Search this blog

Are you looking for a pattern? Just type the name of the character and let Google find it for you ;)

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Journal and planning: Mid-year review

Instead of sharing my June planning/journaling pages (which by now are very similar to previous months), I thought it would be a good idea to share with you the fantastic benefit of the daily practice of journaling/planning!!

This was my evolution:

Lesson learned:

  1. writing things down (todo, tasks, etc) makes a HUGE difference in getting things done... it may sound counterintuitive, but the more time I spend planning, decorating and sketching in my journal, the faster and more efficient I am when I am actually doing the tasks I wrote down! Probably is because my brain already processed the activity so I don't need to think about it, I just do it!
  2. the only way to improve is to do something over and over again: there are pages that are decorated in a way I don't like... well, I turn the page and move on. There are so many beautiful talented people that share their creation... I don't need to be like them, I can be inspired by them and learn from them... but the important thing is to keep doing it!

One of my words for the year was "Habit". Every month I wanted to focus on building specific habits. And here is where my journal changed my life.
From flossing my teeths, to cleaning the fridge, to doodling, to cleaning my scrap bin, to reading all these activities were added in my planner (as daily, weekly or monthly activities). It's not that I wasn't doing them before :) but I was not consistent... by building these activity into the structure of the planned day/week/month I am now doing all those (and more) without even thinking about them! That's the power of habits!

I also started cooking (more)... again, I was cooking before :)
I am actually quite a good cook and I bake great cookies and cakes too... the "problem" is that I do it only for "special events" so when I have to think "what should I have for dinner" I default on boring things :) so, thanks to the "Weekly specials" section in my planner I tested 36 completely new dishes in 4 months!! :) :) some of them ended up amazing... some a complete disaster, never to try again :)
But now I have some more tested dishes that I will add to my regular rotation and my meals will be less boring!! :)
The point is, I just needed some motivation and structure! so including 2 new dishes a week was duable and fun!

I started learning more about female artists!
As part of my monthly spreads, I have my "Doodle an Artist", where I pick one artist and draw/doodle pieces of their work in my planner. This year I will be exploring female artists because women were not included in my art history classes :( :( :(
I learned about Kara Walker, Yayoi Kusama, Beverly Fishman, Kesley Montague and MadC. I am exploring now Agnes Martin.
It's not in depth research, it's just an activity to open my eyes to artists out there! :)

I also started reading again!! I have a "reading list" where I track the books I read... just setting up that last month reinitiated me to the pleasure of reading paper books... in 2 months I already finished 4 books (which is not much considering that I was reading about 200 books a year during highschool... but it's better than the 0 paper books a months that I have been doing in the past few years :) ) 

And last, but not least, I am getting extra money! :) :)
By watching youtube videos about DIY planner covers I discovered channels that I started following. On one of those channels, the host mentioned an app (Ibotta) that gives you cash back for purchases you make (grocery and much more). I heard about these apps, but I don't have time for coupons and other things like that so I never explored that. This sounded simple enough and I tried it. In 4 months I got about 70 dollars of cash back (that are sent to the paypal I use to buy crafty things :) :) ). Not bad for very few and easy steps! The app has also ways to earn more money if you connect to your friends on FB but I will never do that (I am super suspicious of apps that want to get too much information from me... why do you need to know my friends to give me 50 cents cash back for my tomatoes purchase???? :) )
Anyway, here the lesson is: you never know what you will learn when you explore more about the world around you, so by learning about planning, you may earn extra money :)

I am all set up for July: I moved to another journal and I love the new one! I will share all about her next month :)

If you have any question about my planner, my spreads, my comments, etc, don't hesitate to comment below. Also please share planning, tracking and productivity tips, as those are always welcome!!!!


  1. First. Eh I know that background ;)
    Second, I should try journaling, it would help with my poor memory thank to my narcolepsy. It is worst since school ended because I lost my routine

  2. there are numerous places to get cash back - do not know if you shop wal-mart but you can open an account on line and when you have a receipt you put in the scan code number and a couple days later you are notified if anyone in your area was selling a product cheaper and if there is then you get the difference on your account - I have been saving up and I have $215 on my account right now waiting for me to cash it it - I have been saving it since the end of last year I think -- so much easier than running from store to store to get the deals and I hate collecting coupons. We have little other than wal-mart in my area so it was a no brainier to me when I was told about it.

  3. This was an interesting post. I've not gotten into the journaling thing yet, but I really like what I see. It seems like it would be such a discipline, but I really should try it. Have you heard about the Sketchbook Project? I think you might enjoy it. I'm thinking about jumping in on it.


Thanks for stopping by! I would love to hear from you!
Please share your thoughts on my projects with me!