Friday, 28 March 2014

In Praise of Paper Planners

I'm not sure if many of you follow 'The College Prepster' blog but I saw this post she put up last week about Paper vs Digital. What surprised me the most is that she says that she used paper planners throughout school and college but when she entered the business world, switched to digital. This struck a chord with me, in little over a year I will be finishing my degree and whilst I am hoping to do a postgraduate course, nothing is certain yet- it sort of scared me that maybe I only have a year of my precious Filofaxing left! That being said I can't ever imagine myself without a paper planner of some sort- whilst I do like Apple products and their calendar system is great, I don't really trust it to function. I guess what I am trying to say is that I trust myself more than an App, 

So here is my little spiel about why everyone should have some sort of paper based planning system- even if it is only a tiny little A6 Diary you keep in your back pocket.

1. Paper planners can be personalised
Especially with the amount of Filofaxes and other brands available nowadays it is really easy to find a planner that suits your personality. You can also have several binders so that when you become bored of one- you can easily switch to another.

2. They won't run out of charge
If any of you do have an iPhone, or any smart phone in general then you will know how awful their battery life is. My first phone was a Nokia 3410 and I used to have to charge that once a WEEK, now my phone will barely last a day. Its nice knowing that as long as I have my Filofax with me, I will have most of the information I could ever possibly need right there underneath my fingertips.

3. You can dictate exactly what they contain
Even if you get a bound planner, there are so many different options that you are bound to come across one that suits you. I recently managed to make my own inserts for my Filofax and this is about as far as my technological skills will stretch- sure some people are gifted and can easily manipulate technology and create their own app- but realistically I am never going to be that advanced.

4. You can customise them
This is possibly my favourite feature about paper planners- whilst admittedly technology will allow you to colour code and there is no danger of you losing that pen or running out of ink halfway through your system you cannot add the little stickers, washi tape, random quotes to keep you going and everything else all of the creative Filofax users get up to. 

5. They look professional 
I am never sure when people get out their phones in tutorials whether they are making a note of an important date our tutor has just mentioned or whether they are simply using it as an excuse to check Facebook. When you have a calendar open infront of you not only does it show that you are organised and are managing your time, there is no doubt that you are actually taking in the information you should be and responding appropriately- rather than updating your status!

I could go on and on about paper planners but I am sure that I would bore you all immensely and 5 seemed like a nice number to stop at! Have I missed out one of your favourite reasons?  Do you prefer digital?

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Liebster Blog Award

The lovely Porsche from Coffee & Stationery kindly nominated for a Liebster blog award which was super exciting news to wake up to! The idea of the Liebster blog awards is to help get smaller blogs like mine and Porsche's more awareness!

  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the person that nominated you. 
  • Pick an additional 11 people to nominate with under 200 followers. 
  • Create a list of 11 new questions to ask your nominees. 
  • Inform your nominees of the award!

So here are the questions that Porsche gave me and my answers to them!

1. What prompted you to start blogging?
It was reading other peoples blogs (mainly about Filofax!) last summer as a major form of procrastination from revising that made me think that perhaps people would be interested in what I had to say and alas The University Project was born! Since the start I have been trying to branch out into more of an overall lifestyle blog :)

2. Coffee, Wine, or Tea?
Rather typically of a British person my answer is Tea, I do love a good cuppa and I don't function properly of a morning until I have had my first cup! I've been branching out into trying more fruit tea recently and I have been enjoying that also! That being said I do love coffee, especially when I'm doing long stints in the Library!

3. Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter?
Lately I have been really loving Instagram! I've had a lot of coursework due in the last few weeks and consequently not as much time as I would like to blog. It's nice being able to share a snippet of what I am up to with my followers via Instagram tho- you can find me here

4. Where would you love to visit all expenses paid?
I am still wanting to visit New York- I wrote about it a few months ago in this post

5. Katniss, Tris(Beatrice), or Hermonie?
As a Harry Potter geek, and having wild curly brown hair, my answer for this has to be Hermoine!

6.Favorite song at the moment?
Not a really a song but I have been really enjoying listening to BBC Radio 1 whilst writing my coursework. They are one of the few radio channels that actually play a lot of songs and you don't often here the same song repeated constantly throughout the day. 

7. What three words would you use to describe you?
Organised, Worrier, Kind

8. Favorite store to shop at?
If I had unlimited money I would buy everything Fossil ever made, it is just right up my street!

9. Who is your favorite celebrity? 
I am not ashamed to say that I am a swiftie and have been for quite some while. This post outlines why :)

10. If you could have dinner with anyone who would it be?
As corny as it is, my lovely boyfriend. I am in a long distance relationship whilst I am at university and therefore I don't get to see him as often as I would like, which sucks. I miss the spontaneous meet ups and if I get upset about anything then its not a great feeling knowing I won't be able to get a hug from him for a couple of weeks. 

11. What is your guilty pleasure (TV, movie, music, book, food)?
I am a total Netflix addict but recently I have been trying to read more too! Really non committal answer, sorry guys! 

I had so much fun writing this post! So once again thank you to Porsche! My nominees are:

And your questions are as follows!

1. What do you love the most about blogging?
2. If you only had one meal left on Earth what would it be?
3. What is your day job? (I'm nosey)
4. Have you ever been in love?
5. How do you stay organised?
6. What is your vice when it comes to shopping?
7. If you could have any job at all, what would it be?
8. Do you think you make a good first impression?
9. You have a free weekend... what do you do with it?
10. Do you have any pets?
11. Who is the last person you spoke to?

I hope that you guys have as much fun writing this post as I did! Please make sure to link me your posts when they're done- I can't  wait to read them all!

Take care

Book Tubing!

This is my first attempt at Book tubing and appologies now for the really poor quality! I only had my laptop's webcam available and I live in an attic bedroom!

Nonetheless I have decided to get back into reading and so I thought it would be a good time to start making videos about what I am reading and venturing into the world of booktubing!

I would love it if you took a look!

Monday, 24 March 2014

My Week #12

This week was the first week of using my new inserts that I showed you last week and so far they are working a treat. I think I was getting too obsessed with making my pages look pretty rather than getting what I wanted out of them and this was getting in the way of how effectively I was planning out my week.

The past week has been pretty hectic as I have a crazy 5000 word report on fish behaviour (yup I do a riveting degree!) due at midday on Friday and so that has been taking up most of my spare time.

Things probably haven't been helped by the fact that (as long term readers of the blog will already know) I am unhappy with my degree and university choice and so I have been going back home most weekends this term which is not only time consuming but emotionally draining- having to say goodbye to my boyfriend each week is pretty hard to say the least! Alas I am almost at the end of second year now (which in itself is another biggy) and so I am soldiering on with my undergrad degree and looking forward to (hopefully) starting teacher training next September... Light at the end of the tunnel and all that, ey?

One thing I have been loving this week is using Instagram more and I would really love it if you came and said hi over there :) My goal for April is going to be to get featured on the Filofax Social Hub

How has your week been?

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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Student Stationery Essentials!

One of the things that you will have to spend some of your beloved student loan on when you go to University is stationery. How much you spend on it and what you choose to buy is a completely individual thing and it will probably take you a good proportion of your degree to figure out a system that works for you. I'm still not sure that I have mine quite perfected yet and I have almost finished second year (yikes!) but below are my top 3 must haves for anyone at University already looking to change their note taking habits or those eager beavers who are procrastinating from A-Level revision by preparing for university (not going to lie I totally did far too much of that during my exams!)

1.A good quality notebook
(Oxford Campus Notebook in A5- available on Amazon)

I tried the whole buying the cheapest notebook and paper I could possibly get my hands on in sixth form and it did not end well! Ink would constantly seep through my pages, I daren't highlight anything and far too frequently pages were being torn out and I was losing vital notes, not good! Since then I have been more particular over the kind of notebook I buy and since finding the Oxford range of notebooks I have never looked back. In fact if I ever find it on offer then I am that crazy girl in the shop buying armfuls of the same notebook (sorry mum!). 

2. A pen that you can write quickly with

In lectures the amount of things mentioned which is not on the slides is pretty immense for me and so I am always frantically scribbling away (if nothing else it keeps me awake!). I personally like these Bic fine point pens as I have found that no matter how quickly I write, it is still legible when I come to consolidating my notes later on. 

3. A planner

Last week I finally got my hands on this beautiful Filofax (Personal Purple Malden) but I cannot emphasise the need for a planner or diary or something which keeps track of your deadlines, lectures and general life commitments you may have. I know I keep harping on about planners and the like but mine really is such a useful tool for me, especially now that I am at the stage of my degree where I not only have to do all of my work for second  year but I also need to start doing preparatory work for my dissertation in third year. So moral of the story is, get a planner (please).

Do any other students have any Stationery essentials that they would add to my list? Leave a comment if you do :)

Monday, 17 March 2014

Things that twinkle

For those of you who follow me over on Pinterest you may have noticed that I have been posting a lot of images lately of fairy lights around the bed (like the one below!)

                                                                                               I do have some fairy lights currently but they are cheap poundshop ones and consequently don't really give out much light so tonight after I got my Amazon voucher through from trading in some old textbooks from last year I decided that I would treat myself to some new ones!

So whilst I continually stalk the post man for the arrival of my lights I will continue looking up inspiration as to what to do with them when they do finally arrive and I will also try and de clutter the area around my bed to continue with the relaxing theme!

I am a hoarder and I am slowly trying to streamline my belongings, although I may in fact be buying more than I am throwing out, but at least the thought is there and hopefully by the time I move out of my room in Bangor, in little over a year (how scary is that!), that I will be able to do so in a single trip of my parents car (probably a tad ambitious)

For now I am off to make a cup of tea, put on Netflix and relax at the end of a rather productive Monday!

How has your day been?

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Friday, 14 March 2014

A new Filofax and some custom inserts

After months of searching I finally found myself a Personal Purple Malden only for them to come back in stock on Filofax UK a few days later sigh ... at least I got mine at a cheaper price than the recommended retail. However when I was setting up my new beauty I realised that the standard week on two pages inserts that come with a Filofax just didn't work for me and so I decided to have a go and making and designing my own! Now I am no technology expert and so I decided that the easiest way for me to do this was to print them out straight onto the personal paper to save all of the cutting and punching issues I have seen many Filofax users suffer from on Facebook.

These are my new inserts that I posted on Instagram a few days ago. The Malden came with some cotton cream paper which I used to print out the first couple of weeks of these inserts and I love the way they look on that paper so I am waiting on more to arrive so that I can print out the rest of the University year. I probably won't be using these inserts all year round as they are very specific and set up to be used at University during a typical week so I will more than likely swap back to the standard inserts for the summer. The way things stand though I have another two and a half years of academic studies ahead of me and so if they do pan out then the effort that went into making them will all be worthwhile.

I have only used the inserts for a few days and they are working a dream but this could be due to the fact that I am still in the honeymoon period so I shall report back at the end of the academic year if they are still working for me and whether I will be making any changes for the inserts come September. 

At the top on the left I have a 'Must get done this week' section with space for four top priority tasks that I absolutely cannot put off any longer, regardless of how much I would like to. Then on the right there are spaces for Deadlines of the current and next week as well as other events such as birthdays and finally a space for me to jot down things I have run out of. I also put the academic week at the top of the pages next to the month as a lot of my lecturers refer to things that are happening in a certain week and I am constantly having to look up when it is. 

A5 Diary pages typically have the vertical format that I went for in these inserts- I found that it worked really well for me as I am quite a visual person and so being able to see exactly how much of my day is taken up by lectures and other commitments is really useful for me. I have never come across the vertical format for personal size to buy before which is a shame as I like the style of it but an A5 is just too heavy for me to carry around with all of the other things I need for University on a daily basis. 

Because I have found these inserts to be so useful I am going to share my initial draft of them here with all of you guys in case there are any other students out there who could benefit from them! So if you click here you should be able to access them, if not email me! :) 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Motivation Missing

I have been such a bad blogger lately- almost two weeks without a post! Sorry and thank you to everyone for sticking with me. To be honest I've been stuck in a rut these past few weeks and I am slowly starting to drag myself out of it now. I am not really sure why it happened, perhaps its the feeling of it nearly being Easter but knowing their is masses of work to do before then (seriously second year is hard) and the fact that after Easter I know that all I have left is exams and then that is it, second year is done and I will be two thirds of the way through my degree-where did all of that time go?

I am the kind of person who gets overwhelmed and anxious far too readily and so chances are it is the academic pressures taking their toll on me- I went home for a few days and away from my university life I felt ten times more relaxed and less anxious but as soon as I was on the train back to university all of my worries and doubts suddenly reappeared.

This wasn't intended to be a rambling post which is more like a diary entry but since I don't keep a journal, this blog is more or less the record of my life and where I figure things out and work through my feelings, usually by sharing the things that excite me or I have been up to today.

My plan is to grit my teeth and work through it and hope that my motivation returns and I get a sudden burst of inspiration to do all of my work but if anyone has any tips on how to get your motivation back then they would be most greatly appreciated.

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