Productivity

Finding Stillness in the Bullet Journal

March 16, 2016

Mindfulness through bullet journaling

I’ve spent more time than is lady-like walking back and forth between rooms because I forgot what I was doing. I’ve worried so much about forgetting something that it was normal for me to lie awake in bed reminding myself of it on repeat, frantically typing it out in iPhone Notes, only to forget to look at my notes in the morning.

As a mother, entrepreneur, community activist and artist, the amount of random work and ideas I have to juggle can be detrimental to my projects, my loved ones, and my health. The stress levels get high when you have the short-term memory of a goldfish.

I’ve preached about it: the key to getting shit done is mindfulness. I can’t think of an instance where multitasking allowed quality, precise execution of a task or project. Yet, as all my fellow creatives know, it’s really difficult to remain in the moment and on-task when you I have a lot on the mind: ballet lessons, dirty sheets, crusty paint brushes, client contracts, etc.

My entire life I’ve had daily planners to help me organize my tasks; it helps to see obligations on paper. I’ve had routines, rhythms, and check-lists… but something has always been missing— my life spans further than dates and little to-do lists.

Enter the Bullet Journal– brain-child of Ryder Carroll. The Bullet Journal is quite simply any blank book, and you write your life in it. It not only encourages order and productivity, but it acts as a record. Many of us have likely used most of Ryder’s techniques in the past, but it’s unlikely that you’ve used them all in conjunction.

To get the basic gist of it check out Ryder’s Bullet Journal video:

If you are like me and don’t watch videos, here are the basics:

  • Have one notebook for everything: your schedule, lists and notes. Use your favorite kind of notebook so that you really enjoy using it and carrying it around.
  • Three main sections: (there are more, explained here):

    • Index: when you get a fresh new journal you reserve the first few pages for an index, then number each page thereafter. As you go along you add your different page topics to the index. Topics spanning several pages are indexed as such: “Topic Name: 7-12.” Your Index is an integral part because of the nature of the Bullet Journal: since you go page-by-page all your topics will be mixed up.
    • Monthly Log: the Monthly Log is made at the start of each month, and consists of one spread– a calendar on the left and a task dump on the right. The calendar can either offer up space to plan out events and tasks, or act as an actually diary of sorts by only jotting things down after they’ve already happened. The task page is comprised of things you want to get to that month, or were carried over from the previous month. I’ve shared a sample of the Monthly in the photo above.
    • Daily Log: the date is the name of your list, and your list will likely include tasks, events, and notes. Since you never know how much space you’ll need in a given day, don’t start the following day’s header (the date) until the previous day is complete.
    • Collections: collections are topics that you’ll likely revisit and add to periodically, like that “Movies to Watch” page. Other ideas might be a wish list, helpful websites, or a brain-dump of creative concepts.
  • Log quickly: put most of your thought into the title of the page (ie: Movies to Watch), and not a lot of thought into the short-sentence items in the list.
  • Use a few bullets: Ryder’s bullets are as follows… Tasks are “•”, notes are “–”, and events/appointments are “o”. If you complete a task you “x” it out. Now… I’d really recommend watching the video to find out more about other symbols and signifiers.

bullet journal monthlies

Click here for more details on the process, Ryder’s way.

The Bullet Journal changed my life because it brought me to center. Whenever my brain needs dumped I have a place to let it spill out, and when I need to refer to it I don’t have to go searching for that old envelope I scribbled on. Everything is in one place. My one journal houses my household task list, my design concepts, my art timelines, my garden plans, my packing lists, my recipes, my million-dollar ideas and and and. Because it’s a blank book, it’s constantly morphing into whatever I need it to be, depending on how my day, week, or month is panning out. Not only has my productivity taken a lift-off, but I’ve found that the space within any tasks feels bigger, with more room to move and more air to breathe.

Here’s my set-up:

bullet journal weekly

Weekly Spread

This is my main dashboard. It’s my game-plan for the week.

First off, I use boxes for tasks instead of dots because I feel better when I can fill them in.

At the top of my Weekly Spread I list four topics: Goals, Next Week, Dinners and Projects. These sections highlight my bigger ideas, so that in the sections below I can break them down into smaller tasks.

The four bottom columns include Work, PCSI (volunteer work), Home, and Other. These categories list tasks and appointments, although I mostly depend on my Apple Calendar to remind me of appointments and dates. I’ll put the first letter of the day of the week next to all appointments and task-items that have deadlines.

From here I will transfer items over to my daily pages as they come around, usually breaking the tasks down further into smaller items.

bullet journal dailies

Daily Pages

I draw out a timeline box and note the date down for my “dailies” either the night before or first thing in the morning, then dump my brain of all the things I should/want to do that day. Next I review my Weekly spread to see if I need to transfer anything over. As the day progresses I sometimes add notes about work, orders, communications I may have had, etc. with a dot as my “notes” bullet.

In the right-hand column I write down my meal plan(s) for the day, important reminders, and any notable things that happened that day.

After my mind is all cleared out I go back and assign a code to the left of the boxes if they correspond with a specific chunk of my day. For example, I’ll put a little “o” next to my Work & PCSI tasks, a “+” next to household tasks, and a triangle next to my errands. I then separate out my timeline at the top of my Daily entry into chunks of time using those icons.

I always create a timeline at the start of the day, even if I don’t really need one. It helps me either 1) stay productive, or 2) keep myself from working. Yep. I need help on the latter.

This timeline and coding system is one of the biggest things that has helped with encouraging mindful productivity in my life. It allows me to quickly see what items I should be focusing on without having to glance over any of the other notes.

Other Spreads

I thought I’d just share some of my most useful collections. If these spreads look like they took a shit-ton of time, well, then they probably did. I’m not going to lie. I can get pretty crazy about my journal at times.

Some people in the [massive] Bullet Journal world have multiple journals for different areas of their lives. However, I’ve found that having one book keeps me more present-minded. My one bound book is like my coffee and my baby monitor— I don’t have to think about keeping it with me at all times, wherever I go. It takes me one to two months to use up a whole notebook, and then if I need to reference anything (anything at all) I can just pull out the notebook from that period of time… and then I giggle and smile to myself because my Bullet Journal system is awesome and everyone wishes they had one.

bullet journal packing list & home docket bullet journal cleaning routine and gardening plans bullet journal recipe spread bullet journal habit tracker

Supplies

These are the supplies I use, or similar items (and I get a commission if you buy using these links):

Inspiration

Here are a few of my favorite Instagram accounts. I forced myself to only list 3 so that there was a limit and people wouldn’t feel sad:

  • Kim – TinyRayofSunshine
  • Dee – DecadeThirty
  • Trine – LogthatLife

For more outside inspiration click here for Kim’s super resourceful page.

Lastly, but apparently not least, I’m going to share with you the link to my planner Instagram account, and please, if you’re going to laugh because I post photos daily of my journal and not my children or animals or food, call me up so that we can laugh about it together: Honeyrozes

Style

Incorporating Hats into Ensembles

March 14, 2016

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There are those days that your hair is bad or perhaps your too lazy to style it or you just don’t have the time. So what do you do? … Wear a hat! I have collected vintage hats for a decade and regularly incorporate them into my ensembles but I also love to wear them when my roots need to be touched up or I’m rushing out the door.

In the 1940s the turban hat gained popularity because it was a stylin’ look to disguise and protect your hair when working in manual jobs in factories and farms. It was a design that could be created with minimal sewing skills and helped to conceal the hair when access to hairdressers, shampoo, and even water, might be limited due to the war.  Today I feel we’re in a similar economic situation and I still love the turban design, as you will see me wear in one of these shots. It’s my favorite quick-fix for easy elegance and no hassle.

Ursala and I wore some of our favorite hats (all of which have romantic fashion history) for this style post because she needed a haircut and I needed my roots touched up. It ended up being a great way to show how we incorporate hats into our ensembles.

Pictured Above

  • 1960s silk velvet and satin bucket hat from Ghost Rabbits
  • Sheer striped hi-lo top from Lush
  • Black leggings with contrast velevet tuxidio style by David Lerner
  • Black ridding boots from Tahari

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  • 1940s black velvet Wilshire beret from Ghost Rabbits
  • Sheer georgette and french terry dolman sweater from Lush
  • Black cropped top by Free People
  • Black jersey wrap skirt by Nasty Gal
  • Black ridding boots from Tahari

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  • Vintage olive baret
  • Great Grandma’s walrus tusk ivory rose earrings
  • Thrifted wool scarf
  • Leather jacket from Target
  • Dotted chiffon shirt from Forever21
  • Leggings by Victoria’s Secret

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Meditations Productivity

Ten Ways to Practice Mindfulness without Meditating

January 29, 2016

It’s been a long time, blog world. Drie and I like to make things, and that’s the problem with being a Maker: you always want to make something new. We made a blog, but then we wanted to make other super sweet stuff. I’ve been busy making art and a school, and Drie’s been cooking up lyra routines and a Kickstarter campaign to launch her and Blue’s physical location for all the other stuff they make and collect. You kind of need to set priorities as a creative, and unfortunately, blogging hasn’t made the cut as of recently.

I grew up thinking that the key to super-charged creative productivity was multi-tasking, but now I’m finding that to be productivity’s antagonist. The opposite— being completely present in the moment— is the key to productivity. Yet, being present, as we all know, is one of the most challenging thing for humans to do. It takes a lot of practice! Practice like meditation!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve tried and tried to love meditating, but it is just such a drag! I’ve made resolutions and tried to impose rules to force myself to meditate, but nothing has worked. I’d much rather be doing something that gets me excited! That makes me jump out of bed and gets my fingers tingling! The thought of meditating— that scary peaceful place of total presence and mastery of the mind— makes me fabricate all sorts of excuses to the point where I’ll stay in bed all morning to avoid it.

I have practiced meditation for weeks at a time, and it was cool. I encouraged everyone I encountered to meditate. It centered me and made me really pleasant to be around, so I know the benefits and how it can change your life. But I’ve also done a lot of other things that are sort of like meditating, they are a lot more FUN, and they seem to have a similar effect on my life. Lately I’ve returned to “using” several of these methods in my daily life, and I’ve been seeing that the practice of mindfulness necessary to engage in these activities has been seeping into the other areas of my life as well. My overall happiness has increased: I treat my body better, feel more confident and capable, and of course, I feel more productive.

So, I made a list of ten of those things for all of you and here they are:

Get tattooed

Getting tattooed can be a great practice in mindfulness, as you bring your awareness to the specific source of pain to relieve the other parts of your body of tension.

Snowboard

Taking the risk to endanger your physical body to snowboard with grace requires deliberant trust in yourself and the natural forces. The body and mind need to loosen and relax, as you commit to the process, breathing out any fear, and offering up true vulnerability to the mountain.

Rock climb 

Rock climbing subjects you to the real, physical sensations of fear and stress to remind you of the power of breath and the present moment.

Walk

The simple experience of taking alternating steps with your left and right feet helps create a meditative state that allows you to easily be present in your body and the present moment, which can be just as profound of an experience as seated meditation.

Chant

The act of vocal repetition removes you from the physical state into the ether, in a much more present, non-judgemental place of sound.

Dance

Dancing is one of the most natural, instinctual, and easily-obtainable ways to Be Here Now. Plus, you can do it with anybody who can stand on their legs, including your dog.

Journal

Writing can curb your restless mind and cultivate awareness of your overall experience. It simultaneously provides an archive or your mindfulness practice while sharpening your ability to attend to the present moment.

Play an instrument

Regardless of ability or experience, any musician can use music practice as a meditation of completely absorbed yet relaxed concentration. The act of play not only increases your ability on your instrument, but you are also creating a sanctuary within yourself which is away from your normal active state of mind.

Draw from life

By pencil/pen drawing the things around us, we move past looking (labeling of objects) to seeing (becoming part of the experience of being). Drawing is an extraordinary practice that emphasizes the wonder of “ordinary” existence.

Eat

Eating mindfully is one of the easiest and most convenient practices to remind yourself of the miracle of life.

What things do you do to bring the practice of mindfulness into your everyday life?

 

* photo of the incredible Tasha Rayburn by Chris Black of Black Shot Photography

Body & Mind Little Souls

Yoga with Baby

October 27, 2015

loungewithwyatt

Since becoming a new mom I have also become more entrenched in yoga then ever before, because I have been figuring out how to incorporate Wyatt into my practice, and it’s something fun we can do together. After becoming a certified yoga instructor this summer, I decided to blog about doing yoga with your little ones.  This first series includes ways you can include your baby into you practice.

sun salutations with baby

Flowing in sun salutations is actually fairly easy with a baby. Rise up together in mountain and slowly roll vertebrate by vertebrate down into your forward fold. Lay your baby down or let them sit up to finish your salutation. Have fun play and repeat as much as you wish.

yoga poses with baby

(I forgot to add chair pose, another great pose to do together)

Style

Incorporating Vintage into Your Wardrobe

October 3, 2015

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Many people assume that dressing in vintage is full-on costuming yourself in a specific period. Sometimes that is the case and I personally do love to do that, since I’m a costume-history nerd; to me, it’s magical assembling an outfit from a different time period. However, there are those times when you just want to throw in a little vintage here-and-there, spicing up an ensemble without appearing like you belong in any specific period of time, and finding ways to make your style more unique and defined.

I’ve always been a huge fan of vintage because I adore old things. I love the quality in which things where made back in the day compared to now; most of our fashion, products, cars, household items, and food are all mass-produced and cheaply-made. I find it amazing that I can go into an antique store and find a cardigan that was hand-crafted in the USA with beautiful hand-done beadwork made from fine cashmere with matching silk lining hand-stitched to the inside, all for the same price as a cheaply-fabricated cardigan from a online store. Many people don’t realize that you can find really high quality treasures in Podunk Town antique stores. As a romantic, I also love that these handcrafted treasures have a story and a past that we get to carry on.

With out further adieu, here is how Ursala and I like to incorporate some of our favorite vintage pieces into our style, from wearing just a touch of the past, to having it be the focus of our ensemble. Hopefully it offers up a little inspiration!

Pictured Above

  • White Buffalo t-shirt from the band themselves
  • Thrifted necklace
  • Fat decorative belt from L.A.’s fashion district
  • Vintage crushed velvet dress from Ghost Rabbits
  • Ankle flats by GH Bass & Co.

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  • Camisole from Ross
  • Skirt handmade from previous post DIY Circle Skirt
  • Sunglasses from downtown L.A. fashion district
  • Vintage necklace and earrings
  • Vintage patent leather 60s Mod Fanfanfares pumps are up for sale at Ghost Rabbits
  • Vintage mid century patent leather purse

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  • Vintage 1980s velvet wiggle dress worn twice by Ursala’s mom
  • Gold shoes by Pilcro and the Letterpress
  • Vintage gold hairclip from my grandmother
  • Brass bracelet gifted from Benin
  • Vintage leather mid century handbag from Ghost Rabbits

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  • Vintage 80s leather shoulder-capped button-up thrifted
  • Hand-me-down J + CO jeans
  • Black suede wedge pumps by Cooperative
  • Fat red belt thrifted

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Inspiration

Superhighway Brief #005:
O’Keeffe style, shameless selfies & embracing fear

September 30, 2015

Georgia O'Keeffe Inspired