A4 vs US Letter: what's the difference?

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One of the most frequently-asked questions I've seen is what the difference is between A4 and US Letter, so I wanted to clear the air with a cute infographic!

There isn't actually too much difference when it comes to printing, and if you're using my sheets, you'll find that you can print them on both sizes with no problem at all.

Do you think this is useful? Share it with your friends on Pinterest!

Do you think this is useful? Share it with your friends on Pinterest!


If you're curious about other planner paper sizes, I have a guide just for you! Click here to see an infographic on planner sizes, and find out the differences between A4, A5, personal, pocket, and mini!


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4 Easy Ways to Reach Inbox Zero in 13 Minutes

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Inbox: ZERO. It’s an elusive number, but it’s possible to get your unread messages all the way down to 0. I see inbox 0 every other day, and even if I’m really busy, the most I’ll let my unread messages get to is 50. At least once a week, I’ll take a few minutes to cut these down to size.

I’ve read a lot of articles about email productivity, but none really use what I’m about to tell you. The methods in this post are free, practical, and really easy to use. Having a clear mind is so important to being productive and just general well-being, and a clean inbox is a step towards that. I’m here to help you tame the beast because it’s so amazing to declutter your digital life, and get the clean inbox that you deserve!

If this sounds exciting to you, read on for 3 really easy ways to give your inbox a new lease on life!

1. Unsubscribe from unwanted newsletters

You’d be surprised at how much these clog up your inbox, so the first thing you want to do is plug the hole and stop more from flooding in!

Head on to Unroll.me - it’s a free service that will pull up all of your subscriptions so you can tick them off and unsubscribe, all in one go.

If you want to do this manually, Gmail has made this easier. Instead of searching for a tiny ‘unsubscribe’ button, there is now one right next to the sender’s email address. If it’s not there, click on the arrow next to your own email address (this should just read ‘me’) in the header of the email, and there will be an ‘unsubscribe’ button. It’s a statutory requirement to have an ‘unsubscribe’ button, so use your right! (And here using the word ‘statutory’ reminds me of that law essay I need to write, hmm.)

2. Delete unwanted emails

I don’t know about you, but I really don’t need an email about a sale that ended last week sitting in my inbox.

Think of it this way: if a shoe brand emails you once a week about a sale, you’ll have 52 emails from them a year. Considering that you probably won’t need to read about sales that have already ended or new releases from last year, that’s at least 52 emails you can get rid of in one fell swoop per newsletter sender.

Find one of these emails, and copy the email address it’s coming from. Paste into the search bar so that all of the past emails from them pop up. Select all, delete, and watch your number of unread emails drop!

It’s such a satisfying feeling and is probably one of my favourite ways to do a quick email declutter!

3. Set up labels

I can’t tell you how much this has changed my life and made my emails so, so much easier to manage. I have 14 filters in my personal email address, and the one I make use of most is my ‘Newsletters’ filter (I think Gmail’s Social and Updates tabs are just really weird… though if you successfully use them, do let me know in the comments!).

To set up a new filter, go to your settings in Gmail, then Labels, and set up a few. I’d recommend starting with Newsletters, as that’s usually the bulk of emails. A few others I use are Personal, Ebay, and Paypal. For my business email, I have Orders, Resources, and Marketing to name a few. Basically, if you’re getting a lot of one type of email that you’d like to be able to sort through together, make a label for it.

Pro tip: you can assign different colours to labels! My favourite colour is pink, so all my Personal emails get a pink label. :)

4. Combine labels with filters

Now, it’s time for the exciting part with filters. By using this, you can set it so that every single email from Brand X gets marked as a Newsletter automatically, and you can even make sure it doesn’t even land in your main inbox or is marked as read immediately.

The easiest way I’ve found to do this is to filter emails as they come, or to select from existing messages. Whenever I get a new newsletter that hasn’t been labelled, I click ‘more’, then ‘filter messages like this’, which means that all emails from this sender will receive the instructions you’re about to give. Go ahead and click ‘create a new filter’.

This next page is where the exciting stuff happens. You can choose to archive all emails from this sender immediately (‘skip the inbox’), but the most important part is to apply a label. Make sure you also apply this filter to all previous emails from this sender with the little tick at the bottom.

Once you’re happy and have sent a nice number of emails into your Newsletter label, your number of unread emails should be on the decline. If you want a completely fresh start, you can always hit select all, and delete all these newsletters. Either way, they will no longer clutter your inbox.

You're all set!

Having a clean inbox is an ongoing process, and if you’ve reached the end of this article, congratulations! You’ve taken a big step. By implementing the methods I use, you can make your inbox automate and clean itself up


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Posted on January 31, 2017 and filed under Productivity, Life Hacks, How To, Tips & Tricks.

Planner Sizes: Spiral-bound, Disc-bound, and more!

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Since I published my ultimate planner sizes guide for Filofax-style planners, I've received lots of requests to make a guide for the spiral-bound and disc-bound planners like Erin Condren, The Happy Planner by MAMBI, and so many other exciting planners.

I hope you find this useful, and if you have more suggestions, please let me know in the comments or send me a message directly!

Erin Condren

Life Planner Deluxe Monthly Planner Monthly Planner Academic Planner Notebook Journal
7" x 9"
(17.78cm x 22.86cm)
7" x 9"
(17.78cm x 22.86cm)

or

8.5" x 11"
(US Letter)
7" x 9"
(17.78cm x 22.86cm)
7" x 9"
(17.78cm x 22.86cm)
7" x 9"
(17.78cm x 22.86cm)

or

8.5" x 11"
(US Letter)
7" x 9"
(17.78cm x 22.86cm)

or

8.5" x 11"
(US Letter)

MAMBI Happy Planners

Mini Classic Big
4.5" x 7"
(11.43cm x 17.78cm)
7" x 9.25"
(17.78cm x 23.495cm)
8.5" x 11" (US Letter)
(21.59cm x 27.94cm)

Midori Traveler's Notebook (TN)

A5 Regular (Full) Narrow Pocket Passport
6" x 8.24"
(15cm x 21cm)
5" x 8.5"
(13cm x 21cm)
4.5" x 8.5"
(11cm x 21cm)
3.5" x 5.5"
9cm x 14cm
3.5" x 4"
(9cm x 11cm)

ARC Planner by Staples

A4 A5
8.27" x 11.69"
(210mm x 297mm)
6" x 8.24"
(15cm x 21cm)

Others

Day Designer
Flagship Edition
Simplified Planner
by Emily Ley
Passion Planner
Classic
Passion Planner
Compact
7.3" x 9.5"
(18.5cm x 24cm)
6.75" x 9"
(17cm x 23cm)
8.5" x 11" (US Letter)
(21.5cm x 28cm)
5.5" x 8.5"
(14cm x 21cm)

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Why You Don't Have to Set a Word for 2017

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Joy, grace, work hard, and limitless. These are some of the words I thought about making my ‘word of 2017’. I've seen the words others have chosen and thought long and hard.

But in the end, I decided that I’m not going to set a word for the year, and you don’t have to either.

Why?

Because it’s hard! No - I’m just kidding (though it’s pretty hard to pick just one!).

The reason you don’t have to set a word for 2017 is simply because there is no reason to limit yourself. Each time I try to pick a word, I realise that I’m going as wide as possible because if a single word is going to set the tone for my whole year, it better well cover every good and positive thing!

But when I thought about what I was doing, I realised that 2017 does not need to be defined. Each year is a fresh chapter to be filled with so many exciting and unexpected things, and there’s absolutely no reason to try to encapsulate all of the wonderful things that’s about to happen into just one word.

That said, there’s nothing wrong in picking a word if it feels right to you. For me, it was ‘grace’ last year, which I loved and was truly and overarching theme in my whole year. This year, I’ve chosen not to pick a word because (even though I of course want grace this year and the years to come!) I feel that this year is personally one with many possibilities, and I just want the pages to be as open as possible.

Instead, I’ve decided on what I want to focus on this year, and I challenge you to do the same. For me, part of that includes my final university exams before I graduate (eeeek!), figuring out my next steps as I venture into the ‘real world’ (and here, my eeeek! becomes an aaahhh!), and listening to what God wants me to do with my future.

2017 can be anything you want. Plans change - even you change - and it’s hard to pick a word to define your entire year when so many things can happen in 12 months. As long as you know what your priorities are, I’d say that’s your word of the year covered

Posted on January 16, 2017 and filed under Goals.

5 Reasons To Set Your Goals Today

With the new year just around the year, it's the best time to set your goals! And I know what you're thinking, because I've been there too, setting resolutions that are never accomplished. But goals are so much more than just New Year's resolutions; they are things you want to achieve that you are prepared to work for.

Why is it so important to create goals for yourself? Well...

1. Setting goals gives you a sense of direction

It’s one thing to hit the snooze button and wake up ten minutes late. It’s another to jump out of bed, ready to go. Which way do you want to go?

Having a goal gives you a purpose and a mission - all things that will help you wake up excited to start your day, and I don’t know about you, but that kind of energy makes me feel good.

Also, how many times have we sat down with an extra hour, and just browsed through social media? I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve done that more times I can count, but I’ll also shout that doing this wastes a lot of time. And wasting time = nope. With a goal in mind and an action plan in hand, you’re going to make the most of your hours, and still have time to relax at the end of the day.

2. Goals make the impossible possible

Setting a goal means recognising that your dream is achievable. That yes, it is difficult, but also yes, you can and you will do it.

A goal is something that you can focus on in the long-term. It is more than saying I want my dream job and going to work early for one week. It is deciding what exactly you want, forming a plan, and following through. That is how setting goals makes your dream a reality.

Achieving your goal is fulfilling

There’s nothing like knowing you have accomplished something, whether it’s a big or small goal. It’s a feeling of satisfaction, and it’s a great motivating factor. It also gives you more confidence to pursue more goals in the future!

It’s an opportunity for self-reflection

Thinking about your goals in life really forces you to think about what you want. Whether it is really that dream job that you want, or the lifestyle that comes with it; whether you want to do 3,500 things a day, or spend more time with your loved ones (or both!).

This can give you a new view on life, and align what you do each day with your goals.

Goals make you accountable

Remember that New Year’s Resolution you made way back in January? If you’re one of those rare people who have stuck to all of them, congratulations! Most people, however, struggle to accomplish half of those resolutions. The main reason is that setting a list of goals once a year just because everyone else is doing it is simply not a great way to hold yourself accountable. And that is a very important factor in accomplishing your goals.

Taking the time to map them out and write down a plan helps a lot, as it makes you accountable to yourself, and helps you nail your goal.

Posted on December 19, 2016 and filed under Life Hacks, Productivity, Goals.

Free Resources for Etsy Sellers: Printable Gift Notices

Ever had an Etsy customer HAVE to have your item by a certain date to make a Secret Santa or birthday party? Ever had a shipping delay? If you have an Etsy shop, the answer is probably yes to both.

I created 'gift notice' printables for you to send to your customers so that they can print them out and give to their family and friends while waiting for their parcel to arrive. They're free to download, and I hope they help!

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There are three different designs to match your shop, and I hope you like them! The files are printable PDFs and are in separate files so that you can easily send them to your customers with no fuss, and they can print them out right away!


Posted on December 17, 2016 and filed under Freebies, Etsy Resources.

Time To Refocus and Restart

It’s been a while since my last post here, but I’m ready to get back on track with Openquote Designs. And who says we can't have a fresh start in the last month of the year?

Over the past few months, I worked very hard for my exams, travelled around Europe (eeeeek!), and interned at one of the largest local legal firms. I've also started on my final year of university, and am busy trying to make this year count!

With all of this going on, I didn't manage to work on Openquote Designs, and I want to take positive action again to achieve my goals with it.

Don’t get me wrong - I have been hard at work making new planners for you, including a revamped Financial Planner Kit, Home Cleaning Kit, and a vertical Weekly Planner. However, I also felt a bit lost as I couldn’t quite figure out how they all tied together. So I broke out my notes pages in my planner, and did lots of my brainstorming and mind-mapping in my planner, really thinking about what Openquote Designs means.

My realisation was that at the end of the day, I want to help you. Planning has changed my life in so many ways, and has helped me become a better, more organised and productive person. I want to help you achieve that too, and I'll do this how I know best: making beautiful planners that keep the focus on you and what you care about, and my all-time passion for writing.

So, this is Openquote Designs. Productivity, organisation, and integrating these into your life so that you can achieve your goals

Posted on December 13, 2016 and filed under Openquote Designs.

27 Ways To Love Yourself And Practice Self-Care [Free Printable]

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An important step in becoming more productive is forgiving yourself. We don't always check off everything from our to do lists, and you know what? That's okay. And what's even more important is still taking the time to love and reward yourself each day. This is an important part of your journey, which is why I made a free printable for you on 27 little self-care things that you can do for yourself (link below!).

As a law student myself, I know what it means to be swamped, especially if I want some semblance of a social life. I spent a lot of my first year stressed out over my never-ending reading list, and it brought me to a pretty negative point. So the next year, I decided that I was simply going to do my best. If I didn’t finish my list, I wasn’t going to beat myself up about it, as long as the important stuff was done. As a result, I became so much happier and balanced, and my results improved.

Part of my journey to accepting this has been understanding that it is okay to walk away sometimes, as long as you come back to it. This is something my mum has always told me! Words of wisdom to live by, my dears.

Even though I have lots to do, I make sure that I take the time to do something nice for myself each day. It means taking the time to enjoy my meals instead of rushing through them, taking the more scenic route during my commutes to lectures, and of course, taking some time off to decorate my planner because it makes me happy and is relaxing.

Taking this little time off for yourself, even if it is just 10 minutes a day, is really important because it gives you the chance to recharge and just feel good and be happy (and not like a machine!).

So, I wanted to share with you a free printable of 27 little things that you can do for yourself each day. These are ideas of things you can do in very short periods of time (like rewarding yourself with a good cup of tea), and things you can do if you want a longer break. Feel free to use these for inspiration, and share them with friends who you think need to unwind a little!

This freebie also comes with the Goal Planner Kit.

Are there any things that you like to do to reward yourself? Leave a message below, or let me know on Instagram!

Posted on December 11, 2016 .

Wallpaper Freebie: Grace

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Grace: it's one of the things that we need more of. I'm trying to remind myself to be graceful and gracious, why is why I made this wallpaper, and I wanted to share it with you, my lovely readers, as a freebie.

It comes in loads of different sizes, so feel free to download according to the devices that you have. If there is a specific screen size that you want, just drop me a request in the comments below!

Posted on March 4, 2016 and filed under Freebies.