A year ago in early December, I decided to get more serious about blogging. I can’t believe it’s been a year already! So many wonderful things have happened and I am so grateful for every single one of you! Without all of you, I wouldn't be here today! I wanted to take some time today to share what I’m grateful for, accomplishments, what I'm looking ahead to, and tips if you want to become a (better) blogger.
- I’d like to thank Ryder Carroll for a number of things: sharing the Bullet Journal system, refining the system, sharing beautiful videos that share what the system is all about as well some clever tips, inviting me to be a guest writer for the Bullet Journal blog, creating an awesome Kickstarter to create an official Bullet Journal notebook, and for sending me a lovely official Bullet Journal Leuchtturm1917 notebook! I am ecstatic about being able to contribute to the wonderful growing website, thank you for allowing me the opportunity!
Family & Friends
- My parents for always believing in me, supporting my decisions, and keeping me alive when I was growing up back in the day!
- Thank you, J for being my best friend all of these years and telling me I should get on Instagram. I had no idea how wonderful of a community I would find over there. And for letting me see a peek into your Bullet Journal and sharing how it made you feel happier and more in control of your life!
- Thank you, T for being the most wonderful boyfriend, sharing my love for stationery, going on stationery runs with me to fawn over notebooks and pens, revising a lot of my articles, being understanding, encouraging, geeking out over the Bullet Journal with me, and so much more!
- Thank you, Dee (Decade Thirty) for being my first collaborator, brainstorming pal, pen pal, and for becoming one of my closest friends. I love that we can always send each other a message about anything and brainstorm ideas together! I'm so excited for all of the great things happening in your life and can't wait to cheer you on with all that life has to offer you!
- Thank you, Jessica (Pretty Prints and Paper), I love co-hosting the #PlanWithMeChallenge with you. You were one of the first people to adapt one of my weekly ideas to cleverly to suit your needs with your own personal style and I’m so happy to see that it’s still working so well for you. Your positivity, wonderful lettering, and thoughtfulness always brightens up my day!
- Thank you, Kara (Boho Berry) for joining Jessica and I in the #PlanWithMeChallenge, being a wonderful new inspiration in the Bullet Journal community, becoming a lovely pen pal, and for being my soul sister - I can’t wait to get to know you better!
- Thank you, A for becoming my first pen pal, sending me photos of your wonderful Bullet Journal, overthinking things with me, laughing about the same things, and for becoming a great friend!
- Thank you Gretchen (Gretchen Hope) for sending me a lovely Navy Leuchtturm1917 when I was distressed about running out of pages in mine. Your kindness touched me and I am so grateful that you did this, thank you.
- Thank you to the lovely people who have become pen pals or sent me a letter! I’ve enjoyed getting to know you in a more personal way with our personalities shining through in our handwritten letters.
- Thank you to everyone who has mentioned me in their articles, it means the world to me that you’d think of me and mention my blog, or an idea I shared that you were inspired by, on your blog! I'm always extremely grateful <3
- Thank you to key members of the Bullet Journal community who chime into conversations and mention a new way to think about something that was murky to understand - I learn new ways to think about the Bullet Journal system all of the time thanks to all of you!
I’d like to thank every one who has ever read an article, liked a post, shared a post, signed up for the newsletter, followed me on social media, and especially commented, messaged, or emailed me. All of these gestures mean the world to me! For you to take the time to share a thought makes me feel surreal, like ‘how am I having this much of an impact when I am merely sharing ideas?’ You’re all wonderful. Without you and the feedback I receive, this blog wouldn’t be what it is without you.
It means SO much to me that you’d take the time to read the words I write. It makes my eyes water with joy knowing that I’ve inspired a thought or idea on how to enhance your Bullet Journal experience. It is my favorite topic to talk, read, breathe, photograph, and write about. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to do it.
All of you inspire me and I love your thoughts, insights, encouragements, and especially the growth all of you are embarking on in your Bullet Journal journeys.
- Lifehacker. For mentioning the Bullet Journal system in August 2013. This is the article that inspired me to try it out.
- Pinterest. For leading me back to the Bullet Journal after a 1 year hiatus and leading me to the Google+ Bullet Journal community. And thank you for being an easy way to share blog posts and repin ideas.
- The Google+ Bullet Journal community. For sharing adaptations to the Bullet Journal, having a strong set of people who follow the original system, and for always providing a profound conversation. I relish interacting with you and seeing the ideas that emerge.
- Facebook Bullet Journal Junkies. For providing more Bullet Journal eye-candy than I can ever consume. This is one of the most enthusiastic, conversational, and positive online communities for the Bullet Journal!
- Thank you, Instagram. It is one my favorite places to hang out online. I have met so many wonderful people who are full of ideas, encouragement, and kindness. It's been the main way I have made some awesome new friends thanks to the flourishing Bullet Journal community. I’m happy I could create a #BulletJournalChallenge to spark a more interactive community over there that is growing by the minute. It has been an absolute joy seeing all of your experiments and personal growth. It's also been exciting seeing the thought and constant evaluation of your planner systems with the #PlanWithMeChallenge. It’s an easy way to post a photo and share thoughts, ideas, and insights instantly. Really, it’s the community over there that I love the most. Without a good support system, I wouldn’t be online. I’m grateful for you every day!
- Reddit, Tumblr, & Twitter: Admittedly, I don’t spend much time over there with you guys, but I enjoy popping in every now and then to see all of the wonderful ideas you come up with. It’s truly marvelous seeing how big the Bullet Journal system has gotten and all of the wonderful personalizations everywhere. I’m overwhelmed with how big the Bullet Journal community has gotten online and I am ecstatic to see where it goes.
- Leuchtturm1917 for creating a fantastic notebook. The attention to detail is one that is unmatched. The dots, the covers, the build, the quality, the pagination, the front matter…all of it so dreamy and wonderful. Thank you for taking the time to think deeply about how to construct a wonderful notebook! I'm excited to see all of the new colors you come up with!
- Thank you to stationery-amazingness GouletPens for sending me a beautiful Azure Leuchtturm1917 for the giveaway! Your customer service is exceptional and I’m happy to let others know about your wonderful business, especially due to the way you humanize it!
- Thank you to the lovely companies who have sent me lovely item for mentioning their products!
Sharing the accomplishments and successes I am proud of this year, as it is my blog’s birthday after all :) These are in order of their occurrence.
- Co-hosting the #PlanWithMeChallenge for all planners everywhere with Jessica (and now Kara as well) that created a deeper way to think about how people use their planning systems beyond the way it looks.
- Simplified my blog layout to focus on the content and did away with the distractions.
- Became a dot com! I’m happy I finally did this. It seemed like such a huge step to take, but now I feel I've become 'official’ and it feels great!
- Teaming up with GouletPens to give away an azure Leuchtturm1917! They are such a lovely company and I’m happy to support them and their great selection of colorful Leuchtturm1917 notebooks.
- Leuchtturm1917 shared my blog posts on their social media sites!
- Leuchtturm1917 reposted another photo, this time of my collection of Bullet Journals!
- Updated my blog layout in honor of having my blog for a year!
- All the lovely comments, shares, messages, and any form of contact you have used to reach out to me and ask a question or let me know that my content helped you in some way. That is the biggest win of all. The main impetus of this blog is to share ideas and inspire others to create a system that they love and your feedback has helped fuel this :)
- I'm excited to write more! I have several blog post ideas lined up about the Bullet Journal. It is my favorite topic to write about and that's my main focus on this blog so that's what I'll continue to write about.
- I might write a goals post each month. I really enjoy these from friends Kara and Lindsay, so I thought It’d be fun to join in! I’ll brainstorm some more on what I want to include. Anything you’d like to see me share?
- Increase the level of meaningful content on the site.
- Add a gallery of Bullet Journal ideas.
- International giveaways. This is definitely on the horizon :)
Tips for Bloggers:
- You're going to have a lot of ideas: make sure you figure out a solution to corral them all. Try out different things until you find the one that works for you. I'm currently using a Filofax pocket notebook where I write down my ideas divided by color-coded category. This makes it easy for me to jot down ideas and grab some to plan on my blog calendar.
- Find a blog calendar solution that works for you. It took me a lot of different iterations. In fact, I'm not sure if I'll continue to use my current solution forever, but for now I really like it. I use a whiteboard calendar that I keep on my desk as my blog calendar. I use an ultra fine retractable Sharpie to write ideas on 2x2 square Post it notes. I like this method because it allows me see my plan for the month and easily rearrange as needed.
- Update your blog calendar on a weekly basis. For a long time I was wondering why it was that whenever I set up a new blog editorial calendar of some sort it only worked on the first week. Recently, I had an epiphany where I realized that was the issue! It only worked on the week I had planned. So no matter how far I planned ahead for, after the first week my efforts would dwindle. Constant review and updating makes it an engaging interaction and keeps me on track.
- Figure out a way to organize your blog photos.
- Become a dot com! Purchase your domain name, it's inexpensive and it'll make you so happy!
- Invest in proper writing software such as Scrivener.
- Keep track of things. I keep track of all sorts of blog-related things in order to keep me engaged with my blog. I keep track of the articles I write, days I write, stats, and other relevant information.
- Keep your goals front and center. For a long time I had a handmade poster on my wall with my blog and business goals. I have since created a system in my Bullet Journal to hold that information because it's easier to review than looking over at a poster, because again, I'm engaging with it constantly so it's always on my mind. It's too easy to start seeing things as white noise if you're not constantly engaging with it in a meaningful way.
- Scheduling feels amazing. It's a wonderful feeling when you finish writing an article and schedule it for a couple of days from now or further away. Knowing that you've prepared and you're getting an article when you planned is awesome.
- All of your planning is pointless if you don't take action. It's not enough to plan. You must follow your plan. Perhaps not to a tee, be flexible, but stay in the general direction of it.
- Constantly remind yourself of why you're writing a blog. Why are you sharing words and ideas?
- Support others. Encourage others, share ideas, engage in a conversation. Lift others up and they'll lift you up. But, don't lift others up because you want them to lift you up, do it because you genuinely mean the words you say.
- You don't have to be on every social media platform, but it's good to visit them and take time to talk to the people there because each community has its own wonderful flair!
- Wake up early. As Sean Wes said in a podcast, "I'm not a morning person, I don't like waking up in the morning. But, I like how I feel in the morning, so that's why I wake up early." I can completely relate. I'm pretty tired when I wake up early, but I love the way I feel and how my productivity soars when I'm awake early so I've been making a conscious effort to wake up earlier.
- Don't feel guilty. Do it for you. Do it for others. Don't dwell, keep trying!
- Take breaks when you need them.
- Care about others. I'm a naturally caring person. Some may argue I care too much, but I think it's important remember that behind the screen is another human being with feelings, thoughts, and a distinct personality. Everyone has something to share. Have some empathy and be kind!
- Everything is a google search away. Seriously. Whenever I've wanted to change up my blog layout or add something, I'll do a google search and bam! I'm met with a bunch of awesome new ideas and ways to implement them :)
- Stay hydrated. Drink a lot of cold water. I don't know why, but I think I go through 5-6 water bottles when I write. The constant cold water keeps me awake and typing away :)
- Get enough rest. This will help keep you focused.
- Get acquainted with your blogging workflow. Think about every component: how you write, what software do you use, how are you most focused, when do you like to take photos, and more. Keep these in mind and systematize them to increase your output!
Thank you to all of you! You're the reason I blog, write, and share! I love sharing ideas with you and revel in delight when I see one personalized to fit your needs!
Here's to many more years of blogging! I'm excited for the new adventures to come!
Let me know of any ideas you'd like me to write about and I'll add them to the list! Make sure to subscribe to get updates on the sunny newsletter! :)