Tuesday 31 December 2013

Where did all the comments go?

Good old Blogger. You can always trust it to do almost everything very nearly right. It was happy to migrate my blog to the new domain www.mylifeallinoneplace.com but at the cost of losing a bucketload of comments. It's a known issue, it seems. Ah, well.

So if you notice that one of your comments isn't here any more, rest assured that it's not because I've disapproved or taken against you in some way, but simply because those lovely Google chaps - for all that they do marvellous work - have dropped a minor ball here.

In other news, the blog passed one million pageviews last week. In celebration, there will be quite a special giveaway very soon. In the meantime, I hope you all manage to use the remaining hours of 2013 in the best possible way. 

Monday 23 December 2013

How to saddle-stitch your booklets

I was asked to post on how I saddle-stitch the booklets I make for the Midori Traveler's Notebook, which I'm happy to do. These instructions will work for stitching pretty much any booklet and if you follow them closely you can't go wrong. I'll start by assuming you can assemble your pages and your cardstock cover, like so:

People will suggest that you use binder clips to keep the pages together and this is a good idea when you're starting out. If you're going to use them, clip either side of the spine, top and bottom, so you have four clips in use in all.

Using an awl, make a hole that goes through all the pages and the cover.

The best way to do this is the hold the booklet half closed and rest the spine along a folded-up newspaper. This works better than - say - a cutting mat, because it allows the point of the awl to penetrate further though the cover. This will prove important later on. Make two more holes each side of the central one, positioned like this:

Now, you can measure these out by eye, but the eye can be unreliable and inconsistent. When I make a stack of booklets, I like to see the stitching properly aligned, like this:

Whilst I am aware this might be seen as a little ... er ... fussy, I think it's worth the extra effort, and it turns out that it's not much extra effort at all. You could measure the hole positions each time, but that can get boring very quickly. Here's what I use:

Yes, it's a piece of string. It's as long as the booklets are tall (210mm for MTN booklets) and has evenly-spaced markings from a Sharpie marker. The ends have been dipped in PVA glue to stop them fraying. Each time I want to make holes, I lie this string inside the half-closed booklet along the central spine and make holes where the markings are. Easy.

Anyway, you should be now have 5 holes along the spine of your booklet. For ease of reference, I'm going to label them A to E, like this:

Turn the whole booklet over and the same holes can be seen to go right through the cover too:

Thread a tapestry needle with some strong thread. Some people use dental floss for this. I use beading thread in the 0.2mm thickness. I've never known it to break in use; it's quite hard to cut even with scissors unless they're razor sharp.

Thread your needle, and pass it through the central hole, hole C from the inside of the booklet to the outside:

Now put the needle through the hole above (hole B) from the outside through to the inside:

Next, the needle goes through the top hole (hole A) from inside to outside:

Now you go back though hole B from the outside:

Here comes the break in the pattern, because you miss out hole C and instead by pass it, going through hole D from the inside to the outside:

Then back the the pattern as you go through hole E from the outside:

Now come back through D from the inside:

And now finally, from the outside, come though hole C:

Your booklet is now fully stitched though every hole:

In a moment you are going to tie off the ends, but first take a closer look at hole C:

What you're looking for is one of the ends of the thread to emerge from the hole on either side of the big stitch the goes from B to D on the inside. If both threads are currently on one side of it, use the needle to slip one end under the stitch.

Now pull both ends tight and knot them together on top of the long stitch. Make a double knot and trim the ends close to the knot.

And that's it; you're done. If this is a Midori Traveler's Notebook booklet you're making, you can down use a ruler and rotary cutter to slice it down to 110mm wide.

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Going round in circles

You may know Patrick Ng's gorgeous Chronodex planning tool or Kent From Oz's version, the Spiraldex. There are other derivatives, too. I've tried these circular planning tools and they don't work for me, but enough people swear by them that you should check them out and see if they work for you. Both Patrick and Kent have videos showing their systems in use.
From Patrick's free 2014 Chronodex set

The theory seems sound; if you use a conventional watch face, you'll be comfortable with the hours of 12, 3, 6 and 9 at the cardinal points, so a picture that represents appointments as though on a clock face ought to make sense intuitively. Except that for me it doesn't. I have to spend time looking at the tool to work out what it's telling me. Add in the fact that there are two 9 o'clocks each day and for me the visualisation really becomes too complex.

On the other hand, show me a conventional planner layout with times shown in a straight column and I can take in the information without having to decode it. I can write what I'm planning to do next to the time, without having to find somewhere to write it outside the circle. Since I write horizontally in one direction only, the vertical list of times makes this very easy.

I so want to be able to use Chronodex; I love the aesthetic, but I just can't make it (or the other derivatives) work for me. Maybe you can?

Thursday 12 December 2013

LimeTreeFruits Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Antonika Tillman who wins the 2014 planner set.

Raine will be in touch shortly and we both hope you enjoy your prize.

Saturday 7 December 2013

Personal change with your Filofax

Your Filofax can work harder for you. Yes it can. It is already busy helping you sort out your day-to-day life. It is your external memory. It gives you quick access to information you need, whenever you need it. But you’re in charge; you have to do all the work.

Maybe it’s time to ask your Filofax to take the strain and to help you out with a special project. If there’s a personal change you want to make, a habit you want to lose or develop, you already have in your hand or on your desk the key to achieving it.

Do you want to stick to a diet or exercise regime? Do you want to read more or cut down on TV or video games? How about getting in the habit of writing a journal every day? Whatever it is you want to change about your life, your habits or your behaviour, you can get your Filofax to be your very own coach and your personal cheerleader. Here are some ways you can set up your Filofax to make the dream come true.

Don’t break the chain 

This is Jerry Seinfeld’s method for developing a daily writing habit. Using a year-to-a-page calendar, put an X over each day that you work on your project:

Look at the calendar above. I’ve built up a chain of 15 days in a row when I’ve kept to my diet, or where I’ve written at least a page in my journal. Do I really want to break a 15-day chain by failing today?

Anchor your motivation

When you start out and commit to a change, you will usually have clear, strong reasons for doing so. Days or weeks later when you’re struggling with your commitment, those can become obscured.

You need to be continually reminded of your original motivation. So on a blank page, before you start working on your change, write yourself a question, such as, “Why do I want to exercise daily?” and then answer it. Make sure you capture all the reasons you can think of. You’ll end up with a page like this:

Make sure this is right at the front of your Filofax. You want to see this whenever you open it up. You can add to the list, too, if you discover additional motivations along the way.

Set up milestones 

Work out some sensible milestones on your journey: one, two, three, four weeks; two, three months and so on. Locate these dates in your diary and write them in now, adding check boxes, like this:

Write these in now, as far ahead as you want to look. Later, when you reach each milestone, tick the box with pride and if there is room in your diary, write a few words about how you feel in reaching the milestone.

A letter to yourself 

Write yourself a letter. Tell your future self why this change is important to you and how much you hope that you can make it work. Make it like a proper letter. Give it a date, a salutation and a signature. Seal it in an envelope and write on the front:

Now put the sealed envelope in the back pocket of your Filofax. When you get to the point of quitting, open the letter. Carefully read what your earlier self wrote. Remember the optimism, the determination, and use these memories to strengthen your resolve.

So get your Filofax working harder. What personal change do you want to instigate?

Tuesday 3 December 2013

LimeTreeFruits 2014 Planners Giveaway

It seems there's a thing called a Blog Hop. Who knew? And I've agreed to kick one off today, for the wonderful Raine of LimeTreeFruits. Never heard of her? I don't believe you. But just in case, here's a link to my interview with her in October.

She is launching her range of 2014 planners this month and I am one of the bloggers to get a sneak peak (lots of pictures below.) If you like the look of these, you can find out more and order here. But, you could be lucky and win a set in this giveaway competition. This giveaway is part of the LimeTreeFruits Pre-Order Planner Party (say it fast 5 times!). You can find out more here.

If you want to win a set of these luscious inserts to print at home, then please comment on this post within the next week. I'll draw a winner at random after 10 December. Good luck!

If you want further chances to win, you can follow this Blog Hop around the web. Dates and sites are listed below.

·  Dec. 3rd - My Life All in One Place (you're already here!)

·  Dec. 4th - Artsyville

·  Dec. 5th - Philofaxy

·  Dec. 6th - Jani Franck

·  Dec. 9th - Plannerisms

·  Dec. 10th - I Love It All

·  Dec. 12th - The MomWrites

Sunday 1 December 2013

Print your own index tabs for your notebook

Filofax users have always been able to organise their content into sections using index dividers. How would you like to be able to divide up and organise a bound notebook in a similar way?

Today's free download is a Word file that allows you to make and print your own index tabs.

Choose your own colours, sizes and section names. Print, cut out, fold each tab over and glue to a page on both sides.

Download the file here. There are sets of tabs in two different sizes. You can change the text as well as colours of both the text and the tabs.


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