Planner Love :: The hunt for the perfect companion

When I was in school I used to have a planner. But it was more than a planner. It was a diary, planner, timer – all in one. I remember that I loved leafing through it in boring classes, that I drew doodles, that I glued quotes into my planner and that I really really didn’t like anyone touching it or going through it. I mean it was personal. But I also remember that everyone wanted to have a look.

I kept all those planners. They are all up on a shelf unter my desk – the one I am currently sitting typing those lines.

Planner Love since 2000

After school I downgraded my planners and for a couple years I used a tiny one from moleskin. I always asked St. Nicholas to bring me one so I had enough time setting everything up.

But then I realized I actually don’t use it anymore and put everything in my phone anyway. So the planners got smaller and they are almost unused.

Last year however I felt like I need one of those diary planners back in my life and bought a “Ein guter Plan” through crowdfunding. I only used it to journal my three happy things that happened and about three sentences about the day. I liked the mindfulness chart for every day and drew up a few more bullet journal inspired charts.

While I liked the planner I feel like it is not quite what I need. First I thought I will start a bullet journal but lets be honest: I probably won’t make it far.

So I am looking for a planner that is my perfect companion. One that has pre-printed most of the things I need but enough space to individualize it.

Planner Love

I am currently looking at the following planners*:

Klarheit – Life Coach and Planner

Facts:
Size: A5
Color: white and black
Price: 34,90 €

What I love:
– Coaching section with 32 pages for reflections, goals, action steps
– unfold-able 12 month timeline to plan out goals – would work hand in hand with the goal setting from the “Unravel your year 2017” book
monthly review to stay on track and reflect on successes
weekly goal setting
– after 6 month there is a section to reflect and regroup
– 40 blank pages
– the company blog shows how to use the pages and gives ideas

What I am missing:
– the book cover looks a bit boring and seems not of as high quality as similar products

What I don’t need:
– I don’t care that I can number/date the weeks on my own. I guess if you only use it in weeks you work the 52 weeks last longer than a year and might be helpful for some people.

Starryday Planner

Facts:
Size: A5
Color: black, mint, pink
Pages: 224
Price: 16,90 €

What I love:
– weeks start with a “dump list” for all tasks
– entire page per day with top 3 tasks to get done, timeline and task manager for ABC prioritizing as well as a section for notes and a habit tracker
– seven extra habit tracker page

What I am missing:
– the planner only has 26 weeks… I am a bit confused by that so I guess you need two to get through the year.
– I am not really impressed with the used font/layout. It’s just not my style and a bit cheesy in my opinion.

Business Planner by weekview

Facts:
Size: A5
Color: white and black
Paper: 90 g/m
Price: 24,90 €

What I love:
– lots of lists for goals, projects, tasks with overview pages
– monthly overview pages for project planning with ABC tasks
– habit tracker per month
– quarter project overview
– ABC prioritizing for the week, timeline, upcoming week preview, note area
– goal setting pages
– lots of sticker, labels etc. available

What I am missing:
– I am not impressed with the layout. It seems bold and uninspiring.

What I don’t need:
– the goal setting pages are set for 2023 – too far for me

Planner / Workbook Pink Edition by Jo & Judy

Facts:
Size: A5
Color: rose/gold
Pages: 256
Paper: 80 g/m
Price: 28,90 €

What I love: 
– the project section for every week
– clean and feminine layout and colors

What I am missing:
– lists, trackers, coaching…

What I don’t need:
– The address book pages – its all in my phone so no need for that.
– The budget page that is next to the project page. I have my finance in order and I usually have a pretty good overview so this wouldn’t help me much.

While the design of Jo & Judy is the most impressive the structure of the planner just doesn’t work for me. The business planner might be a bit too much for what I plan to use it for. And the starryday planner is only half a year (I really can’t wrap my mind around it).

So I guess the Klarheit Planner is my best choice. But I am open for suggestions so please share if you have a better option!

Happy weekend,

Tobia

*Some links in this article are affiliate links. Meaning if you buy through this link I get a small provision. This would help me cover some of the costs for this blog. Thank you, I really appreciate it.

 

My favorite books 2016

This post is unbelievable. Unbelievable? Yes. I always loved reading. I remember a time when I went to the library weekly and left with a  huge stash of books. But then adult life came around and there were years where I didn’t pick up a book at all. Ever since I got my Kindle I started reading more. My reading challenge this year was 6 books. I ended up reading 45 so far. Still don’t know how I managed. But now I can make a pick of my favorite books 2016. And thats unbelievable for me.

I have to admit I only managed to read so many books because there was lots of low involvement and cheesy literature involved but then – I read. And reading is all about winding down, escaping reality and dreaming about life. I hardly ever read stuff that makes me sad or is unsettling. Ingnorant? Maybe. Or just plain self-preservation. There is enough dark, ugly, mean stuff out there why should I choose to spent my me time with it?

my favorite books 2016

Anyhow let’s get my list on my favorite books 2016. I included the links* in case you also want to read.

1. “Dem Horizont so nah” by Jessica Koch

To contradict myself this was a sad book. And some real life stuff. And it still captured me, made me cry and deeply moved me.

The author writes about her boyfriend – a troubled and abused young man. I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t go into detail. But it talks about the individual struggles, glimpses of a life so different, disease, death and how it grows you as a human. It made me think about all the things in life I take for granted and how easily I do judge people. Definitely a recommendation!

There are two follow up books but I haven’t had the nerve to read yet.

My rating: Dem Horizont so nah ***** eBook; paperback

2. In Times Like These – Time Traveler Series by Nathan Van Coops

Yeah for finding this book between all the free ones on Amazon.

Just awesome. I loved the entire story setting and the development of the backstory of time traveling. What I didn’t know when first reading it is that Nathan actually incorporated some of the physical theories about time travel that scientists discuss and try to prove. (My dad (he studied Physics in college) told me that after I was telling him about the book.) Anyhow Nathan creates a whole new world for me.

The second book didn’t express me too much as I found too many parallels to the hunger games. I also didn’t really like the journey to the “aliens”. However it was still one of the best books I read this year and I would recommend to read it because it is part of the series.

The third book was pretty great again. It is a bit darker than the first two but than it does show what happens to time travelers when messing with time streams. It does get a bit confusing with all the versions of one character but also really fun.

Anyhow I am looking forward to the next one in this series.
If you like science fiction/fantasy this is a book you should really read. It was my first time traveler book and I never though I could get hooked on this genre. I even got Mr. ♥ to read the first one and he only reads crime & thriller.

My rating:
#1 In Times Like These ***** free eBook; paperback;
#2 The Chronothon **** eBook; paperback;
#3 The Day After Never *****  paperback
#1-3 In Times Like These Bundle***** eBooks

3. The Girl In Between – Series by Laekan Zea Kemp

I found myself a new author to follow. I like her style, it is unique and it is refreshing different to all the mainstream stuff out there. Definitely a surprise I didn’t expect from a book I got for free.

Book 1: A unique story setting and I love when there are actually more story within one story.
1. Real life: 17 year old Bryn has KLS and we follow her struggles in everyday life, school, friends, love, parents… but not really teenage drama.
2. Dream story: all fiction… or maybe not… very interesting sometimes maybe a bit jumpy but then who’s thoughts/memories aren’t.
3. Story of her disease and a girl 30 years ago with identical symptoms. This storyline is only teasered though and I am hoping it will be developed in the following books.

Book 2: The story does take an unexpected turn and develops in a different direction than I would have imagined. I like this kind of fantasy/fiction. However I thought the setting (in Cologne, Germany) was a bit absurd because everyone travels there from the U.S. but then it’s a book and everything is possible. I am intrigued what will happen next.

My rating:
# 1 The Girl in Between***** free eBook
# 2 The Boy in My Dreams ***** eBook
# 3 The Children of the Moon eBook
# 4 The Daughter of the Night  eBook

4. Ravensblood – Mystery Detective Series by Shawna Reppert

Well, I do have a thing for fantasy. A pretty big thing.

Here is another story about magic, mages, good and evil. BUT it is not the cheesy romantic unicorn kinda thing. Magic is regulated by law and there is a “police force” and a council of the different people living together. The story is about second chances, love, forgiveness, prejudices and conscience. It is a pretty dark story at times. I liked it as it was a bit different. However towards the end of the series I found it a bit flattening.

My rating:
#1 Ravensblood **** eBook
#2 Raven’s Wing **** eBook
#3 Raven’s Heart *** eBook
#1-3 Ravensblood Boxed Set **** eBooks

reading at the ocean

5. Hidden Academy Series by Jon Rosenberg

Another fantasy with lots of magic, unknown realms of fairies, unicorns and dark demons. And then there is the Hidden Academy an institution to keep order in the world as we know it. What I liked about this series is, that it focuses on different mythology in every book. I think my favorite character was the sidekick elf.

My rating:
#1 The Unicorn Crisis **** eBook
#2 The Digital Wolf *** eBook
#3 Pantheon of the Dead *** eBook
#4 When in Rome *** eBook

6. Winterliebe am Little Lake by Katrin Jäger

I really didn’t know what to expect from this book and I only picked it up because it was playing in Canada. I have to admit the beginning wasn’t strong and annoyed me a bit but then I really enjoyed it. There is a lot of life experience and wisdom weaved into this book and made me think about how serious we take life. I really liked the characters in the book and would have loved to sit with them for a cup of coffee.

My rating:
Winterliebe am Little Lake **** eBook; paperback

7. Stormy Cove by Bernadette Calonego

I usually don’t like reading crime stories. I get easily scared. This one wasn’t too bad. Mainly I was intrigued with the setting of the story. A freelance photographer from Vancouver is paid to spent an entire year in a desolate fisher community. I like how small town life is described, all the advantages and struggles. There might be a bit of a love story included and lots of mysteries. It was an easy and fun read to wind down.

My rating:
Stormy Cove **** eBook; paperback

Now I am interested: Has anyone read one of the books too? Is there a book you would love to read? And can you recommend some books to me? The holiday season is upon us and I plan on reading lots.

Happy book browsing,

Tobia

*If you buy a book through one of the Amazon links I will receive a small  provision. This would help me keep this blog alive and cover a few of the administrative costs. Thank you. Or maybe I just buy a new book, who knows…

Winter Bucket List 2016

It’s my favorite time of the year: Winter. And winter starts with the first snow or the 1. Advent. What ever comes first…

winter bucket list

It’s most whimsical season and it’s high time to make a winter bucket list. Listing all the fun stuff I am going to do and what I am looking forward too. Let’s get started:

  1. Taking a walk while it is snowing.
  2. Getting up early and taking my camera to capture the untouched fresh snow in the park or the cemetery.
  3. Cooking chestnut soup. I found this recipe I really want to try.
  4. Going ice skating on the lake with hubby. Maybe take dad too. He is crazy about ice hockey.
  5. Breath! And enjoy the cold winter air that smells of ice, snow and freshness and makes your lungs hurt a bit. It feels so cleaning when breathing winter air.
  6. Making snow lanterns. My dad used to make them in the garden, light a candle and then we could watch them from the window. A couple years ago my sister and I made some on Christmas Eve and it was magical.
  7. Watching Gilmore Girls. Nothing better than snow, coffee and the two of them.
  8. Buying a Christmas Tree.
  9. Decorating the apartment for Advent. Maybe making some new decorations. But also getting out my snowballs, my pine cones and my little wooden houses.
  10. Snuggling up with a blanket, hot tea and reading all day long.
  11.  Have a Starbucks Toffee Nut Latte.
  12. Spend an evening with my former boss now friend at the Christmas market drinking mulled wine and chat away.
  13. Listening to the Christmas Oratorio while baking a ton of Christmas Cookies.
  14. Having a Spa Day with myself. 12 hours relaxing, steaming, reading, dreaming and cat-nipping.

Pfff, so I guess I will be busy.

Join the fun and link your list!

Happy winter,

Tobia

And I’ll link this to sonntagsglück, nice little things.

My Favorite Instagram Accounts

Good Morning!
It’s Friday and the weekend almost upon us. Yeah! And you probably spent a ton of time on Instagram on your weekends, right? Please say yes and tell me I am not the only one scrolling my hours away…

Anyway during my 100 day challenge I found a ton of new Instagram Accounts to follow and figured why not make a post about the people/accounts I most like, the ones that inspire and the ones that make me miss adventure.

  1. Denise Lomas – I am truly in love with Denise’s work. There is only one word describing her art for me: whimsical. I never understood why people would want to buy art but I would get a tiny piece of Denise in a heartbeat. It just makes me happy seeing it in my feed. And I am catching myself wondering how she manages to make those ink backgrounds. But see for yourself and follow her.

  1. Jen Lashek / willowmarkworks – Jen is another artist and painter. I love her delicate watery paintings of flowers and ferns. And she has gorgeous patterns too. And then it isn’t too bad that  it is mainly blues and pinks and she lives in Vancouver.
    https://www.instagram.com/willowmarkworks/
  2. Emily Mann / inkindigo – This is the third account with blues. And gold. Emily paints on paper with rich blue ink and golden pens. But she also makes clay ornaments and frames. I love looking at them.
  3. Alex Strohl – Beware of his account it my induce a huge wanderlust. Many of his pictures show the rough outdoor of the north west of the United States and I have lost my heart a bit there as you know. The beauty is just breathtaking.
  4. Jenny / Jenn Adores – When I look at Jenny’s pictures it is always calming my mind. Her pictures are white and clean and beautiful. I could never have such a great apartment/house but I adore (pun intended) looking at them. But maybe the best part are her hashtags. They are hilarious and tell the real story.
  5. I have this thing with floors – Well, I do too. So it’s fun to see what people find around this crazy planet.
  6. Elise Cripe | Gettoworkbook – I love lists. I love planning. And I love sneaking a peak into other peoples planers. And Elise developed this amazing book and shares lots of fun pictures in use. Even though I don’t own one (yet) it is inspiring to look at.
  7. Remy | ragdoodles – Some little fun in my feed. It just makes me smile and most the time it involves coffee. Can’t do anything wrong there…

Now it’s your turn. What is your favorite account to follow. Please let me know because you can never have enough inspiration and pretty pictures in your feed.

Happy scrolling,

Tobia

I submit this list to the Freutag and Fridays are for Friendships linkup.

Challenging myself and being creative #100daysofcraftaliciouspatterns

Do you follow me on Instagram? If so, you might have seen I challenged myself for the last months and drew a little pattern for the last 100 days. Here you can check them out #100daysofcraftaliciouspattern.

I followed Elise on her endeavor of doing 100 pep talks and it was just so inspiring. Then I listened to her podcast about her journey. Immediately I knew I needed to start my own project. I could feel it in my gut that it would be right and somehow I also kinda knew I will manage to write the #100 on one of my paper slips.

And I am so glad I started my 100 day challenge. It was tough at times. I made a tiny list of my take aways. Because who doesn’t love lists…

  1. 100 different patterns is tough. I felt like I was drawn to paint similar patterns more than once.
  2. Circles, dots and triangles reappeared often.
  3. I like the bold pens better than the really fine ones.
  4. The drawing took place mostly right before bed. However that was more because toward the end it became a chore…
  5. The best patterns were created when I didn’t pressure myself (surprise right here, no?) and when I wasn’t tired and wanted to head to bed.
  6. Sometimes I felt like I didn’t give it my all.
  7. When I didn’t come up with an idea/inspiration I leaved through a magazine or looked around my craft lab.
  8. Sometimes inspiration hit me totally unprepared. Like my migraine inspired pattern – one of my faves.
  9. I came across a ton of interesting Instagram accounts during this challenge. Separate post to follow.

So here are my top ten patterns.

100 day challenge my top 10

And apparently those top three were the most loved on Instagram.

100 day challenge top 3 instagram

What is your fave? And have you ever done a challenge like this?

Happy day to you,

Tobia

PS: I just realized I must have messed up the count because I only got 98 pictures uploaded on Instagram and missing #15 and #58. Mhm… so did I really do the project or did I fail?!

PPS: And since this is another DIY and pattern project I will link up with Muster Mittwoch, Wow me Wednesday and creadienstag.