Showing posts with label magic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label magic. Show all posts

Monday, June 19, 2017

9 Magic Ways to Make Time for Journaling


I think we can all agree that life is messy, crazy, busy and sometimes magical. We all have the same 24 hour allotment in each day. So here are some ways I have found to make time for
my favorite things:

  • Reduce and Simplify--I bet you've heard that before. Look at your daily routine and choose where you can eliminate the unnecessary clutter in your schedule. Give yourself permission to say, "no."
  • Don't make things harder than they have to be by overthinking and worrying about stuff you can't change. Somehow it will all work out.
  • Prioritize your to-do list into must do's, should-do's and bonus time (you never know, you might just find 10 whole minutes to yourself).
  • Focus, don't let yourself get distracted. 
  • Delegate chores whenever possible. When I went back to work full-time, we taught our 5 kids, when they turned 8 years old, how to do their own laundry. This is a survival skill they will be able to use the rest of their lives! 
    This is daughter number 3 when she was 8.
    She grew up to be the daughter that shares my profile pic.
  • Make chore time fun by turning it into a game or competition.  Race against a timer to see who can finish small chores first and award a privilege or a fun family outing.
  • Save time on meal prep--use your crockpot whenever possible.   
  • Try make-ahead freezer meals. One cook day can yield a month's worth of dinners that you can put in your crockpot.
  • Plan your errands and shopping trips and group them together. This saves time and gas. Make your menu and shopping list ahead of time. Group the items on your list by location in your favorite store so you're not running back and forth (most of the grocery stores in Utah are huge and take up a few city blocks).
  • If you think of something you want to journal but haven't got the time, use a sticky note as a reminder and put it on the page where you want to post it as a place holder.
  • Always keep your journal with you so you can utilize those small snippets of time waiting at the doctor's office, or in carpool lines. You can also use your notes section on your phone if you need. And yes, you can put your whole journal on your phone.
Happy Journaling,

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Too Busy to Journal? 5 Ways You May Already be Journaling!

Every stage of life is crazy busy. There is never a perfect time to journal. I knew journaling was something I should do but just couldn't see how to make it happen. So, I felt guilty about it instead.


But...I am a list maker, forever and always. Crossing things off my list gave me a very satisfied sense of accomplishment. If I knew when I was to die, you can bet I'll be making a list of things to finish before I go.

I have made to-do lists for about 45 years. What if I had kept those lists in a book when I was finished with them instead of throwing them away?

Yes, they were messy little scraps of paper, but can you imagine a better, more accurate way to show what my life was like as a young mom? I could kick myself for not thinking of this 45 years ago.

1-Your to-do lists! Date them and find a way to keep them when you've finished!

2-My grandmother did not leave me a journal, but she ran a little mercantile in the front of her home. She kept the books. She had a set of books for the store and one for her household budget. What a great picture of what her life was like.

I tried to sharpen up the picture so you could read the details. Look closely and maybe you can read the price of eggs in
1914, Utah.

3-What about your shopping lists? Crazy I know, but I usually list groceries and all the errands I need to run. I wouldn't normally keep this kind of list, but if I didn't have time to journal this would be better than nothing. Maybe keep just a sample or two. I found a couple of recipes written by my mom. It was magical just to see her handwriting again!

4-Kids' assignments or special projects. I keep the smaller papers in a scrapbook. If they are too big for a scrapbook, take a picture and put it in the scrap book instead.

How cute is this?

5-Speaking engagements or teaching lessons--throw a copy in your journal. When I was at my peak of not writing in my journal I would put a copy of a talk or lesson I'd given at church so at least my kids would know how I felt about our Savior and faith and that I probably knew better than I sometimes acted.

The whole point of this post is to relieve you of any guilt feelings you may have about journaling. There are a lot of ways to leave a record of your life. Think about your normal routines and habits. You may be surprised!

Happy Journaling,


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Build it Better Yourself

Journals and Planners: Build it Better Yourself.

After years of searching and investing in all kinds of planners I never found the perfect planner. I knew the only way to get what I wanted was to build it myself.

I started by doing research. I searched Google, Pinterest, and Facebook (Bullet Journal Junkies, LDS Bullet Journal and Minimalist Bullet Journals). I pulled all the best ideas and adapted them to fit MY life.




I discovered the DISC system. This was intriguing, but nothing I saw came in the size I wanted. I decided to stay with the composition size notebook for several reasons explained here.

You can achieve nearly the same results with a spiral bound notebook if you clip all of the holes on your pages.

Here is my list of PROs and CONs:
PROs
  • Pages can easily be moved.
  • Dividers can be added.
  • Covers can be changed anytime you like without having to get a whole new planner.
  • This system makes it easy to build a planner yourself.
CONs
  • Covers need to be softbound so they can turn easily.
  • Paper needs to be a better, thicker quality if you move them around a lot.
I tend to be a bit of a minimalist. I'm more about function than art, but I do like to doodle some. Here is a tour of my planner/journal:

This is the inside cover made from a scrapbook paper
and cardstock then laminated.


Our Family Yearly Planning Calendar


This is a pic of the blank printable in the Library:



My Monthly Calendar with my little to-do tick sheet.



I like my calendars to be blank canvases so I can decorate
differently for holidays or mood swings (the fun kind).
There are 4 boxes for menus--one box for each week.
Must-Do's are written in red on the day it has to be done,
then Should-Do's go in the first column and
Bonus to-do items go in the last column for those
rare times when you actually have a few spare moments.
You'll never waste time waiting somewhere if you have a list.


I have 4 Gratitude pages for every month.
My goal is to think of and write the 3 best things about my day.

There are four pages to the updated version in the
Library of Printables

This is just a plain journal page whited out so hopefully you can't read all of my secrets.
My journal pages and scrapbook pages are mixed in together.
This is one of my scrapbooking pages. I added button overlays to cover up dates. And yes, I did an Escape room with my kids and grandkids. It was lots of fun! 3 generations in one room
working as a team.
https://www.lds.org/blog/sunday-journaling-a-new-tradition-for-the-new-year?lang=eng
You can copy and paste the link into your browser.
I got this idea from my church's website about Sunday Journaling.
I love taking a few minutes to remind myself of
God's blessings to my family.
One of the best things about the disc system is the
ability to add pocket dividers.
For the composition size planner I had to cut the dividers down.
Mark the holes from a piece of paper already
punched for disc system.
Then use a regular paper punch and cut slits to the holes.

The outside cover is made from a flexible cutting board I bought from The Dollar Tree. It is thin enough to see through and can be easily cut on a paper cutter. You can also use a good pair of kitchen shears. Mark the holes from a piece of paper already punched for disc system. Punch the holes with a regular hole punch as shown. It takes a firm grip and a good squeeze.
Then you need to clip the holes just as you did on the pocket divider pages. For both the outside and inside covers measure the width of the pages plus the divider tabs on your divider pages to make sure everything gets covered.


One last thing...
I used the Happy Planner Disc system (discs only, not the pre-printed stuff) because they had different sizes and colors of discs. This is the paper punch that you need to use if you want to try this disc system. There are others out there. Just look on Amazon. This is what I used. It has some limitations. It can only punch 2 sheets of paper at one time.
So you can't use it for the covers or the pocket dividers.
If you look closely, I added washi tape to the end borders
so I know where to punch for composition size papers.


And...
I used the dot grid paper from this composition notebook I found on Amazon. Man, I wish I was an Amazon affiliate...someday. It is a little large so I had to trim it and punch it, but it is nice quality paper with only a little bleed through that you may have noticed on my scrapbook page.
For your planner/journal your imagination is the only limitation. You can make it whatever size you want with the kind of paper you want. It's all yours. Don't be afraid to experiment! You will find some things work better for you than others. Think of it as a QUEST and enjoy the journey!

What have you found to work in your planner/journal?

Happy Journaling,



Monday, June 5, 2017

The Experiment

This stage took me three to four months of designing pages and using my journal/planner daily to determine what pages I'd actually use. The only thing I knew for sure was that I  wanted to make my pages only once and then copy off more as I needed them.



I started with a composition notebook for a few reasons:
  • I like the size (9.75 x 7.5), will fit in my purse, and I can add more pictures. I also have more room to write on my calendar page.
  • They are inexpensive. I can get these during Back-to School sales for 50 cents. It didn't matter if I totally messed up my experiment.
  • I used so many composition notebooks in college that using them now feels like going home. I buy stacks of them every year even if I don't need any.
I made lists of everything I wanted to keep in my journal/planner.
  • Monthly calendar with a to-do list
  • Gratitude pages
  • 13 Virtues of Benjamin Franklin
  • Quotes
  • Reverse Bucket List
  • Story and Blog post ideas
  • To be Read list
  • Home projects
  • Fun with Grandkids
  • journal pages

I designed a blank monthly calendar with space for my to-do list for home stuff and writing goals. I have to add the dates and holidays but I don't have to plan out a new spread every month.



4 Gratitude pages came right after the calendar. I numbered each day and left 3 spaces per day. I should be able to find at least three things to be grateful for!

13 Virtues is a habit Benjamin Franklin started to improve his life. I took many of his ideas and added some of my own. I focused on one virtue every week. At the end of the day I evaluated my behavior and wrote it down.

I added a quotes page, a page for story ideas and blog posts, a to-be-read page, a fun with grandkids page...


And journal pages. I discovered having journal pages with my planner helped me write more consistently because of the convenience.

I experimented with tabs and borders and added pictures wherever I wanted. I tried out different colored inks. I tried out almost everything I saw on Pinterest.




I used stickers for the index instead of numbering pages. I thought it was brilliant at the time. I also added paperclips to the calendar pages for faster access.

At the end of four months I could see which pages I actually used and the ones that went to waste, like my doddle page or my Amazon wish list page.

PROS
  • I really liked being able to see my whole month and to-do list at the same time.
  • I was able to group my gratitude pages together after each calendar.
  • I really liked the size. Like I said before, big enough to add pictures and be able to write on the calendar and it still fit in my bag, but I also found that it fit my desktop perfectly.
CONS
  • I still had pages I didn't use.
  • I could only schedule one month at a time. Future trackers were just another list. I needed to see my months mapped out.
  • I had to tape in extra pages or cut out pages when I miscalculated how many pages a spread would take. I still wish I had more mobility.
Enter the Disc system.
To be continued...

Happy Journaling,



Monday, May 22, 2017

8+ Ways Journaling Can Improve Your Life


Why keep a journal?
"To you women of today, who are old or young, may I suggest to you that you write, that you keep journals, that you express your thoughts on paper. Writing is a great discipline. It is a tremendous education effort. It will assist you in various ways, and you will bless the lives of many--now and in the years to come, as you put on paper some of your experiences and some of your musings."

~Gordon B. Hinckley~


I always knew I should keep a journal. For most of my life, though, I thought of it as a have-to-do, the one-more-thing-on-my-list-to-do.




When I became interested in writing, keeping a journal was recommended as an exercise to improve my writing skills. Here are 8 things journaling does for me:


  • Journaling forces me to focus my feelings into words. Solutions often present themselves by the time I finish my entry.
  • It provides details of family events and helps me recover memories.
  • It helps me feel gratitude when I identify ways the Lord has blessed me and my family.
  • It creates my own form of personal scripture when I include testimony of my Savior, moments of inspiration, and tender mercies shown me.
  • Journaling about my kids and grandkids show them how important they are to me.
  • It helps me focus thoughts into goals.
  • It helps me track those goals.
  • Journaling is Magic. It's not just about recording events of the past. It's also a way of making goals happen. It allows me to focus my energy on the positive outcome I desire and has helped bring to pass the desires of my heart. They don't always come as soon as I write them, but they do come.
A neighbor of mine, who suffers from anxiety, mentioned that her journal opened the door for her new husband to understand what she goes through and how to help her. 

More than a blessing--my journal has become a dear, and trusted friend. When I can't burden family or friends I take my problems to my journal.

If you have little time to spend on yourself, journal writing is  one of the best things (aside from sleep, personal hygiene, exercise, and chocolate) you can do for yourself. It's all about you.



What are some benefits you have found?

Happy Journaling!