December 7 2017

Ben Franklin Used A BuJo?

I was poking around the internet as writers are known to do from time to time and stumbled across photos of an old journal of Ben Franklin’s. Reading some of his entries are interesting too, but the layouts of some of the pages that were not all text are what caught my attention.

I got really excited because it looks like a lot of bullet journal layouts I have seen. I told hubby, “Ben Franklin was a bullet journaler!”

“How do you figure?”

“I’ve got photos of his journal to prove it.”

“Show me.”

So I showed hubby the three photos above and he agreed they looked like something that might be in a bullet journal. Not that hubby is a bullet journal expert, in fact, he is more skeptic than anything.

Franklin had what basically amounts to a weekly habit tracker.

He also had a 24 hour time tracker

So, there you have it. Ben Franklin may have been one of the earliest known bullet journalers.

The new year is fast approaching and I have been considering how to set up my 2018 bullet journal. Some spreads should be copied into the new one, others will get blank versions of things in the old one, like the list of books read for instance.

What spreads do you find extremely helpful? Have you tried using a bullet journal? I have been using one for over a year now and love it! If it was good enough for Ben, it is good enough for me! Let me know in the comments if you have a favorite page or layout idea you want to share.

Photo of Franklin comes from:

http://leadershipvoices.com/2013/10/07/manday-quote-ben-franklin/

The pages of Benjamin Franklin's Journal are from:

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/20203

October 5 2017

My New Helper is a Keeper

The image and title above may have already clued you in to what I am going to tell you about today. A few weeks ago, I was listening to one of Ann Kroeker’s Podcasts. She mentioned something I hadn’t yet heard of, Google Keep. Since I had no idea what it was, I asked Google, “Ok Google, What is Google Keep?” I got the following answer from Google:

Google Keep is a note-taking service developed by Google. Launched on March 20, 2013, Google Keep is available on the web, and has mobile apps for the Android and iOS mobile operating systems.”

Thank you, Google. I went to YouTube and typed in Google Keep and watched a couple of tutorials and was immediately blown away by how powerful a tool this could be. I had to have it! Now! How had I not known about this? Thank you, Ann Kroeker, writing coach for sharing this tidbit! My life is forever changed because I listened to your podcast!

You can listen to it here in about ten minutes start to finish. If you’d rather read than listen, you can find the blog post here: Ep 112: My Best Writing Tools to Get More Done (at Home and on the Go)

I was very excited about all the possibilities, so I went to the Google Play Store and downloaded the Android version right away. I played with it some on my phone and couldn’t wait to get home and see the desktop version of it. It is very easy to use. The only problem I had was accidentally archiving a post when I didn’t mean to, but even that is easily undone.

In the few weeks since I began using the app on my Android phone and the online version on both my desktop and my Surface Pro 2, I have found it to be the one app I would not give up on my phone. Yes, it is that awesome! Did I mention it is FREE?

Continue reading

August 17 2017

Trash to Treasure #1

Do you ever wonder how so many companies get your address so they can send you all those free labels you didn’t ask for and will never be able to use? I have, but I don’t let it take up too much brain time. Most of the time, with a name like mine, there is at least one word that isn’t quite spelled right. Even if everything is perfect, I could never use all the labels I get. Since we pay most of our bills online, I probably use less than a dozen address labels a year other than those I put on the annual holiday/winter newsletter. To be honest, I keep the nicest labels for those newsletters and the others I plan to throw away.

Before I toss them, I cut the free stickers off of them. What free stickers you ask? Those cute little designs to the left of the address. Sometimes they are puppies and kittens, sometimes birds, often times they are hearts as the ones you will see pictured here. So I cut carefully to disconnect the address from the cute design and sometimes I even save some of the address portions to use to label books before loaning them out, or keep a few in my purse to fill out the contest entry form in a hurry or share my contact info with a friend with minimal effort.

Recently I got the set pictured here in the mail. As you can see, it came with a few sheets of note/list paper, 2 large and at least 8 small stickers in each of four different heart designs. As a bonus, it also had a two-sided sheet to tell me the symptoms/signs of both a heart attack and a stroke. Hey! You never know when you will need those! None of us is getting any younger you know.

If you have been reading my blog for long and specifically the posts about bullet journaling, you might have already guessed how I use some of these stickers. Below are several examples of how I have used these free stickers to set the theme for my weekly bullet journal spreads.

I have also used them on my calendar in the past to track things like workouts. Kind of like gold stars we used to get on our papers in grade school, but much less expensive.

So, what have you been throwing away that could be repurposed into something usable? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

May 14 2017

Weekly Bullet Journal Spreads

It is time to share more of my Bullet Journal with all of you. Currently, I am about to finish with Week 19 in my bullet journal. I have learned a few things about what does and doesn’t work for me in the 18 weeks I have completed so far. The biggest thing I learned was what size boxes work for me. In the January Flip Through, you will notice there were only 2 weeks where I used the narrower boxes for each day in my weekly spread. Well, in truth, I knew after the first week I didn’t like that narrow size, but when I was drawing out week 2, I messed up and drew the skinny boxes before I caught myself, so I suffered through a second week with them. You will notice some subtle changes from week to week in the photos below, but the box layout is very consistent. I keep it that way because it works. Some days you will notice not much gets written in, while other days are pretty jam-packed.

Week 7 was the first week I tried using stickers to determine the theme. These are free stickers, recycled by cutting them off the free address labels that seem to show up from time to time in my mailbox. I never could use up all the addresses but the stickers to the left seemed too nice to throw away. So I have long made a habit of cutting them off and saving them. The hearts seemed like an obvious choice for the week. Continue reading