The Science Behind Why Writing Things Down Makes You More Successful

The Science Behind Why Writing Things Down Makes You More Successful

Writing things down is so beneficial, not just to your productivity but also to your brain. Getting everything down on paper and out of your head feels so good and can lead to success, but why is that? We’re about to tell you why! 

Writing Things Down Clears Your Mind

We have so many thoughts per day, over 6,000 thoughts actually, so it makes sense that we feel overwhelmed or stressed throughout the day. How many times have you had a thought and promised you were going to remember it later or write it down, and then didn’t? And we guess it made you frustrated not being able to recall one of your 6,000+ thoughts. 

Imagine a different world where you take pen to paper and write everything down from to-do lists to the sporadic middle of the night thoughts to a daily reflection. The relief you get from releasing everything you’re containing in your head is like a weight lifting off your shoulders. That’s only one of many benefits of writing things down. 

Writing Things Down Makes You More Focused

In our society, we’re constantly bombarded with information that prompts more thoughts in your head. Counteract the information overload by writing things down! When you write things down, you’re forced to focus on one idea at a time. And when you’re able to dedicate the time each thought requires, you’re able to really flesh it out and get every thought related to it out of your system and your head. Your brain is meant for creating ideas, not storing them

Writing Things Down Helps Clarify

One huge benefit to writing things down is the ability to clarify. Clarity is what helps people become successful because they’re able to clarify their goals, priorities, and intentions. It’s one thing to have goals, hopes, and dreams, but it’s another to have them written down. If they’re written down, then they’re real and require your attention if you want to make them true. Plus, once they’re written down, you can expand on them and make them more specific so they can become a reality. 

Writing Things Down Makes You More Motivated

Just like keeping a food diary can help people lose weight, the same idea applies to writing things down. When things are written down you are able to clearly see if there’s progress. Especially if it’s related to those goals, priorities, and intentions we mentioned in the previous paragraph. Because even if you have the strongest goal, you need to document where you started, the journey along the way, and the ending. Writing down the journey can help you reflect on what’s working, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and how you spend your time and energy. Documenting the whole process will help you maintain your motivation and see progress.

Writing Things Down Promotes Self-Reflection

A fun writing challenge we’ve seen some of our customers try is setting a timer for X-amount of time and writing continuously until the timer stops. Another challenge is setting a goal of writing 2 pages (or whatever number is attainable for you) and writing until you reach that goal. Whether it’s a writing challenge or just writing daily, taking the time to write down your thoughts, feelings, memories, and more helps promote self-reflection. When you take the time to write all of the things that make you human (thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc), you’re able to reflect on what you’re writing about and go deeper. 

It’s also a form of release. Imagine you have a fight with a spouse or a friend. Instead of constantly thinking about how it upsets you, what you could’ve said instead, or why the fight happened in the first place, you can let it all go with one journal entry. You can take the time to release the emotions and thoughts the fight brings up and you’re able to see the situation more clearly. This applies to any negative experience or emotion


When you have a clear mind and are able to focus, stay motivated, and self-reflect, you can conquer the world!  Ready to tame your thoughts and be successful with simple tools like journals, planners, and writing utensils? Shop our Paper & Plan collection to turn the art of writing into your favorite part of the day.

Time Management Tips to Organize Your Life

Time Management Tips to Organize Your Life

If you can't stay on top of your day and are neglecting your schedule, you may feel like you need more hours in the day. In reality, time management tools and strategies can pack in. more productivity and free up more time than ever before. Here are a few ways to get started. 

Track Your Time

The first step in prioritizing your time is tracking where you're spending it. Jot down what you're doing during the day, for how long, and what times of the day. The practice may seem tedious at first, but it reveals a wealth of information about where you can refine your time management. 

Once you've got a handle on what you're doing with your time, you create a schedule that better aligns with your lifestyle. You may decide to stack your busy work in the morning when you're the most alert. Or, if you're a night owl, you may want to save creative tasks for when the sun goes down.

Create a Schedule

Creating a schedule is essential for bringing time management to life. Grab a daily planner or To-Do list and create a schedule for your day. It may be helpful to plan out your days the night before, weekly, or monthly. Use a system that works for you and is easy to follow.

Batch Your Time

Time batching is a helpful way to get on top of your time management. Group like-minded tasks together and complete them over a specific period of time.

The more you can batch things together, the easier it is to approach a large volume of work. For example, get all your bills done from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and update your financials. Or return your emails in the morning and set aside time to do it again in the afternoon. The goal is to avoid repeating tasks all day and losing control of your time.

Avoid Multitasking

Studies show that multitasking is distracting and could negatively impact productivity and time management. Instead, focus on one thing or like-minded tasks in a specific period of time. The more you focus, the more you get done. You'll probably find you can finish your work faster than before.

Use a Timer

Using a timer to complete your work helps keep you focused and stay on top of your time management. Try setting a timer for 30-minutes to update a report or make business calls. Known as the Pomodoro technique, the goal is to get a high concentration of work done quickly and then give yourself a brain break. 

Adjust Your To-Do List

Some people thrive when scheduling the most time-consuming and stressful tasks off their list right away. Others will get into a state of brain lock where they can't seem to move forward. Consider adding a few quick wins to the top of your To-Do list to get some of those tasks knocked off your list right away. Once the momentum picks up, you'll find it easier to tackle more complicated tasks. 

Schedule Down Time

You deserve to relax and find some quiet in your day. It's just as important to schedule some downtime as your daily responsibilities. Schedule time to take a walk, surf the Internet, or start a text chain with friends. When the time is up, get back to work feeling refreshed. 

Leave Some Flexibility

Despite how crucial keeping a schedule and practicing time management is, you still need room for flexibility. Don't pack your schedule so tightly that you can't handle an occasional emergency or unexpected request. Otherwise, the stress of always being productive could lead to burnout.

Ready to put time management best practices into place? Get inspired by browsing our collection of planners, notepads, and other resources to help you stay organized and tame clutter before it spirals. Browse our entire selection here

How Doodling Keeps Your Brain Focused

How Doodling Keeps Your Brain Focused

If you love to doodle and sketch while you think, you may have been told over the years to stop reaching for your pencils and pay attention. In reality, science shows that doodling can help you focus more than leaving your hands and mind idle. Here are some ways doodling can help sharpen your mind and focus.

Clarify Your Memories

Far from zoning out and not paying attention, research shows that doodling sparks action in the brain. Harvard Health Publishing found that doodling could help you find lost puzzle pieces to memories, bring them to the present, and understand the whole picture on a deeper level. That feeling of understanding could also help you unwind and feel the burden lifted from something you've been struggling to process.

Relieve Stress

Chronic doodlers will share that sketching and drawing helps them relieve stress and retain better focus. You're likely to disrupt maladaptive thoughts that keep circulating in the loop and causing distress. Doodling keeps your focus on something calming and breaks up those racing thoughts. Your nervous energy also finds an outlet with the physical act of doodling and further relieves stress and distractions.

Rediscover Some Enjoyment

Creative hobbies like doodling can help enhance your problem-solving skills and make you more productive at the same time. Make the most of your creative outlet by investing in a few fun supplies. 

Our sketchy journals are perfect for doodling, sketching, and journaling. Turn it into a scrapbook, or enjoy adding color and flair. They're also made from hand-stitched handmade paper notebooks.

woman sketching in sketch book - doodling and focus - Paper Plan & Co

Retain More Information

Do you have a hard time processing everything in a short period of time and forgetting the details? Doodling could be the answer if you're having difficulty remembering valuable information in meetings. Doodling seems to help people concentrate and work through info, no matter how dry it may be. Studies show that people who doodled while listening to a long, dull voice mail reclaimed 29% more information than those who simply listened! 

Avoid Zoning Out

Wandering minds may be normal but can cause issues when you're responsible for retaining and applying information at work. Zoning out on long calls and meetings is inevitable for most of us. Instead of obsessing over what you're drawing, doodling helps you pay attention to what's happening around you, like a meeting or lecture. 

Access Subconscious Thought

Are you having trouble figuring out what's bothering you and can't focus because of it? Some medical professionals use doodling as a way to unlock subconscious thought and access your mental state, personality, attention span, and learning abilities. Taking the time to doodle and relax could conjure up sketches of your anxiety or serve to relieve your stress altogether. 

Turn Doodling Into Something Productive

Because doodling helps you relax and focus, it can also help keep you productive. However, there are other ways to turn doodling into a more meaningful experience. If you enjoy the act of drawing, hone your skills and use them as a way to better communicate your projects and ideas to colleagues, family, and friends.

Exercise Respectful Doodling

Although doodling can help you focus, de-stress, and get clarity, not everyone is aware of its benefits. It's worth telling your colleagues or family that it enables you to listen and zero in so they don't think you're growing bored with their conversation.

Ready to get on top of de-clutter and dive into spring cleaning? Get inspired by browsing our collection of planners, notepads, and other resources to help you stay organized and tame clutter before it spirals. Browse our entire selection here

7 Spring Cleaning & De-Clutter Tips

7 Spring Cleaning & De-Clutter Tips

Spring cleaning has a way of making you feel like your clutter has suddenly bloomed along with the season. Suddenly you're faced with taming the paper. Instead of dreading the time to clean de-clutter, embrace it as an opportunity to reorganize your home and de-stress your daily routine. Here's how to get started. 

1) Categorize Your Clutter

Paper clutter quickly spirals as bills, receipts, notes, and reminders flood your desk and the nooks and crannies of your home. Before trying to de-clutter, you need a method to tame the paper trail. Start by organizing paper into different categories, including "Toss," "Keep," or "Upload Online." Now you can clearly see where your priorities are and what you can keep, store, or toss.

de-cluttering tips

2) Create a Paper Filing System

Once you've figured out your categories, ruthlessly purge your paper clutter and find a place to store the rest. You will likely need to work on your filing system several times a year and see what you can throw away. You can also use a similar approach to de-clutter everything else in your home, from electronics to clothing. Instead of 'upload online,' you can donate or recycle tangible items.

3) Take It Online

One of the benefits of taming paper clutter is the ability to take it online. Before you spend the time scanning and uploading, figure out if it already exists online. Your financial statements are likely stored somewhere already. Check to see if your smartphone and computer automatically back up or store your files with a service like Mozy or Dropbox. 

You can also take personal items you're having difficulty parting with and put them online. Take a photo with the item and a few for prosperity purposes. Next, create digital folders including household, keepsakes, family, friends, and anything else that helps you stay digitally organized. 

4) Designate a Place for Everything

Preventative de-clutter management is far easier than tackling a mountain of it each spring. Designate a place for everything that comes into your home, from mail to receipts. Not only will you reduce clutter, but you'll also spend less time looking for paperwork and other items. 

5) Avoid Investing in Bins and Organizers

We love organization and organizers, but there's no need to invest in a new set every time you need to do some spring cleaning. You're likely to fill up bins with paperwork and keepsakes to tuck them out of sight. The only issue is you still don't know where anything is and have just put your clutter into organizers instead of sorting through it.

Instead, look for bins, organizers, and drawers you already use in your home. Look through them to see what can be cleaned out and what can be kept. Next, repurpose them for your de-clutter control system. 

6) Schedule Time to Maintain Your Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning can extend beyond the season and become a year-round mentality. However, you need to make time for organization to prioritize it as part of your yearly routine. Set aside a few hours a month, or 30-minutes a week, devoted to clutter control and cleaning. As you get accustomed to the new habit, you'll find your clutter practically becomes non-existent. 

de-cluttering tips daily planner

7) Make It Fun

There's no rule that says de-clutter and cleaning need to be a tedious snooze chore. Instead, make it fun by investing in a daily planner to keep tabs on your scheduled cleaning time. Make a cleaning playlist with all your favorites, and think about rewarding your hard work. Dinner out, a bottle of wine, or a hike at your favorite out-of-the-way trail are all ways to look forward to spring cleaning and clutter control. 

Ready to get on top of de-clutter and dive into spring cleaning? Get inspired by browsing our collection of planners, notepads, and other resources to help you stay organized and tame clutter before it spirals. Browse our entire selection here

How Personal Accountability Creates the Best Version of Yourself

How Personal Accountability Creates the Best Version of Yourself

When you're struggling with time management, accomplishing goals, and building a reliable reputation, the answer point back to more personal accountability in your life. Embracing personal responsibility is the idea that you are responsible for your own actions and the consequences. There's good news and bad news when it comes to personal accountability. Although it means you're directly responsible for finding your own happiness and path in life, no matter what's going on around you, it also means you have control over building the kind of life you want. 

If you're unsure how to create more personal accountability in your life and turn into the best version of yourself, learn why it's so important and how to get started on your journey.

You Have a Strong Sense of Your Values

You probably know many of your core values, like fairness and honesty. However, refining your idea of core values and which ones are the most important to you helps with personal accountability. Write down the most important things to you, like making more time for loved ones or continuing learning and growing.

Once you know your values, you can shape how you spend your time and what you focus on. Take the time to jot down your core values in your Daily Planner and make sure your activities align with your values as much as possible. 

personal accountability

Your Dreams Turn Into Reality

Personality accountability empowers your dreams and turns them into reality. When you accept responsibility for your goals, you also identify activities and tasks that put you closer to accomplishing them. There is a caveat. You will likely burn out if you load up your To-Do lists with nothing but goal-oriented tasks. Remember your list of values and make sure you're still making time for loved ones, time outdoors, or exploring a topic that's important to you. 

Your Confidence Soars

It makes sense that if personal accountability helps you reach your goals and dreams, it also breeds confidence and success. When you have a proven track record for success, your self-confidence skyrockets. You know you have the power to achieve whatever you want, provided you keep taking steps to get there, even during setbacks.

Studies show that an increase in self-esteem is also shown to improve your health and social life and could protect against mental disorders. The results are cyclical. When you accomplish your goals and feel optimistic about your life, you're more likely to have good self-esteem. In turn, that self-confidence keeps the momentum going when striving to achieve new goals.

Your Time Matters

Saying "yes" to everything is a recipe for burn-out and diminishes your sense of self. Practicing personal accountability means your time matters and requires a strategic approach to optimize the available hours in your day. You need time to reflect, take action with your goals, nurture relationships, and do what's important to you. A daily planner can help structure your time, but saying "no" is essential.

You Build Trust With Yourself and Others

Building trust with yourself and others can improve your career, lead to more promotions, and enhance personal relationships. Being personally accountable for your words and doing what you say you'll do is an attractive trait. You suddenly become the person people trust, admire, and want to spend more time with. You'll build deeper relationships with friends and family while earning more trust and responsibility at work.

Perhaps more importantly, you build more trust with yourself when you give gravity to your words and take responsibility for your actions. You know you can rely on yourself instead of looking outward to solve your problems or reach your goals. 

Ready to embrace more personal accountability in your life and become the best version of yourself? Take time to reflect on the most important things in your life and structure your time and mindset accordingly. Our selection of planners, notepads, and other resources can help keep you focused and the momentum going. Browse our entire selection here

Valentine's Day Gifts for Type A Organizers

Valentine's Day Gifts for Type A Organizers

If you have a Type A organizer in your life, you'll know they're pros at goal-setting, execution, and getting things done. Show them how much you admire and care about them with Valentine's Day gifts designed with them in mind.

Daily Planners

A daily planner shows your loved ones you care about their time and passion for all things organization. Our Honeycomb Planner helps them structure their day to customize and maximize their goals and dreams to make the magic happen year-round. There's room for top must-do's, notes, fitness goals, meal planning, and more.

Valentine's Day Gifts for Organizers - Planners - Paper Plan & Co

Get It Done Pad

The Get It Done Pad is the perfect to-do for everyone on your Valentine's gift list. The #80 heavy card stock paper is thick enough to separate from your other documents but still easy enough to tear off and ensure each box is checked off your list. It's simple, easy, and a high-quality find.

The Perfect Pouch

The Perfect Pouch lives up to its name! It fits neatly in a purse or briefcase and is ready to go whenever it's needed. It's the perfect place for your loved ones to tuck away pens, earbuds, notepads, or a phone charger.

Thank You Keeper Notepad

Keeping tabs on all the thank you notes you need to send gets tangled quickly. Gift this innovative Thank You Keeper Notepad so your loved ones can keep track of it all—and send you a thank you for this Valentine's Day gift for Type organizers.

Priorities, Needs and Wants Pad

Our staple Priorities, Needs & Wants Pad helps you stay on task and pairs perfectly with one of our daily planners. Chart out your priorities, needs, and wants each week and reach your goals by visiting organized. This Valentine's Day gift is the perfect item to give to yourself.

Page Flags

These fun Page Flags help everyone in your life tame their paper trails to keep their desks extra tidy. They're Post-It branded and feature black, gray, silver, and white tabs to help your loved ones stay on top of their workweek and their goals in sight.

Weekly Mousepad

Weekly Mousepad is a unique way to keep notes, ideas, and sketches close by to track your latest brainstorms. It's sleek and functional and created on 70# white stock. Its high-quality paper won't let the ink bleed through. Pick up our Royalty Pens to pair with your new mousepad organizer.

You're Sketchy Notepad

Help your favorite Type-A organizer de-stress while still keeping their mind engaged. The You're Sketchy Notepad journal features white hand-stitched binding and a set of 10 colored pencils. A standard pencil sharpener and classic pencil eraser is also included. It's packaged neatly in a clear-top stationery gift box with ribbon and tag to complete this look.

The Paper & Plan Co. Gift Card

If your favorite organizer already has one of everything, give them the Paper & Pan Co. gift card. They can pick out exactly what they want or save it for a rainy day for a Valentine's Day gift that keeps on giving.

Make Valentine's Day an occasion to show all your loved ones you care with these inspiring organizational products. Browse Paper Plan & Co. entire selection here.

10 Ways to Stay More Intentional In Your Life

10 Ways to Stay More Intentional In Your Life

Staying in control of your life in a hectic world isn't about waiting until things finally slow down, it's about living an intentional life. If you want to enjoy more purpose in your day with time to do everything from chores to hanging out with friends, you need a roadmap to help you stay on course. Here's how to get started. 

1. Plan a Purposeful Day

In order to live more with more intention, you need to plan your day with purpose. Although there's nothing wrong with enjoying some downtime and keeping things spontaneous, the majority of your time should be designed intentionally. Grab a daily planner and schedule your usual time for work, commuting, and daily tasks. Next, look for pockets of time to schedule a walk, a chat with a friend, or time to declutter and refresh. 

2. Ask Yourself "Why?"

It's normal to get caught up in busy work and start operating on autopilot. If you're trying to break free of the daily grind, slow down and ask yourself, "Why?" 

  • Why am I spending so much time at night watching TV?
  • Why am I eating this when it doesn't make me feel good?
  • Why am I spending time so much time with this person who makes me feel negative?
  • Why am I running these errands when I could ask for help or order online?

The more you question why you're doing something, the more intentional you become with your choices and how you're spending your time. 

3. Make Time to Reflect

It's challenging to live an intentional life without reflecting on how you spend your time. Carve out ten or twenty minutes a day to do nothing but relax and reflect. Think through your day, what you enjoyed about it, what challenged you but made you feel accomplished, and what felt like a total waste of time. There will always be things in your life that need to be taken care of, but the goal is to use your time as meaningfully and intentionally as possible.

4. Practice Meal Prep

Studies show that Americans spend an average of 37-minutes a day preparing, serving food, and cleaning up. However, that doesn't include the time you spend grocery shopping. You can save yourself time and money by meal prepping. There is a learning curve to getting started, but you're simply planning out your meals and snacks in advance and shopping accordingly. You can take it a step further by using Instacart or Shipt to shop for you and then prepare and freeze most of your meals. You'll spend more time upfront on meal prep, but save yourself tons of time and eat healthier by planning out intentional meals.

5. Limit Distractions

There are always distractions to fill up any spare time in your day in a digitally connected world. Schedule 30-minutes to do nothing but zone out on social media and watch YouTube if you need to. Once your time is up, turn off your distractions and check your daily planner to move on to your next task. If you're having trouble getting back into a productive zone, schedule an activity like walking or journaling for your next task.

6. Spend Time Doing Something You Love

Schedule time to have fun with your hobby, take a hike, or teach yourself a new skill you've always wanted to try. Spending time on an enjoyable activity is not an indulgence; it's a part of living intentionally and good self-care. Beyond just enjoying yourself, doing something you love also helps you reduce stress, improve your mood, and even help manage chronic pain and increase your quality of life.

7. Declutter

If you feel like you're constantly looking for lost items, you probably are. Studies show that Americans collectively spend 2.5 days a year looking for lost items, and $2.7 billion is spent replacing lost possessions. Clutter can also negatively impact your well-being and lead to depression and stress. Set aside 20-minuets a day to get on top of your clutter and then reduce the time needed to just a few minutes a day. You'll feel calmer and have more time to spend your time intentionally. 

8. Get Quality Sleep

Sleep is the cornerstone of good mental and physical health. It's also next to impossible to live intentionally while exhausted and struggling with sleep deprivation. Not everyone needs eight hours of sleep; some need more or less. Settle on your optimal amount of sleep and stick to it to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to face the day.

9. Be Proactive Instead of Reactive

Do you ever feel like you spend your day doing nothing but responding to situations and crises? Put yourself into the driver's seat with a more intentional approach to your day. Schedule out your day, take time to slow down, and work proactively. Instead of waiting until the last minute for the headline, work ahead to give yourself more peace of mind. Try meal prepping instead of scrambling to make dinner and grab a daily planner to stay on top of your bills and appointments.

10. Be Productive

Being productive is about producing results, whether that's about finishing your laundry or launching your business idea. However, being productive does not mean every minute of your day needs to be action-task focused. Use your time intentionally, get more done in your day, and work towards your goals without compromising much-needed downtime and self-care.


Ways to Show Gratitude In Your Daily Life

Ways to Show Gratitude In Your Daily Life

If you feel like something is missing in life and can't quite put your finger on it, it could be a lack of gratitude. Studies show giving thanks and counting blessings can help people sleep better, lower stress, and improve relationships. The act of gratitude enables you to reconnect with a positive mindset and can also lead to feelings of fulfillment. Despite how easy it sounds, showing gratitude often falls to the wayside when we're busy or feeling down. So how exactly do you do it, and why does it matter? Here are some ways to get started and show gratitude on a daily basis. 

Write It Down

Writing down what you're grateful for is one of the easiest and most popular ways to strengthen your gratitude muscle. Dedicate some time to jot down what you're thankful for, whether big or small. You can use a gratitude journal or turn to your daily planner for an easy way to quickly show gratitude whenever it crosses your path.

show gratitude

Give Back to Others

Why not show gratitude by giving back with charitable acts or volunteering? Offering your time is great for your community and your overall well-being. Studies show that volunteering can increase the brain area that functions as part of the reward system. You'll end up feeling amazing after sharing your gratitude through an act of thoughtful service. 

Practice Random Acts of Kindness

Showing more gratitude in your life doesn't have to take up much time or effort. Focus on practicing random acts of kindness to brighten someone's day or lend a helping hand. Whether you let the person behind you go first in the grocery line or buy a cup of coffee for someone, make it a regular practice to show your gratitude through kindness. 

Say Thank You

How often do you say thank you and really mean it? Show heartfelt gratitude when someone brings you your lunch order, when the FedEx driver brings a package to your door and when someone says "bless you" when you sneeze. Showing gratitude can also be as simple as sending a warm, heartfelt thank you letter detailing what someone's gesture meant to you. Keep track of all of your thank you's with our Thank You Keeper Notepad to show others how much you appreciate them.

show gratitude

Become an Active Listener

Active listening is a celebrated trait of some of our most beloved friends, colleagues, leaders, and anyone you cross paths with. Active listeners are engaged in conversation and often paraphrase and reflect on what was said without judgment or advice. Active listening isn't always easy but makes others feel heard and incredibly appreciated. Simply making eye contact, nodding in affirmation, and giving brief affirmations, including "I see what you mean," goes a long way with active listening.

Give a Sincere Compliment

Giving compliments can make others feel good and attract them to you, but they're also a sign of gratitude. Offer a sincere, heartfelt compliment that makes someone feel understood or appreciated. You can also express your appreciation with a compliment by saying, "I love how generous you are with your time and helped me with that problem. Your insights are invaluable, and your warmth is so inviting!"

Send a Thoughtful Gift

A gift doesn't need to be grand or expensive, but serve as a thoughtful gesture. Sending a gift is a tangible way to tell someone you appreciate them and are grateful for their friendship or service. Think about what that person values and their interests to show them you're listening and are thankful for their presence in your life. 

Embrace Challenges

Challenges can be difficult and debilitating but are also be an opportunity to show gratitude. After all, challenges help shape and form who we are and where we end up in life. You can express gratitude for your challenges and still feel their gravity and difficulty. Talk to a friend or write down your thoughts in your gratitude journal. "Just because I injured my leg and can't jog doesn't mean I can't grow stronger. I'm grateful for the challenge to find new ways to stay fit and nurture my mental health." Work on embracing gratitude during unexpected and challenging moments to create a more positive mindset. 

Ready to show gratitude in your life? Start now. Reach out to someone with a thank you note or schedule time to reflect on what you're grateful for and watch your mindset and well-being flourish. 

The Consequences of Being Disorganized (and How to Fix It)

The Consequences of Being Disorganized (and How to Fix It)

Do you ever wake up in the morning and feel like your entire day is looking for things you've lost, tracking down paperwork, and being in a reactive frame of mind? You're not alone. A survey found that 54% of Americans are overwhelmed with clutter and don't know what to do with it. There are also scores of people struggling with work disorganization and plummeting productivity.

Unfortunately, the consequences of being disorganized can dramatically impact your life, and not for the better. Here are a few ways that being disorganized impairs your day today and how to fix it for good.

Stress and Depression

Being disorganized negatively impacts your mental health and can lead to feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed. Over time, the mental fatigue of dealing with the mess could lead to ongoing headaches and backaches. The intense discomfort ends up trickling down to sleep and your overall well-being.

Weight Gain

Being disorganized is more than just a stressor; it also leads to a rise in cortisol's stress hormone. The hormone is responsible for weight gain and stubborn belly fat. As cortisol rises, so does the release of glucose into your bloodstream, which gives you a burst of energy. That may sound good in theory, but when the high wears off, your sugar spike drops, and cortisol rises again as your hunger kicks in.

Decreased Productivity

Feeling unproductive is a natural consequence of being disorganized. Studies show that 75% of struggling small business owners think disorganization leads to productivity loss and impacts revenue. When you're disorganized, it isn't easy to even know if you're even being productive in the first place. You're never getting ahead of your week or gaining a clear understanding when you reach your goals. Instead, you're still drowning in paperwork and tasks that never seem to get resolved.

Stunts Professional Growth

Being disorganized is a surefire way to stunt your own professional growth. You're likely to mix updates, miss assignments, practice poor time management skills, and miss out on promotions. When you can't get a handle on your own work, you're unlikely to be seen as executive or management material that can handle moving pieces to a project.

Benefits of Being Organized

Getting organized can reverse all of the negative impacts of being disorganized, like weight gain and health. But you're also likely to save time and money by not looking for, and replacing, the things you're missing. You're also likely to feel more confident, efficient and have a greater sense of well-being. 

How to Fix Being Disorganized

Knowing that you're disorganized and how it impairs your life is one thing, but figuring out how to fix it can take some time to master. A crucial part of being organized is writing everything down to manage your time. Once you can see how your day and week play out, you can identify time wasters and remove them from your schedule.

Start by grabbing a Daily Planner that charts out your time, activities, workouts, and even your meals. It may feel overwhelming to write out your tasks, but after a few days, you're likely to feel empowered and focused by having control over your time. 

Spending 20-minutes a day tidying up and improving one stressor in your life, like your home office or laundry room, also dramatically impacts your ability to stay organized. 

Be Patient with Yourself

Being disorganized is sometimes a side effect of feeling like your thoughts are chaotic. It can take time to reduce stress, gain focus, and create a lifestyle of organization. And just like getting fit or mastering a skill, being organized is an ongoing practice that evolves with time. Being organized is a journey, not a marathon that you have to drag yourself through to the finish line.

Daily Planner - Writing Reduces Negativity - Paper & Plan Co.

How Writing Reduces Stress and Combats Negative Thoughts

If you're struggling for ways to reduce your stress levels and keep negative thoughts at bay, you're not alone. Stress is prevalent in today's world and is so normalized; we forget we don't have to live this way. Fortunately, you can do simple tools and exercises to stay on top of the negativity and find the peace of mind you're looking for. Here's how writing helps reduce stress and puts you in greater control of your life and feelings.

Manage Stress & Anxiety

In today's busy world, we often don't have an outlet for managing our anxiety. Hobbies get lost in the work-life balance battle, social media sparks fear of missing out, and we're wired to obsess over success. 

Grabbing a journal or a daily planner can reduce anxiety by getting a handle on your schedule. Write out what you need to do for the day, jot down some goals, and make a note of how you feel. Writing out your day the night before can also help reduce your anxiety so you can see what's ahead.

Improve Your Physical Health

Writing, especially when it's expressive, is shown to strengthen your immunity and decrease your risk of illness. Studies show journaling has lessened symptoms of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and even could help wounds heal faster. The idea is when you write out stressful, traumatic, or emotional events that you release that stress and turn it into a therapeutic tool for your health. 

Address Loneliness

It can prove challenging to process our emotions and stressors without setting aside intentional time to do it. Writing helps define and express personal stories and can be shared to help foster deeper social connections. Whether you want to trade stories and writing with a friend or keep them to yourself, writing out your experiences helps give them more context and validation.

Reach Your Goals 

The frustration of not meeting goals is significant and can derail our motivation to keep going. Neuroscience shows that describing and writing down your goals in written form is strongly associated with goal success. You're likely to reach your goals faster than those who don't write them down, and you'll have more clarity around what's working and what's not in your journey.

Get Clarity

Writing, tracking, and journaling helps you get clear on what's bothering you and where you're overwhelmed in life. However, it also shows you how much you've accomplished and eliminates feelings that you're not doing enough.

Using a daily or academic planner brings more context to your day, how you're spending it, and what you're really getting done. Make a note of your wins along the way to celebrate the big and small successes to keep you feeling optimistic.

Find Peace

We all have our moments of frustration and confusion over a stressful event, a fallout with a friend, or an issue at work. Writing it out helps put the event into perspective and clarify what's going on. When you can see how you feel and think about a situation in written form, it offers more peace of mind and the ability to find closure.

Reduces Mental Clutter 

Too much paper and clutter lead to a negative impact on our mental health. Research even shows that clutter and chaos lead to weight gain. Aside from reaching for your favorite organization tools to tame the clutter, writing everything down also makes a positive impact. From meal planning to to-do lists, writing out your day keeps you organized and reduces the clutter in your mind. 

Final Thoughts

Negative thoughts and feelings often get the best of us but can be tamed with the help of writing. Focus on organizing, reframing, and clarifying your thoughts to find the peace of mind you're looking for. 

Ready to tame your thoughts with the journals, planners, and organizational tools? Shop our Paper & Plan collection to turn the art of writing into your favorite part of the day.

10 Ways to Keep Your Memories Organized

10 Ways to Keep Your Memories Organized

Making memories is a rewarding journey, but the hard part is knowing what to do with them next. Do you keep those thousands of photos or purge it all? Find a balance between treasured memories and letting go of old keepsakes with these organizational tips.

1) Journal It

Even the sharpest memories will eventually lose track of details, dates, names, and faces. Keep your memories organized with a journal to notate important events. You can also add photos or your own drawings to a journal to personalize the experience and turn it into a work of art.

2) Turn Your Photos Into Videos

If you're drowning in digital photos, turn them into a video instead. Add music and make notes to turn the experience into a fun slideshow. Tools like iMovie, Moovly, or YouTube's video editor can help you get started making simple videos while you expand your skills. 

3) Start a Facebook Page or Pinterest Board

If you have endless photos and videos on your phone, upload them to your favorite social media channels for all to share. Create a dedicated Facebook Page devoted to your memories and share with friends and family. A Pinterest board is also an eye-popping way to keep your memories organized and within reach with just a few clicks.

4) Invest in Digital Frames

Digital frames are an innovative way to send photos and videos directly to your wall or desktop. Once you set up your frame, you can send memories directly to it with the help of an app or USB stick. You'll never have to take down the frame and swap out photos and instead just upload and set to shuffle through all of your memories slowly. 

5) Add Organization to Your Schedule

Organization doesn't just happen; it's something you need to set aside time for. Make a note in your Daily Planner to organize memories or photos once a week for about an hour.

Keep it manageable and bite-sized to avoid burning out on sorting through those precious keepsakes and letters. You'll stay motivated and look forward to the time if you pair the time with listening to music or a favorite podcast.

6) Create a Memory Wall

If you love physical photos but are overwhelmed with displaying them, create a central memory wall. Give yourself permission to expand your collection as much as you want while containing it to your special wall. To make it look cohesive and polished, try purchasing similar frames in bulk. 

7) Set Aside a Memory Box

Memory boxes are a fun way to stay organized with letters, photos, keepsakes, and mementos. Try storing them in a clear container or colorful bins color-coordinated by themes or events. When you're feeling nostalgic, you can grab the box and go through it. It's also an easy way to pass it down to friends and family.

8) Caption Your Photos

Do you ever feel like you're drowning in photos? Research estimates that the global population would take 1.44 trillion photos in 2020! Stay on top of your organization by captioning or making notes on your photos when you take them. You'll have more clarity on when and why you captured those moments and be ahead of the organization process. 

9) Grab a Basket

Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day or month to devote to memory organization. Grab a basket and add your tangible keepsakes and mementos. Make it easier on yourself by putting a sticky note on your items, so you know what to do with them later. Once the basket is full, start organizing and putting away things or adding to memory boxes and books.

10) Let Go of the Clutter

Part of organizing memories is knowing which ones to hang onto and which ones to let go of. Make it a priority to delete old videos, throw out keepsakes that no longer hold sentimental value, and re-evaluate why you're holding onto things in the first place. Sometimes memories are better left as occasional visitors that wander through our minds instead of captured forever.

Next Steps

Ready to make the most of your favorite memories? Shop our Paper & Plan Co. collection now to organize your treasured events the way they deserve.

Writing Accessories - Creating Good Habits

Struggling to Create Good Habits? Here’s How to Do It Right

Creating good habits is a worthwhile goal that could transform your life for the better. Whether you want to be more productive or get a handle on your health, habit building is a viable strategy to get there. If you're struggling to reach those ambitious goals you've set for yourself, here's how to do it right.

Get Specific

To form a lasting commitment to your habits, they need to be specific. Simply saying, "I will make mindfulness a habit every day," is not clear or measurable enough to convert into a lasting habit. Instead, make your habit, "I will meditate every morning for 10-minutes, at least five days a week." The more specific you are, the easier it is to connect your habits to your daily life.

Piggyback Onto Existing Habits

One of the most innovative ways to create new habits is by piggybacking them onto existing ones. If you want to go jogging every morning, put your workout clothes next to your alarm or toothbrush and put them on.

You can also put your multi-vitamins or journal next to your phone, so it's the first thing you do after checking your email or social media every morning.

Start Small

Developing solid habits is ambitious, but it doesn't mean you have to start with a bang. Start by developing small habits that give you the confidence and motivation to push forward.

For example, if you're having trouble tracking your eating habits or meal plans, start by charting out breakfast. Once you've mastered the habit of tracking what you eat for breakfast and making improvements, add lunch to your daily tracking goals. 

Make a Public Commitment

Swearing you'll focus on your new habits is easy when you're feeling strong and confident. Sometimes we need to make a public commitment to stick to our habits. You're more likely to stick to your obligations when you have the acknowledgment and support of those around you. Let others know what habits you're working on, why, and that you need some encouragement from time to time to stay on track.

Write it Down

Daily Planner for Habit BuildingWriting down your goals in vivid detail is strongly associated with success. Turn the habits you're trying to build into goals that are realistic enough to reach with the help of a daily planner. 

Whether you want to start working out every day or land a new job, write down your goal, break it down into steps, and turn the process into a daily habit. 

Redefine the Concept of Failure

Studies show that 8% of Americans who make New Year's resolutions keep them all year, and 80% give up by February. Self-discipline is a primary culprit, but there's more to the story of failure than lack of determination. 

Getting off track for a few days with our new habit isn't a reason to give up. Instead of viewing getting derailed as a failure, look at it as a unique opportunity. Reassess your obstacles, identify ways to make your habit easier by breaking into smaller steps, and factor in the idea of stumbling as part of your journey. Failure only occurs when you permanently end your habit building, not the bumps in the road. 

Develop a Backup Plan

One way to get back on track after stumbling is by developing a backup plan to habit building. If you can't find the time to work towards that new job or promotion, focus on a different step instead.

Make your habit about refining your skillset one hour a week to prep for that new position a few months down the road. Or your daily practice could be researching the best companies you want to work for and figuring out which is best suited for your goals. 

Identify Your Obstacles

Academic Planner to Track GoalsFailing at your habits usually has little to do with motivation. Instead, obstacles to creating new habits include starting too big and feeling intimidated or lacking planning and preparation. 

Take the time to identify your obstacles and develop a system to overcome them. If you lack planning, use your daily planner or Academic Planner to break down the steps and time necessary to establish the goals you're working towards. 

Next Steps

Ready to conquer habit building and finally reach your goals? Shop our Paper & Plan collection now to stay motivated and focused on your habit-building journey.