I love journals, planners, pens, pencils, stickers, anything office supply related. And I know I am not alone! There is a whole community out there of people who are obsessed with office supplies too! I don’t even know why I want all these things but I do! One year for Valentine’s Day my husband got me office supplies and I was so excited! That’s why I can’t wait to share with you that I found two digital alternatives to the bullet journal!
What’s a Bullet Journal?
First, just in case you don’t know, here is an example of the bullet journal. These things have taken over. Every blogger I see is talking about this bullet journal and how awesome it is. I finally decided to get one for myself after seeing all the fun everyone was having with them!
Check out these two examples I found on Pinterest. (They are linked back to the pin if you want to save them.)
My sister told me about these gel pens that erase so I got those too and they are much more my style because I like to erase (I’m a perfectionist some times).
Why do people love Bullet Journals?
The big craze with the bullet journal is that each page is customizable. Every page just has dots to use as a guide to be able to create all kinds of beautiful pages. One page could be your grocery list, another your calendar, and the next your cleaning schedule. There is no limit to what you can do with each page and I do really enjoy that flexibility.
Instead of searching through so many planners just to finally pick one and end up hating the layout, this option I could make each page my own layout that worked best for me.
There were some downsides for me though. I am not the best artist and also a bit of a perfectionist. I found myself spending a lot of time creating a layout that I still didn’t love. One little mess up ruined the whole page or I wouldn’t be happy with the boring design I came up with. Plus, I would always forget it at home.
I don’t think to always have my journal with me. So even though I like to write things out and use the fun pretty colors and all that, I would never bring it with me. It was just one more thing I had to remember to lug around.
So I tried to use apps and a Google Calendar instead to make it more digital and less inconvenient but it didn’t work. I thought if I could master digital planning then I could keep a better schedule but it didn’t work. I like the fun bright colors and although I did find one app that worked well enough to keep me on schedule, it didn’t have the flexibility of each page being something different.
I needed something that was a digital version of the bullet journal. The only thing I could find was the Notes app on my iPhone. I use it quite often to keep all of my important information all in one spot. I started that about a year or so ago and that has been great!
There is even an option where you can write things out with my finger but then you couldn’t read any of it. So I was still missing the fun artistic appeal the bullet journal has.
After I got my iPad I researched ways to use the pencil and I came up with some fun things. One of them was actually using the Notes app I have already been using!
What I found was that I could do more with the Notes app than just typing in my notes. I could use it more like a bullet journal!
Here is why I love the Notes App on my iPad (or iPhone) and how it can be used as a bullet journal!
Notes App Features
You can add tabs and organize thoughts
There are options to Bold or Underline Text
You can have clickable links in it
It automatically saves new changes on any device
You can scan documents
Take Photo or Video
Mark Checklists that actually checkmark off for you
I like the option to add documents or photos to the note. I have actually taken pictures of notes and stored it in a note in the app instead of retyping it all in there just so I could throw the paper note away!
As you can see I really do use this app a lot. All along the side are major categories in life and then there are folders under them to organize further down.
Then lastly within each of those is the second column of notes you see. This helps me break things down and everything is easy to find! Now with the new iPad Pro, I can use my Apple Pencil and write on the screen just like you see (sorry I have horrible handwriting).
I can change the color, the style of pen or pencil, and even the thickness of the stroke I am using. With a bullet journal, you can’t break down into categories and sections as easily as you can with this notes app. You would have to bookmark every new section in a bullet journal.
But wait it gets better!
You can add lines and grids to your note! Just like the bullet journal you now have guides to help you design your page. Also, you only need one pencil and you can change it to any color!
Before if I would remember my bullet journal I would want to bring all the pens so I had all the colors I wanted to use for each page! This way you only need one pencil and one device.
Now you don’t have to take your iPad with you everywhere you go (but let’s face it there is a better chance you bring that than your journal). Because if you need to refer to that note you created such as this one below with my to-do list…
Then you can still do that from your iPhone and no one’s going to forget their phone! You can make all these changes from your iPhone too it just isn’t as easy using your finger but you can still access the same note.
So if you are at the grocery store you can still cross off your list as you get each item.
And the Add Sketch feature is pretty cool because it gives you a ruler to use as a guide that you can move around!
All This For Free
A lot of people are Apple users so if that is you then you have all this for free! If you have been on the fence about switching to Apple then here is a little insight into some of the features! I’m sure there is something similar on the Andriod phones too though.
It is just nice to know some of the ways you can utilize what you already have access too. If you have an iPhone then odds are you have an iPad and might have been in the market to upgrade to the new iPad Pro. So far it is amazing!
Digital Bullet Journal
Alternative number two to a bullet journal is a digital bullet journal! I had no clue these were a thing and I was so excited when I came across them! A digital bullet journal can be used just like a bullet journal but on your phone or tablet! As long as you have a note-taking app that will allow you to edit a PDF. So it doesn’t have to be an Apple Product at all!
The digital bullet journal is a PDF version of a bullet journal and can be used exactly the same but conveniently located on your personal device! Test it out for yourself with this free digital bullet journal download!
If you are looking for a good note-taking app (and you are an Apple user) then I highly suggest getting the GoodNotes App. It has so many awesome features but all of the editing features are my favorite. As you can see I have horrible handwriting so I like that I can quickly make edits on my digital bullet journal or in my notes app. That is something I couldn’t do on my regular bullet journal.
Here is more information on the iPad and Accessories that I bought.
This is the exact iPad that I bought. I did go with the lower storage because I need to get a hard drive anyway so this way I can just get one of those and save money on buying the extra storage.
We looked into purchasing the iPad through our phone carrier to add data to it but that costs more also. Plus we found out that our T.V. provider has hotspots I can use when I am away from home. Just some things to think about!
I wanted the bigger screen so that was my main priority. I wasn’t as worried about storage because I have a bigger iCloud storage plan and then again I plan to get an external hard drive to save all pictures and important documents on it.
Now I don’t pretend to be all tech-savvy, I know just enough to get by. I know that I am a busy mom and this all makes my life easier and more portable. I do want to say that it comes with a completely new charger.
Supposedly it is to be able to connect to your computer better or other techy stuff I don’t understand but my point is no more USB on one end and no more of the other normal end that all Apple products have.
The cord has the same end on each end. So either way, it connects to your converter to plug into the wall and then into the iPad to charge. Just a heads up.
Then since I got the bigger screen I had to get this keyboard that fits it. They are both 12.9 inches so that gives plenty of room for using your screen and typing on a good-sized keyboard, not a tiny one.
The iPad connects magnetically to the keyboard and there are three dots on the back of the iPad that connect it to the keyboard.
Then you can have it in different positions to adjust it to your liking while typing. Then when you aren’t using the keyboard you can fold it over to close and you will hear the iPad lock. Also, you can flip it around and under the iPad to quickly use the iPad only.
There are no buttons, it looks and feels just like a regular pencil. It doesn’t erase like one although I think it should. I keep wanting to flip it around and erase with the pencil eraser like you normally would.
But just a heads up it doesn’t work like that. Another fun feature of the Apple pencil is that it connects to the side of your iPad magnetically to charge.
This is great to keep track of the pencil and know that it is always charged up. No plugging it in or cords involved! Once you connect it to the iPad it will tell you what charge the pencil is at as well.
I don’t know if I will do that or not because with the new pencil it senses when you double-tap to erase when using the Notes App. Also, I don’t know how the gripper affects it charging magnetically or staying safely on the side of the iPad. I worry that it might come off and I would lose it.
It is that time of the year again and I love it! This is the time where you can grab some really awesome goodies for an amazing price! I’m not just talking about kitchen appliances here, I am talking about blogging tools! Here are some of the goodies that I have found so far for Black Friday 2018 Sales for Bloggers!
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Why shop Black Friday Sales?
Let’s point out the obvious reasons these sales are so amazing.
First, you get to shop from your couch. That is a top priority for me! I love sales but I am not about to go throw punches to get a flat screen TV for half off. Not my cup of tea. I will however gladly spend my money while cozied up on the couch in my slippers! No black eyes needed!
Second, this is a chance for me to grab up some products that I might not normally have been able to get. I am a sucker for a great course that walks me through how to do things instead of wasting days trying to find the answer for myself. I could spend all that time looking and still not get the answer. So if spending a little bit of money that saves me time and stress then I am all for it.
However, that doesn’t mean I have endless funds to put towards said courses. That’s where these awesome sales come into play! Like the Genius Blogger’s Tool Guide that comes out every October. You literally get thousands of dollars worth of courses for less than a hundred bucks! That is something I grab every year. It comes out right around my birthday so that is my birthday present to myself.
Now that Black Friday is here it is another chance for me to snatch up a good deal on a course I might not normally be able to get!
On to the sales!
Let’s talk about the teasers first.
Here are some emails I have been getting from some of the places that will be offering a Black Friday sales but have not yet announced what that sale is…
They sent out an email teasing all the Black Friday sales that they will be having. So far it sounds like major discounts and lots of bonuses! So if you have ever thought about doing your own course or eBook now is the time to jump on it!
Elegant Themes is the company behind the famous Divi Theme. I use the Divi theme and it is amazing! I didn’t like how on all other themes you had to go back and forth from your back office to your live view to see what your changes looked like. With Divi, you can see it all live and it builds each page right in front of you! It has saved me so much time and headache. Plus, probably my favorite part of it is all the premade layouts you can choose from. This makes it super easy to just pick the layout you like and customize it to your style and brand!
They have sent out that they are offering 6 exclusive layouts and once the sale is over, these layouts will never be available again!
How cool is there landing page though am I right?! That is awesome! I am positive those layouts will be awesome as well!
They are also offering some fun in between now and Black Friday and that is a chance to win a free iMac Pro!
Convertkit is an email marketing provider. I use them as well for my email marketing. I have loved them so far. They make everything very user-friendly and it is made by bloggers for bloggers!
They are offering a Cyber Monday sale. The sale is that for current Convertkit customers who switch to any annual plan on Monday they will get the next 12 months of Convertkit for the price of 9 months.
It doesn’t say in the email what new customers would get but I assume it’s the same thing if you decided to sign up on Monday.
Name Cheap is a domain name provider. This is where I purchased my domain name and after using other companies in the past I do prefer NameCheap. Just like their name, they were cheaper and they didn’t try and upsell me 100 different things at check out. If you haven’t purchased your domain name or if you are planning to purchase another this may be the time to do it!
SiteGround is a hosting company and is the hosting that I use for my blog. They are offering up to 75% off! It is important to have hosting for your blog so for something like this that is a necessity this is a great deal! Their sale will be running until Cyber Monday.
Here are the ones already announced!
Yep, Mom Blog From Home is having a sale as well! I am offering 40% OFF of my Feature Plans! Mom Bloggers can be featured on my blog for free but if you want to enjoy some extra added perks like access to a private Facebook Group, a shout out on my email list, your own time to go Live in my Facebook Group, and more, then those will cost you a small fee. Right now, however, you can get those perks for 40% OFF!
I am calling it a Thanksgiving Sale because it is already live right now and it goes until the end of the month! I didn’t want to stress and only offer it for a couple of days. I wanted everyone to have an opportunity to get it for 40% off so I just set it for the rest of the month! Happy Thanksgiving!
Here is a look at what each plan offers.
TO JUMP ON THIS DEAL FOR 40% OFF JUST GO RIGHT HERE —-> THANKSGIVING SALE! and scroll to the bottom to get the coupon code!
Moms Make Cents
McKinzie at Moms Make Cents is offering up to 50% off of some of her products! I have taken her Pinterest course and it was full of great information!
Mom Blogging Mentor Ebook – $9
Over 40% off!
Mom Blogging Mentor Course + Ebook Bundle – $37
Lowest Price Ever
587 students enrolled
Pin to Profits: Affiliate Marketing – $37
Lowest price ever!
600 + students enrolled
Pin to Profits: Bundle – $142.50
Lowest Price Ever
Includes FIVE courses
Tons of bonuses
To receive these awesome prices you have to have a special code. But don’t you worry I have that code! However, she has asked that it not be released until Black Friday. I will be releasing that code for everyone first thing Friday morning on my Facebook Page. Make sure to like my page and click the star to make sure my post pops up first on your feed!
Start a Mom Blog
Suzi is offering a 40% discount on all of her products! This is huge! I am so excited about this! I think I have purchased all of her products already so I am not excited for me but for everyone else! I love Suzi and all that she has to offer so this is an amazing deal that you can’t go wrong on!
Her sale goes through Cyber Monday so you have time to pick and choose which course you want because there are so many good ones!
Unless you live under a rock, you know about Amazon and the amazing sales that are on there. You can get pretty much anything! And of course, you can get it shipped to your front door in just a couple days! I looked through some of the sales and these are the ones that caught my eye as a blogger.
Neewer Ring Light Kit
I have a small ring light and it is definitely not the best. It will, however, work for now but I would love to get a bigger and better one. So this light caught my eye for sure! It looks like you can change the color of the light and it is portable too. Something to look into if you don’t already have a ring light for your videos!
Lavalier Lapel Microphone
Along with a ring light, I would really like to get a professional microphone. This is of course not a professional microphone but on a budget, it might do! Right now when I do videos it has to be very quiet and I have to really focus on talking loudly and not mumble. I have so much to work on to be better at videos! I am not comfortable in front of the camera and I don’t feel like I am a natural so it isn’t a department I am willing to spend a lot of money on. So that all said, I think this would be something I would get to just be better than nothing while I am working on getting better! We are all beginners right?! We have to start somewhere.
Dual Tip Brush Marker Pens
“All I want for Christmas……is office supplies!”
I am a huge sucker for office supplies. I don’t know why but I love them all so much! I love having multiple notebooks, pens, fancy paper, sticky notes, whiteboard, you name it! So these, of course, caught my eye! How cool are those!
Dotted Grid Notebook/Journal
I recently caved and got a bullet journal. I kept seeing everyone talk about them and after many failed attempts at trying to find just the right planner to make my life run perfectly smooth I finally tried out the bullet journal. I got one because it never failed that I wouldn’t like how the planner was laid out. I tried so many different versions and I want to be that person who has their life all organized and planned out but it never seems to work.
I know it is “the planner” (me) not the actual planner (the book). But I will say that I do enjoy the bullet journal much more than a planner.
Every time I would get a planner I would fill out the normal information but then that’s about as fas as it got and I didn’t feel like I was using it like I wanted to. With the bullet journal, I can use it like a planner, journal, notebook, and a catch-all.
If I think of anything I put it in that journal. I write out the week and my goals instead of the whole thing being prefilled in with the calendar I can choose if I want that page to be a calendar, a blog post, my menu for the week, etc! That seems to work much better for me!
Not Black Friday but I just love them
These are not included in the Black Friday sales, as of right now anyway, but I use these and absolutely love them! They are pens that erase! I don’t like pencils because of the noise. I know that sounds weird but it is like nails on a chalkboard but it’s lead on paper. It gives me goosebumps!
So I use these pens so I can still erase all my mess ups! They really do work great and you don’t see where you erased and also the eraser never goes away! I have erased so many things and it’s still there! Unlike a pencil eraser!
PILOT FriXion Color Sticks Erasable Gel Pens
Okay, so there you have it! All kinds of sales going on and I’m sure there will be many more announced on Friday as well!
Have you heard of any awesome Black Friday sales you want to share?
This post contains affiliate links which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using that link.
Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
I am not a very tech savvy person, I have said that openly many times. I thought I was as in I know how to do the main stuff like Facebook and Microsoft Word but as far as coding or any of that… Nope! It took me awhile to figure out WordPress! It was a life saver when I came across this one blog that literally walked me through it all and I decided to give credit where credit is due! The reason I have a functioning blog is because of this one blogger who I am so thankful I came across!
That blogger, and who I am so happy to share with you, is Suzi at StartAMomBlog. She has helped me so much! When you are at the very beginning stages of blogging it all seems so overwhelming! She helped walk me through the steps and what to do to be successful. I wish I was as strict at staying consistent as she is though. I would be a lot further along than I am if I was adamant about working on it every day. Also I do have shiny object syndrome that has gotten me in trouble as well! I will see another ebook or course that specializes in email marketing or Pinterest and I end up taking that and not staying on course! Plus I am not consistent so you can see how this has been a struggle!
Blog By Number Course
I didn’t want anyone to feel that I was pushing a course on them by talking about how great Suzi’s course is but then I realized I was only hurting you by not sharing it. Suzi has so many wonderful courses but for my readers that are just starting out you would definitely want to start with the Blog By Number Course.
That is the course that I took and it’s very inexpensive. You may have heard me mention it before in other posts but I wanted to take time now to write a whole post only about it because she has some awesome Black Friday deals coming out!
Suzi did a soft launch of the Black Friday sales to test them out and called it Grey Friday. My sister actually grabbed one of the bundles she was offering and got two for the price of one!
You can check out her courses and ebooks right here! Take a look at them and see which one is best for you and then be on the look out for her Black Friday sale. She launched her Grey Friday last Friday and no one knows the winning bundle yet and I would assume that we won’t until next week. I hope not right before Black Friday but no one knows yet!
If you want a sneak peak at what the bundles where on Grey Friday to know what the possible Black Friday special will be then I can share that with you!
The Ultimate Bundle to Start Your Mom Blog
5 Course Bundle – Blog by Number, List by Number, Theme by Number, Ebook by Number and The 9 Step Blog Plan
Valued at $245 – Now $147 (40% OFF)
Perfect for Student Who Have Completed Blog by Number
3 Course Bundle – List by Number, Theme by Number and Ebook by Number
Valued at $171 – Now $97 (43% OFF)
Great for Beginners
2 Course Bundle – Blog by Number, The 9 Step Blog Plan and 200 Stock Images
Valued at $97 – Now $47 (50% OFF)
Those were the special bundles that were offered and only one was the winner so we will see soon which one it was!
I personally have purchased three of her courses and so far the Blog By Number is my favorite one! Again it is the main reason I even have a blog right now so I am a little partial to that one!
What Makes Suzi So Great?
You may be thinking well that’s all fine and dandy but what makes her an expert? Well, she may not even call herself an expert but she has proven she knows what she is talking about. Suzi started her blog when she was pregnant with baby number two and grew her blog as well as her belly. After a year of blogging she was making over $9,000 a month! Year two of her blog she did the same thing as the first and grew her blog and her belly with baby number three. Now her blog makes $20,000+ a month and she has three kids 3 and under. If that doesn’t show you she knows what she is doing I don’t know what else will!
Three kids 3 and under is amazing in itself! But then to be able to start and successfully grow a blog while helping thousands of others start and grow theirs is just amazing to me!!
One and Apparently Done
After 7 years of trying for baby number two I had come to accept God’s plan and now I have fully realized He knows me way better than I know myself. It feels like I am always running around like a chicken with my head cut off for the one I got! I can’t image more! Plus this way we get to give her more than we would have been able to….that’s the silver lining we try and find of the situation.
Now, if you are like me and you want to start a blog and you need help finding time, learning the latest techniques and programs, and you need someone that will give you the straight and honest answer then Suzi is the way to go!
I am always learning so much from her. I love reading her emails and seeing her go live on Facebook because I know I am going to learn something new. She proves that you don’t have to be perfect to be successful! Suzi does all of her blogging with her kids so there is normally one of them in the video or in the background. She doesn’t worry about everything being all perfect she just does it and does a great job at it!
As you can tell I think very highly of her and I would recommend her to anyone and everyone! Don’t miss out on her Black Friday special! I know I will be watching to see if it is something I don’t already have that I can get a good deal on! Not that her prices are very reasonable as is!
I hope you take a second to look around at her products and because I love them all so much I of course am an affiliate for them! So please if you decide to get one of her amazing products use my affiliate link I would greatly appreciate it!
How I Broke My Blog Before It Even Launched……Twice!
I have learned that when you least expect it things can go wrong. It is no different with blogging. It’s like that song by Alanis Morissette “Isn’t It Ironic”. When you decide to go for a walk it starts raining. When you finally save up enough money for a vacation, the air conditioner goes out. When you finally decide to start a blog and barley touch it you break it. Okay I know what you are thinking not all of those are technically “ironic” but you get my point. This is How I Broke My Blog Before It Even Launched……Twice!
I had just got my blog all set up and was feeling pretty good. The idea of starting a blog had always been swimming around in my head but I never felt like I knew enough or had the time to do it.
Then the day came that I found out that the insurance company I was working for was closing and they were laying everyone off. We had a pretty good idea it was coming so it wasn’t too big of a shock and it happened right before school got out. This gave me the opportunity to stay home with my daughter for the summer!
I thought well now is a perfect time to start a blog! Maybe I could make some extra money with it too and be able to stay home once school started again!
Starting my blog
So away I went at researching blogs and going step by step to get it all set up. I was trucking right along. I decided on a launch date and was dead set to be ready by then.
I had researched and attempted blogging many times before so it wasn’t all completely new to me. Like I said it has always been swimming around in my head but I had never fully committed. And let’s face it, it takes two to tango and my husband wasn’t always on board. Our lives have changed drastically since I last attempted it though. We are from Kansas and we had the opportunity to move to Georgia to be closer to family and we took it! It has been the best decision ever and like I said things have drastically changed for the better!
Now that we are here there is much less stress and more structure in our daily lives so my husband has been very supportive this go around!
What went wrong
A few days before my launch date I made a couple changes to my blog and when I went to view it everything was all messed up!? I panicked. I am very new at this how did I break it already? and how do I fix it?
Luckily I knew where to go for help.
Customer Service saved the day!
You see the hosting that I use for my blog is SiteGround and it came very highly recommended by multiple bloggers I follow. I had tried other hosting sites years ago when I had first “tried” to start a blog.
I knew that I didn’t really care for those so I gave this new one a try! They have wonderful customer service and had helped me out several times while setting up my blog. Surely they could help me fix what I had broke!
I reached out to customer service and they were wonderful as usual and did everything on their end to fix the issue. The only problem was that it wasn’t a hosting issue. I thought oh great now what?!
They told me it was my theme I had chosen that was acting up.
Safe again! Because the theme that I had chosen was the Divi Theme by Elegant Themes who also happens to have amazing customer service! I jumped on there and explained the situation to the tech and he fixed it! Thank goodness! Now I am not technical at all…so I can’t tell you what went wrong, how they fixed it, or how to prevent it.
And really I don’t need to know because that is what they are for! They fixed it so problem solved!
All I had to do was log in and submit a ticket.
There is a forum that you can look through with all the other tickets submitted and see if you can solve the issue yourself. This ended up being something they had to fix on their end. It was pretty quick and painless!
Okay that was break down #1 so what happened during break down #2?
As I was saying that I was days from launching my blog and things were fixed and normal again. I finished up the changes I was trying to do and getting everything all vamped and pretty. I thought I should have someone I know take a look and make sure all is well and do some proofreading, check my links, things like that.
Mommy to the rescue!
I called my mom who knows nothing about blogs (my target audience) and ask her to take a look! She of course agreed because well duh she is my mom she would do anything for me. She sent me a text later that night saying she had a minute to look but it won’t come up?
Panic again…I thought now what? I was just on it and everything was fine! So I get on again and sure enough it won’t come up! Here we go again! This time it was more than just a little panic, it was a major panic because I was set to launch the following day! I told her I would get it fixed and let her know so she could test it out for me.
I got ahold of SiteGround’s customer service through their live chat and explained the issue. They fixed it right away! Again I don’t understand what I keep doing to make things break but once again thank goodness for amazing customer service!
As of today, a few months later…
I haven’t (knock on wood) had a problem since but I’m sure it won’t be the last time I break it! I am just thankful that both the hosting site and the theme I chose has amazing customer service to help me!
My mom was able to get on right away and check things out. I have made several additions and changes since launching and again everything has been fine!