Planning and remembering

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I love making lists, particularly to-do lists. There is just something about writing down all the things I want to learn more about and get accomplished in a month that gets me really excited. And then I remember that I have chronic fatigue......and I'm a five on the Enneagram......and I have a long history of setting unrealistic expectations for myself. 
So, instead of writing down what I want to get done in a planner or bullet journal, I tend to record what I have already got done as a reminder to myself of all that I've accomplished. Not only does this help me not stress myself out, it helps me to appreciate what is unique about each day. 

Planning and Remembering || Rachel Loewens Fine Art

So, as I get my pages ready for January, I figured this would be a good time to share how I set up my planner/journal. First off, supplies! I love my Whitelines Graph Paper Pad. The background is a light gray and the lines are white so your words and sketches are what really show. (There is even an app that will take pictures of your pages and send it to your email or dropbox. I don't use it, but click on the link to see a video about how this works.) I have listed the pen and marker I use down below. I write small so fine point is a must, and I just prefer blue ink over black. The highlighter is my choice to fill in boxes where I have completed a task such as posting something to social media. 

Second, habit tracking and daily log! I keep track of my water intake, core exercises, doing my BSF lesson, and a time for meditation on the left side of my daily log. It helps me have a more wholistic picture of what is going on if I'm not keeping my habits. For, my daily log, I like the forced simplicity of having only one line to write. Journaling has never been a strength of mine, but I can usually come up with one sentence to describe my day.

Planning and Remembering || Bullet journal || Rachel Loewens Fine Art
Planning and remembering || Liturgical calendar || Rachel Loewens Fine Art

Other sections to note: completed books, viewing/listening, liturgical calendar, blessings, notes, and my "got done" list. I think each of these is pretty obvious, but maybe a couple of these could a little bit of explanation. I think the shows we watch and podcasts we listen to can be just as formative as the books we read, so I choose to record them both under my daily log.

Planning and remembering || bullet journal || Rachel Loewens Fine Art


On my second page, I draw out a little chart showing the present interval of the liturgical calendar as a way to ground myself more fully in the time we are living. It helps me pause and appreciate what is good and glorious about the current season even when the thermometer does not get above 0 F! 

At the bottom, I record all of the things that I have gotten done in the month. I purposefully keep this area on the small side, so that I can more easily fill it up! ;-)


If you like this and other planning/bullet journaling inspiration, I have a Pinterest board dedicated to this topic! 




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My got done list. AKA: What to do when you feel like you are getting NOTHING done!

Like many people who suffer from sort of auto-immune disease whose symptoms include chronic fatigue, I often feel like I've gotten NOTHING done by the end of the day. My husband is very good at reminding me that that is a lie to tell myself and, in all reality, I always accomplish something just in the day to day care of my family.

This week my daughter had her first spring break ever, and I had a whole to do list in my head of cleaning out closets and art making. Guess what? Most of that didn't happen due to an elbow injury. *sigh* Thankfully, a shot of Novocain in my joint has eased the pain and I'm now able to get a few bits done.

Spring break at Henry Doorly Zoo || Rachel Loewens Fine Art

I once read an article that suggested people who have these seasons of low productivity should document all that they have gotten done instead of focusing on what they didn't get done. So here's my list:

#artistresidencyinmotherhood || Rachel Loewens Fine Art

+    Prepping for my Artist Residency in Motherhood. I thrive off of goals and accountability so I'm excited to take on this residency in the summer months.

+     Obsessively read my new favorite blog: Jocelyn Mathewes. She is currently participating in the same residency that I planning for AND does cyanotype printing. Her post on productivity and journaling how you use your time have been most helpful. 

+     Printing while the sun shines. 

+     Trip to the zoo with my kiddos!

Cyanotype in progress || Rachel Loewens Fine Art

How do you cope with less than productive seasons of your life! I would love to hear your tips!