Now that the new v3 D*I*Y HipsterPDA is out, I thought itâ€™d be fun to give you all a new project. Sketch journals become fun, quick and quirky projects that capture and distill certain elements of your life down into fast and simple drawings. Leonardo daVinci kept one, Danny Gregory keeps one and now you can too. Keeping a sketchbook is a great way of keeping track of creative ideas and getting in the habit of regular drawing, as well as being a useful, visual brainstorming tool for when youâ€™re feeling short on ideas. More importantly, it gives you the perfect opportunity to put those new 1-up Storyboard cards from the D*I*Y HipsterPDA core pack to good use.
Journal writing can be hard. The blank page sits ready, teasing you and your pen. A million and one thoughts swirl around in your head and you can't settle on just one thought or idea. And as soon as the best idea one does float into your mind, you start to worry about whether or not you can get it down and how that will all look on the finished page of your journal. Or perhaps maybe you never get an idea at all, so your page sits blank once more, awaiting the muse. Sometimes it's easier to not write than it is to write at all with all this pressure.
Fortunately, for those times when you feel the pressure, or can't think of a single thing to write about there are prompts. These small snippets of thoughts or questions or pictures help assist you in getting out of the writer's funk and into the writing process. Strangely, collecting prompts can also be addicting... so this week I've decided to share with you a few online and offline resources where you can get some quick fix inspiration to get you writing in your planners as well as meet some groups who are also journalling right along with you.
|What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers|
author: Anne Bernays,Pamela Painter
|Life's Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Practice|
author: Christina Baldwin
|The Write-Brain Workbook: 366 Exercises to Liberate Your Writing|
author: Bonnie Neubauer
Spring is here, the weather outside grows warmer and the world blossoms and deepens in green. Instead of being outside, tending to the wild forest that has overtaken my backyard, or hiking in the hills, Iâ€™m inside, working; building rapport at my new job at a company whoâ€™s giving me work I love to do. Once again I am working hard and trying to find the balance between my work-life and â€œhomeâ€ life. Productivity (getting things done) has always been one of my main strengths at a company. However, I usually go overboard, shoving aside the other side of my life, my spirituality. Disconnecting myself from what I want to do, believe in and value and letting others define who I am.
We spend so much time at work: inventing new processes and creating new toys to make us more useful that sometimes our core values and beliefs get lost amongst the paperwork and email. We forget to take a break and remember what our true purpose is and sometimes that we are allowed to enjoy what we call â€œworkâ€. We dissociate ourselves from our spirit and passions. We become cogs in the machine. Of course, I disbelieve that this has to happen. I like to think that we can strike a balance between having a spiritual self and a 9-to-5 job. I think that spirituality in the workplace is attainable and that people can enjoy and have fun in their work-life.
I was talking to a friend last week and she casually mentioned that she purchased a new type of bookmark. Normal everyday, run-of-the-mill bookmark apparently are no longer any good for her reading habits. They were weak, got lost easily and never stayed in their place when she put her paperbacks in a bag. Now, Iâ€™ve seen new types of bookmarks on the market that claim they can stay in place. Bookmarks you can hang over a corner and those you hang into books like a paperclip; but I've never gotten them to stay. Instead they've slipped off more often and always got lost at the bottom of my backpack.
What makes this new type of bookmark so great? Itâ€™s called a Book Bungee and she got it from Levenger. The Book Bungee looks like a normal everyday bookmark but it comes with a strap that you wrap around the outside of the book and over the bookmark so not only does it keep your place but it also protects the pages from getting torn or bent. When I saw this ingenious new idea, I thought about how similar it was to other book closures I have used in the past to keep my art books closed. Being the big Do It Yourselfer and crafty person, I figured out how to create my own Book Leash. In fact, Iâ€™m going to share with you how to make two different versions in this article.
It's been awhile since I've written more about bookbinding or binding techniques. This week I return to my series of bookbinding (which started here and ended here) by giving you a review of one of my favorite bookbinding starter books. There's a lot of good books out there about bookbinding and more are being added to the shelves. If you have the time and desire, I recommend that you go to spend some time at your local bookstore and read through some of the various books. It can take time and some research to discover which book's instructions help you in making your own books.
Ever since I turned from journal connoisseur to journal maker, I've been trying to find those rare books that teach me how to make interesting styles of books without the technical jargon and confusing stereo instructions written in some language requiring babel fish to decode. I prefer reading instructional art books that contain numeric step-by-step instructions and lots of pictures. After reading a few books in the stores on the subject and finding that most of them seemed to be written in that stuffy, old, college text book style with vary little pictures to reference, I was glad to find this little gem. It's called Book Arts, by Mary Kaye Seckler and it's published by Design Originals. If you decide to buy it, I've attached a link for you to purchase it at amazon.com at the bottom of this article.
|Book Arts: Beautiful Bindings for Handmade Books|
author: Mary Kaye Seckler
Continuing with my Quick Tips series, I'm going to cook up 5 new ways of using the Actions Quadrant (Classic v3.0) template. Those of you who want to follow me can get the card from the D*I*Y Planner Templates Core Package. I picked this template because it seemed like a good challenge. Itâ€™s quad grid seems best suited to conquer and divide tasks and projects into smaller and more manageable chunks.
However, with a little bit of imagination you can use the form to become:
A decision making tool. The Actions Quadrant template makes a perfect decision making tool. Use this form when youâ€™re faced with complex decisions that have multiple choice solutions, each with their own set of consequences. Write down the situation in the box provided just under the grayscale line and then create 4 different scenarios and a list of results of taking those actions. For example, letâ€™s say youâ€™re considering a career change. Write down something like â€œWhat would be my life if I was doing something different?â€ in the box above and then list 4 different options in the Quadrant title boxes. Like, Artist, Writer, Astronaut, Retail. Then use the remaining checkboxes to brainstorm ideas on how your life would be like and all the advantages and disadvantages to being in that career. Once youâ€™ve filled out the form, youâ€™ve got some ideas on what may be the best decision to make. Who knows, you might be surprised at the perspective it gives you.
Multi-store Purchases tracker. Use this form to keep a small track of items you want to purchase at the store or multiple stores. If youâ€™re like me, you may go out for the day, and end up going to multiple stores instead of that heavenly all-in-one place. Use this form to write down a quick list of all the items you need at 4 places. That way, you have a nice single list of what you need for all your places. As an added bonus, you donâ€™t have to worry about losing 4 different lists!
Episode Guide. Okay, this may seem weird, but I know a lot of people who like to track episodes of their favorite television series. You could print out a whole bunch of these templates and create a whole history of your favorite t.v. program, episode by episode. Record episode summaries and notes, star information, and bloopers for 4 shows on one card. When youâ€™re done, why not bind the sheets together, making a handy reference book. Of course, you donâ€™t have to stop at episodes. You could also do the same with your favorite books, chapter by chapter; or favorite music groups and their discography.
Student Class Planner. When I was in Jr. and Senior High School, I found that planning my classes for the year was a lot harder than it seemed. Not only did you have to pick each class (and make sure you got the "favorite" teacher) but you also had to make sure that you didnâ€™t double up and get in 2 different classes at the same time. Students can use this card to plan out each quarter of their school year by listing each quarter at the top and then writing down the list of classes, teachers and times in the check lists.
Student Homework Tracker Students can use this form once again to help their studies. Use this form to track track book homework assignments by chapter and use the check list to track any questions or notes you have regarding the text. You can also use this form to summarize main points and test objectives when studying for that next exam or quiz.
This has been my Quick Tips creative re-visioning of the Actions Quadrant template. Do you have any other suggestions for how this D*I*Y Planner template can be used? Feel free to post your ideas below.
Iâ€™ve been thinking a lot about spaces lately. Like what goes into them and what we do with them. Sacred spaces, places that hold a special meaning to ourselves. Spaces like my studio. And my home. When I moved into my home 6 years ago, I gave my house a name: The Perch. Itâ€™s my sanctuary. I converted one room over to my artistic studio. My computer desk sits in one corner; Smudge, my Apple powerbook rests on top of it along with a few candles. My workbench is on the opposite wall, where the closet used to be. It's pretty chaotic at the moment. Bottles of Luminere paints and paper and stamps and pens litter the surface. I'm an artist and writer and when I want to be creative, I head into this room. However, I'm also very spiritual. For me, there is no separation between my daily activities and my spiritual life. The two intertwine. And that holds especially true when applied to my art.
Because I see a connection between making art and spirituality, this room transforms from just an ordinary room to something special. It's my altar where my pens and brushes and ideas in my mind mix and merge to form something tangible. The Studio is my sacred space. Like I said, sacred space is a physical or mental place that holds a special meaning or has a specific purpose to you. Mostly what's considered sacred is a feeling we get when we enter a spot that holds great importance to us. And thatâ€™s exactly what my studioâ€™s purpose is... a special place where I can write, make art and express myself.
When I am not trying to come up with good articles and creative tips to share with you here at D*I*Y Planner Iâ€™m playing RPG games. Iâ€™m not talking about computer games; although I do play quite a bit of World of Warcraft. Iâ€™m currently involved in two different pen and paper and dice games. One is traditional Dungeons & Dragons, set in the world of Eberron; and the other is a White Wolf Mage game, set in our world. What does playing games have to do with productivity and planners?
Amazingly, a lot.
Portfolios are a great way to show off your best to potential clients and new job prospects. I've been out of work since last November (by choice) and recently finished a small writing contract for a local company. As I finished and was looking over my old writing portfolio, I thought about how outdated and unreflective of me and my work it seemed. There were no pieces from my last company and there were still some selections from college. So, this past weekend I decided it was time to give my portfolio a much needed upgrade and face-lift.
I have both an online (PDF) and offline portfolio that showcases my work. I wanted to show you what I did and what I found this weekend at Office Max that you can use to make a very nice and professional portfolio. If you haven't guessed, I'm rather pleased and excited as to how both turned out and wanted to show off. While I outline the steps to create a graphic design or technical writing portfolio, I'm sure that you can use these methods and steps to pull together a portfolio for any discipline.