Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Spark Book

From Home Made Simple, Organized Life, a great little organizer notebook you can make!

There are so many things that we experience, read or hear about in our daily lives that “spark” inspiration. We make promises to ourselves to remember these little details but as we get busy it’s easy to move on and forget, even with the best of intentions. What if you had a useful planning tool as your designated place to store and organize all those “sparks” of inspiration?

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A Different Kind of Planner

The Sparkbook is different from your typical planner because it not only helps you determine all those actions you want to take for the upcoming year, it helps you visualize these things.

By collecting sketches, magazine cutouts, photographs and bits of memorabilia from daily life along with key words, phrases and poetry, you can create a great reference for inspiration and empowerment.

Your Book

To make your own Sparkbook, designate a blank notebook or binder you have handy. Choose something that you know you’ll enjoy using and fits with your personal organization preferences.

Here are a few great examples of books to use:

3-ring binder with blank or lined paper
Small photo book (without the protective sheet covers)
Scrapbook (4”x 6” or 12”x 14”)
Sketch pad

Next, you’ll want to figure out how you want to organize the book you choose. Adding tabs is an easy and clear way to keep your ideas, inspirations and plans in their own special categories. Here are a few thought-starters for possible tabbed sections, but feel free to add other categories or sections that are important and helpful to you.

Tab Section Ideas:

Home goals: Home d├ęcor and organization projects you’d like to accomplish.
Cooking/Entertaining: Recipes and dinner party ideas you want to remember.
Family: Activities and goals you’d like to achieve with your family.
Personal/wellness goals: Your health, spirit and personal thoughts.
Financial goals: Saving, budgeting and planning.
Travel /R&R: Places you’d like to visit in the next 12 months.
Career: Goals, plans and personal encouragement related to work.
You can also use these ideas as inspiration to create your own tabs if your book doesn’t already have them.

Creating Tabs:

Cut out swatches of fabric you enjoy and glue them to the sides of your pages. Write your section names on the swatches with a fabric marker.
Use color-coded rubber bands: section off and wrap rubber bands around each category.
Insert binder dividers with tabs, available at your local office supply store, to create sections.
Use colorful sticky notes and write sections names on a different color for each category.
Create your own bookmarks using ribbon and color code for each section for easy reference.
As you come across the inspirational and empowering sparks in your life, simply insert them into your sections as you see fit. Keep your journal somewhere handy, like on a bedside table to review and add to it throughout the year.

Create Your Own Organization

Creating fabric tabs and creative heading pages for your Sparkbook will help you organize and reference the things that ‘spark’ inspiration in your life.

Fabric Tabs

Rectangles of fabric (4” x 1-1/4”)
Spray starch – heavy
Warm iron
Glue stick or double-sided tape
Construction or scrapbooking paper
Permanent marker or fabric marker


Cut enough fabric tabs (4” x 1-1/4” size) as needed for the categories you will have in your Sparkbook.
Fold each rectangle perfectly in half to create the finished size of 2”x 1-1/4”.
To make fabric sturdier, spray folded rectangle with heavy starch and press with a warm iron.
With your glue stick or double-sided tape, stick insides of rectangles together, leaving the last 1/4” of fabric unglued. This will be the portion of the fabric that attaches to your book pages.

Writing on Tabs:

Write category headings onto construction or scrapbooking paper that has been cut into pieces small enough to be glued to swatches to achieve the look as pictured.
Or write category headings directly onto fabric with a fabric marker.
Attaching Tabs:

Divide out the number of sections you want your book to have. (It’s easiest to have the tabbed pages be made up of 3 sheets glued together, with the center sheet being the one the tab is attached to.)
Use a glue stick to apply glue to the remaining 1/4” of the insides of your fabric tab. Attach to the edge of middle sheet of the three that will be glued together to make your ‘section-heading page’.
Once the tab dries, glue the back of the first of the three pages you’ve designated to the center sheet (which is now tabbed). Then apply glue to the front of the third sheet you’ve designated to the tabbed sheet as well. This will give you a sturdy ‘section heading page’ and will create a little more division between sections.
Follow the same process for each tab, moving the tabs down the right side of your book, alternating colors as you go.
Heading Pages

Now that your tabs are in order, you can personalize your heading pages. Heading pages can be as simple as just writing down the name of the section at the top of the page or as creative as adding imagery and phrases that will inspire you to fill up the pages of each section.

To add the inspiration pages, draw pictures or cut out words and imagery from magazines that speak to you. Add personal photographs and bits of memorabilia from your daily life and combine with key words or poetry to reference throughout the coming year.

If you like this article, you might also like:

Free Up Time Through Organization
Organizing Your Recipes
Fresh New Clean

1 comment:

see you there! said...

This is right up my alley. Creating the book would be fun, organizing is another matter. Don't think I've mastered that. Maybe the book would help me.