Writing about the important things

When I started this blog, I thought it was going to be a number of things. One of the things I wanted to do was write about debatable topics like world events, human behavior or even practical life.

I did some journalistic writing when I was in college. I even had a few articles published in a national daily. It made me so proud! And I had hoped that a part of my blog would be a continuation of that.

But, these days it just seems that I am overwhelmed with work and life. I either don’t have time to write and when I do, the words just don’t seem to flow. I do get fleeting ideas about topics that I want to write about, but they’ve grown cobwebs in my drafts folder. I start to write and then just can’t get past two lines. When I do write something, it doesn’t seem articulate enough for the serious topic. So I’ve been sticking simpler things and personal writing.

But, it’s never too late. I’ve been making some changes in my life. I’ve been trying to bring back some of the creativity I feel I once had. I want to be more persistent with my blogging and in time, I hope to be able to write like I used to.

Attempt at a planner duo

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Recently I’ve been craving some space in my planner but I just can’t do the A5 Filofax again. I need portability and less weight and I love my Personal size binder.

So I’ve been looking around for different options, yet again. This time I decided to get a Hobonichi Techo Cousin (which is the A5) size.

I love it because of the paper. I’ve always loved this type of paper and craved for notebooks that have them. This particular paper is called Tomoe River paper but it’s what we probably normally refer to as onion-skin or even bible paper. The Tomoe River paper holds up to fountain pens surprisingly well and has very little see through.

The Hobonichi has a cult following and I’m just surprised I never jumped on the bandwagon sooner. There are a host of sites with people using their Hobonichi’s in the most interesting ways. I love looking at them but, I plan to use mine solely for work.

So here goes another attempt at a planner duo….

Although the planners themselves don’t look bad, I decided to get a cover for my planner. Despite my eternal love for leather, I decided to get the normal ones, made out of polyester, so they are lighter. They don’t look bad at all. I got it in black with a beige interior. It has numerous pocket which would be useful. It has a back slip pocket which conveniently fits my iPad Mini.

The Hobonichi Techo Cousin has three different layouts – Monthly pages, weekly pages (Monday Start) and Daily Pages. Becuase of the lightweight paper, it fits all of these and is still pretty compact.

There’s no way I’m giving up my Filofax, so I’ve decided to use that for planning appointments, events, budget planning, reference material, project notes, shopping lists, personal lists, etc.

The Techo will house to-do lists on the weekly pages (which are in vertical format) and notes / blog planning on the daily pages. I decided to get the one that starts in January, although they have an April start. I just thought I could use the extra pages for notes. Also, I like to start each year with a fresh book (weird, I know!). I still don’t know what to use the monthly pages for.

So far it’s been a few days and it’s working out well, since it’s not really too heavy to carry around. I hope this system works out for me…

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Believe

There are moments when your faith may be weak

There are moments when you feel that you may never recover

There are moments when you remember

There are moments when you feel simply broken

There moments when you don’t feel at all…

But, losing hope is never an option

Never lose hope!

Hope is what keeps us alive,

Hope is what keeps us going.

Believe!

You have to believe

Believe in God

Believe in youself

Believe that tomorrow may… just may… hold something truly magical.

Reviewing goals

I started out the year very hopeful of making changes to my life. Over the last decade, I’ve just been spending all my time at work and the only outlet of creativity has been a few good posts on this blog.

In January, I went ahead purchased the “Shining Life Workbook” in the hopes of turning my life into something more than just work. It’s a fabulous product where you review the year you’ve had and plan out the year ahead of you, in a not so conventional way. If you haven’t heard of this, you may want to visit Shining Academy for a preview.

So I put in my goals, many of which centered around spending my time reviving some of the more creative things I used to do, like photography and art, and of course, writing.

It’s April and I realize I haven’t done much of any of it. So, I decided to review my goals. There’s no point in having goals if you’re not going to do anything about it. My decision to make a difference seems to have fallen through the cracks again. I seem to be failing at keeping up with my goals.

But, it’s never to late. So I decided to get a watercolour set as first step. Try to paint a bit. I used to love painting but it was more oil painting. But that requires an elaborate set up and lots of dedication. I just want to take baby steps for now and see how it goes.

I don’t know if I will keep reviewing my goals, even though I see the importance of it. But, I definitely will try…

22 April 2016

Do you ever feel like you’re missing time? These days it seems that’s all I feel. I’m constantly trying to do something when I’m in fact I end up doing nothing.

I feel that I need to do more but, I don’t understand why. I don’t understand why I beat myself up about not doing enough or not accomplishing enough.

I just can’t seem to relax.

Unconventional planning 

I’ve been using a planner regularly for the last 12 years or so. I’ve been an avid reader of all planner related blogs, Philofaxy being one of the best source. I’ve also read a number of organizing books… GTD, 7 Habits, etc.

Over the years, I tried very hard to adopt one method or the other, use optimal layouts or even follow a certain bloggers way. None of them worked to well for me and somehow or the other it always broke down.

I may not have the perfect system… because if you know what’s good for you, you should always be tweaking your system. But what works is when you make it your own. So, I do a few things that are absolutely against conventional planning wisdom….

  1. No Dashboard: I can’t capture and then process. Everything just naturally goes into my to-do list, which never seems to get shorter.
  2. Schedule in a Calendar: I use weekly inserts, occassionally daily pages and most recently monthly pages as well. I put in big events like the end of school term or deadlines like when a client’s document expires. Meetings and appointments have to go in the phone or outlook.
  3. Reminders: I don’t put in regular reminders like take your medicine or remember to take your chequebook. That goes in the phone too so I get an alert.
  4. Journal / Record: I don’t record much… in terms of journaling or the weather or fitness. I do track monthly budget and bills on one page, without any special format. Just tally them up.
  5. Dividers: While I do have dividers, I don’t think they are really used in any way. I just have them because they seem to create a visual boundary. I rely heavily on 3 page markers, magnetic bookmarks and paper clips. Simple and easy.
  6. Weekly reviews: I don’t do weekly reviews at the end of the week. I’m so exhausted by the time the week ends, I just want to switch off. I do some sort of review on the first day of the week, during the first half hour at work.
  7. Weekends: I don’t schedule weekends and I hardly ever look in my planner. If I have something important on the weekend, it would be written out during the week so I prepare for it. If it’s an event, it’s on the phone. The only time I may look at the planner is if I need to refer to some notes or project planning.

Ok, so my system doesn’t always work. Occasionally, I’ll have total planner fail and throw away my planner for a while… but that’s may be for a few hours. Then I’ll think of new ways to tweak my system and try to make it work.

Happy planning…!