A Week in my planner: Vertical Categories & Weekly Headlines

A Week in my planner: Vertical Categories & Weekly Headlines

Memory keeping and journaling is one way I spend my time off screen during the week. I find it soothing to exercise my brain in a creative way that is functional and expressive. Here are some things I tried in my planner and journal this week.

Memory Keeping & Journaling

Currently Pinning & Other Inspiration

I was very inspired this week! I did a lot of browsing on the train and wanted to log the details. These might come in handy when I need ideas to blog about.

Keeping Up With Current Events

I saw a bullet journal instagram a while back where they wrote down the biggest headlines of the week. I thought it was a great idea… especially with all the breaking news we’ve had!

Functional Planning

Vertical Categories

This week in my planner, I tried breaking down each section in the new mini layout by three categories: personal, wedding, and blog. It wasn’t very effective for me, so next week I am going to use a different vertical breakdown: morning, afternoon, and evening; this will include work and personal plans.

The Hourly Layout

In my work planner, which is a separate section in the same planner, I tried to use the grid layout as an hourly, but didn’t find it very effective since the space was too small. This week I decided to keep it as simple as possible and use the top section for meetings, and leave the bottom grid for note taking and general list making.


Other ways to use a vertical layout:

  • Social media channels
  • Meal planning: breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Events, to do, and daily highlights
  • Your plans, your partner’s plans, and other family members
  • Work, chores, fitness plans and tracking
  • High, medium, and low priority

How are you using your planner for 2019?

Happy planning!

6 Quotes on Forgiveness, an Annual Review.

6 Quotes on Forgiveness, an Annual Review.

This year I have learned a lot about love. Since moving in with my partner, we have faced many ups and downs in our 500 square foot (studio) apartment. There have been rough days, but getting through those road bumps makes our relationship stronger. When people reflect on their life and love on social media, it’s always highlighting the best parts. But what I have learned is that love is the strongest when you’re in your weakest moments. It’s OK to talk about bad moments in life, I think we all need to know that sadness, conflict, and discomfort are normal junctions in any relationship; and so I wanted to embrace the downs of this past year, because it has been these moments that have made me a better person.

To wrap up the year and brainstorm on my new year resolutions, I decided to collect some quotes on what seemed to be the biggest lesson — I’ve learned that forgiveness is hard when anger sits in your throat and hurt pierces your heart. Big or small, learning how to forgive and ask for forgiveness has been my biggest, and ongoing feat.

Here are 6 quotes that inspired me:

  1. Forgiveness simply means loving someone enough to pursue healing instead of punishment when they have wronged you.
  2. Forgiveness is not a feeling: it is a commitment. It is a choice to show mercy. Not to hold the offense up against the offender. Forgiveness is an expression of love.
  3. Communicate, even when it is uncomfortable or uneasy. One of the best ways to heal is simply getting everything out…
  4. We all make mistakes, don’t let that be the reason you give up on somebody.
  5. When someone does something wrong, don’t forget about all the things they did right.
  6. A happy marriage is about three things: memories of togetherness, forgiveness of mistakes and promises to never give up on each other.

Giving and receiving forgiveness is powerful. I realize that reflecting on uncomfortable moments is important if I want to grow. I have always found that journaling has been the best way for me to express myself and understand my emotions.


Writing quotes into my planner is a new practice I experimented with this month and it’s something I want to continue in the new year. It brings clarity to my life when I can see the quotes on a daily basis, and I prefer to refresh them every week or two by choosing a different theme. Try it out!

What are your biggest lessons this year? How will you reflect and remind yourself of that growth?


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A Week in my Planner: Brain Dump Lists & Work Reflections

A Week in my Planner: Brain Dump Lists & Work Reflections

This week I wanted to try a few new things with my planner to help with my work and creative productivity. I use the Happy Planner which is a disc bound planner allowing you to move or add sections to personalize it to your needs. In the planner world (yes, there totally is one) this is called “frankenplanning” when you take multiple planners to create one; the term coined from Frankenstein’s story where his mad scientist took multiple parts to create his perfect beast.  

Not a Happy Planner? Please do read on, these are things you can try in any journal or planner system. 

Brain Dump – Idea List

The Happy Planner Monthly Extension Pack
Other Ideas for this layout: Social Media Calendar, Food Journal List, To-Do per day

I work in front of two computer screens, so the distraction of the internet is one of my daily battles when it comes to productivity. I focused this week on writing down every random thought, idea, inspiration, personal to do item that came to my mind vs. letting the monkey brain take over. 

It took quite a few days to get in the groove of this. For example, one thing I started to think about while working on a financial report was, “hmmm, I wonder if I could outsource someone to turn my drawings into stickers…” and just as I was about to pop open a new tab and “just look real quick” I wrote it down as something to research on the train or at home. These little thoughts and interruptions add up during the day, and writing them down allows me to relish in that little moment of inspiration, without going down the rabbit hole. 

Journaling to Tame the Anxiety

This journal entry happened earlier this month when I was feeling behind, in my personal and work life. I wrote many versions of this that day, and just knew I had to get all the thoughts out of my brain onto paper.

Here are the questions I asked myself to help tame my anxiety:

  1. What are two things that are causing me to feel anxiety?
    • I wasn’t focused at work, I was getting sick, I felt out of control, and I knew it was because somethings was missing. After some reflection, I immediately recognized the two cornerstones of what would make a successful week: my fitness routine and having more time for my hobbies. If I can’t accomplish either one of these two, then I can’t focus at work. My life feels unbalanced. 
  2. What are some things that make me feel productive and successful? 
    • Having healthy snacks available in my bag or at work.
    • Having a clean apartment/ clean laundry to start off the week.
    • Time to journal and think about my weekly goals. 
  3. What causes me to have a bad week?  Or what makes me feel overwhelemed? 
    • Having Sunday booked. Not having a day off on the weekend to just relax and gather my thoughts. 
    • A messy sink. When the kitchen is a mess, I can’t make my morning smoothies. Then I am hungry at work and then I buy a chocolate croissant. 
    • Waking up tired.
    • No exercise. 

This helped me quantify the causes of my anxiety to come up with concrete solutions. As you can see in my reflections below, I was able to take the things that make me feel productive and apply it moving forward. 


Work Weekly Reflection

  1. What are some easy, mindles tasks I can do at home to help me get ahead at work? 
    • Organize my desktop, and spend 10- 20 minutes each night merging duplicate records in our database system at work, which is a pretty mindless task. 
  2. What are some positive things I did this week?
    • Worked out
    • Focused on just “jumping in” with tasks 
    • I completed personal to do’s which made me feel more balanced, like I controlled my time, instead of my commute and work controlling me.

The first question came from a week’s worth or asking myself the same question over and over again – what is causing me to feel overwhelmed at work? I realized that it was the small things that I kept putting off such as properly storing files into the correct shared folders, and slowly chipping away at mindless data tasks that kept growing on the back burner list. These small tasks I realized could be done while watching TV at home. Coming up with this action plan, of spending at least 10 minutes a day, made me feel more in control of the chaos at work. 

This second question was the result of identifying what made a successful week and what made a stressful week? Since I was able to identify them a week prior to this one, I was able to reflect and congratulate myself on the changes I made in my lifestyle that helped improve my workflow.

Wellness Weekly Reflection

In my wellness weekly reflection I asked two similar questions: 

  1. What did I accomplish? 
    • Made it to the gym 3x this week! 
    • Had a better clarity and focus at work and with hobbies.
    • Completed personal tasks and creative projects. 
  2. What could I improve? 
    • Go to bed earlier. 
    • Get back to making morning smoothies. 
    • Eat better meals, I didn’t eat enough vegetables this week. 
    • Take my vitamins 
    • Get back to my daily 10 pushups! 

Closing out my week felt great after getting all my thoughts out on paper. Even when I don’t think I have anything to say, just prompting myself with one simple question opens up so much clarity. Try it out, ask these questions of yourself every day and see what happens! Every day is a new day and even though these questions may be repetitive, the answer is always different. 


Next Week’s Layout 

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A logo for Sweet T Piehouse

A logo for Sweet T Piehouse

The Back Story

I had the pleasure of designing a logo for Sweet T Piehouse. A lovely colleague of mine started this passion project while in school, baking and serving orders out of her kitchen in Daly City. What started out with an array of baked southern treats, has now refined into a pie brand focusing on creating southern classics while incorporating her California roots and international travels.

The name Sweet T has multiple meanings: Sweet Tea referring to the unmistakable trademark drink from the south where her parents are from, and the T, which is the initial of her first name — Tanashati (beautiful name, right?).

Designing the logo

She sent me these photos from her time abroad on a farm in Spain and I loved the earthiness of her inspiration.

I was drawn to the almond branch, and decided to sketch this out before I took a stab at drawing any pies. There was something about her journey, and story that called for a more mature look, so I wanted to keep it in the most simplest form.

The Color Scheme

The Fonts

The Draw-spirations

The Final Logo

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Order Some Pies!