Simple Ideas and Thoughts

Month: December, 2013

Pen Reviews – Coming Soon

I’ve been inspired by the most recent podcast from The Pen Addict to start writing pen reviews. In this podcast there were two review sites mentioned; The Pen Addict and EdJelley.com. Both of these blogs are very well done and have great reviews of a variety of pens and paper. Their knowledge of pens is very extensive and their collection is probably massive. For myself, I’m very new to any pens that you don’t find at your local Staples or Walmart, so my reviews will be from a beginner into the pen world.

When doing my reviews, I’m going to pick a pen and use it exclusively for an entire week before coming to conclusions. I’m a school teacher and own/operate an equine facility so these pens will be used in a variety of environments and on a variety of mediums. My ultimate goal is to find good all-around pens that are reliable in a variety of settings. My hope is that from reading my reviews someone who is an on the go type person will have more information when trying to purchase a versatile pen.

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Writing Therapy

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Benjamin Franklin

Writing can be good for the soul. Notice that I said “writing” and not “good writing” or “inspirational writing” or “professional writing”. You don’t have to be a good writer to enjoy writing. The simple act of putting pen to paper can be therapeutic, make a memorable moment in your life timeless, or help you get through the most troubling of times. I also use writing to clear my mind when it’s full of thoughts, worries, to dos, prayers, and anything else bouncing around in my brain.

While there are many purposes for writing, the main reason I write is to help me sleep. This may sound odd to some but it truly works wonders. I struggle with falling asleep quickly because as soon as I lay down my mind starts going over everything I did that day and what I need to get done tomorrow. Some nights I can’t seem to stop the wheels turning for hours. To help ease my mind and get restful sleep I take a few minutes and write everything going through my head. I mean absolutely everything. I don’t worry about grammar, sentence structure, legibility, or making any sense what so ever. I just write everything that comes to mind and keep writing until my mind slows down. Soon after the writing session, I’m fast asleep. Also, when looking back at my past writings I can really see what I was going through in life on a given day and reflect on it. I try to keep all my writings just because one day my future grandchildren may find it interesting.

So my challenge to you is grab a notebook (preferably a Field Notes) and a pen and write all your thoughts down right before you go to bed. Try this out for an entire week and see how you sleep. My bet is that at least some who try this will make it a habit.

Field Notes Planner System

“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” Thomas Jefferson

Modern day life has become so hectic and fast paced that some people just can’t keep up. I am one of those people. To alleviate some of the stress that comes with a hectic lifestyle, I have come up with planning system using Field Notes notebooks. These notebooks are very handy and with a little creativity can be modified to serve many purposes. In this post I’m going to explain how I use Field Notes as a planner/organizer.

My current system consists of five Field Notes notebooks, each serving a different purpose. This system is compact and rugged enough to withstand my daily routines.

My first book is my planner/Spiraldex that I custom make. I use one Field Notes per month. The opening page has a whole month on a page with the next page spread a week at a glance. On the left side is Monday to Wednesday and on the right side is Thursday to Sunday. Immediately after my week spread, I have a Spiraldex for each day of the week. I got this idea from Kent from Oz’s blog. You can check it out here for more information on his system and how it works. Setting up my Field Notes planner in this fashion allows me to quickly see what my week looks like and how my day looks. I reference to this book first thing in the morning to prepare for my day and at the end of the day I complete the Spiraldex for the following day.

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My second book is my Bullet Journal. I’m a checklist kind of person so this method is working great for me. If you want more info on this system just click on the link.

My third book is my farm record book. In addition to my full time teaching job, my wife and I own and operate a horse boarding, training, and riding lesson facility. I constantly have to keep records of income, expenses, and health issues and having this book dedicated to my farm allows me to keep it all in one place and easily accessible.

My fourth book is my most recent finished “brain dump” book. I always like to have it on hand in case I have to reference back to an old note. This one will rotate as I finish up my current “brain dump” which leads me to my fifth book.

My fifth book is my most used book. This one is always in my back pocket and serves as my current “brain dump”. Any passing thoughts, ideas, sketches, notes, etc. go into this book. This book is always with me whereas the first four either stay on my desk at work, in the tack room at the barn, or beside my bed in my house. I often make sloppy notes in the fifth book that later get neatly filed into one of the first four.

I’ve just recently invested in a Midori style leather cover that conveniently holds four Field Notes. This cover has been perfect!  This system is currently working very well for me but I’m constantly trying to find ways to improve it.

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If you have any suggestions of how I can improve this system or any questions please leave them in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Introduction

“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” Thomas Jefferson

I’ve always been intrigued about blogs, their content, and uses. There is no end to the information and opinions that you can find in blogs, whether good or bad. The internet and affordable/free blogging websites have given people the ability to communicate with millions and have their voice heard. This ability is mind-boggling considering how fast technology and social media have exploded in recent times.

After reading many blogs and thinking to myself, “I could do that…”, I have decided to start one for myself. I don’t know if anyone will read my writings, opinions, thoughts, etc. but I will write them for the possibility that someone will enjoy a simple post from a simple man who enjoys the simple pleasures in life.