how I make my monthly bullet journal spreads!

2019, creativity, organisation

Hello!

In my head, I’m still getting used to it being 2019 and somehow it’s nearly June? How did that happen? I really don’t know where the time had gone.

This year’s bullet journal might be my greatest pride and joy – it’s much more organised and structured than last year and each month has it’s own sections, whilst still being adaptable.

So I thought I’d do a little run down of how I start my monthly spreads! It’s nothing ground breaking but it’s got a colour scheme and I really enjoy it, therefore – going to share!

Where does a new month start?

Sounds like a dumb question, but it’s something I actually plan – so the last weekly spread I do before I start my monthly pages is where the new month starts. To explain more clearly, this June starts on a Saturday so the last weekly spread I’m doing before starting a new month is the week 27th May – 2nd June, so the month has already started when I do the monthly pages.

That might be the most repetitive and least cognitive paragraph I’ve ever written? But you get it, right?

First page!

I just write the name of the month on the right page and leave the left page blank to stick in my monthly colouring/drawing page from the previous month. Pretty simple.

Second page!

June content! Even though I’ve been pretty shoddy with sticking to schedule recently (work and mental stability has to come first!) I do actually plan to post four pieces of content a week.

On the left, I have a list calendar and colour coordinated highlighters to signify what days I need to post because it just makes it easier for my brain to comprehend it all. Then on the right I do a few notes or a reminder for my future self about what these random ideas were meant to mean.

Pretty simple, nice place for me to make notes for my next goals and favourites posts and videos.

Third page!

My monthly goals! Currently looking a bit bare because I haven’t had time to think about them yet but how I like to set them out is to write them on the left page and then at the end of the month I do a little review of how I’ve approached each goal I’ve set myself and how successful I’ve been.

Some months it’s quite discouraging when things don’t go to plan or I don’t have time or I don’t progress as I hope but some months it’s so motivating to know that I really focused and worked hard. Most months it’s a mix of the two, but it’s a format I’ve been working on and refining for a year now and it’s getting better.

Fourth (and final!) page!

Finances! And sometimes I write the right month I swear! (I only realised as I was writing this post that I’d written May and not June).

As with every other spread, I have a layout for each page – on the left I do more planning, this month is pretty simple because I’m trying to spend as little as possible (potentially upgrading my car this month…). On the right I document everything I’m spending as it goes out of my bank account, I find that much easier to track than basing it on when I spend the money because then things get forgotten and it’s confusing for my tiny brain to factor in all my bills and everything.

I’m not particularly strict – I don’t have an overdraft or a budget at the moment, it’s simply a case of I get paid on the first and it has to last me the whole month, but I’m trying to save as much as I can for the future and travelling etc. Monitoring my spending and putting an overall figure on how much I’m spending really helps me realise how much I’m spending and make me much more aware.

And that’s how I plan out my month! If you’d like to see more of my bullet journal let me know and I’ll write about it – I love finding new ways of organising and planning and writing all about it!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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trying something new… | bullet journalling

2019, organisation

Hello!

It’s been a little while since I did a bullet journal update or post of any kind hasn’t it? If you’re new to my bullet journal content I’ve got lots of blog posts and YouTube videos and for a very quick catch up – I’ve been bullet journalling as my main form of diary, organisation and to do lists for over 2 years and it’s not the artsy creative kind of thing you see on Instagram, but I consider it quite minimalistic and functional.

So with that in mind, what’s so exciting and new that I wrote a semi-clickbaity title about it? Well it’s a slight change to my weekly spread that will either make me infinitely more productive or sap every last tiny bit of productivity I’ve ever had. So let’s chat about it!

But first, let’s look back on how my weekly spreads have evolved…

my first attempt at bullet journalling! I had an overall to do list for the week on one side and then would make a to do list at the beginning of each day which took another three pages

the first time I tried having my whole weekly spread on one double page spread, something that has stuck ever since

the six ‘squares’ for days of the week stuck around on the right page but this was the point I started to categorise my overarching by to do list by uni work/society stuff/other etc

 

Here’s where I started my best attempt at budgeting in early 2018! The right page has now evolved into 8 squares because at this point I’m onto my second journal (my first Leuchterm) and it’s dotted rather than lined which is SO MUCH EASIER

the format was pretty similar at this point but this is what I consider my ‘most productive’ spread – I had clear categories on the left page, a budgeting box small enough that I was encouraged not to exceed it and 8 boxes on the right hand page

 

when I finished uni I didn’t need the uber productive weekly spread anymore so this is where I started to develop what I now use as my current weekly spread

I really liked having the 8 strips on the right for each day of the week (and a spare) but this is where the left hand page starts to become more formulated and less random

here I’m really starting to settle in what I want this spread to look like

and onto my third bujo! at this point, I wanted the left hand side to take the same shape every week so I didn’t fill the space until I knew what I wanted it for

and this is last week’s spread – I’ve figured out how to use all the space on the left page and the right page has stayed the same for a while (why fix what isn’t broken?)

And here we have the new weekly spread! It’s not that different, yeah I know, but it brings back what I loved about having the overarching to do list without giving me the boundaries of putting each thing on a specific day.

I’ve still got daily breakdowns of stuff and things that are bound to a certain day (work/volunteering/content/driving lessons/other fun stuff) but everything else? I’m just going to pick and choose however many things I need to fill up my daily to do list and then if I finish it all and I feel motivated to continue then I can pick another thing from the list.

I’m probably getting a bit overexcited in blogging about it literally two days into using it but I’m excited about it – I’ve been using roughly the same spread for nearly a year and that’s what my life has become now; a new weekly spread format is exciting.

Flicking back through my old journals, a lot of my habits have stayed the same – the reason I use my bullet journal is the same, it’s just the layout and circumstances that have changed and that’s what I love about bullet journalling over having a diary. I can change how my whole life is organised from week to week if I want to, it negates the need for a diary and a separate to do list book and it just combines everything into one. It’s genuinely the core of my entire life, or at least, it feels like it sometimes!

I’m excited for the day that I get a career related job where I can start adapting again and continue making my bullet journal the most productive it can be!

As always, any tips, tricks or thoughts you have (whether it’s in your own bullet journal or how you would use a bullet journal if you don’t already have one!) then please leave them in the comments or come over for a natter on Instagram!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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don’t be fooled by the fashion bloggers!

2019, fashion

Hello!

I don’t mean this title to sound as accusing as it does, it’s just a realisation I had the other day and wanted to share because sometimes it’s easy to see lot’s of people online talking about how they do something and starting to think that’s what you want and forgetting that’s not actually what you want!

I watch, follow and read about quite a few fashion bloggers, YouTubers and instagrammers and in the age of sustainability and avoiding fast fashion, everyone’s talking about capsule wardrobes.

This is how it went for me – I started trying to plan a capsule wardrobe, I picked out loads of clothes that I didn’t want anymore (which I needed to do anyway) to donate or sell and I was looking at my wardrobe, still not very capsule, and I was watching videos or people talking about their capsule wardrobes and it hit me like a truck.

We don’t have the same style, so why am I trying to make my wardrobe like theirs?

There wardrobes were all plain clothes and patterns, mine is some of this but with band t-shirts and pop-culture-nerd t-shirts. Their wardrobe had eight pairs of jeans, I have one and a bunch of funky stripy trousers from New Look (side note: I love the Anna Edit but eight pairs of jeans?? Surely no one ‘needs’ eight pairs of jeans?? No judging, just genuinely intrigued).

My impression of a capsule wardrobe is that you have fewer items of clothing but they all match and coordinate more. For some reason, I kind of decided that meant that I had to have a wardrobe centred around one colour and if you have a shirt that you think goes really well with one pair of trousers but not really anything else, then that shirt isn’t wearable enough (if that makes sense?).

But that’s not the case!

The turning point for me is I was trying to figure out things to get rid of to make my wardrobe more minimalistic and capsule and I realised that Anna (from the Anna Edit) doesn’t wear hoodies, it’s just not something that is in her wardrobe and I literally own six or seven and they’re all slightly different and I actually wear them all, so why should I make myself throw them all away when I actually get a lot of use out of them?

I love hoodies, I love nerd merch, but I love pattern clothes and I’m a sucker for a plain white tee too and I’m integrating these in my own way!

So on the one hand, my wardrobe isn’t so ‘capsule’ because everything doesn’t quite go with everything else, but I am getting a lot better at refining it and being less precious about clothes I’ve owned for a long time or clothes I spent a lot of money on just because I spent a lot of money on them.

Living a more minimalist life and valuing the things I actually need more – thinking more about need than want is my new priority – but also, I’m a really sentimental person so I’ve got 4 or 5 photos alums and lots of boxes and I want to make sure I use everything so I’ve got lots of notebooks that I haven’t used, and literally about 50 biros that I will use in the long run and I don’t see the point in throwing them away and then having to buy new ones in the future!

It’s all a balance, a balance I haven’t figured out yet but what I have realised is that I need to make sure is that I don’t lose my own style and thoughts and opinions because I’m getting so invested in the creators I follow online.

I’m not saying that fashion bloggers are to blame – they’re not telling me that my wardrobe is wrong, I just didn’t see the kind of clothes I like wearing in the creators I watch.

Maybe I’m just being a moron and saying something that no one else had ever thought before but you know what? I might not be! It’s so easy to be influenced by social media and not realise you’re losing yourself a little bit but I thoroughly recommend staring at your wardrobe for a little bit just to figure out what you really love.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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pushing through procrastination

2019, organisation

Hello!

Whether it be due to anxiety, having to do school work you really don’t care about or just being tired, I can guarantee that every single person in the world procrastinates, loses motivation and puts things off.

And I say this as someone who prides herself on her organisation, colour coordinated lists and post it notes, but that doesn’t mean I’m productive and on task 100% of the time. I love to think I give the illusion of having my life together but I really don’t think that’s the case!

So I thought I would put together some of my tips for how I tackle the worst bouts of procrastination, because I’ll be brutally honest – these past couple of weeks I’ve really struggled to motivate myself to do anything and I’m motivating myself to push through it as much as motivating anyone else!

1 – pick one thing that will help you with a routine and force yourself to do it, even if you don’t want to

I know this sounds like the worst tip if you’re struggling to motivate yourself, but I promise just picking one thing and making sure you do that is like rebooting your brain and reminding yourself you are in control and you can push through it! For me, when my anxiety hits and I start to feel low, it’s things like brushing my teeth than I just can’t bring myself to do. I know it sounds gross and there’s a deeper psychological reason for it but if I can push through and make myself do it, it makes other tasks on my to do list feel more achievable.

2 – focus on one task at a time

Sometimes a whole list can be incredibly overwhelming, but picking one task and working on that, and then the next task can be so much more approachable than seeing a whole list of however many things.

It can just be a case of going ‘right! I’m going to work on this task for this amount of time’ – for me, I volunteer on reception at a dance school and if I’m struggle to get on with things, I’ll set myself the task of working on one thing until the next dance class finishes. Then if I get that task done, great! If I don’t, I’ve made a start. Breaking it down works really well for me.

3 – try a change of scenery

It can be so easy to convince yourself that you can work from the sofa, or your bed, or whilst your boyfriend is playing video games in the same room (this one might be a bit niche) but sometimes that doesn’t work – whether it’s moving to a desk, a different room at home or going to a local cafe or something, a change of environment can really make the difference in altering your mindset to be more productive.

If going to a cafe isn’t financially viable and moving around at home isn’t working, I recommend either having a tidy up or switch around at home if you can! See if you can move things around, maybe move your desk closer to the window or Marie Kondo your stuff so it all feels a bit less cluttered. There are lots of ways you can change up your space without having to spend lots of money.

4 – give yourself some breathing space

I’m not saying give up, but give yourself half an hour to breathe – watch a YouTube video (but only one or two, put a deadline on it), play a few rounds of Candy Crush or something or make a new adapted to do list to help refocus your mind.

I remember at school always being told to do 20 minutes work and have a 10 minute break and the same applies outside of doing homework and revising for exams – forcing yourself to work when your mind is tense and frustrated is never going to work so take a step away, recentre, take the pressure off and then step back into it.

5 – make a new to do list!

My personal favourite – even if it means having the same things written out basically three or four times in different places, being able to adapt or switch up your to do list to help your own productivity is always a good idea!

If I’m feeling particularly frustrated, I will start my to do list again and only write out the tasks I think are genuinely achievable and I might even write out some things I’ve already done that day so I can lull myself into a false sense of productivity – because there’s nothing like a half ticked off to do list to motivate you to do the other half!

Obviously, take all of these tips with a pinch of salt – it’s so personal for everyone that it will take a lot of determination and hard work to find what works for you. I tried so many different revision techniques when I was doing exams at school, then I had to adapt that to finish assignments at uni and find other new ways to be productive now that I’m working. It’s constantly changing and evolving, so if there’s anything you do that isn’t on this list please do leave it in the comments so I can try them too!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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how to make productive to do lists!

2019, lifestyle, organisation

Hello!

Thought my confidence in my ability to do literally anything right now is rock bottom, one thing I know I can do for sure is make a list and get stuff done. In the two years since I’ve had my bullet journal I’ve got a lot better at figuring out what works best for me.

How I make my to do lists has changed a lot – in the summer of 2016 I remember making lists that were 9 or 10 things long and then getting really demotivated because I wasn’t getting anything done. In the following January I started my first bullet journal and from there I started experimenting with writing a long weekly to do list so I could see what I needed to achieve over the whole week and then I could pick out tasks that I needed to do on each day.

I stuck with that structure for a while, developing it to split my weekly tasks into categories like Uni, Society, Personal, Long-Term etc just to help me focus more. But when I finished uni I felt I didn’t need the focus as much and I didn’t have the same need for tasks that were completed each week so I stopped using this around June 2018.

And between summer 2018 and the end of the year I really refined how I make my to do lists and it’s working really well for me to have a balanced productive day – not giving myself too much to do, making sure I finish all my computer jobs during the day and doing as much as I can to make sure I get everything done.

Shock horror, she’s talking about her bullet journal again. This is my nearly finished weekly spread – on the left page I write the content I want to make for the week, my monthly goals and tick boxes (because is there anything more satisfying than ticking a tick box?) for my daily tasks and this is working really well right now.

Then on the right I have my daily to do’s – each day has 4 lines for me to plan things to do and the highlighted numbers is my word goal for my writing challenge this month. I keep my Sunday box longer because I can catch up on things  I’ve missed during the week and make notes for the following week.

I think if I had a better memory and such I wouldn’t need to rewrite each list every day but I really like writing my to do’s for each day on a post it note and stick it to the front of my bullet journal so I can just tick it off without having to have it open all the time.

The way I make each list is I write the day of the week at the top, because let’s be real – I forget what day it is at least 7 times a day, then I draw 5 boxes and 3 dashes.

(not the greatest picture but gives you the idea of what my lists look like!)

The 5 boxes are for me to write the must-to do’s and those are my kind of bare minimum tasks for the day – it’ll include things like any editing or writing I’ve got to do, if I’ve got a dance class or work or anything like that, it all goes on the list with any other tasks I want to do for the day.

Then I use the dashes for tasks that aren’t too important or wouldn’t be the end of the world if I didn’t do – things like my daily writing challenge that I’m doing at the moment, any tasks I could do if I finish everything else on my list and any little jobs that really need doing but it wasn’t worth a tick box.

And this system works really well for me. That’s not to say I get everything done on my list every single day – I have bad days that I just can’t bring myself to do the things I need to do and I’m frustrated and tired. But this is the best system I’ve found so far – some people get 10 things done every day, some people get three things done a day, some people go to the gym at 6am, work 9-5, volunteer at a food bank after work and have a solid mental health so comparing your productivity to mine or anyone you see online is utterly pointless. It’s all about things like substituting phrases like ‘I was so productive today’ to ‘I got everything on my to do list done today!’ – productivity is so highly valued in society and on social media right now but every person is different and everyone works differently.

Conclusion – to do lists are great and all and I’m really happy with how I make mine now but we shouldn’t compare productivity because everyone is different.

I hope this has been even a little bit helpful! I do love talking about organisation and things like this so if there’s anything you’d like to hear my two cents on, let me know!!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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making yourself a routine

2019, lifestyle

Hello!

One of the things I consistently find myself yearning for in day to day life is a routine – when I left school I found it weird so at uni I made myself a more structured routine. Then again when I finished uni I struggled taking each day with no plans and no idea of what would happen.

When you’re freelance, self-employed, unemployed, a graduate struggling to find a job, whatever reason for being home a lot, often on your own and an expanse of uncertain future in front of you, the weight of that uncertainty can make it hard to find a reason to get out of bed. The only definite timings you have are breakfast, lunch and dinner and that’s assuming you’re not sad binge eating, snacking all day and have a healthy relationship with food.

So here’s where the routine bit comes in – I’ve always been the person who thrives on structure, will pull a to do list of things I need to do out of the air and keep myself busy so I thought I’d share what works for me. This is a little disclaimer that it’s exactly that – what works for me, everyone is different; some people don’t care about routines, some people really struggle to stick to a plan they’ve made and sometimes other factors come into play, I’m just sharing what I do to structure my days.

There are some tips to how I motivate myself to get out of bed every day and give myself a purpose.

#1 – writing to do lists

Is this a shock to anyone at this point? But seriously – making my monthly goals which feeds to my weekly bullet journal spreads and daily to do post-it notes make it so much easier to make a routine that doesn’t become stale too quickly because each day is different from the tasks I set myself. I then feel more productive and feel mentally prepared to do it all again the next day.

My lists are filled with things like filming videos, writing blog posts, working on my freelance career, but also includes things like doing the laundry, selling that pile of stuff that’s building up in my room etc. Obviously I can’t write a list of things that you could put on a list because it’s so personal, but if you don’t have projects to work on or you struggle to think of things you could put on a list then even things like having a shower, making lunch, making your bed can be a place to start – it’s something to tick off (which is so satisfying) and you can build on it from there.

#2 – have set times for food

It sounds ridiculous, but if you can give yourself time markers throughout the day it just breaks the day up a bit. I aim to eat my breakfast by 9am, I let myself go for lunch at 12pm (I normally count down the minutes) and then depending on what we’re having for dinner I usually start cooking about 5pm for dinner at 6pm. That’s when I stop for the day – I come out of the office, leave my computer and have some off-screen time. Which is ironic because instead of looking at my computer screen I watch TV and scroll through my phone but it’s a work in progress, I’m cutting down my scrolling! An attempt was made!

#3 – plan stuff for the future

This isn’t so much for having a routine but for keeping yourself sane – whether it’s a diary, a bullet journal or a digital calendar on your phone, getting through every day when you have to make stuff up for yourself to do is so much easier when you’ve got days with friends or a weekend away or a job pencilled in, especially if you’re unemployed and don’t have any friends that live nearby, having something to look forward to can make finding a routine in the now much easier.

It’s a bit like #2  – rather than breaking up the day, it breaks up the future so rather than this expanse of ‘no plans’, there’s something coming up. Obviously this is based on the things that I struggle with – some people see a blank calendar as relaxing or exciting but it scares me, to be honest. What I’m saying – take these tips with a pinch of salt!

#4 – have a space to work

This one I struggle a bit to explain, because for me it meant not being in the living room, not being in the kitchen and not being in my bedroom but I know that a lot of people don’t have the luxury of turning a spare bedroom into an office – I definitely didn’t at uni! But if you can find or make a separate space to work on your tasks I find that really helpful. At the moment, I’ve got a little office space at home but when I was at uni I found going into a local cafe or into uni (not the library, it was soul destroying) really helped my productivity.

Sitting somewhere as comfortable as the sofa is probably not going to work in your favour if you’re trying to get out of the slump of binging Netflix and having an afternoon nap. Also then, the sofa is not a work environment and it can be exclusively for binging Netflix and taking an afternoon nap.

#5 – have a strict sleep schedule

I don’t mean strict in the extreme way that you can’t stay up late sometimes and adapt, but having times to wake up and wind down make a routine and structure so much easier.

Personally, I start planning to go to bed at 10pm, by the time I’ve actually got up from the sofa, changed into my PJs, brushed my teeth, read a couple of chapters of my book I’m ready to settle down for sleep between 11pm and 11.30pm. I’ve also recently started not looking at my phone after I’ve plugged into charge before I start reading (except to update my Goodreads progress) and that’s really helped too.

I am to be up between 6.30am-7am but that doesn’t always happen, I’m usually out of bed by 8am at the latest and having that structure is so helpful for my routine.

It’s all a work in progress – I’m still learning, I accidentally spent three hours watching YouTube with breakfast the other day but I mentally reviewed it and planned a way to combat it. It’s about self awareness, noticing the things that aren’t helping your routine and deciding how to work on it.

I hope this has been helpful, it’s turned into a proper long ramble but these are my favourite kinds of posts!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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October Goals!

2018, lifestyle

Hello!

How another month has flown – I’ve only got two more of these posts to write in 2018 and oh my god that’s a scary way of looking at it!

October is looking to be a pretty quiet month – it’s getting considerably colder and the leaves are all starting to change colour on the trees, the nights are drawing in and I’m starting to feel all snuggly and cosy so let’s jump right in and have a ramble about the things I want to focus on this month shall we!

[ O C T O B E R   G O A L S ]

  • focus on balance – I want to make sure I spend an even amount of time on a variety of things rather than trying to squeeze doing a bit of everything every day – I want to make time to work for my mum, continue making content 4 times a week, job hunting consistently and doing other things that I want to do! Balance is definitely something I need to work on.
  • sort and decorate room, clear old office – this month I’m hoping to redecorate my room – paint a feature wall, repaint the other walls, get a new carpet and a new wardrobe but first I have to tidy and clear the contents of my room as it is currently and I need to clear the spare room I’m moving stuff into. And the spare room has all the stuff I left behind when I went to uni that I need to sort through and decide whether I’m keeping, donating or getting rid off. Overall, lots of household sorting and maybe some painting.
  • finish my scrapbook – I started my scrapbook in first year, took a three year break and worked on it a bit at the end of August/beginning of September but I’ve got a few more bits to put in and then I can just do a page when something happens or I have enough to put in it! It probably won’t take me more than an afternoon but I just want to get my scrapbook and my photo albums sorted this month.
  • try new recipes and continue eating well – for a whole week now I’ve been eating really well, I’ve been really strict with not snacking between meals and eating as healthily as I can being such a fussy eater but I want to try new meals! The way I’m doing this is by mostly letting my boyfriend and my mum choose things they like and trying new things that way, so if I find anything I’ll definitely share it on Instagram (linked below).
  • have evenings off – I spent an awful lot of my time beating myself up about not being productive enough and I so often convince myself ‘I’ll work in the evening while watching TV’ but the TV I’ve been watching at the moment has been so addictive that I haven’t been able to tear myself away from it. So I want to give myself the evenings to be properly relaxed and not feel pressured to do anything! That’s not to say I’m sacking off the things I’ve not done on my to do list, it’s a double edged sword – I want to be more productive during the days so I can have the evenings off, but if I don’t get everything done I want I need to give myself a break.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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dotted Leuchtturm 1917 – starting my second bullet journal

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

I got a new bullet journal for my birthday back in September – having filled a lined notebook that I already owned between January-November, I’d seen a lot of hype around the Leuchtturm 1917 journals. Since I knew I wanted to continue bullet journalling, I asked for this journal for my birthday.

So, considering I was trying out a new journal, transferring the relevant stuff from my old journal and it was my first time starting a journal and it not being for the first time – if that makes any sense at all? – I thought I’d talk through how I started this new journal with the admin-y bits, how I’ve adapted my weekly spreads and then my thoughts on the Leuchtturm journal.

Having had two months to think about how I wanted to format this journal. I knew I wanted to change how I presented my future logs and they’re now much more concise and more for noting important or fun dates and I’m really pleased with how they look and how I’ve used my pastel highlighters. They make me very happy.

My monthly logs I’ve kept much the same as my old journal – they look much nicer then my first journal because there’s more smaller lines in the Leuchtturm and I like them. Hence why I kept them the same. Truly thrilling.

My first spread it about university hand ins and grades because I’m not obsessed with grades sshh. But this is where the dotted part of the journal first came in really handy – making the boxes on the results page was much simpler and I really like how it looks. I can fill it in and cross bits out as necessary which I find really useful.

I have a lot of temporary lists like what I wanted to get people for Christmas, rehearsal schedules for a drama show I was in before Christmas and financial plans for the next year (it was a lot of maths on one page, not interesting at all).

This isn’t a ‘final layout’ of how I want to make my content  planning spread but it’s the first full one I’ve made – I like the calendar and being able to see nearly a full month at a time on one side but the right hand side needs work. It’ll be different in February when I’m not catering for the last couple of weeks of the previous month but I’m really excited to use these spreads throughout the year, see how I can adapt them and if they work with helping me to maintain my content.

This page isn’t massively relevant to how I set up and use my journal but I like it a lot.

And this is what my weekly spreads look like now – it’s very minor changes from where I started in November but it’s really useful for me. Rather than splitting the right page into six sections it’s now split into eight which means every day gets their own section, I can make a note of things to remember for the following week and it also limits how much I can set myself to do each day. The biggest problem with the previous design of the spreads is that I could give myself seven or eight large tasks to do each day and that’s just not feasible, so having fewer tasks and more space to organise works really well for me.

I also now have a Money Tracker on the left hand side – since being made redundant last year and getting the next instalment of student loan has meant I’ve had to be very strict with budgeting to make sure I don’t run out of money before the next instalment in April. This spread works really well for me and I’m getting much better at checking in with my journal (which was one of my new years resolutions!)

My boyfriend and I made this list of goals for the year and I’ve left the other page blank to act as a kind of scrapbook if and when we do the things we can tick them off and stick something in, I’m so excited about it.

And that’s about it for the important relevant pages from my new journal! I’ve used nearly 60 pages of about 250, so I’m not sure this will last me the entirety of 2018 but it would be nice if I could start a new one for 2019!

My thoughts on the Leuchtturm 1917 journal is pretty positive – I definitely like the dots over the lines because it’s so much more adaptable in terms of drawing boxes or grids and splitting up weekly spreads but I personally find the space between the dots is a bit small. I have rather large handwriting so I find that some of my spreads feel a bit crowded.

The pages, though advertised as being heavy duty, I find do bleed quite a lot and you can see that quite clearly in these pictures – I have to be careful with how much coloured pen I use on a page as to consider the next pages. I’ve seen people saying they use Sharpies to bullet journal but I can’t imagine that going very well in this book. Not a massive deal for me, but worth mentioning if it’s something that’s important to you!

I do love that the pages are already numbered because I always forgot to do that in my old one and it made the index much harder to maintain. I also like that the index is part of the design of the book so it looks much more formal and neat. I like it a lot – at this point in time I would definitely repurchase and use it again (especially since they’ve just released a soft cover one, so much more convenient than a hardback one) but who knows, I might find something even more convenient by the end of the year. We’ll see!

I wrote a post about starting a bullet journal and a bullet journal update in early 2017 and I wanted to do an update having moved on to my second journal. Do you like this kind of content? Would you like me to write more about bullet journalling? Let me know in the comments!

I’ve put a full bullet journal flip through on my second channel unlisted so you can only watch it with this link! How exclusive. If you want to see my journal in full I’d recommend watching that.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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May favourites

2017, lifestyle, music, photography, student

Hello!

Another favourites post! I’ve done this one a little differently and separated it into different categories, but I’ve been loving a lot of things this month so let’s crack right on!

beauty

Highlighters are my new guilty pleasure and for the first time in my life I don’t mean the florescent stationery kind. My ‘go to’ every day make up is eyebrows, mascara, lipstick and highlighter because it just makes me feel cute because I have glittery cheeks. I picked up these beauties while I was home last week in the shades Iridescent Gold and Pink Shimmer from MUA and they were only £3 each! They’re super pigmented and the colour is really clear – it’s not very subtle but I like to go a bit overboard on the highlighter so if that’s what you’re into I’d definitely recommend them!

organisation

As I’m lacking in the florescent stationery highlighters, I need a new way to organise! Not really – I love my bullet journal and it’s good for organising the finer details of things but for an overview of what my month looks like in a more general way then I like putting everything into Apple Calendars. I like being able to have different categories and I can sync with my other Apple-product-using friends and I like having it on my computer where everything else is in my journal. I like the combination of the two.

food

I think it was April when my mum and sister came to visit and we drove to the beach and had ice cream but this New Forest Toffee Crunch Ice Cream was beautiful and I can buy it in big tubs at Asda but they’re £3 a pot and somehow a highlighter feels like a better way to spend my money. If you’re on the South Coast of the UK at any point over the summer I thoroughly recommend it! I might have to treat myself.

watching

Fairytale – my boyfriend is really into anime and he’s been asking if I want to watch this one for a while. He gave me no context of what it was about but the other day he said to me “I just want to show you the title sequences!” and then proceeded to show me all of episode one. Whilst I wasn’t too pleased to be manipulated into watching his show (when he outright refuses to watch anything I suggest even when he watched a couple of episodes and enjoyed it… not that I’m salty) it is actually really good – I often find animes to be too melodramatic and serious (which I don’t mind, like I still enjoy them but it’s a tiny grievance of mine) but this one is really funny and the title sequence song from the first arc is amazing, I thoroughly recommend putting this cover by NateWantsToBattle on repeat for a while.

Doctor Who – I’m one of those Doctor Who fans. I’ve been watching the series since Freema Agyeman was David Tennant’s assistant in 2007 and I’ve watched every episode since and this season is really close to being one of my favourites (but nothing will ever beat Matt Smith and Karen Gillan’s series 5) – I wish this was what Capaldi’s first season as the doctor had been like because I feel like fans would have liked that so much more (though I have a lot of opinions on Series 8/9 Doctor/Clara Who). It’s something I could write a whole blog post about so let me know if you want that!

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – I saw this film right at the beginning of the month so I couldn’t write a full on review for it, but all I can say is if you like comedy go see this film, even if you’re not into action superheroes and even if you’ve not seen the first film it’s absolutely brilliant. Personally I think it matched the first one in the perfect way without overshadowing it – the special effects were absolutely astonishing, the action moments were incredible, it was hilarious, surprisingly heartwarming and I wish I could afford to go and see it again!

Also Baby Groot – I’ll say nothing more.

things I’ve created

I wasn’t so sure of this as a segment but I’m really proud of this content and why not a favourites post to be able to share what I’m proud of?

2017 beginner’s bullet journal flip through – this whole video was really last minute and took me a surprisingly long time to edit but I’m really proud of it and the comments are so positive! I’m can’t wait to do another flip through in a few months or when I finish the book! I got to nerd out about organisation and stationery and I loved it.

New instagram – ahealthiersophie – I started this because I watched John Green’s series ‘100 Days‘ and he said he found it was much easier to control his diet when he made himself document it all and that’s what sprouted the idea. But I didn’t want the account to be 100% food so I post twice a day to break it up a bit. The intent was to post lots of workout photos and show how I was being healthy in that aspect but that only really started in June when I started this 30 Day Ab Challenge but it’s been an outlet for me to talk a lot about my mental health. May has been a really tough month and I’ve multiple people message me like ‘u okai??!11!’ and I’ve had some amazing conversations with my friend Sarah about a potential diagnosis (obvs not going to say anything ‘official’ (???) until I’ve been to the doctors but I’m working on the courage for that) and it’s been very therapeutic. It’s also highlighted a lot of scary things that go on in my brain but I think that’s a good thing.

Lupton and Luckett – new YouTube channel with Alice! My friend Alice and I kinda joked in Instagram comments about starting a channel now here we are – Video 1 live, Video 2 filmed (it’s a baking video, I thoroughly recommend subscribing for that going live next Thursday!) and videos planed all summer. I love Alice and I’m so ridiculously excited to create with her. She’s so little and cute (and I look like a mouldy purple potato next to her) but I love this girl and I think you’ll love her too.

my ‘no spend’ month – the blog post I wrote literally two days ago! In May I found out that I had a savings account that I’d completely forgotten about and I closed it and withdrew the cash (which was vewy nice) but it’s going straight into my other savings account for my travel funds but on a similar note, I’m trying to really save my money and get out of my overdraft right now so I cut back a lot in May and I wrote a whole post about it which I’m really excited about because I tried a new kind of format and style and I’m really excited about it.

These posts always end up being really long and I don’t think I mind, because it’s nice to share things I like and just type and type and type and suddenly there’s a thousand words. Blogging is really therapeutic for me and I’m very excited about not having uni distract from it for a few months.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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April favourites

2017, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

It’s May! How is it May already? I’m not sure how this year has completely slipped away from me but it’s been another month so it’s time for me to talk about the things I’ve been loving this month!

This is the notebook I’ve started making notes for my FMP in – on my course I do a Final Major Project instead of a dissertation and I’ve got so many ideas and I want to do a bunch of research over the summer and this is the place for all my notes and late night idea scribblings to go. I love a white marble pattern and this beauty was only £2.50 from Primark, bargain!

Image result for Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Pen Black Excess

Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Pen Black – I struggled to get a decent, in focus photo of this liner but I’ve rediscovered it and I’m obsessed. This the eyeliner I used when I was still in school but the gel with the angled nib it perfect for a really precise line that’s really black. I’ve used a couple of felt tip eyeliners and I love them for their precision but they just fade so fast and I forgot how good this liner is for this. And it’s fairly reasonably price for drugstore make-up.

Going to sound proper vain, but I just adore my hair colour right now – at the beginning of April I dyed it purple and I was annoyed that I was so bad at applying hair dye all the way to my roots but the way the pink fades to the purple and the purple has faded to a bluey-purple colour has just made me so happy. Also I got my note pierced last month, don’t think I mentioned it but I paid someone money to stab a hole in my nose.

This second photo shows a bit better 1) what a bad dye job I did and 2) the variety of shades and colours in my hair. The left over red-faded-pink from Christmas with the purple-fading-to-blue that I added has just made for a beautiful almost-galaxy like hair and I really love it.

My plan with my hair is to keep topping up the purple until it runs out, then let that fade as much as it’s going to and put the red dye I already have over the top, then when that’s faded I’ll use the deep red dye I have. By then, I should hopefully have saved enough money to be able to go into Toni and Guy and get them to dye my hair the colour I really want, cut it short again and just generally fix my hair. I imagine this will probably take me to the end of the year, but I’ll let you know whenever I dye my hair again!

Final Cut Pro has been a blessing – I love editing video, but my December vlog (yes, the vlog from five months ago) has been plaguing me ever since January 1st and I finally got it uploaded in April. Who doesn’t need a bit of Christmas music in the background of Spring?

I’ll be honest, I didn’t buy FCP because I don’t have a spare $300 lying around, but I love the software – it’s so simple to use and for my, very basic, editing requirements and while one day I full intend to teach myself how to use Premier Pro properly, for now – this Final Cut Pro will be perfect!

I’m intending to edit a lot of videos this week, so keep an eye on my channel and maybe subscribe while you’re there? I’m very proud of everything I’m making right now!

With YouTube in mind, I’m obsessed with ItsWayPastMyBedtime, Carrie Hope Fletcher, and her series ‘Watch Me, Wednesday!’ where she vlogs her adventures playing Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family UK tour. I’ve already got my tickets for opening night at Mayflower Theatre in Southampton and if you’re a student, I thoroughly recommend having a look because they’re only £15 a ticket for students! Down from the full price of nearly £40, I couldn’t resist and I imagine I’ll be treating myself to move tickets after I’ve seen the show because I know I’m going to love it, I already love so many of the songs and I cannot wait. I just can’t wait and this series is making me even more excited.

Going to sound like the biggest dork in the world, but I’m really enjoying uni right now. I don’t know if it’s because I’m nearly done with second year, because I barely have any classes or because I’ve actually been getting some really good grades recently but I’ve really enjoyed choosing to go into uni in my own time and work on my assignments. It’s refreshing to have the choice – uni is so different from school and looking back, I was ready to leave school way before I actually finished and I’m loving uni so much. I’m having a really good time right now, and that might be the nerdiest thing I’ve ever said.

Even reusing my own photos of uni, this is what Solent looked like last August.

Again with reusing photos from an old favourites and again with sounding like a total loser – I’m really enjoying work right now. Over the Easter holidays, I did 55 hours at work and I actually didn’t hate it – I was a bit tired but I really like my job and everyone there and it’ll be nice to finish uni so work is the only thing I really have to focus on and worry about.

What’s student life if it isn’t going into Asda at 8am on Easter Monday to clear the shelves of cheap chocolate? Lindt is like my favourite chocolate ever so when these guys were only £1.25 each, I bought four. Well, I bought five but one was a present for my sister because she talked about really wanting one and I’m nice (especially when they’re only £1.25). This is my last one and I’m really sad about it.

If any friends of family are reading this and wondering what to get my for my 21st (not that you would be wondering now, it’s four months away); Lindt chocolate. I love Lindt chocolate so much.

This pencil case has revolutionised my bullet journal life – this wrap pencil case, only £8.99 on Amazon, holds 72 pens and has a blue elephant design on it is literally a combination of all of my favourite things. It’s quite big and bulky, but if you’re someone who wants to carry lots of coloured pens around all the time it’s actually quite compact. I literally take my journals and my pens everywhere with me and I can’t describe my love for this thing enough.

And last, but by no means least, Sonar Film – the society at my university that basically runs it’s own cinema. We show up to date films (I’m currently at a showing of the new Fast and Furious film) at a ridiculously reasonable price of £4 for Solent students and £4.50 for everyone else and I’m so proud to be a part of it. I’ve been elected as the Marketing Manager and President for the committee of 2017/2018 and I can’t wait to start working with everyone else on the committee to make Sonar Film the best it can be.

This post has ended up being a lot longer than I intended it to be!

I know my blog has been a bit sporadic recently – I’m really sorry, I didn’t mean to take a week off last week but sometimes things just get on top of me and get the better of me and I’m glad I’ve reached a point where I don’t beat myself up too much if I miss a post or try a new schedule or something, because there definitely would have been a point even a year ago where I’d have forced myself to write something bad rather than not write anything at all. So thank you for allowing me to do that.

I’ve now planned blog posts from now until the end of the month, so hopefully I can plan my time accordingly to actually upload all these posts because there’s some I’m really excited about!

Thank you for reading and sticking with me,

Sophie xx

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