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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Bullet Journal - December review (evolution of my Quilter's Planner)

My Bullet Journaling experience is getting better and better!!
Grab a cold or hot beverage... this is a looooong post!! :) :) :)

For disclaimers about how I personally use the Bullet Journal system, please refer to these previous posts: November reviewOctober review, September review.

At the end of October I received the Quilter's Planner (on the top left) so I decided to use it as the main planner. However, as I said last month, while I love the size and the general idea and look of the planner, I cannot function in a planner that does not allow customization.

So last month I took off the plastic ring spiral, and replaced it with few 1'' Loose Leaf Binder Rings. I distributed them along the side of the page so they will keep the pages together in a stable manner but they will allow me to quickly open them up and move/add/remove pages (top right in the picture above).

While I liked the general idea, I didn't really liked the wobblyiness and the fact that to move pages around I still had to open several rings, punch many holes, etc.

I was watching a gazillion of videos about planners on youtube and I found that there are many people that had similar problems with a very famous planner (Erin Condren) which is spiral bound... and I found a person Turned her Erin Condren into a Discbound system!!
I didn't even know what a "discbound" system is... I've never seen it before...
And after watching many videos, I understood how it worked, but it didn't really convinced me much... it looked still wobbly and not very practical.

Until one day I want to Hobby Lobby and I started flipping trough the Happy Planners (which are Discbound systems) and OMG I loooooved them!!!
I bought the punch (which is an investment but with a coupon is not that expensive) I bought few rings and by the end of the week I trimmed all the Quilter's planner pages (to remove the holes), I punched new holes and I put them into my new system!!

In the last two weeks I already changed the cover of the planner 3 times :) I cannot stop!! It makes me so happy to be able to move pages back and forth, change things in few seconds and keep everything where I need it... And look at all those suuuuupeeeeer cheap cover options (File folders from the dollar store) :) :) :)

Help! Someone needs to stop me!! I have too many file folders!! :)

And as a side note, there a gazillion of tutorial to make any kind of DYI accessory for this kind of planner: pouches, pockets, stencils, bookmarks, pen-loops, anything!!!

Ok, now back to my monthly flipthough...


Another month of my "Doodle A Daily Quilting Design"!

Each day I took a design from Leah Day's Quilting Design Gallery. I love how this turned out because now I have two pages that I can reference to when I don't know which quilting design to use in my project; they are all there on a single page so I don't have to hunt them down on the web, but if I need extra guidance I know where to find it; I was also able to understand which one are more challenging for me and which one are faster. Doing this every day helps to build muscle memory too. As a fun added bonus I doodle around the empty spaces, to make it a themed spread... winter xmas theme :) :)


The December tracker is sparse in some rows, and pretty full in others... I used a circle design to mix up the style of the trackers over the months, and I really love it... some things didn't get done, not even a single time!! Oh well... this is why the Bullet Journal system is great: it helps me reflect on things: one empty row is about reading the "How to think like Da Vinci" book... I have been too busy this month to stop and read that, but I want to finish it eventually so I will just keep the row in the next month tracker.

The "doodle an artist" sections are the ones that I most proud of!! I love the idea and I was looking forward every day to either draw something or find something to draw for the next day. The idea is to pick an artist and then copy some elements from some of her/his pieces (Steal like an Artist). The act of researching their life, reading the story of a painting, trying to extract simple elements that I can sketch just with a pen is very very valuable for me. Considering that I have NO art background, NO art education, I think I copied the different pieces quite well! And it's unbelievable how much the daily practice improved in just a month! It also improved my confidence (in drawing and life) and opened my mind to a world of possibilities.

This month I picked the work of Lennart Helje, who has a very whimsical and Xmasy style: while I loved these designs, I honestly didn't have much time to make more, so I may add more later in the year!!


I love how I design each weekly spread page.
It's simple, it's cute (at least the latest ones are becoming cuter), it's functional.
At the beginning of each week, I list few things in the "Quilting and Crafting" section or "Home and Personal" section. I put them in approximate days, but I don't stress about it, because I have the view of the full week, so if I feel that I want to do something on Mon that is listed on Fri (or viceversa) it's all good!!
I also have a page where I list things that I think I could do montly/weekly and then in the main tracker I just refer to weekly todo or monthly todo. This creates an additional page where I can write other things that are relevant for the month (like Songs! or other notes). As mentioned before, I like having empty spaces as I can come back later and play around with them!!

No Weekly Spread recipes this month because I have been too busy!! :)

-- FITNESS MANDALA (in pictures above) --

I have been trying to find interesting ways to track my fitness activities (steps for example) and I thought that making a mandala would be visually interesting! :)
I created circles that represent a certain distance (5000 steps, 10000, 20000) and then in each slice (representing the days) I designed a motif that, repeated 31 times, would create a nice mandala. Of course the incentive is that if I reach 10000 each day the mandala would be nice and full... if not I will see missing chunks!
This again is a way to help me reflect on myself (not to feel bad about the missing chunks): for example I realized that during the week it's easy for me to reach my 10000 steps goals, but in the weekends or holidays I prefer to stay home. For my wellness, I could just integrate some indoor exercise to compesate for the steps, and this is my plan for next month, but I wouldn't have realized this if I didn't visually see what my patterns are.

I also added some water tracking... I have a Smart Bottle... yes, I have been obsessed with tracking so this is another piece of the puzzle :) :) :)


-- Be Our Guest (in pictures above) --

We have visitors, staying in our home for several weeks... which means I had to clean the entire house! Since my house has specific rooms and things that won't change, I designed a spread that lists all the things I need to clear/sort/tidy/scrub/sweep/prepare, and I added several columns to accomodate possible future guests. This was a great way to get things done little by little and don't get overwhealmed at the last minute!!

-- En Provence Mystery QAL (tracker) -- (in pictures above)

I designed a little visual tracker to count the blocks I am making for Bonnie Hunter's current mystery. I am waaaaaaaaaay behind but I plan to add a sketch of the final layout, the specific blocks each clue represents, etc. For now I just color one circle to count 5 blocks made :)

Two final notes:
  1. you may wonder: is it really possible to spend so much time and effort decorating a planner and still have time to actually do all the things you planned? The answer is in my boyfriend words... he kept asking me "how come all of a sudden you became Marta Stewart with all this cooking, cleaning and organizing?" and he doesn't even see that I am still keeping up with all my quilting projects, I finished the xmas presents and I am also all caught up on all my tv series!! :) :) :) So the point is: either this planner creates extra time in the day... OR... the fact that I am dedicating so much time and effort in writing down the plans, make me very very efficient, intentional and mindful when I am actually doing the different tasks, so they take less time and I can do more, without too much stress!! so my answer to his question was "it's the planner!!! :) :)"
  2. given that I am covering up and redesign every page, why don't I just use a blank journal instead of the Quilter's Planner? Well... even if I don't use the original layout, I still take inspiration from all the extra information they included (blocks every week, quilting designs, tips, patterns, etc.) so I think it's worth using a themed planner rather than a blank journal. Plus I just used it for a month, so I didn't really have the time to look into all the planning pages that I may use in the future. Finally I really like projects that get the community together, so I wanted to give my support to the authors by buying their product and I want to interact with others that are using this great planner!!
If you have any comment or question, please write below! I will be happy to share my thoughts!!!

1 comment:

  1. Love the doodles-they tend to make for some terrific inspirational moments I think. Good luck.


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