vision planner, I know, can be taken in two ways: the literal and the metaphorical sense. As the planner is laid out like an Erin Condren / Happy Planner, it's perfect for me to make planning pretty again by using sticky notes, washi tape and the such. It will basically be the 'hobby' planner. A place to let loose, try out new materials and document my days. It won't be done on the go, with spreads created every weekend (or so I hope). This planner will also be used as the 'Vision' planner it's intended to be - setting out goals for the month, reviewing them at the end, etc. although this will be a minor part of the planner.
  5. DAILY DOCUMENTATION / NOTES - MTN: Lucky last, my Midori Traveler's Notebook. It currently holds my week on one page (with grid on the other). Unlike before, I'm going to keep this diary loose. I used to decorate and put so much pressure on the spreads that it ended up being a weekend project (that eventually fell behind). I'm going to use this on-the-go and forget about trying to make things pretty. This will be my thought process (and hence, 'messy') area
Not much has changed, with majority keeping their role, but here's the updated version:
  1. JOURNALING - A6 Hobonichi: I'm proud to say that this is still going strong (for now). Lol. And I must admit, I don't know why I've never done this before. The size is perfect, and I'm able to scribble down my thoughts in one place, in depth, compared to the 45890345 notebooks I used last year.
  2. EXPENSES, WORK, GTD - Gillio Compagna Medium Planner: At first, I was focusing on just keeping this strictly work related. But as I was using the 2017 Kate Spade inserts, there were just too much blank spaces hanging around going to waste. So in my to-do list went under each corresponding day, and when the space is not enough, a blank note page will be inserted in between my weekly spread.
  3. DAILY DOCUMENTATION - MTN: My MTN is still doing its good ol' job of daily documentation, but as I was so focused on my personal planner, I kinda left this behind for a while. But never fear, I'm back into the MTN groove, and can't wait to be documenting in it again.
  4. MEMORY KEEPING - KAISERCRAFT: I realised that I didn't actually have a memory keeping book around (blasphemy!), but since I was gifted a Kaisercraft planner (which you can check out the review here), I thought that this would be a perfect size and area to do so!
And there you have it. There might be changes again in the near future, but let's hope this sticks!

January 2, 2017

THE FILOFAX REVIVAL


It's been exactly three years since my obsession with planning began. Don't get me wrong though, I've always been a planner - I just didn't know it yet. But it was 2014 when I purchased my first Filofax, needing to be more organised but not knowing where to start. Fast forward three years later, and I'll be able to tell you everything about them, and supply a whole village with the tools required to put a spread together. But in those three years, my planning game has morphed and taken place in 43587 different diaries, in a variety of ways. I began using Hobonichi and Traveler's Notebooks, completely abandoning the Filofax and ring system by the end of 2015 and 2016. I adopted Bullet Journaling, and tried to keep everything in one book, but alas, nothing seemed to work. I know that 2017 has an air of change to it though, partly due to work and partly due to Filofax bringing out a new range that were just too hard to resist. Once upon a time, Kikki K rose to extreme fame with the Mint planner, but it soon died out, with Traveler's Notebooks being the current trending item. Filofax seems to have taken a back seat, but I'm sure it will be revived into its golden era again. After all, things goes in cycles. With people forever looking for something sturdy, reliable and nostalgic, Filofax will always be there to quench those desires.

Which brings me to this post: I think this year holds some change for me in terms of the planning front. I now own a Filofax Heritage Compact, and I've never been more excited to use a Filofax since I first got a Malden. The 2017 planners I listed in the previous post will no doubt change in the next few days (I can already feel it), and my ring binder may very well take the wheel when it comes to plain, straight forward planning - like how it's meant to be. These days, we're so overwhelmed with different pens, stickers and embellishments that we forget the main purpose of these planners. Sure, these embellishments adds life and colour to your pages, but what's the point if they're not doing what they're supposed to do so initially? I'm gonna go for a simple approach this year, keeping things as they are, writing out raw and unedited emotions as they happen. And if I ever were a one word kinda person, I think 2017 is going to be the year of Simplicity. Exciting things will be happening this year, and I'm looking forward to it all.

January 1, 2017

JANUARY GOALS


Hey there and happy new year! Hope everyone is having a great new start to 2017, with plans and goals for a better year. I'm back to the daily grind with a new set of goals to tackle for the month and year, so let's get to it:

  • Read: 2 books / month
    Finish reading Digital Fortress by Dan Brown and The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight
  • Work: ~ 6 days / week
    I used to pass up my overtime and on-call shifts to people when I got the chance, but I've been on a crazy work bend lately and have been picking up shifts from everyone when I possibly can. Call me crazy, but I've been a little bored at home with no real impending deadlines, so why not just work? Hah. I'll probably burn out half way through, but while I'm young and energised, I'm aiming to work ~6 days a week. So forgive me if I'm a little absent from my blog and Instagram. I'm just being a workaholic!
  • Blog: ~ 6 posts / month
    I sometimes forget to update my blog for reasons inexcusable (like being lazy), so I'm hoping this will keep my blogging life a little more active for my wonderful readers.
  • Exercise: Everyday
    I've started this in-room exercise routine where I manage to get my heart pumping and sweat pouring without the need to do cardio. I used to pass off my exercise routine as it required going downstairs and prepping up the treadmill (I'm just that lazy), but now that I can do my routine before / after work, I'm hoping to keep at it till I see some results.
  • Journal: Everyday
    Realistically speaking, I know I won't be able to do it every day, but as long as my journals / planners are up to date, I'm happy with that.
  • Expenses: < $1000
    Let's face it, I can't make a goal of lesser than $1000 knowing a purchase like a Gillio Compagna is a straight $400 deduction. Hah. But lately, I have been spending a little lesser than usual with sales ending with the new year. So who knows, I might be spending lesser than $500 this month (doubt it)!

So how are your goals for the new year and month looking?

December 31, 2016

KAISERCRAFT PLANNER 2.0 REVIEW

You might remember me reviewing the first ever planner Kaisercraft introduced into the planner world a year ago. Well, guess what? They're now back again, new and greatly improved. And when it comes to documenting your memories, this might be something you want to add to your collection in 2017. There are two different types of planners available from Kaisercraft this year - small and large. The small is similar to a Personal sized planner, and their trifold design definitely made my heart skip a beat. If only I didn't already own 324987 planners. The large is similar to last year's planner, and will be what I'm reviewing today. A full look into the newest planners and accessories are seen in the picture below:


The full range is shown above, but here's my own special spin and review on Kaisercraft's newest arrival: I received the orange planner from Kaisercraft too long ago (it was released end of November!), but with work and holidays filling my days, I've barely had time to play around with it. But now that 2017 is just around the corner, I thought it was best to start dressing it up!

There's so much included in the planner pack, and you'll have everything you need to begin the moment you take it home. All you have to do is crack open the box and the planner contains everything you need from monthly and weekly views, plastic dashboards, monthly dividers and even stickers!

You have pockets on the back of the front cover to store little bits and pieces, and a notebook at the back for notes. Your months are even set up for you to include monthly views, weekly views, monthly reviews, tabbed and all! Your monthly dividers also include a variety of designs made from quality paper for you to customise and add pictures to your heart's desire.

Here's a look at the monthly tabs and January's divider:


All months are set up the same way. On the back of the monthly divider comes your monthly views:


The pages are all undated so you can start whichever year you like. Turn another page and before you get to your weekly view, comes the monthly goals page. You'll be able to keep track of your goals and add in little notes for yourself before the weekly pages begin:


The weekly views are large enough to include photos and journal entries, and if you ever run out of pages, with it being ring binded, you can always add more! Use scrapbook paper to decorate your pages and the sticker sheet provided to spice up your spreads:


And at the end of the month, you'll be able to review your goals with the dedicated monthly review page provided!


And like I said, stickers are provided too!



This large planner is definitely an upgrade from Kaisercraft's previous, and if you loved the last one, you'll definitely love this one too. It's big enough to include everything from photos to memorabilia. Together with the complementary accessories (not provided), you'll be able to create a planner that will last a lifetime.