Planner Hack! Using a blotter and cheat sheet

Do you guys participate in the #PlanWithMeChallenge on Instagram or Facebook?  It’s hosted by @Boho.Berry, @TinyRayofSunshine, and @PrettyPrintsandPaper and they post planner challenges for each day of the month.

The prompt for April 4th was ‘Best Planning Hack’ so what I posted was a brief description of the blotter and cheat sheet that I use when planning.  It had such a big response on Instagram that I thought I should share it here.

The best planner hack I’m using right now is my blotter and cheat sheet!  The last few pages of the Leuchtturm notebook are perforated for easy removal.  In my last video, I briefly mentioned that I use one of them as a blotter for when I’m planning on the go and don’t have time to wait for my ink to dry.


But, I also have a blotter that doubles as a Leuchtturm cheat sheet.  I got so tired of counting dots and spaces.  And of course, I always lost count halfway through and had to start over again.  To make my life simpler, theres that simplicity thing popping up again, I took one of the perforated pages that I use for a blotter and numbered the horizontal dots and spaces, marked where the center line is, numbered every 5th vertical dot, and marked out on which dot I start writing for my daily banner setup.

This way, I rarely have to count!  It makes planning, writing, and updating my bullet journal a lot faster!  And I can use the rest of the page to lay out new headers or test boxes, banners, etc.  When it gets too dirty, I’ll just throw it away and pull out a new one.  What planner hacks do you use??

The supplies I used in the video above are the following:*
My BuJo: Leuchtturm Medium Hardcover Dots
Pens: Pilot Hi-Tec-C Maica

Happy Journaling!

*These are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of these items through the link, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.  I will only link to items that I have purchased, used, and would be willing to purchase again.  Thank you for your support!

A new Roterfaden for holding my bullet journal


I have embarked on a new journey!  After having a Traveler’s Notebook for so long, I really enjoy having a leather notebook holder and the biggest drawback of the Leuchtturm1917 notebooks, for me, is the aesthetic of the outside of the notebook itself.  I thought about decorating it, and I still might, but I really wanted a cover that can age, grow, and change throughout the journey, like a Traveler’s Notebook does.  In comes the Roterfaden!


I’ve been debating on purchasing one for months now, even before I bought my first Leuchtturm, but it is more of an investment that I could make.  I’ve been saving up to buy myself something special and the Roterfaden won!  I was so nervous that I wouldn’t like it in person, or that it wouldn’t fit my bullet journal, or it wouldn’t be what I was expecting, etc.  But it arrived the other day and I am in love!

The Roterfaden uses a unique clip system in the elastic spine so that you can insert any kind of notebook.  I purchased the A5 version since most of my notebooks are A5.  For a simple stitch bound notebook, the clips will hold them right down the center like a Midori.  But for the hardcover Leuchtturm, I had to do a slight modification.

The clips will slide out of the spine so that you can move them around.  I removed one set of clips (it came with 3) and put the second set in the very last hole in the spine.  Then attached the Leuchtturm at the back cover where the pocket is.  And, it works perfectly!


Both notebooks fit without problem.  I may try using one of the softcover Leuchtturms next time to see if it means I can hold 3 notebooks, but for now, this is good enough.  Unlike the Midori, the Roterfaden lays completely flat!  And it doesn’t prevent the notebooks from laying flat either, which is one of my biggest pet peeves with the Midori system.  It also has pockets on the front and back cover, has an amazing leather smell, and surprisingly sturdy felt inner lining.  There is also a red elastic pen holder and a red elastic to hold it closed.

The only drawback, other than the cost, that I see right now is the physical size.  It does add a good bit of size and weight and it will not fit into my small purse.  But, I’ve been wanting a bigger purse…  Lol!

I ordered this one from Baum Kuchen, but you can also order directly from the Roterfaden website.  On the Roterfaden site you can completely customize it: felt color, pockets, leather color, how many clips, etc.  It’s a lot of fun to play with their designer!

I’m curious, do you keep your notebooks in a holder?  If so, what kind of holder do you prefer?

Happy Journaling!

February Bullet Journal Month in Review Video and Post

I am really looking forward to setting up my bullet journal for March!  I learned so much this month and I’m excited to start putting some of these changes into action.  There are a lot of things that I’m going to keep, a good number of tweaks, and a few new pages and items.  I want to share this process with you, but I thought it may be too cumbersome for one post or one video so I split it into two sections: a February month in review and then the March setup.

This first video goes through my February setup and I talk about what I liked, what I didn’t like, changes I want to make, things I learned, etc.  If you get a chance, please watch it and let me know what you think.

If you have any questions, suggestions, comments, etc. I would love to hear them!  Thank you so much for watching!

The supplies I used in the video above are the following:*
My BuJo: Leuchtturm Medium Hardcover Dots Lemon
Pens for color: Staedtler Triplus Fineliner
Writing pen: Sakura Micron-01

In the video, I talked about the Stabilo 88 Point markers that I tried.  They bleed through the page and I hate that!  I like them for adult coloring books, but they do not do well with the paper in the Leuchtturm.  I don’t recommend them for bullet journaling in this notebook, but if you are interested for other reasons like coloring, art, drawing, etc. they are wonderful and they come in amazing colors!  On that note, here is a link to the set that I have.  Stabilo 88 Point 30 Color Wallet

Happy Journaling!


*These are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of these items through the link, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.  I will only link to items that I have purchased, used, and would be willing to purchase again.  Thank you for your support!


Bullet journal radar chart video!

I started making the step-by-step tutorial of how I made my radar chart stamp and how I set it up in my daily pages and I realized that it would be a lot easier to describe with a video!  I haven’t made a Youtube video in years, and I wasn’t very good at it to begin with, so bear with me on this one.

If you like the video and want to see more, please give me a thumbs up or a comment.  If it seems a little blurry, you can watch the video in HD, but you may have to click on the ‘gear’ button and choose it.  A list of supplies used in the video are below and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!  I love hearing from you!

The supplies I used in the video above are the following:*
My BuJo: Leuchtturm Medium Hardcover Dots Lemon
Pens for color: Staedtler Triplus Fineliner
Writing pen: Sakura Micron-01
Unmounted clock stamps: Tick Tock Clock Faces Stamp

Happy Journaling!


*These are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of these items through the link, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.  I will only link to items that I have purchased, used, and would be willing to purchase again.  Thank you for your support!


Beginning a bullet journal

Over the last couple of years, life has gotten very busy.  I’ve found myself struggling to find time to do the things I love and failing at remembering to do the things I have to do!  I’ve been trying different organizational and planning systems over the past year, but nothing has stuck.  Nothing has really given me everything I needed.  Since my free time is so limited, I really wanted a system that would solve multiple problems at once.

  1. I need to stay organized, focused, on track, and accountable.  All too often, I get busy and forget important tasks (I know we all feel that way!).
  2. I need a place to jot down tasks, ideas, thoughts, etc.
  3. I need a system that is flexible because I get bored easily.
  4. I need a daily creative outlet.
  5. I want to be able to track, graph, and analyze my routine and tasks.  I am a scientist after all 😉

For me, there have been a lot of crafts, hobbies, habits, etc. that have come and gone.  But some things have always been a regular part of my life: paper crafts, pens (You should see my pen collection, it’s almost embarrassingly large!), stationary, journaling, and planning.  It seems like no matter what new thing I try, I always come back to these.  So, what about combining them all into one?

In pops the bullet journal!  I’m not going to spend time on giving a detailed overview of what bullet journaling is, because there are so many amazing resources already out there.  Here is a list of my current favorites.

  1. For the original and the basics of what it is all about, go visit Ryder Carroll and the Bullet Journal main website.  He is the founder of the system.
  2. Kara of Boho Berry is amazing!  She has been an enormous inspiration for me!  I’ve spent hours pouring over her website, videos, and Instagram.  You will see a lot of her ideas in my bullet journal.
  3. Jessica of Pretty Prints and Paper has wonderful information on bullet journaling and hand lettering.  Her calligraphy is super fun and colorful!
  4. Kim of Tiny Ray of Sunshine has wonderful resources for beginners on the bullet journaling system and how to make it work for you.
  5. Dee of Decade Thirty has fantastic resources for bullet journaling, sketching, and handwriting improvement.

I decided to start my bullet journal in a proven notebook.  I know from my own experiences that Moleskine notebooks always disappoint me with my fountain pens and thicker lined pens and markers.  So I went with the Leuchtturm Medium Hardcover Dots Lemon after watching and reading tons of reviews.  So far, I love it!  It holds up well to my favorite Sakura Micron-01 Pen.  I’ve used these Micron pens for years, I even have some some that are 10 years old and they still write!  No joke!  Anyway, I’ll do a post on pens soon and show how my Leuchtturm holds up to various ones.

I wanted to start pretty simple in my first bullet journal because I didn’t want to get overwhelmed or discouraged.  I began with a basic calendar page for 2016 for easy referral.  This was inked with a black Staedtler Triplus Fineliner and I now find that I like the thinner Micron 01 line better.  But, I dearly love the Staedtlers for color!


I’m thinking of going in the calendar and circling holidays and birthdays, but I haven’t done it yet.  As you can see, the thick lines from the black Staedtler ghost through pretty bad.  This doesn’t bother a lot of people, but it’s not my favorite, I would rather it look a little cleaner which I why I’m switching to the Micron 01 for everything except color.

The next page is my Future Log.  At first, I didn’t really understand the point of a future log, but once I starting practicing in a small notebook I realized that I needed a space to write down appointments and important things happening in the months to come.  Right now it’s pretty empty, but it will start filling up as time goes on.

You can also see that halfway through making this page I completely changed my mind on the layout!  I was originally going to do 6 months, but after drawing it out it was too much space.  So, I put a line down the center of each block and made it a 12 month spread.  Unfortunately, I had already written the months on the sides.  I think this is a good example of going with the flow and making it better next time.  One of my resolutions is to not take less than perfection as failure!  To fix it, I just made a bunch of decorative lines and put the months at the top.  It’s noticeable, but I’m able to ignore it.


Now comes the fun part!  The actual planning part!  For February, I used a spin-off version of Kara’s monthly spread.  I don’t have as many appointments as she does so having all day, morning, and evening was overkill for me.  But, I really wanted a space to write weekly and monthly tasks.  Please excuse my messed up cursive for February!


I put a strip of wash tape folded over the edge of the left page for easy locating and split the three columns into All Day, Events, and Weekly Tasks.  On the right are my Monthly Goals and a quick Weekly Habit Tracker.  I love the idea of a Habit Tracker and I wanted something to remind me that every week I need to balance the checkbook, do laundry, water the plants, etc.  Instead of marking it off in a daily Habit Tracker, this one is just for the 5 weeks of the month.  Any extra tasks for the week will go in the task column.

I also have a space at the top for what I want to focus on for the month.  In February, it’s all about being present.  What I wrote to inspire and remind myself is “Stay present as much as possible.  Savor the life I have now.  Aim towards improvement but don’t dwell on the imperfections.”

At the end of the month, I’ll do a review, let you know how it worked, and show any changes I’ll be making for March.

Happy Planning!