February 2016 Review

The end of another month means time for another monthly review. See January’s here.

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Here are the highlights for February:

  • I need to develop my own routines that I can stick to daily. While I didn’t strictly follow my “bedtime” this month, I did do better with being mindful of what time I went to sleep.
  • For some reason I was still feeling run-down this month, and I was in an absolute funk for the last week of the month. So self-care is a priority.
  • Let’s not talk about how little cleaning I got done… It’s a priority as well.
  • I tried the printable for my weekly layout, but decided I’m going back to the weekly log I tried at the end of December. I genuinely missed it this month, but wanted to give the printable a fair chance.

How did the month go for you? Let me know in the comments how you do your reviews.

Don’t forget to follow the blog, and find me on Twitter and Instagram for more content. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

January 2016 Review

The first month of the new year certainly went by fast. This month I decided to try something a little different and actually do a “formal” review in my bullet journal. I followed Laura at How to… Get Your Shit Together’s format because it seemed straightforward. (She also has a video detailing her process.)

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I won’t go through everything I wrote down, but here are the main points:

  • I wasn’t as consistent with morning and evening routines as I wanted to be. I know that SAVERS does work for me, but the multi-step evening routine didn’t work to get me to sleep earlier. Instead of SLOWERS, I’m going to simply set a bedtime.
  • Relating to the first point, my general self-care needs work, so I’ve made a couple of simple goals to get that in motion. If my self is well-cared for, then I can care for others better (and the house).
  • My cleaning routine still needs work. (Suggestions are welcome!)
  • Referring to last month’s review: meal ideas got added to the week page, and helped me feel a bit more “together”; the sticky flag blog calendar worked with me transferring the topics for posts to the appropriate week; I added to my collection of pens, but only used the Fineliners and Sharpies for a bit of color, sticking with gel most of the time.

How did the month go for you? Let me know in the comments how you do your reviews.

Don’t forget to follow the blog, and find me on Twitter and Instagram for more content. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Pens!

I want to spend a little time talking about…well, you know ^. I’ve always been a bit of a pen nerd, looking for new ones to try out, finding just the right one to use, etc. My discovering the Pen Addict some time ago did not help, as it led me to Jet Pens, and I’m sure you can all relate to being compelled to try all the things they have. (That’s a rabbit hole I’m not going down today…)

In the past 6-8 months, I’ve trialed several types of pens in the search for The One. I’m getting close, and I think at this point that my paper quality (that I plan to upgrade soon) is going to be the determining factor. Here is what I’ve tried:

Ballpoints

Paper Mate Inkjoy: These were mostly a disappointment to me due to my dislike of ballpoint pens in general. I love the colors, but the thick line and tendency to spit out gobs of ink turned me off. (I ended up giving some of them to my nephews for Christmas, so they have a fair chance of being used.)

Pilot Acroball Multi Pen: This one was part of my first Jet Pens order, and I used it almost exclusively for the last couple of months. I love the ink formula, and how it writes a fine line at 0.7mm. I need it in more colors.

Gel

Pilot Frixion: These are so much better than the erasable pens I had growing up! Sadly, I emptied both the black and blue (I think) within a couple of months. Also, I find the 0.7mm gel pens to be a bit wet on paper, so if I decide to do refills I’ll have to order 0.5mm as no one carries them locally.

Uni-ball Signo 207 BLX: I love these colors, but again, they’re a bit wet on my paper. Still, they’re a nice change from plain black without being too “out there”. I’d like to try some more of the Uni-ball Signo gel pens.

Felt Tip

Sharpie Pen: Quick-drying and available in multiple colors, these are a favorite among the planner community. I need better paper though as they do spread a bit on 20 lb paper.

Staedtler Triplus Fineliner: I just picked these up–another favorite in this community. They’re a bit finer than the Sharpie pens so they don’t spread as much. I’ve been using them off and on. I like the color selection (even though I only got a pack of 6).

American Crafts Precision Pen: I picked up one of these at A.C. Moore a while back, and I’m not impressed. Honestly, I forgot I had it.

Fountain Pen

Pilot Metropolitan: My first fountain pen. It’s grown on me with more use, but it’s another indicator that I need better paper. I think I’d also like to have a different ink color. (I decided not to order extra with the pen in case I didn’t end up liking it.) Also, I’m totally jealous of all the Retro Pops people are flaunting–I can’t justify a second fountain pen right now!

Of course these are just the pens I’ve used recently. I used to be a fan of the Pilot G2, but the 0.7mm one kills me. I want to try out some of the other fine point gel pens from Jet Pens, like the Pilot Juice.

What is your favorite or must-have pen? Tell me about it in the comments!

Don’t forget to follow the blog, and find me on Twitter and Instagram for more content. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Update: What I’m Using

Now that I’ve fully migrated into my Arc notebook, I wanted to do an update post on what I’m using to plan. You can see what I moved from here.

I had given up on my Inkjoy pens last month in favor of my Acroball multi pen and have not regretted that decision in the least. I still have a pen crush on Sharpie Pens though, and I want to try Staedtler pens also. Mostly there is a paper quality issue that’s stopping me from switching to the felt tip pens–the Arc paper is great with them, but my cheap printer paper and grid paper are not. I plan to upgrade my paper quality though, so I’m sure I’ll trade pens again eventually.

I’m finally in my Arc notebook! I love how much more flexible it is than the bound book I was using before. Now I just have to get settled with how I want everything arranged. I’ve already changed things from the last time I talked about it (*facepalm*). I don’t think my change this time was from unrest, but from my actual use of the journal. It’s easy to think how you’d like to have things set up, but then when those plans are put in practice, things change. Overall, I do like using the Arc for my bullet journal, I just need to figure out my ideal arrangement of things.

Let me know in the comments what houses your planning system (ring binder, bound notebook, discbound, etc.) and what your favorite products are.

Don’t forget to follow the blog, and find me on Twitter and Instagram!

Have a great day! 🙂

Fountain Pen Follow-Up

I thought I’d jot a few words about my fountain pen experience.

As I mentioned in my Jet Pens post, I decided to dip my toes into the fountain pen world by purchasing a Pilot Metropolitan. I’ve used it here and there, but honestly, the experience wasn’t what I expected. I was super excited before I got it. It writes perfectly fine. I didn’t have any trouble figuring out how to hold it. It’s heavy though. Heavier than I expected I guess.

About the same time I got my order, I decided to work on improving my penmanship, which included trying to retrain my muscles to hold writing utensils at a different angle. I’ve not totally adjusted to the new habit, so that could be coloring my opinion of the Metropolitan. I’m not ready to give up on fountain pens altogether, but my experience so far has certainly put a halt to my obtaining more gear.

 

October 2015 Recap

Time to look back on the past month, see what got accomplished, and determine what needs more focus for the new month.

First I’ll look at planning. I had much more restlessness in my bullet journal than I cared to. After the initial setup for the month, I changed again, then saw another idea at the end of the month I wanted to try. So I set up a trial of the last setup for the last week in my arc notebook, and used two last week. My cleaning and self-care routines got a bit thrown midway through the month (I was going off a medication and had some side effects to deal with). As a result, I’ve changed both my monthly spread and my weekly spread to help me have a better planning month. I’m also working on a budget in my arc notebook.

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I’ve used the supplies I got from Jet Pens some, but not a ton. So far I’m liking the fountain pen I got, and the Acroball multi-pen writes much better than the last pens I had bought. I may invest in some more of them if I find I need more than 3 colors of ink.

Andrew and I continued with Cycle 2 of the 17 Day Diet, and then moved on to a combination of Cycles 3 and 4. From the middle of September (when we started) until October 19th, Andrew lost 11 lbs and I lost 7–enough to make a difference in how our clothes fit, and to get us into better eating habits.

I didn’t make a lot of progress on the knitting projects I posted about before. I think the only project with noticeable progress were the socks, which are now ready to have the heels knitted. Instead, I caved and started a project with the Zauberball I purchased at the knitting retreat in September. I’m making the Foolproof Cowl so I can use as much of the yarn as possible.

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I don’t feel like I’ve done as well with reading this month, but I think it’s because I listened to more books than I read. I finished: The Death Cure [The Maze Runner #3] (James Dashner); The Martian (Andy Weir); White Cat [The Curse Workers #1] (Holly Black); You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Felicia Day). I didn’t end up finishing I Am Legend or Neurotribes. The “other stories” in I Am Legend just weren’t my cup of tea, and Neurotribes ended up not being what I thought it would be. I’ve started The Kill Order [The Maze Runner #0.5] and Red Glove [The Curse Workers #2]. I still need to finish The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

That’s all I’ve got to recap from October. I plan to participate in the Instagram #planwithmechallenge (hosted by Kim and Jessica) again this month, so I may incorporate some of those prompts into this month’s blog posts.

It Was Inevitable

With all my Pen Addict podcast listening, and my recent participation in the planner community, I’ve fallen victim to the temptation that is Jet Pens.

It’s an urge I’ve fought for a while, but I couldn’t fight it any longer. I placed my first order on the 15th, and my 2nd (related) battle was also lost–I ordered my first fountain pen.

After much consideration I decided on the Pilot Metropolitan. It’s generally well-reviewed, and was well within my budget at under $20. I also like that it comes with a converter for using bottled inks if you choose. I was going to order some spare cartridges, but decided against it until I’m sure I like using a fountain pen.

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In order to qualify for free shipping While I was there, I picked up a few other things:

A Pilot multi pen; A fancy highlighter;

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A pen case/tray

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I don’t plan to do official reviews on what I purchased (there are plenty from experienced reviewers), but watch for a follow-up post on how things go with the fountain pen!