Posted in Cool Tools, What Makes You Happy?

My Planner Isn’t a Bullet Journal. (It’s Actually a Sticker Book.)

E99C2305-00D7-45BD-89B4-3D802320474CThis is my Happy Planner. For those who care, it’s the middle size available. I chose the Happy Planner over other cool options because the pages are colorful. I got it at Michael’s on sale (you can catch the sales at the ends and beginnings of each year) and I bought extra cover sets on ebay. This is my current favorite cover, and it says, “If you can’t find the sunshine, be the sunshine.” I feel like I do that, or try to do that, for those around me. I wear the brightest colored clothing and hair colors I can find (and I wish other people would too). But maybe I just like it best because it’s got bright yellow on it, and yellow’s my favorite. In any case, you can catch a glimpse of my work desk and the Adventure Time skirt I got on etsy. I buy a lot of stuff on etsy. When you open the cover, you can see all the stickers I’ve placed inside, taped in sheets to the laminated pages.

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And that gets us to the back cover. The stickers in my planner take up about 1/3 of the heft of the book. I mostly buy them from all over etsy, but in case you’re dying to know, I’ve included what I hope is a comprehensive list at the bottom of this post.3525FFD0-95DC-4582-89C9-2A3E579F78BF Some of the sticker types I use are filler: rainbows, rainbow hearts, rainbow stars, pink hearts, yellow stars, yellow smiley faces, So So Happy encouragement stickers. They don’t really stand for anything, I just like the way they look, and they take up space and make everything more “filled out” looking. But for the bulk of my stickers, each one represents an action, a mood, something I want to regularly track. So rather than “make a plan” for the day or the week or the month, I actually use my planner as a visually recorded account of what I did/accomplished, and how I was feeling. Since I don’t want stickers for every action I take (poops, for example, which some people wish to track, but I do not) I try to focus my sticker collection on habits I want to encourage myself to keep doing / do more of: exercise, writing, reading, chores. I also want to track things like my period, if I was sick, my mood (I have cry-faces and happy faces and angry faces, etc.) and YES, I do actually write down upcoming appointments and To Do lists as well. Just not maybe to the extent that (actual) planning people do.

Some of my month spreads end up looking gorgeous and amazing. For Nanowrimo, for example, I used extra special stickers to track my daily word counts on rainbow typewriters. So my November month-view ended up extra gorgeous and hyper-focused. Winning! (On the sidebar, Doug’s homework word count, impressive!)

Glorious November spread

Another month that ended up looking gorgeous and amazing was my February spread, thanks to my awesome and amazing friend Karen, who bought a Valentine’s Day-themed sticker pack for me at Target. I held nothing back, as you can see. (Those little green guys are recyle days and paydays.)

Fabulous February spread

And then there’s the weekly view, which is the bread and butter of this industry. I love the way the Happy Planner breaks the week into seven days and the days into thirds. I use them for 1) before work 2) at work 3) after work. There’s a weekly sidebar on the left that I use for To Do’s. And different planner companies will give you the option, or not, to start your week on Sunday or Monday. Some people want the work week sandwiched by the weekend on either side, like bookends. I’m not about that life. The reason the weekend is beautiful is because it’s two days together, and hopefully, two days off together.

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I hope you enjoyed my sticker book, I mean “planner.” It must be a planner, right? It has the word right there in the name… So some of the stickers featured here I bought at the Container Store (these and these). But most of the stickers featured here were made by etsy artists:

Happy Cutie Studio UK
Planner Frenzy New Hampshire
Anna’s Planner Bubble Poland
Planner Studio California
iArtisans Canada
Plan Gorgeously California
Tiny Little Tulip Arkansas
Brianna Nicole Designz Wisconsin
Keena Prints Philippines
Domino 626 Virginia
Once More With Love Canada
S. G. Stationery Arizona
Hello Stickers Georgia
Ashwood Arts Texas

Posted in Cool Tools

750 Words

I just started using 750 Words and I’m pretty surprised no one told me how awesome it is. I hope you check it out and love it as much as I do.

Posted in Cool Tools, Jobe Update

Journal Lost & Found, aka, the Commonplace Book


One of the staples of the writerly life is a penchant for blank books. A long, long time ago, I discovered this book at Wordsworth Books (whose old weblink no longer works because they’re under new ownership) and, though I was there to buy a gift for someone else, I couldn’t resist this purchase for myself. I wrote 3 pages, set it aside, and promptly forgot about it. I rediscovered it in August 2016 and wrote in it through April 2017, a solid 9 months. During that time I recorded quotes from the inspiring works I was reading, a practice which is in some circles referred to as keeping a commonplace book. [Reasons why you should keep a commonplace book of your own can be found at Thought Catalog and with Ryan Holiday, at Thought Co., with Aly Juma, at Self Made Scholar, and at Read Aloud Revival. And of course, Pinterest.] I also used this blank book as my monthly writing journal whenever I attended Scribble with Karen Hayes. Then I set it aside again and forgot about it for 4 months, during which time I established and began running a writing group, called Second Set (because everyone needs a second set of eyes on their work—more about that in an upcoming post). Now I’ve rediscovered my blank book once more, and content includes quotes from:

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

The Writing Life by Annie Dillard

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp

The Scribbles I wrote down the dates for include 10/18/16; 12/13/16; 1/10/17; 2/15/17; 4/27/17; (and most recently, my reason for seeking it out) 9/12/17. In any case, in the upcoming months I think I’d like to hit you guys with some of serious wisdom from these incredible women. And maybe I’ll even finish filling my first volume by the end of the year.


Posted in Cool Tools, Nanowrimo, Special Announcement

Intention Inspired & Camp Nanowrimo

So I stumbled onto two very cool somethings basically by accident. The first was a site called Intention Inspired. There’s a book you can get (Kindle or paper). There’s an online group you can join, and they’ve been the most supportive group of strangers I’ve ever had the pleasure to encounter! But what it’s really about is making a promise to yourself and keeping it.

Intention Inspired.png

I decided I wanted to write consecutively for 30 days. I signed up, and the daily guides started coming in, but I realized I wasn’t ready yet. I place a lot of value into rituals of preparation, and I wanted to give myself my best chance to succeed. So I saved the emails in a folder until it felt like the right time. It took me about a month, from May to June. Then I began reading the daily emails.

I’ve crafted some little hints below which I hope will make you curious to give it a try. I didn’t want to be too cryptic but I didn’t want to give it all away, either. It’s best to experience it for yourself (and they aren’t my secrets to tell).

Camp Nano.png

The second tool I stumbled across was Camp Nanowrimo. If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know I’m a huge fan and proponent of the regular Nanowrimo, which takes place in November each year. I do my little donation to earn my halo, I buy myself prizes from the merch store, and I teach classes on how awesome Nano is and how everyone should give it a try. Basically Nano is something that I really believe in, and want to give my full support.

But I’d never tried a Camp Nano before. They take place in April and July, and I realized that I was nearing July. Camp Nano is organized by “cabins,” which is essentially you and a group of your writer friends with a message board forum and a page where all your projects are grouped. I happen to have a beta reader group, where we share and critique each other’s work, which I’d never had outside of school before. Regular Nano has a set goal, zero to 50k words in one month. But Camp Nano is completely personalized. Since I was writing and editing, I didn’t much mind how my word count went so long as I was putting in the time.

It felt like the perfect convergence, so I decided to give both tools a try at the same time! Below are my successes and failures, and what I learned from the experience.IMG_6284

[began Intention Inspired]

6/22 day 0 – prep / successfully wrote 
I did my first night of writing in a while, determined to start strong and start counting officially the next day. I read the email for day 1 so I could be thinking about it.

6/23 day 1 – object / successfully wrote
6/24 day 2 – announcement / successfully wrote
6/25 day 3 – ask a friend for help / successfully wrote
6/26 day 4 – meditation / successfully wrote
6/27 day 5 – inner voice / successfully wrote
6/28 day 6 – goals / successfully wrote
6/29 day 7 – hero! / successfully wrote
6/30 day 8 – help a friend / did not write

[began Camp Nano – starting word count 6,831] IMG_6533

7/1 day 9 – perfectly imperfect / successfully wrote (7,989)
7/2 day 10 – why / did not write
7/3 day 11 – compassionate / successfully wrote (8,834)
7/4 day 12 – say no to distractions / did not write
7/5 day 13 – micro goals / did not write
facebook group


My parents came to visit, I got distracted, and I got discouraged. The longer I went without writing the harder it felt to go back. These are all perfectly normal behaviors! I ended up having to start over, but guess what. That’s one of the greatest aspects of Intention Inspired (and life). You can start over or repeat your commitment to yourself as many times as you want to.

7/21 day 1 / successfully wrote (9,040)
7/22 day 2 / successfully wrote (9,269)
7/23 day 3 / successfully wrote (9,458)
7/24 day 4 / successfully wrote (9,833)
7/25 day 5 / successfully wrote (10,312)
7/26 day 6 / did not write
7/27 day 7 / did not write
7/28 day 8 / did not write
7/29 day 9 / did not write
7/30 day 10 / did not write
7/31 day 11 / successfully wrote
8/1 day 12 / successfully wrote

This time I hurt my knee, and I focused on reading instead of writing. I’m thinking all of life is just a series of starts and stops and starting overs, and I think I’m okay with that.  ~Jobe

Posted in Cool Tools, Special Announcement

SRC 2017!

SRCYou guys you guys you guys!!! For locals in the Little Rock (or Perryville or Wrightsville) area, Summer Reading Club 2017 is going on RIGHT NOW from end of May to end of July. Rock! You get badges for books you read, reviews you write, events you attend! This is too awesome not to take advantage of.

This is the Central Arkansas Library System main page

This is the Summer Reading Club main page

This is the pdf version of the paper booklet you can pick up for free at the library, which gives an itinerary of all the events going on, by branch

and This is BeanStack where you log all your stuff for badges and such!
Look at how gorgeous and adorable these graphics are! SO MANY BRIGHT COLORS