Here’s how I’m currently using it:
But reaching big goals can also make you feel like, OK. Now what?!
Then I collected happy little pictures from my life:
– I also added notes and cards from people I care about. These are uplifting to read and a great way to start or end the day!
Each picture represents a specific goal:
The best office supplies to make it fit your needs!
Do you use a board like this to keep you on track? How do you use it? What are your favorite supplies?! Share them below!
(And in all honesty, I’ve also been that highlighting offender.)
SO sorry for the awkward silence lately. I started a new job in a new school that TOOK OVER MY LIIIIFE last semester.
But I am so excited to announce that OC is back on track with new posts every Monday! Aside from acclimating to my new schedule, 2015 was a big growing year, too (responsible-sounding way of saying that I did a lot of whining).
My first year after grad school reminded me a lot of my first year after undergrad. I guess no matter how old you are, finishing a big project can leave you feeling a little like, “okay, what’s next?”.
Change can be tough, but it usually always makes us better/smarter/stronger, too!
Here are some of the biggest lessons I learned in 2015:
1 | Never give up on what you’re searching for- you’ll get there.
2 | Hard work gets noticed and it pays off. Remember that when you’re “in the trenches” and wondering if it will ever get better.
3 | Sometimes you’re already where you need to be.
4 | If you know you can do better, keep working.
5 | Do what you love. Life is too short to even complete that.
6 | Not everyone will love or approve of everything you do or how you do it. Forget them. This is your thing, not theirs.
7 | Jump in and figure out the details later. Not everything you do will turn into a huge success, nor will you want it to but at least you can say you took the opportunity.
8 | There is something really refreshing about how our personalities evolve over time.
9 | Promote the heck out of yourself and your work. If you know you’re good, don’t ever question yourself.
10 | In this day and age, there is no excuse to “not know how to” do something. Google it and learn to be great.
11 | Adult life is not that scary once you start.
12 | Your family will be there even when you and your old friends start to grow apart.
13 | Excess is disgusting. If you can do without it, do without it.
(Important exceptions: Meiomi and anything from Target’s dollar-ish section)
14 | Invest everything in those you truly care about.
15 | Do what makes you happy and there are no regrets.
Cheers, y’all! And happy 2016! 😀
What lessons did you learn over the past year?! Share them below!
Q: Through last few years I’ve been constantly coming back to idea of starting a blog… I did read through your post about how to start a blog.. and I know my content, I also know what I want my label to be and almost decided on a platform…
the part that I’m struggling with is that what if nobody’s gonna read my blog at all.. what is normal and what is not, I know that I will not get tons of people as I start, but how do you promote your blog and if you could share how did it go for you, how many people read you when you just started, how many people are reading now?
I guess I wanted to ask you to please share the story of your blogging with me.
Things like how did you start doing it, how did you decide that that is what you want to do, what did you struggle with what were your mistakes?
Q: I am going to be a sophomore in high school next year and I was wondering if you had some tips on my organization of my notes and handouts. This year I took six classes and did 1 inch binders for each class. It was a bit bulky to have all of those binders along with textbooks in my narrow locker and then into my backpack when I had to take them home.
And for note organization, I would suggest following the system in this post:
Over the past few weeks, I have received FOUR requests for tips on budgeting in college! If you requested this post (or if you’re just trying to get your financial life together) this post is for you! If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed or underprepared to deal with finances, let me assure you that you are most definitely not alone!
In fact, read these statistics from a recent survey of college students:
47% are concerned about their financial situation
50% say that the cost of impacted their choice of college/university
75% wish there was more helpful financial information available to them
80% report they were unprepared and do not have a plan to pay for college
1 | Don’t be afraid of smart debt.
I kind of grew up being terrified of debt and assuming that it was all bad. I paid cash for everything in high school and college. My parents gave me a credit card for “emergencies” but I really only used it when I was out of cash and
it was my turn to buy the next round of drinks needed something important. The word “debt” just sounds scary, doesn’t it? No one wants to be in debt!
It wasn’t until I got married and saw how my husband handles his credit that my fear of “being in debt” went away. It’s pretty necessary to understand and be comfortable with credit and debt in adult-world and we need to learn how to navigate our way through it confidently. Our unofficial rule is that any acquired debt should have a long term benefit. For example,
Student Loan = College Education = Job Opportunities = Long Term Benefit = Smart Debt
Cute Dress = Gets Worn Out = Gets Given Away = Short Term Benefit = Not Smart Debt
(Side Note: College means saying “not right now” to a lot of cute dresses but that’s ok because it will all pay off!)
2 | Use an app to help you maintain your budget
There are tons of financial apps out there! My favorite is Mint because it allows you to create your own budget (and adjust it at any time). Not only that, it sends you alerts when it thinks your account balance is low, or when you’ve had *ahem* “high spending” in a particular category (stop judging me, Mint). I like the fact that I can link my bank accounts to it also so it gives me up-to-the minute information.
But your bank app will also work just fine for updating you! And what if you want to apply for a student loan? Oh, there’s a mobile friendly application for that, too! Just head over to the College Ave app, fill in the 4 questions it asks, and you’ll get an answer in about 3 minutes! That’s pretty painless, right? I bet you have 3 minutes right now! Not surprisingly, this is the fastest and easiest app in the student loan industry!
3| Set up a savings plan (and don’t touch what you save!)
A plan?! Yes, please! The one I use is SO easy! Through my banking app, I set up a thing (yes, that’s official term) where it automatically transfers $20 each month from my checking to savings account. That’s such a small, harmless amount to part with each month, but it still adds up over time. Find an amount that works well for you.
Once that money’s in savings, pretend like it doesn’t even exist! If you do this amount throughout 4 years of college, you’ll graduate with $1,000! And that’s enough to buy some real furniture for your first post-grad apartment, to keep stashed away as an emergency fund, or to put toward the payoff of your student loan!
If you’re curious about student loans but don’t want to commit to anything yet, check out the Credit Pre-Qualification Tool & Student Loan Calculator from College Ave! This will give you an idea of what to expect if you actually get a loan (and I am all about knowing what to expect)!
By using this simple tool, you’ll have a clearer idea of your budget for the school year and make better money-saving choices! YAY! It also makes the whole student loan process a little easier to understand by showing you the total cost over the life of the loan and what would be the best payment plan for you!
4| Pay as much as you can as often as you can
I never, ever, ever make minimum payments. Not on my student loans. Not on my credit card bill. Not on my phone bill. Never. Of course, paying your complete credit card balance every month is ideal and will skyrocket your credit score like crazy. But that’s not always doable, especially in college.
I try to pay a little more than what’s required when it comes to credit and loans. Even just $30 more than the required amount will help you out in the future! This is what I did on every student loan payment that I made. And it made a HUGE difference on the balance over time! Additionally, if you get paid twice a month, pay as much as you can twice a month.
I promise, it’s worth skipping a Target trip for! Additionally, College Avenue gives rewards for making in-school payments! That’s right, if you choose to start paying your loans while you’re still in school (highly suggested), then you’ll have a lower interest rate than people who wait till they graduate! And there is no penalty for paying early (a huge plus)!
You can just get as much as you need to help pay your college expenses! College Ave covers up to 100% of school-certified expenses. But if you can pay most of your own expenses and just need $2,000 to get started, they can cover that, too! Check out the low rates, use the tools, and decide what you need to help you succeed!
Okay! Are you ready for an Instagram contest?
Of course you are! Head over to Instagram right now and share your college goals by using the hashtag, you guessed it, #CollegeGoals! 😀
Do this anytime between NOW and June 30th and you can win prizes, including a $50 Chegg textbook credit and a $5,000 college scholarship!
Head to Chegg for more details: http://blog.chegg.com/collegegoals/
Planners. You love them. I love them.
And seriously, what would we do without them?
They keep us on track, on time (mostly), and productive!
But just because they’re a productivity tool, doesn’t mean they can’t also be pretty!
(You may also want to take a look at 23 Tips for Keeping an Academic Planner)
Making your planner happy and pretty will make you use it more, therefore, being productive!
Here are my absolute favorite examples + products that will make your planner pretty and organized!!
Colorful Event Reminders | Elephantshoe
Color-Coded Pens | First Home Love Life
Washi Tape | Take Two They’re Small
So, you know how I always use Washi tape to organize my planner? (That sounds like an exaggeration but it isn’t.) The example above from Take Two They’re Small is the first place I ever saw it! Man, did it really change my planning life. Perfect for showing “summer break” “vacation” or “exam week” in your planner! Plus I color code mine to match the pens that I use! Too perfect and such an easy way to add some extra prettiness to your productivity!
Binder Clip | Luckeyfrog’s Lilypad
Planner Stickers | ScribblePrintsCo
Aren’t these weekend stickers adorable? I know they are. That’s why I’ll probably end up ordering before this weekend is over. ScribblePrintsCo is just one of the wonderful Etsy shops where you can find adorable planning stickers to help organize your life! I have the solid page flags (which I use to show my scheduled blog posts), the heart checklists (which I use for monthly goals), and the coffee cups (which I use for coffee dates. Clever, I know).
(This post brought to you by Skooli. All opinions are 100% my own.)
I can’t even begin to tell y’all how many hours of my high school life I spent in math tutoring. I did after school tutoring with my own teachers (or basically any teacher that didn’t mind being in the room with me for an hour as I stared at numbers on my paper, crying “I’ll never be able to do this… it’s too h-h-haaard“).
Here are some of the coolest things about Skooli:
Online tutoring provides the safety and convenience that students and parents need.
There is no dropping off and picking up from a tutoring center. There is no driving to and from a tutoring center after a long day or in the rain. There isn’t even a risk of poor college students running out of gas on the way to tutoring! You are safely in your own home, on your own computer, on your own time schedule the whole time!
You commit to just one session per tutor so you can find the perfect tutor for you!
When I was in my tutoring center in high school, I never knew who my tutor for the day was until I got there. There was one tutor who could break down things really well for me (and deal with all my tears). The others were too vague, too broad, or explained things in a way that didn’t work for my brain. Here, you have control over who your tutor is so you can optimize your study time!
Basically, enough said. But with Skooli, you can be sure you are getting the best of the best. A real teacher, with real knowledge of the content you’re learning, and a knowledge of how to differentiate instruction for different learners! Interestingly enough, Skooli is one of the only online tutoring services that actually does this!
Parent progress tracking.
That’s right. If you’re a parent, you can can sign up and create an account for your child. This gives you the control to choose the tutor(s) who works best with your child, schedule times that are convenient to your family/work schedule, and view your child’s progress (without having to schedule and show up for another conference).
So, how does it work? Let me walk you through what to expect!
Once you’re in, here are features to optimize your tutoring session:
Ready to get the help you need?! You can do it right here! 😀
This will probably be the dumbest question you’ll read all day: Do you struggle with procrastination? Like, literally able to do ANYTHING except for the one thing that you’re supposed to be doing?
Oh, I’m sorry, would it have been easier to ask: “Are you human”?
If you answered “yes” then welcome, you’ve found the perfect place where you belong!
I recently read that we’re supposed to “read what we need to learn”. And if you’ve taken a look around this blog for more that 4 seconds, you’ve probably seen the word “productivity” aaaaabout 42 times.
Go ahead. Take a look around. Crazy, huh?
I’ve obviously been working on learning how to get rid of procrastination for a while now!
(5 Anti-Procrastination Strategies to Help you Get Through Finals Week)
Here are the biggest lessons I learned about procrastination in college!
5 helpful lessons you need to learn to kick procrastination to the curb!
1. Procrastination is a form of fear.
2. In order to accomplish things, you have to face that fear.
Choose an “Anti-Procrastination” Day. Back in the day, I used to try to use the FlyLady system for keeping our house clean. My attempt at those routines ha been long gone for a few years now, but there are a few things of hers that I do still use.
One of them is “anti-procrastination” day.
Choose one day a week to just get those tasks you’ve been dreading over with! I promise, you will feel so much better once you do! Most of the time, once I start a task, I realize that it’s much easier than I expected. Just jump right in!
3. A good plan is worth a million minutes.
4. It’s easy to get distracted (especially when you’d literally rather be doing anything else).
If this is a problem for you, too, try this: Give yourself a “reminder”. For example, place your study guide near your computer, so that when you’re thinking about heading over to Pinterest, you remember that you’ve got an exam to study for.
Or set a reminder on your phone, so that 10 minutes into that Insta-binge, you remember you still have reading to do!
5. Bribing yourself is definitely okay.
Organized Study Time