Hey there! My name is Megan and I'm the sewing, pattern making girl behind Dolly Henry. This is my blog, where I share my own creative adventures and hope to meet fellow fabric enthusiasts. I also design and sell sewing patterns through my online boutique, alongside a beautiful collection of clothing and dolls. Thank you for stopping by!


How to Get Organised (When You Aren't!)

I've never been a *typically organised* person. I'm not sure I'd fit into the disorganised category but if there is a grey area between the two, well my house would be on that street! For quite a while, I thought organisation was a talent some people had - the kind of people who spoke spreadsheets, flowcharts and had everything in life scheduled down to the button. I was sure, as I sighed over beautiful blogs, brimming with organisation tips, that it wasn't possible for me.

It wasn't that I hadn't tried - heaven forbid, I even downloaded a couple of apps, but the paper girl in me never really meshed well with the pixels. I got a special planner, the folio kind, thinking that might help. But for some reason or another, I didn't click with it much either, despite the fact I had had high hopes. I discovered that I simply preferred a diary for keeping track of important dates, and recording my doings. I kept a scruffy notepad and scrawled out to to-do lists on days I felt super organised. Mostly I left everything in my head, and if I really wanted to remember something, I'd write it down. The act of writing seemed to commit it to memory somehow. I am sure there is some science-y stuff on that somewhere.

This year, I went searching for a diary/planner that would suit my needs. I needed it to have some space, but I also discovered that I preferred a clean layout. Even though I had tried the sticker and decoration thing, I found when it came to feeling or being organised, it just made me feel as if my life was cluttered, if I had cute stickers and stuff scattered across the page of my weekly agenda. For a colour loving, creative girl, there was a minimalist hiding in there somewhere!

It's probably silly, but I do think getting some pretty stationery helps in being organised. It's just simply nicer to spend the year with a pretty planner, than drudge through with a cheap dollar store diary - even when covered in a pretty patchwork cover. I know, I tried it. It turns out, I'm quite shallow when it comes to diaries - they have to not only be functional, but they must look good too. On the inside, and out. I also keep my diaries as records to refer to, so having a nice one isn't exactly a waste of money but rather, a wise investment! (well, that's my story anyway, and I'm sticking with it)

You'd have to be living under a rock not to have noticed that Rifle Paper Co. coupled with Cotton Steel released their highly anticipated fabric collection this year. Stationery and fabric come as a pretty close tie for me, so meshing the two together was literally a dream come true. In my search for the perfect planner, I found out something very exciting. Rifle Paper Co. had a truly beautiful line of agendas and planners and they were just as beautiful on the inside!

I prefer to have a spiral bound planner/diary because I find them easier to not only use, but they lay open flat on the desk or kitchen bench, right where I can see the week at a glance! Truly, the path to success from the grey side to the sunny organisational side of the street is to make keeping track of life's happenings a breeze.

So with great excitement, I chose this gorgeous planner and it arrived from Notemaker late last week! If you love stationery as much as I do, you probably shouldn't visit their'd be apt to go a little wild. I've lost you already, haven't I? Well, make sure you come back here before filling up your cart because Notemaker have very kindly given Dolly Henry readers an exclusive 10% voucher on all Rifle Paper Co. stock...doesn't that make you feel special? It's valid until December 31st this year too, so you could easily do a bit of sneaky Christmas shopping for the stationery loving members of your family...!

The secret code is RIFLE10 - go crazy!

Yes, all mine!
Back to the planner, yes it is as amazing as I thought it would be. The pages are a beautiful quality, and because the dates started in August 2016 (going through to Dec. 2017) I didn't have to wait until the New Year to get one - happy dance!! It doesn't bother me that I won't get to use August and September, considering I am used to a new diary starting in feels like a sneaky bonus!

So the juicy details...the planner has monthly calendar and week to a page views, with beautifully set out bullet point lines which will make making lists a breeze. It also has super neat tabs, that make flicking through the months easy-peasy. One feature that had me sold was the *Important Dates* section at the front, where I can record and have an easy glance over 2017's important events - you know birthdays, quilt shows, fabric releases...not necessarily in that order! There's also a notes and contacts section, please tell me other people keep fabric places in their contacts section instead of friends??
Okayyyy....moving on. 

Just in case I run up any further excuses to not be 100% organised, the planner has a pocket at the back which has a ruler. Yeah, that's a pretty big deal for a sewing girl, isn't it? So a normal person might put a notebook or a party invite in the back, but between you and me, I am thinking it's a perfect stashing place for pattern info or fabric swatches for when we are out and about shopping...what do you think? The ruler (innnn inches and cms!) seals the deal and makes us invincible! (Join me, and together we will rule the sewing world!) Thankfully, there is an elastic thingy to keep my planner closed, so this top secret information is not accessible to just anyone. Sssh.

The icing on the cake is the inspirational and wise quotes that feature at the top of each weekly view.

Herman, Henry's quirky house plant relative
So what about some organisation tips from someone still learning the ropes?

- Write things down. It not only helps you to remember such things exist, it ensures you have a proven, possibly legally binding record that you indeed did do something else with your day other than sew.

- If you *must* choose between house work and sewing, place a bucket and mop at the front door. In a pinch a broom, or vacuum will suffice. When an unexpected guest or husband arrives home and the place is still a mess because you have been elbows deep in HST's for the day, simply pick up the mop and bucket as you open the door. The unsuspecting intruder will assume you were just about to start cleaning!

- It isn't always possible, but when you are feeling like being an organised champion for the day, plan your tomorrow today. That means you sit down the evening before and set out the days tasks so you can get straight up and just start cutting into a project, instead of procrastinating. Or you can get out of the house and get to those appointments earlier or remember to cook dinner, whatever your priority is.

- Buy yourself a nice planner. It really helps to have nice stationery to work with. That way, you'll feel like you are slightly stylish as you sew in your pyjama's and messy hair, confident that everything is okay, because your diary is well dressed. Like wearing fitness clothes without ever going to the gym can make you feel skinny while going straight for the chocolate, having a good lookin' book will simply make you feel organised, even if you aren't.

- For slightly more important things, such as fabric releases and phone bills, writing them ahead in your diary is a good idea so you don't miss out and so you can still post on Instagram. Following this up with a well-timed notification on the said phone can be a backup in case your planner gets waylaid under a pile of fat quarters.

- Get an amazing wall calendar. Your planner will be best friends with it, as you can pop it up above the sewing machine as another reminder of how organised you are *trying to be.* You can then record the important dates, events and appointments - perhaps even a family birthday or two, from the calendar, straight into your planner. Really, when you aren't super organised, covering all your bases is important. Did I mention that this is also another great excuse to buy some stellar stationery??

- On a serious note, choosing 3 tasks to do in a day is a great tip to avoid unnecessary overwhelm and stress - which can result in hungry family members at what was supposed to be dinner or overtime with the quick unpick because you rushed that top stitching (oh no!) Pick 3 important things to do and make that your list. Anything extra you achieve will have you feeling *extra* clever! And if your 3 important things turn out to be 3 looonng important things, then either get better at time management and estimation or reschedule for the next day, remembering to write it down. Emptying out the brain does wonders for one's stress levels! Put it on paper so you have more room in your wonderfully creative mind for the higher priorities in life, such as auditioning fabrics for a project.

So, tell me, are you chronically disorganised or wonderfully organised? I'd love to know some tips either way! *grin*


  1. Hi Megan, you are hysterical!! I had such a laugh reading your post! I also tried a planner with all the stickers and decorations - but it was too stressful trying to make it all look pretty! So I'm currently using a Kikki K diary - the Rifle Paper ones look gorgeous! I'm still looking into diaries for next year!

    1. Hi Michelle! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much :-) I know, I discovered playing with all the stickers and stuff in my planner wasn't at all me - I was flat out seeing the important stuff under all the decor lol. The Rifle Paper Co. planner/diary is gorgeous, it has a lovely elegant, clean layout that makes me feel more organised already. I think when it's something I'm going to use every day for a year, it's important to make sure it works well! Megan :-)

  2. Hi Megan, once again really enjoyed your post which was very timely for me. I have linked into it from a newsletter I have going out today which highlights planners/diaries I like/use. I loved how you took us through the attributes of the planner and your photo's are gorgeous. Both yourself and Sarah over at Say! Little Hen are fabulous photographers. I really need to brush up on this aspect of blogging. AND I might just have to buy one of these Rifle Paper ones myself. It looks so gorgeous!

  3. Hello, Megan. I am a pensioner from Romania who loves the books. I've met a word which I know what it means but I am not able to translate into my language together with another word...I've met the combination in your article "a sewing girl" the same like in the book I am reading (The Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland)...Can you help me to translate it giving a synonym, for example...Thank you very much. My email is, my name is Iordana Ferent.


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