Tag Archives: organization

Motivation Lost? 5 Steps You Can Take To Get It Back!

motivation

The months of May and June 2017 will now be known as the time that I lost my motivation.

It all started when our family kicked off  the summer with a vacation. It was a lovely time. I took a break from technology, and read books instead. We explored a cave, had fun on a boat, and laughed with family. motivation

I had every intention of working on a blog post, once I returned. After all, I had just experienced a relaxing week in a beautiful cabin. I was refreshed and could look at the world with a clear head.

But I did not get any writing done.

I kept telling myself that I SHOULD work, but I could do it tomorrow.

Even my beloved bullet journal suffered, it’s pages were lonely. I didn’t doodle, I didn’t track the weather or my mood, and worst of all, I had nothing to check off.motivation

Then, I realized something.

My journal is a huge KEY in keeping me motivated and organized.

When I stopped writing my tasks in my journal, and checking it daily, it gave me a reason to procrastinate. I also felt myself become more anxious and overwhelmed.

I had no plan to follow, so instead my brain just had a running list of things that I needed to do. Without putting it on paper, I quickly went into overload, and fell into my old pattern of just shutting down and doing nothing instead. The motivation was gone.


SO WHAT CAN YOU DO WHEN YOU NEED TO GET YOUR MOTIVATION BACK?


  1. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION FOR A BREAK

First of all, it is okay to take a break.

I think that in a way, my body and mind were telling me I needed to allow myself some time to do nothing. To read those books that have been piled on my nightstand, catch up on the magazines, and even take a few naps.

Of course, my first instinct was to beat myself up for being lazy and not accomplishing anything.

Instead, I changed my perspective. I gave myself permission to have that break. No writing or work was done, but I did get to enjoy some extra time with my family. I even did some crafts and tried some recipes. And did I mention the naps?!motivation

I was just productive in a different way.

And that is okay.

2. REVISIT YOUR GOALS

However, it is important not to stay in permanent break mode. The longer you remain in it, the harder it becomes to snap out of it.

I needed to take a look at my goals and remember why I was doing all that work in the first place.

When I was checking my bullet journal daily, I was reminded of what I was working for. When I stopped doing that, it became easier to ignore the steps that I wanted to take to accomplish my goals.

If you don’t already have a list of goals, with a plan of action, take some time to write some out. Or make a vision board. Or start a bullet journal.

Even if you are feeling unmotivated, just the simple act of looking at your goals each day will help remind and inspire you to keep working.

3. START SMALL

Part of the reason that I stopped being motivated,  was that I felt like things were piling up around me. Each day my mental lists grew longer, yet I wasn’t doing anything about it. I didn’t feel like it would be possible to get everything done, so instead,  I just shut down.

To combat this, pick just one thing and DO IT.

For me, I told myself that I needed to get out my journal each day and look at and start using my tracker again.

By doing my basic daily tasks again, I started feeling productive and like I was re-building my self discipline again.motivation

Still missing a lot of x’s, but let me tell you, checking off those boxes again when I completed something felt so good!

It doesn’t matter what you choose to do, just pick one small thing and work it into a routine again. Don’t get overwhelmed trying to juggle too many things, or all of the things that you were doing before you lost your groove.

Baby steps!!

When you are feeling ready, add another task. For me, I will start doing my affirmations again. I need that positive reinforcement. 🙂

4. REWARD YOURSELF AND CREATE AN INSPIRED SPACE

This one is easy.

Make sure you create a fun space to help you feel inspired, and give yourself a little reward. Treat yourself to new journal supplies, find some inspirational quotes, clean your work area or re-arrange it, get a cute plant. Little rewards like this are good for motivation.motivation

Just have a little corner or space where you can plan, work, clear your head, or meditate to help keep you on track.

5. DON’T FOCUS ON FAILURES

Finally, be nice to yourself.

Don’t focus on what you did wrong, or what you didn’t accomplish. Negativity can kill motivation. As I mentioned earlier, a perspective change can do wonders.

I’m going to be honest, I still have my dark moments and there are days that I just want to remain in my blanket cave and ignore everything. Just getting out of bed is a simple victory, and it counts as a success.motivation

Think of and remember the successes that you experienced. Even if they are small. Write them down so that you can revisit them when you feel unmotivated.

I followed these 5 steps and was able to find my motivation and get to working and writing again.

It feels good to be back.

What do you do when you find yourself in a funk and need to find your groove again? I would love to hear about it in the comments.

xo,

Melissa

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How a Bullet Journal (and Coffee) Can Help with Cleaning

CLEANING

*Disclaimer: I received a product for free in exchange for a review. However, all opinions expressed here are my own. 

Cleaning is something that I have not always been great about keeping up with. I live in a house with six people, so you can imagine that sometimes things can really pile up.

Enter the bullet journal, my new favorite tool.

As I have explained in some of my past posts, the bullet journal is a great tool for tracking habits and keeping yourself in check. Using a cleaning calendar is similar, and it can help make staying on top of cleaning easy and painless.

If you stay on the schedule that you come up with, and keep up the rotation, your house will stay organized and clean!

I decided to create my calendar page while recovering from a procedure. I was on orders to rest and not move around, which is not an easy task for me. Luckily my family was helpful in assisting with the cleaning while I could not. So, I used my down time as an opportunity to come up with a plan to keep us organized going forward into the future.

Here is what I came up with:

cleaning

As always with a bullet journal, you can customize your schedules and lists to work for you. Don’t forget that you can add or leave out anything that you would like.

Also, I prefer to keep my cleaning calendar at the front of my journal, where I include the pages for my morning routine.  So, when I pour my first cup of coffee (more on that later!) and go through my daily pages, I am reminded of what I need to do each day.

You may notice that I try not to give myself too many daily tasks. This is so I don’t get overwhelmed and just decide to put everything off.

cleaning

I have assigned a different chore for each day of the week. Doing this helps to add a little variety to my daily routine.

At the bottom I included a rotating schedule of things to do each month. These are larger house projects, like the dreaded washing of walls and baseboards, but when they are broken up over the year, it becomes much easier to get them accomplished.

cleaning

And just how does coffee come into play?

Well, quite honestly, it is the fuel that keeps me going. I manage to pack a lot into each day, and in order to get things accomplished, I need to be energized. When I work on my bullet journal pages, or decide to take on any kind of project, a cup of coffee is usually in my hand. Or, at least nearby.

I received a bag of the Sabertooth Roast from Caveman Coffee Company to try, and I must say it is quite delicious. They even sent me samples of MCT Oil, and while I wasn’t sure what to do with it at first, they had recipes on their website. Adding that to my morning brew gave me some amazing energy!

cleaning

I am sharing this because they have an awesome monthly coffee subscription box available. Which means not running out of coffee. Plus, who doesn’t like fun goodies delivered to your door each month?

I would definitely recommend giving this fun company a try and make your life easier with delivery each month!

Finally, do you want to take your cleaning routine one step further?

Add your daily routine and monthly chores to your bullet journal tracker. If you aren’t sure what a tracker is, check out my Beginners Guide to Using a Tracker.

I love to check off my accomplishments, so this is the extra security that I need to motivate me to stay on top of not only my daily personal goals, but also my cleaning goals.

cleaning

If you are struggling to keep on top of your cleaning projects, pour yourself a cup of coffee and try making a cleaning calendar. Having all the tasks listed and planned out, gives you one less thing to think about each day!

XO,
Melissa

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Beginners Guide: Using a Tracker In Your Bullet Journal

Using a tracker in my bullet journal is my new favorite thing! Since I love it so much, I want to share it with all of you. I even included a little mini tracker for you to download at the end of my post! 

tracker

*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 🙂

Recently, I have been dealing with some health issues. I’ve spent the past few months in and out of the doctor office. Each time, I am given new instructions, or a different medicine to try, and it started to get a little difficult to remember everything that I was supposed to do.

Then it dawned on me. I should make a tracker for my bullet journal!

Are you new to the world of using a bullet journal? Before you read through this, be sure to check out my Beginners Guide to Bullet Journals.


Of course, it isn’t a requirement to have a tracker in your journal, but it has been such an awesome tool for me. It helps me keep an eye on my good habits, and the places that I need a little extra work. I love checking things off, so using a tracker has been a great way to hold myself accountable.

Best of all, there are so many different things that you can track. And as always, there are so many different layout options. Mixing things up and trying different styles of trackers also helps keep me motivated to get my stuff done!

HABIT TRACKERS

The habit tracker is just a list of the things that you like to accomplish in a day. It’s basically like an every day to-do list. To make one, you can use dotted or grid paper. Having a ruler handy is also helpful. You can make your tracker a weekly one, or a monthly one, that’s the beauty of having that customized system that works just for you.

Here is an example of the one that I just made for myself. I just set it up for a two-week period.

tracker

See? It’s pretty simple, but so helpful.

Need some ideas of what to track?

  • Exercise
  • Vitamins
  • Water consumption
  • Journal time
  • Chores
  • Feeding pets
  • Watering the plants (for people like me who seem to have a black thumb)
  • Medication
  • No Junk Food/Caffeine etc…
  • Goals
  • Symptoms
  • Sleep schedules
  • Self care/Me time (you’ve got to make sure you are giving yourself love)
  • Spending
  • Moods
  • Routines (morning and night)
  • Flossing/teeth brushing

Really, anything that you want to work on, or make sure that you do each day, add it to your tracker!

However, if you don’t use it on a daily basis, it won’t do much good.

I am guilty of thinking that I will remember to fill in what I did a few days later, but that just doesn’t work. So my solution was to work it into my nightly routine.

In my last post, Beginners Guide: Starting a New Month in a Bullet Journal, I mentioned that I changed my layout so that I could write a few sentences about my day. It was my goal to do this on a nightly basis, along with filling in my mood tracker. I am happy to report, that this has been going well for me, and I have now added filling out my habit tracker during this time.  So, just be sure to find a spot in your day that you will be sure to check off those boxes.

OTHER TRACKERS

There are other fun things that you can track, but you may want to dedicate a layout to a single thing, instead of just a list.

For example, here is my mood tracker page. Each day, I color in the boxes to indicate how I was feeling. By the end of the year, I will have a very colorful page with all of my moods.

tracker

I did mine over the entire year, but next year I think I would like to try to do a monthly mood tracker. I have seen some pretty amazing layouts that have inspired me.

I also like to track the books I read, movies that I see, and shows that I watch throughout the year. Here are what my trackers for each of these look like.

tracker

tracker

tracker

It’s fun to have a history of the things that entertained me throughout the year.

You may have one big goal that you want to work towards, such as saving up for a vacation. This is another way that a tracker would be helpful. Having that visual will really help keep you motivated.

Our family recently decided that we want to visit one of the state parks out west, so I made a page to remind my husband and I to set a little money aside each month.

tracker

I can’t wait until all those boxes are filled in, and we are on our way!

Finally, I have a page dedicated to the bills that I need to pay each month. It’s very basic, but incredibly helpful.

tracker

Feeling a bit intimidated by drawing out your own tracker?

I always want to remind people that your bullet journal pages do not have to be fancy. Please do not get hung up on seeing all the beautiful layouts out there and then feel like you have to do the same. Part of the reason that I make these blog posts is to show you that I do not make perfect layouts, mine do not look like they are made by a professional artist, but I love them. And they work!

I made these handy little weekly mini tracker stickers to put in my journal, for those times that I just can’t draw one for myself. To print these, I used Avery mailing labels #8168, but you can also just print on blank paper, cut out and glue into your journal.

Feel free to download them and use for your own bullet journal!

tracker

I hope that this has helped to show you that a tracker can be a great tool to help you manage your time better, and to get those dreams and goals accomplished!

xo, Melissa

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Beginners Guide: Starting a New Month in a Bullet Journal

The start of a new month is one of my favorite times, because it means that I get to add new pages to my bullet journal.

month

I love a fresh start! 

I wanted to share with you what I do to kick off a new month. Hopefully this will help you to understand how to use a bullet journal.


Note: If you aren’t sure what a bullet journal is, check out my post, Beginners Guide to Bullet Journals. Using this system is the first time that I have stuck with keeping a planner and journal. There is just something about being able to customize everything that just makes me happy and motivated! I want to share the love and get everyone hooked!


First of all, yes, I know that we are already a few days into the month of April.

My daughter had surgery, and my crazy life put me behind.

Again.

But, that didn’t stop me. I am trying to be kinder to myself, and reinforce that I don’t have to be perfect, so I went ahead and still got it done.

This might have to be my new mantra: It’s okay to get started late, at least I still got it done!

Remember, you do not have to make fancy pages or layouts for your bullet journals. Simple lists, or just a page with each day written on it is fine. Start out that way if you are feeling intimidated. You can always switch it up and add more as you find your routine and get more comfortable with the bullet journal system.

 Ideally, here is what I do each  month:

GOAL PAGE FOR THE MONTH

First, I sit down and think about and what my main goals for the month will be. I review the past month to see what I did not get done, and if needed, I move it forward to the current month.

As hard as I try, I don’t always get everything done that I planned on accomplishing, and that’s okay. See my new mantra above 🙂

Usually, I like to write the month and then break it up into four sections; Self Care, Health, Blog and Projects.

Here is what my page for the month of April looks like:

I like to use a color theme, and April makes me think of spring. This brings to mind the arrival of blue skies and the pretty greens returning, so I used blue and green to decorate my pages.

Typically, I like to add a quote for each month at the top of my page. I still haven’t found the perfect one for this month yet, so I have left a blank space to add one.

I also try to make a point not to overwhelm myself with too many goals. If I do that, I tend to just shut down and not accomplish anything. So, I only choose 2 or 3 things that I want to work on that month for each category.

For example, in the health category I want to make a point of eating more fruits and veggies. I also need to remember to take my iron pill, so I added that to my list.

WEEKLY LAYOUT

Once I get that accomplished, it is time to set up my weekly pages.

Many people like to do just one week (or day) at a time in their bullet journals. You can totally do this, but for me, it is easiest to set up weekly pages for the entire month. It helps me be to be able to plan ahead a bit.

Remember, one of the fun things about using a bullet journal, is that you can try different layouts to see what works best for you. Mixing things up helps to keep it fun. So this month, I’m trying a different layout.

month

In the past, I have used vertical boxes for each day. However, I made a goal this month to try and write a few sentences about each day. I decided that horizontal boxes might work a bit better for my diary entries.

I also added small boxes in the corner so that I could make a little drawing about what the weather was like each day.

ADDITIONAL PAGES

I like to incorporate my menu plan into my bullet journal. In the past, I have just written down what we are eating somewhere on my weekly pages.

This month, I thought it would be fun to try something new, so I made a page dedicated completely to our menu.

month

If you recall, I wanted to add more color to my journal this year, and the little doodles are the perfect way to do this!

I also home school my daughter and have been working on planning ahead a bit more. This month, I created a page dedicated to our lesson plans and theme.

month

I think that having a visual for the crafts, reading, and experiments that we will be doing alongside our usual daily work will be helpful. I can fit our whole month of activities on one page (front and back) since we focus on each theme over a period of two weeks.

Finally, I made a lettering practice page. You may have noticed that most of my lettering in my journal is done in the same style.

At this point, I am ready to branch out and I know that I will need some practice.

month

It might not be a super fancy page, but it gives me a visual reminder that I need to work on my lettering, which is a goal of mine this month.

There you have it. See, it isn’t too scary or overwhelming right?

This is what I do each month for my bullet journal. I really enjoy creating my layouts and pages because I feel like I am taking some time for myself to be creative, but I am also being productive as well. It’s a win win for me!

Do you have any favorite layouts or pages in your bullet journal? I would love for you to share them!

Stay tuned for my next post, where I will discuss different trackers that you can use in your journal. I will also have a neat little sticker that I have been working on available as a download.

xo, Melissa

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My Favorite Bullet Journal Supplies

bulletjournalsupplies

Today, I thought I would share my favorite bullet journal supplies with you.


If you are not sure what a bullet journal is, check out my bullet journals for beginners post.


*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 🙂

One of the best parts about a bullet journal, is that you can create your own personalized system. You really only need a notebook and a pen, but there are also many fun supplies that really can help personalize your journal.

So let’s start with the journal itself.

JOURNALS

Just do a search on Amazon and you will find tons of adorable blank books. Many people use this Leuchtturm 1917 journal, it seems to be the tried and true go to.

However, I like to be able to rearrange and remove my pages, and I am unable to do this with this particular style of journal.

To solve this, I use a simple mini binder.

It has clear sleeves in the front, so that I can switch up my cover often. Plus, if it gets damaged, it is very inexpensive to replace.

PAPER

There is plain, dotted, lined, and grid paper available in loose leaf form.  I like to use all of the types of paper since I prefer the grids for my trackers, dotted for my calendar, lined for writing and plain to do little doodles and drawings.

By doing this, I am able to have everything together in one notebook, and it is easy to switch it up if I get tired of my layouts.


You might want to invest in a 3 ring hole punch as well. It comes in handy sometimes.

PENS

Next you need pens.

If you like basic, just invest in some nice black pens.

However, you may want to add some color.

Last year, I did most of my pages in simple black and white. This year, I wanted to branch out and play with color.

Brush pens are a wonderful way to add a little variety to your pages. The set that I have been using recently has a wide and a thin tip. I have been having fun experimenting with different brush strokes.

Sometimes, your colors will bleed through your pages, which can be frustrating. Colored pencils are another good way to get a little creative, without the frustration. I like this set because you can also get the pencil wet and get a watercolor effect.

STICKERS AND WASHI TAPE

Stickers are another fun way to add some fun to your bullet journal pages. There are tons of etsy shops that sell custom stickers, as well as amazon. I am working on my own sticker pages, and will be sharing them here on the blog soon.

I also have become a bit addicted to Washi Tape. For example, I found some super cute Totoro Washi tape that I have been using to decorate the top of each of my daily calendar pages for this month. There are so many different styles and patterns, it is fun to stock up so you have a bunch of options for your decorating.

CLEAR SLEEVES

There are a few pages in my journal that I don’t access often, like my color key, and blog information, but get a little beat up because I refer to them often. I found some clear protective sleeves to put those pages in, and it helps keep them in good shape.

DIVIDERS AND TABS

Because I keep a lot of different content in my journal, using tabs and divider pages helps me easily access my different sections. I like these dividers because they are made of plastic that is a bit sturdier.
These self adhesive tabs are also great because I can easily label them and stick them on specific pages that I use often.

I hope that this list of my favorite bullet journal supplies is helpful in giving you some good ideas for your own book. Don’t forget that Instagram and Pinterest both have wonderful ideas for layouts also. Be sure to follow me, as I am always adding fun stuff to my feeds.

Do you have any favorite bullet journal supplies? I would love to hear about it in the comments.

XO, Melissa

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How Using A Bullet Journal Can Help With Anxiety and Depression

 

Anxiety and depression is something that I often deal with.  Last year, I started a bullet journal in hopes that it would help me ease my busy mind. I am happy to report, that I have noticed a huge improvement. While I still have my moments, I now know that I have a good tool to help me cope and work through things when I start feeling overwhelmed.

I want to show you that creating a routine with your bullet journal can help you feel more stable, and give you a more positive outlook.

anxiety and depression

 


Not sure what a bullet journal is? Check out my beginners guide to bullet journals


Here are some ways to put your bullet journal to work for you and your mental health.

BRAIN DUMP PAGE

This is one of my favorite pages to create. Each morning, as I am drinking my coffee, I take some time to breathe and think about what is on my mind. Things that are bothering me, things that make me happy, and things that I want to do. I create little mind maps with all of these things that accumulate in my head, and once I do that, my mind feels a little more at peace.

It doesn’t have to look pretty, and it can be in any form, just find what works best for you. The goal is to quiet your mind.

anxiety and depression

 

TO-DO LISTS

I usually have a brain full of things that I want to do and need to accomplish. It can get a little cluttered, so being able to have a running list written out, helps me clear my head a bit and have a visual of what I want to do.

However, those lists can also get long and become overwhelming, which leads to shutting down.

One solution would be to make short to-do lists for each day, or for the week. Choose two or three main things that you would like to accomplish, and start with that. Use your brain dump page to jot down other things on your mind. Then, when you sit down to work on your goals for the day, pull items from that page to add to your list.

Another suggestion would be to create a DONE list, instead of a to-do list. Write down thing things that you did accomplish. This can help turn a negative thing, such as a long overwhelming list, into a positive thing.


However you create your lists, just make sure it is achievable. Do not set yourself up for failure.


GRATITUDE LISTS

Sometimes, when anxiety and depression strike, it can make everything feel so hopeless. Like there is nothing good happening.

Take some time each day to think about and write down 1-3 good things that happened in your day. Even if it is just something like just getting out of bed, or that the sun came out for a few hours. I found once I practiced this, that over time, the good things became easier to think of.

Keeping a gratitude list can help focus on the positive, and put things into perspective.

SELF CARE PAGE

Make a page that lists various activities that you can do to take a few minutes to focus on yourself. When you start feeling overwhelmed and need a break, refer to your list. Often, when I start feeling really upset, my brain doesn’t seem able to think of what I can do to help get out of that rut. If you have a list, it makes it easy to just pick something and go with it.

anxiety and depression

If you need some ideas to get you started, check out my post about quick self care ideas.

HABIT TRACKERS

These have everything that you need to do on a daily basis available at a glance. Use grid paper and track things like exercise, food, medicine, housework, or vitamins.

A good one to start with is water intake, as staying hydrated is important for the mood.

Trackers are handy because they can help put things into perspective for you. You might discover that you need to work harder to make something more of a habit, or better yet, you may realize that you are doing a great job, and that things aren’t as bad as you think!

Again, just remember to set realistic goals for the things that you want to track.

MOOD TRACKERS

I wrote a little bit about starting to track my mood last week. Even though this is a tracker as well, I feel like it deserves it’s own category. This one is helpful to see if there are certain times which you are prone to feeling depressed or anxious, it gives you the big picture of how you are feeling.

I have enjoyed tracking my moods so far. When I grab my colors to fill in my box for the day, it gives me a moment to think about and recap my day. Often I think I had a bad day, but once I think about it, I realize that it is usually a mix, and that something positive typically happens. (of course I try and remember to add that to my gratitude page!)

anxiety and depression

At first I was worried that all my squares would be grey for sad, or dark blue for anxious, but I discovered that wasn’t the case.

QUOTE OR MANTRA PAGE

Finally, I like keeping a page with inspirational or motivational quotes that I like. I can glance at them when I start feeling dark, and usually there is some kind of quote that will help uplift me.

It doesn’t need to be fancy, I just keep a lined page in my notebook so that I can just write it down when I find a quote that I like.

anxiety and depression

Mantras are also nice to add, work them into your morning routine and start the day right. Remind yourself that you are a strong, capable, and smart person.

I hope that this shows you that organizing and creating a system in your bullet journal can be therapeutic and can help when emotions start feeling out of control.

Do you have a favorite page that you use to help combat anxiety and depression? I would love for you to share it in the comments. I am always trying to think of new pages to add.

xo Melissa

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Bullet Journal: A Year in Color ( with printable)

journal

Last year, I discovered the world of the Bullet Journal.

Quickly, I became addicted. It helped me stay organized and focused on tasks better than anything else in the past.

bullet journal blank

There is just something about a fresh start, and with the arrival of the new year, I spent most of last week reflecting on what I wanted to accomplish throughout 2017.

Typically, my thoughts are a jumbled mess in my head, so I decided that I would kind of re-create that on a page for my journal by creating a word cloud.  

I brainstormed about everything I wanted to do this year.

I thought about my crafts, knitting, self-care, health, things I want to learn, my blog and my relationships. Then, I started writing each thing in a box, and connected the different ideas that were in a similar category. 

Before I knew it, my page had turned into a great visual for the year. 

bullet journal black and white

Yet, I still felt like something was missing.

I realize that I kept my journal pages pretty basic last year, and just used a black ink pen. After all, I was trying to keep it simple while learning the ropes. I didn’t want to overwhelm myself and end up quitting. However, this year, I want to branch out a bit, and feel that my journal needs some color.

I thought that by using color, it might be a fun way to track my moods throughout the day. My mom gave me this cute little book about colors and their different meanings, so I decided this would be the perfect tool to help me choose the perfect colors to associate with my moods and thoughts.

Of course, once I settled upon my colors, I needed to make a page to serve as a key for my bullet journal.

journal color key

After that, I returned to my 2017 overview page, and I filled in my different boxes with color.

bullet journal color 2017

Now, it felt right!

I already love the addition of color, and I am hoping that it is helpful in tracking my moods. Stay tuned for an update on how it is working for me in a few weeks.

I also made a little color and their meanings printable, it highlights a few colors and their most popular meanings. Just click here and print!

I’m also looking forward to working on learning some lettering, playing with different layouts, and adding new pages to my journal this year. I am ready to dig deeper and branch out!

Do you have a bullet journal? If so, what are some of your goals and what pages are you looking forward to adding this year? I would love to hear from you in the comments.

xo Melissa

discobumblebee

Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. 🙂 Full disclaimer information can be found here.


 

  

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30 Great Bullet Journal Page Ideas

bullet journal page ideas pin graphic

Starting a bullet journal was my attempt at finding a good system to help me stay organized and motivated.


If you aren’t sure what a bullet journal is, and if it would work for you, check out my Beginners Guide to Bullet Journals post.


The past 30 days have been tough on me emotionally. Our family experienced two deaths, and a close friend also lost her father.

I was sad and left with a lot to process.

Working through those feelings and trying to stay on top of my normal routine, was a struggle. I definitely fell behind in my blogging, and I wasn’t feeling my creative self. It was hard to find the motivation to be productive.

But, I noticed one change in myself, and that was that I didn’t completely quit and just sit there being sad. Instead, I used my bullet journal to help me find a little happy again, and get back into my groove.

I got out my colored pencils, pens, and paper, and focused on my wish list, places I want to visit and quotations. The end result? Three new pages for my bullet journal.

bullet journal page ideas completed pages

Making these pages helped me re-focus, and also distract me from feeling so down. I found it healing to think about the future, and it felt good to put some of my wishes and goals down on paper.

They will provide a concrete reminder to keep going and continue working for those things.

The things that I focused on may not be exactly what you need, but that is the beauty of a bullet journal.

You can add whatever is important and relevant to YOU!

Here are a few bullet journal page ideas that might inspire you to get started.

bullet journal page ideas colored pencil photo

HEALTH: MIND AND BODY

  • Gratitude log
  • Water intake tracker
  • Exercise log/weight tracker
  • Self care and relaxation ideas
  • Habit tracker
  • Dream log
  • Vitamin tracker

HOME

  • Recipes to try
  • Shopping list
  • Bill tracker
  • Spending log
  • Home and organization projects
  • Cleaning schedule
  • Menu plans

FAMILY and RELATIONSHIPS

  • Birthday lists
  • Things kids say
  • Family night ideas
  • Gift Ideas
  • Date night ideas

PERSONAL

  • Bucket list
  • Wish list
  • Movies/T.V. to watch
  • Books to read
  • Accomplishments
  • Memorable quotations
  • Places to travel
  • Skills or hobbies to learn
  • Restaurants to try
  • Journal prompts

I encourage anyone to create and keep adding pages to their bullet journal. It has been such a helpful, and personalized tool in my life. Just don’t try to do too many at one time, or you might feel overwhelmed!

If you have some bullet journal page ideas, or even pages that you have created, please share them in the comments!

 

Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. 🙂

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Bullet Journal: A Beginners Guide

The Bullet Journal.

bullet journal

This calendar system has become quite popular these days. But creating your own calendar system from scratch might seem a bit intimidating when you begin. Because of this, I have created a little beginners guide to bullet journals.

Everybody has to start somewhere right?

So what exactly is a bullet journal?

“The bullet journal is an analog system designed to track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.” – Ryder Caroll, Inventor of the bullet journal

Basically, it is a self customized calendar system that typically has three categories: tasks, events, and notes.

What do I need to start my own bullet journal?

All you need is a blank notebook and a pen. It is that simple!

bullet journal

There are many different kinds of blank books that you can purchase, just pick out a size that works best for you. I use a mini binder, loose notebook and calendar pages, because I like to have the ability to move things around easily.

Markers, colored pencils, tabs, post-its, and graph paper are also fun to have on hand, but certainly not required. I found an awesome set of gel pens on Amazon. They add some color to my pages, and even have glitter in them. It is my opinion that everything is better with a little bit of sparkle!


A bullet journal has 4 main concepts:

1. THE INDEX OR KEY     

This is where you organize the contents of your notebook. It might be helpful to think of it as a table of contents for all of your information.

It could simply be a page containing a key of symbols that you use in your journal. Or, if you are extremely organized, you might use page numbers for your entries and subjects. I’ve also seen some journals that have color codes on the side of the pages for quick access. I decided to make it even easier on myself and purchased some stick on tabs for my pages.

2.  COLLECTIONS

The entries in your bullet journal are called collections.

A collection might take up only one page, or it may be comprised of several pages.

Each page has a topic, which helps to group and organize your ideas.

Typically, there are three main collections:

  • Future Log: This contains the monthly calendar and tasks. I like to use a pre-printed monthly calendar page to write out birthdays, holidays, and appointments. Additionally, I make a monthly page to write down goals that I would like to accomplish for each month. This is one of my pages before I filled in my goals.

    bullet journal

  • Daily Log: These pages contain your day to day events, specific tasks for the day, and notes as they happen throughout the day. In addition to adding tasks, I like to track the weather and my mood on my daily pages. I’ve also added a box so that I can write down the menu for each week.

bullet journal

  • Other Collections: These are special lists, such as long term goals, places you would like to travel, books you want to read, and any other trackers you might want to set up.

Currently, my favorite page is my books to read page. I drew some books stacked on a bookshelf, and filled in the titles of all the books that people have suggested. Once I finish a book, I color in the title.

bullet journal

This month, I also made a page to keep track of the things that I am grateful for. Sometimes I get behind and overwhelmed during the month. Taking a bit of time to fill in a few things that make me happy, helps to keep things in perspective.

self care pages

The options truly are endless for the different pages that can be added. Pick something that inspires you, or that you would like to track, and make a special page for your journal. Because I am still a beginner, my drawings are pretty basic, but I had fun making them. Doing a search on Pinterest will turn up tons of inspiration for different designs to try.

If you don’t feel creative, even simple numbered lists work just fine. Again, this system is created by you. The goal is to find what works best for you, and then go with it. If you find that you don’t like what you did for the month, switch it up when you plan out the next one.

3.  Rapid Logging

Rapid logging is the language that the bullet journal is written in, or the symbols that are used to make notations in the journal.

You can choose what works best for you, just make sure that you have a system in place. Also, be sure to notate them in your index.

My go-to symbols for my journal are as follows:

<3  things that inspire or motivate me

* –   things that are a priority to complete

!  –   things that I would like to research or explore more in the future

o –   tasks that I still need to complete

x  –  tasks that have been completed

Also, because I have a family, and put their schedule in my journal, I like to use specific colors to represent the different family members.

4. MIGRATION

This one is my most favorite step! It always gives me a sense of accomplishment.

At the end of the month, review all of the tasks that have been completed and checked off. If there were ones that weren’t finished, be sure to move them onto the next monthly calendar.

Although I would like to, I do not always manage to get everything that I had planned, accomplished. But, taking the time at the end of each month to review my goals and lists is very helpful. By re-writing them in the following months pages, I keep motivated and moving forward, which is my ultimate goal.

A couple of months ago, I shared the start of my bullet journal process. My main goal at the time, was to experiment and find out if it would be a good system to help me stay organized. I can say now that it has definitely kept me moving in the right direction. I find that I feel less overwhelmed and anxious about the things that I need, or want to do, because I am writing them down and checking them off on a daily basis.

In the next few months, I plan to continue adding more pages to my bullet journal. I would also like to join some bujo groups to keep me inspired and creating new content. Stay tuned for more posts about page ideas and techniques. In the meantime, be sure to check out and follow my pinterest board about bullet journals.

I hope that this guide has been helpful, and might have provided some inspiration on starting your own bullet journal. Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know about the pages you have created or share your favorite tips. I would love to hear from you!

xo Melissa

discobumblebee

 

Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our home school classroom. 🙂

 

 

 

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Top 5 Homeschool Game Changers

top 5 homeschool game changers pin graphic

There are times in our homeschool classroom in which we have perfect days. Our lessons go exactly as expected, because Miss Bean is happy, cooperative and willing to learn. Of course, those are the best kind of days.

However, there are also the other days where things just seem off. Those days have tears, protests, frowns, and my well thought out lesson plans just don’t seem to do the trick.

What do I do when that happens?

I switch things up and use my homeschool game changers. They usually help to end the frustration and aid Miss Bean in changing her attitude. Most of them are visual, and also give her a little break from having me as her teacher.

homeschool game changers

Here are my top 5 homeschool game changers:

1. Amazon Prime Video and Netflix

Recently, PBS moved most of their shows over to Amazon Prime. If you don’t already have a Prime subscription, I highly recommend it.

Currently, our favorite shows are Peg + Cat and Reading Rainbow. However, there are so many other options available.

They even have yoga and exercise videos. Sometimes, a little deep breathing, stretching, and a wiggle break is all we need for our day take a positive turn.

Also, Netflix has Magic School Bus and Bill Nye The Science Guy episodes. Both are fun ways to learn about how things work.

2. YouTube

There are so many different educational channels on YouTube. Most of the videos are short, which helps to keep Miss Bean’s attention.

A few of our favorites are:

Crash Course Kids

SciShow

MashUp Math

Storyline Online

3. Starfall

This website is one of Miss Bean’s favorites.

We are currently working our way through the reading units together. She likes to try and read each page herself, and then check her work by having it read out loud to her. There are even math games available. Whenever she gets a little independent learning/free time, she loves to play the different songs and interactive games.

Parts of the website are free, and you can also choose to pay a small fee in order to get full access.

4. Pinterest

Honestly, Pinterest is my best friend,

I can find anything that I need there. Seriously, it is a life saver.

It helps me find fun material for my lesson plans, and quick art projects. Miss Bean loves to look through my pins and pick out which experiments or crafts she wants to try next. I try to pin a lot, so feel free to follow me!

5. The Library

homeschool game changers

Sometimes, the day is just not going as planned at all. That’s when a change of scenery is a great solution.

Impromptu field trips to the library are easy, and they are free!

We are quite lucky to have a library within walking distance of our home. Because of this, we can make frequent trips. Sometimes, we even like to make it more of an adventure by visiting the huge library downtown. While there, we enjoy looking for Reading Rainbow books. Also, there are also a ton of easy readers so that we are able to keep lots of variety in our learning to read journey. Miss Bean is always sure to bring a backpack, so that she can bring a few books home with her.

If you haven’t visited in awhile, be sure to check out your local library and give it some love!

Do you have some classroom game changers that have worked well for you? Be sure to share them in the comments.

 

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