Friday, 3 October 2014

Christmas Planning - Getting Started - Filofax Friday

Christmas in October that is a little early you say well there are two reasons that I want to get started on this series. Firstly I have a giveaway associated with this series and I wanted to run this in plenty of time for you to receive your goodies and start your own festive preparation. Secondly there is no point starting in December as a lot of the things you need to plan for have already happened so in my opinion the earlier you start your preparations the better. In starting early you can fully enjoy the planning process as you wont be feeling the pressure to get things done which I think you will agree will be a lot more enjoyable for you!

I will be doing a Christmas planning session every Friday in October with a YouTube video and accompanying blog post. This is just my take on my Christmas planning process, yours may be different so take from it what you will. I will be using my inserts that I designed and sell in my Etsy shop but I want you to know that I am only doing this because they are my inserts, if you would like to purchase a set of mine that would of course be lovely but you don't have to. There are tons of Christmas planners and Christmas planning inserts out there, just a search on Etsy will point you in the right direction. It is important that you use what works for you. Remember though that you don't have to go out and spend lots of money on a new Filofax or inserts. All you need is paper and a pen and you can plan, if you wanted boxes and grids like I use, you can draw these out with a ruler so please just bear that in mind as it can be an expensive time of year!

So this week I just wanted to focus on getting started as that can often be the hardest part of all, so let's just start...

Last year I had a section in my A5 Apex which I was using at the time as my daily, well, everything! I love Christmas so so much that this year I decided that I wanted to have my own dedicated Christmas planner that I could really go to town with and decorate with lots of festive items whether they were needed or not. My planner of choice for this purpose is the personal sized red original Filofax. I just love the originals and I just love this colour so to me it seems the perfect choice.

So how are you going to get started? This is what I did and what I reccommend:
  1. Work out whether you are going to be using a dedicated planner / notebook or whether you are going to incorporate a section into an existing planner.
  2. If you are getting something new, think about what you want, shop around to have a look at what is out there and what you think will work best for you and then get it based on your findings and your budget.
  3. If you are adding a Christmas planning section to your existing planner now is the time to have a bit of a declutter, take out anything that you absolutely don't need, this helps not only to make space in your planner but also in your head! Do you need to make a new divider for your Christmas section?
  4. If you are using a new planner, remove the bits and pieces inside that it came with that you know you are not going to use. I removed the diary section as I wont be using that but left all the paper and to do lists in as in my opinion you can never have too many of those!
  5. Start to think about what it is that you want to plan for. This may sound silly as you may be thinking Christmas duh! Well let's break this down...some of the areas that I will be looking at are: food, guests, presents and Christmas cards etc. It may be different for you than it is for me so take a moment to think about that as it greatly influences what you will put in and use your planner for.

So I had completed the above points and had a fairly good idea as to what I wanted to do with my planner and what I was going to use it for. A lovely friend, Becks from Justkeeppinning sent me a lovely present of a set of six Christmas dividers earlier in the year as a get well present so that is what I am going to be using in my planner. Our giveaway is sponsored by the lovely Charlotte so you may also want to check out her Etsy shop as she has some beautiful dividers but I warn you it will be hard to choose! I also added a dashboard to the front so that I have something nice to look at when I open it up, a washi on the go card in the front, a planner charm and I also covered the little notebook that is stuck in the back with co-ordinating Christmas paper so I think I am all set although I am sure that I will add to it as I go along and find bits!

Last year we received some really cute slim Christmas cards so I saved them, cut them down to size, rounded the corners and hole punched them as I think they make really good markers. I am going to be using the brussel sprouts one you see above as a marker in my food section but I am not sure what I will use the magic one for yet but I do love it so much, maybe presents. I am still deciding as to whether or not to laminate them or keep them as they are or not.

Keep an eye out on various packaging items too! Last year I received a chocolate Santa which came in a clear plastic box so I cut it down and now I have a cute flyleaf! You can see more of how I did this in this video.

I think I am now pretty much set up and ready to go but as I say, no doubt I will add to this as time goes on!

Lastly for this week but it kind of really kicks off the planning is my festive goals. I am taking the time now to think about what it is that I want to do and accomplish this year. By looking at it now I feel that this will give me an edge to my planning. For example if we want to see one set of friends who live a long way away by setting this in now it can go in the diary as a priority and other things will need to fit around it. I like to take some time to really enjoy the festive period with crafts and baking so I want to make sure that I allow myself time for that too. By setting these goals I feel like I will be so much more focussed and be able to get the things done thay I want to. My subject areas for my goals are:

  • To read / To watch
  • Places to go / People to see
  • To make and bake
  • To buy
  • To accomplish before the end of the year

This insert is available this week as a free download to you but you may also want to use the goal setting inserts from the start of the year too and that post can be found here.

This week's download contains the 'festive goal setting' pages as show in the video as both personal size and A5. You will need software that can 'unzip' the folder to release the files as both pdf and jpeg.  To download the files  week 1 please click here. Please note that the inserts that I am offering as freebies as part of this series are different to the ones that I sell, so if you have already purchased a set of my inserts these are in addition for you. If you haven't purchased any of my inserts and would like to or just have a nose at them you can view them in my Etsy shop here. Please note: These inserts are entirely free and a gift from me and only the inserts provided are free, I say this because I know some people might prefer one of the other designs that I offer but it is only the ones in the freebie set on offer at this time.

Next Week
So that is me all set up and ready to go, I will be back next week for more Christmas planning. I hope you have a great week setting your planners up, I would love to know how you get on! Please don't forget to enter the fantastic giveaway....

I am so pleased to have what I think is an awesome giveaway to go along with this series and I hope you will agree. The giveaway is brought to you by myself and the lovel Charlotte. Please do thank Charlotte for her kind generosity by visiting her:


Charlotte has only recently started her blog but you will not be dissapointed, she has some lovely images and planner lovliness so please do go and have a look.

So what can you win....some lovely things that is what my dears! I have three prizes for you... the first prize is everything that you see in the photo below which is.... from me: a brand spanking new red original Filofax which retails for £60.00 on the Filofax website, Christmas sticker sheet, candy cane planner charm, washi sample card and your choice of Christmas printable inserts from my shop. From Charlotte: a Christmas fly leaf, dashboard, set of dividers and pen. Everything that you need to plan your Christmas this year and every year after!

The second prize is everything you see below...from me: a Christmas dashboard, washi sample card, sticker sheet, Christmas tree planner charm and your choice of Christmas printable inserts from my shop. From Charlotte: a set of beautiful Christmas dividers.

And last but not least the third prize is your choice of Christmas printable inserts from my shop.

You want to enter? 
If you would like to enter the giveaway to win the Filofax shown above please rafflecopter below.  To enter you will be asked to follow both mine and Charlotte's Etsy shop which is mandatory to receive your entry (this is just as a thank you for hosting the giveaway but you are not expected to make a purchase!). All other 'follow' options are optional so don't worry if you don't have those accounts, it just gives you extra chances to win.

By submitting an entry to this giveaway you agree to the following Terms & Conditions:
  • Open internationally
  • You must be over eighteen years of age or have parental / guardian permission.
  • I will package the item(s) and will send in good faith but I cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage to the item in transit.
  • The prizes stated above are the only prizes - no alternative colours, no cash alternative.
  • The inserts are digital for you to print at home and will not be supplied printed.
  • Three winners will be chosen at random and notified by email. Winners will be announced on this page after the closing date.
  • If the winner(s) do not respond to my email within 48 hours a new winner(s) will be chosen.


  1. YAAY! I have been planning for christmas for a month now :D The past two years I have been traveling during christmas, but this year I'm staying home and going all out with decorations, events and so on. Thank you for sharing, and for being such a nice person!

  2. How generous of you both! I've entered and followed everything. I'm excited to follow her blog and Instagram (I already follow yours). I enjoy drooling over paper products and such, and I always try to comment on blogs because I think they're a bit underrated lately with the instant gratification style of Instagram, twitter, and even Tumblr.

    1. awww thank you. I think you are right, people prefer a quick thumbs up than a comment but I don't mind it lol x

  3. What an awesome giveaway from you two, so super sweet! I already follow both of you on Instagram ;)
    I started a Christmas planner last year using a snap binder and all it's wonderful dividers and pages. I decorated each divider to go along with what section it's used for. I'm sure I will def be adding to it this year!

  4. Ooh I would love a red planner for Christmas! Eep - how exciting would that be! I'd already planned to "deck the ff halls" with christmas themed dividers etc, but even better would be a merry red planner to boot!

  5. I LOVE this! Need to make myself a party/Christmas planner.

  6. This is a great idea ! it would be such a big help to me in the run up to christmas, to keep on top of everything! Thanks for inspiration x

  7. Events2 is a well known organization in UK,We are the best party & event planners in UK,Our main motive is to satisfy our client with result oriented services.