The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2012-06-24

Friday, June 29, 2012

Video review of The Success Choice Planner

I did a written review on The Success Choice Binder and Planner pages yesterday.  I promised a video too and here it is!

The Success Choice is sponsoring a giveaway and if you'd like to enter it's HERE with the prior post.

And don't forget, if you use the code suburbanmom at checkout anyone can get 15% off their order.  


A question of holes...

Since I talk about punching a lot of things (pages, pouches, cards, cardboard... etc.) people ask me what I use. 

If I need to make holes in a few pages or something thin I use a standard one hole puncher.  But that's not a great solution for punching holes in a stack of paper.  I considered buying a Filofax hole punch but everything I read said don't buy a plastic one and the metal one runs seventy dollars. No, just no.

I knew I needed something else, I just didn't know what...

japanese book punch

Until I came across this gizmo.  It's a tool bookbinders use and good ones will go through a stack of paper, cardboard, fabric and even leather.   It sounded like a dream to me...   

I surfed around to see what was up with them and they go by a few names; Japanese book punch, Japanese screw punch, bookbinder's punch, drill punch.  There are two parts, the punch itself and the bits.  Filofax holes are a bit smaller then the ones my single punch makes but seem to be the same size as the 4mm bit.  Every place I read about them said to buy one with Made in Japan on it.

They aren't cheap, hovering in the same vicinity as the Filofax metal punch; some a bit more ($90) some a bit less (as low as $50) so it's definitely an investment.  Since I couldn't spend that kind of money I found one on eBay for about twenty bucks and crossed my fingers.  

book punch 1
They are very easy to use, you just place the bit where you want a hole.
book punch3
And push.

Since I didn't by an 'authentic' Made in Japan punch it doesn't move that smoothly or punch as well.  

screw punch
Even so, it punched this many pages at once.
japanese book punch4

And left this many partially punched, which impressed me to no end.

I just ordered a single (authentic) 4mm bit.  I hope it improves the situation but most of all, I hope it fits in my knock-off.

I think this is a great solution for re-punching multiple pages as well as making holes in random things that aren't easily punched.   I wouldn't suggest you buy a cheap one, after doing that I realize I was short-sighted and I'm already ordering replacement drill bits.  

The cost of an authentic Japanese book punch normally includes a whole set of bits (which go for about $10 each ) so like I said, if I had it to do over again - I'd save up my money and buy a 'real' one.  

PS - Another great thing about the whole-hole-punching-drilling shebang is it's neat and tidy; it fits in my pencil case making this an effective means of punching without taking up any space.  Kinda love that part.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Success Choice Binder Review (Plus giveaway and discount code!)


There is a lot to love about all  The Success Choice  products but I'm going to focus on the one's I've been test driving; the seven ring binder and planner pages.

This is a great, leather, seven ring binder ( hand crafted in the USA) with Ahhhh!mazing one and half inch rings!  They meet perfectly and close with a satisfying snap! 

 The overall size is 9 ¼” H x 7 ½” W x 2” D.  (For comparison, my Malden A5 is 9 1/4" x 7 3/4" with six 1" rings.)  The binder is made of thick, beautiful leather (and only leather) with a rustic finish. 

 the finish; it makes each binder unique and showcases the natural leather.   I know some people worry about nicks and dings in their planner covers but to me these marks add a wonderful weathered patina that always accompanies a much loved item. 

Each binder is  singular with any natural blemishes adding texture and personality.  The finish is soft like a smooth, rubbed suede and I love the way it feels. 

And I feel it a lot.  

success planner2

Can't help it.  

I'm going to add the following disclaimer...  

 I already know this next thing is weird,y'all.    

When I was little I had a Teddy Bear.  He was my security stuffy and I loved his soft, comforting suede feet.  This binder feels just like Teddy's feet and and I get warm-fuzzies every time I touch it.

The color of mine is Sunrise Yellow and the picture (below) is close.  The cover is a thick piece of leather without backing so it lays blissfully flat. Because it's unstructured (which I like) I added something stiff at the beginning and the end to make writing on my lap more practical.  

All Success products have the daisy logo, each part having a meaning:

success planner 1

There are 8 petals representing the "Eight Areas of Balance."  As we plan or act in these areas we create joy and find "success." When we neglect any area we create stress.
A builder uses a Square as a reference in building. It helps the final product look better. This perfect square represents "Perfection."   Perfection is what we aim for but not what we expect. We EXPECT to someday be BETTER then we are today. Perfection gives us our direction.
A circle has no end. Joy is in the journey when you are continually working towards the destination you want. Joy is not ONLY in the destination. The circle represents the journey, or our "Routines."   Notice that the circle is as attractive as the square. It is okay to fail, but we set new goals and see ourselves do better. When we give up, we are depressed. We are happy when we try one more time and get a little farther. Notice also that the circle, or "our routines," must touch on each area of balance.
The swirl at the center of the flower represents the unexpected events or "Challenges" in our lives. These are not "bad." Working through them is the spice and adventure of life. We keep the swirl under control through organizing, prioritizing, focusing, taking action, and staying in balance. This is represented by the petals and circle surrounding the swirl.
All together the Logo represents JOY or in other words "SUCCESS." 

These positive messages are echoed throughout the planners (sold separately).  

There are spiral planners and ring versions.  The ring version is the one I tried.  They are very sturdy and take ink well. There is some shadow with wet fountain pen and solvent type inks but it's pretty minimal.  And I haven't had any show trough with Gel Pens or Highlighters.   

  • Acid-free, heavy, easy writing, archive quality paper
  • Tabbed, heavy card-stock calendar pages for quick referencing
  • Rearrange the pages to your custom needs and remove unwanted pages
  • Designed to allow you to keep the full year of permanent calendar pages with you at all times
  • Insert new pages or binder accessories at any time
  • Designed to be used with or without the optional address pages
  • Page dimensions with tabs: 5.9"x8.5"
  • Pages dimensions without tabs: 5.5"x8.5"
  • Binder Requirements: Any binder made for 5.5"x8.5" paper with either standard 3 or 7 rings

I think it's pretty beautiful

success planner 3

The front and back side have pockets and slots for storage:  loose papers, credit cards, a check book, etc.  The  pen loop is elastic as is the closure and there is a ribbon to mark your place. 


 I'm carrying a large size Moleskine Cahier on the backside. 

success planner 5

This planner is about more then to-do lists with many  ideas for  goals, focus points, ideas to springboard from, and reevaluation.  One thing I especially like is no matter where I am the planner suggests I go back to goals I've made in order to see how far I've come or reevaluate. It helps me focus .

  I love this because my to-do lists tend to devolve into how much laundry I have  and not the bigger picture;  What do I want to accomplish with my life and how can I find joy in the journey.

success planner 10

There are yearly, monthly and weekly pages with space to review after each.

success planner 8

Monthly task page.


Weekly page.

success planner 6

Space to reevaluate, journal, jot quick notes....

success planner 9

An end of week review.

There is so much you can do with the planner and the pages offer many suggestions. 

• Journaling or notes pages

• Year, mid-year, month, week, and daily goal planners

• Year and weekly reflection

• Monthly focus with tips and quotes throughout planner to aid you in your inner journey

• Weekly refining of major purpose

• Goal planning in every area of balance 

• Two-page monthly planning calendar 

• Health tracker, fruits and vegetables in season, and menu/shopping planners.
• Fun monthly ideas and traditions to keep balanced and strengthen relationships
• Monthly, weekly, and daily checklists to maintain order, peace, and beauty in your home and yard.
• Expense/mileage tracker, future month/year planner
• And More 

I will have a video up in the next day or two so you can see it in action but here's the really good news...

Success Choice is sponsoring a giveaway where one person can win a $4o credit on their site plus a 15%  percent discount code for anyone.

Just use the code suburbanmom at checkout for 15% off your order.  

To enter please comment to this post, this entry is mandatory. Maybe tell me what you'd buy with your $40... why you need a new planner... what you think the best feature of the Success Choice system is... your best organizing tip, I need those.  Or tell me anything that strikes your fancy!

For other entries like/leave a comment on Success Choice on Facebook or follow/tweet them on Twitter at @SuccessChoice 

I need you to make each entry a separate comment, so if you comment, follow and tweet make sure they are three separate comments.  The contest will run from today until July 12, 2012 9:00 PM EST.

You can enter once a day and if you have a problem leaving a comment,  please let me know via email mom at crazysuburbanmom dot com

Contest is open to the USA, Canada and the UK only.

*This contest is sponsored by Success Choice and the products were provided to me for review.*


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Enabling 101

Searching for Filofaxes on eBay is a bit wonky, at best.  Occasionally all the information is there but most of the time  item specifics are missing.  I've found many listings with bad pictures and  missing model names.  It could be a Filofax but it also might be tuna fish sandwich.

This one for example, was listed as "A5 Filofax date book organizer"

The main picture doesn't help at all.

But this second one....  Yeah, Baby!  It was love at first site; $20 Buy it now with $2 shipping? 

It's hard to find what you want unless you're willing to put in the most vague search terms and just look at them all. Listing is very far from an exact science.  The word 'Filofax' equals planner to many people and not necessarily a Filofax Branded item.   Sometimes they are just listed as 'organizer', 'diary', 'agenda' or 'planner'.  They may be listed in the office supply category, but also accessories... Or even wallets.

Color is are all over the place, searching for aqua is especially hard since a lot of them are listed as blue or green or teal.   Cream color is unusually  listed as tan or off white... Pink can get you purple, raspberry, fuchsia, or red.... And most of the Filos in the yellow family are simply called 'yellow'

After my purchase I continued to look because well, you know,  Filofax addiction is a cruel mistress. But to make something positive out of obsession I thought it might be a good post  and since I search all the time, I might do this again.  

The pictures are print screen captures and clicking on them will take you to the listing.

Red Adelphi with insertGBP 5.00

No name on this one but the listing says 'real calf'  £7.50

No idea what this one is.. but it's £9.99.

Mulberry..£15.00 (that's cheap, I think?)

Looks like a Classic with roses, I kinda love this one£50.00

Textured Domino Mix £19.25

Yellow Finsbur£1.04

Domino Grape (comes with note paper, telephone pages, address pages, to do pages and ruler/page marker. Starting bid £0.99)

I thought these were worth a closer look because you never know; one of these might be a real gem that you can't live without.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What's in my Filofax Pocket Rio today?

This is a great little Filofax with plenty of room for all the wallet falala I carry around. 


Monday, June 25, 2012

ad of the day, puzzling vintage images, June 25, 12

A lot of vintage ads don't make sense.  This one for example...

A very classy lady in a ball gown sitting on an uncomfortable looking small wood chair.  I don't get the imagery at all. 

I left the full ad small in case anyone wants to take a crack at guessing what in the world this ad is selling.

Did you guess right?


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Filofax Dividers with a guilt chaser...

Greeting cards make great Filofax dividers but there is a downside; they're kinda expensive. The cheapest  card store cards are about a dollar and some are over five.  Do I really want a  set of $30 dividers? 
Frivolous as that is, I kinda do.

 Is it bad to spend a little  more to end up with dividers that make me happy every time I look at them?  

 Most cards are a good size for personal dividers on down (although some were pocket on down).  And it was easy, I just cut the cards using a flyleaf as a template.  That way I could see what I was doing and  figure out image placement.   Just stuck the flyleaf to the card with washi tape and cut away.  

You don't have to use washi tape but it comes off easy; masking tape would probably work too.  

I don't cut tabs into my dividers anymore because cutting dividers with tabs is a time suck.  Tabs take more planning, are hard to cut well, and mine always end up randomly leaning.

There are so many repositionable tabs around it didn't make sense to bother with cutting out tabs  Also, without the tabs  I can  move them, add another section or remove them.    

Guilt was setting in so I tried to mitigate my extravagance by saving somewhere else. 

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"

I made some pocket sized graph pages from a Moleskine  I cut apart. The cahier line is thread bound and very easy to get apart.  A pocket page makes a great template (above) and there's enough space for two pages per sheet (the Moleskine pages are in a stack).

The measurement came out to 16 1/2 squares across and 24 squares down for  and I made a dot to show me where to punch.

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"

They look great and solve a problem I had.

The line spacing on proper pocket paper ...Try saying that three times fast... is on the eency side but cutting down a 'regular' sized piece of paper gave me something I'm happier writing on.

 Look! I can write my normal size.

It will also be  cheaper then branded paper in the long run.  The Moleskine Cahier Squared Notebook comes  in a set of 3 for $12.95, each has 40 sheets/80 sides. If I cut them all apart I have 12o sheets.  Since I get two pocket pages per sheet, a set will provide 240 Pocket Sized Pages for under thirteen dollars...

Filofax's graph paper would cost... um, more.  My math skills are exhausted  from figuring out how many pages I get from a Moleskine... Of course the Filofax paper doesn't require all that fiddling and effort but  with the money I saved cutting and punching I feel  less guilty about my $30 set of dividers.

I mean, c'mon.  Who can look at sock monkeys and feel guilty?


Vintage image of the day, Fridge Insides June 24, 2012

One of my favorite things to find in vintage magazines is pictures of fridge insides.  I don't know why this is so fascinating to me but it is. 

I've heard that other people are similarly afflicted so, for all of us who can't get enough of what's inside vintage fridges, here are the close ups.

You can click them for an even better view of the uncovered contents.  I always find the lack of wrapping puzzling.

 Every fridge picture has at least one jello mold.

The picture was facing an article in Companion Magazine, 1953 titled ' A big refrigerator will see you through 5:30 rush' 

Considering the time it's was big although the freezers pretty puny.


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