life is crafted

Gillio Giramondo Review & Setup

I’ve had my newest addition to my planner family for about a week now so I thought it was time to share some photos of the setup in my new planner.

Those of you who follow this blog will know that I am a binder girl when it comes to my planners. I’ve been a binder fanatic ever since I got my first ever Filofax about 8 years ago, so adopting the ‘traveller’s notebook’ format has been a big step for me.

If you don’t already know what a traveller’s notebook is, take a look at this “Filofax vs Travelers Notebook” video to get an overview.

I did a lot of research before I decided on the system I wanted to test out, and in the end I chose to go with the Gillio Giramondo. It took some patience, the website has been out of stock forever (at least it feels that way to me!) and these babies are hard to come by, but I was lucky enough to be having a bout of insomnia about the same time that Melissa at Pembroke Papers, decided to list hers for sale on the Gillio Marketplace, and I snatched it up.

Let’s take a look:


As you can see I got the green epoca leather. Truthfully it wouldn’t have been my first choice of colour but I really love it!

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The Giramondo cover comfortably fits 5 notebooks inside, as well as the midori plastic zip insert. This is how I have the notebooks strung currently; two on the first elastic and 3 on the second.


I am not using any elastic bookmarks, instead choosing to use oli clips as page markers. I prefer the neatness of the ollies and the dangly bits of the elastic bookmarks annoy me a little – I’m weird like that.


My first insert is the zip insert from Midori filled with stickers and my “If lost please call” project life card.


Then I have a Ray Blake Original month on 2 pages (MO2P) insert which has all of 2015 and 2016 inside.


Next is the Ray Blake day on 1 page (DO1P) inserts. These hold 2 months to a booklet. I have the January opening of the first booklet oli clipped to today’s opening in the second booklet so I easily move between the two booklets without having to flip between unnecessary pages.


I use the DO1P pages in the bullet journal format to easily see my tasks, notes and events for the day. I’ve only been using this system for a week now, but I’m loving it so far. It’s not as pretty as my Life is Crafted inserts but it’s certainly as functional.

The third notebook/insert is a standard blank Midori insert and I use it as my personal journal:


The fourth booklet was a gift included in the Giramondo parcel from Pembroke Papers (thanks Melissa!) and I use that one for my brain dump book, and the fifth booklet is a standard Midori lined notebook which I use for various lists.


So how is it working out for me?

Well, the Gillio Giramondo cover is gorgeous of course. Gillio are known for their spectacular leather and this cover is no exception. But it’s functional too, the Giramondo cover is slightly wider than the original Midori one, so it can hold more notebooks without overhang which I like a lot. With my current set up none of my inserts are touching the closure elastic at all which I love.

One of the reasons I bought the Giramondo over other brands was because it had the additional pockets and credit card slots but actually I’m not using them at all.

As for the inserts/set up, I’ve been in the TN now for a week and I haven’t even glanced at my Van Der Spek. Y’all know I love the A5 size binders because you can fit so much in, I can never get used to a personal binder because there just isn’t enough writing space. Well, this is the best of both worlds. It’s more portable than an A5 (by a lot!!) and because there are no rings, you don’t lose ANY writing space like you would with a personal binder.

So, it turns out that this binder gal might just turn out to be a TN girl after-all. The system is excellent, and the Giramondo cover definitely gets 5 stars.


Weekly Planning – The Sunday Sessions

One of the biggest secrets about being an organised person is that it takes time.

I’ve already posted a little about how I spend my organising time in “How to Use a Planner to Get Organised” and in “Prepping for the Month Ahead” I outlined how I set up my planning ‘foundation’ for the coming month.

Today, I’m sharing my process for my weekly planning session.

My Sunday Sessions are probably the most time intensive, but also (I think!) the most important for making sure the week ahead goes smoothly.

Step 1: The Week in Review

First things first I do a review of the week that just passed.


If you’re using DIYfish inserts, there is already a section there for you to do this, if you’re using Life is Crafted, Arienne has a monthly review area you can use, but just a plain sheet of paper will be fine too!

What you choose to focus on in your week review is completely up to you, it might be financial goals or fitness goals – whatever you like.

Personally I focus on 4 areas:

  • Gratitude – 3 things I’m grateful for
  • Achievements – 3 things I’m proud of
  • Memories – 3 best moments of the week
  • Improvement – Something to change/focus on improving next week

This process gives me an opportunity to reflect on the week that passed, and take stock of my strengths and weaknesses, as well as celebrate the fun moments or things that made me feel happy.

Step 2: Setting Your Intentions

That sounds really ‘new-agey’ but setting intentions is a great way to acknowledge what you want to achieve in the week ahead.


Sometimes this section includes things like:

  1. No More Washi Tape!
  2. Stop Procrastinating!
  3. Don’t Visit Etsy!

Other weeks I focus on my personal or work goals, or even specific to-dos. My priorities change from week to week depending on what I feel is needed to balance out my life in that particular week. We are currently in the process of moving house, so for this week my top 3 priorities are:

  1. Pack non-essentials using colour coding index
  2. Create cleaning plan for new house
  3. Book services for moving weekend (mover, carpet cleaner etc)

Step 3: Weekly Overview

Before I even step into my daily pages, I use my DIYfish weekly overview page to map out the week.

I break each day into 5 sections.

  • Meal Planning
  • Cleaning Zone
  • Project Deadlines
  • Daily Kid’s Activity
  • Blog
  • Luke’s Roster

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I have 2 main reasons for using this section.

  • Balance: I want to make sure I have a good balance over the week. That I’m not overwhelmed with work, that we’re eating well, and that our activities are focusing on each of areas that Juniper needs to build on (Fine motor, Gross motor, Memory & Listening).


  • Flexibility: This is just an overview and is not set in stone. This plan often changes as my week evolves. For example: I might switch up the meals if Luke’s roster changes or drop an activity if we stay out late one day and don’t get back in time. So often I don’t add them all into my daily pages until I have a better idea of what’s happening.


Step 4: Daily Pages

As you know I use DIYfish Day on 2 Pages inserts, which leaves me with lots of room for planning and tracking and routines. This is what they look like at the start of the week:


Often I add a little flair to my pages with positive quotes and stickers, but the most important thing for me to add at the start of the week is Luke’s Roster, and my project deadlines – everything else in our days is flexible and may change.

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Luke’s work hours are indicated with the green line.. I block out the hours he will be gone. The red dot means that I have a deadline that day – the details of which will be added to my work to-do list on the 2nd page.

I also add in any immovable items like time specific appointments, social gatherings or visitors, and then I build up my ‘flexible’ daily items around them, and that includes things like my blog posts or Juniper’s daily activities.

Before I finish my weekly session, I cross reference against my DIYfish monthly and weekly inserts to make sure I haven’t overlooked anything important.

Then I’m set for the week!


I’ll give you a closer look at how I use those daily pages this week when I write my DO2P post – so stay tuned!

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How to use a Planner to get Organised

Here’s a secret about being organised: it takes effort!

You probably won’t find your ideal planner or inserts your first time out of the gate, and that’s okay, because the biggest tip I can give you for staying organised is not about inserts or tabs or stickers.

The biggest tip for how to use your planner is…


to actually use your planner.

It’s not enough to buy one – having an organiser will not make you organised.

It’s not enough to decorate the pages – pretty pages will not make you productive.

So, what do you have to do? Here is my 3 Step Plan:

Step One: Decide What You Want to Do

Step Two: Write it Down

Step Three: Do it!!

Easy right?

David Allen of Getting Things Done fame, says

“Your mind is for having ideas, not storing them”

And that’s where your planner comes in.

Here’s What I Do

First things first I write everything down.. and I mean everything. If I see an ad for something I think I might like to buy, I write it on my wishlist, if I decide that Juniper is not eating enough spinach I’ll write it in my meal planning section, if I get a notice about a rental inspection it goes into my planner before I even put the notice down.

One of my big planning AHA moments was realising that my brain alone could not be trusted!

My planner is an A5 binder. It’s quite large and not all that portable, so it spends most of the time sitting open on my desk.


I visit my planner at least 3 times every day to make sure I know what’s coming up, and to ensure that the day is going according to plan.

Filofax Visiting Hours

  • 7AM: First thing in the morning as part of my morning routine, I take a glance at the day and remind myself of what’s ahead.
  • 1PM: While Juniper is napping I take some time to mark off any completed items, check what activity we have scheduled for the day and prepare everything so that we’re ready to get started when she wakes up. \
  • 10PM: At the end of the day, in the last half hour before bed, I go through and make sure I have accomplished everything I had planned for the day. I reschedule anything that wasn’t achieved.

It is also open beside me on my desk whenever I am working through my freelance projects, or paying bills or meal planning, or any of the other million things I do at my desk.. out of sight is out of mind so I keep her in plain sight as much as possible.

Seeing What’s What

Ideally, you need to be able to see at a glance what is already done and what still needs attention.

Personally, I have an indexing code for marking things off. The code includes things like ‘in progress’ ‘rescheduled’ ‘cancelled’ and ‘completed’. It’s on a small piece of paper and is kept in my planner for reference:



As you can see, items are also colour coded for the person it relates to and the type of activity it is, as well as for how long it will take to complete. So, if I know I have a spare 15 minutes I can quickly see what can be achieved in that time frame. I have that time coding reference on the top of each insert page for quick reference. You can see that, as well as the time coded to-do list in action below.


In addition to my daily filofax visiting hours, I have time scheduled on Sundays to go through and do a weekly review and to plan the week ahead.. but that’s a post for another time! Subscribe to the blog to make sure you don’t miss out.

Want more tips?

My Top Planner Tools for 2017
Life & Business Planners starting at $10
Personal Growth Planning

Getting Organised in 2016


Current Set-up – Inserts

Continuing on from the post about the tabs in my current set-up, I wanted to share some photos of the inserts that I have been using for the last year.

If you read the previous post, you’ll already know that for the last year I have had planner peace with my Filofax A5 Holborn Zip, with Life is Crafted week on 2 pages inserts.




I would have been happy to stay with this set up FOREVER – that’s how great the LIC inserts are, but my life is getting busier and busier and these days I just need MORE space than the Life is Crafted allows for, so I’m transitioning into another system. But before I do, I wanted to give a shout-out to Arienne at Life is Crafted because these inserts have been amazing for me and I want everyone to know about them!

How I Use LIC Inserts

The top section of the Wo2p is blank so it can be used for anything you like. I use that section for meal planning and to record my daily Flylady tasks.

The dated section has times running from 8am-8pm, which didn’t really suit my schedule since I usually work well into the night, so rather than use that for timed appointments I just kind of added work commitments in, in the order that they needed to be tackled. If I ever have a time sensitive appointment (like the doctor for example) I’ll add it in on a piece of washi so it stands out.

In the blank line at the top of the dated section I put my husbands work schedule. He is on a roster system so his work times change every week.

During the week pictured above we had my Mum visiting from out of town as you can see from the banner stickers.

The top 3 priorities I usually leave blank, my priorities are a little more broad so I always filled in the ‘top 3 priorities for week’ section in the top right corner instead.

In theĀ to do today area I plan out my daughter’s learning activities for the week.. I usually have that section filled out about 6 weeks in advance.

The remember! area is used to keep track of people’s birthdays, and I also put a reminder in the week prior to birthdays so I can remember to mail a card.

On the right hand side is the top 3 weekly priorities section which I mentioned above, then there are some blank boxes which I use to keep track of work that needs to be billed as well as any outstanding invoices. Then at the bottom is a gratitude box, where I end the week by writing 5 things I’ve been grateful for in the week.

When a task is completed it gets a tick, and if it needs to be rescheduled it gets a line through it with an arrow to show that it was moved elsewhere.

Usually by the end of my week my planner looks more like this:


That’s a different week than the one pictured above obviously but it will give you a bit of an idea of why I need to transition to a system with more room!

I had intended to move into the Life is Crafted day to a page – I even bought them – but I found that not being able to see an overview of my week was stressing me out, so I’m now moving into the DIYfish inserts which give me even more room with 2 pages per day, plus I can see both my weekly and monthly view all at one time. (sorry Arienne!)

I’m already using the DIYfish weekly and monthly pages, but I’ll update the blog again when I’m completely moved in and let you all see how I’m using them.

Current Planner Set-up – Tabs

I’ve been meaning to do a post about my planner set up for a while, because I’ve been in blissful “planner peace” stage for a while.. it seems kind of ridiculous that I’m motivated to do it now, just when I’m coming out of planner peace mode and transitioning to a new system but that’s exactly what I’m doing!

The system below is what I’ve been using for the last year – which is a record for me. Usually I’m on the hunt for the perfect planner or tweaking my inserts as I go trying to find the system that’s JUST right. For the last year this is the system that has been just right.. and it would probably have continued to be, but life just seems to be getting busier!

What I’m using:

Filofax A5 Holborn Zip in Brown


Prior to the Holborn I was in a Filofax A5 sketch which I got for a great price from Brands Exclusive. I got the sketch because I wanted to test out the size on a cheaper filo before I committed to the Holborn. Then, by the time I was committed to the size the Holborn zip was EXCRUCIATINGLY difficult to find, but find it I did!

In the Holborn I have the following tabs:


Let’s Take a Closer Look at Each Section:

To Dos

This section is pretty obvious. This is where I keep my master to do list and my GTD brain dump pages, as well as spare to do list pages.

Daily Reminders

This section is a little bit mislabeled but includes

– My Flylady Morning Routine
– My Flylady Evening Routine
– Daily reminders for tasks around the house
– My Flylady Weekly Home Blessing List- My Daily tracking list

I’ll go through each of those lists in another post to explain how I break up my time during each day

Meals & Shopping

Our actual grocery lists are all done via the couple app on our iPhones but this section includes

– Wishlists for each member of the family
– Information about big purchases coming up (eg: new washing machine)
– Meals that have been favourites, for when I can’t think of anything good to cook
– A list of expected mail that is yet to be received
– A shopping list for upcoming craft activities for Juniper – we do a supply run every month


This section is mostly related to my business finances, but there are a few personal lists in there as well.

– Invoices
– Work that is yet to be billed
– A current pricelist for my services and clients specific prices where applicable
– A household savings register
– A register of autism related expenses for our Juniper’s resources and treatments


This is pretty straightforward, I keep all our families information in here, from tax file numbers to bank account details, passport numbers, superannuation details, medicare numbers, life insurance policies etc. I also keep some cryptic password reminders in here and pro and cons lists and ‘make a decision’ pages for when we need to make a big decision.


This is just me opening ruler for the planner. I currently have A5 Week on 2 Page Life is Crafted inserts in, I’ll discuss them in more detail in my next post.


This is a bit of a fun section. Here I keep my bucket list, gratitude lists, life highlights list, things I’m proud of acheiving, and some personal goal planning stuff. A lot of the inserts in this sections came with the Life is Crafted pack, and even after I move away from that system I’ll continue to use those.


This is my scribble section and is filled with blank and lined paper.. I clean out this section at the end of each week and either file/copy information into the relevant sections of my planner or throw them away.

Contacts and Info

This is obviously for addresses and phone numbers but I also keep my birthday lists and special dates to remember lists in this section.



The dividers themselves came from this seller on Etsy and were a combination of side, bottom and top tabs.