Photography Adventures

In 2014 I’d like to reclaim photography. It use to be such an important part of my life. I took classes through out Jr. High, High School, and College. When I finally felt like like I was not only one with my camera but agile, quick, and flexible. I could really project my thoughts out into the image I was creating. But, this fancy new toy appeared,  the DSLR! I felt like I needed to get with the times and move to a DSLR. What I didn’t anticipate is how difficult the learning curve would be for me. The camera functions were in different places. I now felt clumsy, slow, and incompetent. I’ll admit it I got frustrated and I gave up. With feeling like I was starting over I grew to miss what I had and hated what was new.

But, I’ve decided just to deal with the learning curve and move forward. Go back to doing what I love so much. I’m going to take a different approach with it. And I know so many are going to think this is awful for me, but I don’t care. What kept me going before was my passion and drive. Right now I have neither. I just have an emptiness I want to fill and i’m a little bit weary about getting frustrated again. To remove this frustration, I was thinking that I should just go take some photographs. Use Auto Mode until I start to feel the need to have more control over my images. When that desire turns into my drive, the frustration will go away. I just need to desire it more, turn it into a passion like it use to be.

When I was younger I use to go on Photography Adventures with my friends. Most of them were photography students from school. The adventures were our way of working on our assignments. It made the assignments a lot more fun. Sometimes we would visit a few areas in one night. I’m alone now, so I don’t have to visit a few places in an evening. Or if I want to, I can go to several places.

I have to give myself at least one day out of the month to go photograph. I’m actually really excited about it too!!


Planner Organization for 2014 – Dividers

Planner Dividers –

I have 3 tabs in my planner. My work tab, personal tab and extra papers. The Work tab is broken down into several sections. Each area is a section:

  • Monthly Calendar quick view – Just so I can quickly flip from month to month. I don’t need appointments, it’s mainly reference to the calendar.
  • Brain Dump (to do list), – this is a dump list of everything that needs to be done. Or that I’m thinking about doing needs to be removed from my brain.
  • Deliverables / Actions Quadrant – My to do’s that will take longer and have more steps to be completed.
  • Meeting notes

The second tab is my Personal tab. I have it as the second section, because I don’t want to accidentally open to something personal at work. So, my work is always in front. Personal is somewhat hidden. The areas in my Personal tabs are:

  • Brain Dump (personal to do list)
  • Routines – Things I’d like to get into better habits with
  • To Journal – Things I want to journal about don’t have the time at the moment. A reference for me to go back and view.
  • Journal Pages – if I have time to Journal, this is the space/place.
  • Projects – My projects, from personal, art, the house, etc…

The last tab is my extra pages tab. It’s a place for me to flip to when I need to write down some stuff. I’ve been using this planner for the past couple of weeks and so far I’m liking it. I just have to remind myself to use it. I also think I may reorder the tabs. I think i want the blank pages as a second tab. I seem to just flip to that often if I need to take notes or write something down. With it being the last tab, I tend to flip through the Personal tab, which I don’t want to be doing at work.

This planner is seriously a slimmed down version of planners I use to have. I swear I had a section for every hobby. And I could do that again. I could start to really compartmentalize thing. But, then it leaves me not being cohesive. I need less restrictions on my planning with more room for flexibility and this set up seems to offer me that.

How do you have your planner set up? If you’ve got a blog post about it, please feel free to post it to the comments. 🙂


Planner Organization for 2014 – Calendars

It’s that time for year end reflection. Somewhere after Thanksgiving I stop and take a look at the past year. I reflect on how I managed my work, home and life. I look to see what I can adjust and what make sense. What worked and what didn’t.

I just realized, I’m still trying to recreate something that worked for me in the past. and I can’t. I’m not that same person, the work and my responsibilities have changed. Things worked so smoothly back then that even with my annual evaluation, I’m still comparing what worked and what didn’t to a time in my life that no longer exists. It’s truly time to move forward and into the present, with the flexibility to move into tomorrow.

Part of me writing this out is to assist me in getting organized. If i write out how and what I’m doing, it helps me remember what the plan is. And also a part of this is to share with you, in hopes that you can gleam some ideas to take with you.

First I want to look at the high-level focuses. What are the major areas that need managing?Then within each focus there’s room for breaking things down into further categories as needed. But, for now the focus.

Areas of Focus: Work, Personal and Home.

Next what are the things I need to help me manage the focus areas? Will it be something I take with me? Or will it be housed at home? My answer is yes to both. I need work and my personal organization systems with me. Home, can stay home, because even though that’s something I need to manage, that’s requires family participation.

What are some of the things that need managing? For my Work & Personal Focus, I need a calendar area, to do list, and a project files area. But, I also like to journal and want a place to review some routines and daily meditations. So, I’ll add those sections. For Focus on Home, I need a calendar, to do list, project list, bill scheduler, menu, and recipes.

Let’s get started.

When I look at all the areas of Focus there are some common needs. One of it is a calendar – I need to maintain my work calendar, personal calendar and the family calendar all in one. I need the family to have access to these calendars as well. So, the solution? Going to Google calendar system. Google allows you to have multiple calendars along with sharing.

Family Calendar – this will be shared with everyone in the family. This calendar will hold

  • Family events (things the family does together)
  • Individual Family events.
    • Time is blocked when my husband is out of town for work
    • I block time I’m in school, when I’ll be away from home.
    • My son’s school events
  • Bills – these are scheduled as all day events, so they end up looking like “To Do’s” and they are always viewed on the calendar.

Work Calendar – this will maintain all my work appointments. Because, I have a work calendar that is different from Google,to truly keep things up to date, I need to figure out a system of updating. I think the easiest way to maintain a work calendar, with a duplicate calendar for me, is to add the meeting or meeting update in my Google work calendar when I get an invitation or change from my Work Calendar. If I don’t do it when I get it, I can’t accept the invite from work until I can make time to update my Google Work Calendar too.

Personal Calendar – this will maintain all my personal calendar items. Workout times, meditation times, classes, and anything personal that I would like to include that requires a time.

Menu Calendar – This currently sits on a magnetic white board, with a two week view, on the fridge. I don’t want to add this to a digital calendar. But, I’m considering it. Right now the purpose of this calendar is to help me plan meals and make a list of what food to buy. And it stays on the fridge so who ever is home can pull out what ever is needed for dinner.  I’m still trying to think through if there’s a need to have this digital. If there is I’m not making another calendar, it will be under the Family calendar.

The reason why I chose a digital format for my calendar is I need the whole family on the same page. Not only that, I will more than likely take my phone with me to an event, rather than my planner. And if I need to schedule anything, this makes life easier, rather than having to sync between a paper and digital calendar.

I have added a monthly calendar to my planner. It’s only so I can see specific days based on what business days. The company has deliverables due on Business Day 3, I need to know what day that is, so it’s a quick look. I can always count on the digital calendar and add it. But, it’s really easier to see it on paper. I tend to just look quick at an open calendar to find the Business Days I’m looking for. So, this will eliminate a paper calendar hanging on my wall. And it will be in my planner when I take it to meetings. I will have it there for quick reference. This will not be synced with my digital calendar.

This may seem like a lot, but I’m sure there are more people out there with more calendars. What I’m trying to do is minimize my calendars and really stop the craziness of having it in two places. I took a look at what would be practical for me. And this is what seems easier to work with.

I’ll write more on my actual planner and the dividers later. For now. Tell me,  How do you organize your calendar systems?