Creating a Solid Schedule and Sticking to It

Since last week I talked to you guys about my bullet journal process, I thought I’d share a few tips on setting a schedule. Whether you’re starting a new quarter like I am or you are just picking up where you left off, or if your not in school at all, setting a schedule can be a bit difficult.
While I was in my Fall quarter, a blogger I follow (Sam Brown from the Smart Twenties Blog) had a limited run class about creating a study schedule. And there were several things that I loved that I think can be applied to everyone when creating a schedule.
1. Treat your calendar as if it were set in stone
The first thing that i seem to do when I put my schedule in a calendar is to ignore it and go back to doing whatever it is that I was doing before. Which usually means only taking work and classes seriously. But when I make a point at looking at my schedule constantly, I tend to stick to doing things when I plan to.
2. Make time for things that are important to you
Tt’s really easy to just put in the really important stuff that you have to commit to and not put in the stuff you want to be doing. Putting in fun events makes your calendar look a little nicer and it also gives you something to look forward to.
3. Schedule down time
When I see jam packed calendars I immediately just get tired. Putting in some down time makes getting things done a little easier. Making time for breaks is not going against productivity but a self care practice that we sometimes forget about until we burn out.
Also when working on projects for an extended period of time, try using the Pomodoro technique  in order to promote productivity and to make tasks seem less daunting.
4. Try not to put too many things on a to-do list
This is usually hard for me because I am always remembering the things that i need to do while i am doing other things. Once I put them on a list, I feel pressure to complete it all and I convince myself that I can do it all in one day. The reality is that getting all the boxes checked off is not a reality sometimes. There are bound to be restrictions that limit your ability to get things done. So try not to put so much pressure on yourself. Maybe you can even try using an Eisenhower Box to help figure out what to focus on.

But how do you actually stick to a schedule?

Honestly, I’m still trying to convince myself that getting out of bed is a good idea even though all I want is to stay in bed. What I’m trying to say is that it is all up to you. I don’t have any secret methods to propel you through your day. You have to be able to find things that make you want to keep going. I was told once that we should do the things we love and honestly that can help move you through your day. So make time to do things you love.

If you have any tips on how to stick to your schedule or planning tips comment below! Or share this with someone struggling to get their schedule in order.
-Joss

Making Bullet Journals Simpler

Last but most certainly not least. Bullet journals tend to have really extravagant or creative layouts that look really nice. I get super jealous because who wouldn’t want their own bullet journal to look that nice.
While using tons of washi tape and drawings or super complicated set ups work for some people, I’ve learned that I really like super simple layouts. Most of which are aesthetically pleasing because of the way that they turn out. That happened over time. And one of my favorite things to make bullet journaling a lot simpler are the stamps I’ve purchased by INKYJENG. I promise that I’m not sponsored, I really just love her stamps.
I saw a youtuber using her stickers to set up a future log and when I found her Etsy shop I was so excited to see stamps. Truth be told, I used to scrapbook with my mom and stamps are like my favorite thing. So when I found out that someone was making stamps for bullet journals I got excited. I’ve also bought a stencil from her that I love to use to set up my water tracker.
Another shop that I found to be useful is BohoBerryPaperie. She’s got a youtube channel and a blog that covers tons of different bullet journaling topics. Plus her shop has tons of cute stickers to use in your bullet journal.
Lastly, I was looking for some stencils to use and found Jayden’sApple. It’s another Etsy shop that pretty much has just stencils that fit inside the little pocket in the back of a bullet journal. I’ve been eyeing the 3 piece set for some time now but haven’t pulled the trigger yet.
All of these things make getting things set up in the journal super simple because if you have large handwriting like me, fitting numbers in a small box is not easy. It may be a little more time consuming to put everything together, but I think it’s worth it. Crafting has always allowed me to relax and setting up my bullet journal is a fun way to take a break. So I’m more willing to take the time to stamp things out and to trace things out. This might not be for you and that’t okay.
Take your time to find what you like
-Joss
PS: Check out my Instagram for a final flip through!

Bullet Journaling as a Student

As a student, time seems to be pretty limited. Between classes, homework, meetings and more, it can seem pretty redundant to make a bullet journal. But if we keep things simple, they can be super helpful.
Since I’m using my bullet journal as my planner, I thought that it would be super helpful to put in some spreads to help make keeping track of things super simple.
My first page that I have is going to be a simple sheet that will have all of the important information for the class. It’s blank right now because my classes haven’t started yet, but I’m going to be putting in who the professor is, email, office hours, and class time. I also have a section for the most important dates for the specific class like midterms or essays that are due. The next three pages are going to have a checklist of things that I have to do for that week.
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Old class assignments 
This is the simplest spread that I came up with for keeping track of my classes because at the end of the day I don’t want to keep referencing the syllabus for the readings I have to do. Because if I don’t have it that could make getting work done a littler harder. Also it spreads out all the assignments according to the week they need to be completed. So I have a better understanding of what is going on in my week.
Of course there are other ways to track things for school in your bullet journal. Some Youtubers that I love are Caitlinscorner and planningwithkay. They have different videos with different spreads. Honestly they are super addicting.
Even though bullet journals seems to be really time consuming, they are helpful with helping you remember your assignments. I’m a firm believer that writing things down helps with remembering what you need to do. Hopefully this helps you keep on top of your classes.
-Joss

Bullet Journal Blunders

Before I get into some of the things that I like to do in my bullet journal, I just want to remind you that bullet journals are meant to be imperfect.
I know that sounds crazy, especially because most of the bullet journals we see online are really aesthetically pleasing or really crafty. But none of that is totally necessary and if you watch some youtube videos about bullet journals, most people make mistakes.
Yup, you heard it here folks. People are not 100% perfect when they make their bullet journals. When most people make bullet journals, they sometimes have a second one to plan things out or they find ways to make the page look nice even after the mistake.
Common ways to fix mistakes are:
  • washi tape
  • white out (duh)
  • cutting another page from a similar notebook on top of the one that has the mistake
  • taping or gluing the two pages together
  • doodles
So if you make a mistake, don’t worry and don’t beat yourself up for it. We are always going to make mistakes as long as we are human. If you’re a robot then you might not make mistakes… I know I make mistakes.
What mistakes have you made while making your bullet journal?
-Joss

Bullet Journal Basics

If you’ve ever wanted to try making a bullet journal and looked up  what they are online, they probably seem super overwhelming. I know that when I started, I wanted to make my bullet journal look 100% perfect. Which lead me to not bullet journaling and then because I didn’t like my planner I vowed to make the new bullet journal as simple as possible. And that made a huge difference. I recommend that if you’re interested in starting a bullet journal to check out the official bullet journal website to start.

Otherwise here are the basics:

Key

Bullet journals usually use the same key. But if you rather use another symbol or add symbols of your own, then you totally can. One of the great things of  bullet journals is that it is totally customizable. For a while I used to use a box to signify a task and a dot to signify a note. As long as it make sense to you then it is okay.
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Future Log

 A future log is just a look at the month ahead and any events that are important. I personally like this because I don’t have my months drawn out like in a traditional planner. So this space gives me a chance to have things laid out in advance so that by the time that specifc month rolls around, I can remember what events I have that month.

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Index

I didn’t used to this but now that I have I feel like there is no going back. What’s nice about the index is that you can group together pages that are similar, like spreads for the month. If you number your pages (or if your notebook comes with numbered pages) it makes finding things super easy.

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Monthly Logs

On the main Bullet journal website, this is just a list of the days and space for the events. I personally prefer to look at the month actually laid out in front of me. It makes finding everything and knowing what day of the week everything falls on so much easier.

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Daily log

Some people use one page per day, others use two pages to make a week, or you could use one, or you could use the page as you go. I personally think that finding a daily or weekly log that works for you is a bit of work. But once you find one that works for you, everything is easy from there.
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And that’s pretty much it. These are the basic things that bullet journals have. I didn’t list habit trackers because I don’t think they are absolutely necessary to make a bullet journal work. In the end a bullet journal is supposed to be like a to-do list and planner all in one. So if habit trackers help you do that, then include one. If not, then just stick to what you need.
Do you have any suggestions of what “basics” need to be included in a bullet journal? Let me know! And share this with a friend that you think might need a reminder that bullet journals were supposed to be simple not overwhelming.
-Joss

Bullet Journal Haul

Hey guys!
Since it’s Spring Break season, I thought it would be fun to do a series this week about Bullet Journaling. To kick things off, I’m sharing a list of all the things that I use in my bullet journal.
Before I do that though, I think it’s incredibly important to remind everyone that you don’t necessarily need all of this stuff to make a bullet journal. In fact all you really need is a notebook and a pen. Everything else is just extra. Don’t worry about making the journal pretty. The first step is to find a template that works for you, then you can make it pretty.
Everything that I use now is stuff that I’ve acquired over time and use pretty minimally. Also I am not sponsoring any other the products I am sharing with you today. I genuinely just like these products a lot and like to share them with others.
First let’s start with the notebook:
I personally use a Leuchtturm 1917 because I like the fact that the paper is a bit thicker than a Moleskine. But there are tons of people who use Moleskines more or other notebooks. You don’t even need to use a dotted notebook if you don’t want to. You can choose from a lined, dotted, blank, or even gridded noteboook.
One down side to the Leuchtturm is that some pens and stamps do bleed through. It doesn’t bother me much, but if you know it will bother you find a notebook with a higher GSM or grams per square meter.
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Stamps:
I recently bought two stamp kits from inkbyjeng and have been loving them. Although it is a bit more time consuming to stamp somethings out, I love the fact that all my numbers are the same. Plus I love the fact that when I make mini calendars to look at on my weekly pages, I don’t have to make it myself. It makes it so easy.
Stencils:
The only one I’ve been using a lot it the one I bought from inkbyjeng. It makes putting my water tracker in super simple. I also use it as a straight edge to put in my weekly habit tracker. But I also have this circle one in case I want to do any circular doodles.
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Pens/Markers:
Usually I only use what I have and that used to be just some plain Sharpie highlighters, my box of Crayola markers and a pen. But I recently bought some Zebra Midliners and Tombow dual brush pens. I primarily use my midliners to bring some color to the page since they don’t bleed as much in my Leuchtturm. And I intended to use my Tombow brush pens to create nice titles, but I still need to work on my hand lettering. As for the pen I use, I just use whatever I have on me since I’m not too picky about what pen I use.
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And that is all I pretty much use when I am Bullet Journaling. Make sure to follow my blog so you can get updates about the latest post, especially since this is a special week. Also, if you think someone would benefit from this blog, or even this week of posts, share it.
Tell me, what do you use when you’re bullet journaling?
I can’t wait to hear about what you use
-Joss

My First 5k!

This St. Patrick’s day weekend, I had the awesome experience of going to a 5k. While most people over 21 would not see a 5k as a celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, it was something I would not forget.
Back in January, I made a decision to take my health more seriously. And what better way to motivate myself to train than to sign up for a 5k?
January was off to a good start, until I got into the thick of school and Mother Nature paid a visit. That derailed me for about a week or so. Which turned into almost all of February.
Once March rolled around, I thought all I need to do is just make sure I run a few times before the race so that I make it through. And I told myself, after talking to one of my sorority sisters, that I could finish the 5k in an hour.  Did I run/jog/walk leading up to the 5k? No. Did I still think I could do it in an hour? Yes.
So on Saturday, March 17th I woke up at 4:30 am ready to get to the 5k. Luckily, my mom and brother came along with me for support. Shout out to them for coming with me so early in the morning. I didn’t eat that morning and in hindsight maybe I should have had something more sold. Not that anything bad happened to me physically, but food is the body’s energy source.
We arrived at Dodger Stadium around d 6:20 am and after waiting for a while in our very warm car, we went to check in.
From that moment on, the 5k became real. I was so excited to get out onto the course and just be with everyone. So this led me to checking my phone every 10 minutes to see if I was getting any closer to the race starting at 8am.
Leading up to the start, the energy just climbed. At 6:45 am, the energy level was at a solid 6 or 7. But by the time it was less than ten minutes to start, the energy level was at a ten. I was so pumped to go out to the course by then.
Then the race started and I sent through the hills around Dodger Stadium, finishing out the 3 miles in an hour and three minutes. Which means I did exactly what I wanted to do.
In case you do want to run a 5k, here are some things I recommend:
  1. Train: Even if it is walking around the neighborhood. Eventually add more and more miles so that on the day of, you actually can make it all the way.
  2. Know your location: I should have been doing a lot of stair master workouts because those hills killed my legs. That would have been a great help to the whole event .
  3. Have game plan for the run: I honestly did not think that I would need to make a game plan but I’m glad I did. I figured out that if I were to get bored of the podcast I was going to listen to, I could run to some electronic music to keep me going. Luckily I only needed the podcast to keep me going. Also having water in the car for after is great.
  4. Enjoy: this is such a fun thing to do and it made me want to start running again. Which means that I 100% need to train for the next one
Even though I did not run the whole 5k or even one mile, I felt so good just being part of something so fun like that. And I look forward to doing it again. But this time with more running under my belt. All in all, the morning was so much fun and I totally recommend that everyone do a 5k race. It was full of moments where I had to tell and convince myself to do something I didn’t particularly like. Turns out, I actually listen.
-Joss