Showing posts with label journaling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label journaling. Show all posts

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Journey Continues...




Sometime, in the middle of August, I found the disc system to get a little obnoxious. I added four vertical bookmarks, hand-punched by me. I trimmed them a second time but still found the pages difficult to turn. Even without the bookmarks, the pages had become difficult to turn more than 2-3 pages at a time. It was kind of frustrating when I wanted to flip back and forth from planner to trackers.

It was time to go back to the old fashioned ring binder. I didn't think I wanted to go smaller. I haven't been a fan of the A5 size of most bullet journals. So, I went to the 8.5 x 11 size. The ring binder definitely made turning pages easy again, but it took up so much space on my desk.

And, I found the thought of journaling/scrapbooking an entire page a little daunting. I avoided journaling anything for the first 3 weeks. I spent the last few weeks trying out different options.

I went back to the composition sized (7.75 inches x 9.75 inches), but in a spiral notebook. I wanted to keep my pages mobile so I clipped the pages where they connect to the spiral binding.



This gave me the ability to move my pages around, and they still held together well, plus I could turn the pages easily. I made my calendar pages and some gratitude pages.


I especially liked the ability to fold my journal in half to write, but the gratitude pages on the bottom side fell out. Well, that turned out not as convenient as I thought. Bummer.

The next option was the A5 size. I don't like the regular bullet journals where they make an index of pages instead of being able to move them around and group like pages together and add pages where needed. That wasn't an option for me at all.

I thought I could try that size if I could find it in a ring binder. There are a lot of possibilities out there, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money on an experiment that may turn out temporary. I found a clear plastic, 6-hole binder in the A5 size for $7.99 on Etsy. I could do that.

At first, I thought the calendar was way too small to write in, but I decided to give it good try so I made all the pages I normally would use. I even made little pocket divider pages from the full size dividers. It turned out kinda cute. Actually, it is stinkin' cute.


Getting used to the calendar size after an 8.5 x 11 page was not as hard as I thought it would be. I write a little smaller, which I like my handwriting better that way. This size fits my desk top with room to spare, but the ring binder is not quite an inch, which meant something had to go.

My spiritual journal, where I chronicle "How has the Lord reached out to me this week," and notes on lessons and conference talks would go in this journal:


I've been using this A5 lined journal for over a year, just for church stuff and then copying the pages into my regular journal. I decided to reduce and simplify. This little journal works well without duplicating my efforts. I don't need to move pages around and rarely ever add pages to it.

Next, I had to find a home for all of my menu/meal planning and shopping lists, cleaning and chores schedule, and my financial pages.

I renamed my 8.5 x 11 planner as the "Family Management Planner." It has my bill-paying trackers, password trackers, contacts list, meal planning and shopping lists, gift lists, wish lists, etc. That frees up my little A5 ring binder to just be my planner, journal, and a few trackers. I am very happy with this new size and that I found it in a ring binder. A5 found a new convert. It really is a nice size to fit in my bag and on my desk and it is big enough I can read it.

Always journaling,

Monday, October 2, 2017

How this 1 Item Replaced all of This...


OR...

How this

went to this


Thanks to an empty file folder I found, that was taking up space, I was able to organize all the loose papers, templates, printable test papers, and extra stickers into one place.

I had printouts from classes I'd taken, sketches and mock ups, and extra supplies. Now they are all neatly organized and easy to find.
It may seem obsessive but it saves time in the long run.

This one item changed the whole landscape of my work area. I already had it laying around. All I did was put it to use.

See what you can repurpose to help you in your journey!

Happy Journaling!

Always,


Monday, September 25, 2017

4 FREE Printables to Organize the Odds and Ends of Life!


Confession: I have over 90 different accounts, each with their own website and password. This includes everything from insurance and banking to Amazon and Etsy. Online shopping has never been easier! However, there is no possible way I'm going to remember all of those passwords and account numbers.

At one point, I had all of the websites and passwords listed in a notebook, kind of helter-skelter as I started using them, but my husband was so lost and asked me to please alphabetize them. That took some time, but I entered them all into an Xcel spreadsheet and sorted, then I printed them out.

You won't be able to sort this form, but it can help if you don't want to bother with Xcel, or it can give you a jumping off spot to start your own Xcel list.

Next is my Monthly Bill Tracker:

I'm a visual person. It really helps me to map out all of my bills and see where they land during the month, especially in relation to the paychecks.

It also serves as a reminder for all of those auto debits that come out of my account when I'm not looking.

Print it out and adapt it to your needs.



Cleaning/Chore Schedule:

o First, on a scrap piece of paper, I list all of my chores.
oSecond, I divide them into Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and semi-annual chores.
oThird, I block out time on my daily and weekend routine boxes when I will likely be able to tackle those chores.
oThen, I try to stay flexible. Life rarely goes according to plan. Sometimes I'm lucky if I can grab small snatches of time.
Star the "have-to-dos" and get them over with first.
oWeekly chores like laundry can be listed in order of the day of the week, if you choose. Try to establish a routine. Chores are more likely to get done if you are consistent. Don't be too hard on yourself if they don't happen. For some, a routine is a luxury.
oMonthly chores are those things that only need to be done once a month. I try to do one a week.
oSemi-Annual chores only need to be done every six months, like spring cleaning. I try to do one of these chores every week.
That way, my monthly and semi-annual chores won't pile up and I don't feel so overwhelmed.

8 x 11 Dot Grid Paper

Recently, I went back to the 3-ring, 8 x 11 binder. I liked the disc binder system but it got to be such a pain to turn more the 2 pages at a time. Plus, I had to make all my own pages because I chose the composition size book. That size is not readily available. There are lots of sizes very close but nothing floats my boat quite like the composition size, for some reason.
Anyway, I needed a new source of inexpensive dot grid paper, so I made my own. Then I discovered that if I print the dot grid onto a higher quality paper, my markers won't bleed through. Try 27 or 32 pound paper. that quality also has a smoother finish.

I hope these little printables will help you build your own planner and journal.

Are there different forms you'd like to see in the Library of Awesome? Leave a comment and I'll see what I can do.

No matter what happens in life--Keep Journaling!

Always,


Monday, September 11, 2017

Track your Birthday Milestones and Gift List Easier with FREE Printables


When my kids were little we only had to keep track of the 7 birthdays of our immediate family. As they kids all married and had children, 7 turned into 30. What a delightful problem to have, right?

I have a pretty good memory. I've added these dates to many calendars over the years, but I started to forget how old each grandchild was and what year they were born. 

Yikes! I might miss a milestone birthday. I like being prepared ahead of time for the milestones. We celebrate every birthday, but we have traditions at certain birthdays, like blessings, baptisms, ordinations, acceptance to Hogwart's, etc.

On the Birthday Milestones page I write the name and birthdate complete with the year, then add their age in every year column. Then I highlight the milestones. That way I know how many milestones to prepare for in that year.
On the Gift List page I include the ages to remind me to find age-appropriate gifts as well as the milestone gifts. On this page I list all of the birthdays in order of the month they fall in, kind of like a perpetual calendar.

I list the birthdays in order and leave a couple of blanks in each month for additions to our family. I think we are done having new grandbabies but I have room for surprises.

You can also use the gift list page for Christmas. It's never too soon to plan.

Give it a try and see if it helps you. Remember, you can always access all of my printables in the Library of awesomeness (aka FREE printables) by subscribing to my blog. You will get the link in your welcome email.

Always,


Monday, September 4, 2017

How to Make Journaling Easier with FREE Printables!


I have a good friend who is interested in journaling, but afraid to start for fear of "making a mistake."

First of all, there's no such thing as mistakes, only experiments!
You have to explore and experiment. How else are you going to know what you like? Besides, you have to practice.

But, what if you had a little help?

In the Library of FREE Printables there are 6 pages of arrows, tabs, banners and icons in blue, red, yellow, green, purple and rainbow.

Print what you need onto full sheet adhesive paper and cut out. OR, if you have a sticker maker, print out on regular paper, cut and run through your sticker maker.

There is also a rainbow page of larger banners:
Subscribe to my email list and I will send you the link to access the FREE Library of Printables.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The What, Why, Where, When, and How of Morning Papers


WHAT?
Morning Papers is a writing exercise where you fill three pages of random, free-flow stream of conscious thought. It is preferable to write long hand if possible.

WHY?
  • It is very cathartic. Writing a stream of conscious thought without editing brings out feelings I didn't know I had. It helps to empty my mind of the unnecessaries.
  • Consistent writing improves my discipline.
  • My handwriting has improved.
  • It helps me clarify my goals, what really needs to happen today.

Where?
My favorite place is my
front porch. 
Find a place that is comfortable and peaceful or at least away from distraction.










When?
Find the best time of day that works for you. I prefer to sit on my front porch early in the morning because this practice sets the tone for the rest of my day. Unfortunately, I have to wait until lunchtime because of my work schedule. Oh bother.

How?
  • Keep a notebook handy in a convenient spot with your favorite writing utensil. The notebook doesn't need to be anything fancy. Chances are it will get thrown away. I'm going to save mine because my random thoughts are better than no thoughts.
  • Relax. Let your arms and shoulders droop. Take a big breath in and exhale.
  • Write whatever comes to your mind, no matter how frivolous.
  • DO NOT EDIT! Refrain from that nagging need to review and correct every word.
  • Fill 3 pages OR set your timer for 20 minutes.

You may have already started this habit. Consistency brings rewards so Yay for you if you are consistent.

Keep journaling!

Always,


Monday, August 21, 2017

My Favorite Lettering Supplies

Starting with the Rhodia dot pad... I sort of got into brush lettering because I wanted that cool calligraphy look in my journaling. I saw fantastic journal spreads and wanted to learn more about it.

I could've spent all kinds of money on this craft, so I knew I had to watch myself. There are really expensive watercolor brush pens out there, and expensive paper. I also learned that you get what you pay for. If I wanted to do this professionally, then yes, I should invest in the best supplies. If I was really going to do this professionally I'd use the free fonts I collect. But for my journaling this is what worked for me:

The Rhodia dot pad
This has nice dot grid paper that doesn't bleed readily. There is one exception I'll show you later. The paper is smooth so it doesn't wear out your markers.
This pad is really great for practice. Practicing every day is the number one thing you need to do to build your skill. These are some of my first attempts. I don't practice near as much as I should.
I need to work on getting those flourishes down.

Lettering Books

These two books come highly recommended on Amazon. The Creative Lettering book on the left focuses more on traditional techniques while The Ultimate Brush Lettering Guide focuses on brush lettering, like it says. This is a comprehensive book that teaches about the types of supplies to use, different techniques to get those flourishes and composing signs using complimentary fonts. The practice sheets are specific to letters, phrases, and flourishes.

Brush pens

In most of the blog posts I've read about brush lettering Tombow Brush Pens are the most recommended. These are dual tipped, brush tip on one end and fine point on the other. They run about $20.00 a set. They are a little expensive for just practicing, but you really need to practice with them because they have a completely different feel in how you hold them. The brush tip makes drawing the letters a lot easier than regular markers. I have not used a watercolor brush yet. I don't think I'll get into it to that extent.

Don't forget about the inexpensive alternative to the brush pens--Crayola markers. Crayola markers give me a lot color selection. It takes some practice holding them just right because they are so different, but they work out really well.

The one set of markers I'd suggest you don't waste your money on is the Sharpie brush tip markers. The set costs about $12 but they smell very strong. The colors don't match the caps exactly. They come out a little darker. The other thing is:

They bleed. It is very difficult to control the amount of ink that hits the paper. As you can see, the ink bled onto the third page. I ended up giving these markers away. You can also see that still need a lot of practice.


This is on of my later attempts. I draw it out with pencil first. I used the Tombow markers, both ends. I really need to work on color choices, font choices, composition, and flourishes, but it's coming along. It is really quite relaxing. I enjoy practicing.

Keep on lettering!

Always,

Monday, August 14, 2017

Top 10 Basic Tools in my Journlaing Tool Box


Ok, that's not my tool box. It is a re-purposed utensil tray from my old dishwasher. It makes the perfect caddy for all of my journaling stuff.


(This post does Not contain affiliate links, yet. The bolded words are just to help this article to be more searchable)

First of all, don't think you have to go out and buy all this stuff right away. I collected these supplies a little over time. Another thing you should know, even if I didn't have any of these wonderful little things I would still write and draw. All you really need is paper and a pencil. Although, I do love my Parker fine point black pen. It's my BFF and I have a bunch of them with refills so I'll never run out.

1.Pens, pencils, and markers. From left to right:
  • Metallic gel pens Slicci by Pentel. Probably the best gel pens I have used.
  • Bic 4 color pens in two different color sets. they come in very handy. I have always loved these pens.
  • Micron liners in black, sizes 01, 03, and 05.
  • A Paper-Mate Flair fine point felt tip for thicker lines.
  • The Ink Joy. They are a nice pen. The ink flows smoothly, can get a little gloppy. Frankly, I'm not sure what all the hoopla was about. Like I said, good pen, but I probably would not go out of my way to buy them again.
  • Crayola twistable colored pencils. I like this brand best for my use. The colors are strong, convenient to use. There are some other brands of watercolor pencils that I've used but I'm not into blending right now, so the extra price is not worth it to me.

  • Crayola markers--I'll talk more about these in my next post about lettering supplies. Suffice it to say, don't count them out just because they're inexpensive. They are very versatile!
  • Small snipping scissors for tight corners or if I'm in a stitching mood.
  • Eraser and white out tape. Always a must for boo-boos.
  • Regular sized scissors.
  • Liquid white out. It has a pen tip so you can use it to write white on a dark background.
And that was just the caddy.
2. Other basic supplies include:



  • That's no ordinary Bic mechanical pencil. This has a .9 mm lead instead of the traditional .7 mm. It is still a #2, but is stronger because it is thicker and doesn't break as often. I'm really hard on pencils so it was worth it to me. 
  • The folding and making a crease tool, also called a Bone folder because they used to be made out of bone (some still are).
  • Xacto knife, keep spare blades handy.
  • Binder clips--these come in handy when you want to make your own notebook or note pad. They keep your pages all together while you glue.

3. Speaking of glue...here are my favorite adhesives to use:


  • The PVA glue is perfect for binding projects.
  • Double stick tape--one of my supplies that I keep in bulk. It's archive safe and you can use it on anything. Double stick tape is probably the cheapest to use.
  • The Easy Runner by Home and Hobby is very easy to use, but it occasionally gets tangled up inside and you have to figure out how to fix it and re-insert the cartridge. It's kind of like using an 8 track audio tape (for those of you over 40).
4. My paper cutters.
Probably the best investment I have made in all my paper crafting. I don't remember how much it cost, but it was worth it. This thing gets a lot of use.
Fiskars paper cutter and edge rounder. These are super handy tools.
You need to use a mat under the paper cutter. The edge rounder has four types of edges you can select. Insert your paper and squeeze. It is really easy on your hands.

5. My Cinch

I can punch up to 15 sheets of paper at a time. I never have, but supposedly I can. I can also punch 1 piece of chip board for covers. I can punch from 6 to 12 inches long. It is easy to adjust the punch pins. The knob in the back adjusts to the size of your binding wires. You place the binding wire (after it has been inserted into the holes) into spot in the back and use the handle to compress the binding wire. You can also use spiral binding. Make sure to buy the same brand of supplies, We R Memory Makers or the sizes of binding are not likely to fit.

6. Sticky notes, the modern day miracle.

I can add notes and reminders to my journal wherever I need them. They serve as both reminder, place holder or bookmark. I especially love the NOTES pad. It fits just about anywhere and it comes in handy when my to do list if too full and I've run out of room. this usually only happens at Christmastime.

7. Washi tape and organizer


At first, I was determined not to get all caught up on Washi tape. I have seen some humongous collections. It can get out of hand and become an organizing nightmare. I found this organizer at Michael's. It has a dowel for the rolls to sit on and a serrated edge at the front to tear your tape with. It's kind of a hassle to use that way so I took the dowels out and use it more like a drawer. I don't really want a serrated edge on my tape anyway. I think a drawer with utensil organizers would work better. But I'm out of drawer space. 

It turns out Washi tape is stinkin' cute! And so much fun to use. It has a light adhesive so you can move it after you've put it on a page and it won't tear your paper. It makes fun borders and covers a multitude of journaling blunders.

8. Deco Pens

These little Deco pens are so much fun to use. Think of them as if correction tape (Wite out) married Washi tape and they had babies. It's ingenious. I wish I had thought of it! It is easy to use and makes the cutest little borders and separators. The ones on the left were $2 each at Michael's (not an affiliate link yet), and the Happy Planner version was $6.99. this one comes with 3 cartridges so the price is close to the generic ones.

9. Paper punch
If you use the disc system for your journal binder, you really need to get the special paper punch. It fits the discs perfectly. You should know that you can only punch 2 pieces of regular paper at a time or it breaks. I use a regular paper punch and clip the edges with scissors for cardstock or plastic, like my pocket dividers. You could use that method for regular paper as well and save yourself $29.

10. The Polaroid Zip Printer


This is the Polaroid Zip Printer. It is about the size of my cell phone, a little bit thicker perhaps. This is probably the most funnest toy of all. It uses special zink paper. The ink is actually imbedded in the paper so you don't get smears and smudges, and you don't have to deal with adding ink cartridges. It prints via Bluetooth from my cell phone using Polaroid's special app. The app lets you make edits to your pic if you want. The print comes out at 2 x 3 inches, the size of a business card.

I find that it is super convenient for printing off smaller pics perfect for fitting into my journal, and each print has an adhesive backing. The refill paper is a little costly. If you buy it in bulk you can get it for like 50 cents a page. I chose this method over the Fuji Instax because I didn't want to fiddle with another camera, even if it is instant. My iPhone takes great pictures so I really didn't need the camera. I wanted the convenience of printing off smaller photos without having to print out a whole sheet and cut them out one by one.

It can be a little temperamental. When I first got my printer, it would not recognize or connect via Bluetooth. I went through all of the trouble shooting ideas then called customer support. They walked me through setting it up. It had something to do with their latest update.

Currently, it is going through another hiccup so I will probably have to call customer support again. I've tried all of my little tricks.
Still, I've been very happy with this little unit. I paid $115 on Amazon just after Christmas. You know, gift money burns a hole in my pocket.

No matter what, keep journaling!

Always,