Bullet Journaling: My 3 Favourite Spreads

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Up to this point, I think I managed to portray myself as someone who is constantly trying to get their sh*t together be it through self-care, self-acceptance, reading and being positive. Of course, that doesn’t work every time because everyone has those days, y’know? But something that really helps me keep myself on track in every aspect of my life is my bullet journal which I carry around with me at all times. My bullet journal is part of my morning routine and night routine (blog post coming soon) and it also serves as a reminder throughout the day.

I began bullet journaling at the end of my first year of college – I remember it so clearly… Scrolling through Tumblr on the study motivation hashtag and seeing all these amazing bullet journals. It left such a good impression that I started researching and watching Youtube videos (instead of studying for the exam I had the next morning). The next day, right before my exam (and I mean, right before – I have no idea how I made it to that exam) I went and bought my first bullet journal; an A5 black Moleskine that is still my favourite bullet journal to this day. My first spread in that notebook was a June calendar.

But what is a bullet journal? According to the Bullet Journal website: “The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.” (http://bulletjournal.com/) But to me, the bullet journal system means something a bit different. To me, my bullet journal is a physical, visual representation of my brain. Whatever goes through my brain is written down in my bullet journal such as reminders, to-do lists, quotes, song lyrics, story ideas, poems, blog post ideas, top 5 lists, research, birthdays, brain-dumps, etc.

Anyway, enough of me rambling about my absolute adoration for this amazing system, here are three of my favourite spreads that I couldn’t possibly do without:

Calendar

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This one is super basic but I guess the basics are always the most important. The calendar in my bullet journal is one of my favourites spreads simply because it’s so accessible when I have everything in that little (not so little) notebook. Yeah, I can use the calendar on my phone but it’s easier for me to flip from my weekly spread to my reminders and then back to my calendar instead of fumbling with my phone and writing things down and then writing them on my phone – it’s just too much work, I’d rather have it all in one place. Something else I like about my calendar is that it’s always paired with my monthly page which is basically a doodle/quote that fills the whole page. I think the reason why I like the monthly page so much is that it makes it easier for me to visually separate let’s say, July from June.

Weekly spreads

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Another basic one but again, super important. My weekly spread is where my productivity lies. Everything I have to do throughout the week is there, so easily accessible. I can just switch to my weekly spread and see everything I have to do that day. I also like my weekly spreads because of the way I bullet journal; I am a very visual person, I like colours and aesthetics and even though I’m not an amazing artist, I enjoy doodling. My weekly pages allow me to be creative and so they always have a different theme/aesthetic which is super fun to look at every day.

Research/Thoughts/Poetry/Quotes/Etc.

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I feel like not a lot of people actually do these or if they do they never put them out there for people to see. You always see beautiful pictures of daily spreads or monthly overviews but you never see these. My bullet journal is my brain and so whenever I’m listening to a podcast, reading a book or watching a YT video and I want to remember what I’m hearing I just take notes in my bullet journal. Same thing with quotes and song lyrics. I also write poetry in my bullet journal and I plan chapters for my stories and describe my characters. I think that having these types of spreads in your bullet journal not only makes your notebook more unique, it also helps you stick to bullet journaling and being productive as well as it keeps your mind constantly creative and occupied.

Honourable mentions:

Gratitude log

Sleep log

Wishlist

So here are my three favourite bullet journal spreads as well as some honourable mentions. I hope this list helped you maybe by giving you some ideas for your bullet journal or maybe even inspired you to start your own. Thanks for reading and make sure to check out my last blog post which was the first post in my Hogwarts Houses Study Tips!

With love,

Peach xx

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Hogwarts Houses Study Tips: Gryffindor

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Harry Potter culture is still very much alive and very strong in today’s society. Everyone knows which house they belong to, they know the house’s traits and strongly identify with them throughout their lives. I am not ashamed to say that I am totally one of those people, in fact, I even made my own Hogwarts house when I was younger.

I’m not entirely sure why we want to compartmentalise ourselves and put labels on ourselves based on a fictional world but I know that personally, I get a sense of comfort out of feeling like I have that one thing figured out. Since growing up and learning about ourselves, evolving and becoming different people, Hogwarts houses can become a bit of a safety net if we don’t actually know who we are.

Therefore, I came up with a way to incorporate my Hogwarts house (Slytherin) into my everyday life, or more like my everyday student life. Here is my first instalment of Hogwarts Houses Study Tips – Gryffindor edition.

Gryffindor House

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Brave
Loyal
Impulsive
Chivalrous
Stubborn
Morally Tenacious

Get up and be active

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Known as ‘do-ers’, kinesthetic learners retain information better by using a hands-on approach to short-term memory studying. To retain information for a long-term period, a multitude of different techniques could be used such as colourful note-taking, listening to a lecture/seminar, lab demonstrations, etc. This form of learning is useful for people who have a harder time focusing and for those who enjoy moving a lot and focus better that way.

Apply class knowledge to everyday life

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By applying class knowledge to everyday life, it helps information stick better by creating mental cues through association (think about the Bone Dance from Hannah Montana). Using mental cues to constantly remind yourself of information that you have learnt in class is useful because it helps your brain repeat knowledge and thus remember things better.

Change up your study area from time to time

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A different study environment is useful because the brain connects the information it’s being fed to the environment it is in. Letting our brains associate all information with the same room makes the information blend together. Therefore, some ideas for a change of scenery are coffee shops, school’s library or your local library, the park on nice sunny days or even different parts of your house. Maybe instead of always studying at your desk, you can study at the kitchen table instead.

Quick disclaimer: all the information I’m giving you guys is basically what I learnt from doing Psychology at A Levels so for proper, in-depth knowledge on some of the things I’m talking about you can just do a quick google search to find out more info.

So here it is. The first out of four blogs dedicated to study tips based on your Hogwarts house. As you can probably tell I took the words associated with Gryffindor and applied them to different study tips. Hope this post has been helpful in some sort of way! Also, make sure to check out my last post which is 7 organization skills that I find work for me.

With love,
Peach xx

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7 Organization Tips

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Summers used to be all about hanging out with friends, lazing around and staying up till the sunrise but now that we’re older, summers tend to go a bit differently. Personally, I like to take my time to improve myself during the long summer vacations. When I finished my GCSEs I finished an online Creative Writing course and after finishing my first year of college I gave learning Korean a try. Despite the fact that every summer I try something new, I always lose focus by the end of the holidays and in turn, I end up showing up to class in September feeling unmotivated and confused because I let the end-of-term chaos roll into the new term.

This time around, I decided to ask myself a few questions because usually at the end of the academic year I end up very confused and tired. Some questions I asked myself are “how was the first year of university?” and “what could I do better in the second year?” and after doing some self-evaluation and reflecting on my first year of university (I made a *post* about it – you should check it out!) I came to the realization that at some point throughout the year I lost sense of my goals and how I was planning to reach them.

In order for me to find some motivation and feel more in-tune with my goals and aspirations, I came up with a way to get myself organized again. Through following this ‘recipe’ I am able to be self-aware and proactive about the way I spend my time, the things that are going to help me reach my goals and the things that won’t. Here are seven tips for becoming a more organized person.

Keep a tidy work-space

Personally, this is an important part of how I keep myself organized and focused and although I know that some people thrive off of chaos and an organized mess, I am not that person. I need my work-space, be it my desk, the dinner table or my little corner in the library, to be tidy and efficient for what I am planning to do.

Preparing the night before

This is also very important. How many of us hear the sound of the alarm in the morning and dread getting out of bed because even though the day just started, we have a hundred and one tasks to do from the get-go. It’s no surprise that we are so overwhelmed as we are always on the go, hustling and trying to reach our goals but I believe that would be easier if we started enjoying mornings a little bit more. Therefore, I take time to prepare my meal, my clothes and my bag for the next day the night before, that way I don’t wake up and immediately feel overwhelmed.

Cluster similar tasks together

I honestly don’t know why I didn’t think of this before when it’s such a no-brainer. Instead of jumping from one task to another (doing the dishes to studying for finals) it’s easier to just cluster together similar tasks. For example, it’s easier to answer emails, make phone calls and listen to a lecture one after another because they all involve your laptop/phone and thus you can move from one area of your to-do list to another more seamlessly.

Focus on short-term goals on your to-do lists

It’s easier to get muddled up, confused and anxious if we overload our to-do lists with tasks that have to be done, say, next week. If it can’t be done today it shouldn’t be on today’s list because seeing so many irrelevant tasks is bound to make us anxious about not being able to tick all the boxes. By focusing on short-term goals and breaking down our to-do lists in a practical manner we’ll feel less unmotivated and beat-down at the end of the day.

Plan Journeys

This is important not only because nobody likes people who are always late but also because ‘the early bird gets the worm’. I can clearly and proudly say that I have NEVER been late to anything in my life and this is partly due to my anxiety and the fear of walking in and everyone staring at me and partly because I want to always make a good impression. On a daily basis, I make sure to arrive wherever I’m headed to at least half an hour before the set time. This allows me to work with the small inconveniences of every day, city life such as traffic, no service on the tube, etc.

Give yourself rewards for completing tasks or staying on schedule

I think it’s safe to say that we are all only human. It’s natural to feel depleted and tired sometimes and therefore rewards are a great way to motivate yourself to keep going and to take care of yourself. I wrote a whole blog post about self-care which you can check out *here*.

Be aware of what works and why it works(metacognition) and don’t be afraid to change your time management techniques if they are not working

When it comes to things such as the way you organize your life, it’s easy to assume that you can follow the same ‘recipe’ for the rest of your life but in reality, we are ever evolving creatures and our habits, goals and states of mind change and grow as much as we do which is why it’s critical that you review your organization/time-management techniques every so often while keeping it real with yourself. Some questions to ask yourself when doing this are “is this working for me?” and “are my techniques still relevant to my goals and my dreams?” More often than not the answer will be ‘no’ but that is the beauty of change. Allowing change to happen is important because it will give you something to work with when you’re feeling like your life isn’t going according to plan. So don’t be scared to be critical with yourself and embrace change!

So here it is, a (long) list of my organization tips and the reasons why I think they could be helpful to you too. Thank you so much for reading and make sure to check out my last blog post which is all about my favourite books!

With love,

Peach xx

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Top 3 Favourite Books

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I think people who enjoy reading are very much like parents in the sense that they can never choose between their children aka their favourite books. There is never ONE favourite book. There are multiple books that we find ourselves in along the years and therefore our favourite books change just as much as we do. When I was seven my favourite book was 101 Dalmatians, when I was twelve it was The Prince and the Pauper and when I was fifteen it was The Book Thief. Now that I am nineteen years old these are my favourite three books, fiction and non-fiction.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

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“Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.” (Goodreads)

Anyone who knows me knows that this is my favourite book (because I tend to talk about it too much). This is a spin-off of Fangirl which I also loved very much. According to reviews, Carry On is a ghost story, a love story and a mystery but I really think it’s so much more than a young adult novel that’s meant to recreate the world of Harry Potter. The themes addressed in this novel replicate the ones in the HP universe, such as race bias, prophecies and parental figures but they go beyond that. Unlike Rowling’s Harry Potter, Carry On has a diverse range of characters in terms of race, nationality and sexuality. Rowell plays with stereotypes in a beautiful and realistic way – she portrays Agatha (Simon’s girlfriend) as the gorgeous and rich ‘it’ girl but Agatha is so much more, she’s confident and despite the ‘it’ girl stereotype, she’s not seeking attention but peace and comfort. Same goes for Baz who like in HP (Draco) is supposed to be the antagonist. Rainbow Rowell doesn’t leave it at that, she developed Baz’s character and personality so well that now he’s one of the (if not the) most beloved character. I truly recommend giving this book a try – the sequel is coming out in 2020!

Orlando by Virginia Woolf

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“Virginia Woolf’s Orlando ‘The longest and most charming love letter in literature’, playfully constructs the figure of Orlando as the fictional embodiment of Woolf’s close friend and lover, Vita Sackville-West. Spanning three centuries, the novel opens as Orlando, a young nobleman in Elizabeth’s England, awaits a visit from the Queen and traces his experience with first love as England under James I lies locked in the embrace of the Great Frost. At the midpoint of the novel, Orlando, now an ambassador in Constantinople, awakes to find that he is a woman, and the novel indulges in farce and irony to consider the roles of women in the 18th and 19th centuries. As the novel ends in 1928, a year consonant with full suffrage for women. Orlando, now a wife and mother, stands poised at the brink of a future that holds new hope and promise for women.” (Goodreads)

I am not going to lie, I had to read this book for university but despite how people usually dislike the books they read in school, literature people learn to love them. Not only do we get to expand our horizons and try new genres, but we also get to be critical of what we read. We read between the lines and analyse the reception a story got overtime only to understand the mind of the author and how the story came to be what it is today. This was the case with Orlando. At first, the structure confused me but as I read on, I fell in love with the beautiful words and the gorgeous imagery that lives inside this book. It’s truly a beautiful story that was written ahead of its time.

The Inner Beauty Bible by Laurey Simmons

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“We all have inner beauty. This is your one-stop handbook to nurturing beauty and wellbeing from the inside out.
Combining ancient wisdom with modern-day mindfulness, this book shows you how to polish your heart and nourish your soul with a collection of simple rituals that can be easily woven into busy modern lives.
In The Inner Beauty Bible, you will learn to:
Introduce accessible rituals into your life that will strengthen your connection to Inner Beauty.
Create beautiful sacred spaces using crystals, natural objects, beautiful smells and sounds.
Truly nurture yourself: from turning your bedroom into a peaceful sanctuary to a delicious rose-infused bath-time ritual.
Stay connected to your Inner Beauty in challenging times.
Tap into the deeper wisdom and healing potential of Nature.
Master simple practices to help you tune into the beauty in the everyday.
Perform rituals for different moments and needs: to boost energy, to let go, to celebrate and to manifest abundance.” (Goodreads)

The Inner Beauty Bible was my introduction to the self-help genre after ages of being sure that self-help books just aren’t for me. I have to admit, I bought this book while I was out with a friend mostly because of its gorgeous cover and beautiful photography inside but boy am I happy I judged this book by its cover. Like its cover, the content of this book is inspiring and eye-opening. We all know that we live in a fast-paced world, we know we must take some time to get our minds right and that sometimes we need to be creative in the ways we approach our mental health. This book gives a spiritual outlook (not necessarily religious) to our everyday lives and it gives us the tools to deal with our inner selves so we can maintain our inner gardens beautiful.

So here are my favourite books as of now. Feel free to share what your favourite books are in the comments below and make sure to check out my last post which is a self-care alphabet. Thank you for reading!

With love,

Peach xx

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