Thursday, June 9, 2016

Ok, I got sucked in!

I know I was just saying that I didn't understand the whole EC Life Planner & sticker addicted planner thing. The problem was that I had to research it a bit for that post, and I fell down the rabbit hole and found myself ordering an Erin Condren planner, some of the accessories, and more printable stickers from various shops on Etsy. I still don't know how this works. How do people know which stickers to use? This seems like another place where I'm going to hoard, which is why I'm going with "printable" versions instead of buying ready-made stickers that I will be afraid to use up. I dug thru my old files on my computer to find the printables from last year when I first discovered them. I printed out a LOT on regular paper because (being a hoarder) I didn't want to waste my precious full-page sticker paper if I wasn't sure I was going to use them. Then, (being a hoarder) I went on Amazon and bought a lot more sticker paper so that wouldn't be an issue going forward. I got glue sticks to use to glue regular paper into my planners and notebooks. I'm using the labels for my notebooks (such as to mark dates) and plan to use them when my new EC planner arrives later this month. I also loved the idea of Traveler's Notebooks, but couldn't justify the cost of buying the inserts or a fancy cover. I'd gotten a Recollections version from Michaels with a coupon a few weeks back but hadn't used it yet because I wanted to make more inserts before I started using the provided ones. I went online and researched how to make them again. I found one particular guy, Ray Blake, who did a fabulous job describing his process in a youtube video. But when I tried to print his bullet journal and Nanowrimo inserts(and others from several different sources, too, actually), setting the printer's binding to short edge as directed caused the front & back not to line up correctly. That issue almost caused me to give up. [Ok, so last Sunday, I did give up in frustration, which is why I ordered the Erin Condren planner, but that's besides the point.] Then, yesterday, I decided that I really didn't need lined paper in my notebooks, or the formatted printing at all. I could make do with generic blank copy paper (I'd like to use heavier paper, but then you can't fit as many sheets in it). Now, my problem with using the pre-made cover is that the measurements of the paper are of course non-standard. But luckily for me, Michaels uses 8 1/2 x 8 1/4" paper. Which means I just needed to use my paper cutter to trim my 11" copy paper to 8 1/4." One cut I can handle. In the past, I made notebook booklets by just setting my long-arm stapler to the right measurement, putting a piece of cardstock on top of my letter paper, and stapling it a few times and THEN folding at the staples. When I tried to do it with these smaller notebooks, with the number of sheets I wanted, the paper wasn't liking the fold that way. So, I followed Ray's instructions and scored the covers and pages (a few sheets of paper at a time) using my Martha Stewart scoring board (I think it's actually an envelope making device), folded and creased them with the bone folder, and then stapled afterward. After doing that, the books folded better. I did print out a writing guide for Traveler's Notebooks from Ray's site, but had to print it at about 95% so that it fit my sized notebook better. That will help me write straight on the blank paper. Now what I know you might be thinking is Why the hell does she need a traveler's notebook when she's just spent all that money on the EC planner? I was thinking this myself. I still think it, as I'm sitting at my desk surrounded by the materials and tools I was using to make these inserts. The answer is that: 1 - I am addicted to notebooks 2 - ECLP will be useful for planning my days, but I still LOVE my bullet journal roots, 3 - I need a place to record the challenges I do on Instagram like the #RockYourHandwriting and #ListersGottaList challenges 4 - From the reviews I've seen of the Erin Condren planners, I don't see enough space to put some of the things I like to track 5 - I still want to be able to do brain-dumps, and I need a safe place to do that. I see a lot of people in the planner community who use multiple planners or notebooks for different purposes. The TN allows you to have separate inserts for different topics. Like I can have an insert devoted to my blog, and another for my brain dumps. When the brain dump insert is full, I can swap it with a fresh insert and still have my slower-to-fill blog insert. So, I'm gonna see how this works out. The Erin Condren planner should be here before the end of the month, I'll give it the summer. And if I love the TN, I might look for a "wide" version of the cover so that I can use half-letter sized inserts. The main reason I hadn't gotten one of those notebooks months ago was that I am not a fan of the narrow paper. We'll see how this goes.

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