Magical Monday Braindump: To Do in the Kitchen

Master To Do ListWelcome to the Magical Monday Braindump Party!

Get all your To Do’s for the week out of your head and on to paper – If you think it, Ink It! Here’s the steps to creating your own Magical Monday Braindump party

Then, this week why not dream braindump your list of things you need….

To Do in Your Kitchen!

The Man and I had a big (and very needed!) cleaning day yesterday. We’ve both been slogging away at our desks for days on end and had really neglected all those mundane cleaning jobs…

So we blasted some music, divvied up the tasks (amongst smaller things, him – bathroom and vacuuming, me – kitchen and mopping).

While working in the kitchen I noticed a bunch of things that could benefit from some loving attention and decided to start a list that we can tackle at another date.

On My Kitchen To Do List

  • Organising the pantry (and checking expiry dates!)
  • Clean fridge
  • Clean and organise utensil drawer (can’t find anything at the moment!)
  • Reorganise glasses and plates
  • Scrub kickboards
  • Go through and see what’s in all the high cupboards and that mysterious place the junk drawer
  • Clean the hard to reach areas – ceiling corners, exhaust, above fridge

One of my Master To Do lists is categorised as ‘Home’ and I’ve titled one of the columns ‘Kitchen’ and put all the to dos there.

I’m not beating myself up about not having all these things done and spotless right now. I have other priorities, but my brain can rest easy knowing that I have these tasks listed in an easy to find place for when the time is right.

That is the beauty of having well organised lists! Peace of mind 🙂 Yay for that!

What do you have on your Kitchen to do list? Share with us and make me feel not so alone!

Life is crafted. Craft yours,


Friday Fab Finds – The Pomodoro Technique

Welcome to a new feature on the blog!

Each Friday I’ll be sharing with you fabulous finds I’ve come across that help me with life in general. It will probably cover tools, techniques, books, stationery and anything else that just tickles my life crafting fancy!

First up we have the Pomodoro Technique that help you with PRODUCTIVITY and getting things done.

It truly is a simple technique (see the steps below!).

It is a great tool when there is something I have to do and am finding it hard to get started (we all have those times right?!) or really just need to focus on something for a while.  I just use the timer on my iPhone or this app on the computer.

pomodoro-technique Pomodorproduct-timer-steps

Share with me – have you used this technique? Do you use something else?

Life is crafted. Craft yours,


Magical Monday Dream Braindump: Wishlist


Hope you had a happy Easter Monday! I just learned that this is not a public holiday in many places including the US…I certainly enjoyed a 4-day weekend (totally not rubbing it in or anything…ahhhhh, 4 days…..).

So this is coming out on Tuesday instead during this 4 day week!

This week why not dream braindump your….


We all have those thing we want to have – lipsticks, gadgets, a new yoga mat, a book – but just can’t justify going out and getting them immediately.

Why not start a list of all those things and add to it when ideas come up. You’ll be such a happy camper the next time your partner/mum/friend asks you what you want for Christmas/your Birthday/just because you’re fabulous, and you can whip out your Wishlist rather than ummmmming and ahhhhing and just asking for socks!

This is also a great list to refer to when you’re working on a big goal and looking for something cool to reward yourself with when you reach that hard worked for place.

Take Action Now!

Use five minutes now to brainstorm or add to this list. Jot them away on a new list page or, if you have the Life Is Crafted List & Planning package, there is a dedicated list there!

On My Wishlist

My Wishlist currently includes a KeepCup, a Kindle, a yoga block, a camera that can video HD (the camera that shoots my current videos is an old camcorder that has to be connected to power to work as the battery is shot!).

What’s on your list? Share with us below!

If you have a lot going on in general , here’s a post I wrote about creating your own Magical Monday Braindump party and get all the ‘to dos’, ‘somedays’ and ‘gosh, darn it, I REALLy have tos’ in a list.

Life is crafted, craft yours.


[POLL] What Shape Are Your Dot Points?

Dot Points

Us planner people love our list right?! I know I’m not the only one!! I have pages and pages of lists in my Filofax.

I thought it would be fun to conduct a little poll to see what types of Bullet/Dot Points you use. We may be inspired to try another type to uplift our lists or to just change it up…

I often use the Hollow Bullet and then colour it in when the task is complete. I also use Hearts when I’m making a list about something I love (like guestlist to a dinner party!).

Feel free to add any you use to the list! And you can choose more than one.

I believe this research will alter the course of Humankind so consider it your duty to get involved.

[polldaddy poll=6995108]

Life (and your choice in dot point symbol) is crafted. Craft yours,


Magical Monday Dream Braindump: Places you want to visit


It’s Magical Monday Life Crafters! Take this opportunity to get everything out of your head and onto paper to clear some much needed space.

If you want some guidance, I’ll be suggesting areas each week to brainstorm. It maqy just give you the space to finally add to  some of those lists you have on the go.

This week why not dream braindump

Places you want to visit!

Egypt? Easter Island? Paris? Venice? Johannesburg? Iceland? Your mum’s house?

Jot them away on a new list page or, if you have the Life Is Crafted List & Planning package, there is a dedicated list there!

If you have a lot going on in general , here’s a post I wrote about creating your own Magical Monday Braindump party and get all the ‘to dos’, ‘somedays’ and ‘gosh, darn it, I REALLy have tos’ in a list.

Life is crafted, craft yours.


Photo found on

How To Decide on Planner Sections (Ideas for Index Tab Names)

Planner Sections - Tab Name Ideas

One of the reasons we so love our Filofaxes, or other ring bound planners, is the ability to have control over what sections are within them.

What I need will be different to what you need and what you need will be different to the next person.

Now don’t worry naming them perfectly the first go round. I can almost guarantee you’ll set it up one way and then end up changing them around as you see how you use them! Don’t let not knowing your perfect tab names stop you from creating them though.

Make your first decision, start using the planner and then rename as you want. No need to over complicate thing Life Crafters!

Brainstorm Possible Sections

I like to start off with a bit of a brainstorm on the type of sections I think I’ll need and I ask myself questions such as:

  • what do I collect information about regularly? ie gift ideas, blog post ideas, books to read
  • What do I like or need to have on hand? ie personal information, to do lists, shopping list
  • What activities do I do on a regular basis? ie journalliing, note-taking
  • What do I refer to often? ie passwords, login details, addresses

This gives me some ideas of the types of pages I want and the sections they can go in.

Look At What Others Are Doing

Here is a list of planner section ideas:


Personal Info
To Do


Health – Diet & Exercise
Health history/medication
Family Information
Home Decoration
Quotes & Inspiration
Time log
Your Hobby ie knitting, golfing, writing

Some of the above may just be pages that can be grouped together behind a single tab.


– Intro Section (personal info, contacts, account info, password reminders)
– Master To Do Lists
– Calendar Parts (with Jan-Dec Tabs)
– Notes
– Goals
– Projects
– Musings – Journaling pages
– Inspiration – Quotes and Lists such as I did it, Life Lessons, Life Highlights
– Lists – Wishlist, Giftlist, Places to Visit, Books to Read etc

Decide on Which Section Titles to Use

Decide which tab names suit your needs and would like to try out from your brainstorm and from looking at others. Implement them in your planner.

[an aside for perfectionists…if you can’t stand to write on your tabs when you are not sure if you’ll change them up soon, just cut down a post it note to size and put that on the tab until you are sure!]

You don’t want to have too many tabs in place or your binder will become too bulky! Between 4-10 is generally good. Consider using your other binders (for those addicts people that have lots of Filos!!)  for more specific areas or projects that you want to go into detail for. ie home journal, gardening, money matters, wedding etc


After a few weeks or maybe only after a few days of use you’ll be able to see whether these sections are working for you. Change them up as you need.

Share what your sections are and you might give other people ideas!

Life is crafted. Craft yours,


8 Steps to Creating Your Own Magical Monday Life Crafting Braindump Party!

Monday Magical Dream Braindump1

It’s Monday morning Life Crafters! Here’s a little Monday routine that can make a big difference in your life. The start of a magical week if you make it that way.

So let’s all do…


Doing it the first time may take a little longer, but if you do it on a regular basis it only takes 5-10 minutes! If you have the Routine pages from your Starter Pack or List & Planning pages, don’t forget to add it in!

1. Remember the mantra, “If you think it, Ink it”
When things remain in our brain we can feel disorganised and overwhelmed. Every time something pops into your head that you need to do or are thinking about doing, jot it down somewhere you can come back to later.

2. Create an easy ritual
Light a candle. Put on some of your favourite tunes. Make yourself a nourishing cup of tea or a fresh juice.

Setting up the right space for yourself can infuse you with the right mindset to get your creativity and ‘braindumping’ flow on.

3. Grab your Planner
And go to the notes section, blank page or just find a piece of paper – something you can write things down on without thinking too much if it is neat or categorised. Grab your favourite pen. You’re ready now right?!

4. Write all the stuff that is going on in your head down
Just braindump. Write down to dos, dreams, feelings, household tasks, who you need to call, what you need to buy at the supermarket, errands you need to run, projects, deadlines, giving the dog his worming tablets, blog posts you want to write, etc. You get the gist.

Don’t analyse or overthink. Don’t get tempted to get started on one of the tasks. Most importantly, don’t get overwhelmed. This is just the time to empty that gorgeous head of yours.

5. Take a deep breath and enjoy all that freed up space
By getting all those wonderfully inspiring and mundane tasks out onto paper you’ve created space for the energy, inspiration and new ideas you need to make the life you want happen.

6. Schedule it, Put it on your Master To Do List or Throw it away.
Remember you don’t need to tackle everything at once!

If it is something you need to do soon, book in a time with yourself in your planner. Jot it down in your weekly list or on a day over the next couple of weeks.

If it is something without a timeframe – A future idea or something you’d like to do someday – write it on your Master To Do list, a Someday page, Bucket List or one of your information pages in your diary.

Some of ideas area crap. It’s okay. The bad is needed so we can contrast the really good ones. If you look at something and go ‘what the hell was I thinking?!’, give yourself permission to throw it away.

7. Recycle, File or Trash the initial piece of paper.

8. Your done! Give yourself a pat on the back and celebrate 🙂
If you have a party popper handy go on and pop it over your head. And don’t forget to blow that candle out.

Life is crafted. Craft yours.

Yours in passionate planning,

Get Inspired To Give Back


(Okay, I know fireworks don’t have much to do with ‘giving back’ but they do inspire a positive ripple effect just like you can too!)

Crafting your life often includes others – how you impact them and how they impact you.
I believe things work better in balance – in order to receive, it is also great to give. Plus it feels awesome! And there is nothing wrong in feeling good about yourself when you give back.

Besides some of the common areas of life (health, money, relationships, career), one I include is the area Contribution.

There are a lot of horrendous things that happen on this planet. However, you don’t need to take the weight of the world on to your shoulders. It is a massive burden to carry and one that can end up paralysing you. Instead, do your bit. Every action has a ripple effect – from a smile to a stranger and recycling your rubbish, to helping to build new homes for people in devastated areas.

This sentiment was reinforced when a friend shared this poem with me:

“It’s 3:23 in the morning
and I’m awake because
my great-great grandchildren
won’t let me sleep.

My great-great grandchildren
ask me in dreams
What did you do
while the planet
was plundered?

What did you do
when the Earth
was unraveling?

Surely you did something
when the seasons
started failing,

as the mammals, reptiles,
birds were all dying.

Did you
fill the streets
with protest when
democracy was stolen?

What did you do once you knew?

It’s 3:23 in the morning
and I’m awake because
my great-great grandchildren
won’t let me sleep.

What did you do once you knew?”

– Drew Dellinger

What did you do once you knew?

Use a blank list page in your Filofax or planner and list ways you can give back to others. If you want ongoing motivation, print out the poem above to remind yourself. You don’t need to just give money. Giving your time and energy is just as important.

Here are some ideas of giving back, creating a positive ripple effect or taking action towards helping this planet:

  • Turn your compassion, thoughts and intentions to those who need it. Give good wishes.
  • Buy fair trade products – Fair Trade Australia
  • Sponsor a child or a village – to make yourself comfortable with knowing where the money goes, check out the charity’s annual report.
  • Use your water and electricity wisely.
  • Get into collaborative consumption
  • Support local farmers and eat seasonally
  • Commit random acts of kindness (pay for the coffee of the person at the next table, leave a post it note saying “You are beautiful” on the bathroom mirror, give a bunch of flowers to someone on the street)
  • Go on a Volunteer Holiday
  • Donate microloans through Opportunity International or Kiva
  • Volunteer your time at a local charity or retirement home
  • Give Charity Gift Vouchers with Karma Currency

What do you do – or what are some of your ideas?

Life is crafted. Craft yours.



Binder-Style Organizer vs Bound Planner

Ring Binder vs Bound Planner

Pic above shows my A5 Filofax Chameleon in Raspberry and the Erin Condren 18 Month Planner

I have a colourful past. At least in regards to my planners hehe…I’ve tried a myriad of styles, brands, sizes and formats. One thing that I really do prefer and cannot let go of is the ring binder style of planner.

I’ve been asked quite a bit through comments on my Life is Crafted YouTube Channel, Facebook Page and emails about why I prefer Filofax to Erin Condren (which really translates to why I prefer Ring binder/loose leaf page organizers over bound planners).

I love the designs and colours of some brands of stationery notebooks and diary planners. Unfortunately, even though some of them are truly beautiful, they just aren’t functional for me. When I’ve used them in the past I just found myself ‘hacking’ them to suit my needs which often ended up messy and disorganised.

Here are some of the aspects to look at when choosing between a bound planner and a loose leaf ring binder organizer (and I admit I am totally writing this with an obvious bias…).


Okay this is where the bound planners could have an advantage! Bound planners are often thinner than ring binder folders because…they don’t have rings…it’s really just the width of the pages.

It can mean they are a bit more portable in relation to their similar-page-sized counterparts (ie an A5 Filofax is larger than A5 but an A5 bound diary is generally A5 plus a couple of millimetres). Unfortunately if they don’t have a section where you can write down your notes and lists you may end up carrying another notebook around with this information in it (or it could just be your phone!).

The bound planner below has 18 months worth of pages so it is thicker than normal!



This is where I feel the main advantage lies in ring binders. We are all different and have different planner requirements. With a loose leaf planner you can add the pages you want and remove the ones that aren’t useful for you (which can make it lighter or perhaps heavier, to carry around).


There are a lot of different types of pages out there. Packs for travel, medication, finance, health, menu planning, family specific pages etc are available.  Invite the ones into your life that are relevant and helpful.


If a certain type of page that you would love to have doesn’t exist yet, you could put something together yourself. With just a little bit of creativity and something like word or excel you can have your own unique pages. All you need to do then is print, holepunch and add it to your loose leaf binder.


Some people want note paper up the front. Others don’t need to have an addresses section. They want a fitness tab at the back and their goals section up the front. The ring binder planners allow you to organise and arrange the sections in an order that works for you.

Get some tabs and name them whatever you want them to be.


You finally have a place where you’ve collected everyone’s birthdays and special dates. Plus you’ve spent numerous days collating and brainstorming your lists. Then the year ends and you have to spend hours transferring all the info into your new bound planner. Arrrrrrrgh!

With a ring binder you keep all your carefully crafted birthday and life lists and just add in the new year’s calendar pages. Yippee!


We love adding our own touches to things – we decorate with stickers, include pictures of loved ones, add gorgeous quotes that inspire us and have a page or two of our inspiration or mood boards. This is all more easily done in a binder.


There are a lot of accessories you can add to your planner to make it what you need to be. Rulers, business card holders and index tabs are just some of the items you can add or take away as your needs change. I love having pictures in the business card holders and use a few rulers to bookmark important sections.


I’ve found it hard – when I’ve jotted lists, scribbled notes and planned project on bound planner pages – to process and archive them . Bits of information that may still be relevant or could be better collated together with similar information, is all over the place. With the folder organizers I can just remove the relevant pages and put them in another part of the planner or in a separate file where they make more sense. Then I just archive the old calendar pages in another folder or box.


So, if you like being able to craft a planner to suit your individual needs I would recommend a binder style. Filofax is one brand of many, with its own pros and cons, but I love my Filofax Chameleon in A5!

I love you Filofax A5 Chameleon


Are there any advantages or disadvantages of bound vs ring planners that you’ve found? What do you prefer and why?

Life is crafted. Craft yours.

The Why of Arienne & Life is Crafted


Photo taken by my fabulously talented photographer, graphic design friend (who also did the original Life is Crafted Dotty designs!) Sarah from Meekins Photography.

For years I’ve been a planner fiend. I’ve trialed an array of diaries, notebooks, planners and organisers trying to find THE ONE. I hacked systems to meet my own needs, I created my own pages, I ordered and reordered sections. I tried to fall in love with different sizes and have ended up with a few months of my life over the years scattered across various planners and pages which are sitting jumbled up in a cupboard… (just wrote down another to do!)

I’ve spent hours searching, comparing, planning, labeling, printing, collating, writing and transferring data (can anyone relate?!).

Here is a pic of a very small subset of my planner/organiser collection:

Planners Filofaxes

In more recent years I’ve become passionate about Lifestyle Design and the importance of making life what you want it to be.

I was struggling with the latter and how to make it more tangible for people. Luckily my brain cells were powering away in my subconscious and came up with the fabulous (if I do say so myself) idea of marrying these two passions.

I’m inspired by transforming the things I go through in living my everyday life (thoughts, ideas and decisions)  and the tools I use on a daily basis, into items that can be used by others to somehow make their lives more fun, organised and enlivened.

So Life is Crafted was born! The growing range will cover formats and layouts that are beautiful, inspiring AND usable. Above all they should inspire you to craft your life in an uplifting, organised way.

So I’ve tried to come up with a mission to try an encompass all of the above:

Life is Crafted is an inspiring and welcoming place for planner and stationery enthusiasts. We are passionate about making life what you want it to be and we believe your planner is the corner stone of lifestyle design.

The site features printable planner inserts, stationery finds and life design tools that you want to use while tackling ideas, tips and perspectives on crafting a life of your own.

We aim to give you the inspiration to dream, plan and schedule the life you want so you can live it out!

How do you see Life is Crafted’s mission statement? Does it resonate with you?

Life is crafted. Craft yours.