Friday, January 6, 2012

How I Keep Track, my To Do Journal

Over the past couple of weeks I've been recreating my "To Do" book of last year.  It has not only helped me accomplish what needs to get done, it has helped me to embrace the messy of my everyday activities.  How?  Well, when you have to hurry and jot things down and rush to get this/that on a page, you know, before it escapes your brain, sometimes, words get squished in, mis-spelled and scribbled out.  I also tend to circle/star/highlight bits that I think might get lost in the chaos of the page.  At the end of the day, it's not as pretty and organized as I would have liked for it to have been.  It took some time, but I realized that... In order to get stuff done, sometimes, you gotta make a mess.
Once I accepted this, I started to enjoy it's random chaos.  I would catch myself doodling swirly hearts & paisley designs while on the phone or between thoughts.  And this bit of pretty here & there made me happy.
Then, about mid-way through the year, I was introduced to the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling and we started implementing 20 minutes of quiet, nature study into our day.  In the beginning, I would have to sit outside with the kids to keep them quiet and observant during their 20 minutes and one day, had my book with me and did my own drawing of a plant sprouting between slabs of sidewalk in the backyard.... What an enjoyable time.  I began doing it on a regular basis.   Another day, the backyard was absolutly covered in feathers.  Don't know why.  But they were everywhere.  We all made notes of this in our journals (see that word change, there?) and each of us glued a feather onto that day's page...
Another thing that was added along the way was the recording of the days temperature and just little bits of information here and there... I did this, because my mom gave me a daily planner from 60 years ago that belonged to my great grandmother.  She wrote in the days temperature and what she did for the day.  Trips to the grocery store and how much she spent, down to the penny.  What a neat little piece of her history.

So, now you know how I got started on my book and why I do a bit of what I do.
Here are a few pictures and a bit more information about my book.  Before I jump into them, I am sharing this (very important to me) process, because I want you to be as successful as you can be and I know this book is a crucial bit of my day. Maybe it's what you've been missing?

To show "how far I've come", (haha) this is the cover of last year's book.  Both are made from the lowly composition notebook you can get at your local super mart for .49 cents.   --- I don't know why the picture is sideways, because blogger is stupid.
I went to Michaels and bought a few scrapbook pages and sticker sheets I liked.  I also added some ribbons and charms hanging out of the spine because I saw this in a "smash journal" tutorial.  I may end up cutting this off. 
Title Page!  There used to be a sticker next to the hummingbird that read "Enjoy", but it fell off and the cat chewed it up :(
The next few pages are for writing down the big goals you'd like to accomplish. I skipped a total of 12 pages between the 'dream BIG Goals' page and the double page spread of 'Blog Log' and 'Daily'.  

This kinda sounds complicated, but it's really easy.  The Blog Log is where I write down ideas of things I'd like to blog about.  This portion of the book goes in reverse, so I turn the pages from right to left.  Make sense?  It's not meant for lengthy paragraphs, just main idea type titles/thoughts, so you can come back to it later. Next, you can see a few pages from last years' book and what my "Daily" pages look like.
There is yet another portion to my book, and it is also worked in reverse.  On the very last double page spread, I labeled it for January, turn the page left and its Feb...and keep going until december.  I use these pages to write down the active submission calls for all the different magazine/books/eMags.  On the left, I write the date and company, with a tiny detail of what the call is for (ie. Winter 2013) and on the right, I tape in a printed copy of the actual call w/ mood board & whatnot.  There is a handy option on my printer of "print __ pages per sheet" if you select 2 pages per sheet, the document will print out on half a page and is the perfect size for the composition books :)
Another thing I've done, that isn't shown in a picture, is added a list of all the mags/emags/yarn companies on the inside of the back cover - so I don't forget to check all the websites periodically for calls I might have missed.  Last, I covered the back page with this fun, hot pink, glittery card stock and ran a length of super-shiny duct tape down the spine.
I hope you have enjoyed the somewhat lengthy tour of my To Do/Journal/Work book.  As always, if this has inspired you to create your own or post about how you keep track of it all, I'd love love love to see what you do!  Leave a comment telling me where to look :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Read. Every day

What better time to start something than a brand-spanking new year?! While talking to my friend, Ellen, yesterday, she mentioned that she tries to get in a bit of reading time every day. I should do that, I thought.
I used to be quite a reader. And then, well, homeschooling my 4 kids, being wife & mom, and dedicating myself to working my crochet designs.... Somewhere along the way, I stopped. So last night, I went to my bookshelf and pulled off:
Hooked for Life: Adventures of a Crochet Zealot, by Mary Beth Temple.
I'm really enjoying this book and have already picked it up to sneak in a page or 2 a few times this morning. One thing I have noticed as I'm reading is that I can "hear" Mary Beth. I have had the honor of meeting & getting to know her. She writes this book in her true language and I find the genuineness of that adds to the humor & readability.
If you, too, are a crochet zealot, I encourage you to pick up this book the next time you are out. Join me in a bit of reading every day. I'd love to hear what book is on your nightstand.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all wonderfully successful and productive year that includes loads of friends & family and plentiful days of relaxation. (and fur babies to guard your bed & keep it warm for you)