List overwhelm (and how to deal with it)


Lists of lists of lists of lists… they’re great, but sometimes they can get a bit much for even the most enthusiastic of list-makers *raises hand sheepishly*.

list overwhelm |

My beloved bullet journal is still going strong, and has been something of a life saver in recent months. As my world was turned upside down and inside out by the loss of my Dad, I found myself with an unbelievable amount of admin to do, and a brain which seemed to have stopped working in shock.

A few months on, my brain power is slowly returning, and this evening I sat down to try and make sense of the bujo lists I’ve made in the past few months.

…. Yeah. None of them have any logic, and some of the items on them just make no sense.

And you know your lists are overwhelming when you look at them and feel sick with fear, and utterly overwhelmed at how much it looks like you should be doing.

Enter the list purge…

I do this in normal life too, but have found it especially useful today. Every few months, I sit down with my bullet journal and a few sheets of normal A4 paper (!) and head them up.

  • Things to do immediately
  • Things to do soon
  • Things to do one day
  • Things that would be nice to do

Feel free to edit the categories as you wish.

I then go through the last 3-4 months of my bullet journal bullets and get EVERYTHING out that still needs doing, onto one of those four sheets of paper.

Really urgent, MUST DO RIGHT NOW jobs go on post it notes – but use these with caution or you’ll set yoursef up for more overwhelm. By really urgent, I don’t mean “do washing”, or “write blog post”, I mean things like “pay road tax so I can drive my car without getting arrested tomorrow” and “buy cat food so my kittens don’t starve from my lack of organisation”.

The major advantage of this when you’re feeling stuck and overwhelmed is that you are bound to find a load of stuff you no longer need to do, and also several things you’ve moved over to new lists and then completed, so you can cross them off (which is oh-so-satisfying).

Once your lists are completed, you can either copy them into your bullet journal on four new pages, or you can spend time highlighting and prioritising them, depending on your preferences.

I’ll spare you the actual lists, as this time round most of my entries are mainly very dull or rather distressing in nature, but the photo is of my preferred surroundings as I do this. Scented candle totally necessary for soothing vibes!

How do you deal with lingering lists?

Carla xx

P.S. Fancy your own bullet journal? Find everything you need in our Get Bulleting boxes

My dream desk

What would your dream desk look like? How do you imagine your working space?

How cluttered is your desk? Think minimal || stationery by subscription

I certainly have dreams of a beautifully organised desk. Depending on my mood the desk and surrounding surfaces might be almost empty except for a beautiful carefully chosen pen and notebook. In this version I also exercise daily, leap out of bed at sunrise and make my own kombucha.

In the other version my desk is covered with quirky stationery which I actually use. Each pile of brightly coloured papers had a different style of paperclip holding them together. The pineapple shaped pen pot contains pen is various hues. I use all of them and they don’t leak or dry out. The walls have quirky framed prints. I smile as I look at the beautifully organised pin board which has my goals, some motivational quotes and postcards from friends. Nothing is faded, torn or out of date. There is a small shelving unit holding adorable items such as novelty erasers and washi tape dispensers. they never get dusty.

The truth is somewhere in the middle. I clear off the pin board once a year but don’t keep up with goal setting as well as I could. My pen pot gets cleared out from time to time but I’m more likely to search through my overflowing pencil case. I’m continually trying to gather up the scraps of paper and card I’ve made notes on. Piles of paper build up until I have to schedule time to deal with them. I’m constantly surprised that I do have a magnet with paperclips on it.

Aside my periodic clear outs when I’m forced to do something because my desk has become a storage space. What can I do?

Ideas for moving towards a more beautiful (and usable) desk

  • Clear the desk space at the end of everyday
  • If documents haven’t been deal with add a specific action around them to my job list and then file them
  • Either use my pencil case or a pen pot. Clear out what ever I choose regularly – think 20:80 rule
  • Develop a love for dusting, accept dust or don’t have stuff on display (see first bullet point)
  • Log what items I actually use over the course of a few days.

Any thoughts? How do you keep your work space looking inspirational?

P.s. Keeping my pencil case under control is an ongoing thing! See my post about a minimal pencil case



Grocery lists, old stamps and worry clouds – An envelope of snippets for May

Links for May 2017 | | stationery by subscription

We hear rumours that May is going to be delightfully warm. So we'll resist the urge to rip up our job lists and head off to the park. We're pretty certain you still want to get the stationery you ordered delivered! However there's still potential for embracing the joys of being outside. Wi-Fi that can be accessed from the garden is a wonderful thing. We'll try to avoid getting grass stains on the envelopes…

Links to distract you in May (consider reading in the park…)

  • Who doesn't love a good list? And if the list belongs to someone else it's like having a look inside their head. These grocery and shopping lists are an intriguing peek into other lives.
  • We all want to reduce stress and live happier lives. While the Simply Stepping web site won't resolved everything there are some lovely posts covering things like stress relieving journal prompts, a worry cloud and a section on self kindness.
  • Some might say that office tidying should be done in the dead days between Christmas and New Year. I'd agree but there's something about sunlight across your desk that makes you determined to get your desk under control. Gretchen Rubin has some useful tips for office clutter. Then you'll be able to head out into the sunshine feeling that you've done something useful.
  • And on the subject on clearing clutter – what do you do with your old stamps? Do you cut them out and put them to one side with plans to do something useful with them at some point? Post Crossing have details of a charity in Germany that can make use of them and chances are similar initiatives will exist in your part of the word.

Enjoy May. Make the most of the sunshine (if it happens!) and even more make the most of your time wherever you find yourself.


P.S. If you fancy some new stationery this month how about treating yourself to 'It's a Stick Up'? Everyone loves stickers and they're perfect for livening up letters, notebooks and folders


London love

As we head off to the capital for this year’s stationery trade shows (squeak!), we thought it was about time we put together some more London bundles.

Though the city can be busy and overwhelming, London has its own unique magic – and it does weave its spell over you. These days I prefer to visit on day trips, but I’m fortunate to have friends who live in different corners – and so I get to go exploring on a fairly regular basis!

Our latest homage to our capital city comes in the form of a three-month mini stationery subscription, and a new one-off London stationery selection.

Each containing a selection of our most popular London items (some of them personal favourites, who doesn’t love racing mini London buses around their day job desks…?!), we hope they’ll bring you or the lucky person you’re buying them for lots of London-themed joy.

Here’s a sneak preview:

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Tips for after a bank holiday weekend…

… sigh. The return to work always feels rough, doesn’t it? And Easter is a particularly sneaky bank holiday where you get two whole extra days off, and somehow that makes it even harder to go back.

However, I have come up with some ways to beat this sneakiness and bounce into work on Tuesday! Whether you work for yourself or someone else, these should have you as sparky as a spring lamb…

Firstly, schedule something lovely for the week ahead. This could be as simple as a lunchtime cuppa or stroll with a friend at work, or organising to meet some of your favourite people for dinner or drinks one evening. It could be cooking a new recipe, or treating yourself to an uninterrupted bath. Or dedicated crafting time… the possibilities are endless!

Letters ready to post after a bank holiday weekend |

Next up, make sure you have written some letters to post. This has double benefits – you will make someone happy with the card, letter or postcard you’ve written to them, and you will have to walk to a postbox which will get you out of the office or away from the shop floor for a little while. What’s not to love?

Lastly, set yourself a reminder to go to bed early tonight. Lots of sleep is a magical thing – as well as feeling incredibly luxurious and a bit naughty, it will mean you wake up on Tuesday full of energy and ready to take on the world!

What are your best tips for surviving the first day back after time off?

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