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September 2018

10 Morning Habits You Need to Stop Now!

The morning sets you up for the entire day, so it's super important that you start with good habits from the second you wake up.


Today, I have 10 things that you should not be doing in the first few hours of the day. Don't try and stop them all today, you'll get overwhelmed and won't end up getting rid of any of theses habits. So start slow, pick one and using the techniques from my 10 Ways to Create Habits That Really do Stick post from my Productivity Series to help you kick these bad habits to the curb and replace them with healthy habits!

1. Stop hitting that snooze button! Reading Mel Robbin's 5 Second Rule changed my view on the snooze! She says it messes up your sleep cycles if you go back to sleep and it takes a lot longer to finally get awake and properly functional. She also says that by hitting snooze you are essentially failing at the very first task that you set for yourself for the day.

2. Stop checking your phone first thing. By checking in with your phone you are essentially checking in on other people's problems. Focus on yourself first and turn your phone off of airplane mode once you've got your day off to a good start.

3. Stop leaving yourself JUST enough time to get ready in the morning. If your continuously cutting your time too short to get just a few minutes more sleep then you will always end up rushed and be stressed out as you leave the house. Instead try waking up 10-15 minutes earlier, and of course that means going to bed a bit earlier too.

4. Stop skipping breakfast or grabbing processed crap, or stopping for a donut on the way. Your body hasn't seen food for a good 8-10 hours, so why would you start your day off with crappy food. Skip the processed cereal and have bakery bread or oatmeal (not the instant garbage!) and some fruit in the morning.

5. Stop planning your day. If you are planning your day in the morning, it means that you are starting your day without direction. You are deciding on what to do when you could already be in the zone and well into your day. By planning your day out the night before, you are all set and ready to go when it's time to get to work. PS. this is one I have a lot of trouble with!

6. Stop deciding what to wear. We make decisions all day long and the more decisions that we make the harder it is to make those later decisions. By deciding what to wear in the morning, you are taking away some of your decision making power for later on. If you lay out an outfit the night before or have a 'uniform' then you make it easier to make other, more important decisions throughout the day.

7. Stop waking up at different times on different days. Yes, that means weekends too! Your body has an internal clock and by waking up at different times you are messing with that clock. If you wake up an hour or so later on weekends that'll work, but try not to sleep til noon!

8. Stop sleeping with your phone. Have it completely outside of your bedroom and on airplane mode. Sleeping with your phone leads to people actually waking up in the middle of the night and checking their phone, OMG, really!! Plus, looking at that phone light right before you go to sleep messes up your sleep and you don't rest as soundly.

9. Stop drinking coffee on an empty stomach. Ideally you should wait 3 hours after waking to have any caffeine. I usually have a cup of tea 2.5 hours after.

10. Stop forgetting your glass of water. The best thing first thing in the morning is a glass of water, squeeze a lemon into it for an added 'cleanse'. Like with breakfast, your body has been without water all night, and you need to replenish so that you don't get dehydrated.

 I go through each of these points in a little more detail in my YouTube video this week, plus you get to follow me around as I do all the don'ts! And then the do's too ;)


How to Get Started With a Traveler's Notebook

What is a Traveler's Notebook, anyway?

Traveler's notebooks (or TNs) are an enormous amount of fun and a lot more versatile than you think. Essentially, it's a leather folder with elastics running vertically in the spine so that you can add notebooks. And the whole thing closes up nicely with another elastic. Usually there are pockets on the inside covers, but that's not always the case.


They are a fabulous planner for lefties (like me) and offer a different kind of flexibility than a ringed planner.

Let me explain, because I bet you are thinking that there's no way that it can be as flexible as a ring bound planner! 

Having different inserts (those notebooks you add to the leather folder) allow you to add, remove and move around entire sections of your planner system quickly and easily. A lot easier than with rings where you need to be careful to keep the pages together so the holes stay lined up, and where it's not as easy to find the start and end of a section.

It's also a lot easier to sort what you have in your planner. You can have a different theme and/or purpose for each insert. If you want to thin down your planner for vacation, or just while running errands, you can remove any inserts that you won't be needing.

If you are new to TNs but not to planning, think of each section in your planner as it's own insert. And you aren't limited to only as many inserts as there are elastics in the spine. You can join 2 inserts with an elastic and add them both to the same elastic. You could have your planner in one insert, a memory planner in another. One insert could be for projects and another could house your doodles or notes. The possibilities are endless!


Traditionally TNs are leather, but there are so many options now that if you don't want to spend the cash or are against using leather you can find faux leather or fabric options. I would suggest searching around on Etsy or try the Carpe Diem traveler's notebooks, they are a great price and are absolutely gorgeous. Though I may be a bit biased as I'm on their Design Team!

In this week's video I take you through a few TNs to show you how they work and some of the different options you can have in the TNs themselves but also with the inserts.

This video from a couple of weeks ago shows you how I set up my newest TN, so have a peek at that as  well.


Teach your Kids to Plan - In Time for Back To School

Back to School time is a really great time to teach children how to plan. Planning is essential to being able to really be successful in school. Young people also need to be able to manage their time to make sure that they are getting their work done. High School and Junior high students need to be able to budget their time so that they get projects in on time and they are keeping up with studying so they aren't left high and dry the night be fore a test or when a project is due. Younger children can get used to planning their day so that it won't be such a big adjustment once they get to Junior High.

Kids banner

Make sure your child has a planner for school (yay! shopping!!) and make sure it's one that will work for your child's needs. For younger children a dated book to write down their homework is a great start. An older child should have a simple layout but with enough room to write in everything. Of course, some kids will prefer to write it all in their phone, and you maybe screaming inside your head that PAPER IS BETTER! It's ok, take a deep breath and let them use google calendar... sigh. It really will be ok, I promise. People actually stay organised using a digital calendar these days, can you imagine ;) Just make sure that they are actually using this planner (even if it's not really a planner, only paper planners are REAL planners ;D)

Kids dream close

Sit down with your child and teach him or her the basics of planning, working backwards from a deadline to schedule in time to work as well as scheduling work into moments of down time so not to leave every thing to the last moment. 

Kids lost
Introducing younger child to planning can be a lot of fun, because unlike teens and pre-teens they still really enjoy doing crafts with mom. Let them use some of your stickers, make sure they know which ones they are allowed or you could end up freaking out when you come back from refilling your teacup that your precious child has used/ripped/dirtied stickers from your favourite Etsy seller... you know, that kit that's your favourite that she no longer makes! Anyway, lock up the good stickers or just risk the caffeine headache and skip the second cup of tea :D Or better yet, get them their own stickers!

They can add stickers to their planner pages or simply use old planner stickers to get used to the idea of planning. They could create a memory planner or a bucket list planner, anything just to get them used to the idea.

Kids cedric

In this week's video, I'm planning with my youngest 3 children (couldn't get the teens on video if I paid them!). With my 5 year old, he's basically sticking down all the dino stickers he can find but the other two really get into it! Hide your sacred stickers so your kids don't snag them while you watch, and hit play! 


Plan Like Cindy Guentert-Baldo - Llama Letters

For a challenge, I decided to spice things up in my planner by trying a new style and taking inspiration from another planner girl. I chose Cindy Guentert-Baldo from Llama Letters because I love her style and because her method of decorating is so very different from mine. She uses bright colours and bold layouts with lots of fab doodling and lettering.

I'm going to try to add a bit of her style to my August monthly spread all the while brushing up on my doodling and hand lettering, eep!

I decided on a spread of hers from May to be my inspiration. I like the colours and I know I have similar supplies on hand so it won't require a trip to the store and extra money to complete the challenge.

Here we go, hit play and watch as I try my hand at Cindy's style!


Here's her original:

Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 15.35.55photo from 

And here's my take on it:
I tried my hand at the lettering, but I passed on the doodling, I was too nervous to do it, next time I will practice beforehand.

Llama-letters-letteringOf course, I had to add a little cluster or two as a little touch of 'me' to the spread.

Llama-letters-my-touchWhat do you think? Let me know in the comments what you think I nailed and what I failed. You can watch her process video here: 

Cindy Guentert-Baldo

I think that my favourite part about Cindy's style is when will use washi tape to span days or even weeks to signify a child's activities, vacation or some long term event. This is something I used to do a bit but then completely forgot about. I need to start doing this again. Not only is super practical, I LOVE the look of the washi strips over several days.  

Have you used washi in this way? I've got 21 ways to use washi in this YouTube video: