24 Oct 2021

work notebooks: staying analogue when everyone is going digital...

The last two hospitals I've worked at have had electronic systems for documenting and prescribing. As someone who loves pen and paper, this has been particularly tough on the soul! My way to combat this is to use a notebook for work-related things. This can range from audit work to jobs generated from clinics and conditions to read up on/things to revise. 

My two current notebooks of choice are one I received as a gift from my year out of training (it has a leather cover so makes me feel very posh!) and a Leuchtturm 1917. The Leuchtturm is great because of the elastic and means I can put little bits and bobs in the pocket at the back too. 

As my training specialty is changing curriculum shortly, I wanted to note down what this meant for any revision I was planning for the future. This can be seen below... 

Below is an example of something I looked up after encountering it in clinic. I used the glorious Cult Pens x Diamine Robert ink for it which made learning much more fun with its purple colour and green sheen. 

With the hours that I do coupled with the intensity of workload, putting pen to paper gives me a few moments of calm during the day. It also means I'm less likely to forget things. Clogging my phone with little bits and pieces is all well and good but I dread to think what would happen if my device were to break or run out of battery at a crucial moment. 

Work notebooks are interesting to look back at because it's a snapshot of what I was up to at that time. I'll be writing about one from a few years' ago at some point and that notebook looks properly battered and well-used. Flicking through it brought back many memories of that year and allowed me to see the evolution of my handwriting which is something that I would not get if I were to make notes on my phone.

15 Oct 2021

review of my 2020 bullet journal (july to december)

Considering I've now been bullet journaling for over a year, this post is a bit late. Can I blame it on the pandemic...?! 

Anyway, I first tried it out in July 2020 and used up a whole Papier notebook in the space of about 6 months. What I like about Papier is the ability to personalise and that's exactly what I did with this Miffy one. 

By the end of the six months, the notebook had expanded in density as you can see...

What I really liked about bullet journaling is the ability to make spreads that suit me. I also really liked that I could really do some trial and error with different layouts or designs each week. The other really good thing is that you can be as artistic or minimalistic as you like. I erred on the side of minimalistic with a dash of colour but ultimately, tried to stay as basic as possible. 

Although I could easily buy, for example, a Leuchtturm planner for the year, I often found pages were wasted as I don't need a world map or address section (not saying this is what Leuchtturms have - just some planners do). By using a bullet journal system, it allows all pages to be utilised in a way I would like, maximising productivity and also value for money with each notebook. Particularly important if you're opting for one on the pricier end of the spectrum. It also allows me to choose the paper in the notebook. 

As I've got older, I've appreciated reflecting a lot more. Each month, I will make a note of the days where there was exercise, books read and films/TV series watched amongst other things. Now, I often freestyle the reflection with anything I need to dump onto paper. 

It's quite nice to see when I've been most productive with exercise in particular because I got into running in December 2020 and since then, I've noticed my mood lifts on the days immediately after a run and vice versa. This has been particularly important lately as the days are now shorter which also often causes a mood dip in me. 

I've found a year to view not that helpful to be quite honest. That said, it's a spread I can't quite cut out yet as a planner doesn't feel like a planner without a year to view. 

I've been doing a 101 in 1,001 days challenge for a while now and I think I'm onto my third or fourth one? It's quite nice to have goals that require checking off as I'm very much a goal-oriented person. When I don't feel like I'm achieving, my motivation decreases. Therefore, having a challenge like this keeps me motivated in life. 

Overall, bullet journaling has been a success for me. I've enjoyed making my own spreads and customising my bullet journaling depending on what my current needs are. As convenient pre-printed planners are, there's something satisfying about creating your own planner. I'll likely do an update with my 2021 bullet journal at some point so sit tight for that to see how my spreads have evolved...! 

4 Oct 2021

what's in my bag #24: a small cross body bag

These are some of my favourite blog posts so of course, I had to kick off with another one in my return to blogging. Earlier this year, this bag caught my eye in the Smythson sale. I was on the lookout for a classic black mini cross-body bag which would last years and age well. However, I didn't want a brand that was common or mainstream and it also had to be within budget. I'd done an extra shift to pay for it so my budget was a decent one; though not massive. 

This bag fit the bill... It's small and can fit everything that I need on a daily basis. It's my new go-to on days off! 

Contents (top left, clockwise): fabric face-mask, house key, pocket tissues, chewing gum, purse and lip balm.
As you can see, I'm now carrying the bare minimum. I often put in a foldable tote bag too in case I go to the shops. During the summer months, it was a bit of a struggle as I like to carry a bottle of water because my blood pressure can dip when I'm dehydrated. To get around this problem, I'd just carry the bottle in my hands or if it's small enough, it can fit at the bottom of the bag but horizontally. Because so little is in the bag usually, there's usually enough room for a 500mL bottle.