25th Hour

Why I Stopped Bullet Journaling

After more than a year of bullet journal obsession, for 2018 I decided it was time to put down my Leuchtturm and stop bullet journalling. Here is why I stopped, and how I’m keeping myself organized instead.

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I had a well documented love affair with bullet journaling. I actually first discovered blogging through bullet journaling, and my introduction to bullet journaling was the first post on Xoxo, Rosana more than a year ago!

One exam left and I'm starting to feel pretty good about all those Xs on my Midterm Spread

A post shared by Rosana (@xoxorosana.blog) on

Where it All Went Wrong

I shared it with my friends, encouraging them to start their own and creating my own bullet journaling community both at school and online. I maintained that it would never be too much work to spend time making the pages look beautiful, using every single dot on the page.

However, when I started my job this summer, I realized that my bullet journal had become too pretty, and always had to be picture-ready for the blog and the instagram. I started carrying around extra notebooks for each of my projects, and my bag started getting heavy.

When my job ended, I decided to just carry a thin, Rifle Paper Co. notebook to collect my thoughts during the few weeks between my job ending and school starting. It was invaluable, so by the time classes rolled around, I put my bullet journal back in my bag along with the everything notebook.

And then I didn’t touch my bullet journal. I carried it around in my bag every day until November, when I decided to switch bags and just left both of notebooks in the old backpack for the rest of the quarter.

But School

This year, my school switched learning management systems from Chalk to Canvas, which has a really comprehensive assignment tracking and submission calendar, complete with alerts and google calendar integration. I actually happened to have done a project for a class last Spring that explored the features Canvas offers, so I knew how to make it easy to follow along with the assignments online.

Also, most classes have a regular schedule of submission dates, and halfway through the quarter, I usually have a groove during the week. I don’t need to schedule meetings with study groups because we all know that we’re working together on the problem set the night before its due.

For social events, interviews, and other meetings, I would just use my google calendar. Even while bullet journaling, I always included meetings and classes in the google calendar because the notification helps me make sure I will actually be where I said I would be.

I Bought a Real Planner

One of my favorite parts about starting a new year is getting to look at all the new 2018 planners. I’ve always exclusively gone shopping for calendars in September with the start of the academic year, but this time when I ran across one I actually loved, I decided to buy it.

I bought the gold stripe, 5×8 Day Designer planner, and I’m obsessed with it! Each day is on its own page, which I need because I’m juggling 4 classes, summer job applications, and some very exciting new projects!! On the left side of the page is a vertical schedule for the day and on the right is a list of to-dos.

Mine has a top-three section at the very top, which makes it really easy for me to prioritize my tasks. It also has a daily quote and at the bottom, it even provides a spot for a gratitude log. It has monthly tabs, and has held up well in my bag over last month. Every month has a grid view of the whole month so I can include important events like tests. My only complaint is that there isn’t an easy way to immediately turn to the date, but I fixed that with a paperclip that I keep moving through the week.

I am still using my Google calendar and the Canvas integration, but with so much going on right now I can’t see myself going back to tracking all my to dos in a messy notebook or just following along online. The only other permanent pieces in my bag are my laptop, my charger bag, my water bottle, and my phone.

 

After a couple of crazy busy months, I have closed my leuchhturm for now. Although I can’t promise I’ll never pick it up again, there’s so much in store for the next year that I can’t wait to live my 25th hour lifestyle to the fullest and share it with you.

Are you still bullet journaling? How do you track everything you’re doing?

Let me know on Twitter @xoxorosana_blog!

Good Luck!

Xoxo, Rosana

Life

Do It For the ‘Gram | Ro&Co

Ro&Co is a new series on Xoxo, Rosana where I am teaming up with some of the incredible women in my life to share their perspectives every Monday in January. In this week’s installment Becca Welch is sharing how she uses her Instagram to develop her personal brand.

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, an Instagram feed is a fortune when it comes to building your online presence and brand. I like to consider myself an amateur photographer because I’ve only been doing it for a little over two years and mostly for my friends, but it has definitely given me a new perspective on building a brand as a college student. Something I once found to be just a creative outlet is now something that I can one day show future employers.

In the world we live in, I honestly believe that your social media is just as important as your resume and having an Instagram that portrays your brand (either for a product, blog, or just your self-branding) is essential. I’ve put together my top 5 tips for expanding and growing your Instagram feed to help boost your brand and make it more than your typical college student’s feed.

Don’t Kill Yourself to Perfectly Match Your Feed

Telling yourself that all of your pictures absolutely have to be in a shade of green or only in black or white will seriously limit you in what you can post. If you decide to stick with something more general like pastels or neutrals, you don’t limit yourself as much and can better find a cohesive flow in your feed. Personally, I had a time where I posted mostly landscape, soft colors and neutrals and am now moving into posts that are within the red/pink color wheel.

Take Good Quality Pictures

Photo quality can make or break your feed. When all of your pictures are taken with the same camera (or phone) you are able to really show off your pictures. Plus, when you have high quality pictures, people assume that you have a high quality product (or brand).

Use Your Story as Much as Your Feed

Instagram stories are my FAVORITE thing. Use them to take your followers on a day with you and show them your favorite things. I love to do stories when I travel and when I go shopping because it makes your feed more personal and not so stiff.

Give a Variety of Posts

Throw in different kinds of pictures to shake up your feed. Selfies are great, but a feed full of them gets to be repetitive and lacks creativity. Post selfies, prints, and landscapes to mix it up and make it something for a larger variety of followers as well.

Network, Network, Network!

The best way to increase views on your Instagram is to view a lot of different profiles. My favorite way to do this is to go on the explore page and follow the top 15 profiles that pop up. That way, you get to see profiles you might not have heard of and find smaller pages that will most likely follow back. I typically get 5 followers for every 15 accounts I follow. Commenting on pages can help even more so make sure to drop a simple comment as well as liking a post.

Sometimes brand building can seem intimidating (and it still is for me every now and then) but in the long run, it only helps you. Go that extra mile and put effort into your Instagram and pictures so that one day you will be able to look back and realize just how far those simple posts got you in having your best self-brand.

 

You can follow Becca on Instagram @aurevoir_yall!

Ro&Co is a series of guest posts by some of the amazing women in my life. You can read more about my reasons for starting the series here.

How do you use your social media to create your personal brand?

Let me know on Twitter @xoxorosana_blog!

Xoxo, Rosana