Category Archives: lists

Roundup: Stylish 2016 Planners, Diaries and Agendas

Do you use a paper planner?  While I use a digital task manager to organize my master list of to-do’s, I like to use a paper planner to jot down weekly business notes, and another as a health and wellness diary. There are so many beautiful ones out there that I kinda wish I could find uses for more of them. Below are my favorites:

12 Stylish Planners via Arianna Belle Blog http://blog.ariannabelle.com/2015/12/roundup-stylish-2016-planners-diaries-and-agendas.html

1- Blush Full Grain Desk Diary, 2- Gold Wash Embossed Python Leather Desk, 3- Marble Mini Three-Ring Binder for use with -> 3b- Weekly Planner Sheets, 4- Day Designer Black Stripe, 5- MyAgenda Leopard Day Planner, 6- Black Natural Leather Pocket Book, 7- Sugar Paper Blush Pink Planner, 8- Moleskin Scarlet Red Planner, 9- Toile Blue Planner, 10- DapperDesk Leather Planner, 11- Panama Textured Leather Diary, 12- Sugar Paper Gold Planner

Posted in calendars & lists, home office organization, lists, organization, organized workspaces, organizing products, planners & calendars, planning tools, productivity, time management | 2 Comments

In My Office: A New Year Refresh

Most of you probably know and love See Jane Work– a favorite go-to place for stylish office supplies.  What you might not know, is that they recently added several new products to their collection for Office Depot.  As soon as I got a preview of the goodies, I knew I needed to add some of them to my workspace, and was excited when Office Depot offered to send over my picks, just in time for a little new year refresh.  Here’s a look:

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 list pad, white pencil cup, colored pens, gold washi tape

white pencil cup that coordinates with my desk, to hold pens and highlighters, and a pretty lilac edged sticky pad for writing checklists, shopping lists, and to-do lists.

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turquoise binders, white tissue box cover

Matching turquoise binders for keeping various business papers neat and orderly. They fit nicely lined up in the cubes of my Expedit unit.

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Clear white dot project envelopes to easily carry fabric samples, etc. with me to meetings with my team.

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white staplerwhite tape dispensertan pencil cupgold scissorswhite scissorsgreek key tray, green striped notebook

A white stapler to replace my old one that wasn’t working properly anymore. I paired it with the matching white tape dispenser to make a stylish little duo. The tan cup I already had, but is also from the line. Love that it’s sturdy enough to hold my heavy gold tailor scissors.

Small updates that are helping create the setting for an organized and productive start to 2014. Are you freshening up your workspace for the new year?

This post is brought to you by Office Depot.  All content and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Arianna Belle Blog sponsors that allow me to create new content like this!

Posted in home office organization, lists, office space, office spaces, organized workspaces, organizing products, our apartment, stylish storage | 10 Comments

How To Write a Better Goals List

This time of year, a lot of us talk about and contemplate a list of all the things we’re going to do in the new year. We often freely toss in tons of things onto our list, unrealistically thinking we can accomplish them all, and we declare new year’s resolutions that often end up being empty promises to ourselves, which we don’t follow through on and later make us feel like failures.

In_Honor_Of_Design_Anna_LiesemeyerAn article by Martha Beck* and a video by Marie Forleo, recently left me inspired about how to write a better list of goals.  How to (1) clear out the things from our lists that waste our time and drain our energy, (2) add in the things that nourish us and make us feel fulfilled and content, and (3) make our goals happen. Below is a summary of tips I learned from them.

Edit down your list by scratching these things off

  • Things that aren’t spiritually profitable – things that won’t feed your soul
  • Things that, for the most part, are just to feed your ego
  • Things that revolve around toxic relationships
  • If it’s a business goal, projects that don’t make sense financially

Filter Questions to Edit Your List:

Does this goal make me feel joy and excitement?

Do I want to experience the activities involved in this goal, whether or not I achieve the milestones associated with it?

Do I want to do this to feel superiority toward people who haven’t done this thing?

Do I want to have this experience even if no one else would ever know I had?

Would I be thrilled to do this even if everyone thought it was weird or stupid?

Does this goal involve trying to change something that can’t be changed?

Am I leaving out certain things from my list because they aren’t socially considered as “important things”? What things am I leaving out because I feel guilty, like I’m not allowed to have/experience/achieve them?

What little things could add more joy to my everyday?

What things can I do to be more appreciative, present and purposeful?

What business projects will be both spiritually and financially profitable?

Making it happen

Schedule it!  Things will just be empty promises if you don’t take action towards them. Make a plan by listing the actionable steps of each goal and scheduling the first steps. This will create momentum.

What do you think? Do you find these tips helpful?

Image above: home of Anna Liesemeyer, photograph by Chelsey Heidorn
*Article referenced is: “To-Do List, or Not-to-Do List” as seen on page 45 of the November 2013 issue of Oprah Magazine
Posted in lists, planning tools, time management | 2 Comments

How to Write a Better To-Do List

How to Write a Better To Do List - Arianna Belle Blog - Photo by Yvonne  Bauer

I’ve been reading the book Getting Things Done by David Allen and have enjoyed learning about his approach to productivity.  One of the things from the book that I have started putting into practice and have found useful is to ask myself, “what’s the next action?” when adding things to my to-do list.   Here’s a look at what a few items on my to-do list would have typically looked like prior to me considering the next action question:

  • replace broken steamer piece
  • recover sofa chair
  • buy file boxes
  • get boots fixed

At first glance the to-do’s seem fairly straightforward but, when I would look at items like this on my list, for some reason I would find myself resisting them.  They’d often get pushed back and continue to remain incomplete. Why? Mr. Allen explains that most actionable items require some quick thought and planning steps before we can precisely define what has to happen to complete them. Do you need to research something? Gather certain information? Contact someone? He says that the thinking exercise for each item is something that has to happen at some point or another and it’s better to complete it early on because “if you haven’t identified the next physical action required to kick-start [an item], there will be a psychological gap every time you think about it even vaguely.” (pg. 130)

Here’s the same list re-written after taking the time to think about the next physical action required for each of my items:

  • get model number of steamer for replacement piece
  • research fabric options for sofa chair
  • measure optimal size for file boxes to go in closet
  • research shoe repair places on yelp

In order to replace the broken steamer piece, I have to first get the model number so that I can contact customer service with that information.  Before I can recover my sofa chair, I first have to find the right fabric.  Before I actually go out and buy the file boxes, I need to first measure the space I’m putting them in so I know they’ll fit and I’ll know what to look for when I’m at the store.  To get my boots fixed, I need to first find a repair place to take them to. The idea is to have all my thinking completed about the steps of an actionable item so that when I have a window of time to get something done, I can use the tools I have (computer, phone, etc.) and the location I’m in (at office, at home, out running errands, etc.) to cross more things off my list, having already defined what exactly there is to do.

To be honest, I don’t always write my to-do’s this way.  It’s a habit I’m trying to develop. Sometimes I’m in a rush and write down something non-specific because I just need to quickly dump things out of my head.  If this happens, I try to look back over my list when I’m not so rushed, and re-write the vague things on my list to make them specific next-action items.

Have any of you read Getting Things Done? I’m working on putting other recommendations from the book into practice and will report back here letting you all know how it goes.

photograph above by Yvonne Bauer of the blog Fraeulein Klein

Posted in lists, organization, productivity, time management | 12 Comments

Dinner Planning

When we were newlyweds, my husband and I struggled on a constant basis with not knowing what to make for dinner each night. He’d come home from school, I’d come home from work, both mentally tired, and one of us would ask “what should we make?”, to which the other would reply, “I don’t know….ummm….” Finally someone would think of something, and then we’d check to see if we had the ingredients for it and though sometimes we’d luck out, more often than not we’d be missing at least one or two things. We’d then either, scramble up something with what we did have, make a run to the grocery store, or give up and order take out.

Over time we started to get the hang of things. After trying out a few different ways to organize the process we’ve settled upon this current system (outlined below), which has eliminated excess trips to the grocery store, helped us cut down on food spending, and overall has worked really well for us:

  • We sit down together one day during the week (usually Saturday or Sunday morning after breakfast) and decide on what we’d like to eat each night. If we’re having a hard time coming up with ideas, we turn to food websites, blogs, our cookbooks, and/or Pinterest.
  • Using the (free!) Real Simple Dinner Planner (which to take make things convenient, we keep copies of in a transparent pocket adhered to the inside of our pantry door), we write the dishes in the Menu column (furthest left). When deciding on what dinner to slot on what day of the week, we keep in mind which ones rely on more perishable groceries and/or ingredients we already have on hand that need to be used soon.
dry erase board from three by three seattle,  printable dinner planner from real simple
  • Again using the planner, we write down the ingredients we need to buy for each meal in the appropriate columns to the right (Produce, Dairy & Refrigerated, etc).  I love the way the planner is organized because the columns correspond to the aisles of most grocery stores, making it easy to shop down each column.
  • So we don’t forget what we decided upon for what day, we write the dishes on a dry erase board we have in the kitchen, which serves as a menu. We use the Magnetic Glass Dry Erase Weekly Planner from Three By Three Seattle.  We love it because it’s conveniently labeled with the days of the week, it has a handy little shelf for a marker, and it’s magnetic, so we can post up printouts of any recipes we’ll be using.

Hope sharing this was helpful to anyone out there who may also struggle with dinner planning!

Posted in kitchen organization, lists, planners & calendars | 3 Comments

Beautifully Organized: Lists

I’m one who loves lists (and have a feeling many of you do as well!) so today I want to share with you my round-up of 10 stylish list pads. Whether it’s a to-do list, shopping list, or simply a list of things to remember, it’s nice to organize and mind dump everything onto paper, especially onto pretty paper like this:

1-the long list, 2- to-do adhesive notes, 3- ‘get it done’ notepad, 4- orange zig zag photo pad, 5- striped notepad, 6- oxford pad, 7- peacock pad, 8- happy notes, 9- recycled paper market list , 10-market shopping pad

Tell me, do you love lists? Do you have a favorite list pad for jotting them all down?

Posted in home office organization, lists, organizing products, time management | 8 Comments

Stylishly Organized: Picks from Sugar Paper

brentwoodshop
Had the pleasure of stopping by the lovely shop Sugar Paper in Brentwood late last week after visiting the House of Windsor with my pal Irene, and spotted these pretty little lists made of 100% recycled paper. Perfect for staying stylishly organized:
sugarpaper-lists
image credits: 1-nuevo estilo, 2-via modern hepburn
Posted in home office organization, kitchen organization, lists, organizing products | Leave a comment

To Do Lists

Good morning! A brand new week and a fresh to-do list.

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Are you a lists person? If yes, do you like writing them on paper or typing them on a digital device? I personally like a mix of both. For the day’s to-do’s I like writing things out in my Kate Spade planner {seen above} -it appeals to my tactile sense 🙂 For long term to-do’s I use the To Do List gadget on iGoogle and use multiple lists to separate out tasks by category. I love it’s simplicity and ease of use, and have been using it for a while now. The only con for me is not being able to access it easily from my smartphone.

I’m currently trying out Springpad {which has an accompanying android and iphone app} to see if that might be a better alternative. So far, I like that I can create different notebooks (for separating things into categories: Personal, Business, etc.) and that I can access it from both my computer and through the phone app. What I don’t like though is that I can’t {or at least haven’t figured out how to} sort tasks by high, medium or low priority. Have you tried it? What’s your preferred method of managing your lists?


P.S. for tips on how to write a better to-do list, check out this post which reminds us not to confuse goals with tasks.

image credit: photography by me
Posted in good morning, lists, morning sunshine, planners & calendars, time management | 5 Comments