My moleskine happiness

At the beginning of the year I told you all about how my actual favourite planner wasn’t available in our bookstore, and how I was using the shining planner instead.

That is all still true.

I’m also using a hybrid bullet journal/ planner system for this year.

What I may have not mentioned on the blog but my Instagram friends have definitely seen in my weekly planning posts is that I bought myself a Moleskine weekly notebook diary.

A local bookstore had a sale during February and had all their 18-month 2016/ 2017 diaries on special.

When I saw a nice purple one, I grabbed it and have been happily using it ever since.

So what do I now use for my weekly planning process?

  1. Shining planner
  2. iPhone
  3. Moleskine
  4. Bullet journal
  5. Delicious gel pens

(this seems like a lot but it only takes me 5 – 7 minutes after I uncomplicated my life again)

The Moleskine is thin enough that I can easily carry it around with me, together with my bullet journal, and it makes me so very happy to have all of my life visible and in one place ๐Ÿ™‚

The point of this post (and today’s life and organising lessons) is to say this:

You can change your mind. If you thought something might work for you and it’s not doing its job quite like you envisioned, feel free to change it.

There are no gold stars for sticking with something that’s clearly not working.

Also, if there’s a tool that will make your life easier and you can afford to get it, do so! I’m talking about a planning tool here but I remember DesignMom once saying they had 5 hairbrushes in her girls’ room to make getting dressed easier.

In the comments do let me know if you’re doing something that’s no longer working for you.

Is there a place in your life that could work better if you bought something to augment your system?

PS next year (or later this year, I should say) I’m not faffing around – the minute the diaries appear in the shops, I’m looking around for the Legami and I’ll just hand over my card ๐Ÿ™‚

What’s in my pencil bag?

I have this thing where I really don’t like to be without things I like to use.

Some may call that crazy; I call it being prepared ๐Ÿ™‚

Some may think I carry too much around with me (that may be true) but I just really like knowing that I have exactly what I want or need.

Today I’m going to show you what I keep in my pencil bag.

It is true that the bigger your pencil bag, the more junk you’re likely to carry around with you.

(have you seen those enormous A5 pouches? They actually call them pencil bags!)

This pencil bag is actually a makeup bag I bought at the end-of-year cosmetics sales.

I manage to squeeze quite a bit into it:

  • 2 small post-it pads
  • a flash drive with photos I need to print next time I’m near a photo print place
  • flags for reading or writing a short note
  • Fitbit charger
  • permanent marker
  • wax highlighter
  • 6 pens – yes, I do need them all. How will I know if I feel like making notes in blue, green or pink?

Let’s take a look at those pens:

And that’s it – my standard daily planning arsenal – pencil bag, Moleskine weekly planner notebook and my bullet journal.

Do you like stationery? Do you carry a pencil bag with you?

5 steps to a tidy study

I seem to have “tidy study” on my to-do list every week so I decided to go back to basics and share those basics with you too.

Here are the 5 steps I’m following to my organised home office:

1. Have a plan and make the rules clear to all those who use it
Do not allow anything in there that doesnโ€™t belong. Decide what the space is used for and only keep items relating to that purpose there.

My kids can use the table in the study but they need to take their stuff out afterwards.

2. Divide the space into zones
There may be a childrenโ€™s desk for homework and school projects, a reading corner, the filing area and a computer desk. It is easier to keep the study organised and neat when you know where everything should go, e.g. books should only be in the reading corner and not on every desk.

No-one but me uses my actual computer desk because the crafting area is my big, green table.

3. Store items where they are used
If two people use the study, then have a wastepaper basket at each desk. And have two sets of staplers, scissors, etc. This will prevent your stuff going โ€œmissingโ€ from your area. Have a punch and file tabs wherever you do your filing, if you like to file.

4. Batch routine tasks
Keep all items that you need to file together so that you file 5 pieces of paper at once. Make all your telephone calls at the same time. Write out all greeting cards and wrap gifts for a month at a time. Your friends and family will feel loved and cared for, and you will feel accomplished!

5. Tidy your study every day
Take just 5 minutes and do a quick tidy-up of the desk when youโ€™re finished working every day. Throw trash away, make neat piles of paper if theyโ€™re in-progress (label with post-it notes), put pens and pencils back in the holder and take cups and glasses to the kitchen.

This is where I slack because I often forget to leave 5 minutes to tidy up on the evenings I’m on my computer.

When you keep things under control on a daily basis, it is easy to maintain the order of an organised space.

Do you have a routine to keep your office space neat and tidy? Or does it not matter to you?

5 favourite posts about…. stationery!

I’ve always had a huge love for stationery so this time of year is one of my favourites because of the back-to-school sales.

Flipfiles? Yes please!

Pens? Ooooh definitely yes.

Basically I justify things to myself to get some stationery.

By the way, a tip. If you want the kids to take care of the stationery, announce that it is all yours! They need to ask to use it (always say yes!) and pack it away in its place afterwards (separate from their stuff).

I do this and all the nice stuff lasts forever because it’s “my” stuff. It’s not really but it just means nothing goes missing or has caps left off the markers ๐Ÿ™‚

Moving on.

My kids’ favourite stationery items

Favourite stationery for kids |


My favourite highlighters ever

I wrote this post in 2014 and I’ve been using those same 5 highlighters for the last 2.5 years. I’ve just started a new box.

I love stationery - neon twister highlighters


The best pens in the world

These are still my very favourite pens. Pick and Pay has the pink ones for R20, and blue and green ones for R17 each.



My 5 favourite stationery items

and I still love these pencils. I washi’d them to make them even more fun ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Recently I bought myself some of those WOPEX pencil crayons (colouring pencils) too and they are so lovely to the touch.

favourite stationery finds |


My kids’ favourite stationery items – part two

Fun fact – each kid needed 48 pencils for school. I bought a combination of Staedtler and Bic, purely because CNA ran out of the Staedtler pencils. Ha!

Favourite kid stationery |

Now tell me, do you have a favourite post?

Did you see something you want to try? Tell me in the comments and I’ll tell you where to get it at the best price.

Tell me about any stationery finds you’ve discovered and loved in the last while.

Yip – I’m doing a bullet journal/ diary hybrid

I wrote a few weeks ago about my goals diary planner for this year. If you didn’t read that post, or just want to refresh your memory, you can find it here ๐Ÿ™‚

And if you want to get your own copy, you can get it here.

Thanks to the comments and just common sense when I thought about it clearly, I’m going to do a hybrid this year.

This is my bullet journal

So how do I use each of them?

Let’s talk about the goals diary planner first. I use it for:

  • monthly planning of events
  • setting intentions and goals for the month ahead (I finally did January’s goals as a breakdown of my annual goals last week ๐Ÿ™‚ Remember there are no rules for this stuff. You create your own rules)
  • weekly planning of the main things
  • weekly intentions: there are prompts for how you want to feel, what you’re grateful for, what you want to receive and what you’re giving yourself that week ๐Ÿ™‚
  • monthly goals review (what I do on Goals Night. You can join me this year.)

And then, this is how I use my bullet journal.

Remember I don’t go super fancy because my aim in using one is getting stuff done ๐Ÿ™‚ Here are my previous bullet journal posts.

  • I use it for my weekend to-do lists. This seems to be very popular on Instagram. Either that, or people are curious ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Weekly accountability
  • Running list of things to buy
  • Friendship spreadsheet
  • Good ideas list (this is the stuff I get from the podcasts :))
  • Books read to me by the kids (they’re as motivated as I am by lists!)
  • Goals for 2017 (copied and pasted in)


The goals diary planner lives on my desk at home.

The bullet journal moves around with me. I only don’t take it to the gym with me because I don’t want any accidents happening with my water bottle, my gel pens and my bullet journal.

So tell me, what are you doing this year as far as planning is concerned? Diary/ planner? Bullet journal? Hybrid?

PS I actually asked the people at Exclusive Books if they ordered Legami diaries this year – they didn’t ๐Ÿ™

My diary/ planner for 2017


So you all know I’m a big fan of the Shining Year planners.

I pre-ordered the diary this year too and it arrived just before Christmas. (if you’re ordering and you’re in South Africa, buy the digital version!)

It is gorgeous and colourful, and has nice, thick, non-bleedy paper for my Pentel gel pens. It also has some good goals pages before and after each month. As you know I do a Goals Night on the last night of each month and this will really help me to simplify my monthly goals review process.

There is only one thing “wrong” with it.

It’s huge. It’s more than double the thickness of last year’s diary and about 5 cm longer.

I can’t see myself carrying this diary to and from work daily, as I’m accustomed to doing with my yearly diaries.

I actually took it to church on New Year’s Day to test it out on a short trip and my shoulder was falling off.

So I know I won’t be able to carry it around on a daily basis.

I’m not going to buy another diary largely because everything is so big this year (Confession – I’ve looked). The 2017 version of the style I used in 2016 has awful covers and while I love the insides, I can’t bring myself to see those covers daily.

If you’ve read my post about choosing the perfect diary/ planner, you’ll remember I always say you’ve got to have something you want to use and that will inspire you to actually use it.

Do I just bullet journal on a daily basis while out and about, and keep my Shining Planner at home to update as and when?

What do all these people with the ginormous planners do? Do they leave them at home? Do they cart them around?

Also, if I had even the slightest bit of design skills, I’d just make my own darn planner. Because nobody makes exactly the one I want. Legami is the closest but I don’t think Exclusives got them in this year ๐Ÿ™

What do you think I should do? What would you do?

And… everybody gets planning and calendaring freebies!

Hi friends

I have three things to tell you about:

1. If you haven’t yet downloaded your Let’s Do This guide for 2017 (a super simple way to close off 2016 and start 2017 on the right foot), you can get your free copy here.

2. Then, I made an intentional calendar for 2017.

Pages: 1 2

It’s New Planner/ Diary time :)

Guys, this is the very best time of the year.

Time to get a new diary/ planner.

Time to start reviewing 2016 so you can close off this year completely and thoroughly.

Time to start thinking about 2017 and setting new intentions.

I bought the whole Shining Year caboodle this year and I expect a big box of goodies to arrive on my doorstep very soon ๐Ÿ™‚ And then you will see me playing with all my stuff on Instagram. I can’t wait!

You all know I’ve been using the Shining Year workbooks for many shining years (sorry, I couldn’t resist!) and usually I get the digital version. See right sidebar for pic. —->>

This year, I will still have access to the digital verson (yay – I can print as many of those lists as I like!) but I will have a nice printed and bound physical copy of everything too.


What about the bullet journal?

I see my bullet journal playing very nicely alongside my shining year goals diary just as it did this year alongside my diary.

For those who want the physical stuff – the printed, spiral-bound workbooks, diaries, to-do list pads, calendars and so on.

I’m posting this now because the physical stuff sells out quickly. If you want it, pop over and get your copies now.

For those who want the digital version…

There is no real rush. The only rush is your own impatience ๐Ÿ™‚ Feel free to wait til payday.

Something to note – for some reason, the digital versions of the life and business workbooks are still exactly the same price as they were last year. Get yours quickly.

goalsdiary2A quick word of caution

Leonie is hippyish and I’m…. not. So every year there are two pages of the workbook I tear out and then I’m happy again. Something about oracle readings and medicine bags. The rest of it is just fine for my straightlaced personality. Here you go.

What do I recommend for my South African readers?

Get the e-book bundle – it has the life, biz and diary e-versions for a seriously great price. Then you print it two-sided at your local Postnet. Phone around – the different branches have different prices!

Now, when you do buy your version and start working through it, please do tag Organising Queen on Instagram so I can come see your photos ๐Ÿ™‚

What’s making me happier this week? 5

Guys, remember how I said before that my bullet journal was too pretty for scribbling?


It was all about the cute factor!

Well, I’ve got over that mindset challenge and I now scribble, make budgeting notes, highlight, use different colour pens on the same page, etc. I half-fill pages, I cross off things and I actually (gasp!) use my notebook.

And the fact that I have all the information with me in this little bullet journal makes me a lot happier.

Bullet Journal-008ย  Bullet Journal-006

Who else is bullet journalling?

Have you relaxed your standards, or were you realistic about the cute factor from the start? ๐Ÿ˜‰

It’s not just about stationery

Some of you who follow the Organising Queen feed will have seen this post on Wednesday…

This is not about a pencil case.

Of course, there is the fact that I have to replace all my stuff but I have the money so that’s not an issue.

What really threw me are three things:

  1. the fact that it has not been found is actually almost impossible so I now think it was stolen, and this brings with it its own set of challenges. Do I work with colleagues who would steal someone’s things? Maybe I’m naive but we’re in financial services… honesty and integrity…..where is that?
  2. then almost no-one even seemed to care about the loss. I get that people don’t have the same attachment to things but when things like this happen to others, I care, and for me to get no care kind-of threw me. I really wasn’t myself for 2 days.
  3. my flash drive was in that pencil case. I’d backed it up thoroughly on 22 Dec, but I did lots of work in January which is all gone (created printables and such), and then lots of new budgets and stuff. I keep thinking of more and more things now missing which is how these things normally go.

Yesterday in church I realised that I need to move on from this. It is not going to matter in a year’s time so best I start taking steps to put it behind me.

I actually made a list in my bullet journal of documents I need to recreate/ update and folders I need to copy from my external hard drive. I felt some relief the minute I looked at that list because I realised it wasn’t that bad. I also prayed that that flash drive malfunctions for the person who has it.

And now the hard work starts. Redoing 3 months of my budget (while buying and selling a house)

Of course, I’m never walking with things in my arms again.

I’m on holiday at the moment and sadly, I will use up a good few hours to work on all these documents.

When did you last have a techno malfunction?

How would you have reacted in this situation?

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