Planning for Beginners: SPIRAL Vs. BINDERS

Hey Pieces,
I am excited to bring to you today a post that I have been thinking about for a very long time! The on going battle between spiral bound planners and binder ring planners. Each form has its own amazing qualities so we’re just going to dive right into it.
Starting with the spiral bound planners:

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We have the world renown Erin Condren. The one that brought new meaning to the spiral planner. These planners are ideal for the busiest of humans who need to keep track of nearly everything under the sun. The planners have upgraded over the years with sturdy metal rings and now changeable covers! The planner comes with a week on two page spread that breaks down each day into morning, noon and night which is useful for people with multiple responsibilities each day. The only problem I have ever heard of is that the tabs bend and the plastic pouch isn’t as sturdy, but that is an inconsistent complaint that I can’t prove, as I have never personally owned this planner.
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Next is the Simplified Planner , which is a close contender to the Erin Condren! The pages are thick and great quality, the rings are huge which saves space for inserts and adding pages as well as the multiple dividers make for lots of organization. This planner is a little on the pricey side for a spiral bound, but its a coveted planner none the less.

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The last spiral planner I want to bring up is the ever so lovely and beautifully customizable, Plum Paper Designs! Found on etsy, this planner is entirely customizable from the cover to the insert styles. You have multiple choices for what layout you would like, as well as all kinds of add ons, to make your planner perfect just for you. Its a very affordable planner, but the etsy shipping is a little bit steep, but believe me I have seen one in person, I have held on in my hands, it is glory in planner form, and I hope to own one some day! If I had to recommend any of these three spiral planners, I would definitely say Plum Paper.

Now on to the binder ring planners:

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The godfather of ring planners is without a doubt the Filofax, as it has brought so many binder concepts to the table. The brand is one of the most popular planner companies, as it is known for its mature in fashion look and reliable strength and durability. They come in a variety of colours and the inserts that come with it are great quality for especially for someone who is working. The best thing about binders is that you can purchase or download and print your own inserts. Etsy sells all kinds of great inserts specific to your needs (ie. student, mom, business owner). Filofax is at the more expensive side of planners, but they are worth the money.

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Next up is my personal favourite, the lovely Kikki K planners! They are known for their beauty and flawless colour stories, along with their other adorable stationery! The great thing about binders is that you can have multiple covers and pick which one you want to use each day, simply switching your inserts from one binder to the next. That is something that sold me on the ring binders, even though I use a spiral planner as my day planner and a binder for my references and tracking. My boyfriend just bought me my first kikki k and I am in love already!

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And lastly, the most cost efficient brand name option I have found is the Websters Pages Colour Crush! They are super popular and you have to buy them on ebay or on the planner facebook pages if you are interested, because they seem to always be sold out on the website but they are so inexpensive and the dividers that you can buy to match the colours are absolutely beautiful. My favourite on it the white with the gold on the inside. All of the planners have different colours on the inside which make them even more gorgeous and great for decorating and coordinating. The only thing I don’t love is that they sizes seem to be a little off from a normal filofax or kikki k size, which can be frustrating when you want new inserts and what not.

What is your favourite planner style? Tell me why! Add photos of your planner if you’d like!!

Planning for Beginners: Bullet Journaling

Hey there pieces, hope you had a lovely week!

Today we are going to talk about Bullet Journaling, a simple and inexpensive alternative to the average planner.

The video above was created by the team that perfected this method and its more explanatory than I could ever get.

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The first thing you need to do is to find a key system that works for you. The photo above is a pretty example of some symbols that can be used to organize your notes and lists. I recommend that you use a notebook that you are comfortable using, as well as you have to think about the length of time you want to carry the same book around, if you don’t mind how long then pick a thicker book, but if you don’t want to carry around a heavy book just pick a composition book. On average, if you use the system on a daily basis, you will go through a few in a year.

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There is also flexibility in this system to put down anything you need to keep track of, with the use of an index. I tried to keep track on monthly tasks, events and reading lists, as well as weekly to dos.

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And here is an example of a daily spread. Some days are shorter than others, but that is the beauty of this system, its all about using only the space you need. Its simple and to the point, and great for people who want to optimize their organization without spending money on the fancy planners, then this is the way for them. There are so many great videos about different systems of bullet journalling, if you haven’t seen any videos by MaeBad on youtube then definitely check out her youtube for some great tips for the Bullet system!

I personally do not use this system anymore, just because I really like my premade pretty planners, but there is nothing stopping bullet journals from being decorated and beautiful as well. Its an amazing way of keeping track of everything.

Do you use the Bullet Journal System? Please please post your photos and tips in the comments below, I’d love to see them!
See you tomorrow with more Planning for Beginners!

February Affiliate Feature: Staying Strong 24/7

Hey pieces, I’d like to welcome you to my first ever Affiliate Feature! Each month I will introduce my sponsors and I will introduce them and let them tell you about themselves and what they do! Being the first month we only have one person to introduce, but I hope that after this you might consider purchasing ad space as well! Click on the Ad link in the sidebar for more information.
And now to kick off the spotlight, meet Staying Strong 24/7!
ss247ABOUT JESSICA:
“My name is Jessica and I am 20 years old. I am in the Journalism program at my local college. I love sitting in the lazyboy with a warm, cozy blanket and writing, with a Pepsi on the end table. I am a very organized, task-oriented, hardworking person when it comes to school and blogging. But I also know how to relax. I relax by enjoying comedy and reality/documentary type TV shows, and playing word/strategic board or card games. I also enjoy music very much. I always have music playing at home or earphones in my ear when I’m out.”

ABOUT STAYING STRONG 24/7:
“I like to think of myself as a mental health advocate. I help friends and even strangers, who suffer from mental health and personal issues. I educate myself about mental health and make myself aware of the problems we face in society. I suffer from depressive episodes and anxiety myself. I spend a lot of my time taking care of my mental health, as well as helping others. I decided to make this blog to help others stay strong and share advice, as well as sharing my journey in this thing we call life. Each of my posts has a purpose and a way to help someone, no matter what the topic is. I try and post as often as I can. I want to help others, be an inspiration, and expand my advocacy to reach more people. I figured this blog may be a start.”

Go check out her website and her facebook page for my information! :)

One Word Challenge: Almost Rare

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I have noticed that these challenge posts have been more like diary entries, and I hope that everyone is enjoying them as much as I have been enjoying writing them. I’ve mentioned before that I love writing this kind of post, but a lot of my content doesn’t call for personal talk. These kinds of insights are pretty rare to come by, especially now that this isn’t a recovery blog, but a wellness blog. Sometimes its difficult for me to open up and share how I’m feeling with the people in my life, I mean I almost always end up talking about it with my mom, but on this blog its easier. I feel protected or hidden. Which probably isn’t right seeing as this is a public domain, where anyone and everyone can read about me. I used to write with a fake persona when I was younger, I had fake accounts and I would write so openly, and so broadly. There was nothing holding me back from spilling my heart out, but now, there is so much at stake. My name is known around here, and I’m stretching out to different online mediums and so I can’t write about all the things I used to.
Recently I’ve been debating changing my facebook account name completely, in hopes to protect myself that way, but I’m not sure that its worth it. I already go by Mazie Bones on there, so its not exactly my name, but its almost too close for comfort.
I get nervous about posting photos of myself anywhere now. And believe me, I was a selfie queen, I used to take one a day to see how I changed from day to day, but now its more rare than usual.
Am I just paranoid?
Am I the only one that is scared about posting my feelings on the internet?
Let me know!

-Maz

Planning for Beginners: Mastering the BRAIN DUMP

Hey there Pieces!

Back in January when I posted about my planner system, a lot of questions rose about the Brain Dump. “What’s a brain dump?” or “What’s a trigger list?” were just a few of the most viable questions so I decided to break it down and teach everyone what I know about this amazing tool!

So the first thing you will need is a notebook you take around with you all the time anyways, or a notebook you don’t mind bringing around with you. For me, I use my older half used notebooks, so that I can use them up and store them after. A good example is this notebook below. It was formerly a school notebook for last semester but I have decided to make it my brain dump book, whenever I need to write something out of my head, it goes in here. This is an extension of my brain.

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Its just a simple composition book from walmart, I got it in the summer for back to school. I was in love with the  geometric pattern!
The next thing you are going to want to do is take another piece of paper, and go through this master trigger list and write down all of the things that apply to you. The point of this is to write down only the triggers that you have to worry about, the less you have on the list, the quicker the brain dump will be, but be honest, don’t skip things just because you don’t want to make yourself think about them.
After you write them on your piece of paper, find a way to attach them to your notebook, it can also work as bookmark! **If you plan on dedicating a part of your planner or a whole notebook to this, I recommend you create an idea index at the front, and colour code it so that nothing gets lost, because depending on how busy your brain is, this book can get HECTIC. (mine does at least!)

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The next step is going to be on a daily or nightly basis. Every night I sit down before bed, and I go through my trigger list. Its a list of things that I need to make myself think about, pertaining to work, freelance, school and projects. I just write out everything that comes into my brain when I think about those things and about 6 pages later I am left exhausted and calm.
I do this at night because it helps me sleep better if I have nothing in my head to worry about forgetting.

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If there was one thing that I could recommend for you to do EVERY DAY, no matter what, it would be this. Honestly, this saves my sanity every day and I am so happy to share it with you. There is tonnes of information online about brain dumps or mind sweeps but this is the way that works for me!

Let me know if this helps you out at all.
Don’t forget to like and subscribe and share this post.
Find me on facebook, and feel free to comment below with your brain dump systems! :)

Have a lovely day!
Maz

Favourite January Things

January was a super busy month and I’m pretty thankful it’s over. January passing means I only have 2 more months of school left, as I finish on March 31rst! I feel like the time is going to drag by, but lets hope I’m wrong.

So for my favourites in January, I couldn’t possibly go back and find every single thing that I enjoyed, because a lot of the stuff I already have mentioned on the blog one way or another, but here are a few things I haven’t shown you yet!

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This new target line of valentines gift packaging that came out, I am in love. (No pun intended)

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My mum bought me these beauties from winners for Christmas! The hat is from H&M and she bought the mits and scarf to match! I am loving the colours and can’t get enough of the oranges and yellows!

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Shutterfly and Snapfish sent me a bunch of free photos, so I went to town with decorating our bedroom. This year I really wanted to focus on inspiration and motivation, so I found a bunch of quotes and inspirational pictures and pinned them to my vision board.

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I rearranged some of my wall art as well, to compensate for the attack of photos on the other walls. I really like how my nerdy wall turned out!

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Got some more free photos from Snapfish and I am super pleased with how my little love banner turned out. This is right on the wall as you go into our bedroom, so its nice to see when we walking or wake up!

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And finally the last pile of wonderfuls. First there is my beautiful new bag from H&M. I found it in the modern classic collection and I love all the little details. I originally bought this bag to replace my camera bag, but I am too in love with it, I can’t not use it every day! Then there is the Bill Murray notebook I bought at Coles! You all know how much I am obsessed with that man! *SIGH* And I found some awesome watercolour markers and colour coding tabs for my planner system. I haven’t found a full-proof system for them yet, but I’m sure I will need them eventually!

What did you love in January?
What are you up to this February?
Leave a comment and lets chat!
– Mazie

App REVIEW: HabitRPG

 

Hey there pieces!
I know it has been a little while since I posted a non-challenge post, as usual I have bitten of more than I can chew and life is super busy right now. But don’t worry, I am snowed in today and have to post as much as possible!
Today I want to talk about an amazing App that has been keeping me in check lately and that app is called HabitRPG.
For those of you who know I am a proud nerd, and I won’t lie and tell you that my lack of posting posting had nothing to do with Guild Wars and other similar games, but this nerdy little app is helping me keep on track.

So basically you start a character, there are customizations you can do, but you just start with a basic character no armor. This is my current character.

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So you set up your character and then make your wait to the habits, dailies and To Do tabs! Each tab lets you add your own items, but it comes with a few examples such as take the stairs and read for 45 minutes a day (all stuff I want to do anyways! Its great for when your are trying to start good habits, and its great for ending bad ones too. You can set up the rewards for each time you do something, or don’t do something (for me whenever I eat junk food I lose a lot of points, so I try not to do that!)
You can set it up so that its multiple times a day or just once.Here are some more screenshots of what mine looks like!

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Obviously there needs to be some kind of compensation for being amazing, so everytime you do something good, you get coins. These coins can be used to buy armor items that bump up your abilities and other stats. I believe there are bosses and battles but I haven’t explored that far yet, I more so use it just to be productive.I like that you can set it up to give yourself tangible rewards too, like episodes of game of thrones and what not.

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Also, while you complete tasks you can find random items. There is no way of controlling it, but these add that addictive collecting aspect that us app-users love. Basically you can find, eggs, potions, and food. Once you have an egg and a potion you can combine them to get a pet. For example: Bear Cub Egg + Cotton Candy Potion = Cotton Candy Bear Cub (my little pink pet)!
There is a huge list of combinations that you need to try to complete! You can feed your pets to train them and boost their stats, but they only eat certain foods. IE. Pink pets can only eat pink food, and brown pets can only eat brown food… and every other colour is the same.

 

 

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Overall, I love this app and it really does help make everyday tasks more fun. At first it really made productivity distracting, but after the excitement wore off a bit, it makes more sense now. It is a free app, there is the option to purchase in game currency but I haven’t found a need to, so you can play without it for sure! Check it out and let me know what you think!

Lets start a guild!?

 

 

 

One Word Challenge: Maybe, Simple, Pieces

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(All my past banners)

For as long as I can remember it has always been about the little pieces. I am always counting the shards and recalculating the time it might take for all the pieces to pull themselves back together again. I have spent the greater part of my life running around gathering myself, but not anymore. Since TheseLittlePieces began, I have decided to embrace the pieces. No matter how scattered I may seem, I will always embrace every single piece of myself. Its as simple as that, and maybe some day, I will embrace them all so strongly that they will all fall back into place together.
It would be unproductive to talk about what shredded me up in the first place, but whats important is that I have a wonderful family, a perfect boyfriend, and some of the most beautiful and caring friends that help make it easier to love every piece of me.

One Word Challenge: Unbreakable, Magic, Remember

Hey Pieces, Welcome back to another One Word Challenge Post!

Today I want to talk about the magic that is this feeling in my heart. This past year has been an absolutely amazing experience, and I have my wonderful boyfriend Steven to thank for that. A year ago I met this wonderful man, who showed me compassion and intelligence, love and happiness. I won’t get too far into the past but before Steven, I only ever knew one kind of lover, the one sided kind. The lover that would use you up until you were all gone. The lover that made remembering the past painful. The lover that showed more hatred than love, but Steven turn it all around and changed that. I have never experienced anything like this and I am so excited to see where the rest of our lives take us together.
Honestly I do think that this love is unbreakable, there aren’t any other words for it, its simple. We can’t break and thats amazing. Its wonderful to wake up everyday not having to worry that he won’t be there. Waking up to know that we are going to wake up together every single day for the rest of our lives.
I am so magically in love with the amazing, quirky, beautiful man. This intelligent and caring gentleman is everything I need and enjoy and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Just a short post today from lack of better, stronger more magical words.

I love you so much, Steven, and I can’t wait for January 23rd, our 1 year anniversary!

– Mazie

One Word Challenge: MyLittleMesses, Boredom and Promises

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Ah, life’s little messes. Even the most organized people can make them, its just how they clean them up after. Disorganized people sweep them into a pile and tell themselves they’ll deal with it later. I used to be that person. Now every single thing has a place. and that place that that thing stays in also has a place. Every single aspect of my life is tracked for progress and for management of my time. All these messes are my way of revolting from my organization system. Yes they all go back to their place but there is some kind of irony in planning my week and making a mess doing it.

The pictures above are of some little messes around my apartment this morning, I am in the middle of a few paper crafting projects, and trying to find a new use for my A5 planner binder but I can’t figure it out yet. So in between writing articles all day, I am working on this mess of repurposed paint chips and washi tape! Boredom is not a familiar feeling to me in the slightest. Not a day has went by in the past 2 years that I haven’t had a tonne of things to do, and a lot of people tell me that my life would be a mess if I wasn’t so organized.

I know it looks hectic, but don’t worry! I promise to clean up this mess!
What messes do you like to see around your home? Comment below!