Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Thrifty-ish American Girl's Attempt at a Filofax

About a month ago, I started trying to come up with a system of organization.  I am a scatterbrained, messy-ish, clutter-thriving, artisty girl.  I am a multi-tasker.  It is both my strength and my weakness.  It helps me to accomplish a lot of things.  But it also means that sometimes little things get ignored, or I get things all out of order.  I jump from project to project to keep from getting too bored with something.  I am pretty sure I have un-diagnosed ADD.  But, Lord knows, I don't need another diagnosis or another daily medication prescribed to me.  See my recent post about my journey with epilepsy and the rise and fall and re-rise of my medication experience.

For all of these reasons, I decided I needed to come up with a way to make sense of the organized chaos in my head.  My "crochet/sewing/random creative endeavors" business has gone from a hobby that sometimes gave me a little extra spending money to somewhat of a second job.  I wouldn't call it a second full-time job yet.  However, I feel it would be justifiable to say that I have 1.5 jobs...2.5 jobs if parenting counts as a job...3.5 jobs if each kid counts as a separate job (I have two little boys)...and 4.5 jobs if being a wife to an amazing husband counts as a job.
So let's just say that I have four and a half jobs right now.
1. Wife to Brian
2. Mother to Shea
3. Mother to Patten
4. High school teacher
...And a half...sewing, crocheting, and making other random things
One day I hope to reduce my day jobs to three and a half.  I love my husband and my boys and can't picture my life without any of them.  And I can't imagine a life that doesn't involve me making things in one way or another.  You do the math.

That being said, I really need to see how it all adds up.  I need to see how I am really using my time and how productive I can be.  I need to see what all I am accomplishing, and have proof that I can eventually make MAKING THINGS my "full-time" job.  I need visual AND ARTSY evidence that what I think can be done really can be real life...not  just in my dreams.

I could go in the direction of Excel spreadsheets like most entreprenuers, but even looking at Times New Roman font when I am typing on my computer bores me.  And I don't like numbers.  I know...I know...I have to like numbers.  I can at least make them tolerable if I write them on paper in pretty handwriting with colorful fine-tipped markers.

SO...I scoured Pinterest and pinned fun planner/organizer pins to my Pinterest boards (go browse my boards and pin away).  As I researched, I fell in love with the Filofax system.  I saw planners made  by people whose brains worked like mine did.  Check them out and see what I fell in love with. The one that I loved the most was from "A Bowl Full of Lemons."  Filofaxes are just glorified planners exploding with color and personalization and randomness that make order from the chaos that is the mind of an artist.  The more I saw of it, the more I loved.

I did see some downfalls, but I felt that I NEEDED A FILOFAX...NO MATTER WHAT...and I NEEDED ONE TODAY!...or at least  before January 1st, because it is pointless if I can't start off the year perfectly organized (or at least that is how I thought of it).

Here are the downfalls:
1. The ring placements and paper size are very specific so I couldn't just put anything in it.  I needed special paper with special holes.  I was willing to cough up the extra bucks because there were paper inserts that seemed to meet all of my needs.  I thought that could probably get expensive, but WORTH IT!
2. The outside of the Filofaxes are all the same, different fun colors, but basically all the same.  However, I could get over that by putting fun clippy thingy's on my pages that stuck out to the outside of the book.  WORTH IT!
3. I would have to break out of my shopping store comfort zone.  If you know Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, (which you don't know if you don't live here), you know there aren't a lot of options.  Unless I want to drive 30 minutes, my options are slim pickings.  Within a 10 minute drive, I have a Bi-Lo (I mean Food City), a dollar store, Cottage Closet (an adorable little consignment store), and a Wal-Mart.  If I drive 25 minutes, my options are a little broader.  That is where the closest medium-sized town mall is located.  That's where you can find your standard pool of restaurants.  And that is the outer limits of my shopping comfort zone:
* Food City for groceries
* Target for everything else.
* Wal-mart if necessary...I don't hate it.  It just isn't my first, second, or third choice.  But it is my last.
So going somewhere else was not what I wanted to do.  But, like I said, I wanted a Filofax so it was WORTH IT!

So picture this.  I leave my two boys at home with my hubby and have one hour to shop before I have to go to the neurologist for another follow-up appointment (same old song and dance).  I went to Staples.  It wasn't going to be traumatic because Hobby Lobby was in the same shopping center and if I needed some retail therapy I could go recover there (and buy fabric remnants, because you can never have enough fabric remnants).  So there I was, bopping joyfully into Staples on a mission to find the brightest Filofax cover and the most colorful calendar inserts and as many cheap things to cutesy it up as possible.  And I didn't care how much it cost (well to some extent), because it was...wait for it...WORTH IT!  So there I was, walking straight past the woman getting coached on how to hook up her new printer to her first ever laptop, to the planner aisle.  I looked high.  I looked low.  And I saw nothing that even looked Filofax-esque even in the least.  Then I thought, "hey, I bet it has it's own little section of the store if there are whole Pinterest boards devoted to it."  You probably could have seen a light-bulb above my head.  But it went out quickly after I searched the whole store with no luck.  I walked out like a puppy with its tail between its legs.  I was bummed to say the least.

Then I thought that there was a slight chance that Target would have them, or at least something similar, because Target is hip and trendy like that.  Yes, I used the words hip and trendy, and hip and trendy are not hip and trendy words anymore, but sue me.  Target is hip and trendy.  So surely they had Filofax.

WRONG!  They had neither Filofax nor anything like it.  After a quick Google search, I discovered that Filofax is a UK thing.  And there is no K in my corner of the woods, just an S.  By that time, I knew I HAD to go home with a planner.  So I made it my mission to thriftify and Americanize the heck out of my planner.  I was going to make the coolest Filofax wannabe on a thrifty-ish budget.
Sidenote: I say thriftyish because I was determined to do this with as little money as possible to kind of stick it to the "Filofaxers" for not making their awesome planners readily available in the US.  I quickly discovered, to be as cool as Filofax, you have to spend a little money.

See one of my mermaid tails below, and let me know if you would like to order one.

Here is what I came home with the cost of a mermaid's tail later.

I set up a draft of a color-code system on the heart-covered paper from the dollar stop section at Target.  I just slipped it into the front pocket of my Filofax wannabe...I will just call her Milo (short for  My-lofax).
Pink (because I am not a huge fan of red)=Personal
Green=Orders (Like $, get it?)
Purple=Quotes and other randomness
Black=Contacts, dates, more official businessy stuff

I made 5 sections in Milo: Planner, Orders, Motivation, Blog, and Accomplished. And I did a practice for my page-a-day planner. I have 5 more tabs to determine behind these. I will probably use them for the not as fun businessy numbers stuff like expenses and such.

I stuck a cute little mini notebook into the back pocket secured temporarily with a rubber band. If I decide to keep it there I will find a more permanent securing method.

Milo will receive much more tinkering I am sure, but I am excited about the direction Milo and I are headed for the start of 2016.  If I don't see you before then, HAPPY NEW YEAR, my friends!

Be a FRUITLOOP in a word full of Cheerios!

No comments :

Post a Comment