I have been thinking about the life savers and tools I use daily that make a real difference and thought might want to know what helps make things easier in my life/work, too.
Ooo! That Pen: I have always loved Le Pen by Marvy. They are an ultra thin pen and I use them every single day in my Bullet Journal (That Flexi Sketch is my new favorite). They don’t bleed like Sharpie’s can (although I love Sharpie’s, too.) which is important if your planner paper is thin. Mine isn’t in the Flexi Sketch, but I have used plenty of other planners that have thinner paper.
Dreamy Doctor Drive Home the Points: I’m reading The Brain Fog Fix by the dreamy Dr. Mike Dow and he has some really solid points. He takes a whole body approach and I appreciate that so much. I’m breaking down the first section over on Facebook with the 7 Pitfalls of Thinking – the mind traps we get ourselves in and can’t seem to get out of easily. You probably don’t do them all, but I bet there is one that makes you a little crazy… or maybe that’s just me. Ha!
Flow magazine is just such a treat: I would love to write for them because their idea of simplicity meets creativity is the life I lead in so many ways. I forget that folks are just jumping on the minimalist, tiny house, slow down your life trend when my family did that 16 years ago and rarely (I can’t say never because I’m human) looked back. Each issue is a visual delight and I highly recommend losing yourself within the pages on a sleepy Sunday.
Moisturize Ladies (Men, too!): I found Derma E Vitamin E Oil a few years ago and I use it at night 3 times a week. I don’t wear foundation or powder during the day, but I knew that as I was getting older I needed more moisture in my skin. I was looking for something very simple because I have the Southern California beach culture for make up driving hard in my bones – sun, sunscreen, moisturizer and a natural skin tone are the things that beauty are made of and I just can’t shake it. I swoon at the smell of Hawaiian Tropic, but that’s for another day. My skin changed when I turned 45 and now at 47 I really am trying to listen to what my body needs. More water and a light moisturizer seem to be doing the trick. I have watched and read countless excerpts of older women who say that they wish they had started moisturizing sooner… so get on that ladies.
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What systems work for you? I have 3 systems that are working now, but I was all gung ho at the beginning of the year after watching a superb video on using Trello to start using it to organize my blog ideas, but honestly after all of the initial set up and brain dump (or mind palace sweep for those Sherlock fans out there) I never looked at it. So what systems DO work for me? Here are the top three that are go to’s for all of the work that I do.
First, you should remember that I am a part time executive director for a Main Street organization, speak nationwide, teach online, help with various nonprofit projects and consult with small towns/small biz about social media and their brands – all while trying to simplify my life and have just enough.
Three Systems That Consistently Work
Paper Planner – I am currently using the Get To Workbook by Elise Blaha and after a month of struggling with the week starting on Monday I have finally gotten the hang of it. It meant changing all of my electronic calendars to start on Monday as well so I wasn’t so lost. It also meant working a #30DayChallenge (which I am in the middle of) on Loving My Planner (using it every single day (even on Sunday when I would rather read a book or Kon Mari my closet). I’ve been a paper planner person sense Franklin Covey days and I know that the act of writing things down makes them happen. It’s almost like I am casting a spell… write it down and POOF it happens.
iCal Calendar – I like having my iCal calendar for appointments because it reminds me in the morning of all the places and people I get to see. It also allows my husband to know where I am at any given time (a plus after 25+ years of togetherness). I don’t use it for tasks but I do put tickler reminders to call people, follow up or the dates of big deadlines.
Composition Books – Like I said at the beginning I TRIED to love Trello. It’s a GREAT app. It syncs to all your devices. You can have multiple projects going. I just hated looking at it – it felt like another thing to do (which is never the goal when setting up systems). Instead I refell in love with my composition books and today set one up to be similar to a Bullet Journal without all of the bells and whistles. I numbered the pages and created an index in the back so I can refer back to a particular meeting, project or idea. I like having one notebook that I drop all of my phone meeting notes, actual meeting notes, mind sweep, ideas, and book notes into. I can take it anywhere and it is part of that magic of writing things down and they happen. I’d use fancier notebooks, but I am a sucker for a .96¢ price tag. Making it a mess won’t stress me out like a more expensive notebook would.
So, tell me, what systems work for you? What makes you a planning god/goddess? What is your magic secret? Everyone does want to know. What have you tried that you aren’t sure is working or you stopped all together? Share in the comments!