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The Not-So-Elusive Key to an Organized 2013

21 Jan

This time of year, every venue offers you tips to organize your life, improve your situation, save money, save time, lose weight and be happier. Most advice involves buying more, doing more, or finding time and labor-intensive ways to do more with less. Let me offer another option … LESS.

Period. Own less. Do less. Be responsible for less. Enjoy life more. 

Collectors vs. Hoarders

Organizational fanatics usually collect lots of things, but they keep everything organized, so they fool themselves it’s somehow better than hoarding. I still struggle with organizational delusions. That stopped when I started to notice how much of my life was being absorbed by organizing, maintaining, and handling all my many “things.”

Now, I’m taking action.

Baby Steps

I’m creating a better 2013 for myself by eliminating things. I’ll always write long-hand in addition to my digital creations. I will always swoon at the smell of ink and paper, run my hand over sheaves of nice stationery, and want to take every writing utensil I see for a test drive. I know this about myself, so I’m learning to work with it instead of against it.

Being a writer and a tech geek means I collect more “stuff” than most. Paper, pens, pencils, desk supplies, cords, chargers, accessories and ways to carry, store, and organize it all thrills me! It is my biggest hurdle. Once I started paying attention, I realized I always reach for the rollerball in my purse when jotting notes and I always reach for my special fountain pen when I’m at my desk. All my other handwriting implements remain untouched.

When on the road, I reach for the best no-tangle charge cord for my phone/tablet and the small, most powerful charger block – so why do I sort through the dozen or so that collect in my computer bag and purse? I always grab one tech bag … so why do I own a slew of them? Some girls have shoe collections; mine are books, writing implements and tech gadgets. I own two laptops and a desktop, but always grab the same light-weight ultrabook, even when I’m working at home.

Rather than having a dozen notebooks and journals, I’ve trimmed it back to a small stock of excellent quality composition books and a luxury leather cover to make using these workhorse notebooks a pure visual and tactile delight.

The more things I have, the less I appreciate each individual thing.

Stuff = Time

Stuff requires time: YOUR time. First you must determine what you want, then locate it, make the money to buy it, mentally justify the purchase, deal with the packaging it comes in, find a place to store it, and begin feeling a grain of guilt when it sits there unused. It’s a huge responsibility. Pretty soon, the grains pile up and you find yourself in a buried. 

Purging Toward Freedom

The best part of an elimination purge is tossing projects that have been around, unfinished, for years. I realized the things I wanted to do in my 20s no longer really fit the “me” of today. Give yourself permission to change your mind about projects, hobbies, and pursuits. I don’t feel guilty for old unfinished projects now. I tossed them out. Instant relief.

I’ve discarded books (BOOKS for goodness sake!) in my “to read” pile. If I’ve not read those stacks in the last few years, it’s probably because I really prefer the ones I actually have read. More guilt gone.

Despite my love of the printed word and actual ink on paper, I read ebooks more often, especially those I will only read once. That eliminates physical clutter and I can keep a huge library of books on a variety of topics without dusting, storing, or organizing them. My physical library has been reduced to my leather-bound classics and reference books.

I’ve had art supplies for years that I want to use, but never did because I was busy managing all the other obligations in my life (many of them the result of juggling too much stuff). I’ve sorted and pruned my art implements and now have the time to use them. It’s nice!

Take the plunge!

Life is too short to spend all your time dealing with things that don’t matter, aren’t perfect, or you don’t enjoy. If you decide to take a purging approach to your new year, let me advise you to keep only the best quality of the things you really love. If that means tossing a dozen so-so items and buying one awesome one, do it!

It’s difficult to purge, but you will love the results! I promise. I’m living proof.

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Meet the Writer: Angela Allen has been creating online content for small business clients since 1999, when she had to use a painfully slow dial-up connection. Now, she specializes in real estate topics and organic content marketing for entrepreneurs on a gloriously high-speed connection. When she’s not writing for WickedWriter.com clients, she enjoys the discipline of living small in her high-tech cabin deep in the woods of Kentucky, blogging on WickedBlog, and enjoying the pure tactile titillation of going “old-school” and writing with a fountain pen on luxury paper.

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Small Business Expenses Solution: The Moleskine Daily Planner Set

11 Jan

I’m always trying to balance the digital part of my life with my penchant for low-tech, traditional paper and pen. As a freelance writer and web content marketer, that means I’ve tried just about every system coming and going – both digital and paper.

No matter what I do, I end up at the end of the year, sorting through receipts, checking all my notebooks for scribbles on mileage and lunch meetings, and scouring my email for automatic payments on business bills. It’s humbling, if not downright depressing. It also takes three or four days and I’m in such a foul mood everyone cuts me a HUGE path. For years, “I’m working on taxes” was the only thing I could say that would actually strike terror into my children and make them quiet and cautious.

For 2013, I’m taking a new path. I’m going to use the 2013 Moleskine Daily Planner Set.

Moleskine 2013 Daily Planner Box Set on EuropeanPaper.com

Moleskine 2013 Daily Planner Box Set on EuropeanPaper.com

More to Love; Less to Carry

I like keeping a notebook with me all the time to capture ideas, snippets of conversations, and general information I may need to reference later. The problem is, I usually go out without what I need because I don’t like to carry too much when I leave the house. The smaller size of a pocket planner solves that as it is small enough to fit in my purse (so I’ll always have it with me), yet big enough for my ideas to fill it up before returning it to the binder set.

Why This Will Work

The Moleskine Daily Planner Set meets my needs beautifully by giving me a new daily planner each month with a full page per day for jotting down mileage AS it’s HAPPENING in one place, automatic payments that hit my account, automatic withdrawals to pay bills, who I meet for a business lunch and what we discuss, and I can even record those little office supplies I pick up while I’m out doing personal shopping.

I only wish each month had the expandable pocket in the back to hold those pesky little receipts that are so easy to lose. Since they don’t come with one, I’ll be adding them to each volume myself.

Once the month is over, I’ll return the book to the binder and take out a new one. At the end of the year, I’ll have a complete set outlining my year in business in one convenient place. And I’ll have a written record should I ever get audited (without having to scour my computer system and pull together old files).

My income tracking is handled online (I use Cashboard and love it). I can pull a year-end report and have all the invoicing and payment information in a flash because I do all my billing through that one online system and all my clients pay online. It’s the little expenses here and there, the daily stuff, that make me crazy. I’m confident the Moleskine Daily Planner Set should solve the problem.

Why My Other Systems Didn’t Work

I like a paper version of bookkeeping records – it’s faster to jot down expenses than to power up a computer and open a program to do it – but never could remember to carry my record book with me everywhere (and didn’t want to, since it was so big). I’d also forget to log items when I returned to the office, meaning I’d lose business expenses deductions every year to my faulty system. It also means I always felt like I was playing “catch up.”

I’ve tried phone apps and tablet apps and computer apps. They were always too time-intensive to set up, too awkward to use on the run, or too focused in their application (meaning they would only track mileage and I’d have to open another app to do meals and another to do miscellaneous business expenses like office supplies, professional subscriptions and equipment). The few that showed promise invariably crashed and lost several months worth of data that cost me more time to recover and/or research all over again than they were worth. It also made my language get a little too colorful for comfort. Granted, today’s digital systems and “cloud” backups mean this happens less, but I’ve been burned too many times, now. No thank you.

What I need is a single, portable place to dump and store all my information. I love the fact that this page-a-day format will eliminate my need to write the date of each purchase. I know that’s a little thing, but it irks me. With these monthly volumes, I’ll jot down what it was, how much it was, and where I bought it – and list the project if it’s for a specific client – then slip the receipt in the (soon to be) homemade back pocket.

I Want a SIMPLE System

I can’t wait to get my set to begin my new system. It’s currently on order so I can start the year right – and of course the planner set will be the first items listed in my business expenses for January! I’m going to be so organized and efficient this year! (And I won’t have to lug around a huge book to accomplish it – just a single slender monthly volume.)

The ONLY thing that could make it better would be a built-in back pocket per notebook and access to a set that was varying shades of purple instead of rainbow colors … but that’s just me.

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Meet the Writer: Angela Allen has been creating online content for small business clients since 1999, when she had to use a painfully slow dial-up connection. Now, she specializes in real estate topics and organic content marketing for entrepreneurs on a gloriously high speed connection. When she’s not writing for WickedWriter.com clients, she enjoys the discipline of living small in her high-tech cabin deep in the woods of Kentucky, blogging on WickedBlog, and enjoying the pure tactile titillation of going “old-school” and writing with a fountain pen on luxury paper.

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Editor’s Note: Shopping for a 2013 Daily Planner? Discover all available 2013 day-per-page datebooks here. Prefer weekly or monthly formats? We’ve got those too for 2013: All Weekly 2013 Planners and All 2013 Monthly Planners.

Find Your Favorite: Shop Daily, Weekly, & Monthly Planners

9 Jan

Shop all Daily Planners and Datebooks from Moleskine and more on EuropeanPaper.com

Shop all Weekly Planners and Datebooks from Moleskine and more on EuropeanPaper.com

Shop all Monthly Planners and Datebooks from Moleskine and more on EuropeanPaper.com

Or need a planner refill? Shop all 2013 Datebook Refills here >>

Planner Shopping Wrap-Up: 4 Streamlined Blog Posts to Help You Find the Perfect Planner

3 Jan

We know how crazy it can get trying to find your perfect planner before the new year. If you don’t have a format you already know and love, the sheer variety available can be a little overwhelming. That’s why we’re here – to help! Below are four of our most popular blog posts detailing the best ways to find your most perfect planner for 2013.

Learn to Love Planner Shopping With 5 Guidelines to Choosing Your Ideal Planner

  • “Nothing is better than the thrill of picking out a new planner.  However, with so many planners to choose from, which one is right?  As exciting as it is, it can also get overwhelming, and you may just pick up the first one you see.  But that may not be the best idea.  If you take the time to pick out a good planner, you will relish using it.” Read more …

The Practically Perfect Planner: Determining the Right Planner(s) for You

  • “For more years than I care to count, I had the messiest planner on the planet.  It was no wonder I really couldn’t find anything when I needed it or that I ended up missing appointments and other important deadlines. Then, suddenly, I realized something. I played many roles in my life: wife, mother and daughter, full-time freelance writer and author, friend, and volunteer. Why in the world did I think that I could keep all of the details that went with each of these in the same planner? I needed separate planners!” Read more …

Matchmaking Datebooks: Finding the Right Planner for You

  • “As the year comes to a close, the organized among us will be looking for new planners (and the unorganized likely will receive planners as gifts). Whether you’re using a planner to remember school assignments or to plan out a busy day at work, there is a format perfectly suited to your needs. Each planner is different because each person is different. Learning about each format can help you decide which one fits your personality and your needs.” Read more …

The Perfect Planner Refill: Quo Vadis & Exacompta 2013 Refills by Size

  • “We know that feeling: you fall head over heels for your perfect planner at the beginning of a year, you use it within an inch of its life, and … the new year is almost here. Panic mode! What if you can’t find the right refill? We’ve got you covered with some of the most popular and well-regarded planner refills from Quo Vadis and Exacompta. In the list on our blog, we’ve broken out all their refills we carry by their height, so it’s easier for you to find the right one!”Read more …

Have any tips or tricks for planner shopping? Share them in the comments below! And if you still need to shop for a planner yourself, check out our full 2013 selection here.

Cheers to a Healthy & Happy New Year!

1 Jan

Wishing you all a healthy and happy 2013! We can’t wait to discover and love more fabulous paper with each and every one of you this New Year. We’ll have much more content for you on the blog, awesome new products on the site, and giveaways and contests galore! If you have any requests – anything at all – let us know in the comments!

The New Year is Almost Here: Pick Your Perfect Datebook & Calendar

29 Dec

Shop all Datebooks and Planners on EuropeanPaper.com

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And don’t forget – save 10% off your entire order with coupon code NEWYEAR at checkout! Don’t hesitate, this deal ends Tuesday, January 1st.

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Shop all beautiful Cavallini Calendars on EuropeanPaper.com

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Happy Boxing Day! Grab Your 2013 Datebook Before the New Year

26 Dec

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We hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas yesterday! Before the clocks run down to the end of 2012, just a quick reminder to pick your 2013 datebook!

Find Your Perfect Planner for 2013 on EuropeanPaper.com

2 Dec

Find Your Perfect Planner for 2013 on EuropeanPaper.com

 

Clockwise from top left:
Professional Refills >>
Colorful Covers >>
Vintage Prints >>
Legendary Classics
>>

The Perfect Planner Refill: Quo Vadis & Exacompta 2013 Refills by Size

5 Nov

We know that feeling: you fall head over heels for your perfect planner at the beginning of a year, you use it within an inch of its life, and … the new year is almost here. Panic mode! What if you can’t find the right refill?

We’ve got you covered with some of the most popular and well-regarded planner refills from Quo Vadis and Exacompta. In the list below, we’ve broken out all their refills we carry by their height, so it’s easier for you to find the right one! And if you’re ever on EuropeanPaper.com and curious if we have your refill, you can also use the Planner Refill Reference number, which is also included below.

See all Planner Refills on EuropeanPaper.com here. Don’t need a refill, just a planner? Check out our selection here.

Height: 3 – 3.9 inches

Quo Vadis 2013 Miniweek Planner – Ref. #4401 – 2.75 x 3.75

Height: 5 – 5.9 inches

Quo Vadis 2013 Daily Pocket Planner Refill - Ref. #1301 - 3.5 x 5.125

Quo Vadis 2013 Sapa X Pocket Planner Refill - Ref. #4601 - 3.5 x 5.25

Quo Vadis 2012-14 Exaplan Planner Refill - Ref. #6601 - 3.375 x 5.875

Height: 6 – 6.9 inches

Quo Vadis 2013 Business Planner Refill - Ref. #0401 - 4 x 6

QuoVadis University Academic Planner Refill - Ref. #2801 - 4 x 6

Quo Vadis 2013 Executive Planner Refill - Ref. #1401 - 6.25 x 6.25

Quo Vadis 2013 Visoplan Planner Refill - Ref. #6701 - 3.5 x 6.75

Exacompta 2013 Space 17 Planner Refill - Ref #1701 - 3.5 x 6.75

Exacompta 2013 Space 17 Planner Refill w/ Gold Edge - Ref. #1703 - 3.5 x 6.75

Quo Vadis 2013 Biweek Planner Refill - Ref. #4701 - 3.5 x 6.75

Quo Vadis 2013 IB Traveler Planner Refill - Ref. #0601 - 3.5 x 6.75

Quo Vadis 2013 Notor Planner Refill - Ref. #2101 - 4.75 x 6.75

Height: 8 – 8.9 inches

Exacompta 2013 Journal 21 Planner Refill - Ref. #2201 - 5.25 x 8.25

Exacompta 2013 Visual Planner Refill - Ref. #2001 - 6 x 8.25

Exacompta 2013 Visual Planner Refill w/ Gold Edge - Ref. #2003 - 6 x 8.25

Height: 9 – 9.9 inches

Exacompta 2013 Space 24 Planner Refill - Ref. #2301 - 6.25 x 9.375

Exacompta 2013 Space 24 Planner Refill w/ Gold Edge - Ref. #2303 - 6.25 x 9.375

Quo Vadis 2012-13 Monthly 4 Planner Refill - Ref. #7601 - 7 x 9.375

Quo Vadis 2013 Minister Planner Refill - Ref. #1501 - 6.25 x 9.375

Quo Vadis 2013 Trinote Planner Refill - Ref. #4801 - 7 x 9.375

Quo Vadis 2013 Trinote Planner Refill w/ Gold Edge - Ref. #4803 - 7 x 9.375

Quo Vadis Scholar Academic Planner Refill - Ref. #5501 - 6.25 x 9.375

Height: 10 – 10.9 inches

Quo Vadis 2013 Note 27 Planner Refill - Ref. #2701 - 8.25 x 10.5

Quo Vadis 2013 President Planner Refill - Ref. #1601 - 8.25 x 10.5

Height: 11+ inches

Quo Vadis 2013 Prenote Planner Refill - Ref. #2401 - 8.25 x 11.625

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Learn more about Quo Vadis and Exacompta:

Founded in 1954 in Paris, Quo Vadis was built on the practical (and new at the time) framework of a calendar/diary combination format, invented by the French doctor, F.G. Beltrami. Known today simply as a “weekly planner format,” Quo Vadis has evolved this concept into a full line of stylish monthly, weekly, and daily planners. With the aim to keep you organized, all Quo Vadis Refills are compatible with certain Quo Vadis Covers and have a sewn binding and micro-perforated, detachable corners.

Established in 1928 in Paris, Exacompta originally manufactured ledgers primarily for accounting. Today they have grown to incorporate high quality and stylish notebooks, datebooks, and filing accessories. Exacompta Prestige agendas are printed on two special papers: Registre Azur, a lightly green-tinted paper (developed to be easy on the eyes); and Ivoire Satine, a very fine ivory paper that is lightweight and exceptionally strong. All Exacompta Prestige Refills are compatible with Quo Vadis Covers and have a sewn binding and micro-perforated, tear-off corners.

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What You’ve Been Waiting For: Colored Moleskine 2013 Planners!

10 Oct

Moleskine 2013 Planners on EuropeanPaper.com

Moleskine fans, your wish is granted! The below Moleskine 2013 Planners are now available in different cover colors than just classic black and red.

DAILY – With plenty of space to fill in meetings, notes, and daily inspiration, the Moleskine 2013 Large Hard Cover Daily Planner (5 x 8.25 inches) is the dated day-per-page planner/diary you’ve been looking for. Match it with your style and choose from Green, Violet, Orange, Magenta, Black or Red covers!

Stay organized with a fresh new page per day with the date in the upper hand corner of the page, plus a matching elastic closure and cloth ribbon placeholder. Each 2013 Large Hard Cover Daily Planner includes an address book insert, plus sewn binding to lay flat when open, and a rear expandable inner pocket to keep extra papers and receipts tucked safely inside.

WEEKLY – The Moleskine 2013 Large Horizontal Weekly Planner (5 x 8.25 inches), dated from January to December 2013, is not only available in the classic Moleskine Black Cover, now you can choose from Green, Violet, Orange, or Magenta covers, too!

This popular planner style is perfect to have the week in a quick view as it’s formatted with each week on a two-page spread: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday on the left page, Thursday, Friday and Saturday/Sunday on the right side. With a matching elastic closure and cloth ribbon placeholder, the 2013 Horizontal Weekly Planner will keep you organized while you’re on the go. Plus, the expandable inner pocket houses an address book insert that you can remove and use it again in the years to come.

Looking for a different size or style of Moleskine? Shop all Moleskine 2013 Planners here!
… And as an added bonus

For a limited time, Save 15% off Moleskine Writing Instruments with the purchase of any Moleskine Planner! Use code WRITE15

 

Have a Fab 2013 with Cavallini Calendars

18 Aug

Shop Cavallini 2013 Calendars on EuropeanPaper.com

It’s that time of year! Exquisite Cavallini Calendars have landed in our warehouse and we’re ready to start shipping them out to you! Whether you love to travel near or far, stay home and tend to your flowers and garden, or visit your local park for birdwatching, we’ve got a Cavallini 2013 Calendar print that is perfect for you.