Top 12 “Aha!” Benefits Flowing From My Bullet Journal Adoption

TL;DR

Last year I adopted a bullet journal. While it took a few stabs at that apple to achieve planning peace, the efforts proved worthy time expenditures. Multiple unanticipated benefits continue to flow, as presented in this article.

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Continue reading

Top 4 Mechanical Pencils: Personal Faves

TL;DR

Mechanical pencils are everywhere. Quality is not. My list of tried-&-true faves follows.

Estimated Reading Time: 1:52 min

✧︎︎︎1✧︎︎︎ Uni Kuru Toga: ever-sharp winner

The Kuru Toga’s claim to fame rests with a unique internal mechanism. Each time you lift your hand from the paper, the lead auto-rotates, resulting in a near-constant sharp point. Because I favor the ultra-rich print from 4B lead, that auto-rotation proves golden. Soft lead like the 4B would go flat in a heartbeat in other pencils.

→ Amazon, JetPens, eBay.

Several additional colors of the Kuru Toga are available. (I add scotch tape to a barrel to signify installation of 4B lead.)

Several additional colors of the Kuru Toga are available. (I add scotch tape to a barrel to signify installation of 4B lead.)

✧︎︎︎2✧︎︎︎ Zebra DelGuard ER: lead-longevity champ

Zebra DelGuard mechanical pencils

Zebra DelGuard mechanical pencils

In an ideal world, I’d write with a 0.3mm pencil without being punished throughout the writing process. Reality intrudes, witnessing broken lead tips waaaaay too frequently. This Zebra DelGuard wonder bucks the mainstream. I’m told an internal mechanism cushions the lead. Breakage may not be eliminated but it is indeed minimized. That makes this baby a keeper! I so enjoy the 0.3mm model that I later grabbed its 0.5mm sibling. Physically, this 0.5mm is more comfortable than the Kuru Toga, but the latter retains its EDC status per its sharp tip.

→ Amazon, JetPens, eBay.

✧︎︎︎3✧︎︎︎ Pentel Sharp Kerry: beauty contestant

I never expected to see the word “beautiful” within a sentence exploring mechanical pencils. Then I discovered this gem. Stylish to a delightful extreme, the pencil also feels good in hand. (I added grip cushions to the black and blue models for a dryer grip.) The eraser is a joke, a problem vexing all but the next item on this list. I’m partial to the orange and purple versions, matching same-colored Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pens.

Pentel Sharp Kerry mechanical pencils

Pentel Sharp Kerry mechanical pencils

I started with this baby in 2009, growing my collection through the years. I’m nerdy enough to also match each with the now-rare Sensa Cloud ink pen. The ever-sharp prowess of the Kuru Toga relegated these eye-candy gems to second-tier status. But I still enjoy them from time to time, so they remain in my “preferred” stash.

→ Amazon, eBay.

✧︎︎︎4✧︎︎︎ Pentel Twist-Erase: true eraser (!)

To my knowledge, the Twist-Erase stands alone in presenting an eraser worthy of the name. And, the eraser remains accessible at all times, i.e. no cap to remove (and lose). Turn the barrel to extend/retract the eraser, which never seems to end. IMHO, best bang for the buck per style + eraser.

→ Anywhere, including Staples.

Twist-Erase mechanical pencils. Sadly, no orange variant.

Twist-Erase mechanical pencils. Sadly, no orange variant.

Call to Action

Did I miss your fave? Please, educate me in the Comments!

How To Keep Your Money: Schedule Tweets with IFTTT + gCal

TL;DR

Several services (e.g., Buffer, HootSuite, SocialOomph) offer to schedule your tweets; in exchange, you pay an ongoing monthly fee. Or, you accept limitations to enjoy the free version. The same goal can be accomplished with an IFTTT-induced marriage between Google Calendar and Twitter. Cost? $0. Here’s how.

Estimated Reading Time: 4:30 minutes

Continue reading

Super Hot Days Ain’t No Joke, Folks, Courtesy of Heat-Induced Illness

TL;DR

Pay attention to your body’s signals on hot days. Know the symptoms of both heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Estimated Reading Time: 4:09 minutes

Continue reading

Aside

QuickNote: Football— Today’s AMA Report: 110 out of 111 brains = CTE

TL;DR

The most recent AMA report: the study of 110 out of 111 brains of former football players revealed the presence of CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Estimated Reading Time: 1:30 minutes

Continue reading

Aside

QuickNote: iOS Writers: New $7 Universal App, Free Now

The app, Eddie, sparked my interest last month. The lack of any reviews, combined with the price tag, instigated my request for a price drop alert from AppShopper.com. That alert arrived within this hour.

Continue reading

Aside

QuickNote: Want an A5 Tomoe River Bullet Journal?: ✓ “Breeze”

The new Tomoe River BREEZE A5 notebook sits poised to capture THE “Bullet Journal Tool” award:

  • 183 numbered pages
  • index pages
  • 68gsm, killing the 52gsm’s mild shadowing irritant
  • 5mm dots.

Continue reading

Bullet Journal: Top 5 Reasons I Embrace Hobonichi and Kokuyo Products

Bullet Journal: Top 5 Reasons Hobonichi + Kokuyo Own My Heart

TL;DR

Trying to shove all facets of my life into one-book (Leuchtturm) failed. Add: repeated drawing of spreads antagonized. Hobonichi & Kokuyo gifted the cure, fueling my entry into Planning Nirvana Land.

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes.

Continue reading

Bullet Journal: Fueling Digital/Analog Harmony with a Hobonichi Weeks

TL;DR

Analog tools assist planning. Digital tools expedite writing and other tasks. Productivity mandates awareness of, and easy access to, all matters related to a single task. The Hobonichi Weeks answers the call for a skilled maestro, embracing and sustaining digital/analog harmony. Here’s how.

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Continue reading

Writer’s Bullet Journal: How to Create a Comprehensive Writing Log

TL;DR

Like many, my bullet journal includes trackers. As a writer, accountability prompts tracking my daily writing word count. The Law of Unintended Consequences killed the would-be joy of that initial word-count-only log. I returned to the drawing board, tweaking and enhancing, creating a more comprehensive writing process log. This article details the what and why of the tweaked log’s components.

Estimated Reading Time: 3:40 minutes

Continue reading