Photo Pocket Insert for my Fauxdori

Photo pocket insert for a fauxdori

I realized a few weeks ago that I don’t carry pictures of my kid with me. As a parent one of the questions people semi frequently ask is what does your kid look like now. Until last week the only picture I had of my son was from daycare … he hasn’t been in daycare for years. If I have my iPad with me I can show more recent pictures, but they are all silly shots. Things like him dressed up with a mask on, or of something he built covering half his blurry face.

These days it is rare for me to be out without my fauxdori, so I figured why not add pictures to it. I found these photo pockets at Michael’s and decided to use them to add a picture insert to my fauxdori. I used duck brand duct tape (I cut about 1/2 cm off the width), to attach two sheets together and ta-da I have a photo insert.

You could make the duck tape narrower, but I wanted it to wrap around one my notebooks instead of using it as stand alone insert. I think having it wrap around one of my notebooks also takes pressure off the duct tape, so it should last longer. The duct tape needs to be wide enough to wrap around the spine of the notebook because the plastic of the photo insert is too thick to curve. I also made sure to pinch the duct tape together in each of the little cut outs for the binder rings the insert is intended for to help keep everything in place.

I’ve been using the photo insert for about a week, and I’m really happy with it. I now have pictures of my family, most recent obstacle style race, my nieces and nephews, and some motivational sayings. Each large pocket is 3×4 inches, so you can get two from a single 4×6. The smaller pockets are 2×2, so you can get six from a 4×6 print. It cost me less than a dollar to print the pictures I needed. Can’t complain about that.

Do you ever print pictures anymore? What is your favourite Fauxdoti insert?

Fauxdori – Bullet Journal Update

Leather fauxdori with red coverI’m several months out from my last bullet journal update, so I thought it was time to post another.

I’ve been using a fauxdori, with a bullet journal insert, for organizing my personal life since October of last year. I took a break from the bullet journal for most of June, but as soon as July hit I realized how much easier it was to keep on top of things when I was using my bullet journal.

My fauxdori has two elastics in the spine and usually has four inserts, two on each elastic. My current set up is: First my gratitude journal, second my bullet journal, and finally a scrap paper notebook wrapped in a plastic pocket insert. I keep the bullet journal in the middle because I write in it the most, and I can use it while still in the fauxdori. The gratitude notebook I pull out if I am making a lot of notes, and the scrap notebook doesn’t need to be neat or legible. The plastic pocket is from Michael’s Travelers notebook line. I like it, but it is narrower than my other inserts and the zipper pull might get annoying. I’m not sure yet if I’ll keep it long term or not.

I used to keep a novel or writing notebook in my fauxdori instead of the gratitude journal. If I don’t start using the gratitude journal more, I’ll probably switch back to that set up. I could easily keep both, but I find the fauxdori a little too thick with four notebooks in it. Three is my preferred set up.

My Bullet Journal set up is as follows:

  • Index at the front. I don’t index daily logging pages, but use a range for months from the first to last page used.
  • Set up pages:
    • The first page is my priorities for this year.
    • The second (facing page) is My quilt to do list which includes the sizes of my finished quilts for reference. I use this all the time!
    • The next set of facing pages I’ve broken into four sections on each side. This is my future log. I have June-Dec (I started a new journal in May as I used up my previous one), and the last section is for 2018.
  • Month, daily logging and list pages:
    • Each month starts with a set of facing pages. On the left is the month at a glance calendar. On the right I put my goals at the top of the page, then I do a to do list for each week.
    • The daily logging pages are the usual, but I don’t migrate unfinished items until I turn to a new page and can’t see the items anymore.
    • I put my list pages in whenever I need them and add them to the index as per usual.

Do you use a Bullet journal or a Midori? How long have you been using your journal?

How I use my Bullet Journal

I started bullet journaling in October and it has been several months of figuring out what I like about the system and what doesn’t work for me.

A Weekly Spread
In October I started with the system as described plus I added a weekly spread and skipped daily logging. This meant that at the beginning of the month I had a month calendar page, a month to do list, and a weekly spread. I quickly figured out the weekly spread wasn’t going to work for me. I ran out of space on a few days, and had a few days that I didn’t use all of the space I had allocated. I did really like that I could put to do items onto future days though instead of into the general monthly to do list.

A Weekly to do list
Later in October I tried removing the weekly spread, adding a weekly to do, and adding daily logging. I liked the daily log a lot more than I thought I would. Having the weekly to do list also allowed me to write in things I had to remember for later in the week. After a few days I also decided not to migrate tasks daily. This took up too much time and left me repeating a few tasks for days at a time. Instead I switched to migrating daily tasks when I moved to a new page and could no longer see them at a glance.

Figuring out the right To Do list
In November I tried removing the monthly to do list. I found I was using the weekly one instead of the monthly, so why not toss the monthly! Instead I did a monthly calendar, and used the opposite side to hold goals etc. Then I had a new weekly page spread for each week of the month. It turned out that didn’t work for me either. The weekly and monthly pages all had too much space. It felt very inefficient.

In December I figured out what works for me

  • the six month future calendar.
  • the monthly calendar.
  • on the facing page I put my monthly goals and then start my weekly logs. If the logs run off this page I just move to the next blank page the way I would with daily logging.
  • daily logging, but I only migrate unfinished tasks when I move off that two page spread.
  • I do have a few lists on the go including – books I’ve read, funny things my son says, etc.

In the end the only real change I needed to make was to break the monthly to do list into weekly segments. Who knew such a small change would make such a big difference for me?

In an effort to keep my journal simple and uncluttered I’ve been sure not to include the following:

  • grocery lists. I keep a blank scrap notebook in my midori for this and other notes I don’t want/need to keep.
  • writing notes, ideas, and plotting stuff. I keep a notebook for each novel length project, with the current project’s notebook in my midori.
  • I was very careful in the beginning about what collections I started. I still have fewer than five list pages. Any more and I would struggle to keep track of them.

Do you use a bullet journal or other logging system? Have you ever tried a midori notebook to keep yourself organized?

Making a Fauxdori

This post is longer than usual. A few people have asked how I made my fauxdori, so here is a basic ‘how to’ post.

I mentioned a few posts ago that I had plans to make a fauxdori to call my own. Well a few days ago I had a some friends over and we got to work. In one afternoon we made a total of four fauxdoris. They were all a little different, but the process for making them was the same.

Tooling leather untreatedWe made them from basic tooling leather. As I like to say, the leather is lower quality good leather. It is 6-7 oz and has a lovely stiff feel for a notebook cover. It was also my first leather project since I was still in school, so we didn’t want to risk spending too much money on a failed attempt.

The first step was cutting out the leather. We cut it with a rotary cutter and mat. I have a lot of cutting experience from my time cutting quilts, so this step was easy. The leather was thicker to cut through than fabric, but once I got the hang of it, it wasn’t a problem to cut it in a single pass. I made my cover 8.5 inches tall and 11.75 inches wide. I’d seen a lot of covers online that were 12 inches, but I thought they had a little too much overhang.

Leather, cover, and awlNext up was rounding the corners. I found a highlighter in our pen bin in the kitchen, and we used it as a guide to round the corners with a scalpel style blade. Once the corners were rounded, it was time to punch the holes in the spine. I knew I wanted two side by side elastics to hold notebooks and I needed one hole to hold the wrap around elastic.

When we punched the holes the leather was still untreated like the piece on the left. I punched my holes 3/8 inch from the top and bottom edge. The holes are 3/8 of an inch apart. The hole in the middle for the wrap around elastic is in the centre of the piece of leather.

Once the corners were rounded, and the holes were punched, it was time to dye the cover. I put on one coat of pure neatsfoot oil, then two coats of red dye. The first picture shows the cover while it is drying. The next two pictures show the cover, with the elastic threaded through, from the front and top.

Right now I have two large moleskine cahier notebooks in my cover (they are 5 x 8.25 inches). One in each elastic. I designed the cover to carry up to four notebooks, but usually it will carry 2-3.

Do you have a midori or fauxdori? How many notebooks do you usually carry around?

October Goals

In September my goals were:

  1. Pick a project to work on from now until NaNo and stick to it! 5k this month. – Nope.
  2. Finish my Shoo Fly quilt top. I mostly just have to sew the rows together. – DONE!
  3. Create three detailed characters for my NaNo Novel. – DONE!
  4. Write up a detailed outline for my NaNo Novel idea. – half done

For number one I picked my YA Urban Fantasy Project. It was the project that called to me for submission to my critique group, and I really didn’t need three projects on the go at the same time. I did get some of the novel polished up enough to submit it for critique group, but I didn’t get any new words written.

For number four I have about the first third of the novel outlined, a bunch of ideas for the middle, and a good handle on the end.

My goals for October are:

  1. Get a sewing/writing area set up in the Study.
  2. Finish my NaNo novel outline.
  3. Make my travellers notebook.
  4. Use my bullet journal for the entire month.

What are your goals for October? Did you get everything done you wanted to in September?

Have you set up your Novel yet?

Bullet Journal in Moleskine CahierNational Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is just around the corner. I know it’s getting close because the NaNoWriMo site has been rolled over for 2016. That means you can now login and create your novel. This year the NaNo folks have made it very easy. When you login you should get a pop up which will take you directly to the screen to input your novel information. So go do that… right now! Yes, now. No time like the present and all that.

I’m slowly working my way through my usual pre NaNo prep. Some of what I like to accomplish before November 1st is listed in my get ready post from last year. The two things I have left to get ready are some meals, and my notebook.

Meals
The meals are harder than usual as my son is on a somewhat limited diet. Well not that limited, but tricky for putting things in the freezer. Luckily I’ve been doing NaNo for years and have managed to work my writing into the time after he is in bed, or on weekends when he is at the park with his Dad. I hope the schedule that has worked the last few years will work this year as well. If not I might really be missing those freezer meals.

Notebook
For my notebook this year I’m going all out. I’ll be making a fauxdori later this week to hold Moleskine Cahier large notebooks. I’ve had trouble in the past keeping my notebooks organized. I often have 2-3 notebooks/journals on the go at a time. Trying to keep track of them is difficult, and I hadn’t figured out a way to easily keep them together or combine them into a single notebook. The solution (I hope) is a fauxdori Travelers notebook cover. In November this will let me carry my Bullet Journal and NaNo notebook at the same time without one spilling into the other. Jumping right into the deep end feels like the perfect test for if I’ll use a fauxdori or not. I need a notebook system that can get me through a busy November without falling apart (or better yet one that stops me from falling apart!).

Have you signed up for NaNoWriMo yet? Are you feeling prepped or already feeling the pressure? How do you handle notes and ideas for your novels?

Journals, Notebooks, and Organization

I have always loved notebooks. My love of notebooks probably comes from my father. He almost always carried a little notebook with him. When he passed away I found a little stash of notebooks ready and waiting for when he needed them. He used to write notes about books he wanted to read, articles he enjoyed, music he’d listened to, or things he wanted to do on his next trip. Basically he kept a running list of everyday stuff he found useful or handy.

In Jr. High and High school I kept a true journal or diary. I would write in my journal almost everyday. A lot of it was boring everyday things, but it helped keep my mind clear and remind me of what was important to me. It was a great place to let loose when I was angry and struggling to process events, or when I wanted to note a great accomplishment.

These days I use notebooks for writing, crafting, and to do lists. When I’m planing a new story I almost always have a notebook on the go. I start writing out the plot, character sketches, research topics, and random ideas about the story. A friend of mine introduced me to Bullet Journaling and I’ve been meaning to try it to help schedule and keep track of to do items.

My latest idea for journaling is to make myself a Midori Travelers notebook. The Midori brand version is a little too expensive for me, but the concept is fairly simple. My plan is to make a small one to be able to use Moleskine cahier pocket notebooks as inserts. This should allow me to have a bullet journal in one notebook, and another notebook (or two) for stories I have on the go.

Are you a notebook person? How do you organize your thoughts, to do lists, etc?