Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Rethinking the Brain...


Before we get to our post at hand... a little housekeeping business...

The winner of the Supplies on Hand class pass is Stephanie K! YAY! Stephanie, you should be receiving and email from May soon. See you in class!

OK - now for the post at hand...

You might remember The Brain?

Yes, The Brain is what I affectionately call my planner/calendar/homeschooling binder. I make a new one each year and with each year comes new and different approaches.

Well, here we are, it's only September and I am already rethinking what I just created a couple of months ago. So, what was wrong with what I had?

Well... other than the cover, pretty much everything. 

I love my cover. 

But, the insides were completely non-functional for my needs. For starters, the notebook rings caused the pages to stick while turning. I turn the pages a lot. That got very annoying. In fact, it was so annoying that I found myself avoiding page turning in general. And, well... that is not helpful at all.

Plus, the insides that I bought, while lovely, did not work for me. Why? The weeks started with Monday. Totally my fault for not noticing that until I bought it. My week starts on Sunday in my head, so I really need that reflected on paper.

Thus began a ridiculously long evening of googling, pinteresting, and overall interweb perusal. Ah - but it did not end without progress! I found the most fabulous blogger who creates her own planner pages. Most of them are even free! Huzzah!

I downloaded a bunch, and then I pondered. Here is what I came up with...

I really like the idea of a super cute scrappy planner (those seem to be all the rage these days), but the reality is that I am not going to sit down and scrap in my planner daily, weekly, or even monthly. I want to make it cute once, then use it as a calendar for the rest of the year. 

I need to see the whole month all the time. It really drives me batty flipping back and forth between the week spread and the month. In fact, in my old planner, I was writing things down in the month view and forgetting to add them to the week view. I even missed a couple of appointments due to this. Planner Fail.

I really don't need an entire double page 8 1/2 by 11 spread for one whole week. It's overkill. Most of my lists are on scratch papers, in my head, on my phone... all over the place really.

That being said, I still want my planner to be letter sized as I use it for my homeschool record keeping and want to be able to insert things printed off the computer without resizing or folding.

Soooooo.... here is what I decided to do. I printed out some of the aforementioned freebies, the ones that are a month on the top left with room to write below, and one that is a simple note paper. Then, I set about making a "template" view.

Here we have the left side. This is general and will work for most every month. I drew a week layout under the month, then using washi I decorated and added things that happen each and every week. I also took the liberty to add in some embellishments and mist splatters.
I then set up a "template" of sorts to be used on the right of this...
The plan? Scan these in and print on cardstock to use each and every month. No more writing in the same activities and meal plans week after week. I will simply operate off of one spread all month. The left with get the basic appointments written in the month view while the right will house all of my notes and scribbles. When it starts to fill up, I will begin the sticky note layering. 

I can't tell you how excited I am about this new approach!

But, one question still remained... the notebook?
What am I going to put all of these in? Well.... another internet search and I came across the Arc System at Staples, otherwise known as "Disc Binding." The pages turn smoothly, and can be taken in and out. Hot diggidy! SO exciting. And, as luck would have it, my Staples has several of these on clearance. So, armed with my Arc system, including custom punch, and my new pages... 

I worked up my new Brain!

Now, what about the cover that I love so much from my old Brain? I just cut if off and used my snazzy new Arc Punch to get it on my new Disc-Bound planner...
Yep, there are some extra holes there... I messed up the first time. But, it worked out and now I am just calling that extra texture!

I also used some scrap paper to add tabs for each month...
I just love how each spread is already cute and now I just need to jot my notes in...
I've been using this system for a week now and so far so good!

Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you soon...


  1. Oh wow that is gorgeous, now I want to make one :-) Off to look at the Arc system!

  2. Oh shoot they are out of stock over here in England, I will have to stalk Staples :-)

  3. It looks awesome! I am glad that I am not the only one who dislikes the week at a glance section. I never use this portion of my planner. I need to see my whole month and be able to jot down notes on the sides.

  4. I'm that way too, it's easier for me. Great notebook, glad you are settled with it, so important. Michelle t

  5. Yay!! What a lovely surprise to find when I came home from holiday!

  6. I love this.. wow.. I love it.... I don't have a large planner, i hv the smaller size.. but that should be enough for me... I'm thinking I need that punch. now I need to convince hubby we need to spend $45!!!!


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