Plan Your Book Haul For Your Next Library Trip (+ a free library card Filofax printable!)

filofax printable library haulWhen confronted with the prospect of going to the bookstore or library, my reaction can be summed up in one gif:

That being said, you can imagine how chaotic it is to step into a bookstore with someone who’s flailing around, picking up every book, and stroking the cover (true story). For a book lover, stepping into a library or bookstore with literally hundreds of, thousands of options, can be overwhelming!

Here are three ways you can combat Bibliophile Meltdown and shop (or rather, borrow) smarter:

1. Set a book limit — How many of you are guilty of walking out of the library with your borrowing limit maxed out? How about walking out of a bookstore, riddled with guilt as you think of your massive to be read pile at home, while you cradle a stack of 5 new books in your arms? Been there, done that (this week, actually). Keep your TBR stress at a minimum by setting a book buying limit before you walk into the store that aligns with how many books you can reasonably read at the moment, or how many unread books are sitting at home on your shelf.

2. Do your research — Indecision can strike at the worst moment. Don’t let it catch you off guard by doing your research before you get to the bookstore. Knowing what books you’re after, as well as checking out reviews, can help curb impulse buys and even general frustration (I’d like to think there’s research that’s been done on this, but I can’t find any. This is pure speculation based off of how many times I’ve stood in front of a bookshelf, cursing and frustrated at how many options are before me.)

Personally, I love checking Goodreads to see what my friends think of books, and read up on the most recent reviews, as well as trace similar titles.

3. Make a list — Don’t let all of that research go to waste! In case you can’t remember which books out of the hundreds you looked up on Goodreads, or can’t recall which your local library has in stock, jot down your book picks on a list that you can keep in your purse. I like to keep my check out list in my Filofax planner for easy access!

And so you don’t have to keep your book list on any ol’ scrap of paper…I made a library card-inspired book list just for you! Never forget a book title or author from your reading list again. With two sizes — a full 8.5″ x 11″ sheet and Personal size Filofax insert, these free printables will surely come in handy.

library card filofax printable

Get your free printable when you sign up for my newsletter! It’ll be in your inbox in a jiffy.

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How do you keep your book shopping under control? Share your tips in the comments below!

Lessons Learned from 30 Days of Lists: How to Use Your Filofax for Journaling

#30Lists listing challenge blog hop

Ah, 30 Days of Lists. A time to get the creative juices flowing, answer stellar list prompts, and…use your Filofax?

You would think that with how many times I’ve participated in 30 Days of Lists, I’d be a listing pro. Do you want to know the truth? I still struggle to keep up some rounds.

It’s easy to fall behind and watch your motivation slip into a downward spiral of misery. I’ve been there. I’m not a traditional scrapbooker, and looking at all of the pretty designs, layouts, and albums are a double-edged sword: they’re incredibly creative and inspirational, yet can trigger the comparison syndrome real quick.

Scrapbooking isn’t my groove, so why force myself to list that way? It wasn’t until the upcoming September 2015 round that it dawned on me: use your Filofax! As a planner girl, I’m way more comfortable incorporating lists into my planner, especially with all of my familiar stickers, stamps, and pens on hand.

How will my Filofax Saffiano help me be a better lister this September? Here are the lessons I learned (ha! It’s like I’m doing the March 2011 list prompt all over again!) from this #30Lists journey!

filofax 30lists

1. List daily. Why make listing difficult, when the simple act of keeping lists in an easy-to-access place makes more sense? I’m guilty of procrastinating lists and having to play catch-up come the weekend, which is not only tedious, but also means I miss out on the full excitement of the #30Lists community! By keeping lists in my Filofax, I’m committing to having my lists on hand, all the time. No catch-up required.

2. Jazz it up with a printable. I’ve seen some pretty creative embellishments in the listing community, but if you’re like me and find that decorating isn’t your forte, use a printable to add some pizzaz and also save time.

I’ll be using my autumn-themed journaling printables for my lists (though, some lists may sneak their way into my weekly layout, too, if I’m being totally honest; sometimes you can’t beat the urge to doodle!) The autumn leaf watercolors on my Filofax printables add just enough color that I won’t beat myself up for having “ugly lists” (I’m the most indecisive decorator!) and can focus on content instead.

The nice thing about these are that, when all is said and done, I’ve got a collection of 30 punched journaling cards that I can bind together with a binder ring or pretty ribbon, allowing me to save my lists as a mini-book!

3. Keep it simple. The most important tenet of all! Getting behind on listing is never a fun feeling, and procrastinating is an unfortunate skill of mine. To prevent falling behind or feeling overwhelmed, I’m keeping it simple this round by focusing on my lists themselves, thankfully with help from said snazzy looking journaling card.

Will you be listing with us this September? There’s still time to sign up (and score an autumn Filofax printable of your own!)

#30Lists listing challenge

Stop by the other blogs in the #30Lists Blog Hop and get ready to list!

Want to join the blog hop? Share your link here!

Anatomy of a Filofax (My 2015 Planner Setup)

Filofax
Despite being a long-time planner, I put my beloved Filofax aside in favor of a quick-fix when I forgot to order daily page refills for 2014 (oops!). I felt like I needed a break from the world of planners and accessories, which can become overwhelming in a few swipes of Instagram (have your ever checked out the #filofaxlove tag? It’s a black hole of stationery!). But with a horde of inspiration and some encouragement from friends, I’ve decided to plunge back into my Filofax full force this year!

Filofax Setupfilofax-metropol
Some planner is better than no planner, but I find that I’m more willing to keep my Filofax up-to-date if it’s organized to suit just what I need — room for daily events, to dos and tasks, and even a place to jot down my lunches (decorating helps, too!) keep my brain free of  clutter. The decorating is the easy part. But aside from a cohesive color scheme and pretty papers, what should you include in your planner to make it functional and yours?

Setting Up Your Planner

  1. Dashboard – Probably the most fun part.  How great is it to open up your planner to a colorful home base! Using vellum or some other sheer texture lets you stick sticky notes and other reminders in a place they’ll be noticed and not forgotten. I keep some spare washi tape on there too since it peels off easily while retaining its stickiness.
  2. Dividers – Making dividers is actually quite simple! Stock up on some patterned scrapbooking paper, use your current dividers as a template, and start cutting! Tabs are great for keeping your actual calendar separate from notes and other lists in your planner, with everything neatly in its place.
  3. Calendar pages – Maybe you’re a month-at-a-glance person, or perhaps you prefer viewing a week at a time. Personally, I like both (though a daily view usually is too much for me). While brands like Filofax offer their own calendar pages, you can also customize your own or find a more suitable layout on Etsy. The good news? Most Etsy templates are downloadable so you can print them at home and have your planner ready to go in no time.
  4. Page marker – Losing your place can be just as disorienting as not having a planner at all. While most planners come with some bookmark-like insert to clip into that day’s page as a placeholder, you can certainly find some alternatives to fit in with your planner’s color scheme and decorations.
  5. Lists/printables – Why stop at daily calendars? I like to include paper and templates in the other sections of my planner to keep track of things like blog posts, library books, and general to-do lists. You can find pre-made templates online — both free and paid — or customize your planner to suit how you use it!
  6. Pens – I’m picky about my pens and solely use a Pilot Precise V5* to do my main writing. For color-coding and decoration I keep a pencil case full of Paper Mate Flair* colored pens on hand, but otherwise, no other pens come near my Filofax (because I’m an organizational freak, apparently).
  7. Bling – Once you’ve got the basics down, go ahead and decorate! For me, that means stickers, fancy page markers (hello-o Target $1-bin!), purikura, fun sticky notes, and the exclusive Studio Calico‘s Agenda class stamps to make my week more colorful. You can find a plethora of charms and stickers on Etsy, too!

Click play to see my own Filofax and how I plan to make the most of my planner in 2015!
A lot of you have spied the custom calendar pages that Alexis of Strange & Charmed made me and loved all of the room for planning and lists. If you’ve been on the hunt for a balanced calendar page to plan your 2015, you’re in luck — Alexis is offering Teacup readers an exclusive 20% all items in the Strange & Charmed shop for the duration of January. Just use the code Teacup to get planning!

Filofax Setup
filofax-metropol-planner
*These are affiliate links that will help out the Teacup if you decide to purchase any of these products!

What are your must-haves for organizing your planner?

A New Groove

Macbook Pro Keyboard
For the past few months I’ve been dropping hints about all of the changes that I had planned around these parts, and now the time has come! Or, it’s at least on the horizon and I wanted to clue you all in.

My Life as a Teacup has been around for four, almost five years, and frankly, I just haven’t been happy with blogging lately. Most days I felt completely uninspired to write, and when I would sit down at my computer, I couldn’t help but feel like I was writing the same, content-less posts each week. Blogging became a chore, and not one that I looked forward to.

When I sat down and really looked at my content, I realized there wasn’t much content there. Don’t get me wrong — I still think gratitude lists are important, for instance, but frankly, my weeks aren’t that interesting, and I’d rather provide you with content that will help you level up your literary bad self.

On top of it all, I realized I was posting almost every day of the week! Blogging was ruling my life, and not in a good way.

So I took a look at my posts and my editorial calendar, and asked myself, “Is this the best place for this content?” Then I made a list of things I want to write about, did some soul-searching, and felt a lot better about the type of resource this blog could become. Because let’s face it: blogging ain’t what it used to be!

What changes can you expect?

  • You won’t see posts as frequently here on the My Life as a Teacup blog, but that’s so that I can bring you more long-form essays, content-packed articles, and guides for reading, writing, and organizing.
  • Two features — For the Love of a Linguaphile and Things I Love Thursday — will be going away…
  • …but not entirely. They’ll be relocating to my new monthly newsletter, Inklings. You’ll still be able to add (even more!) new words to your growing vocabulary, as well as see my personal gratitude list, but they’ll be shorter, sweeter, and more to the point.
  • Inklings will also be the home to longer literary opinion pieces and tricks of the trade for avid readers, bloggers, and aspiring writers of all types. Subscribe to Inklings now so you don’t miss all of the writing advice, hot topics, and freebies (and get the nifty “library wishlist” printable below!)
  • Smitten will be sticking around, but I’ll also be introducing a new series in 2015 that focuses on frequently-asked grammar questions. Together we can eradicate Grammar Fails around the world! Or at least at your local grocery store. Maybe.
  • My booktube channel will continue to host book reviews, reading tags, and other fun, literary topics. Stay in the know by subscribing to the My Life as a Teacup Youtube channel (I have a hunch your reading list will grow if you do!).
  • Starting in 2015, I’ll be offering editing and writing consultation services! I’m still hashing out the details, but I’m super excited to be able to work one-on-one with you as you take on new projects, novels, classes, posts — you name it!
  • I’ve got an e-book in the works, and while it’s still in its early stages, I’m excited to publish a resource and guide for all of your blog post-writing needs. If you’ve got any burning post-writing questions, send me an email and I’ll be sure to address your question.

On the backend of things, I will be making the move to WordPress within the next few months. I shouldn’t need to take the site offline (thanks to a dear friend who helped fix the major problem I was having) and will be trying to keep the general chaos to a minimum.

These changes will be rolling out gradually; for instance, you’ll still find For the Love of a Linguaphile posts here on the blog each Monday until the new year. But hold on to your hats, as before you know it, My Life as a Teacup will have a whole new look!

As a thank you during this chaos, I’ve created a free library book checklist for you to download! I know I’m constantly forgetting which books I plan to check out once I get to my local library, and so, taking inspiration from old library due date cards, I’ve created a list to help you organize your most wanted library books.
library card filofax printableThe ‘Library’s Most Wanted’ printable comes in two sizes: an 8 1/2″ by 11″ full size, as well as a personal-size insert for your Filofax for a library list you can take with you at all times! Sign up for Inklings to download your copy (and pass it on!)

Is there something you’d like to see more of on My Life as a Teacup?

My Filofax Setup

how to set up your filofax
My Filofax is my baby; I’d be a hot mess without it, and my life would be in shambles.

Maybe I exaggerate. Maybe. But my life would definitely be more disorganized!

Everyone seems to have their own way to set up their planner, from what weekly sheets they use to how they keep track of tasks, and rightfully so! I can’t imagine the same set up working universally, since everyone has their own unique schedules, goals, priorities, and ways of keeping organized! I don’t even have my layout figured out yet! The minute I think I do, I find a better way of writing things down or stashing my to-do lists, so my Filofax is in a constant state of colorful flux.

However, here are some general guidelines I follow:

how to set up your filofax
♥ I’m a visual person, so I like to see the whole month laid out ahead of me and keep Filofax’s full monthly calendar pages at the beginning of my planner to do just that. I don’t make detailed plans or to-dos on the monthly pages, but it’s nice to be able to see what’s coming up at a quick glance. This gets used more for planning things in relation to one another, like meetings I have to attend, plans with friends, due dates, etc.

♥ My go to weekly layout is the week on one page, which gives me enough room to write down any appointments and schedule-related things, as well as jot down some memos and lists. This layout also lets me have the whole right-hand side of the page blank for longer notes, crazy to-do lists, and other miscellany.

how to set up your filofax
♥ The one thing I do is color code everything. I’d like to get some nice colored dots to use as a key so I can keep it all straight, but each category has a corresponding color that I use throughout. Blog-related tasks – any posts, ideas, to-dos that are blog or sponsor-related are in orange; school related things, be they class times or things I need to get done, are in dark blue. And personal things like movie dates and “for fun” tasks are in lime green. Associating tasks with colors lets me see what’s on my plate with just a quick glance and visually see how my week is split up.

I’m still looking for the perfect set of pens that writes on washi tape and doesn’t bleed through as much, but these Stabilo 88’s are great for my color coding needs so far!

markers for filofax
♥ I like having the blank notes page integrated into my weekly view. As much as I like to keep things cohesive looking, there are some things that I just can’t keep in any particular format and the notes page lets me stick post-its and make little lists and memos as I need them. The actual days of the week I try to keep a clear schedule for, but tasks and things that don’t necessarily have a set day or time to be completed can go over on the notes page and help clear my head.

♥ Don’t forget to pretty it up! It’s much more motivating to use your planner and get those tasks done when your week literally looks fabulous! I’ve got some motivational quotes, pictures, and hockey cards in the front, and purikura and stickers adorning the cover to really make me want to open my planner on a regular basis.

how to set up your filofax
♥ The divided sections in the back are perfect for everything else, like shopping lists, long-term goals, and jotting down blog ideas as they come to me!

how to set up your filofax
how to set up your filofax
Don’t be afraid to change it up! My planner looked wildly different when I was an undergrad taking 5 classes than it does now for student teaching, or even during graduate school for that matter. The templates are there as a guide, but if it’s just not working for you don’t be afraid to change it and make it work!

how to set up your filofax
Some people really go all out as far as personalizing their Filofax goes. I’m guilty of oogling them on Pinterest, but the last time I tried to get adventurous with mine, bad things happened. Sonya, however, inspired me to get crafty and make some pretty dividers, so I’m sensing more bedazzling endeavors to come…

how to set up your filofaxhow to set up your filofax
how to set up your filofax

How do you personalize your planner?