Leah O’Neil's Blog Posts

Hello there creatives! Leah here with you on the blog today. I often feel like I have a million tabs open in my head. The more stressed I get, the worse that seems to get. Then the more information that is flying around in my head, the more stressed I get. It’s a spiral. When I feel too overwhelmed, it can be paralyzing. I know there is so much to do but I can’t figure out where to start. When I get to this point of feeling stuck, I have a process that helps me get the information out of my head and onto paper, and then organized in a way that allows my brain to figure out a path forward. I wanted to share this process today in the hopes that maybe someone else out there will find it helpful.

Check out my process of planning through the overwhelm in the video here -

It starts with sticky notes, lots of sticky notes. I am using the adorable Bloom sticky notes here, but any sticky notes will do. I take some time to write down every task or goal in my head I can think of. It takes me a while because it’s been too long since I last did this and consequently, my brain seems to be more jumbled due to the overload of information. This is my version of a “brain dump.” Writing every random idea onto sticky notes gives me flexibility to move the thoughts around and organize them into some sort of structure that makes sense to me.

When I’ve finished writing everything down, I start looking for common themes so that I can start grouping the thoughts into smaller categories. Everyone’s “categories” will probably be a bit different, but most of my goals/ideas/to dos seemed to fall under seven topics for now - home, budget, general to do, creative, relationships, self care, and work. I used some alpha stickers from Simple Stories to label several sheets of grid paper from the A5 Basic Inserts pack, giving each category a separate page.

 

Now that the million tabs I had open in my head have been broken down into a few more manageable groups, I feel I am able to sit down and plan out my day with a clearer mind, and I can incorporate some of the goals and tasks that I’ve written down into my plans.

I love the daily TN inserts because they give me plenty of room to break my pages into compartments that correspond to the categories I’ve created.

I’m keeping the sticky notes in my A5 Mint Blossom planner so I can easily flip through the pages as I’m writing out my plans in my TN. I can move the sticky notes around anytime and get rid of or replace them as I start getting some of the tasks done.

You can see where I’m simply taking things I wrote on the sticky notes and transferring them to my daily layout, doing my best to make each idea into a reasonable action item. For example, I wrote “start yoga” on a sticky note, but on my actual planner layout, I wrote “pick a new yoga routine” for this day.

I hope this method of organizing lots of random thoughts into a few more manageable categories is an idea some of you may find useful if you have been feeling overwhelmed lately. If you have a technique that you use to help you work through overwhelm, please share in the comments here, or over on my Instagram or YouTube. What works for one may not work for all, so someone may really benefit from hearing your method. Thank you for joining me here on the blog today!

Until next time friends,

Supplies

Hello again creatives! Leah here on the blog today with lots of fun ideas, tips and tricks to show you in my traveler's notebook this month. I've got a lot to share so let's jump right in! I am still using and loving the layout of the Carpe Diem Daily TN inserts. I love all the space I get from having two pages for each day.

I have finally gotten a chance to open and play with some more of the Carpe Diem stamp sets. It's amazing how much versatility you can get out of a few stamps and stickers! My favorite set is definitely the No Prob-Llama stamp set. I used it quite a bit on this first daily spread. How flippin' adorable are these llamas?! I also really love the banner stamp in this set. I like to kick my stamping up a notch (and disguise some of my stamping mistakes...) by coloring in the stamped images with my TomBow markers. I use a waterproof stamping ink so that the ink doesn't smudge while I'm coloring.

I have been getting a lot of use out of this hydration tracker stamp from the Work It stamp set on my daily planner pages. I get so much satisfaction from being able to color in the glasses of water. Yes, I am an adult motivating myself to make better adult choices with the reward of coloring. Whatever works, right?

For this next daily planner spread, I put the A5 Hello Sticker Tablet to work! All of the Carpe Diem sticker tablets have such a large amount and variety of stickers in them that you can really make them go a long way. I love finding new and creative ways to use the different stickers. For example, adding a few along the top of a page to create a banner adds a touch of décor without taking up a lot of space. Layering stickers of different shapes and sizes provides an illusion of texture to the page without adding too much actual dimension off the page.

I used some of the square stickers from the tablet to decorate and fill in a few areas of white space on the spread. I also mixed in a few functional stickers from the A5 Planner Basics Sticker Tablet – that tablet is a must-have no matter what you're planning style is.

I get questions every once in a while about how I adapt my planner spreads if there is a change in plans, or if there isn't room to write something new in where I may have added a sticker already. The truth is, I barely even think about it and just draw an arrow pointing to where ever I want to fit or move something. Sometimes I'll add little swirls to the arrows to make them less boring.

I've been using the bottom of the right page on my daily spreads to write in goals and affirmations. I always start the day with good intentions, but sometimes things just don't work out as planned, what can I say? This goal had a short life, but tomorrow is a new day!

If you go back and look at both of the spreads above, you'll see where I wrote in a question on both days: “what do you want to be known for? I've been re-writing and repeating this question a lot lately. It really resonated with me when I heard it and it surprised me how challenging it has been for me to answer. You really have to dig pretty deeply, and sometimes under a lot of layers to answer this question honestly and meaningfully. I am going to keep writing the question on my daily spreads and reflecting on it until I feel I can truly answer. I decided to do a little journaling on this topic in another one of my TN inserts this week. This is just another great example of how all-inclusive and versatile traveler's notebooks can be. I can add a notebook any time to serve any purpose I want.

This creative journaling spread was so incredibly simple to throw together. I used 4 sheets of patterned paper and a few die cuts from the Forever Fall collection. It can be so easy to fall into the trap of thinking you need a bunch of fancy supplies to create something beautiful, but that's really not true.

You don't even need scissors for this! The only other supplies I used were a stapler, glue stick, pen, and a couple of doilies from a pack I bought at the Dollar Tree. I simply tore off pieces of each patterned paper in different sizes to layer behind my photo and along the edge of the right page. I cut a doily in half, tucked one part behind the layers under my photo and the other under one of the layers on the right page. It turns out I actually cut two doilies because I didn't realize they were stuck together, but hey, it just gave the layout some additional texture.

Sometimes on a journaling spread such as this, it just feels right to keep it simple. I had plenty of space to journal and was able to emphasize my photo simply by giving it some dimension with the layering. I added strips of the same patterned paper to the right page to balance out the full two-page layout.

Thanks for sticking with me if you've made it this far in this lengthy blog post. I hope I've been able to give you some new ideas and tips to help make the most of your supplies. As I said before, you really don't need a lot of fancy supplies to create something you love. Until next time friends, happy creating!

Supplies

Hello creatives! Leah here with you on the blog today playing dress up with my traveler's notebook to get her ready for spook-tober! I love this time of year and as much as I love my current setup, the Simple Vintage Halloween collection has inspired me to decorate my TN for the season. Switching out the traveler's notebook cover and redecorating the pockets are a couple of easy ways to change a planner's vibe, but another way I really love to change things up is by creating interchangeable covers for my notebook inserts. It's a super easy way to keep using the same inserts but give them a different and temporary look, very similar to changing out your planner dividers.

I've had several requests to film the process of creating a custom notebook insert cover and I'm happy to have finally done so.  Check out the video below to see how I made this Halloween-themed cover for my monthly notebook insert.

https://youtu.be/LNgsVKlcY60

Here are some photos of the finished project. The best part about making covers like this is how you can  switch them out and re-use them later. After Halloween, I can switch to another cover and keep this one around to use next October if I choose to. I keep all the covers I'm not using in a spare TN when I'm not using them.

To add to the Halloween vibes in the front of my TN, I tucked a bunch of die cuts into the pockets to match my new cover. Most are from the Simple Vintage Halloween collections, but a few of the florals are from the Forever Fall collection. A little double-sided repositionable tape helps all the little pieces stay in place.

I'm so excited to finish setting up my October monthly setup. This collection has me so inspired and it's my favorite time of the year which has me feeling extra creative. I've done a little pre-decorating for October's monthly spread.

I can't wait to see what other ways everyone will use this collection. Are you working on or planning any Halloween or Fall-themed creative projects? Let me know below or come say hello over on Youtube or Instagram. Head over to the Simple Stories and Carpe Diem Planner Instagram accounts for lots more seasonal inspiration!

Supplies

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