New year, fresh start

New Year Fresh Start | LifeOfProjects.jpg

I decided to start over this year with some new approaches and new tools…and maybe some new uses for old tools.

For one, I got a new planner. For those not initiated in to the #plannercommunity you may not understand the allure, but for those of us in the loop, planners are everything. There’s something about the fresh start of a new planner that is magical. It represents possibilities for the year. Opportunities to lay out plans for success. Moments that you haven’t experienced yet.

This was not a decision I made lightly. (However it is one that I made while feverish and heavily medicated so….) I’ve been bullet journaling for a little over 3 years now, and that method has served me well. I do like it. But it was starting to take over. I was spending more time bullet journaling, than doing some other things that I used to enjoy. And perhaps I needed the break from those other activities and crafts, but I’m missing them now, and the task of setting up each week and month was just overwhelming. I decided to switch to an Inkwell Press planner.

I’ve been eyeing IWP for awhile now, I love a vertical layout because I have a lot of meetings that span my day and the vertical columns mimic my google calendar and it just works in my brain. I know there are some people that hate vertical…but it’s what I need. I’m thankful that Inkwell has both a vertical and horizontal option. Please never stop making both, IWP. Please.

While sick with some kind of feverish illness I made the husband drive me 45 minutes to the nearest Office Max (IWP, while I like being able to get these planners same-day in brick and mortar stores….I really would have rather ordered this online) so I could pick one up on New Years Day because that’s when I finally decided to make the switch from the BuJo to the IWP.

I decided to use some stamps for the first week because I didn’t have the planner stickers I wanted to use, and I was pretty happy with how it turned out.


Now that we are a few weeks in, I really like the low-stress feeling of this planner. I don’t have to spend much time setting it up, and I’m not tracking every little thing. I need to let go of some of those obsessions and track less but do more. I want to get back to knitting and quilting more, so hopefully I’ll be posting about that soon.

I’d love to hear what planner you picked for the new year. Let me know in the comments!


Weekly Review: September 22

It’s Friday! Time to go over this week’s bullet journal spread and see how things went.

Bullet Journal Weekly | LifeOfProjects.jpg

I went with red, yellow and black for my back to school/primary color theme. Having my color and theme pre-selected for the entire month has really worked well for me. It relieves that decision fatigue every Sunday, in that I don’t have to think through new colors and create a whole new theme. However…this month I’m kind of ready for fall…specifically Halloween which is my absolute favorite holiday. I may have to throw in some orange next week and do a leaf theme for the lead-in into October.

But let’s look at this week.

Weekly Review | LifeOfProjects.JPG

I am mostly sticking with the same weekly spread. I like having enough space to write something in each hour of the day from 6am through 9pm which are my active hours in general. I also like having the weather there….I don’t really use it much but for some reason I like it. This week I also added a new tracker. It’s my RWL tracker.

RWL Tracker | LifeofProjects.JPG

I got the idea from a podcast I listen to…I want to say it was Feminist Killjoy’s, PhD but I could be wrong. Bad blogger. Check your sources.

At any rate, some podcast I listen to often does a quick RWL rundown of what they are Reading, Watching and Listening to. I thought it would be nice to track that in my weekly spread so I could go back and see what I was listening to or when I started reading a certain book.

I think I’m going to like this tracker and I may build it into other parts of my life like my blog. I’m always reading a book or two and listening to another.

Do you track your reading lists or listening lists? Let me know how you do it in the comments!

Weekly Review: September 15th

Bullet Journal Weekly Sept 15 | ALifeOfProjects.JPG

How is September half over already?? I’m so behind. I literally spent part of my weekend putting pictures in my old bujo that I retired in June. Not even kidding. Where did summer go?? If you’re life is anything like mine it has just flown by. Work has been keeping me extraordinarily busy but at least with my bullet journal I have it mostly organized. Let’s take a look at this week.

Bujo Review September 15 | LifeOfProject.JPG

For September I decided to do a “back to school” theme since I work in education. I almost did a fall theme because I do love fall SO much but then what would I do for November? I’m not big on drawing turkeys and pies given that I really don’t eat either…so I went with back to school. Now that I think about it I should have done a coffee theme. I might save that idea for February since I can’t stand the pink Valentines Day stuff…….

Here’s my September calendar so far. Note the un-filled books and lack of decorating so far. Haha!

Weekly Review September 15 | LifeOfProjects.JPG

I do like my theme so far. I went with primary colors because that just reminds me of elementary school and yellow pencils, school busses, red notebooks and blue binders. I’m going to try and do something a little different next week, maybe apples to continue the theme. And I have to get this September calendar filled in more before the month is over!!

Are you doing a September theme? Is it too early for fall themes? Let me know in the comments!


Before and After the Pen: Bullet Journal Edition


BuJo Before and After the Pen | LifeofProjects.jpg

Good morning friends!

I realize I neglected this blog for most of the month, but for good reason. I was on vacation for part of the month and then the rest of the month has been getting back into the swing of things at work since the semester just started.

I wanted to do a quick before and after “the pen” of my weekly bullet journal spread. I see a lot of “Before the pen” and #beforethepen things in the regular planner world, mainly on Instagram but technically for bullet journalists…”before” is a blank page. But I wanted to do my before shot a little differently. To me, the before is once I’ve done my week outline. Just the boxes and shape that I plan to…well…plan in! Haha. Planner humor. Sorry.


This is what I consider to be the bullet journal version of “Before”

Bujo Before The Pen | LifeOfProjects.JPG

Sure, I’ve got some labels in there and i probably could have finished labeling that one box that I use for weather, but there’s no decoration, no colors, no appointments, notes, etc.

Technically I don’t really consider this weekly spread done until the end of the week. I have a few trackers in there and with the “To do” list, I’m adding stuff throughout the week. But at this point while I’m setting up for the week, I do add color and all my meetings that I know of at the start of the week. Others will get added on as the week progresses.

Bujo After The Pen | LifeOfProjects.JPG

So I consider that to be a decent “after” shot. Notice I’ve not checked anything off the To Do list, I’ve not added much into Saturday or Sunday yet, but this is how the start of my week works. Maybe this is more “middle” than after….but I’ll go with it.

If I think about it, I’ll try and add in a final shot at the end of the week. Let’s see if I can add that to the “To Do” pile. 🙂


Do you do #beforethepen in your bullet journal? What do you consider “before”? Let me know in the comments!

Bullet Journal Sleep Tracking

Bullet Journal Sleep Tracker | LifeofProjects.jpg


I’ve been on the struggle bus for a few weeks, and this past week is clear evidence of the struggle. For some reason I keep waking up in the middle of the night and lying awake for 2-3 hours.

I guess I shouldn’t say I lay there. I used to, but this happened so much I read up on what to do if you wake up and can’t go back to sleep. I’ve been trying all the tips: Don’t look at your phone, don’t look at the clock, get out of bed, go read a book, do some meditation, don’t watch tv. Tried it all.

Still awake.

Because this happens so much I’ve started tracking it in my Bullet Journal. I used filled in circles for nights I slept all night and open circles for nights I was awake for more than 20 minutes. Then I tracked the total sleep time in a line graph.

Sleep Tracking | LifeofProjects.JPG

That was a week ago and here’s this week:

Sleep Tracker | LifeofProjects.JPG

As you can see, it’s all over the place. The only reason I got into the “green zone” there is because of benedryl and…wine.

I think what impacts my sleep most has been my lack of consistency. So I worked hard all weekend to set myself up well for this week. Of course that included a lot of planning! I planned out our meals, did meal prep, planned my workouts, set aside things I would need this week, and of course made my plan in my Bullet Journal.

I am hoping I can stay on track this week and not let life-things get in my way and impact my sleep schedule.

This month I also added a “Bed before 9pm” and a “no TV” tracker to my monthly trackers. So far I’ve not been great at it but after reviewing this weekend I feel like I can make progress and do better the second half of the month. Either way, I’m going to keep working on my sleep habits and tracking them for now!

Bedtime Tracker | LifeofProjects.JPG

Do you track your sleep in your Bullet Journal? What parts of sleep do you track? Has it helped you? Leave a comment below!

Bullet Journal July Weekly #3

Bullet Journal July Weekly | LifeofProjects.jpg


How’s it going?

Over here things have been a little hectic. I’ve been really exhausted and not able to keep up with things. So Friday I finally gave in and went to the doctor for some tests. She had some thoughts on what it might be (nothing serious) but we are waiting on the test results to come back before she makes any suggestions.

In the meantime I’m working on being more consistent so that perhaps I will be less stressed, sleep better, and therefore have more energy. Consistency was my word of the year for 2017 so I’m trying to keep that in mind as I move forward.

I often lose consistency over the weekends as is evidenced by this blank page:

Bullet Journal Fail | Lifeofprojects.JPG

It wouldn’t be a big deal if it only happened on super busy weekends…but it’s every weekend. Every weekend I have to go back and fill things in. I am going to try and work on this in the next week.

I also don’t do the best job at filling in my weekly spread to add things into the week as they come…but I did try to fill it in a little this weekend….so maybe that counts?

Week of July 16 | LifeofProjects.JPG

I’m sticking with the cactus/succulent theme both in my Bullet Journal…and in my house….

New Family Members | Lifeofprojects.JPG

These little guys came home with us this weekend from our local nursery! We got a discount since that one seems to be looking a little worse for wear but I’m hoping I can rehab him. We shall see.

For this week, again more succulents. Still tracking sleep and trying to keep on top of things. I really think I’m liking the monthly theme rather than weekly.

Before The Pen | LifeofProjects.JPG

How is your week going? Do you use monthly themes or weekly? No theme? Let me know in the comments!

Bullet Journal July Theme

Hello friends!

Trying to get back into this blogging thing. My good friend whom I shall call A…inspired me by asking a ton of questions about my Bujo and now she’s hooked too! So I thought I’d make this a regular part of my blog.

This month I decided to try a theme for the whole month. I’ve not done that in the past, usually I switch things up every week but with work and everything else that has been getting a little hard to deal with.

I decided to go with the theme of cacti and succulents this month since July is pretty hot and dry where I live. I’m also good at drawing these things so….cheating. 🙂

July Bullet Journal Monthly | LifeofProjects

I gave myself space to add in my monthly To Do’s and played around a little with the July header. I’m not sure if I love the lines dropping in to the monthly boxes but because July takes up 6 week-lines and I loathe half-boxes….I had to make it work.

July Bullet Journal Monthly | LifeofProjects

For the weekly spread I’ve got my standard format pretty set in stone. I like equal sized boxes for each day, even weekends, even if I don’t fill them all out at the start of the week. I need to get better at going back and filling them in during the week…

This week was the 4th of July here in the States, but it’s also my dad’s birthday. This is the first year I haven’t been able to spend it with him so it was a little hard.

I also added a sleep tracker that you can kind of see there beside the weather tracker. I’ve not been feeling energized and….I think I might have to work on my sleep hygeine! I’m adding this tracker to this week as well because….I didn’t hit my target of 8 hours any nights. 😦

July Bullet Journal Monthly | LifeofProjects

This is what my daily looks like right now. I’ve switched up the daily header for July and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I love banners….but I like the fully colored in look better than the half-colored….but the issue is coloring around the tiny sun and rain symbols. It gets really hard not to have the yellow get covered up by the color of the banner.

I did really like having the set color theme and having the cactus theme to add in days when I didn’t really have much on the schedule.

July Bullet Journal Monthly | LifeofProjects

Now it’s time for BuJo Confessional Time.

I don’t finish things.

Yep. I plan them but I don’t finish them. And it’s almost always the weekend when I fall off the bujo wagon. Friday went well….mostly. I was a little rushed as we had a post-work outing with a friend so I didn’t go back and fill things in.

Then Saturday….I slept in because we were out WAY late….and then all day Saturday we were busy with grocery shopping and housework. I did not sit down almost all day Saturday and then we went out to hear a friend’s friend’s band play.

Sunday…surely I can get some planning done. The majority of Sunday morning the husband and I went out for a walk…8 miles so not a short one. Then we came home and did our meal prep for the week. This usually takes 3-5 hours so finally around 5pm I managed to prep for next week but wasn’t able to fill in the weekend.

It was a lot of fun but…I felt very unorganized all weekend and it tends to bleed over into the next week. Normally what I will do to deal with the blank space is go back over the month, note where I’ve got a lot of blank space (sometimes it’s left intentionally) and go through my photos and select ones to print and add to my pages. I print the pictures out on sticker paper so it’s easy to just add them in.

What do you do with your blank space? Have you tried one of the photo printers for your BuJo? Leave me a comment!

July Bullet Journal Monthly | LifeofProjects