• 8 Productivity Planners & Journals That Will Help You Get Your Life Together

    Let’s get planning! There is nothing quite as satisfactory as planning, am I right? Sometimes I spent hours creating my priority list or filling in my weekly to do’s. Planning just makes me happy 🙂

    I realize that the sheer overwhelm of planners out there can be very frustrating so I put together a list of the 8 BEST productivity planners (plus a bunch of bonuses for you at the end!!).

    The Passion Planner is many things all at once: calendar, goal setting guide, journal, sketchbook, appointment tracker, gratitude log, inspiration and motivation, weekly and daily focus, to do lists etc. all in one notebook!

    It was created by Angelia Trinidad who started to slip into depression after graduating from college feeling overwhelmed with uncertainty. She thought about what helped her during the most challenging and stressful times of her life and realized it was her planner. So she decided to create her own.

    That I love most about it is the combination of structure, creativity and journaling. It has pages for you to figure out your “passion road map” and to break down your short and long-term goals. Each month you reflect on the previous month – your favorite memories, lessons you’ve learned etc.

    There are also inserts you can add such as workout tracker, time extender, habit tracker and so much more! You can really make this planner your own and customize it to your needs.

    They even offer printable PDF’s so you can try the planner out for free before you purchase! If you’re looking to live more intentionally and want to identify your passions and pursue them I highly recommend this planner.

    Bonus: You get to feel even better about your purchase because as a Get One, Give One company, they give a planner to someone in need for every planner you buy!

    This is a great freebie for bloggers. Ruth from Elite Blog Academy has been a successful blogger for years and really knows what bloggers need to get organized. This planner will help you to get a big picture plan for your blog especially if you’re just starting out. 

    The planner comes as part of her book How to Blog For Profit (Without Selling Your Soul) so you can find detailed instructions on how to assemble and use this planner to increase your productivity in chapter 11 of the book. But even if you haven’t purchased the book this planner is super useful either way! 

    Track your blogging goals, plan out your posts, collect ideas, track your blogging expenses etc.

    Oh and did I mention it’s free??

    This planner was created by the same people who published the Five Minute Journal (a great tool if you’re looking to improve your happiness through journaling). One feature that stands out immediately is that this planner comes with an in-depth explanation walking you through the process of how to get the most out of it.

    The Productivity Planner combines productivity principles like the Pomodoro style work system into a simple daily format that will help you tackle unfocused and unaccomplished “busy” days.

    With 6 months worth of daily productivity planning and Weekly Planning & Review sections you can reflect on and rate your productivity every day. That way you can become more productive every day and see your progress over time.

    You can’t go wrong with this planner. If you don’t end up loving it or feel like your productivity is not increasing as it should be you can just exchange it and they will issue you a full refund!

    ve been using this planner for a few years now and I absolutely love it. I get the extension and sticker packs (it also comes with 4 sheets of stickers) and found it to be an amazing creative outlet as well as a place to keep track of to dos, appointments and goals. Every month also comes with beautiful inspirational quotes.

    Due to its size you can also easily add pictures, ticket stubs, post cards etc. to your weekly spread. I love looking back through my old planners from previous years because it’s almost like a scrapbook filled with memories, keepsakes and hand written notes.

    The Happy Planner really does a great job combining creativity and productivity into one great colorful, inspirational package. 

    Leaders in Heels have a simple yet amazing mission statement: “…to encourage and inspire women to follow their PASSION, to be more CREATIVE and INNOVATIVE in their lives, to feel more CONFIDENT and DETERMINED in their endeavors and to maintain a KIND heart while becoming SUCCESSFUL.”

    If this sounds like the women you want to be, you may have found your next perfect planner!

    The Leaders in Heels planners will help you on your way to success (whatever this may look like for you). These planners are designed for busy women on the go and big picture planning, regular life check-ins, personal growth pages, inspirational messages, quotes from successful leaders, and so much more! Find the confidence to kick-start your dream projects.

    Some other key features of this planner include:

    • Success routine planner to help you establish good habits
    • Structured meeting agenda pages for your yearly networking plan
    • Gratitude sections
    • Blank pages to dream, sketch, design, solve

    Bonus: Customize the planner with your initials! You can select up to three characters to be monogrammed on the cover.

    “A life well planned is a life well lived.”

    This planner comes in two sizes (5″ x 8″ and 8″x10″) with Woven Wonder design accents. I really like the coordinating satin placeholder ribbon that comes with each Hardbound LifePlanner. You can just flip right to your current page. 

    With dot grid, quotes and coloring pages this planner will increase your productivity and your creativity at the same time. It comes with a Goal Setting Spread to help you stay on track and a Mini Calendar. 

    Whether you opt for specific monthly goals or segment based on type (fitness, budget, etc), you can achieve anything with this planner!”

    I found this gem on Etsy! The planner includes a 16 week agenda with daily undated pages and is absolutely GORGEOUS. Beautiful planners get me so excited 🙂 

    It focuses on goal setting, habit tracking, productivity, reflection, inspiration and little positive challenges. It’s great to reflect on your progress, take notes, be organized and consistent. You can track new habits, make each day fulfilling and purposeful, and most of all focus on the positive & appreciate the wins and happy moments in your life. 

    At the end of 16 week period you’ll be able to reflect on your progress.

    Habit Nest Sidekick Journals - All of them!

    Habit Nest offers three different Sidekick Journals – Morning, Meditation and Nutrition Sidekick and I truly couldn’t decide which one to highlight. There is so much value in every one of them so I recommend you get all three (or the one that fits your lifestyle best).

    Morning Sidekick Journal 

    The Morning Sidekick Journal is a science based morning routine planner that you can fill out in just 3 minutes. It’s very motivating and comes with a lot of instructions and guidance about kick starting your day.

    The journal is divided into three unique phases. Each phase provides a journal page that is accompanied by daily content such as pro-tips, daily challenges and encouragements to guide you through each phase. 

    Meditation Sidekick Journal

    The Meditation Sidekick Journal starts out with an introduction to meditation and how it changes your brain and can improve your life. There is an audio version that will help you explore 6 guided meditation styles while reflecting and improving the ways your inner mental talk and mindfulness are impacting your life. 

    Just like the morning sidekick journal this one is divided into three unique phases. The daily content will help keep you engaged and inspired throughout the process. The tracking page is designed to help with your goal of meditating daily and expanding your idea of yourself. 

    The Nutrition & Weight Management Sidekick Journal can help you lose weight, understand how to manage your weight, and boost your health and energy. The journal walks you through the process of developing new habits. You will learn how to lose weight and adopt the lifestyle habit of healthy eating. 

    If you’ve been dieting before you know that there are a lot of intense diets out there that are not sustainable in the long run (tried plenty of those) but this book has actual science based information that will assist you in planning your diet. The daily content pages are filled with pro-tips, challenges and success stories so you can get to your ideal weight one day at a time. 
    Bonus: Each Sidekick journal comes with a sneak peek of the first pages so you can skim through before you buy. And they have a 50 years (!!) full refund, any condition return policy which I think is pretty awesome. Another cool feature is their discounted partner packs. You can save 10-25% off if you decide to challenge friends to live a better life. 
    That’s it! The best 8 productivity planners and journal to help you crush your goals and get your life together. Let me know in the comments which one is your favorite! 🙂
  • 9 Tips For An Insanely Productive Day

    Hey there, fellow procrastinators! If you’re anything like me you can probably identify with feeling completely overwhelmed. There is so much to do and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do ALL.THE. THINGS.

    I get it. I struggled a lot last year with setting meaningful goals and sticking with a productive schedule. I used to get so overwhelmed that I just gave up and turned on the TV so I wouldn’t have to face the struggle.  Being focused and productive is hard. Especially, if you have a million things going on at the same time and just can’t figure out where to start.

    It’s not too late to change your ways though! Starting today (after implementing my tips) you will be a procrastinator no more!

    Time Blocking and Scheduling Results

    One of my goals for my 30 Before 30 Personal Growth Challenge was to get more done. I wanted to give time blocking a shot. I also read about scheduling results and outcomes instead of to-dos. Successful six figure blogger Natalie Bacon (yeah, I know, I talk about her a lot) schedules results instead of to-dos and her success speaks for itself.  

    “Don’t schedule ‘work on blog’ from 12pm-3pm. Instead, schedule ‘write 1 blog post’ from 12pm-3pm. You’ll force yourself to actually produce more if you schedule this way because you’ll be accountable to what’s getting done and not what you’re working on.” 

    Designate blocks of time to a specific task. This method is perfect if you have a pretty consistent schedule every week (for example, if you work full time). Here is a picture of my Google Calendar so you can see what I’m talking about. I schedule out my whole day and color code every activity to get a better overview.  

    These time blocks stay the same every week. I take some time on Sunday (see Weekly Planning – Schedule Results) to break down all the blocks and schedule results and outcomes. For example, in my Monday morning Blog time block I would put “Schedule 100 pins on Pinterest for the week.”  

    Productivity Tools

    You can’t do it all on your own. Sometimes you need a helping hand. That’s where amazing tools such as Trello and Hootsuite come in.  I love this Daily Habits + Goal Tracker Trello Board from Britt Joiner. Read more about how it works and how she uses it to create more effective habits and goals here. 

    I created my own Trello Board modeled after hers and it’s a great free tool to keep track of all my goals this year.  

    Hootsuite is great for batching your work. You can schedule out your social media posts for a whole week in advance (or even a whole month) all at once. You can also create different channels to monitor your mentions, different hashtags etc.  

    Ultimate Productivity Bundle 2019

    Focus Tools

    There are also some great tools  and apps that help you focus.  Here are my 4 favorites:

    • – soundtracks that boost your focus and brain activity
    • LeechBlock –  extension for web browsers designed to block time-wasting sites (hint hint – social media!)
    • Mindful Browsing – sends you reminders of how you should rather spend your time. 
    • One Big Thing– Focus on your biggest task every day

    Set your Top 3 Priorities

    Part of my daily morning routine is choosing my top 3 priorities for the day and it makes all the difference. It gives my day focus and clarity. I also set “other” goals but I make it a point not to work on them until I finish my Top 3 priorities for the day.   


    Top 3 Priorities:

    1. Write one blog post 
    2. Update homepage with new graphics and widgets
    3. Finish Meal planning for next week

    Other (I’ll work on these AFTER I finish my top 3 priorities): 

    • Update Pinterest boards with new keywords
    • Create a new freebie from my freebie idea sheet
    • Start outline for Brand Guide post
    • Review my blogging and personal goals for 2019  

    Organize your home and workspace in 5 minutes   

    We are most productive without clutter. It may sound silly but the easiest way to start out your day right is with making your bed.

    Did you know there is a whole book about this subject? “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe the World”  

    Next, you can set a 5-minute timer and just start straightening up a few things around the house (most importantly your workspace). You’ll be surprised how much you can get organized and decluttered in just 5 minutes!  

    Use the Scrum Method

    I learned about this method listening to the podcast Blog It Boss It Radio by A Branch Of Holly and it changed my life. It will give you incredible focus and is a good visual tool that will show you exactly how much you’ve achieved that day.

    How it works:  

    Holly uses the goal “Setting up my website” as an example in her podcast. First, you map out all the mini goals that need to be completed for this bigger goal – register your domain, pick a theme etc. 

    Now grab a whiteboard (or a blank piece of paper) and draw three columns.  The first column will be your “Backlog” column. Write down all the different tasks you just mapped out (one per sticky note) and stick them into that column.  

    The middle column is “Doing” and the third column is “Done.” Grab the first sticky, put it in the “Doing” column and get to work. Once you completed this task, grab the sticky note and move it to the done column. Rinse and repeat with all the mini tasks until you finished your big goal.  This method makes sure you only work on one thing at a time and don’t get overwhelmed.

    Pro Tip: You can also do this with Trello  

    You can listen to the full episode here: Episode 3: 4-step time management system to help you save 10 hours a week. Check out her other episodes while you’re there! Holly has so many actionable tips for bloggers and entrepreneurs.

    Plan your day around your most productive times  

    Mornings are a great time to be creative and productive so I schedule all my most focused work (blogging) in the morning. For others, it might be midday or evenings. Whichever time of the day works best for you – don’t let that energy and focus go to waste! For your less productive times, focus on other tasks that require less brain power (such as meal prepping).

    Learn new things while being productive (my favorite)  

    Are you struggling to find time to take that course you’ve been wanting to take? Or to read that book you’ve had on your list for months? Just grab your headphones and listen and learn at the same time! 

    Whether it’s podcasts (check out my Top 4 Personal Development Podcasts that will change your life here) or audiobooks (Audible will give you two free audiobooks) or courses (platforms like Skillshare have online apps, just play the videos and listen away) – there is something for everyone.  

    I’ve been listening to podcasts and audiobooks for about 5 years now and I can’t tell you how many invaluable life lessons I got. And all while doing other things like driving, working out, walking my dog etc.! It makes me feel so motivated listening to others sharing their advice, perspective and stories.  

    Use the Pomodoro Technique  

    This is a pattern of 25 minutes of productivity with a 5-minute break. Set your timer for 25 minutes and during that time you have to WORK! No breaks, no distractions, just pure focus! Being disciplined and focused is much easier if you know that you only have to keep it up for 25 minutes at a time.  

    Final Thoughts

    Finally, don’t waste all your precious time trying to be perfect. I just downloaded a new quote wallpaper from my friends over at Bluchic and the message is so important: Done well is better than perfect.

    My favorite blogger Sam Laura Brown has a whole podcast series dedicated to this topic – The Perfectionist Project. Check it out to learn more about tackling perfectionism.  

    What have you done to increase your productivity? What are your biggest struggles that keep you from staying focused and productive? 

  • 5 Inspirational Books To Help You Grow

    “Read more” has been on my New Years Resolutions list FOREVER! Not because I don’t read but because I want to read even MORE. Every year I try to squeeze in more reading and constantly update my book wish list.

    Over the last two years, I was very focused on books that would help me with my personal development journey. I wanted to be inspired, change, learn and grow and I feel like I have found the perfect books to do just that. 

    Here are my top 5 motivational and inspirational personal growth books. I hope they will help you grow this year as much as they have helped me.

    Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be – Rachel Hollis

    A friend told me about Rachel’s #Last90Day Challenge last year and I loved it! Ramping up for 2019 by using the last 90 days of 2018 to set yourself up for success – uhm, yes, please. So when I heard about her new book I knew I had to read it.

    Girl, Wash Your Face is all about the lies we tell ourselves. Rachel uses examples from her own life to explain how she overcame those lies.

    My favorite lies she talks about in the book: “I’m a Terrible Writer” and “I’ll Start Tomorrow”. Some powerful stuff in there. 

    My favorite quote:

    “Stop thinking that if you only had the right job, the right man, the right house, the right car, the right whatever that your life will become what you’ve always dreamed of.” 

    Let that sink in for a moment and tell me you haven’t thought these exact thoughts before. I know I have plenty of times. Heck its why I started this blog in the first place.


    Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life – Gary John Bishop

    This handbook to unfu*king yourself will show you how your negative self-talk keeps you from becoming the best version of yourself. You’re limiting your potential by holding yourself back. Everything you need is already within you.

    Gary John Bishop leads you through 7 assertions geared towards changing your mindset. With just over 200 pages this books is a great sweet and short read. 

    My favorite quotes: 

    “Remember, everything is solve-able, and if you can’t see a solution, it only means you haven’t worked it out yet.” 


    “The only difference between you and the person who’s living the life you want is that they’re doing it. They’ve built that life and they’re living it.”

    This is a great reminder for me when I look at other bloggers who are crazy successful. They’re living the life I want because they worked hard to get there. Anyone can accomplish anything they want to with hard work and persistence.

    The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun – Gretchen Rubin

    I was a little late in the game for this one (it’s been out for over 3 years) but this book is a true life changer. 

    I felt so relieved knowing that others feel the same way about wanting to be happier. Even if they seem to already have everything. Gretchen has a loving husband, two kids, work that she enjoys and overall a very fulfilling life. And yet, she dedicated one year of her life (12 chapters) to find more ways to be happier.

    My favorite quotes: 

    “I grasped two things: I wasn’t as happy as I could be, and my life wasn’t going to change unless I made it change.” 

    “Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”

    If you want to be happier, I highly recommend this book! Not only will it challenge your beliefs about happiness but it will also show you many ways to improve and question your life and perspective.

    You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life – Jen Sincero

    This book was such an easy read! It felt like sitting down with your bestie at a coffee shop. It’s so entertaining and engaging. If you’ve been through some heavy personal development lately and are looking for something light-hearted, this is the book for you.

    The 27 (short!) chapters are full of inspiring stories and motivational advice. 

    My favorite quotes:

    “You are loved. Massively. Ferociously. Unconditionally. The Universe is totally freaking out about how awesome you are. It’s got you wrapped in a warm gorilla hug of adoration. It wants to give you everything you desire. It wants you to be happy. It wants you to see what it sees in you.”

    If you ever feel fear or self-doubt – just remember this one <3

    “You are responsible for what you say and do. You are not responsible for whether or not people freak out about it.”

    I worry about what other people think waaaay too much so reading this really helped me focus on myself. What people think about me is secondary.


    The Gift of Anger: And Other Lessons from My Grandfather Mahatma Gandhi – Arun Gandhi

    Okay, this book is a little different than the previous ones but I love it just the same. I had just gotten back from my India Trip when I saw this book on Audible.

    I get angry sometimes. We all do. Gandhi teaches his readers why anger can be a good thing and how to channel it.

    The author Arun Gandhi was only 12 when his parents sent him off to live with his grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi taught him to redirect his anger. Arun learned to use it for the greater good and to drive positive change. 

    He shares the 10 life lessons he learned during that time. They ultimately changed his life forever and they got me thinking as well.

    Arun’s and Mahatma Gandhi’s story really captured me. It’s a great reminder of the simple acts of kindness and compassion in this world.

    My favorite quotes: 

    “A ‘no’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.”

    This one is big for me. I have such a hard time saying no to anyone or anything, always wanting to please everyone.

    “Use your anger for good. Anger to people is like gas to the automobile – it fuels you to move forward and get to a better place. Without it, we would not be motivated to rise to a challenge. It is an energy that compels us to define what is just and unjust.” 

    So these are my 5 books and I can’t tell you how much they have helped me to grow and self reflect.

    I hope 2019 will be a year of growth and inspiration for you. Learn new things, read new books and be inspired by other people’s success. Stop holding yourself back. You deserve greatness.

    What was the last book you read? Do you have any other personal growth book recommendation?

  • The Best Personal Development Podcasts That Will Change Your Life



    Personal Development is so important. I’m totally hooked and constantly try to find ways to improve myself. A lot of my progress over the last few years was only possible because of podcasts.

    I’ve been listening to podcasts for about 5 years now and I can’t tell you how many invaluable life lessons I got – for free! And all while doing things like driving, working out, walking my dog etc.! It makes me feel so motivated listening to others sharing their advice, perspective and stories.  

    In the spirit of my tag line “live life purposefully” I’m sharing 4 awesome podcasts that are about to change your life on the go.

    Natalie Bacon – Design Your Dream Life

    Natalie just launched this podcast recently. She is a successful six-figure blogger and her philosophy, in a nutshell, is that everything is possible. You limit yourself by believing that you’re not good enough or that you can’t possibly achieve something (such as starting your own business). Once you learn how to let go of that fear and self-doubt you’re unstoppable. Natalie also has amazing goal setting techniques and tips she shares frequently.

    Best episode: Design Your Dream Year From Your Future

    A perfect episode to set yourself up for success in the new year (and the year after and the year after that). She describes all the things that made her last year the best year yet. She is determined that this upcoming year will be even better. Learn how to make every year better than the last!

    Happier with Gretchen Rubin

    Ever since I read Gretchen Rubin’s book “The Happiness Project”, I felt so relieved that others feel the same way about wanting to be happier even if they seemingly already are. Gretchen has a loving husband, two kids, work that she enjoys and an overall fulfilling life. And yet, she dedicated one year of her life to find more ways to be happier.

    Her podcast has a similar approach. She and her sister talk about practical, manageable habits to create a little more happiness in everyone’s life.

    Best episode: Episode 84 – Try Doing something EVERY day (instead of only some days). Great for habit forming.

    Bonus: Happier has 2 minute episodes called “A Little Happier” that talk about a favorite quote or habit to implement in your life.

    A Cure For Feeling Annoyed About Clutter – Remember Love

    Now Is Now, And Now Is Already A Long Time Ago

    Sam Laura Brown – The Perfectionist Project. 

    The Perfectionism Project (formerly called The Smart Twenties Podcast) is a podcast sharing personal growth and life advice for perfectionists. Sam has dealt with a lot these past few years (fear of not being good enough, doubting herself, feeling like she doesn’t deserve success or respect – spoiler alert: she definitely does) but now runs a successful coaching business and blog.

    In her podcast she talks about life lessons and gives practical advice for helping “ambitious women get out of their own way” as she puts it. She has a lot of insight on mindset, goal setting, career, entrepreneurship and everything in between. 

    Best episode: My absolute favorite episode (and one of the reasons I started this blog) is Blogging, Self-Doubt + How to get started.

    It is loaded with practical advice and personal stories of her blogging journey. She talks about how self-doubt held her back from actively pursuing her dreams for years and how she finally overcame her limitations. 

    Bonus: Sam sets herself an “impossible goal” every year and I love that concept. Check it out in this episode: My Impossible Goal For 2018.

    Optimal Living Daily with Justin Malik

    Justin created Optimal Living Daily as his passion project. He curates and reads the best blog content he can find (with the author’s permission). It’s like an audio book for blogs with posts from authors like Steve Pavlina. There are a total of four other shows – Optimal Finance Daily, Optimal Health Daily, Optimal Business Daily, and Optimal Living Daily Relationships. All 5 have received over 50 million downloads combined!

    Best episodes:

    1088: How We Spend Our Days by Anthony Ongaro of Break The Twitch on Personal Development

    1031: One Daily Gratitude Ritual that Will Change the Way You Think by Marc Chernoff of Marc And Angel


    512: Life Habits to Improve Your Writing by Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist on Content Creation from Optimal Business Daily

    There you go – 4 of my favorite personal development podcasts. I learn and apply so much to my life every day from listening to these podcasts. What are your favorites?