Tag Archives: calendar

Do or Don’t: Command Centers

The offending wall. (She’s naked!!!)

One HUGE advantage to our little home in Alabama is that I have a dedicated home office. I love having a space for my desk that’s not about one foot away from where I sleep (like it was in Miami!). I also have a closet (for overflow crap), some drawer storage for craft supplies, a book shelf, and a comfy chair by the window (mostly for my cat/office assistant lol).

But one piece of my home office puzzle that I haven’t quite figured out yet? One big, blank wall. I have my desk against one wall, and all the others either have a door or a window, but then there’s a HUGE blank canvas on the other side.

I’ve been picking up pieces here and there for a potential gallery wall…but then I stumbled upon an idea on Pinterest. A command center! Many examples that I found seemed to be more geared towards household/large family management, yet I think they could be adapted to fit a freelancer’s needs! What do you think?

Here are 5 inspiring examples…

(From Beneath My Heart)

(From The Happy Housie)

(From Sarah Rosemary)

(From The Idea Room)

(From Simply September)

What do you think? Have you ever made a command center? Do you think having one in a home office would be helpful?

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How To Stick To Your 2017 Goals

you-do-you-calendar

Did you get a pretty 2017 wall calendar for Christmas? Still trying to figure out the best way to use it because you are happily married to Google Calendar (or iCal or your bullet journal or phone reminders)? Why not display it some place prominent and use it to track your goals in the months ahead.

It can be easy to stick to resolutions right off the bat. Early days and all that. But it can get a little trickier as your enthusiasm starts to wane. For a jolt of accountability, I love the idea of picking three goals for the year and buying a stockpile of three different types of sticker. Correspond the stickers to a goal and award yourself one for each day you complete your goal. Your goals for 2017 may be big — like training for a marathon or saving money for a down payment on a house — or they might be slight — like packing  your lunch more often or apologizing less. Either way, there’s something so satisfying about watching those stickers add up.

I’ve got my eye on these gold stars (always a classic), hearts, and EMOJIS(!). 2017 – me and my stickers are comin’ for ya!!!

Have you set any goals for the new year? How do you hold yourself accountable? 

(The calendar pictured above is from the Etsy shop cobblestonestudio2 and you can purchase one HERE. 10% of the proceeds from these calendars go to Mental Health America. Which is awesome.)

Keeping a Notebook

Recently, my dearest has been experimenting with a new organization/journaling/calendar system. Since starting a few weeks ago he’s been RAVING about it. Honestly, the whole system seems like a total game changer so I asked him to fill us in. Take it away, Chet!

I have dates in my Google calendar. I have notes from courses that I’ve taken in Evernote. I have random ideas and lists jotted down in Google Keep. I have a near endless number of notebooks, legal pads, binders, and folders filled with years of academic and recreational work. Ideas, outlines, lists of books to read, movies to watch, music to listen to….stuff.

Digital technologies have completely unleashed work and leisure. We are all familiar with the struggles of being plugged in 24/7, but I’m consistently frustrated with the solutions to these problems. There are no shortage of apps and software designed to help us organize our lives, but, somehow, the more apps I download to organize my life the more disorganized and fragmented it becomes! I log into some of these programs, weeks or months after I’ve last used them, to find piles of useful notes, things that would have helped save me time if I had remembered their existence. Months ago, I bought a Moleskine notebook in order to help solve this problem once and for all. I would hand write all of my important notes to this one notebook so that it would be impossible to lose track of information. The result? Disaster!

notebook1

I ended up with this mess. All of my notes were in one place, but they were completely unreadable. The Moleskine was a great place to keep content, but not a great place to sort and easily find that content later. Enter the Bullet Journal. The Bullet Journal is a very simple analog note taking organizational scheme. In essence, it provides the system for organizing a notebook into a searchable, readable form. The most basic entries are simple task lists and reminders by day.

notebook2

Much better! Tasks are now clearly organized, and can be checked off or moved around as necessary. The Bullet Journal system also uses page numbers in some really cool ways. I’ve gone through and numbered the whole book in advance, and those numbers can now be used as a table of contents.

notebook3

I’ve only just started this system, so I don’t have many entries (yet), but I do have a few cool ones. You can see in the pic that there are some other categories listed like movies and pc games. These are persistent lists. You can keep adding items to them and reference when needed. I’ve already used a full page for my first movies list, so I’ve brought a few stragglers over and created a new one.

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You can even begin to subdivide using other important tags like Netflix availability. This method of organizing has really helped me to be more efficient in my media consumption. Before, I would twiddle my thumbs, browsing Netflix aimlessly. Now, I can quickly scan through stuff I want to watch, and not just settle on content I’ve already seen. I also plan on including a few tags with titles that I’m unfamiliar with so that I can sort even quicker.

My favorite aspect of the Bullet Journal, by far, is the customization. Now that you have an organizational framework, you can use it to your advantage. I used a ruler to draw up a simple calendar for this month. On the opposing page, I’ve made a list of monthly notes/goals.

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This gives me a macro/micro view of my ongoing projects. If I want to sketch out a given week, I’m also free to do that.

I’ve only just started using the Bullet Journal, but it’s already helping me tremendously. I’ve been able to organize and collapse some disparate lists into a compact, portable package. The daily lists sometimes aren’t needed. I’ll remember everything on my plate for a given day and finish them all. I’m still working at cracking the journal open at least twice a day. When I do, I get to see my tasks, and then see them completed or re-organized. It adds a great sense of accomplishment to a day, and also helps me prepare for the next day by clearly establishing my goals. I also think it’s a great place to unplug, to practice your handwriting, to not use a phone all the time!

If you’re feeling frazzled by apps, or just looking for a place to keep some informal lists, a Bullet Journal may be for you!

Thanks for sharing, Chet! I’ve been pretty enamored with this whole system since he began sharing it’s success with me. Luckily, I was gifted the tools to start trying it out for myself…

notebook6

So far so good! ❤ 

 

 

DIY: Burlap Calendar

burlapcalendardiy

Recently, I decided to jazz up my desk at home in order to psychologically witch-craft myself into using it more often. I moved the desk next to a window for some natural light, hung some prints on the wall around it, and placed some pens in a pretty cup. One thing felt missing though…a simple, shabby-chic inspired calendar! I like this calendar DIY because you can write in the month/dates with dry erase (it’s framed in glass) and it can hang on the wall, gently reminding you of all your upcoming tasks. Here’s how to make your own—

What you’ll need:

– burlap

– ruler

– fine point Sharpie

– scissors

– square frame (with glass on top, not plastic)

– any little extra bits of cloth, stickers, ribbons, etc to take it to the next level

and how it all comes together:

– Cut a square of burlap so that it will fit in your chosen frame.

– Do a little measurement math and sketch out (probably with a pencil at first) the bones of your calendar. I chose to put a rectangle in the top right for writing in the Month and a large grid below it with 7 squares across and and 5 squares down to write in your days. Now, write the days of the week across the top of each square.

– Go over your outlines with a fine-tipped sharpie. The effect of Sharpie on burlap is pretty cool because it ends up looking like the outlines/writing have been stitched on. #crafthack

– Add some swag! I happened to have a bunch of those white/tan cloth stickers in my craft box so I put a few on to really up my Shabby-Chic game. Any cloth scraps cut into cool shapes would look super cute too.

– Frame that puppy up and stick it on your wall at home or in your office.

– Use dry-erase markers to write in the month and days (which I’ve done for April in the picture above) and all your important appointments (which I’ve yet to do in the picture above).

Yay! Crafting for the win….because this post was totes written at my cozy lil home desk. : )