Plan with me: Habit tracker

Plan with me: Habit tracker

I have seen so many people use habit trackers and have tried various different ones in the past, none of which seem to help me establish better habits and give me the opportunity to be more accountable for my actions.

One of the things I have found is my need to be reflective and wanting to grow as a person lately, which I put down to becoming a mother. I guess I just want to be the best role model I can be for my girls as my mum was to me. Up until having children I didn’t feel the need to be accountable in my every day life just my professional life. But now I realise the importance of it all.

With this in mind I wanted to find a good habit tracker that would allow me to become more accountable and help me develop good habits so that I could be a good example to my girls. I have got better naturally with some things, but I know there are areas I could improve on too. Especially as when I have a day off work I struggle to get motivated at times!

In my search for the perfect habit tracker for me I came across this free printable from Color My Planner and I just fell in love! It is crammed full of different ways I can be accountable each month as well as set myself goals and rewards!

It was really easy to print and put together which I was glad of. However I felt there were two pages that wouldn’t be beneficial to me and as I couldn’t quite work out how to print the document without them, I just stuck the pages together. One page was a time tracker where I guess you could colour code mood or pain throughout the day and the other was a full page habit tracker. The reason I didn’t see the use for these pages is because I didn’t think I would complete an hour by hour grid and I only wanted to use the shorter habit tracker on one of the other pages.

I’ve already set it up for this month and here are the pages I am using….

The first page gives me space for notes as well as an inspiration board.  I wasn’t sure what to put in the notes section, so have used it to put some inspirational quotes to help keep me on target.  And then with my inspirational board I have filled it with images of my reward should I stick to my goals, which as you can see is stickers! lol!

As you know, I have a huge sticker addiction and having gone through my sticker collection, I have come to realise that right now I don’t NEED anymore stickers, I just WANT them.  Therefore I have set myself a goal of not buying any stickers for all of October.  What I love about this habit tracker is that there is space on the following page to set yourself one main goal; what you plan to do to help achieve it and then a contract that you can sign to enforce your commitment to completing this task.

The next page allows you to focus on four specific goals each week.  I’ve obviously put my main goal at the top!  I’m also trying to be healthier so am trying to keep track of my fruit and veg intake and my water intake.  I am tracking this twice because it is so important to me.

These two pages I guess will be likely to change every month dependant on what I aim to achieve and/or focus on each month.

The next two pages are likely to remain as they are, unchanged month on month and this is to help me build a better routine for myself.  I like these pages because it has a short habit tracker which is perfect for my needs, and there are spaces to reflect on my achievements each week and things I can improve on. The habits that I am hoping to instil in my daily routine are in the picture below.

As I am now using both a monthly reflection book and this habit tracker, I will do a monthly roundup post where I will share my results

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10 Art Journal Ideas and Starting Points for Beginners to Advanced

10 Art Journal Ideas and Starting Points for Beginners to Advanced

Today I am lucky enough to be presenting you with a guest blog post from the amazing Kerry May! She is a 41 year old drama teacher who is a huge planner and art journaling enthusiast.  Her blog is awesome so please do check it out!  I asked her to do a piece on art journaling as it is an area that I have not delved into yet, although I have to say this post has inspired me to give it a go!  I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did!

 

Beginning the journey into art journaling can sometimes be scary; not knowing where to start or what tools and equipment you need, thinking it won’t be good enough, not having any inspiration… sound familiar? It needn’t be. Art journals are a means of self expression and are ultimately for YOU, no one else. So stop judging yourself and get going and go with the flow, you soon won’t be able to stop those creative juices from flowing. Read on for 10 ideas to get you started.

1. What do you need to start art journaling?

The first question to ask is what tools and equipment you will need. Well I have covered most of this in my post here Art Tips for Art Journalingbut you really don’t need all of that.

Basically you will need:

  • Some kind of book or paper (any type of insert on matte paper will be fine). Moleskine cahier sets, mixed media books, watercolour pad or any type of sketchbook is fine.
  • Some type of paint (watercolour, acrylic, spray inks, alcohol ink).
  • A paint brush or watercolour brush.
  • Any other type of pens, crayons or pencils – this may be wax, charcoal, felt tips, chalk pens, whatever takes your fancy. There is no right or wrong medium to use, go with what you feel comfortable using.
  • You may wish to invest in some stamps and ink pads, embellishments and die cuts, but again you don’t have to.

That’s it, that’s all you need to get started.

2. How do I start though?

Don’t over think it – EVER! Just get some paint on the page and then add some extra elements to it if you wish. I never plan what I am creating (only very loosely). You may wish to leave it as just the paint or you can add more detail after. See below for some inspiration.

3. Using stamps over paint

Using stamps over you paint (after it is dry of course) is a great way to get started. There are so many pretty stamps available now. Tim Holtz do great ones for mixed media or if on a budget have a browse through Ali Express and search for clear stamps, they are so cheap. I got some lovely ones with vintage writing on and they look amazing stamped on to my painted pages. For the image featured here I added a bit of white pen for extra detailing.

4. Using collage to add interest

Another thing you can add to a painted page is collage. This can be from magazines, a paid subscription such as through Patreon or from die cuts or ephemera / printables. It really doesn’t need to cost you anything and you can print whatever takes your fancy. Experiment with tearing sheets, layering, adding pen over the top or mixing elements up. All the collage elements in this page were free from magazines and collage sheets I found on Pinterest.

Inspiration and Printables on my Ephemera boards on Pinterest:

5. Decoupage Art

One of the first things I tried with my pages was decoupage. I bought a matte medium gel from Amazon and started by sticking different things down with it, then adding a layer of the gel on top. You can scratch away at it so that it shows through the paint or leave as it is. It is great to add tissue paper to a page or a torn sheet from a book and really adds interest to your page. You can also use one layer of a patterned serviette.

 

6. Adding words to an art journal page

The hardest decision I had to make when starting art journaling was how to add words and quotes to my pages. Well, the options are endless. You could add printed words, cut words from magazines, use chalk pens or gel pens like the uni ball, use paint pens like the posca ones, use die cuts or ephemera (printed or brought) or paint or stamp them. Don’t limit yourself or over think it and don’t be put off if your writing is not great… the printer and glue stick are your friends.

 

 

7. Adding embellishments

Anything and I mean ‘anything’ can be added to your art journal pages. Got some scrapbook elements or enamel dots? Buttons lying around? – use them in your pages. Simple and effective. Use a strong glue, glue dots, sticky pads or a hot glue gun to adhere them to your page.

8. Just add pen

Yep, just adding a bit of pen work to your paint can really make the page pop. The posca paint pens or uniball gel pens in white or any colour really are a great way to add detail to paint. Again, don’t over think it, just start doodling over the paint for amazing results. Alternatively just a black biro to add patterns or zentangles to a page can really be effective.

 

 

9. Doodle on your Art Journal pages

A page with a bit of doodling looks great in your art journals. I love to doodle and it looks great when directly on an old book page. You could paint the page first with a thin layer of white paint (or gesso if you really want to). A mix of doodles and words can really make a page stand out and it is so easy to do. This was actually my first ever go at art journaling.

10. Stop Comparing and Never Give Up!

Speaks for itself. You will never develop your pages if you compare to others. Keep at it, an artist is always growing. Remember the art is for YOU and no one else.

 

I have loved writing this post for Hannah, hopefully you will have found some of it useful in planning and starting your art journaling journey.

​Take Care, Kerry xx

Planner girls collective: Autumn planner set up

Planner girls collective: Autumn planner set up

I’ve never really been one to change my planner set up according to season, although having said that I did fall in love with the Woodland Wonderland kit from Ellie Beth Designs which I will be ordering this week as I just can’t resist! There will be a future post showing off these items in more detail 😉

I have recently been setting up my planner though, as moving into a TN I had quite a lot to create and have been posting pictures on my Instagram as I’ve gone along. It is now done, so I thought I would share it with you as I already feel like I may be changing it again for the new year! That inner planner peace is still very hard for me to find! If you’ve found it then please do enlighten me!

So my current planner set up…. Well I’ve ultimately divided it into four sections:

  1. Diary
  2. Work
  3. Social media
  4. Personal

And I think it is these sections that I’m likely to change… Maybe integrating a lot of the personal stuff into my diary etc which will make more sense as I go through.

Section 1: Diary

In this section I currently have my monthly overview view (which I have discussed in detail in this post) and then 3 month’s worth of week on one page, and day per page. This is a printable I got from Plan Big on Etsy and the bundle included the remainder of this year, and all of next. It prints very easily and as I use an A6 TN, unlike other printables, they use the full sheet of A4, by putting 2 diary pages on each page. It means one cut straight down the middle and I know all my edges are going to be straight! Ideal for someone who is new to printing their own inserts.


Section 2: Work

This section is so I can track my milage and keep a log of what I have done for payment purposes. For my milage I use a notebook from The Punk Planner which I love. And then for the other section I have a notebook which I have gridded out to suit my needs.


Section 3: Social Media

In this section of my diary I like to keep track of my blog posts, so my monthly schedule and then blog post ideas. And I also have a log for the various PR teams I am on, so that I know I am posting regularly. I designed the blog post and PR insert myself, but having used them for a while I have found they aren’t really working well for me and so I may look at purchasing a pack from Annie Plans Printables which looks much easier to follow!


Section 4: Personal

Here I currently keep my habit tracker (which will be discussed in more detail in a later post, so do keep your eyes pealed!) and a notebook, from Papertrail Notebooks (formerly known as The Idea Owl).

I have loads of dashboards throughout my planner too, which are a combination of family photos, tips and prompt sheets and inspirational or funny things I have seen online. 

So that’s my current set up… As I said at the start I am considering changing this purely because I feel a lot of the notebooks could potentially be combined into one per month, and then I can set up per month instead…. So watch this space as it may all change inside my planner yet again!

To see more autumn setups click on the links below

Plan with me: monthly overview

Plan with me: monthly overview

I thought I would do a plan with me with a difference again. This time focusing on my monthly overview.

Since moving into my travellers notebook I’ve been trying to find various ways to keep track of the very basic things in life. A place where I can be reflectful as well as note important dates. I have finally settled with my daily and weekly schedules and couldn’t be happier there. But my monthly spreads were a little dull.

Up until this month I have been used to using the typical month on 2 page (MO2P) spread which most of you have probably seen. I found I was repeating myself by noting things here and then again on my weekly and daily. I’m not one for repetitiveness and as the information was on my more detailed diary pages I didn’t see the point of my monthly spread.

Whilst browsing Etsy for printable TN inserts (trying to be cost savy and print some of my own 😊) I came across a very simple monthly overview from Pristine Paperie, which allows me to document things that won’t really be in my weekly or daily spreads, thus minimal repetitiveness. And the insert is designed to give you space to reflect on the month which I love!

This shop does two different types – a one page and two page monthly overview. Obviously the two page is slightly more detailed, and I felt personally it had boxes that I wouldn’t use. Therefore I opted for the one page option. This is September

I found this printable really easy to print out and put together. I made sure there was enough pages to finish this year as well as all of next year. The printable doesn’t come with a cover, so I used scrapbook paper to make my cover. I’m considering additional decor but not quite sure what at the moment… I would love some comments to help me out!

Plan with me

Plan with me

So this is my first official ‘plan with me’ post. I know lots of people do them so I thought I would try to be a bit different and rather than focus on the spread this time, to actually explain how I plan.

So I always make sure I have post it notes in my bag. These tend to be the little strip kind so they are easy to jot down appointments and just stick to the relevant days. This is a way I can put appointments in my diary ahead of time without making the page look messy when it comes to the decor side of things.

Then when it comes to the week I’m planning I always have a stack of kits to choose from. Selecting the one I’ll use is really just down to the mood I’m in at the time. Sometimes I use kits for specific reasons but most of the time it is just because I felt like it.

I always begin with my decorating! I use washi strips and any additional decorative stickers just to make the page look nice. 

After this I add in my appointments (anything that was on a post it note) and things to remember in coordinating boxes. This doesn’t always mean from the same kit but I do at least try to use similar colours so there is some form of continuity. I have lots of different styles and sizes from various shops specifically for this purpose.

After this I the add any other functional stickers, such as what bin needs to go out or any household chores I have got to get done on a certain day.

Once this is all done my pages tend to get pretty full. And if they aren’t at the start of the week, by the end they tend to have filled up that little bit more! Lol!

So here is a pic of this week for you to admire. If you have any questions about how I plan or would like to know something in more depth then please ask in the comments below.

Thanks for reading

2017 Planner set up

2017 Planner set up

So as I mentioned in my reflective piece on 2016, my diary was a big thing that needed updating and refreshing!  I had completely lost touch with everything throughout December and it drove me insane!  I desperately need some more organisation in my life, especially with another baby on the way!  I hate being so ditsy and all over the place.  Organisation has to be key now for me moving forward.  I know I can do it with work, so now it is time to put it into place in the rest of my life.

So I decided to try a monthly, weekly and daily spread…  Why so many you may ask?  Well the monthly can be used for a nice simple overview of the month.  All key events, birthdays etc can be listed and I can answer questions regarding my availability without having to flick through my diary too much.  Below is how January is currently shaping up

Then I have a weekly spread which gives me a little bit more detail.  I’ve gone for a completely new lay out which is very similar to the happy planner or erin condren set up.  I have a task bar for the week and then have divided each day into three boxes – house, me and family.  I felt this would be the best way to make it clear what is going on and where.  I couldn’t be without my me box, but having the space for family and house stuff is definitely really helpful.


Then finally I have a daily spread.  I haven’t done daily spreads for ages but due to my every growing baby brain, I thought I would give it a go.  Plus I wanted to track my meals and fluid intake which these pages allow me to do.  I want to make sure that when I get my diary out I focus mainly on my daily spreads, ensuring that the tasks I map out weekly are put in the right place on my daily sheets.  I plan on reviewing my progress at the end of the month in another post and let you know the pros and cons of having so many spreads.

If you like the pages and want to order them, currently the weekly and daily spreads aren’t listed, but I do plan on having them up there soon!  So do keep an eye out.
http://www.etsy.com/shop/planwithhannahuk

Thanks for reading, and if you have any comments then please feel free to post

New planner set up

New planner set up

Apologies this part is out slightly later than expected, but was waiting on delivery of vital stickers to complete this post. So here you go…

After using (and loving) my personal size purple Saffiano (Filofax), I found myself struggling with the space available.  I really didn’t want to have weekly and daily sheets, which was slowly becoming the only way I could fit it all in!  And the ease of carrying around a personal size is so much easier than an A5……

However, having finally found a style of insert and diary planning that really worked for me, I didn’t want to change that.  I knew I needed more space so moving to an A5 was looking like the only option…  I couldn’t be without my planner and realised I was using a big enough bag to carry it around anyway, so decided to make the jump.

I managed to pick up this gorgeous pink Simple Stories (Carpe Diem) from a planner selling facebook group, and I am truly in love with it!  It came completely empty but that suited me fine, as I like to be creative and make everything myself anyway. In the picture you will also see my planner charm from the Ugly Bug October box.

So lets talk through my inside….. I don’t like a lot of clutter, so when I open my planner I have the fox paper clip from the Ugly Bug October box and a paperclip which was custom made by Cherry Blossom and says “I love you more than buttery crumpets”, which is what Gavin always tells me.  I also have a little note book which I got from Wilko’s and use for all my blog ideas.

The first thing I look at on opening is a wonderful picture of my family, which was taken only a few weeks ago on a family day out.  I am so in love with it and it just makes me smile every time I open my planner 🙂

All the dividers I have made myself too, and have 2 sets.  The first set of three come from a paper pack I bought from Tinkernco Digital and I absolutely love them!  There were 14 designs in the pack, and all digital allow use over and over which is awesome.  And to get the titles for the sections I put the paper pattern into publisher and added the headers.

The second set of 12 are the months of the year for my diary.  This paper was a free printable that I found through pintrest and felt matched the planner brilliantly.  I did the same with this picture as the previous ones in publisher to get the words on the headers. So now my inserts….  I have two different diaries, my work one and my personal one.  Working only three days a week I didn’t see the need for something full on, so went for a very simple spread which allows me space to keep my work schedule alongside a To Do section so I don’t forget anything.  I left these undated so I can date as appropriate.

My personal diary inserts start each month now starts with a scroll that has various little things on I would like to achieve that month.  I got fed up of just having a blank page so felt this would be a good way of using the space.

I then have a month on 2 page spread, which I decided to take the month header off of so my boxes could be bigger.  I have decorated using daily number stickers and decor bought from Bits of Stationery and mainly use this spread to mark birthdays or any important information to do with school.

Then my diary inserts have stayed in a similar format to before, with two days per page, but they are now a little be more detailed.  It has definitely made it easier to plan my life and I have much more space to jot things down!  Here’s my current four day spread….

All the inserts can be found in my shop and if there is enough interest I will start listing my dividers too, so please let me know in the comments if you would be interested in those.

I still need to get a few more bits, as would like 2 page markers, just can’t quite find what I’m after just yet…. but no doubt I’ll get there 🙂

Do you set up your planner in a similar way? Is there anything you think I would benefit from adding?

If you want any more information about what I’ve done please just ask 🙂