Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Happy Wednesday!

Last week, I gave you a glimpse into how I use my Bullet Journal monthly, weekly, and daily, as well as for collections and other random lists. At the end of the last post, I also said that I was not completely happy with my current Bullet Journal set up, and was thinking of changing my set up for July. 

July is also going to be a super fun and special month, and there is A LOT going on in the planning and journal world. July is notoriously known as One Book July for many of us planner people. Basically, it's a month where we all pare down our systems to just one book for the whole month in order to focus on what you really need out of your system. This is my favorite video that explains what One Book July is all about, and here is a blog post from Ana of The Well Appointed Desk that also explains how someone can do One Book July.

July is also World Watercolor Month, which is super cool and definitely something I knew I wanted to take part in. I know that for me, doing a watercolor every day is not feasible, along with the other instagram challenges I love taking part in, but it’s such a neat thing so I want to take part when I can. 

Finally, I will definitely keep up with the regular challenges I do, including the #PlanWithMeChallenge, as well as #RockYourHandwriting and #QuotedJuly2016 (hopefully Onica Hanby continues this awesome challenge!). Doing four challenges every day is a bit much for me, so I’m definitely going to do what I can, when I can. If you want to see my entries and posts, check out my instagram!

I decided to totally change the way I do my planning and journaling this month. I talked about how in June, I wasn’t particularly liking my system, my notebook, or my journal. So with only 20 pages left in my Leuchtturm1917, I decided to switch it up. This month, I’m using two of my favorite things: A pocket-sized Moleskine weekly notebook, and a Livre de Brouillon that I bought in France. 

Basically, I want to simplify my planning style this month, and really focus on the essential things I love and use regularly. So while my One Book July set up isn’t necessarily only one book for everything, it’s definitely a far cry from the four to five books I usually have on any given day. Read on for more specific details about my set up for July!

My favorite planner layout EVER is a week on one page with a facing page for my to-do list and notes. The first planner I loved was a Weekly Notebook by Moleskine, and I used it all the time. At this point in my life, I don't have to keep track of a lot of appointments or due dates, and not many tasks are time sensitive, so I decided to use a pocket sized Moleskine weekly notebook (Le Petit Prince edition, of course) to keep track of my work schedule, yoga, and my blog stuff. 

For journaling, art stuff, and my creative challenges, I figure I would finally make use of my favorite creative tool and use up one of the Livre de Brouillons I bought on my most recent trip to France. These notebooks are probably my favorite notebooks in the whole world. The paper quality is outstanding, they can handle watercolor, fountain pen, microns, sketching, etc. Plus the paper is white, not cream, which I love. 

My July set up is so simple, and I actually feel really good about how simple it's going to be! I want to see all of your planner set ups for July, so make sure to link up to this post, send me a shout out on twitter, or tag me in your picture on instagram! 

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Happy Monday!

I love lists.

I'm a huge list maker, and I keep all types of lists - from to-do lists, to wish lists, to travel lists. The Bullet Journal system is a great way for me to keep track of all of my lists, both functional and inspirational. But you don't have to use a Bullet Journal in order to keep lists that could positively impact your life.

While I am a keeper of many lists, I have narrowed down my favorite lists to the five lists that can make your life more organized, more inspired, and happier. These lists are meant to be referenced constantly, and they are all permanent fixtures in my own Bullet Journal, as well as on Evernote.

1. To Be Read (TBR) 

I keep two types of TBR lists - one for books, and one for articles. If I have a quick break, or I'm on the bus and want to read something, I can pull up my "TBR - Articles" list for some quick entertainment or information!

2. Goals - Long Term, Mid Term, Short Term

Keeping your goals front and center in your planner, notebook, or journal is one way to make sure you are constantly working toward them. Keep a list of long term goals (I consider this about 5 years out), mid term goals (about a year), and short term goals (monthly) that can help you break down your big goals and dreams into proactive steps you can take every day. I also like to keep them all together, so I can see how they fit together.

3. Experiences to Have

For me, this is often a sort of travel list, like riding a bike in Amsterdam, or doing a whale watching tour in San Fransisco. However, this type of list also includes things I would like to do in my own state, like taking a day trip to a nearby city. Framing places I want to go in terms of experiences I want to have helps me envision and plan better.

4. Gratitude

My gratitude journal is something I log daily, but there are always trends and things I find myself being grateful for always. I've consolidated it into a list that I can look at when I feel down, anxious, or when I have a bad day. I still keep a separate gratitude journal with specific events or items I am grateful for, but having a general list I can reference is a quick way to have some self-care and inspiration on hand.

5. Quotes + Affirmations

This is my favorite and lengthiest list in my collection. I love collecting quotes from Pinterest, books, movies, articles, and poems, and I write them all down. I always love a good inspirational quote, and often use quotes and affirmations as mantras when I'm anxious or need a pick-me up. My pinterest board is my favorite place to find new quotes and affirmations!

What are your favorite lists to keep? Are there any I should add to the list? Share yours with me on twitter, or shoot me a comment on instagram!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Happy Wednesday!

I love watching youtube videos and reading blog posts about other people's planners and Bullet Journals. There are a million and a half (I counted) videos, posts, and other resources available for Bullet Journal lovers and others who love the system, but I always find it helpful and inspirational to see what other people are doing with their journals.

More than likely, if you're reading this post, it is not your first rodeo with the Bullet Journal system. On the off chance that it is, I recommend starting with Ryder Carroll's introduction and the Bullet Journal website. All of the examples and pictures of beautiful journals can get overwhelming (in my opinion) so it's helpful to start with the basics and add as you please.

The premise of the Bullet Journal is a "rapid logging" system, which utilizes bullets and a quick way of logging and writing down important information.

This is my journal set up for the month of June!

Monthly Spreads

I tend to keep my monthly spreads pretty consistent from month to month. This month, I added a few spreads, some of which I used and some of which sat unused.

May Review and Month List View
I started including a montly review "currently" list a few months ago, and I actually really like it! It's fun to look back on the month and think about the little things that I've been loving.

The monthly list view is a Bullet Journal staple, but I'm not a huge fan of using it to plan. I've seen people use it to record an event or something during the day, and I kind of started using it for that! A type of highlight of the day, or a glance at what happened on a particular day.

I always include a gratitude spread, and then I never use it. I tend to write my gratitude in my journal, so it defeats the purpose of having a spread in my Bullet Journal in addition to my journal journal. I tend not to journal a lot in my Bullet Journal and keep it more task and planning related, with more detailed memory keeping and journaling in my actual journal.

Instagram Challenges
I started using a grid calendar spread to track my instagram challenge participation (which I have sucked at this month) in May, and it's a really easy way to see the prompts! Instead of having three pages and flipping around for them, I just decided to put them on a two page spread.

I got really ambitious, and thus did none of my challenges, not even the one I created (insert embarrassed emoji here). Honestly, I feel like I should stick to 1 or 2 challenges, because I just get annoyed flipping past those pages.

Blog and Editorial Calendar
I actually ended up moving this to Evernote, which is much easier because I tend to change which posts I do last minute and move things around. Plus, I can just keep a separate "editorial calendar" notebook in Evernote so if I have questions about any particular posts, I can find it super easily.

June Waiting On and June Memories
This post is super helpful in tracking online orders and packages. I put monthly subscriptions at the top, and then chronologically the packages I am expecting throughout the month. I've used my monthly memories page... although I don't necessarily like this one. I think I do too much "journaling" and not enough "rapid logging."

Summer Reading List
This is one of those random spreads that I had in my monthly spreads, but I've also moved it to Evernote.

Weekly Spreads
I've struggled with the weekly spreads in the bullet journal. The first planner I ever truly loved was a Moleskine weekly notebook with the week on the left and a blank page for notes on the right. That is my favorite go-to planner spread, and the type of planner I continue to go back to.

I like having a weekly spread so I can get an idea of what to expect. BUT I'm a list maker and a note taker, so I liked the idea of having the flexibility of doing this in my Bullet Journal. I cannot write out the spread. I don't know why... I just hate it and don't ever want to use it. So lately, I've been using a Hobonichi Weeks for a weekly view and weekly brain dump, and then my Bullet Journal for monthly spreads and daily lists. I'm not sure I really like it, but it's working for now.

Daily Spreads
This is my favorite part of the Bullet Journal. I love having a running daily log of my to-do's and events.

Another thing I like about my bullet journal is the ability to flip a page and add whatever I want! I can take notes, brainstorm, doodle, or write a quote. I have actually started using Evernote a lot... so I've transferred many of the most important and frequently used collections to Evernote.

Planning for July
I haven't bonded with this notebook. Does that seem weird? Like, other notebooks I've bonded with. My moleskine planners, my first Leuchtterm1917, my black Traveler's Notebook... I love carrying all of these notebooks and I feel like we worked well together. This notebook? Not so much. Is that weird? Am I crazy? I don't know. I just don't like using it, I don't pull it out that much, I haven't really enjoyed it and it doesn't make me feel good to look at my pages in that notebook. I might archive it and move on.

I'm definitely going to be changing things up for July. Next week, I'm going to give you a glimpse into what I have in store for my July planning and Bullet Journaling!

I would love to see your notebooks! Show me your planners, Bullet Journals, and other tools you use to stay creative and organized!

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Happy Monday!

I used to have this series on my blog called #MakeitHappenMonday where I would set weekly goals and review my goals for the past week. After a while, the weekly goals thing got a little bit much, and I stopped doing it altogether.

But I really like reviewing my goals.

So instead, I want to revive #MakeItHappenMonday and talk about monthly goals, but I thought I'd start with a review of the goals I set at the beginning of 2016. I feel like I've made really good progress with my goals, but there's always room for improvement.

I like to break down my goals by category, and this year I've stuck to four main categories: Personal, Academic + Professional, Creative, and Blog.
  • Read 12 books for fun (not for class!).  I have been really bad at keeping track of the books I've read for fun, although there honestly are not many. Hopefully this summer will change that! 
  • Keep a gratitude log/journal with three entries per day. I've been off-and-on with this. For a while, I had a gratitude tracker in my bullet journal, but I prefer keeping it separate so I've integrated it into my personal journal. 
  • Join a yoga studio and prioritize health. 
    I haven't joined a yoga studio yet, but I have been paying more attention to my health. I've finally dealt with some health issues that have been a major pain over the past few months, so it feels good to be healthier. 
  • Decrease attachment to material objects (collect moments not things).  This one is really hard to quantify and measure. However, after I graduated I went through my stuff and got rid of old notebooks and school work, and it felt amazing to get rid of all that stuff. Next up is going through my craft supplies... 
  • Graduate with Distinction in History in June. Done, done & done. I graduated from University of Denver Cum Laude, which is a huge achievement and something I worked really hard for. I'm so grateful for my college experience.
  • Line up an After-Graduation-Plan. 
    Also done! I'm working in Denver over the summer, and in September I'll move to France to teach English. 
  • Keep up with reading and homework. Ha. Haha. The senioritis was real this year. By the end of the year, I was so burned out that I didn't even want to do anything. I worked hard on my thesis, but let other things fall by the wayside.  

  • Take a calligraphy class. Nope. I missed the deadline to sign up for one this summer. 
  • Take a photography class. I had planned to take a photography class at DU, but the time conflicted with another class. So nope. 
  • Practice calligraphy and lettering every day.
    I haven't done this every day, but I have been practicing more and more. 
  • Share calligraphy and lettering more. I've been doing this! I've found that sharing my little hand lettered quotes and such on instagram has allowed me to find other people who also enjoy playing with fonts, art, and pens. 
  • Focus the blog on a more specific niche. 
    At the beginning of June, I launched Paper Macaron with a new design and a new focus. I decided on three main focuses for this blog:
    • Stationery, paper, and paper accessories.
    • Small moments of beauty in the everyday.
    • Love of France + all things French.
  • Post consistently and keep an editorial calendar. I've been better about consistency in June. My problem is that I make an editorial calendar and then I deviate from it. If I just stick to it, that would be much easier. 
  • Write what I want to read.
    YES. This I have been doing. I love reading about people's goals, their stationery, travels, etc. So this is always the guiding principle when I'm writing my posts.

How are you doing on your 2016 goals? Monthly goals? Let me know in the comments below or reach out on instagram and twitter using the hashtag #makeithappenmonday! 

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Happy Thursday!

In March, I went to Japan with my Dad for spring break. It was just one of those trips where he found a good deal on airfare and lodging, and the timing worked out so we decided to take a trip to a place we both have wanted to visit for a really long time: JAPAN!

We spent 3 days in Tokyo and 3 days in Kyoto. It was amazing, and I haven't stopped thinking about it since! Tokyo was really overwhelming and busy, and my dad stood out like a sore thumb since he's so large (6'5" - very, very large in Japan). But kids really liked him! Kyoto was more my speed. There are so many historic parts of Kyoto, and shrines and temples everywhere. There were so many things I wanted to see, but we didn't have time. I also got really sick while we were in Kyoto, so we did have to slow down more than we would have, or have on any other trips we've taken. So obviously, we will just have to go back in the future. These are some of my favorite photos of my trip to Japan!

The view from the top of Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills.
The sakura trees were just starting to bloom.
This is my dad. He's real cool.
A samurai residence inside the imperial palace in Tokyo.
Vending machine coffee. America needs this.
A gate to the Imperial Palace.
Harajuku station.
The shrine in Tokyo dedicated to the "war dead." Plus you can see my dad towering over everyone.
When you enter a shrine, you have to cleanse yourself in one of these fountains. This one was one of the prettiest.
A view on the train... somewhere between Tokyo and Kyoto.
The moment I fell in love with Kyoto.

Walked right in front of my picture looking all cool and intrepid.
The foxes of the Fushimi-Inari shrine in Kyoto.

These torii, or gates, cover the path of the shrine all the way to the top.
There are thousands of these gates. 
Off the beaten path about halfway up the hill.

Bean paste cakes. I don't even know.
Geisha in the Gion district of Kyoto.
The bamboo grove outside of Kyoto.
One of the most precise sandwiches I've ever eaten. 

The streets of Kyoto.
The guy on my dad's left just really wanted a picture with my dad. And everyone in his group. I have no idea why.

The sun sets on a temple in Kyoto.

I'm obsessed with the 5 story pagoda in Kyoto.

We saw these "Colorado Masusan" coffee shops everywhere. No idea how it connected to Colorado, but we thought it was funny because we live in Denver.

Nijo Castle in Kyoto.

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