Filofax Friday | The Anniversary Edition

One year ago Monika and I came up with the idea to share about our Filofax adventures online once a month. It’s been a busy year, and the habit of posting about my planning every month has really helped me to streamline and pinpoint the most important parts of using my planner. I know now that my binder is a tool, and not an accessory. When I started on this journey, I felt disorganised and overwhelmed with all my various responsibilities. One year later with Filofax Friday, I can definitely say I have made many improvements, and I have a better handle on my days and on my life in general.

Filofax Friday Anniversary Edition and Free Christmas Printable-1

For the second year, I have a section dedicated to Christmas planning, and it has made a huge difference in how I approach the Holidays. With all my ideas to-dos in one place, it’s easier for me to prioritise and decide what I want to focus on. An Now that my son is older, we want to introduce more Holiday activities. We tried to keep things pretty simple for him as a baby and toddler, but now that he is five his interests are broadening. However, because I still stand by my slow living ideals, we won’t be going overboard.

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We’ll be choosing the Top 5 things we want to do this year, and focus on those so that we don’t get caught up with all the hustle and bustle. It’s so easy to want to do every single thing, and make a huge bucket list of activities, but I really believe that when it comes to experiences less is more. I designed a simple checklist to help us note down our top 5 for Christmas this year

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[bctt tweet=”When it comes to experiences less is more. Get a free printable to plan you Christmas Top 5 this year”]

And I am happy to share it with you too! It’s available in both letter size and A4 formats. You can see that I used the A4 version to print mine out at A5 to fit my binder, and if you use a half-sized binder you can do the same using the letter sized sheet.


Christmas Top 5 Checklist from Callaloo Soup

 Letter size    |     A4

What’s on your Christmas Top 5 this year?

Don’t forget to stop by Monika’s blog too!




Want even more Christmas planning printables? Sign up below!

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Filofax Friday | Evolution of My Dailies

Filofax Friday - Evolution of Daily Pages - Callaloo Soup-4


I’d be lost without my daily pages. Using just a weekly planner didn’t work for me, I have too many things to juggle on a daily basis: two shops on Etsy, my blog, scrapbooking assignments, guest blogging commitments, and of course family stuff. When I used just a weekly layout my pages looked like this.

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I tried to cram everythingfor the week into these two pages, and ended up hopelessly overwhelmed. Those circle stickers meant something, but I have no idea what. Thank goodness I found DIYFish! I’ve been using the inserts for a year now, and there’s no going back. The way I use them has evolved over time though. Here’s a look at some changes I made just in the last couple months.

First, this is my day on two pages (DO2P) set up in January of this year

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On the left I listed all my tasks, and used the right side for notes. I pretty much continued like this all year, but in September I decided to try out methods for actually scheduling my tasks

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First with the LM CLock (based on Hyperdex). It kind of worked, but I had to remember to print it on all the pages. Then Sheng Cheng herself posted an idea for using the built in schedule on the left page


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It definitely helped. I would draw in the column, then use my color codes to sketch out when each block of tasks would be done.

But I still found it hard to distinguish between all my various bits and pieces. In fact, my to do list was never quite complete. I wasn’t listing everything I needed to do or remember, there just didn’t seem to be enough space for it all (DUH).

Last week, a member of the DIYFish Facebook Group (yes, it does exist) posted her pages showing how she divided the two pages up into different sections. Ding, ding, ding! Lots of light bulbs went off for me:

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I started using this idea this week, and it is working so well. I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before. It does mean that I have to draw columns in every day, but I actually find it therapeutic. I try to draw the columns the night before so that I’m ready to go the next morning. I use my colour codes at the top of each column. The great thing about this is that I can use whatever headings I need for a particular day, I am not bound by pre-designed categories.

The two that will probably stay the same are the 90-90-1 section and the self care section


It hit me that right under the water intake would be the perfect place for tracking my exercise and other self-care activities.

The 90-90-1 section at the top is where I put my most important projects. I got the idea from this article, that explained devoting the first 90 minutes of your day to working on that 1 big project for 90 days. So this is the work I do before I turn on the computer and read e-mail or check social media. This is when I work on things like my recent website move, or new printable designs. It’s another thing that has made a big impact in my work. Once I started doing this, I found that not only did I have time for the big projects, but I was still able to get all the daily, smaller tasks done too!

So that’s what’s happening in my Filofax these days. It’s not particularly pretty, but it works!

Filofax Friday - Evolution of Daily Pages - Callaloo SoupDon’t forget to go see what Monika is up to this month.

How are you planning out your days?


Filofax Friday | Journaling With the Clipbook

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Over the last month I’ve been taking the Journal Your Life class with Susannah Conway (I LOVE her), and since I love using Filofaxes for everything, I figured why not use one for my more creative artsy journal? I’ve been eyeing the Clipbooks since they were released, but my favourite, that gasoline blue one was always out of stock! As luck would have it, it came back into stock just as the class was starting so I snatched one up.

It is so perfect for this use! (And I already have other ideas on how I can use them ha!). It’s soft and light, made for folding and bending, and comes with a bunch of notesheets: blank, lined and squared, thus perfect for scribbling, doodling and sketching.

Here it is in action

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I love that I can add my own pages in between the notebook sheets too. I’ve been busy cutting magazines up!

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I store the bits I cut out, plus tabs and sticky notes in the plastic pockets that came with my other two A5 binders, and that I never seemed to use.

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Because the Clipbook is durable and absolutely not expensive, it’s one binder that I am happy to toss in my handbag, leave on the floor, shove under my bed…. you get the picture.

Do you use a Filofax for journaling, scrapbooking or other creative pursuits?

Let’s see what Monika is up to this month!

P.S. I posted a free printable for planning handmade gifts, if you’re into that sort of thing.


Filofax Friday | Bullet Journaling on the Go

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While traveling this summer, I left my A5 Filofax at home, because I really didn't need to use a planner every day. After all, I was on vacation. But I knew I needed to have a notebook to keep track of stuff, make notes, and stay on top of the few tasks I would still need to do. I decided to try out bullet journaling for the five weeks I'd be away.

It was the perfect system to keep me on track, since it is a simple list style of to-do lists and other notes. I used a midori style set-up that I made myself with two small notebooks and a leather cover.

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You can find a tutorial to make your own midori style covers here

Here are my month pages

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Here are a couple of daily pages

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And here is an extra page with some notes I made

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This worked really well for me during my vacation. I had a place to note things down, like business and crafty ideas, as well as other bits of information while away.

I think I'll be incorporating some of the bullet journal ideas into my regular Filofax now.

Do you ever use a back-up planning tool while traveling or on vacation? Let me know in the comments, and then be sure to head on over to Monika's blog!


Filofax Friday | Stationery Love and a Giveaway

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I’m not huge on decorating my planner pages. I marvel at the creative things people do with themed weeks and washi tape, but I prefer a plain slate to work on (I am working on using colour codes though). On the other hand, I do love me some sticky notes, and can’t get enough of cute paper clips and binder clips. I tried keeping them in the pockets of my Filofax, but it made it too lumpy for writing. What’s a stationery loving girl to do?

Get one of these nifty organisers of course!

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I saw a number of people post these on Facebook and in other Filofax sites. and found out that they are passport organisers that you can purchase from eBay at a steal. They come in a variety of colours too, I chose turquoise, since for some reason there was no yellow (gasp!)

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FiloFax Friday - Organising Stationery and a Giveaway at Callaloo Soup-2

I stuffed it full of sticky notes, sticky flags, clips, index cards and a multi-ink pen, and keep it on my desk for when the sticky note urge hits me.

Completely unrelated to my subject line, here is a little tip. We’re going on a trip, and I always get stressed out making sure I remember everything. So I added a Checklist sub-section to my Tickler section

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And now I can make a list of everything I need to so and take and check it off as I go.

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I’m keeping it separate from my regular to-dos since it’s a very specific list and I don’t want it to get lost among all my regualr tasks. This would work well for one-time specific projects too. It’s barebones for now, but I plan to make or find a checkbox notepage that I can print out in the future.

Oh and I said something about a giveaway! Update: This giveaway is now closed

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I have extras of these mini binder clips, and I’ll pick three people to receive a pack each! Just leave a comment telling me your favourite planner tip or trick. I’ll leave the giveaway open until Monday night May 12th.

Don’t forget to head on over to see Filofax Friday by Monika at I Love It All

Thanks for dropping by!


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Filofax Friday | And Then There Were Two

FiloFax Friday - Then There Were Two at Callaloo Soup

When I entered the Filofax world last year, I knew I should start off with just one, and see how it worked for me. Believe me I drooled over many of the planners, but I wanted to have just one place to house everything. In the past having information scattered throughout various notebooks and journals led to disaster, so I wanted to keep it simple.

But for the last few weeks I have been having a niggling feeling that I needed to get another planner. My Apex was filling up fast and getting bulky, and I also felt like I wasn’t getting as much business planning done as I should. In February I tried to use an A4 sized binder for business planning, but I really didn’t like the larger size; it just took up too much room on my desk and work table.

So I took the plunge this week and got a new A5 Metropol, just for business stuff: that is my two shops on Etsy.

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My plan is to use it for overall business development, goal planning, setting business goals, and working on product development. Here’s what’s in there (so far)

At the front is my 2014 year planner from DIYFish.

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I use it to map out the year, and analyse last year’s sales, as well as plan sales/product cycles for 2014

Next is a monthly calendar for planning big events, important tasks and product launches for that month.

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The next section is where I get into the details of events and projects for each week. Less than an hour after I ordered the new planner, I found a post on Facebook about the DIYFish Life Mapping planners specifically meant for tracking events and small projects.

Total aha moment for me, and after reading some more about it, I realised it would be a good system for drilling down my projects, and doing more of the business planning I know I needed to do. I ordered a three month set to try it out.

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Using the weekly planning sheet, I was able to break down a big project into the steps I need to take, and plan which day each bit would be done next week.

After that I have sections for big picture planning

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product development and a notes section for all the business development classes I take online.

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Now my Apex is primarily for my daily to-do lists, blog planning and keeping note of general  ideas and things to remember. I’m only just getting started on this new dual planner system, so we’ll see how it’s working in a couple months.

Do you have more than one planner? Why, or why not? Leave me a note in the comments, then click over to see what Monika is writing about this month.



Filofax Friday | Three Little Things

Hello again planner addicts! For this month’s edition of Filofax Friday I want to share three little things I’ve added to my planner recently. The more I use my Filofax A5, the more I am seeing what additions can really help me out. I’m definitely a confirmed paper planner now, nothing has worked this well before to keep me on track.

First, I needed somewhere to keep monthly receipts. This year I am getting serious about budgeting, plus I have business receipts to keep track of. So I made a little pocket for stashing the receipts.

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I don’t have a budget section in my planner, since I do the budgeting in Excel on my computer, so I placed the envelope at the start of the month section in my DIYFish planning pages.

To make the envelope (really it’s more of a pouch), I folded over a piece of plastic and taped the bottom and sides with washi tape. Then I punched holes in one side to add it in to the planner.

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The next thing I’ve added is a Weekly Goal Sheet

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It’s based on this idea,  but instead of being on my wall like before, it’s in my planner. I used a clear sheet and drew in spaces for the small post-its. I think six big goals a week is more than enough right? The sheet is removable so I can move it from week to week. Plus since it’s transparent, it won’t completely block any notes I make on the page underneath. Sadly things are “out of sight, out of mind” in my world, so I need to make sure I have visual triggers!

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Finally, I added a ALT Key Cheat Sheet to my Tickler section (you can read more about it here)

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Instead of always having to go online to find these ALT key codes I can just flip to it when I need to. It’s nothing fancy, just printed out and laminated.

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And one last thing: The clear plastic I mentioned above for the pocket and goal sheets, I actually “made” myself! It was a bit of a coincidental discovery. When I was cutting out laminated pieces for my son, I discovered that wherever the pouch didn’t have paper, it fused to itself to make a nice hard clear plastic. Which makes sense! So now if I need clear plastic in a pinch, I run an empty pouch through the machine.

And that’s it for me! Go on over to see what Monika is talking about today at I Love it All.


P.S. I have started sharing more Filofax related posts on my Tumblr blog, so you can follow along there or in Instagram for all my planner related stuff.


Filofax Friday | Blog Planning

Filofax Friday - Blog planning at Callaloo Soup

Welcome back to Filofax Friday. One of the sections I have been paying to attention to lately is my blog planning section. Blogging is a big part of what I do, and to do it effectively, I need to plan. Once upon a time when I was a blogging newborn, I’d simply wake up every morning and wonder “what should I blog about today?” And that was fine at that time. After all blog actually means web log, and so approaching it daily made sense. But eventually it evolved to be somewhat more than that, and I decided to come up with a blogging calendar, an editorial calendar if you will. I also needed a place to brainstorm and keep ideas.

I saw a post from Elsie Larson months back about using post-its for this and loved the idea. I wanted mine to be a bit more structured though, so I when I saw this idea from Homemade by Carmona, I had a light bulb moment! I took it a step further, and made a separate page for each phase: Brainstorming, In progress & Completed. I also divided my ideas into General Ideas and Series/Features.

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I came up with a colour code for four broad sections: Home & Lifestyle, Personal & Family, Scrapbooking & Photography and Crafts.

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That big yellow arrow is my major blog project this month. I’m making and sharing a 3×4 journal card each day

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At the front of my blog section I keep a fold-out monthly calendar and write out my plan for the month. I’m working on sticking to my colour coding system, but sometimes I will grab the wrong pen. I like using the colours as a way to map out visually what kinds of posts I am doing during the month. As you can see there’s lots of green in February, which makes sense since this is mostly a crafty blog!

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Then each week, I write the blog posts on my weekly fold out tab in my main planning section, so I can quickly see what posts are coming up and what I need to work on without having to go back to the blog section.

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This week I am also hosting the blog, so I have those posts also written in red. It’s been a very busy and fulfilling week! I am also the Scrapbook Editor at Craft Gossip, and I use a similar system for managing that too. Hmm, I think I need to add Professional Blogger to my resume….

I wonder what Monika is talking about this month?

If you have any questions, hit me up in the comments!





Filofax Friday | Setting Up the Year

Happy New Year Filofax fans! I’m sure I don’t have to explain to you the thrill a new year brings, especially the thrill of setting our planners up for another 365 organised days. Today I am going to share how I did just that in my A5 Apex for 2014.

One Little Word

At the front of my planner I have an insert with my One Little Word for 2014. I like keeping my word close to me in different ways, so that I am always mindful of it, as I really hope it guides my actions throughout the year.

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I also added it to each of my main sections

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I’m taking orders for these through my Etsy Designs shop!

Yearly Planner

Next up is my section for planning the year.

I bought the 2014 year calendar from DIYFish on Etsy. It’s a four page foldout calendar with lots of space for planning. This is what it looks like folded up.


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I used the column on the left to list some trackable personal goals for the year.


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When folded open, you see the entire year laid out. I plan to use this for keeping track of birthdays and other personal events.

I’m still working on planning the year out, that’s my goal for January, so it’s a work in progress.

Next up is a tracking sheet I made for keeping track of the goals I listed, as well as other things I am curious about.

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At the end of the month I will add up my layouts, knitting projects etc. completed so it will be easy to get a tally at the end of the year (begin with the end in mind). I got the idea for this tracker when I was writing my Year in Numbers post, and had a heck of a time adding everything up! This way I can keep track during the year, and be able to gauge if I am doing okay to meet my goals.

Do you have goals to track? You can download this tracker as a freebie! It’s available in both A4 and Letter size, and is two pages, six months to a page. You can print it back to front, or as a spread like I did. If you use an A5 or Half-Letter (Classic) planner you can choose “Multiple” in your printer settings, and then 2 to a sheet to be able to print on one sheet. Then cut in half for your planner.

Download Letter Here

Download A4 Here

Monthly, Weekly, Daily

I mentioned last month that I was trying out the Life Mapping System from DIYFish, and I totally love it, so I am sticking with those inserts for 2014.

The first fold out page is for monthly planning. I have my main tasks listed, and also filled in the square on the date I plan to do each task.

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On the other side you see the monthly calendar, plus the week at a glance. I use one weekly column for listing my blog posts, and the other for listing our meal plan. To the right I fill out my weekly tasks (transferred form the monthly chart) and the day I need to do each one.

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When I flip the page to the right over, I get to see month, week and day together

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This is what it looks like all blank

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There’s lots of room for writing, as well as space for appointments – the hours are listed vertically where I put my thin washi tape. I decided to cover it up since I rarely have appointments, and I don’t really plan my day out by hour, more by category. So I made section headings to keep track. What I like about her system is that you can use it exactly as designed, or customise it to suit how you work.

I think I’m all set to begin 2014! I’ve only been back at work for three days so far, and already I can tell that this system is really working for me.

How are you setting up your 2014? Let’s go see what Monika is up to over at I Love it All!


Introducing Filofax Friday | With Freebies Of Course

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I’m really excited to introduce a new monthly feature today: Filofax Friday! I’m even more excited that I’ll be tag teaming with Monika Wright of I Love it All to bring you tons of Filofax love.

A bit of history: I’ve long struggled to find an effective way to do my planning for all my various endeavours, as well as stay organized and on top of things. I’ve tried numerous online applications to no avail. I finally figured out that I really needed to write things down, so went back to pen and paper. I then made a ridiculous number of notebooks and journals, which worked ok. However, having things in various notebooks meant that I was always searching for the one in which I wrote that last brilliant idea, or thing to remember that had to be done TODAY.

So a few months ago I saw Monika posting photos of her Filofax binder on Instagram and my interest was peaked. Not too long after I saw another of my favourite scrapbookers, Anabelle O’Malley also posting about Filofax. I figured they had to be on to something! I spent the next week researching Filofaxes and asking questions, then finally took the leap and ordered an  Apex in A5. I chose the A5 because I wanted a binder that would fit on my desk, have enough space to write in, and also be fairly portable.

This may sound crazy, but my productivity has skyrocketed over the last few months!  The key for me is having one single place to house everything. I no longer have to go hunting for my ideas notebook, or my notebook for my Etsy business, it’s all right there at my fingertips. Here’s how I have it set up.

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I made vertical separator tabs for each of my major sections. Somewhere online, I got the idea to have the tabs at the top and the bottom so I can easily flip to where I need to go. These sections are:

Blog: Further divided into two sections, one for planning posts, and another for design related ideas. I have a fold out calendar at the front, and then pages for keeping ideas.

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(Oh! The Printing Instagram Photos sticky should be in the completed column now)

Etsy: Divided into two sections, one for each of my shops.

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Ideas: This is a bit of a misnomer, as this section is more than just a space to note ideas, but is also where I brainstorm product development, work out the details of craft projects, and make notes from online classes.

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Another tip: Check out my tabs at the top there. I also labeled the back side so i could move easily between sections.

Master: This is really my brain dump section where I add to my never ending to-do list. This is mostly home related stuff

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Tickler: This section houses my reminders, things like books I want to buy or movies to watch, or coupon codes. Alsothe password to our home Wifi. Things like that.

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I try to check this once a week so see if there’s anything to add to my active list.


Speaking of the active list, that’s the section at the very beginning of the binder, where I have my monthly, weekly and daily calendars. I started out using the week on two pages inserts that came with the Filofax, along with a separate monthly calendar and daily action list that I had printed out, but then I recently came across a genius system by DIYFish on Etsy.

With a combination of cleverly designed inserts and fold out pages, I can now see my month, week and day at a glance.

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This is where the magic happens, and how I stay on top of all my to-dos. I am still exploring the system, so I’m not using all the functionality yet. I plan to go more into detail in my post in January.

Now lets talk about December! I added a section just for Christmas planning. I’m notorious for having lots of ideas and plans, and not getting half of them done (who’s with me?).

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This year I decided to do better. My emphasis is on giving handmade gifts this year, so I came up with a planning sheet for that.

Free Printable Handmade Gift Planner at Callaloo Soup-1

It’s a freebie that you can grab in A4 and letter sizes. I also just designed it in A5 size on two pages.

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Download the updated 2014 version here.

If you think you need to get more detailed with some of your handmade gift planning, I have another free printable you can get here

As I was hiding away one of the gifts for my son (eeek!), I saw the note on the box that the batteries weren’t included and had another brain wave. I needed a checklist for Christmas morning! So I designed one.

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This way I won’t forget all those essential things needed to prevent meltdowns and disappointments (I’m talking about me here). I made one version blank,and another with some critical things already filled in.

Get the Blank version

Get the started version

Can you tell that I love talking about my Filofax? I could go on and on…. Luckily we’ll be bringing you this feature on the first Friday of every month! Now go see what Monika is sharing today!