Tuesday, November 29, 2016

This One Thing: A Christian Focus on Writing

In 2008, I was researching a book I wanted to write, Journey to Faith, which I never finished and sits on the stack of BIPs (books in process).  During my research, I came across the writing of Lilias Trotter and became so moved by her teaching that I still, eight years later, try to live by her message. because, as a Christian, I know it to be true.

Two years ago I wrote my family history book, Somewhere Over the Rhine.  It took four years. While writing that book, I lost my focus time after time.  And on those occasions, I dug out my research on Lilias Trotter to help me move ahead.  My One Thing at that time was my book. Narrowing my daily life, cutting out anything that took away from my book is how I finished that One Thing.

Who is Lilias Trotter?

Isabella Lilias Trotter was a lover of beauty and of God; this was revealed through her life as an artist, author, and missionary. Born in 1853 to wealthy parents in London, her talent for drawing and painting eventually came to the notice of famed art critic John Ruskin, who was impressed by her talent. However, instead of pursuing a career in art, she felt called to go to Algeria as a missionary. Having been turned down by a mission society, she went independently to the country along with two other single women. Lilias lived in Algeria until her death there in 1928. ~
Who Was Lilias Trottter? ~ by Lynette Woods

I am currently writing another book, This One Thing, as I have been so magnetized by Lilias Trotter and her life that I want to share her teaching to anybody who knows how hard it is to stay on task and focused, and wants to be able to finish that One Thing, maybe a big DREAM. So I've written here a glimpse of Lilias' writing. Would be interested if any readers here find inspiration from Lilias' words.

Excerpts from "A Story and a Song," by Lilias Trotter
Gathered up, focussed lives, intent on one aim - Christ - these are the lives on which God can concentrate blessedness. We see the principle shadowed in the trend of science; the telephone and the wireless in the realm of sound... All these work by gathering into focus currents and waves that, dispersed, cannot serve us. In every branch of learning and workmanship the tendency of these days is to specialize - to take up one point and follow it to the uttermost.  
And satan knows well the power of concentration; if a soul is likely to get under the sway of the inspiration, "this one thing I do," he will turn all his energies to bring in side-interests that will shatter the gathering intensity. 
It is easy to find out whether our lives are focussed, and if so, where the focus lies. Where do our thoughts settle when consciousness comes back in the morning? Where do they swing back when the pressure is off during the day?  
And they lie all around, these interests. Never has it been so easy to live in half a dozen good harmless worlds at once - art, music, social science, games, motoring, the following of some profession, and so on. And between them we run the risk of drifting about, the "good" hiding the "best" even more effectually than it could be hidden by downright frivolity with its smothered heart-ache at its own emptiness. 
What does this focussing mean? Study the matter and you will see that it means two things - gathering in all that can be gathered, and letting the rest drop. The working of any lens - microscope, telescope, camera - will show you this.  You have to choose which you will fix your gaze upon and let the other go. 
...and the things that, unable to "bide the fire," must be destroyed? All aims, all ambitions, all desires, all pursuits - shall we dare to drop them if they cannot be gathered sharply and clearly into the focus of "this one thing I do?"  
Will it not make life narrow, this focussing? In a sense, it will - just as the mountain path grows narrower, for it matters more and more, the higher we go, where we set our feet - but there is always, as it narrows, a wider and wider outlook, and purer, clearer air. Narrow as Christ's life was narrow, this is our aim; narrow as regards self-seeking, broad as the love of God to all around. Is there anything to fear in that? 
How do we bring things to a focus in the world of optics? Not by looking at the things to be dropped, but by looking at the one point that is to be brought out. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Journey to Project Planning

This morning I got an email from Michael Hyatt, former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, who I've been following a long time. It contained a link to a free book, Achive What Matters Most in 2017.  I had just watched one of his webinars about writing, to gear myself up to finish a book I'm trying to tackle. I learned a lot about what I'm doing wrong and what I should be doing. He is a genius, in my humble opinion.


Discover 8 Strategies High-Achievers Use to Reach their Goals


So I downloaded his free book right away. Haven't had time to read the whole thing yet...trying to keep up with my family, who thinks I know where everything is that they've misplaced and asking questions all day.

One thing I did read targets the very situation I'm dealing with right now.

I need Focus!

I need me time for the projects I want to accomplish, aside from running the home.

I put a big pot of soup on the stove for the family and am now back on my laptop. I want to read the rest of what promises to be a big help just for me, but wanted to share this with my planner people who, like me, have to zero in on our important goals and make success happen.

Whether one of your projects is a book, or remodeling your house, or work on your art, or work on your blog or website, and any number of projects, this little freebie might be just what you're looking for.

The book contains 8 short sections with tips and advice by high achievers, such as John Maxwell, Tony Robbins, Dave Ramsey, plus many more contributors.

Michael suggests working one area at a time.  I'm going with "Eliminate the Excess."

Check it out, my friends.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Planner Perfect with DIYFish

Back to my old Blogger...

Still planning with DIYFish inserts, https://www.etsy.com/shop/DIYfish

But alongside now with PlannerPerfect

I decided I didn't need all of the inserts I was using as my life was not that busy anymore. I wanted to just write on plain white paper recording my day, putting photos in, quotes, and using it as a journal. My Journey. 

That's when I found Jenny Penton. This is exactly what I wanted to do.

So I changed my TN around.  I'm using Fish's monthly calendars but not fold-outs. I'm waiting for Jenny's personal size Plan Books monthlies with her art on the covers. I make the covers for the DIYFISH month inserts for time being, and I love them! 

I use the fold-out yearly Fish inserts. That is all I need plus 3 months in my TN. The year fold-out keeps up with future planning.









 It's  all I need right now.🤗

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

2015 Plans

I'm about ready for 2015, but I've had to give it some thought.  A little more than other years.

Could be that there are so many choices?

My 2015 Goals spread to the left comes from Pocketful of Vintage on YouTube.  I admit my layout here is nowhere near as fancy and pretty, but I wanted to copy the idea, 12 months of goals that I can open my planner and see throughout the year.  I had to sit and meditate a while to figure out my goals.

I might mention here that my Fauxdori, which I made with the help of my talented husband Gary, is a personal size, measuring 4 x 7 closed, or 8 x 7 inches open, which takes Personal Size inserts, with a little bit of craftiness. The regular size Midori is just too big for me, and I love the MTNs so much more than ring-bound binders.  At least for now.

The largest portion of my goals for 2015 is devoted to projects, especially writing. Now that I've finished the first book, I'm itching to finish another.  What a rush that is.

 So an important next booklet in my Fauxdori, or what I like to call my "Farmdori," is my Project section.

I use grid paper for the project plans.

 I don't want a separate project planner, because I'm a one-book kind of a gal.  It all has to be in the one book I carry around everywhere I go.  I admit it's hard to keep  a tidy and slim book if that's the case, so I'm constantly weeding out, at least once a week.  I can't live with bulging at the seams.  I lose focus.

I tried the DIYFish Small Projects insert, actually twice, and it was the first Fish insert I ever used.  I also tried other project planners over the years, and nothing works for me like just a listing of my ideas, a place to flesh out those ideas, and a box to check after I've finished that particular project.

My next section is just a notebook for copying interesting things, notes, etc.  I guess this is my Commonplace Book.  It's plain white paper

Since I use a personal size Dori, I print out DIYFish personal sized calendars and charts, which brings me to my next planner section, Version 2.2 with Day on 2 Pages, which I've been using since it was introduced, and before that I used V. 2.1 with the same layout.  I've become addicted to the fold-out calendar and charts.  This just works for me like nothing else ever has.

This brings me to my next booklet, my DIYFish 2015 Yearly Planner, and the undated Amazing Life monthly calendars printed in gray scale, right before my current month fold-out, charts, and dailies.



The way I insert these into a MTN booklet is to only cut the lenth of the inserts, following the top and bottom cutting lines.  Because, after all, my planner is the same length as the personal size.

But I leave the sides of the inserts as is, because one of those ends is going to slip through the booklet.  Once I determine which side is going to slide through, I cut the excess paper from the other side and either washi or tape it to the slide-through end, leaving the calendar fold-out the way it's supposed to work.

The 2015 Yearly insert I simply folded in thirds as marked and attached an elastic over one of the folds

That brings me to what I "think" I have decided on for my current month with charts and fold-outs.  I'm veering away just a bit from the V2.2 to V3 S2:

I like the horizontal calendar a lot, and I am also liking the week on 1 page probably better than the V2.2 weekly,which I never thought I'd hear myself say.

Note I'm using the Christmas Daily Pages here

The Week on One Page and  bottom half Weekly Chart

This Shows the right side of the pull-through 
of the monthly calendar

This hows my Today marker, which is a Project Life product with a Girl of All Work Tab.  I used washi to cover the holes on the left and added a pull-through to hold it in place.

Every day I move the Today marker and the Week on One Page with the Chart on the right.

Any questions, I will try to help.  I realize it might appear as a little mixed up, but it really does work.

I am waiting a bit more to make sure I want to keep the V3 before committing to the year.

Everyone have a Safe and Joyful Holiday, however you celebrate!

Friday, August 29, 2014

September Ready, a Small Twist

I'm still using the Personal DIYFish v.2.02 in my custom FarmDori Personal.  As mentioned in recent posts, I love the dori's but the regular, or Original, is just too big.  Measuring it against the Personal Filofax pages, it's like an A5 size, and that's too big for me as a One Book person. Life is crazy enough for me, and I need everything in one place...hummm, sounds like a blog I go to a lot.  Ray Blake's, My Life All in One Place.

Therefore, I am using the same setup as August, with one small twist...

 I already said that one of the most important things I must have is that narrow, fold-over week strip.  These past few weeks I've found out I also need the full-page that this slim strip is attached to.  

So many people on the Life Mapping Community Group have posted, "What do you use this page for?"  Well, I use it for Projects:  Householdd and Personal in one column, and Writing.in the other.  I divide the page in two columns.

I've become pretty fast printing these inserts out for the Midori (MTN--Midori Traveler's Notebook), and all I have to do to get what I want on the left side of the daily pages, is to cut a small strip off the left side of the week strip, which is supposed to be cut anyway, and then tape it to the right side, which slides through the Calendar Notebook.  

The weeks continue to be positioned right after the fold-out monthly calendar.  I don't like them coming in the middle of the daily pages.  Too much trouble, and stacking them at the beginning is no bother.  They fold away when the next week comes, and you can always see the calendar and the month chart.  

A week ago I was stressing how to get this full page spread on the left of my daily pages, so I'm glad that's over.  This will hold me through the month of September, hopefully.  The only other thing I'm stressing about is not having a too-stuffed planner.  Yeah, I know "stuffed" is wonderful, but not for me.  It drives me crazy.  I need maybe one less notebook in my Farmdori...

Oh, well, I'll tackle that later.  This is the start of the Labor Day Weekend.  Please leave comments about anything you want to tell me.  I need all the tips and tricks I can get.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Weekly Review

Last week was better than every other week this summer...because I made myself be accountable finally!

I've been piddling around with the book too much and not actually getting it closer to finished.  Yeah, yeah, I know it's summer and "the living is easy," and all that.  But Oktoberfest Cincinnati is just around the corner, and wasn't that my deadline?

Well, yeah, it was, but...insert any number of excuses here.  My cousins have heard every excuse known to mankind by now.  They thought a famly history book would take a few months.

And then something really good happened Friday.  I was so sick of being stuck on this last chapter, so I switched gears and went over to Create Space and did a trial run with the rest of the edited chapters.  I faltered a few times, but it wasn't at all like I'd expected from reading other authors' experience.  The process is pretty straightforward.  Not without some minor craziness of course, but you'd almost expect that.  Once I understood the workings of  loading and reviewing and then loading a new file, I felt like the weight of the world had lifted from my shoulders.

I had so feared this part, and I think that slowed me down from finishing.

Even my photos went through without a hitch.  I only had one-- ONE -- thing to correct by the reviewer, and that was one of my photos was too small.

I didn't even get upset...well maybe a little...when right in the middle of reloading the manuscript after corrections, a storm rolled in and zapped the power and took the internet down.  And it stayed down for hours, came back, and then went down for the rest of the night.

But I'd seen my book.  For the first time I'd seen what the last four years of work looked like in book form..  I'm finishing up now and coming 'round the bend.

So this last week's review is good.  In other ways too.

This is a Tomato Summer.  Makes up for last summer for sure.  I have lost count of how many quarts I've canned.  I've been so busy writing that I haven't even put the last batch in the pantry.  They do look pretty sitting on the counter of course.

The rest of the garden is pretty much played out, and it's time for Gary to till up bed number 1 for the fall veggies.

Jeff liked the DIYFish New Pocket inserts, and I will have to take a picture of  his little black planner and post later.  I think working with him in his planner has helped in some ways.

This man/boy of mine sometimes surprises us all.

We've been reading lots of new books this summer, and I'm beginning to see an improvement in his speech.  Not a gigantic improvement, but just enough to feel good about.

He recently had his yearly Survivorship Clinic appointment, and we still wonder what he'd be like if not for the radiation to his brain to nuke the brain tumor..

But we know it does no good to go there.  Just enjoy what is right now.  And he is a blessing.

And moving forward, which is the only way to move, I've used my pumped-up energy seeing my book online to sketch a new plan in the notes section above.  The list gets shorter and shorter.

 I hope next Monday I am reviewing my proofs and anticipating holding a real book in my hands.

And, who knows, I might even have organized the pantry!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Big Picture: Yearly Planning

One of my major planning tools is the Current Year Calendar.  I have the DIYFish 1-Year Planner 2014 

The year isn't over yet, but I love adhering different photos as I print them.  I like looking at them and reliving the memories.   

This is Page 1

This year layout is for my Fauxdori -- or "Farmdori," as I like to call it.  It's the personal size, and I'm using a personal size -Dori (actually 4 x 7"), so I print it out and cut just enough off the top and bottom to measure 
7 inches.  Then I follow the fold marks and tape a narrow strip of paper to slide through the front of my stitch-bound DIYFish v.02.2 monthly inserts.  (DO2Pages).  In my last post, I describe why I can't use the MTN (Midori) regular inserts.  Basically because my -dori is smaller, personal size, which is not standard, and scaling the MTN pages down led to problems.

Fish's Yearly Calendar/Planner comes with 4 pages, printed on 2 sheets of paper you will print back to back.  

Page  2 printed on the flip side of the first page 

I homeschooled my grandson for part of the year, second semester, and I used my yearly calendar to keep track of school weeks as well as attendance and what we were working on, notes to myself, etc.  This was 10th grade and there was a lot to cover.  When I homeschooled my youngest special-needs son (don't we all have special needs?) from 7th to 10th grades, I had used a yearly calendar similar to this one of  Fish's. Both times I've planned 9 weeks on and 1 week off, except for Christmas holidays when we usually took 2 weeks.  

I must have a fold-out version for my yearly calendar/planner!

Another thing I did, which I loved, was going according to the Academic Calendar instead of the regular school schedule.  July 1st stated our year, and we ended on June 30th.  This gave us a lot of planning time for trips, outings, sick days (for Mom usually) and anything else we just wanted to do.  

My grandson helped on the farm, taking care of animals, building a chicken house, driving the tractor, planting and harvesting, waching special scienctific TV programs, and gazing through a telescope at the night skies.  All of wich the student can receive credit for.  

...called "Real" Edudation

I also keep a 3-ring binder for assisgnments turned in, most of which are printouts from my grandson's laptop, but some actualy filled-out book tests, as well as anytthing else I wanted to keep.  A folder in my files holds grades, attendance, his credit worksheet, and transcript.

Page 3 is identical to page 2, except it's the last 6 months of the year. I refer to those two pages as "trackers," for obvious reasons.  I didn't print this one out because I am not currently homeschooling.

Then page 4, below, is the block monthly view of all 12 months, where there is room to list dates, birthdays, anything you want.  I only keep a month in my -dori at one time, so this yearly view by month is where I future plan.  In my FF I keep 3 months of pages, so I still use this yearly setup.

In addition, I go back and fill in some dates or notations as they happen.  For instance my husband Gary had 2 serious illnesses all in the space of a month, and I wanted to document these so I have easy access to the dates, what doctors we saw, any important notations.  These types things, illnesses, are on my daily pages, but it's a lot easier to go to my yearly calendar.

When doctors make yearly appointments, which ours like to do, I can write them in then and there with the appointment secretary.  

Since we live by dates of firsts and lasts here on the farm, this yearly view is a must.  Predicted first and last frost dates, when seeds were started in the greenhouse, when to order new seeds.  What date we bought new chickens.  Future occurrences including birthdays mingle in between The Farm dates.  

You will note I don't include cleaning schedules here because I have my handy-dandy DonnaYoung Household Planner, which is so easy for me to use over anything else.  It would be redundant to list those chores somewhere else.

This is just gold as far as planners and calendars go, as far I'm concerned.  Four pages for your entire year.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

My August Planner Setup. Running the Farmhouse and Time to Play

Meet my "Personal" Size Farmdori, custom-made by my husband- (who takes custom orders) He is currently making all of the normal sized Traveler's Notebooks, but the regular size is too big for my liking.  I want more compact.  But, since not many people make personal sized Dori's and the inserts for them, I've had to do a lot of paper engineering..

I am in love...but how did this happen to a Filofax Farm Girl?

Post OneBookJuly... the July Challenge absolutely gave most of us an eye-opener to what we needed and loved in our planners.  I'm a dyed-in-the-wool one book at a time planner addict.  I need everything in the  book I keep wiith me wherever I go.  

That's not to say, of course, that I don't have many interests.  I do.  The framework for all of my interests is in my one planner.  My writing, for instance, is online.  I write, I print it out, I edit, I change the online copy, etc...

I might glue a picture out of a magazine of a scrumptious looking dish, but the actual recipe is in my kitchen notebook.  

I'm still trying to sell on EBay 15 years worth of scrapbooking products that I will never use -- I totally changed how I scrapbook several years ago, and it doesn't require all this stuff crammed into my craft closet. Finally it's about the photos.  So EBay is a Project.  I note in my planner relevant information I might want to keep on hand..  

I've sold a few of my Filofaxes, and it helps to have a ready flip of the pages to jot down going prices and such as that.

So I discovered during July that I wanted to give myself a month in a Midori type planner and just see if it worked for me.  And that's how I fell in love.  

So Here's What I Got, now that half of August is over!  Are we not perfectionists?

The inside with 2 little Girl of All Work (I think that's who makes them) corner pockets.  The first few pages of my notebook, which is my Common Place  Book, are left blank for some sort of index, if I find I want one.

Books I'm reading and want to read.  Notes of interest about what I read.

This is one of those pages with a magazine clip that is a reminder for me..

Blog planner, copied from Patty Gardner at Homemakers Daily.  She has a great blog.

Just slid in some graph paper, because I like writing on it, and listed all of my blog ideas, notes, dates to post, etc.  Also have a section on writing ideas and notes.

I like my Hubs' little note to me on the left page.  He's a good guy.  I'm lucky.

My "Church" page.  Notes, prayer requests, etc.
Got to have my important phone numbers in case my phone up and dies on me.  It's happened.

This is my Calendar, where it all happens...

DIYF 2014 Yearly Calendar.  I need this to stay on top of everything.  I homeschooled my grandson for a bit until he went back to regular class and this proved to be the best tool I used.  

Planting dates on the farm.  Birthdays.  And of course future dates because I only have the current month in the book.  The yearly calendar is a jewel!

Then some graph paper where I previously made a sort of Bullet Journal (in pencil).  I slid this in front of the bound  monthly calendar to refer to when I plan a new month, and to jog my memory.  You could call it a Brain Dump, because it's kind of like that. .

Also in the front is my Donna Young Household Planner.  Whoever created this--I guess Donna Young--she thinks just like me, because I didn't have to change much.  It even reminds me to clean my coffeemaker.  The Household Planner is in Word.  You can do whatever you want to it.  So concise and simple.  

And, yes, I've done FlyLady, about 10 years ago, and loved it.  My kitchen sink is still shining!  I guess I've just graduated.  I even remember the zones!

My DIYFish inserts in my FarmDori are actually the LMI.v02.2 Personal pages, but of course I don't cut them the normal way nor punch holes.  The paper that doesn't get cut off now acts as an slide-through anchor, making a booklet.  To a few of the pages I had to tape an additional piece of paper to hold the inserts in place on the other side.  If that makes any sense.

First I bought the MTN regular size inserts, but I had to scale them down for personal size.  Which would have been hunky-dory, but the flip sides don't line up when you scale up or down.  I ended up with a way fat bunch of one-sided pages. 

A greuling few days later, and some dead trees, I got what I wanted.  

Like Tracy Reinhardt, a fellow Facebook DIYFish community member I like a lot, I wanted the ring-binder version week that folds over, where you can see your day right alongside your week schedule.  Just a little more paper engineering did the trick.  Think invisible tape.

The above photo demonstrates what I mean by week schedule alongside day page.  

And I am using Day on 2 Pages!  Another thing I like and want to keep.  And you will note I'm using different daily pages, the Amazing Life inserts by the talented creator DIYFish.  I do have the Day on 2 Pages that go with v02.2 inserts, but they are to be printed on personal-size paper.  That was fine when I was using my Filofax, but I just didn't have it in me at this point (I'm canning tomatoes, remember, and any other veggie that will grow) to figure out how to print two pages on letter sized paper.  So I went to my hard drive and pulled up these beauties.  I'm enjoying them a lot every day.

And here you will see my nice pamphlet stitch made with a big needle and some strong cotton thread.  Holds it nice and straight and pretty.

I also spent a few days working on a pocket folder after I watched Pocket Full of Vintage's YouTube video.  After making a successful manilla folder version, I tried making a smaller one with scrapbook paper (not card stock) for less bulk.

Instead of 6 pockets, I have 5 because of the smaller paper.  I'm really pleased with it.

Then I have a plastic card holder and zipper pouch which lives inside my paper folder creation.

That's it.  Any comments or questions, let me know.   And, oh, yes, the having fun part, it's been a blast this past few weeks playing with my planner, in between actually doing my tasks.  

Hmmmm, what will I do for September...maybe, hopefully, stay with my FarmDori.

...or, just maybe, I will try the passport size.  As long as I can have everything in one book.

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