Maggie Bob Wants: Bullet Journal Essentials

It finally happened! I have fallen head, heart and soul for journaling. I bet there’s not a single one among you that is surprised. Journaling is just such a ‘Maggie Bob’ thing. Not only does it combine my two great loves of stationery and being organised, I genuinely feel like I’ve been more productive since I first stuck some washi tape and a to-do list in my notebook and called it a journal.

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The concept of a bullet journal is simple – you define the purpose of each page as you get to it, keeping an index at the front to keep track of where everything is. So you can start your month with a monthly log, take a page for each day or week as you need for your to-do lists and reminders, break away mid-month to plan out your blogging goals, fitness & health goals, or just to doodle and write your magnum opus shit poetry. It’s more flexible than a calendar based journal, so it definitely suits my organised chaos aesthetic.

Not that I ever need an excuse to go stationery shopping, virtually or in real life, but of course taking up journaling has been a perfectly valid reason to expand my stash. Here’s what I’m currently lusting after and would recommend for someone getting started in bullet journaling.

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Leuchtturm 1917 in Emerald | Rymans | £13.95

There’s a reason the Leuchtturm notebooks are a favourite with journalers, the layout with built in index and the leak-proof pages make these the perfect fit. I’ve picked up this one ready to use as my next day-book journal and I couldn’t be more excited to crack it open, to be honest!

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Colourful Books Washi Tape | Lovely Tape | £2.90

Is a journal really a journal if it’s not decorated with stickers and washi tape? Well, probably, but it’s not any kind of journal I want to have a part in. I’m thinking of popping a section in my journal to log all the books I’ve read and this tape would be just perfect for embellishing that section, don’t you think?

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Journaling Rubber Stamp Sheet | TraciBunkers on etsy | £21.14

I very quickly knew I didn’t want to use my unappealing handwriting to make up the days and months throughout my journal, and turned to the variety of rubber stamps I have. This set from TraciBunkers seems to have all bases covered, plus some extras.

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Pilot V-Pen | Cult Pens | £3.64

I never thought I would be writing in fountain pen again, but I’m loving using Pilot’s V-Pen. This classic pen is available loaded with one of 8 colour choices of ink – which explains why people have recently been getting notes from me in purple or pink rather than my classic black biro.

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Beauty & The Beast Planner Stickers | PlannableDesigns via esty | £2

There’s a whole industry sprung up around making stickers for journals, so whatever you are in to there will be stickers for that. I happen to love Beauty & The Beast (a brunette princess with her nose in a book? That’s totes me) and these stickers are the cutest. They are designed specifically to fit standard journals like Filofax, Erin Condren etc, but I’ll make them fit mine because I just have to have them.

So there you have it. I’ve got another blog post done that I can tick off in my journal (done!), and hopefully I’ve inspired you to either start journaling, or at least go and buy some more pretty stationery. Because we could all use that.

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Maggie Bob Wants: To Plan Ahead

This is one in a series of blog posts celebrating National Stationery Week. You can read all of my NSW16 posts. There’s also a fabulous giveaway of some stationary goodies running through the whole week – you’ll find the rafflecopter at the bottom of each post.

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I’ve talked before about apps that I use to keep organised, and how I’m hoping one day to find the notebook that fixes my life for me, and I’ve even fawned over things organised neatly, so although I’m naturally untidy, you can see I want to be neat and organised really.

My currently method of keeping on top of things, at least at work, includes having a day book. Just a normal notebook (okay, this is me, it’s a super cute notebook of course) where I jot down anything relevant for that day (telephone messages, to-do items, things I’m asked in passing). Every day I start a new page, put that day’s date at the top, and carry over anything needed from the day before. It seems to be working, and I’m thinking of having a travelling day book for all my non-work stuff too that just goes wherever I go and keeps my jumbled thoughts out of my brain and on to a page where I can handle them coherently. So maybe one of these would do the trick…?

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Paradise Blue Undated Planner Compact | Passion Planner | $29.99

Ever since I read about these Passion Planners on Maxine’s Little Miss Delicious blog, I have had a serious case of the wants. I don’t know if I’m dedicated enough to plan my day out as detailed as Maxine does, but it would be so good to have an at-a-glance view of what I had on each week, and setting aside time each Sunday to fill in next week’s planner seems like such a good idea.

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Monthly Desktop Planner | busyb | £8.99

We had a busyb couples calendar last year and it was great – it even had stickers for marking up birthdays, dentist appointments, trips etc. This looks to be a great desktop version of that, with the added bonus of being able to fill in the dates yourself, so you can start at any point in any year. The pocket is dead useful for keeping things relevant to that month, such as booked tickets, prescription slips or even cards and stamps ready to go for any upcoming birthdays.

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Caroline Gardner Pina Colada Notebook Organiser | The Pen Shop | £12.50

From the ‘keep it simple, stupid’ school this is just a plain, albiet super pretty, notebook, so I would be working on the same one page per day principle as with my work day book. This does have a couple of tricks up its sleeve though – there’s a wee pocket in the back ideal for keeping loose notes temporarily organised, and the notebook comes with 9 stick-on dividers so I could mark up the months at least for easier navigation

That lot should keep me organised, right? Anyway, if you were here yesterday you’ll know I am running a special giveaway for National Stationery Week!

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I took a trip to some of my favourite stationery shops, and had a root around in my own stash too to come up with a list of goodies just for one lucky winner. The prize, pictured above, includes: a metallic pocket notebook, an owl writing set, a Julie Dodsworth little book of Birthdays & Anniversaries, 2 rolls of nature themed washi tape, a selection of flocked patterned paper, a pack of owl stickers, and a custom mini stamp set. Phew! Plus, if this competition gets over 100 entries I’ll add some more goodies, including a nice pen.
To enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter below, and be sure to come back every day this week for more chances to win.

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Today in the comments – what stationery do you use to keep yourself organised?

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Maggie Bob Clicks: MediSafe App

I’ve sometimes joked that age isn’t measured in years, but rather in the number of pills you have to take every day just to keep you going. Thankfully I’m in reasonably good health but I still have three medications I take every day. I’m quite good at taking them on time, but I often lose track of when I’m running out and need to renew my prescription. My husband has 5 daily tablets to drop, plus others on an as needed basis, and as one of the side effects of his illness is forgetfulness, we have to be super organised to make sure he takes the right dosage each day, doesn’t accidentally double up, and orders his new drugs in plenty of time. Thus, we were pointed in the direction of MediSafe.

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MediSafe is a free smartphone app* to help you organise your medications and prescriptions. Medisafe boasts that their users have 86% compliance with their medicine regime compared to the national (for USA) average of 50%. It has a virtual pill box (divided in to 4 timeframes for each day) in to which you load the medicines you need to take. There’s an auto-suggest feature in there with a huge list of medicines in it, or you can free type the name of yours. You can customise the dosage and appearance so that your virtual pill box looks just like your real one. So why, you may be wondering, is this any better than a plastic pill caddy you can pick up from the pound shop?

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Because you tell MediSafe what time you are supposed to take each pill, it can pop up on your phone and remind you if you’ve not done so. Mine alerts me at 9am every day, by which point I’ve usually taken my medicine and I just mark it as ‘taken’ on the app. However, where this works brilliantly is you can have MediFriends – so I also get alerted if my husband hasn’t marked his pills as taken, and I can give him a gentle prod. This is a god-send for someone with anxiety as he doesn’t have to do any of the remembering. You can also add dependants – people who don’t have their own app log in (children, elderly relatives) who you can keep track of medicines for yourself.

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The alerts to re-order prescriptions is also very useful. I usually bung my boxes of tablets in the bathroom cabinet, and keep one strip at a time in my handbag, so I lose track of how many I have left, and often find myself re-ordering with great urgency. When you set a new medicine up with MediSafe you tell it how many dosages you have. Then every time you mark a medicine as taken it reduces the count in your ‘medicine cabinet’ and alerts you at your chosen limit (eg 5 tablets left). This is a huge relief to me as it gives me enough notice to fill out a repeat prescription request or make an appointment to see my GP. The app is really easy to set up and use, and has fit nicely in to our lives already in the fortnight we’ve been using it. There’s other features we’ve yet to use, like tracking doctor’s appointments, that I’m sure we’ll find useful.

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Hope some of you might find it useful too!

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* You can download MediSafe from GooglePlay, AppStore, or Amazon, depending on your device.