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Is a Bullet Journal the Answer for Blog Editorial Planning?

It’s no secret that I like my tech gadgets. I’m never very far from my iPhone, laptop, and/or iPad. But for years I’ve struggled to find a way to manage my blogging editorial calendar (and my other task management) with technology. For some reason, despite my love of technology, I’m just a paper lover when it comes to my organizing my work and my life.

[Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links that pay a commission at no cost to you if a purchase is made after a click.]

I’ve recently taken up bullet journaling to organize my calendar and to do list, and it has been working so well that I decided to try applying it my editorial calendar as well. I’m using a large classic Moleskine notebook for my regular bullet journal, but decided I needed the extra large Classic Moleskine to handle my editorial calendar for the four blogs I’m working on. The journal is divided into four sections, one for each blog, with washi tape bookmarks to mark where each section starts.

Blog Editorial Bullet Journal

The foundation of my notebook are the monthly calendar pages. I use Post-It notes (small ones, cut in half) to schedule items, and then when the item is published I write it on the calendar in ink. It allows my calendar to stay flexible and for me to visualize as I am planning and move things around to accommodate changes or additions.

In addition to the date grid, I have space in the leftover area for noting events and themes during the month, as well as an extra column down the right side that will hold Post-its for articles that are waiting to be scheduled, or that I can write notes in.

I knew this system would work for me because I’d used it previously in purchased spiral bound calendars. It became too cumbersome because it meant having to haul a separate notebook for each blog, though, and I gave it up. The bullet journal means that with a little work I can create a notebook that contains calendars for all my blogs in one one book!

Blog Editorial Calendar Bullet Journal

Some of the rest of the ones in my editorial calendar bullet journal are partially or wholly inspired by other bloggers. My favorite thing about bullet journaling is that I can take an idea someone else shares and then adapt it to work better for how I think or work.

In between each monthly calendar page, I have a page (loosely based on one by Kara at Boho Berry) that lets me write notes and summaries for each month. I can refer to this later for reference when planning for the same period the next year, or when having planning sessions to set goals.

Blog Editorial Bullet Journal

At the beginning of each blog’s section, there are a few record keeping pages. The “blog plot” page is designed to show at a glance when (and what, through color coding for categories) I have been publishing. This page was adapted from Kim at Tiny Ray of Sunshine. Her version is a two page, 12 month version, that goes the other direction on the page. I preferred to make mine heavily gridded and only needed to make 6 months since that is all that is in my journal (four blogs times six months take up a lot of pages).

Blog Editorial Bullet Journal

The statistics page for each site is a variation on one that I’ve been using in my smaller bullet journal to track my websites. I had a hard time remembering to use it with it being in that journal. I’m hoping I’ll be more consistent with it being with my other blog planning material.

Blog Editorial Bullet Journal

The article index is a way for me to track where bullet journal notes and graphics files are for each article. This is adapted from a page I saw on Boho Berry, but I added the “files” column. It’s important to me to track graphics since my articles contain so many.

Blog Editorial Calendar Bullet Journal

This page is also an update of one that I’ve had in my smaller journal but never remember to use. Hopefully with all of my blog planning and tracking being consolidated into one place, it will all get used much more reliably.

Blog Editorial Calendar Bullet Journal

One of the reasons that people think they “can’t” bullet journal is because they don’t like their handwriting. Well, I’m one of those people! But if you looked closely above, you may have noticed that a lot of the titles and numbers weren’t handwritten. The secret is doing as much as possible with stamps! It’s a bit slower than handwriting, but the end result is much prettier. Plus, creating pages that are “typewritten” through stamping makes it easy to tell what on the page is your content and what is just the page’s template.

So far my must have stamp sets for this journal have been:

Blog Editorial Calendar Bullet Journal

What do you use for your editorial planning? Paper or pixels? Are you happy with it?

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Giveaway | Season’s Givings – We Say Thank You!

Seasons Givings header

Welcome to the Season’s Givings blog hop on Scrapbook Update! Today, I am taking time to say thank you to the Scrapbook Update community for a great 2016. I hope that you will join me for all of the exciting things I have planned for Scrapbook Update in 2017, starting with coverage this month of both trade shows – Creativation (in Phoenix) and Creativeworld (in Frankfurt, Germany).

Seasons Givings prize

I am lucky as a blogger at Scrapbook Update that many companies provide product to me to use and share with my readers. I also sometimes have a DOPE! moment and accidentally buy a duplicate of an item. Things I don’t use, duplicate products I receive, or my oops purchases, usually end up in my “giveaway” box in my studio. Today’s prize is a selection of goodies from that stash! There’s some great Graphic 45, Lawn Fawn, Momenta, and Ranger products, along with a pair of Laura Childs scrapbooking mysteries for some cozy winter reading. No matter what your style, there’s something here for you!

How To Enter: All you have to do to have a chance to be the lucky winner is leave a comment on this entry before 11:59PM US eastern time on Friday night, January 6th, 2017. Make sure you include your email address in the line reserved for it on the comment form (for your own protection, don’t put it in the text of the comment, where it will be visible to the public – just in the line labeled “email” in the form where only Scrapbook Update staff can see it). We will need it to notify you if you are a winner. Winners will be drawn by random drawing from all eligible entries. One entry per person. Sorry, US delivery addresses only.

And now, on with the blog hop (but before you leave, check out the links below to our favorite articles!):


If you are new to Scrapbook Update, here’s a peek at some of my favorite articles and projects from the past year! Click on the photos or the linked titles to take a peek at them!

Creativeworld 2014 Travel Album

Project Life Modern Core Kit travel album

Spring Cards with Stampendous & Graphic 45:

Graphic 45 spring cards

Star Wars Weekend Project Life Layout:

Star Wars layout close up

SNAP 2016: My First Blogging Conference:

SNAP Tropical Party

Creativeworld 2016: Trends & Show Floor Tour

Creativeworld Trends show

Don’t forget to follow Scrapbook Update on Facebook, and me on Instagram and Pinterest!

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Fast & Easy Christmas Layout with Echo Park

Christmas is over, and that means stacks of Christmas photos to scrap! Coordinated collection packs, like this Lori Whitlock one from Echo Park, are one of my favorite ways to quickly scrap seasonal photos.

[Disclaimer: I am the social media manager for Buttons Galore, the manufacturer of 28 Lilac Lane. I also am a design team member for the Layout-A-Week blog run by Jennifer Priest and received a complimentary copy of her book as part of my work there. Some links on the supply list are advertiser courtesy links or affiliate links that pay me a commission at no cost to you when a purchase is made after a click.]

Easy Christmas Layout using Echo Park papers by Nancy Nally for Scrapbook Update

Supplies Needed:

This layout is based on a pattern from the eBook Scrap Free Scrapbooking eBook by Jennifer Priest. It’s my go-to resource when I want to make a fast and easy layout. The book contains pattern sets that are not only simple to use, but also conserve paper by showing you how to cut several pieces of paper apart to create multiple layouts with no waste!

Scrap Free Scrapbooking ebook by Jennifer Priest

For the background of my layout, I followed the pattern to combine several patterned papers. (Before assembling I inked the edges in dark green so that the patterns would be better separated visually.) All of the papers were easy to coordinate because they are from the same collection pack, the gorgeous “I love Christmas” by Lori Whitlock for Echo Park Paper Co. Then I added another strip at the seam of the bottom two papers by adding a candy cane striped border sticker that added some red to the bottom of the layout.

At the top of the layout, I die cut a tag to add sticker numbers to for the year. A pop dotted sticker tag holds a little journaling, and then I dug into the 28 Lilac Lane “Holly Jolly” kit for some embellishment touches. A row of felt Christmas trees, some beads for the poinsettia centers, and a flat back pearl to finish the tag added just a bit of color and texture.

Easy Christmas Layout close up

At the bottom, another tag die cut from the Hero Arts “Kelly’s To Do List” set holds my main journaling, and another sticker calls attention to it while adding a pop of red to this area. If you look on the right side you can see that the big photo of my daughter next to the tree is matted in black. It’s an unusual choice, but it matches her dress and really highlights the photo nicely.

Easy Christmas Layout close up 2

Have you scrapbooked your Christmas pictures yet? Do you scrap your seasonal pictures right away, or wait until the next year?

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Project | Travel Album: Project Life Modern Core Kit

The Frankfurt Creativeworld travel album is moving along! This final layout of the Creativeworld 2014 show is using the Project Life Modern Core Kit, a feminine kit with lots of bold colors.

The Project Life Modern Core Kit goes to Frankfurt in this installment of my Creativeworld 2014 album.

Supplies:

The Project Life Modern Core Kit is a flowery kit doesn’t exactly scream “travel”. But not everything we do when we travel is suitable for a heavy travel theme. Sometimes we need to think outside the box (or core kit?) to find something that works for a specific activity. The Modern core kit worked nicely for my photos of trends at the Creativeworld and Christmasworld shows.

Creativeworld Project Life Modern Core Kit left

The photos on the left page are very brightly colored and busy. Because of this I kept the colors and designs of the cards muted to avoid it being too busy. Shades of pale pink and peach draw from the photos without competing with them.

Project Life Modern Core Kit travel album

For my page title, I pulled out my trusty Dymo Organizer Express to create a custom piece of text to add to the card. And then I added rub-ons to the card to show the days that I was at the show.

I loved the journaling card with the black & white roses pattern but wanted to add another dimension to it. I settled on highlighting part of the design with the frame, and giving it a caption with a rub-on. This added another layer without overwhelming the softness of the card’s pattern that I loved. It also gave the eye a focal point on a very busy card.

Project Life Modern Core Kit travel album

The journaling card about Christmasworld was a relatively plain pink card with a “thoughts” caption. A gold holly rub-on added a touch of Christmas theming without seeming out of place alongside all of the pink and floral elements on the page.

Project Life Modern Core Kit travel album right

Some of my favorite elements in the Project Life Modern core kit are the bold graphic and floral elements. They need to be used sparingly however, to avoid drowning out the photos. On this layout I was able to get two of them in on the right page. Plus there was a small one of the bright flowers on the left page. It was important to spread these bright spots out to create balance in the layout.

Project Life Modern Core Kit travel album

I can’t get enough of use these small text stickers on my Project Life layouts! Several companies make them and they always seem to find their way into my layouts. They are just right for adding a little extra something to my cards, like I did here on the floral card. The white sticker really pops off of the black background!

Project Life Modern Core Kit travel album

These clear Heidi Swapp butterflies have been in my stash for several years and every so often one of them is just what I need to add a little something to a project. I like adding dimension to my Project Life, but this side of the layout was totally flat. Adding the butterfly balanced out the dimension of the frame on the left side.

Don’t forget to look beyond your “travel” supplies when creating travel projects! You may be surprised what you can create!

Check out the rest of the album so far:

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Project | Travel Album: An American in Frankfurt

While I’ve been busy sharing holiday content the last few months, I also managed to sneak in some work on some layouts for my Frankfurt travel album that I’ve been slowly working on for quite awhile from my trip to Creativeworld in 2014. Several new layouts from it will be coming to Scrapbook Update in the next week or so as a result! This first layout was my first try working with the new Project Life Modern Core Kit that I had just bought.

[Disclosure: The links in the supply list below either pay a commission to this site when a purchase is made, or are courtesy links to this site’s advertisers. Some product used below was provided to me by Ranger or Dymo, but this post was not sponsored or requested by them in any way. I just use products that I like, and then share the results with my readers.]

An American in Frankfurt by Nancy Nally - travel Project Life layout from Creativeworld 2014

Supplies:

This layout was a compilation of photos of a lot of my American friends that I saw at the show – plus Dyan, so I guess I made her an honorary American for this layout. I hope she doesn’t mind!

Because this layout was of mostly product and people in the booths, the colors were less subdued than some of the more architectural photos than I took earlier in the album. So this bright Project Life Modern Core Kit seemed a good match for the layout – especially since several of the photos had a lot of pink in them.

An American in Frankfurt by Nancy Nally - Project Life travel layout of the Creativeworld 2014 show.

Did you ever notice that those small Simple Stories alphabet stickers from the collection sticker packs fit perfectly in the journaling space on the title cards in Project Life core kits? They do! I used some pink ones here from the Sunshine & Happiness collection to highlight “Frankfurt” and then used my Dymo labeler and a pen for the rest of the title.

Project Life title card - An American in Frankfurt layout

One of the great things about industry color trends is that products from different companies will work together. These flower die cuts are from the Simple Stories “Sunshine & Happiness” die cut pack, but they look perfect matched with this Project Life core kit to create a custom 3×4 card!

For the same reason, I was also able to use my Picked Raspberry Distress Ink pad to create a special 3×4 card with a stamp from Tim Holtz. The pink ink matches the Modern core kit and the die cuts beautifully!

Project Life journal cards

On the right hand page of this layout, I did something that I don’t do very often: split an image between pockets. I had more 4×6 landscape photos than I had pockets for on the two pages, and extra 3×4 pockets. The art journal photo seemed like the logical choice to split between the 3×4 pockets, turning it into more of a decorative element than just a documenting image.

An American in Frankfurt by Nancy Nally - Project Life travel layout featuring the Creativeworld 2014 show.

It’s often unavoidable when photographing demos or booths at shows that people will get into the front of photographs and block part of the shot. In this particular case, I framed the shot this way on purpose to show how Tim Holtz was attracting a crowd at his demo. But the people in front made it hard to tell what was the focal point of the photo – Tim.

Putting the phrase stickers on top of the “black space” created by the ladies’ coats helped to block them out and point the eye toward Tim in the middle of the image. Plus I used some Tim Holtz stickers to do it with!

Word stickers on photos for a Project Life album

There’s one more of my album pages for the actual show itself to share, and then it’s on to the pictures from the Heidelberg day trip that I took!

Check out the rest of the album so far:

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Pantone Color of the Year 2017: Greenery!

The Pantone Color of the Year 2017 has been announced! For 2017, unlike this year, Pantone has stuck to just one color for the year, giving us the nature-infused green shade appropriately called “Greenery”.

[Some links in this article are advertiser courtesy links or affiliate links that pay a commission to this site when a purchase is made after a visitor clicks. I am the social media manager for Buttons Galore, who is not a sponsor of this article.]

Pantone Color of the Year 2017 Greenery

Described by Pantone as “a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew” and “nature’s neutral”, the tone has appeared in recent fashion collections by names like Michael Kors and Cynthia Rowley.

“While Serenity and Rose Quartz, the PANTONE Color of the Year 2016, expressed the need for harmony in a chaotic world,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute “Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the hope we collectively yearn for amid a complex social and political landscape. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate, revitalize and unite, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.”

It’s only been a few years since a different green shade was the color of the year. Emerald, a jewel tone of green, was the Color of the Year for 2013. Marsala, the 2015 Color of the Year, ended a long run of dark and jewel tones. The Serenity and Rose Quartz colors chosen for 2016 moved away from that trend into very pale tones. Now it seems Pantone is ready to declare brighter and warmer colors the dominant trend, with the selection of the yellow-green Greenery as Pantone Color of the Year 2017.

To use the new Greenery color #15-0343 in Pantone’s Fashion & Home palette for TCX (cotton fabric), the color codes are:

  • RGB: 136 176 75
  • CMYK: 51 9 88 0
  • HTML: 88B04B

For use in graphic design applications like Photoshop, the closest match is PANTONE 376 C.

  • RGB: 132 189 0
  • CMYK: 54 0 100 0
  • HTML: 84BD00

Greenery scrapbooking products

There will almost certainly be a flood of products next month at the Creativation and Creativeworld trade shows that show off the new Pantone Color of the Year 2017. But in the meantime, you might already have products in your craft stash that are similar in tone to Greenery’s yellow-green shade.

Here’s some suggestions:

Doodlebug Design actually has an entire color palette called Limeade made up of several shades of yellow-green. The darker tone in this palette appears pretty close to the Pantone Greenery color.

What do you think of the Pantone Color of the Year 2017? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Do you plan to use it? What for? Tell us in the comments!

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