Bullet Journalling, Colour

Taking Notes; Adding Embellishments

Wherever I end up in a meeting or listening to something, I can’t help but take notes. As soon as I add little pictures, tags, colour, etc. (the little embellishments), I am able to recall what I’ve been hearing more easily. I also find that this allows for threading the overall theme together later.

Embellishments can be simple doodles, but rather than a point of distracted absence, they serve a purpose. These embellishments can be anchor points; how often have we all searched through lots of words looking for THAT point? Why not have a little colour in your notes? Maybe that highlight will make it easier to find/catch the thread of the meeting more vividly.

I’ll confess here, although I love the concept of bullet journalling, I’m not great at the ‘bullet’ part in this context. I haven’t figured out how to reduce what I’m hearing/thinking to simple bullets.. however, when I write notes, I love colour. As demonstrated below:

WJEC Chemistry A-Level Modules
Notes in my journal – colours to capture separate modules
🐝 Beelong

My experience, after much trial and error I hasten to add, is that I need colour or pictures to recall my feelings and/or the essential principles of what I was listening to or learning at the time (e.g. the little honeycomb and bee in the picture above).

I’d encourage you to think about what is useful for you when taking notes:-

  1. What do you want to remember -recollection of details or broad strokes? This will define the amount you write. Consider if a picture to depict the setting, or your interpretation of the theme will help to map your notes more effectively; this doesn’t need to be elaborate or pretty and could even be a logo or picture stuck into your notes.
  2. Consider how do you best learn/ understand – if you’re a visual learner (use pictures), if you learn best by reading (use colour to separate chunks of text), if you learn best simply listening (note down quotes and bullets for anything essential, but focus on what’s being said, primarily)
  3. Finally look back to your previous notes; do they help you recollect what was said /done? If not… Think about taking them a different way, don’t be afraid to adopt several methods in one meeting 😊

I hope this overview of how embellishments could support your note taking is useful, let me know any thoughts in comments below.

Bullet Journalling, Crochet, Ponderings

Rest! What is it Good For?! Absolutely Everything!!

I’ve been AWOL for a little while on the blog, Facebook and Instagram as it’s been a manic few months.

It was only when I finally stopped last week, on holiday I realised how long it had been since my last real ‘rest’. This view from our balcony did me the world of good:

Being away made me think about a couple of things.

  1. Why is rest important?
  2. What strategies could I incorporate into daily life to introduce more rest?

Why rest?

Simply, because it’s good. Rest allows contemplation, celebration and restoration. When we stop being so busy (as has been my experience last week), we are able to think more clearly, observe details often missed otherwise and focus more on the current moment. We also have opportunities to celebrate what is going well and consider where we need to make changes.

I feel less frenzied this week, my mind has more freedom to dream, hope and think. I’ve actually become far more productive too. I think these are some of the benefits of rest, but how to actually introduce rest?

Strategies to have rest

In the midst of busyness, I find that I often fore-go things I enjoy, fun goes out of the window!!

So, with that in mind, I hope to:

  • Walk more; at least twice a week – I started walking by the river and through the local park recently and it has done me the world of good to be outside.
  • Crochet – this goes without saying given my previous series of posts, but I love to crochet. However, crocheting is one of the first things to get taken out of my schedule if things are busy. Whilst on holiday I crocheted more in two days, than in the last two months. The sheer joy and the ‘mindfulness’ of hook and yarn was exactly what I needed.
  • Sew – I recently bought a new vintage sewing machine (blog post to follow), one I’ve dreamed of for many years. However, I don’t feel that confident sewing, so I am going to spend some time re-learning how to sew. This will hopefully be another calming activity.
  • Bullet Journal – I recall a time, as I first began the Bullet Journal journey this year, I wrote a couple of lines each day or drew a small picture to represent my thoughts for the day. A real journal as such. I found that I slept better and it was a good record of life, I felt less like ‘life’ was just passing me by. So, I hope to do this as a wind-down before bed each night. While on holiday I updated my pen test list:

  • Finally, I’d like to introduce regular nights off in the week. I am notorious for being unable to say, “No”. So in a bid to take care of myself and take opportunities for rest, I will have a night off planned each week, with no responsibility! On these evenings, I may just stay at home. Though, as I also love art/ arts & crafts, live music and dancing, I may use these to have some fun with the people I love.

I hope that these new ways of living help me to rest in my everyday and this post has inspired you to learn to take some rest too. If you have any other strategies or thoughts regarding rest, I’d love to hear them – please comment below. πŸ˜ƒ

Colour, Ponderings

I Decided to Follow a Prompt….

I’ve never heard of it before, but today I came across a word prompt to aid inspiration in content for a blog post.

The word was Fabric.

To be honest, I’ve published one post only yesterday after a month+ of hiatus, feeling like I had nothing to say. This prompt made me laugh since I read it just after completing a draft version of blog post ideas in my bullet journal. I had literally just written down “Fabric”.

So here goes:

For me, there are two threads that immediately spring to mind with the word ” Fabric”:

1. ‘Fabric of life’

2. ‘Fabric to make something’ i.e the thing sewn together to make garments, covers etc.

When I initially wrote it down in the web of ideas above, I was thinking of it as part of my theme about Colour. As you know if you’ve read Adventure Begins (my first post), one of my aims of the blog is to celebrate colour and pattern in life. This view in my bed earlier today was the source of inspiration for the word Fabric in my blog post web:

I love the pattern of the owls on the fabric, but also the brightness of colour. It got me to thinking, how does someone go about printing fabric like this? How did they choose this combination of colour? What made them choose red and white?

This also reminded me that I have another one of these duvet sets with the same pattern, but with completely different colours and I love it just as much:

As you can see, they are completely different, but are linked by the pattern. That led me to think about the fabric of life. I think of the fabric of life as the richness of life, the threads and patterns that run through. I find it fascinating that from day to day we’re able to see our life from a different perspective – see my last post. In the example of the duvet sets, even the type of cloth itself; a simple cotton fabric is the same, the detail is the same (the hearts and flowers on the chests of the owls, as an example), but the way the colour is applied is completely different.

This leads me to ask: What makes up the fabric of my life, what colour can I add, what do I miss when I only see that the pattern is the same? These seem to be questions at the forefront of my mind given yesterday’s post too. To be honest I haven’t got any coherent answers yet, but I think it’s worthwhile pondering.

Also, depending on your outlook, one could perceive the red and white set as boring or dull in comparison to the tartan pattern and several colours of the other set. But I think that’s the key; I wonder if the killer to inspiration, the one that steals joy is the very act of comparison?

In my eyes, both duvet sets are beautiful, in their own right.

However, I often see myself playing a comparison game in my life, thinking that someone else’s life looks better; someone speaks more eloquently, etc. What if they’re both beautiful in their own right? What if my life is as beautiful as theirs, but my trying to line up the pattern and compare the colour actually leads me to think of it as dull, when it’s bright and powerful just as it is? Life is rarely dull I’ve realised, but my perceptions can lead me to think that way. So my hope is that I’ll choose to see the colour and beauty in my life more often and wish you the same opportunity.

That’s my thoughts on the word, “Fabric”. Out of interest, what would your thoughts be if your prompt was “fabric”?

Thanks to Ben Huberman @The Daily Post for the prompt today – it’s served me well.

Comment below with your thoughts and follow me for the next update. Thanks again for reading πŸ˜„

Bullet Journalling, Slimming World

Slimming World, Fresh Food, New Start

This post is about my return to a journey I started almost five years ago by joining Slimming World. Since getting to my target weight in 2015, I have managed quite well to keep off the pounds, however in recent months, I have to confess my discipline has slipped.

I’ve been noticing for months that where I used to stick to one piece of chocolate, I’ll often now have two or even three in a row. So today, despite having to sacrifice my Saturday lie in, I joined a local group again.

When I did last did slimming world (SW) a few years ago, I lost just under three stones; this was fundamentally because my husband and I changed our lifestyle, eating habits and I played netball regularly. I really enjoyed the process, saw good results, but wasn’t putting undue pressure on myself, knowing that the weight would come off over time.

I’m hoping this post serves as a reminder to me and to you that it’s good to consider our health, but also to give ourselves a break.

So to this end, as I go through this weight loss journey I choose to:

  • Go at my own pace – no competing or comparing
  • Cut my self some slack – there will be good and bad weeks, but over time, the good will outweigh (πŸ˜†) the bad.
  • Enjoy food – remember good relationships, community and friends are worth more than a few pounds; be grateful!
  • Experiment – work out what works this time, this week and don’t be afraid to try new things

If any one else is also on any kind of health kick, be kind to yourself. Learn from those you can, forget the ones who are unhelpful and be grateful for the ones who cheer you on and join you on the journey.

To aid me, I’ve added a very simple tracker in my bullet journal showing each pound lost, which will (I hope) serve as motivation on this journey.

I expect that I’ll share a little more about food in the coming weeks. Wishing you all the best of health for the coming year πŸ˜„

Bullet Journalling

A New Year – Bullet Journal Set Up

First of all; Happy New Year from Mayai Loves. May this year be full of delights and happy memories for you. 🍾🍾πŸ₯‚

As part of my run up to 2018, I chose to set up my bullet journal for the new year. I came across bullet journalling in the latter part of 2016, partly because I was looking for a way to organise life without feeling guilty for having many, many missed days in a traditional planner. I’ll be honest, I love the idea of journalling, but the practise has always been haphazard. I wanted some way of tracking my day to day things to do, birthdays and a visual means to see when I had too much on. However, I love taking notes, so also wanted a notebook or many blank pages and always found that traditional diaries never had enough space for all of this in one book – I cannot for the world imagine why! πŸ˜‰

The bullet journal seemed ideal as in reality, it’s just a notebook and a pen. Each day, you make a list of the events and tasks you have ahead, in the form of a bullet list. In the original (linked here), there are a few different bullets to depict tasks, events and notes, alongside these, some will also have a signifier, which are used to highlight whether a topic is particularly important, inspirational or even something requiring further research. All of this is done in an incredibly neat rapid log.  However, the bullet journal has developed into a creative outlet for many people, as well as the original concept of an effective, personalised, organisational tool. 

I discovered the idea after it had already morphed into the beautiful polyphony you’ll discover if you search on Google, so my journal is a mish-mash of the minimalist, rapid log and the incredible, creative spreads that normally appear first on Google. I wanted a practical, but creative feel. So some pages from 2017 are shown below:

As you are able to see, I prefer blue ink, with splashes of colour. I draw, write notes, make lists etc. all in the same notebook. The versatility of the bullet journal is the thing that attracted me to it, but it’s also what keeps me hooked. The added bonus is that I no longer have little bits of paper all over the place with lists or ideas on them! 

For 2018, I wanted to set up some of the same pages as I had for 2017 and also add a couple more: 

New for 2018 is a words of the year page: 

This really serves as inspiration and helps with goal setting; these three words were the ones that jumped out at me for the coming year; for the whole list see the end of the post. 

Then, two pages which worked well in 2017: 

A Calendex: a hybrid of an index and a calendar. This allows you to mark a new event, much like a traditional calendar and then view the details about it on a different page. I’ve also added birthdays at the bottom of the page.

The second repeat of 2017 is a month to view page. This helps me to track exactly what’s going on and make a note of any important dates at work. This should (I hope) help me to balance out my month in terms of time commitments.  This monthly view looks at what happens in the short term, in detail; where the Calendex is really to help with tracking future events as an overview.

I am intending to try and look at weekly breakdowns with a list of tasks also – but I’ve not decided on how to plan that yet- so that may become an update to this post. 

I have a few more things to complete but, here’s to a smashing, organised 2018 for you and I! My next job in the BuJo is to plan my next few blog posts πŸ˜†

I’d love to know what’s your word(s) of the year are; here’s the list I started with: 

If you have any comments or questions, please let me know below. As always, if you want to know when the next post is up, click follow below πŸ˜„