To start off, a quick reminder – if you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, please consider doing so in the sidebar off to the right. Last month subscribers were treated to the first unpublished chapter of Shadow World book 6. I’ve got another cool surprise in store for the February newsletter, which will go out on Monday, as well as a nifty announcement (which I’ll also be detailing here, later in the week).
Here we are at the end of January – already! Time has been passing very strangely for me since I moved. The workday crawls by one inch at a time and then my off time causes the days to blend together in a blurry mush. Overall, though, I’m doing a lot better than I was a couple of months ago, and I think living with another human has been good for me; I spend less time in my bed, more time in the craft room (we turned the master bedroom into a huge art/craft/sewing studio (aka the Room of Requirement) and each took one of the smaller bedrooms), more time making things. That’s why the amount of stuff in my Etsy shop has gone up so quickly – and I’m working on a third set of decorative box stickers now that’s almost done.
Meanwhile, I found I was missing a place to write out a quick review of the prior month and jot down a few goals for the upcoming. There’s not really a handy space in the Erin Condren Planner for that – there are a few spots I could create a sticker for, but I’m really trying to minimize my sticker usage to the ones that are the most helpful and most inspiring, so the whole thing won’t be eight inches thick by June. I’ve removed as many extraneous pages as I can, but it’s still going to expand due to the number of layers of paper on every page.
In retrospect making a sticker would probably have been a thinner solution than what I made, but oh well – I can always change it later. I created a clear-front pocket to clip into my planner (and move each month) that holds a pretty goal-setting graphic (which has a past month review on the reverse side). I thought it was pretty ingenious, myself, and whether it ends up being a long-term solution or not (I’m constantly, constantly changing how I use this thing, for reasons* I’ll discuss below) I think it’s cool.
The empty pocket. It’s made of black cardstock covered in decorative paper (which is why I suspect it’ll be too thick to really be practical), and the front frame has been backed with clear plastic I harvested from inside an accordion folder.
The back. I love this paper – I’m going through a teal/purple/green thing these days (wait until you see my new bedroom). The pocket is held in with two EC Coil Clips; I’ve tried using the DIY clips you can find on YouTube, but they’re awfully flimsy for stuff you’re going to need to move around a lot. Much better for mementos and pretty decoration stuff like cards and drawings, in my opinion.
I’ve been making a small sleeve similar to this one in my shop, using a photo protector I found online in the perfect size; I just wanted something a little larger. The whole thing is held together with Scor-Tape, a truly badass double-sided tape I go through like Kleenex.
Last we have the pocket with its insert. I drew the doodle with pen and scanned it, then added the text, dividing my general goals into categories with space beneath each for an item or two. On the back is a “here’s what went down in January” form. I plan to color the graphic with fineliner pens once I have everything written out. Then, if I need to keep ephemera for the month’s goals I can stick it in the pocket and keep stuff together.
You’re welcome to gank this graphic and use it for your own planner, journal, or whatever – just click on the image below and it’ll take you to the full-size, which you can right-click on and save. The graphic is for personal use only, please, but I really don’t care what that entails as long as you’re not selling stuff made out of it. I deliberately left it black and white so it’d be easy for anyone to print and personalize. Enjoy!