How Can This Be Me? | Year of Yes

Most people that know me would never in a million years describe me as introverted.  I rarely if ever have a problem standing up and speaking up in public, I don’t have children, and as far as I know I don’t have one let alone two Emmy award-winning television shows on any major network or even a syndicated one.  So can someone please explain to me why Shonda Rhimes book “Year of Yes” is speaking directly to my soul?  And let me tell you that I am not liking it one bit.

It is really strange when something holds a mirror up to your face and forces you to confront things that you have carefully swept under the rug in a steel lined and chastity belt locked room.  You realized that maybe you aren’t as happy as you thought.  Maybe you have just been keeping your carefully crafted smile in place so that no one really looks to close; including yourself.

I have a cousin that sees herself in absolutely everything that she watches.  Loner art student that just got her heart broken by the musician that is going away to pursue his dreams, physical therapist who falls for the wrong guy and has to rebuild her life, man who just lost both his legs and is struggling to learn to walk again.  All of them will have her screaming “Why is this my life?”.  I have never been that person.  Sure I can relate to characters that I have things in common with but I don’t see myself or my life in too much of anything I read or watch.

Yet Shonda, I feel like we need to be on a first name basis…she is after all cutting into my heart, has become my twin.  We might be fraternal but we are twins none the less.  From chapter one and definitely chapter two she has forced me to confront somethings that while I might have known on the periphery of my mind I didn’t want to look to close to and I’m not even halfway through this book.  This actually was suppose to be a post about ways to start getting ready for the new year and yet.

I had decided to go ahead and read this book because it has been on my “need to read” list for quite some time but for some reason I kept putting it off.  Now after starting it I think that subconsciously I knew that it would be life changing.  Still I decided to dive in as I start to really think about how I want to end the year and start setting my goals for 2018.

I normally take a few months to really reflect on how the year has gone, what is ahead, and what changes I would like to make.  Am I great and sticking to what I set before me?  Depends on the day but when I write down a goal it is well thought out and absolutely something of importance to me.

Now I’m sitting here reading this book and I’m rethinking so much about my life, about my goals, about who I am.  How did that happen?  I tell you Shonda and I are in a gladiator match for the ages right now.  Part of me wants to put this book down and move on with one of the others on my list but it’s become that huge scab on your arm that you know you shouldn’t pick at but you just can’t stop.  It’s my own personal chicken poxs and I’m scratching all up in this piece.  Besides one of my favorite quotes is “Everything you want is on the other side of fear”.  How can I stop just because I can’t take the chance that I will be inspired to change things in my life and that is as scary as stepping on a scale after finishing a pan of double chocolate frosted brownies.

If you are looking for a book that might or might not have you grabbing for the Merlot and wishing you had just read the new Stephen King book instead then I highly recommend this one.  It could go down hill from here (I’m still in the middle of chapter 5) but somehow I just don’t think the queen of Thursday night drama is coming with anything other than a “How to Get Away With Murder” wig pulled off, one tear down the check, WTF  type of ending that is sure to drop a bomb of knowledge.  I could be wrong but if you have ever watched one of her finales then you wouldn’t question my logic.

I’ll see you at the end.

Productivity…It’s My New Dirty Word

It is amazing how as you grow up things that were said to you as a child can still haunt you. Words said as a joke or just off the cuff stay with you sometime even when you think they don’t. You know there was no harm meant and that the person that said it probably doesn’t even remember it but deep down, acknowledged or not, you do. For me that word was lazy and it wasn’t until I started taking a long look at my relationship with productivity that I really started to understand just how that word as affected me all these years.

You would think someone that is all about being productive and using your planner in a functional manner wouldn’t have a problem with productivity but alas I do. I don’t have a problem with getting things done but more with the idea that it’s never enough. It doesn’t matter how much I get done in a day or if I check off everything on my to-do list I still have this feeling that I didn’t do everything I should have and god forbid I get sick or have to take a day off. You might as well bring in the wine cause I’m going down in a blaze of glory.

The thing is that I know that I’m not lazy. Can I be lazy? Of course but so can most people. However, I know that when given a task I can complete it and I have never had a complaint about my work ethic on any job I have ever had. In fact most of my reviews have said that I go above and beyond. Yet now that I have my own business and I set my own hours it’s like if I don’t put in an eighteen hour day then I feel like I’m not being productive.

I love to read, always have. As a business owner I feel like it is part of my job to keep up with the trends and new information about my field. This requires reading books and blogs and websites galore but if I take more than an hour to read anything in a day I start to get that you aren’t being productive itch or even worse the word lazy dances around in my head like it’s doing the macarana to it’s own special beat. Which leads to the question of why? Why am I so hard on myself about having a “productive” day and the thing is that I know I’m not the only one.

How many times do we as women, wives, mother’s, business owner, and friends feel like we haven’t done enough? It’s like you can work a full day, put food on the table, do the laundry, all your mommy duties and wife duties but when you lay down I can bet there are so many of you that are thinking “did I do enough?”. It’s really a never ending cycle but I don’t think it is just a woman thing.

My cousin and I use to say that we were off to be a “productive member of society” almost all the time that we headed off to work. In our minds being productive meant that we were earning a money for a hard days work but is that really the only way to be a productive member of society?

Both Ghandi and Mother Teresa didn’t go off to the grindstone every day putting in hours of “the man” yet I don’t think there is anyone around that wouldn’t agree they did so much for our society and the world. Martin Luther King Jr. stayed in other people’s homes most of the time that he traveled and again I would argue that he was quite productive in his fight for civil rights. Who says that you need to be working or earning money each and every day of your life. I mean even God rested on the seventh day.

I think for me it is a matter of changing how I look at the word productivity as well as laziness. Sure it is okay to take time to care for yourself and to do absolutely nothing. Matter of fact, I recommend it from time to time. It is also important to be productive. To work hard and earn what you need for yourself and your family but it’s when we get to the point where it’s all we can think about that I think we need to step back.

While listening to a workshop the other day I head two words that really resonated with me, accomplishment and follow through. For me going forward I am going to not be looking so much at if I had a productive day but more if I accomplished what I needed to do and followed through on what is important. Because when it is all said and done, that is the most lasting part. Not how much you made or how many things you could do but that you left a legacy of how you did what was important and the grace you showed while accomplishing it.

Have you found yourself going down the productivity spiral? Do you push yourself too hard to get too many things done? Have you found your own way of coping with your own issues around pushing yourself to hard? Keep the conversation going by leaving a comment below.

Movie Club | THE LEGEND OF TARZAN

*I am going to try to do this without any spoilers begin dropped in or at least letting you know when they are coming so be on the look out for “Spoiler Alert” tags.

Hello my planner peeps.  I know that this isn’t really planner related but who doesn’t like a good movie and I’ve recently decided that I am going to start a movie club for us lovely folks so that we can enjoy cinema to our hearts content.  Think of a book club but switch the book for a movie and we are in business.

Once a month I will be hosting a live chat on YouTube to discuss the movie and to share my insights and most importantly to get yours.  This month however, I am kicking this off with a simple review of our first movie: The Legend of Tarzan (2016).

I probably should start by telling you that I went into this with very low expectations.  In fact I think I told someone I was going to watch it because I was tired and if I happen to fall asleep while watching I didn’t think I would be mad.  Let me tell you how wrong I was.

To start off I did find it a little confusing.  Like most when I think of Tarzan I think jungle and gorillas, although I had to Google whether they were suppose to be gorillas or apes, and Africa setting.  While the movie does start in Africa and the majority of it takes place there the timing of the beginning and a short view of Tarzan’s life in England threw me off.  I guess when you give something a title like “the legend of…” I expect it to be more of an origin movie then it started out to be even though you do get some sense of his origins later on.

SPOILER ALERT: The story starts with Leon Rom (played wonderfully by Christoph Waltz) heading into the heart of Africa in search of diamonds.  He is met by a tribe of men that ask for one thing in order to share their diamonds and that is Tarzan.  From there we are whisked to England where you see Tarzan as John (Alexander Skarsgård of True Blood fame) being invited on a tour of Africa and really not willing to return.  Enter Samuel L. Jackson’s character George Washington Williams who talks him into returning and Jane (Margot Robbie) who insist on returning with him.

Once they are in Africa to me is when the real story begins.  While it was interesting to see Tarzan as a member of society and to know that he could transition from “jungle man” to lord of the manor I didn’t understand the reluctance to return until we really got into the story.

For me I think the director David Yates, who also did a number of the Harry Potter films, did something that captured my attention more than the action.  He went for the relationships between Tarzan and almost everyone in the film.  I found the love and trust that you could feel between Tarzan and Jane to be quite beautiful and the growing respect between Tarzan and George humorous and well paced.  Yet I think the relationship I found most enjoyable was the one between Tarzan and the animals especially his gorilla brother.

Yes we know that Tarzan is suppose to have this wonderful connection to the animals of the jungle and be able to speak to them but it isn’t over done in this story.  It is in those subtle moments that Alexander does such a wonderful job of conveying emotion without going overboard.  Not to mention the way he explains the rift between him and his brother and how it is resolved.  If only humans could move on so quickly; if not as violently.  Also I don’t know who did the animation or CGI for the gorillas but it was spot on.  They were completely realistic and I started to wonder if they might have used humans to do the movements and then added the animals over their moves.

Overall, I really was pleasantly surprised.  I would have loved more flashback scenes to really show more of the history and origins of Tarzan and more so of how his relationship with Jane developed but maybe they are saving that for a sequel (isn’t there always a sequel).

I do have to call out Christoph Waltz because once again he delivered a character that you really couldn’t help but dislike.  It actually started me wondering if he has ever played a character that was really nice or was lovable and I don’t think he has.  Here again I found myself just waiting for him to get what was coming to him and excited when it happened.

Another performance I have to mention is Margot Robbie.  I love that she brought a love and strength to Jane.  This was definitely no damsel in distress.  There is even a part where Rom tells her that he wants her to scream and she mockingly looks at him and says, “like a damsel” and them keeps her mouth shut.  Still her unwavering faith that Tarzan with come for her is so powerful and deep that even though you know from a story standpoint he will you also believe it on an emotional one too.

In the end I would give this 3.5 out of 5 popcorn’s and would obviously recommend it even though I have heard that it hasn’t always received the best reviews.

Our movie for next month is: Heart of the Sea.  Be sure to check it out and if you are interested in being on the YouTube chat then join our Facebook group, The Planology Club, or like my Facebook Page where I will be sharing all the information

**All images are from Google and used with deep gratitude.  All copyrights are subjected to their rules and guidelines.

Have you seen Legend of Tarzan? What were your thoughts and how many popcorn’s would you give it?  Share your review in the comments below.

10 Ways to Take Your RAKS Into the Real World

It’s Valentine’s day and while it would be great to spend the whole day in bed being pampered by that hot guy that dreamed about last night and eating your weight in chocolate, most of us actually have to get up and be productive.

Sure it is a commercialized day of love and candy and I do hope you get your share of both but there are so many people out there that will spend today wishing it was February 15th.  Why not show them some love as well.  Yes it is great when your sweetheart, kids, significant other, etc showers you with kindness but why not pass it on.  As the saying goes, “It’s better to give…”

As planners we love to go into the community and bless others with extra stickers, washi, post-it’s and happy mail.  We share every time that lovely package arrives in the mail but what about those around you in your real life.  Do you ever share with them as freely as you share with those from around the world?  Here are some ideas to bring your Random Acts of Kindness into your real world and make some of the people around you smile.

  1. Bake some sweets for your child’s class or the break room at work.  We all love a good sweet and what better way to make someone’s day then with a surprise treat.  You don’t have to do it on Valentine’s day but just a day when you think everyone might need a pick me up.  Not a baker?  Try bringing in donuts or cookies.
  2. Do a little yard work for your neighbor.  True story.  My uncle went to cut my aunt’s grass one day and accidentally cut her neighbors cause he couldn’t remember which house it was.  Now while the rest of the family teased him mercilessly for not knowing where is sister lived you know who thought he was the best thing since sliced bread?  That would be the neighbor.  Sometimes it night to do a little extra for those around us.  Maybe shovel their driveway or offer to pick up their mail when they go out of town.  Not only will you help them out but you might make a new friend.
  3. Send a random person a card.  We all know someone that seems to always be having a hard time.  Even if you don’t I’m sure there is someone that you could find that might need a little pick me up.  Why not send them a card to brighten their day.  You could even make some little note cards and when you are out and about leave one on a few cars just to wish others a wonderful day.
  4. Volunteer at a nursing home, church, shelter, etc.  This is an oldie but always needed.  So often we turn a blind eye to those that need help the most but we shouldn’t.  My church does an outreach program where they take toiletries into the homeless areas to help as much as possible.  We do pictures for events at nursing homes.  I offer my photography services to military families separated during the holidays.  Don’t be afraid to reach out these places and share your time.  Sometimes that your most precious gift.
  5. Offer to babysit for a friend or family member so they can have a date night or just some time to themselves.  I don’t have children myself but I have friends and family that do and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how excited they get for a night off yet some of them can’t afford to hire a babysitter too often.  Offering your services gives them piece of mind with someone they know and trust as well as not having to worry about the hit to the budget.  I have one friend whose family rotates who watches the kids every month so that the mom’s and dad’s can have a night to just enjoy being free.
  6. Write a hand-written letter to an old friend.  My cousin and I use to write each other letters all the time.  Yet with cellphones, email, Facebook and so forth we barely keep in contact even though we have so many more options then before.  Why not take it back to old school and pull out your paper and pen and drop a note to someone that you haven’t really talked to in awhile but would love to catch up with.  It’s such a keepsake and a wonderful way to communicate and it’s an art that we are loosing.  Let’s bring it back.
  7. Plan a girl’s day so you can have fun and reminisce.  Can you say par-tay!!  I don’t know about you but when me and my girlfriends get together it is hours of laughs, jokes, and stories that stay with you for days.  It’s refreshing and it brings you back to why we need those friends that know us sometimes better than we know ourselves.  Plan a potluck or night in or just some time to really connect with those lovely ladies and don’t forget the drinks.
  8. Help someone out in the store.  I was in the store one time and this woman had a question about flour.  She was baking for the first time and wasn’t sure about the difference between cake flour and regular flour.  It was a simple thing to answer but I’m sure that it helped her.  If you see someone struggling to get something off the top shelf give them a hand.  If you have the means pay for part groceries of the person behind you.  You could even cover someone’s dinner when you go out or their movie ticket.
  9. Read to children at schools, libraries, or bookstores.  I absolutely love to read!  It is one of my favorite pastimes and I truly believe it’s the best way to open up children’s imagination and let them believe they can accomplish anything.  However, there are so many reading programs that are being cut due to lack of funding.  The same is true of art program across the country.  If you have these skills this is a wonderful way to give into the next generation.  To show them that imagination and fun go hand in hand and to give them a gift that will keep on giving.
  10. Give someone a ride to work, running errands, church.  Believe it or not, my godmother never drove a day in her life.  Neither I believe did my grandmother.  They were of an older generation where women just didn’t drive.  While that statistic is few and far between now that doesn’t mean that their aren’t still people that don’t drive in our country.  What about someone that just had surgery or is home bound?  Running errands for them when you are already going out would be easy for you and such a help for them.

And a bonus one:

Organize a garage sale, bake sale, book drive and give all the proceeds to charity.  We all have things we could easily get rid of and how many time to we all say we need to have a garage sale.  How about getting together with some family and friends and making it happen but this time giving to your favorite charity.  People are more inclined to spend a little extra if they think the money is going to a good cause and it’s a wonderful way to raise awareness for a cause that might not get the spotlight that it needs.

These are just a few ideas but there are ways to share kindness all around us.  A small word, a easy task, a giving heart.  These things will have you being a blessing to those around not only on Valentines but every day of the year.

How do you show kindness to others in your life?  Do you have any tips to add to this list?  Keep the conversation going in the comments section below.

The Number One Reason I Decided to Create My Own Inserts

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With so many planners and planner inserts out there is there ever really a reason to create your own? I think that depends.

Sure you can go from planner to planner or from insert to insert but that doesn’t mean that you will achieve that allusive “planner peace” we are all searching for simply because you picked up a prettier insert than the last.

I know that this may sound a little counter productive since I happen to have a line of planner inserts that I sell but the reason why I designed the inserts that I did was so that they give you a freedom that I didn’t feel was there in most of the other planner inserts that I had found.

For me there was always something missing with the planners and inserts that I was finding. I couldn’t put my finger on it but I knew that I wasn’t getting what I needed from them. I would find myself searching in every office store I walked in for something different or spending hours on Etsy trying to find a layout that really spoke to me. I was like that new Tinder member searching and hoping to find Denzel, Chris, or Liam waiting just for me. I wanted that one insert that said “I’ll work exactly like you need”.

Part of the problem was that I had worked for a planner company before and I absolutely loved their planners. They worked for me in every sense of the word. Did I have complete and total planner peace? Was I running through the mountains with my planner clutched tightly to my chest singing “the hills are alive with the sound of music”? Not quite but I was going most everywhere with my planner in my purse feeling confident that I was on track and and on schedule. That is the same thing right?

So the number one reason that I decided to buckle down, fight with my graphics program, and do the dang thing myself was for the freedom to make it completely personal.

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Just about every planner or inserts claims that you can personalize your page and to some extent that is true. You can add the stickers that work the best for you, you can doodle or bullet journal your way through each day, or you can just washi the whole page and call it good. Whatever floats your boat. However, when you sit down and design each page you get to think about what you really need. For me I went through all my old planners that I could get my hands on and I looked not just at what I thought made each one work well but what I used most. Then I was able to figure out if I wanted those items in my inserts or if they were really necessary.

Let me tell you that there is a certain mad scientist high you get when you are Frankenstein-ing your way into planner oblivion. At first you feel like you can add everything and then you have to stop and get real. You find yourself fist pumping the air like a bad 80’s movie character when you get something to work and you get that Flashdance excitement when you finally get it done.

Now I just want to say for the record that I am not advising every single person to create their own planner. First off, it is a lot of hard work and if you are like me a few sleepless nights and at the end you still may not like what you have created. You could start to use it and figure out that something still isn’t right. So if you decide to go down this road then you have to be prepared for how it plays out.

The reason I am sharing my story with you is because I understand that some people might be nervous to give it a go. Some of you have wanted to put together your own planner for quite sometime but feel like maybe that isn’t something you could do or that no one would understand creating your own because there are so many already out there. Maybe you already own two or three of any of the popular planners and it just seems wasteful to do something like this. I want to let you know that it’s not.

If you feel like you could create something that can keep you on track, help you organize your life better and give you the freedom to plan as you like then I say go for it. Planning is about you. It is about what works best for your life and whatever might be needed. So if you are worried that you can’t then I am here to tell you that you can and I for one can’t wait to see what you come up with.

As always let’s keep the conversation going. If you have any questions are motivational stories about your planner journey be sure to share them below.

I Just Shh-ed a Big One – Why You Shouldn’t Keep Quite

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You ever had someone complement you and it made you feel sick.  Not sick like “you might throw up on them at any moment” sick but like hit you in the gut with a twelve pound bowling ball sick?  If your answer was yes then you will understand my day.

Let me set the stage for you.  I was a a bi-weekly meeting for a group that I am a part of.  A group that on quite a few occasions happens to call me on my BS without even knowing it and this time was no exception except for how hard it hit.  So one of the ladies was talking about procrastinating a lot and how time management is a challenge for her.  That was when my mouth opened and without thinking or the other peoples knowledge my foot hopped right into it.

See it’s not that I was giving bad advice or talking out the side of my neck as a friend used to say (in other words talking crazy) and it’s not like I haven’t studied time management or use to work for a major planner and time management company.  I have done these things and I knew that I was giving great advice and tools that could really help her.  No, the Miley Cyrus wrecking ball moment came after when another member complimented me by telling how good I was at goal planning.  Again while this is true, did I not just open up about my planner woes?  She could have run me a salt bath and thrown me in and it wouldn’t have stung as much.

Talk about being called out.  I should have stood up right then and said, “my name is Tiffany and I too am a procrastinator”.  I should have acknowledged my own struggles and why I have pushed to understand time management so hard but no I sat there feeling like I had just swam through a mud wrestlers practice ring and couldn’t find a shower.  It plagued me for the rest of the day.  Sure I tried putting it out of my head and going on with my day.  I tried to be productive.  However, I found myself later that night on a Netflix binge and telling myself I could finish my work tomorrow.  I fell back into my own personal ring of fire.

Why do we do that?  Why do we let one comment take us down?  Why don’t we speak up and share our own struggles?  I know personally that whenever I have shared from the heart or the crazy parts of my life I have gotten more praise and connectivity then when I have tried to act like everything is alright.  I always speak about how as a society the only thing we love more than watching a public figure fall is watching them get back up.  The Phoenix rising from the ashes syndrome I like to call it.  It tells us that if they can change and come back so can we.

Not to mention, that I know for myself I learn more about myself when I struggle than when everything is going great.  Usually when things are going great I tend to coast and punish aside some of the lessons I learned before when they weren’t so good.  That is why we share the good and the bad.  It doesn’t help anyone to always act like you have everything together.  Who wants advice from someone that has never had a bad day their entire life.  We need real people to say “look it’s hard but I did it and you can too”.  Chances are that in that moment I could have helped more by admitting that I still struggle with procrastination and that lately I have been cracking open a pint of Ben and Jerry’s when I look at my goals that I set at the beginning of the year because I feel so far behind.  Yet I keep pushing and when I have a day where my butt glues itself to the couch I just work harder the next.  Those are the real moments that help.  That is the advice that needs to be told and the lessons that should be shared.

So next time you or I find ourselves in a moment where we have a choice of sharing what sounds good and what really speaks to the heart of a person I hope we both speak from the heart.  That we share our triumphs but more importantly our struggles.  Let us all rise from the ashes together.

Have you ever found yourself in a similar position?  Which route did you take?  Let’s keep the conversation going below by leaving a comment.

It’s a Little Early but Happy St. Patrick’s Day – Giveaway

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It’s the luck of the Irish calling and you bet your lucky charms that I have a little something special for you this month.  This is just a little something to brighten up your month and get you in that holiday spirit.  So I hope you like it.

While this months is open to everyone I just want you to be aware that next month’s giveaway will only be exclusive to those that have signed up for the newsletter.  So if you are interested then be sure to sign up in the column on the right so you don’t miss out.

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Like last month I am in love with this set and have been chopping at the bit to get in my planner and get it set.  However, I have decided to wait until the week of St. Patrick’s Day to actually design this so if you want to see it in my planner then follow my Instagram (@planology).  While you’re there be sure to leave a little love tool

With that said, enjoy and be sure to share with your friends and other planner addicts around the way.

The More the Merrier – Tips for All Your Extra Pages

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If you are a user of the Happy Planner then you have been waiting on baited breath for the new planners that they have been teasing us with all 2016.  I mean really.  Did they need to Periscope and Instagram every last one of the new planners before we could even touch them?  It has been months of anticipation and finally they are set to be in stores within the week.  Yet with each one being eighteen months and most of us still using our planners we already have that leaves six months of pages to figure out something to do with.  What is a planner girl to do?

It seems like more often than not these days when I get into my planner Facebook groups someone is asking for ideas of what to do with all these extra pages and like everyone else I am curious as well.  So I decided to do some brain storming and see if I could come up with some ideas as to what might work the best for my sensibilities.

  1. Create an art journal where you can test out new pens and new styles of writing.  We all love our pens but sometimes we aren’t sure if they will bleed through or if the new hand lettering that we learned will fit in the boxes.  Take those wonderful extra pages and create, draw, and letter to your hearts content.  This way you will know exactly which pens work the best and which styles you can’t wait to try.
  2. Test out new layouts and ideas for the future.  This one almost seems like a bad idea to me but it is still worth exploring.  Between all the kits, stickers, stamps and washi that we all have sometimes we have more than we could ever use for one month let alone one holiday.  If we use those pages as a way to get fresh ideas for how to layout our planner then we can be more productive during our normal weeks and have a better sense of what works and what doesn’t
  3. Start journaling your life.  With a few changes to dates and a weekly sticker to cover up the calendar no one will ever know what the original date on those pages were.  This way you can journal about your day, your bible readings, your kid’s classes, or just your life.  Take those pages and set up the best way for you to write about what is going on with you.  If you aren’t sure about writing and art isn’t your thing then you can always add pictures of the day or the week and use it as a really basic project life album.
  4. Create a new planner.  If you are one of those that buy multiple planners than you might have enough left over pages to create one or more new planners.  Again all you would need is to add in some date cover ups and a weekly sticker to cover the month at the top of each week and you are set.  I personally think this would make a wonderful present for a high schooler or college student that needs to track their classes and activities but doesn’t have the money to go out and purchase one of their own.
  5. Money or Spending tracker.  You might want to cover those dates again but this would be a great way to keep tabs on what you are spending and budget out what you would like to save.  You could also use it as a tracker for cleaning, errands, to-do list, or grocery list.  Matter of fact that list could go on and on depending on what you like to keep a running count of in your life.

These are just a few little ideas that might help you as you plan out which planner you are going to pick up and what you might want to do with the rest of pages you will have left over.

Did one of these ideas inspire you?  Do you have other tips that have worked for you in the past or something that you are dying to try this year?  Share them below and let’s keep the conversation going.

Back to Basics – Planner Edition

Back to Basics Notebook

Back to basics is a phrase that people use quite often.  It’s a way of expressing a return to the beginning of something or maybe where you feel you were your best.  Most often when people say it they don’t really have a time or a situation in mind but more a generalization of where they would like to start.  In that respect I might be the only odd ball in the bag.  When I say it I tend to know exactly what and where I want to go back to and for me that is usually the drawing board, the beginning of the beginning.

See to me, if things were going so great or if you really liked where you were headed then you probably wouldn’t feel the need to go back.  Therefore if you feel that you need a change maybe you need to look at the foundation first before building on already shaky ground.  For me that conversation came around and hit me right smack dab between the eyes last week.  However, before I get into that I want to make a little disclaimer:

This is an open and safe space and I intend to be completely and unashamedly honest about life, love, planner peace and the reality of who I am.  In doing so I ask that you do me the courtesy of being completely honest about yourself, your struggles and who you are.  I want us to be real here and offer each other understanding, grace, and a soft shoulder to lean on.  We are on the REALLY REAL here and if that it to much for you then we understand.  It’s a hard road but I believe it is worth the journey.

Okay now back to our scheduled programing.

Last week I hit a crisis of everything.  I had poured so much of my heart and time into this blog, this shop, this project and after it launched I found myself in free fall.  I had so many things I wanted to do and say but I couldn’t figure out how to say them.  I had subscribers for the first time in anything I have ever published on a blog and while excited I became terrified and that was when the doubt set in.

I’m sure you can relate.  That voice inside that tells you that you can’t do this.  That you are going to fail and that you were crazy to take on such a huge dream.  You start to question everything that you are thinking and you wonder what to do now.  Yes that was my week which lead to a complete and total Netflix binge and a half empty planner.  Then in an effort to “look good now that I have a planner blog” I started to write in things but realized that just made the feeling worse because I couldn’t think of what to write in.  There was nothing to share.

Planology Images (16 of 2)

So after eating more cupcakes than I want to admit (but it might have been enough to feed a little kids birthday party) I decided that I need to sit down and really think.  I shut off the television, I turned off the noise, and I just asked for guidance.  Now whether you are a person of faith or not, let me tell you that in my life I know that when I ask I receive.  It may not always be what I want but I do receive and today that blessing came.

I have a goal to read 24 books this year and to say that I am off to a sad and pathetic start would be completely true.  Yet recently I started a new book and as I was reading there was a line about time being our most precious asset and everything came flooding at me.  This was my answer and I had to share it.

When I first got back into the planner community it was because I felt like I needed something to help me manage my time better.  As an entrepreneur I felt like I was letting too many things slip through the cracks and as a person I felt completely overwhelmed by life.  I’m sure you guys have been there and it might be why you picked up a planner too.

However, as I dove further and further into the plan with me videos, Facebook groups, and Etsy shops I lost some focus.  I started striving for the prettiest planner and the coolest layouts and for my spreads to look just like everyone else’s.  I stopped worrying if it was functional and started worrying if it would look good on Instagram.  I lost sight of the beginning, I lost sight of me.

Yet as I read that line and I realized that here I was with not only a wonderful tool to help me shape, share, and cherish my time but also an amazing opportunity to share that with the planner community my mind opened up like a brand new water pump and ideas started flowing again.  I felt like Elle Woods in Legally Blonde 2.  I had found my voice!

So with that in mind, when I say I am going back to basics I mean that I am going back to pens, paper, and my dream and I am moving forward into my most cherished asset.

That doesn’t mean that everything will be changing around here only that it will be enhanced by what has taken root in my mind and in my heart and I hope soon it will be able to touch your heart too.

 

Let’s Change the World…To Soon?

Who starts off a blog talking about changing the world?  This crazy girl right here.

Alright so maybe I’m not looking to turn into Pinky or the Brain no matter how much I love the color or the show but I thought it was a great way to get this started.  And what are we starting over here?  A community, a support group, a journey, a team of planner avengers (you think we could get costumes?), or at the very least a place to share the struggle to find the right washi for that new spread you just bought, downloaded or designed.  It’s real y’all, that struggle is REAL.

Anyway, as the song says, let’s get it started in here…

Simply put I just wanted to share where I would love for this space to grow.  I figured I would give you the overview, the idea, the five cent tour of my mind if you like and let you know what to expect.

As we are just getting started there is plenty of room to grow and LOTS of room for ideas.  Which means if I am missing something that you would love to see on here then by all means leave it down below.  I want to know what you think because as I have said before and will say again this is about us as a community.  So let’s jump into it.

First off, let’s just get the elephant out of the room.  Yes there is a shop here and yes there will be stickers for sale.  It’s there because I love that designing stickers gives me a space to be creative and I think they are pretty good.  If you’re interested you are welcome to browse, recommend, or purchase and if you’re not then please don’t be put off by it.  Stay and have fun with us.  You know you wanna.  All the cool kids are doing it :).

Moving on, here is what you can expect.  We are going to be talking about planners from the bottom to the top; “started from the bottom now we here”.  Yes that was done in my Drake voice and yes you should be glad that you couldn’t hear it.

Anyhoo, with PlannerU we are going to be talking about everything from what is planner peace to how to find the right planner for you to what is decorative planning.  Who knows by this time next year we could all have our PH.D.’s in the art of planning.

Also, I want to see what you’re working with.  We are going to have a space where you can submit your favorite spreads just cause or to give others inspiration.  At some point there might even be a give away *bites nails excitedly*.

Since in my opinion, nothing’s every really done without a good quote, I will be scouring the WORLD (or at least the world wide web) to bring you the best in quotes that you can add to your planner or just post around the office.

That is just a sneak peek of what I hope to bring to this blog.

With that said let’s kick this thing off with you joining in the conversation.  If there is something that you feel you would love to see added to the list here then leave a comment down below.  I can’t wait to hear from you.

“You can succeed alone but it is so much more fun when there is someone to share it with.”