Category Archives: Calendar

Make Life Happen

It should be of no shock for my friends and readers to hear I am a proud, card-carrying, handwriting, weekly planner enthusiast, refusing to go to the dark side of digital scheduling (this year I’m using the gorgeous Appointed Weekly Binder Calendar). This is the only way I know how to live. Once a week, Nick (who also owns a hardcover weekly planner) and I walk through our calendars, coordinating the family’s schedule. For the most part, this process has worked beautifully.

Little did I know, our family was in need of an entirely separate calendar to involve everyone and work out any conflicts which always arise!  It all began with a class I took last Spring given by my friend Suzie Stegic, the professional organizer of Profound Change. The theme was setting up for a new season with many helpful ideas, one of which was creating a SUMMER CALENDAR for the family. I liked the sound of it instantly, my gut saying we needed it! Suzie suggested positioning it where everyone can see then adding birthdays, festivals, art fairs, hikes…anything your family wanted out of Summer. What a perfect way to honor their ideas as well as providing the power of a pen, something we continue anyway we can.

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By June the calendar was up in the pantry with lots of opportunities for kids to express their wishes in their own handwriting.  And just as importantly, the giant calendar provided a common space to combine Nick’s and my calendar and also to include soccer games, swim practices, adult commitments, etc., as well as flagging conflicts weeks ahead of time. I color-coded sports commitments, overly decorated holidays and birthdays, highlighted vacations with large caps…anything to help the family navigate each month.

When September approached, I was hooked on this process and have continued to use the large hall calendar this Fall. The kids can see which days they have sports or school commitments, when they’re scheduled to help cook a family dinner or find an open night for games or a movie. As Suzie says “That giant paper calendar makes intentions become reality. You can make a 5 year plan version! What do you want out of life??!! Put it out together in PAPER. Brain to hand, idea to physical, beautiful paper. Make life happen.”

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Regarding our paper choice, the russel+hazel Desktop Calendar Pad is the perfect size for our needs but others might like to personalize it by using family photos with a Social Print Studio’s Wall Calendar or use the Chalkboard Wall Calendar by SimpleShapes for a larger space and more writing.

This might sound burdensome or overwhelming but, I promise, this process can provide you with clarity of mind and an awareness of how to spend time with yourself or family all through written words.

 For you locals, Suzie’s classes are full right now but she’ll soon update her site with future options!!

    My Life in a Binder

    Last week I received an email from my friend Kristin stating the following…“I need to look at investing in a good daytime planner. I’m not tech-y and put all my appointments/reminders in my phone.  I’m old school – need to write it and look at it daily, hoping to NEVER lose it as it contains everything in my life!  I like a size to fit into a mid-size purse. In the past I’ve gotten one at Russel+Hazel and loved it but it was cloth and got too dirty. Thoughts? I’d love to hear if you’ve seen any at stationery markets, have through Brown Ink, etc.” 

    Being an old-school daytime planner woman myself, I loved receiving this email! I’m also a  research fanatic when it comes to paper goods so this email sent me into mission mode. And perfect timing too as 2015 winds down and our hungry little fingers are scratching for planners for the coming year! Of course, I could go on and on about why I believe a paper day planner is the only go-to – But today I will simply stay on track and stick with the mission at hand.

    First, I do use the russell+hazel day Mini SmartDate system which Kristin refers to…and it carries my life as well! Does it get a little dirty? A bit, but thankfully the Mini Solid Color Binder in gray hides most smudges and I actually enjoy the roughed-up look (plus the store sells brightly colored folders and tabs which freshen up the binder!). However, there are several day planners to select from in all different shapes and colors..

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    The Paper Chronicles recently featured the 2016 Edition of Sugar Paper at Target and it’s stunning. These LA gals are Queens of classy perfection as you can see in their designs. Make sure you head to Target November 1st to load up on calendars and accessories for the new year!Target-2016-09Target-2016-04

    On the other spectrum of fancy, rumor has it the Smythson 2016 Soho Agenda (specifically in bright yellow) is Sofia Coppola’s must-have for her 2016 planner needs!

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    Emily Ley is a one woman, power house in the world of day planners.

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    A few years ago I used an older version of her Simplified Planner which, although colorful and well constructed, was a monster to haul. Emily was smart with her revised Simplified Planner being a bit smaller yet keeping the best parts: spiral binding to lay binder flat, attention to detail, quality paper,and ample space to write. Bravo Lady!

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    A similarly styled planner – and extremely affordable – can be found at Sarah Pinto.

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    Crazy for the Purple Floral Year-Less Planner from Ferme a Papier! (pattern here on Brown Ink!)

    2016 Birch Floral Everyday 17-Moth Planner is a beuaty!

    The 17 month Birch Floral Everyday Planner from Rifle Paper is both beautiful and functional.

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    And sometimes you just need to write out the happenings of each day one week at a time. The Rifle Floral Weekly Planner is perfect for this scenario.

    Of course, there are those, like my mother-in-law, who find wall calendars the most convenient and enjoyable way to both view and organize the days and weeks ahead.  I do love a pretty wall calendar not only for the art but also to be reminded what day it is!

    Whatever suits your needs it’s out there!! Bottom line, nothing beats crossing off, (with an actual pen), an appointment or date which you were hoping might pass or inking in a birthday, gathering or trip you can’t wait to take place! It’s our lives in one binder. Thanks for the reminder, Kristin, of why daily planners are here to stay.

      Ice Globes

      It’s a new year. And after two weeks of winter vacation at home with the Brown Family of five making ice globes, moving hysterically to Wii’s Just Dance, baking, reading a pile of cook books and organizing every nook in the house, I’m ready for some fresh blood. Perfect timing to spotlight Patricia Shen, the designer and founder behind Our Heiday, our Featured Designer and the latest addition to our line of Designers at Brown Ink Paper Goods. Be sure to check out her inspirational story as well as her beautiful paper goods.

      Our-Heiday-II Our-Heiday-IAlso, for those still looking for a last post-holiday sale, Brown Ink holiday goods and 2015 calendars are 40-50% off through this coming weekend. Grab yourself a deal and maybe you’ll even find a Thank You note set to help boost writing those needed Thank You’s hanging over your head this time of year.

        HOLIDAY SALE!!

        Our End of the Year Holiday Sale is going on now!!

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        Check out the Holiday and Calendar paper goods this week, with prices marked 40-50% off thru Friday, January 2nd. Be smart, think ahead and tuck these holiday, paper beauties away until next year while you count off the days with a new calendar you never received this holiday season. While the greens begin to fade, go on and treat yourself!

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          We got ’em. A few more ideas to help cross off those last minute holiday gift needs this week….

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           I love a good pencil set. This eco-friendly Pencil Pouch & Recycled Newspaper Pencil Set from Social Goods Co includes 5 pencils which, once sharpened, reveal a beautiful marble-like pattern.

          a67a0607-018e-4f56-bc4e-363d0bb70b22Did you hear? Pocket journals are the new, hip alternative to jot down notes these days, be it ideas to share later or to keep a secret. Your sidekick will rock the trend with this three journal set from imogene + willie. Throw in one of their pencil cases while you are at it!

          Although the masses love to rely on their Smart Phone calendars to get them through the day, the old-school paper calendars were a hot item at this year’s National Stationery Show – and I think they make the perfect gift for teachers, mothers-in-law, or those who appreciate the written way!

          calendar_1024x1024My favorite new calendar of the year, from the talented Emily Johnson at Hartland Brooklyn, is the House Plant Calendar which doubles as a beautiful postcard set.

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           In my mind, there is no sweeter gift than a monogrammed stationery set. Head to Sugar Paper for a few gorgeous options to gift the writer in your life.

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          A bit more masculine, these elegant Everlane Shorthand Notecard Set from Paper Chase Press are double thick, uncoated charcoal grey with gold foil stamping. You can personalize your gift or choose from the quotation marks, parentheses, or asterisks sets.

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          So long shoe boxes! To the friend who hangs on to all their written mementos, this keepsake Letters and Notes Desktop Box from Three Potato Four gives the place of honor each letter deserves. Features an antique patina stain, hand screen painted lettering, and hinged lid with antiqued brass hardware. A stunner to hold your treasures.

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          Inspired by an original design from the Stockholm Postal Museum, Santa might be dropping off one of these blue beauties to our kids this year. A perfect destination for all those notes they write back and forth to one another (free Shipping from the MoMA store through today)!

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          For the historical enthusiast, the Letters of Note book is a thoughtful compilation of letters with human emotion and history on each page. Encountering more moments that are stark than soft, readers can swoop in and out of these fascinating correspondences in this lovely collection.

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          With the need for Thank You’s soon after the holidays, I’d be tickled to find this Lake Card Set from Egg Press Social Preparedness Kit collection under the tree tagged for me!

          Lastly, maybe this year add a few natural greens to top off your gifts and you’re set…

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          Falalal Letterpress Gift Tag Set 

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          Brown Bear Gift Tag Set

          So off you go to pick up some goodies, write a little something and please, keep it simple. Goodness can be found in the smallest packages.