How to Track and Reach your Goals using your filofax / planner

Do you have something in mind that you are wanting to achieve?

Do you have a new mindset to start something new?

Here are my 5 tips in tracking and achieving your new found focus….

1. Dedicate a section of your planner to your goal,or if it is a big goal that needs a lot of planning, dedicate a whole notebook/planner or file to it, but have a space that you can see easily.

2. Divide your goal into mini targets.Β  Having one long term target of say running a 5k race, or getting your degree, have many smaller steps along the way.Β  This makes it easier to track your progress, and in turn, increase your motivation!!

3. Track your progress often! Whether this be daily, weekly, monthly whatever suits you and your goal, plan to track it. Add a note into your planner or calender to remind you to update your goal tracker and stick to it.Β  This is known to help keep you on focus.

4. Keep focused!! Add a dashboard to the front of your planner with pictures or words that help to motivate you or to remind you of what you are aiming for. You will see this everytime you open your planner and you will remember why you are doing what your doing!

5. Celebrate success!! Once you have reached a mini goal, celebrate it! Be happy you have achieved the 1st step, or the 2nd, or the 23rd!!! Each mini goal is worthy of a celebration for bringing you 1 step closer to the end goal.Β  This could be something as small as a face mask, or a coffee out, or a pice of chocolate fudge cake (or is that just me??) to anything that you want. Just do something that is good for your soul to reward your achievement!!


Good luck in all your goal setting, and let me know how you get on 😊


Why Autism does not define my child.

” you’re lucky he’s only mildly autistic and can go to a mainstream school”

So many things about this sentence I could correct, but I just smile and change the subject most of the time as I don’t have the energy to explain.

What I actually want to say is…
He doesn’t have ‘mild’ autism, you just experience his autism mildly.
If you are never in his safe space.. You don’t see the trouble he has understanding that the sandwich I made him will still taste the same even though the packet the ham came out of has a different picture than the one yesterday, or that even though someone said they will be ready in a minute, they don’t actually mean 60 seconds!

If you read only the headlines about autism, you wouldn’t belive my sweet smiley little boy could have that label. He has full speech (although is a selective mute but people take this as being shy), he goes to a mainstream school and is around average in his class, he has a few friends that he plays with and can make perfect eye contact with you.. So I hear you say, how is he autistic??


He struggles to process the world around him, he doesn’t really understand emotions and can’t get sarcasm at all… So you saying pigs might fly will cause him to over analyse for days why this could never happen!!

He can get over stimulated throughout the day with either things that have upset him, or by having so much fun, and then he comes home to his safe space and goes into full meltdown. But noone sees this, they think he copes well every day and is always happy, so does he hate me then?? No.. He trusts me more than anyone in the world to release all this built up emotion and knows that I will still love him uncondionally at the end of it all.

He is lucky, he should be able to have a fairly ‘normal’ life (God I hate that word, but you know what I mean) and will learn ways to manage his emotions better and not have full blown meltdowns. But none of this means he has mild autism. It’s a spectrum disorder and he is somewhere on the spectrum. You are either autistic or you are not.

Now.. Saying all of this, my boy is amazing in so many ways. He can recall every one of his 241 hot wheels cars by name, he knows the make and model of every car that drives past him, he knows every wrestler in wwe just by the 1st 2 bars of their entrance music and can do the best fake fart noise you have ever heard πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Autism is part of him, not a label to define him.

Thanks for listening to my mini rant πŸ˜‚

Top 10 lists to keep in your planner.

I am a self confessed listaholic. You just can’t beat a good list, whether it be for you or your home, dreams or aspirations, seeing them in a list just makes them feel more achievable to me.

Essentially anything you want to track or tick off can be put in a list, but here are my top 20 to get you started.

1. To Do

This one is obvious … if there is something that needs done, list it.Β  You can divide this into sub-categories like today, this week, sometime in the future, or keep them all together, whatever way works for you. I have a me to do and a house to do. My me to do is all the tasks I need to complete (and the odd one I’ve already done just so I get the joy of ticking it off πŸ˜‚) . I check this every morning and see what I can plan into my day.

2. House and Cleaning To Do

My house to do is my cleaning schedule and anything else that needs to be completed. So for instance at the minute I have, buy white gloss to finish painting the new skirting board, and get a price for a new front door. (you’ve got to love the never ending house lists when you own an older house)

I also loosely follow the TOMM method for cleaning but have changed a few of the days to suit my life due to work and kid commitment.

Pic via Instagram @paperclipsandgin

3. Meal Planning

I have a list of go to meals that I use each week to plan out the dinners and any packed lunches etc. that are needed.

So on a Friday night I sit and go through my fridge freezer and cupboard contents and use this to plan out what meals I can and then use the list to finish it off.

4. Shopping List

From the meal planning list, when I am writing out my meal plan, I add on anything else I need for this week into the shopping list. I also add the day to the list so if the supermarket doest have any fresh produce that will still be in date for the day I need it, I don’t tick if off the list and add it to my daily to do for the day before I do need it and pick it up then.

I also do a quick check of toiletries and cleaning supplies and add them at the same time as the meal plan list, and check the magnetic whiteboard on my fridge that everyone is supposed to use to add anything they know we need to buy.

5. Wish List

This is my favourite list of them all.Β  If I see something I like or think would be useful but not a necessity at that time, I add it to my wish list with details of what it is and where I saw it and the price.

We all know when people ask us what we would like for a birthday etc.. And we draw a blank, we’ll now you never will!!

6. Gift List

So a bit like the wish list, but for other people!! I have a list of family and friends that I buy gifts for throughout the year and if I think of an idea they might like, then I add it to the list. My nephews are forever saying they have seen things they like, and I can never remember what they were when I go to buy for them, so by writing them down, I now have a selection of things to consider.

7. My Goals List

There are no hard and fast rules of what your goals should be. They can be as small as doing the dishes every night to as big as starting university to gain a degree. Having a list of things you would like to achieve is a great reminder to yourself that all of these things are achievable if you just take one step at a time!

8. Film and T.V shows

I like to track movies and series that I would like to watch, and also where I am within a series so I know exactly which episode I need to start back on after a break.

You can take this further and add in ratings for the movies, or directors to give you ideas on what to pick next !

9. Books to read

So my list in this for the last few years has mainly consisted on Bill Brysons entire collection. I read a few of them and loved them so have now read pretty much all of his books πŸ˜‚.

I actually need to get a few ideas for some new books to read before the summer . Leave a comment if you can recommend any!!

10. Blog / social media post ideas

So I have a separate filofax just for my blog and social media, but I keep this list in my planner so that if an idea comes to me when I am out and about, then I can jot it down and then add it to the correct file when I come home.


So I hope you found this useful, and understand that not everyone will need every list, and some will need more.. What lists do you have??

How to recycle old contacts sheets in your planner / filofax

I don’t know about you, but most of my contacts are now in my phone or emails and not so many in my paper planner these days. This means that I have a lot of spare contacts sheets that come with the filofax, and most other paper planners too.


I took the pages I had left over, and have repurposed them into useful pages I want to have in my filofax.

First, I decided I wanted this page to be used as my travel bucket list.

I had some travel related washi in my stash and I got to work covering the writing, and repunching the holes so it can still be used.


Then, I added my own notes and used brightly coloured pens, in this case I used Bic intensity fineliners, they are much more noticeable in real life than in the photo.

And there you have it, a page dedicated to my bucket list without having to print or buy anything new 😁

What do you repurpose your old pages for ?Β  I would love to hear your ideas x


My planner setup 2019

So this year I am continuing with my filofax domino A5 after having switched to it half way through last year. I find it the perfect size for all my daily needs and is big enough to hold everything I need.

I have however changed it up a bit this year, I have moved my diary planner to my new filofax zipped saffiano personal size. This is my wallet, diary, and to do list all in one, and although I haven’t finished decorating it yet, I love it ! (see the picture above)


My inserts in the domino haven’t changed much this year yet, but as I have moved my social media planner out and my calendar out, I think I will add more dividers so that I can get to exactly what I want without going through each category to find it. That’s a job for later!!


I also added some beautiful scrapbook paper to some of the dividers as I love making them look pretty, it makes me want to use my planner more when I like how it looks, but this is not a necessity to be able to plan !

So that’s my setup for this year. I will give a more detailed view of sections I use and what inserts are there over the coming weeks, but if there is something specific you would like to see, then just let me know. πŸ–‡οΈπŸΉ


My Life OrganiserπŸ’–

So… I know you all can’t wait to see what I actually use as my organiser!!

I started with a paper planner that I bought in tkmaxx one year that was A4 in size and had divider tabs for the months, and this worked really well. As I went through the last few years however, and added notebooks galore with ASD stuff and meeting notes and my husbands mental health trackers, it became obvious that I needed an upgrade to keep everything together.

In came my filofax domino in red.


After weeks of research and Pinterest searching, I settled on my filofax. I fell in love instantly!!

It is A5 size, and this means I can take it with me in my (admittedly very large) handbag, and use it at home on my desk easily. I bought a single hole punch so I can add in any sheets I want, or need, and set to work having dividers for everything I need in my life to help me and my family get organised!

(there are photos of what came with the filofax on my Instagram 😁)

I added my lovely little pig charm that my kids had bought me for my bracelet but didn’t fit. I love having it there every time I use my planner, it reminds me of why I put so much time and effort into everything I do, to make their lives as stress free as I can and just spend quality time together as a family.

I still have my notebooks, I don’t think I could ever not have notebooks πŸ˜‚. I have a brain dump book that is also part mindfulness colouring in book. This is so good on a night when you are thinking about everything, but none of it in an order to be able to get it down. I write what I can remember and then colour in while thinking how to word everything else! Only then can I put all this information into my planner.


I am not a fancy planner, this is real life. It is used fluidly in that everything goes in here. It is not set up just to take pretty pictures of, it exists out of necessity and a little bit of creativity needing a home together.

I hope it helps someone struggling to know where to start, that it doesn’t have to be Instagram worthy to be really useful !



All About Me

A brief history of my life up to now …

I live in Northern Ireland with my husband, 2 kids, puppy Loki and a degu called Morpheus.

I met my husband when I was 18, bought a house together at 19 and had our daughter at 20… no one can say I’m not productive πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Shortly after this, my husband started to suffer with some medical problems, which in turn affected his mental health. We have good days and bad days, but keeping on top of all the family stuff that Needs to be done allows plenty of downtime to do what we Want to get done.

We got married a few years later, and my little surprise son arrived soon after that. He was very sick when he was born, and spent 13 days in NICU before being allowed home. We had a rough year of not knowing how his birth trauma would affect him long term, but settled in well as a family of 4.

My son has since been diagnosed as autistic but continues to impress everybody with his constant smile and willingness to learn new things. He is truly a walking miracle. He is able to go to a mainstream school, and has made some great friends at school and after school clubs. Let’s hope this continues when we look to change schools in 2 years time !

I then decided that a sick husband, 2 kids and a part time job wasn’t enough for me to juggle, so added 2 degus (sadly Merlin passed away earlier this year) and a puppy to the chaos !!

So that’s me in a nutshell. I have a full house and love it. 😍

My daughter is my rock in all this. She is growing up so fast and is the most beautiful, loving child a mum could ask for. She encouraged me to start my Instagram and from there my son encouraged me to start this blog. My poor husband now just has to listen to me planning what I’m going to post πŸ˜‹

I would love to hear from anyone who reads this that has encountered anything similar in their lives.Β  It can be a lonely place when you have so much to deal with at home. X

Also please check out my Instagram @paperclipsandgin


My step into the world of blogging

Well, here it is !! My very own blog.

I have wanted to do this for so long, but never had the courage to start. I always told myself that no one would want to read what I wrote, or see what I would publish, but today my son reminded me that it doesn’t matter. I can just be me, and you can take it or leave it πŸ˜‚

So ….. My blog will take you into my life. I have a husband with severe depression, a teenage daughter with a mighty attitude, and a son who is autistic. I work part time, and love to drink gin at the weekends with friends.

My passion is my planner. My life is in that book. And my families life is made easier because of it. I hope you enjoy what I do, and follow me on my journey of trying to organise an unorganisable troupe πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

#paperclipsandgin πŸ–‡οΈπŸΈ

( p.s My pet hate is there is no gin glass enoji… This needs to be fixed!!!)