My E-Learning Guide

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With the dawning of technology came many ways in which one can expand their knowledge base using free online courses.

I am a huge fan of these free courses and have previously partaken in many of them.

There are so many institutions that offer these courses however for today I aim to focus on my top 3.

1) Coursera – This is probably my favourite. It takes courses that are offered via many different institutions. You can pay to get a certificate however you do get a completetion certificate without paying.

Usually lessons are released weekly and have some sort of ‘homework’ that go with them or tests to complete.

The support you get with these courses is amazing. Not only do you get to have a lot of peer to peer support via forums and community boards but you can post directly to the course leader or their assistant.

The first course I completed with Coursera was called Presumed Innocent: The Social Science Of Wrongful Convinction which was via Pennsylvania State University.
I loved this course. I printed out the module guide, read many of the recommended texts and got really involved in the community boards. I passed with distinction and while I didn’t earn a qualification I certainly gained new insights which were invaluable.

The range of courses is extremely varied and there is something for everyone and I would highly recommend them.

Courses I am currently enrolled on with Coursera are:
~Introduction to International Criminal Law
~ Revolutionary Ideas: utility, Justice,  Equality, Freedom.
~ Economic Growth and Distributive Justice Part 1 – The Role Of The State.

Link to the site Coursera

2) Edx – I’m currently studying a course with Edx and from what I have experienced the majority of lessons are via video rather than paper/typed format.

I am enjoying the course but don’t find it as interactive as Coursera. The content was already all published too which means I do not have to wait for weekly releases.
I can’t comment as to what happens when you complete the course as I am part way through.
The content is varied like Coursera and have 100’s to chose from, and appear to be different from the ones offered by Coursera.

The course also supplies a further reading guide which I always enjoy.

Courses I am currently enrolled on with Edx are:
~ The Psychology Of Criminal Justice
~ Jury X: Deliberation For Social Change

Link to the site Edx

3) Open University – The free courses by OU are versions of their paid courses. More like a short course. Mostly just text lessons,  there are no tests, homework or anything with these. It is purely information. Like Edx the course content is all there ready so you can work through it at your own pace.

At the end there is nothing provided other than references and further reading.

The selection of courses is not as broad as with Coursera and Edx but the quality is just as good.
These are great courses if you are short on time or want to top of your knowledge about something you’ve already studied.

I’ve completed a few courses via OU now, the latest was Criminology Beyond Crime and I really enjoyed it. I have found more courses for my speciality via OU than the others but that is mainly because it is UK based only and therefore more relevant.

Courses I am currently enrolled on with Open University are:
~ Children’s Rights
~ Reading Evidence
~ Psychology in the 21st Century
~ Human Rights and Law
~ Forensic Psychology
~ The USA, Power and International Order
~ Introduction to Cyber Security
~ Crimes of the Powerful
~ Rights ane Justice in International Relations

Link to the site OpenLearn

So there we have it. I highly recommend any of these 3 e-course providers. When knowledge comes free it would be silly to waste it.

Thanks for reading

The Stationery Geekette x

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My Favourite Planner Supplies

I’m not sure about you but it doesn’t matter what I buy I still have some good old favourites that I go back to time and time again.

In today’s post I am going to go through all my favourite supplies. This will include my favourite pens, washi and stickers.

Pens
My ultimate pens are the Uniball Signo Sakura 0.38. I usually just order these in black but I thought I’d try the blue and red as well and I was pleasantly impressed. I don’t find the pen sratchy at all and the nib is perfect for me as I really like the finer size. They can be found on this listing via eBay
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Next we have the Frixxon pastel highlighters. I love erasable pens but the ink usually isn’t deep enough in colour for me but these are perfect especially for highlighting my studies and such. I received these as a Xmas gift but I’m sure Whsmith sells them.
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Next on my pen list are these little beauties. They have replaced my coletto and a fairly recent purchase. The colours are gorgeous and they write so nice. I got these from Hey Little Magpie.

Next we have stickers. There is quite a selection I go to for decorating. I’m not sure where most of these came from but I do love them. I’m not a fan of embossed or puffy stickers in my planner so these are perfect. I also use a selection of functional stickers. The shops featured in this selection are Smallstuffcreations , UglyBugPlans and Mrs Brimbles .

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And finally the last if my favourite things… Washi! I have hundreds of them (437 to be exact!). However I have picked out my favourite 15 which include vintage, Boho and Harry Potter 🙂
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Well there you have it those are my favourite planner accessories.

What are your favourites?

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

6 Months To Change My Life

I have been part of a Facebook group known as UK Planner Addicts (UKPA) for some time now. It’s an amazing group full of beautiful,  intelligent and amazing women (mostly, there is the occasional man there too). The group has off shoot groups for all other aspects of life such as fitness, beauty etc.
A couple of months ago one of the lovely admin Stephanie set up a group called 6 Months To Change Your Life. The aim of this group was to support each other, bolster motivation and give advice to others looking to make a concerted effort to make huge life changes within a 6 month period.

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I joined straight away as this speaks to me so much. I am constantly trying to make changes, aspire to my dreams and tick off my goals as I want a different life for myself and my family.

Upon joining the group I looked at my life goals and where I wanted to be in 6 months time. Not all of my life goals are achievable within this time but I can make inroads towards them.

I picked all the goals off my list that I thought I could get through by challenging myself over the 6mths.

This was my final list.

Home
To move, somewhere cheaper and smaller.
Declutter
Re-Organise

Health
Loose 2 stone
Drink more water
Eat more fruit and veg

Excercise
Increase pace
More varied excercise

Finances
Save on bills
Rework debt plans

Mind and Soul
Silent time
Read more
Put myself first more
Look after myself better (hair, nails etc)

Social
Arrange more meet ups
Write to penpals promptly
Make more effort with family

Career
Free Online courses
Enrol on TA course in August

So that’s everything. I’ve managed to knock a few of these off the list already. I’ve been breaking them down month by month and as some get ticked off I add more.

Another little task that was posted in the group by Stephanie was to work out your 3 core values. To look deep within to find what was most important.
This I found difficult as the list was huge. I managed to get it down to 3 as the words I picked encompassed others that I wanted to choose.

My 3 core values are:
Growth
Love
Independence

So this is my pledge….

I intend to make changes and work towards my life goals, seeking to improve my life and the lives of my children.
Between the dates of March 14th and September 14th I will work harder than before to challenge myself to actively make these changes. To achieve the life of my dreams I must work for it.

I will keep myself accountable by posting monthly updates of what I have achieved, what I plan for the next month and where I’ve let myself down (hopefully this won’t ever appear!).

I’d love to hear from anyone else taking part in this challenge or one similar. How are you finding it? What are your goals?
For those who are not doing something like this maybe you could challenge yourself to make changes towards your life goals.

Thank you for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

Positivity In My Planner

I have a section in my planner dedicated to Inspiration. Part of that is everything to do with keeping me positive.

To start with I have my gratitude wheel. I have this at the front as It is my go to thing when I need a bit of a nudge in the right direction and I am feeling sorry for myself.

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After this I have my Mission Statement. This is my mission to myself for 2016.

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Next I have a list of Affirmations. I need to add some quotes to this too as I currently have them all set up in my Leuchtturm.

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I then have my top list for remaining positive. Suffering from depression means that some days are really bad days and it takes a bit more to pull myself up. I like having this list as a quick go to for ideas to try.DSC_0019

Finally I have my life goals map. This is to remind me of the things I want in life. Been positive is a must If I want to achieve even a fraction of these things. It’s always good to remind myself what it is I want and what I have to keep fighting for. This is my purpose!

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I am sure this part of my planner will continue to evolve as I find things that give me inspiration and keep my outlook on the up.

Do you have a journal or section dedicated to positivity and/or inspiration?

Thanks for reading

The Stationery Geekette x

 

10 Tips For Positive Thinking

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There are many different ways in which people remain positive and they may differ from person to person. These tips are things which I have found help me personally and I am hoping that they may help you even if it is with just one little tip.

  1. Wake Up To Positivity.

When you get up on a morning do something that makes you happy. A happy mindset is a positive one. It is the best way to approach the day ahead. For me this is having a cuppa and organising the day ahead in my planner.

2. Be Grateful

Write down what you are grateful for and keep revisiting the list. If life is feeling overwhelming or taking a negative turn remembering what you are grateful for helps to remind you that life is not as bad as it feels.

3. Affirmations and Quotes

Tell yourself how awesome you are and what you can achieve. Affirmations strengthen your core belief and are great for your mind and soul. Quotes can restore inspiration and motivation.

4. Remove Yourself

If you are in a negative situation take yourself out of it for a breather. Even if it is into another room for 5 minutes it can help restore calm and balance. I often got for a walk to disperse the negative energy.

5. Visualisation

Visualisation of your desired outcome, life or job. Imagining what you are striving for helps create the determination you need to succeed.

6. Positive People

Surround yourself with positive like-minded people. Negative people have a way of bringing those around them down to their level. Positive people help spur on motivation.

7. Write It Down

If you write down your concerns it instantly makes a difference. Things feel much better when it is all out there, as the old saying goes “A problem shared is a problem halved”.

8. Pace Yourself

Don’t rush yourself, pacing yourself means you are less likely to make mistakes.

9. Change Your Approach

When faced with a negative thought or situation change how you approach it. Ask HOW you can move forward and what it will achieve.

10. Repeat If Necessary

Try, try and try again. Perseverance is key. If you fail the first time get up and get back on it. Every fail creates strength. We naturally learn from our mistakes. Knowing WHAT NOT to do is one step further to knowing WHAT to do.

Thank you for reading:)

The Stationery Geekette x

Upcoming Post : Positivity In My Planner

Previous Post: It’s All About Perspective…

 

Planning Your Goals and Achieving Your Dreams.

After reading numerous ‘self-help’ books I have given a lot of serious thoughts to what I really want from life. I am 33 almost 34 and not getting any younger.
I’ve always felt that life has been pretty average,  I haven’t been seriously unhappy with it all overall but I haven’t been ecstatically happy either.
I have always blamed certain circumstances for me not quite achieving the things I want, excuses for my lack of effort. Whether it is the fact I have the children to consider, not earning enough money,  not earning any money etc, there is always something.

The reality is though that non of these things really stop me, I allow them to become excuses because I either fear rejection or failure or it just feels too hard.

I want to tell my children and really believe it when I say “You can do anything you want”, the best way to show this though is for them to see it through me.

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So I wrote down what I wanted and with the help of The Miracle Morning I started visualising myself living my desired life.

Once I have this done I then took each dream and wrote a list of goals that I would need to achieve in order to have the dream become a reality.

Once I had it all seperated down step by step I looked at the easiest/first steps of each and then narrowed it all down to prorities. What did I need to start with and what would come next. Each goal taking me a step closer to the dream.

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Doing it this way makes things feel manageable and realistic. I want to live in Canada and that is no longer a pipe dream, it’s something that I can actively work towards, many of my goals intermingle and lead that ultimate big dream.

You need to ask yourself some questions when looking at what you want from life and be 100% honest in your answer.

I asked myself
1) Are You Happy in all areas of your life? (health, financial, career, home, family, friends, spiritual, relationship)
2) If not, why? What is missing?
3) If achieving just one of these goals would change your outlook and positivity?
4) Would I be happy not trying vs trying and failing?
5) What do you have to loose?

I personally believe if you want something enough you cannot fail, you can get knockbacks but you cannot fail.

Things to Remember :
~ EVERYTHING is achievable.
~ Faith in yourself is a necessity.
~ Don’t let anyone make you feel unworthy.
~ Surround yourself with positive people and distance yourself from those who bring you down.
~ Your desire for a better life will be stronger than your fear of failure.

This is a bit of how I have organised my Life Goals 🙂

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I hope you enjoyed reading:)

The Stationery Geekette x

Through The Fog…

This is a different type of post today, one that you’ve never seen from me before. Its a lot less planner and a lot more me.

When I feel pregnant with my youngest I  had expectations of raising a baby, I’d done it twice before.

To start off with the first few weeks were nothing out of the norm but as we headed into the two month post birth period something changed. It was like a darkness creeped in around the edges.

This darkness was out of my direct vision,  it lurked blurry around the sides making it’s presence felt but disguised.

When things first started changing I put it down to certain things going on such as I was tired due to a lack of sleep because the baby had colic, when the colic didn’t go away and after much pleading with the doctors we found out at 4mths that she had a lactose intolerance. I put my negative feelings down to circumstances like this. It wasn’t me that had any sort of issue was it? noooo…it was just the fact that things hadn’t been easy and it was taking it’s toll.

Not long after the lactose diagnosis I went to see the GP. The darkness hadn’t gone, in fact it seemed to be getting darker, less murky and more defined.

The GP informed me that I had good old depression. Well…that’s just great isn’t it. Looks like it was my head over reacting to pretty much life! Just what a control freak like myself wanted to hear. I refused any tablets or help and agreed that I’d go see someone if it got worse. Well…it got worse and I didn’t go back. I’ve been suffering (not so silently)  trying to make it through each hour of each day. I told my partner about a month after I was diagnosed not that it changed anything,  he has no idea how to deal with it, how could he? Even I couldn’t . We have no familial support so I just have had to power through this alone, however I can.

It’s been hard, I’ve hit my breaking point on many many occasions. I’ve wanted to leave and go it alone, I’ve stupidly wished that non of it had happened.
You see no-one tells you about the guilt that comes with depression like this. I’ve never ever once wanted to hurt my baby,  it’s not that sort of depression, I have never neglected or put her in danger. She is my world, I love her with every part of my being.
But in moments of despair have I wondered if life would have been easier if I had her adopted, if I’d never fallen pregnant? Yes, honestly I have. Those thoughts are flash-in-the-pan-gone-within-a-second thoughts.  The guilt you feel though for thinking them doesn’t go so quickly. It lingers and eats up at you, therefore making you feel even more crappy about the situation.  Then…when you think it can’t get worse you start doubting yourself, your parental skills “maybe she’s better off without this sorry sack of shit mother” “maybe I don’t deserve such a beautiful baby after what I said”. It’s a circle of shame that you can’t pull yourself out of. It’s illogical, irrational and damn well unwanted!

People underestimate how mentally challenging a baby is, the focus is always on money,  capabilities and the practical stuff. No-one tells you that the strongest emotionally stable person can become a mess of low self-esteem and confidence who cries at everything. No-one tells you that you can find yourself so frustrated by situations you want to punch your fist through a wall and scream until your throat bleeds and no-one will tell you that you will hate your life.

My baby is now 16mths old and I won’t lie, I still have bad days. Luckily the bad days are less and less but they rear their ugly head and make you feel like they still rule you, they still win and there is nothing you can do about it.

The darkness prays on your vulnerability,  as you get stronger and start to fight it off it will pick at you when you’re at your lowest. When your ill or emotional. It will be there, it will come rushing in and tell you that ‘you are not good enough’.

For every day that goes past I get stronger and stronger. I wish in hindsight now that I’d taken the help offered and eased my suffering instead of wallowing in shame. I sometimes need to remind myself that I am surviving regardless of the darkness, I know it’s there and I’ll take those days on and get through them, for every glimpse of me it gets I get one back and that makes me understand how it works. This way I can learn it’s weakness and drive it out.

Each and everyday I make it…just a little further through the fog.

Emma-Louise x

Wrapping up December.

I don’t know about you but I find December a very reflective month. This is when I think about everything I’ve done over the year and where I want to go from here. I as always have many things which I’d like to complete before the new year approaches.

So I set about my December dreams, goals and to-do list. Ranging from the large to the little task I aim to have these things completed before Dec 31st.

Slightly different to the 16 Before 16 challenge this list focuses more on the household, the more practical tasks.
I still have room left on the page to add more which I will have undoubtedly forgotten (14mths later I still blame baby brain).

This is my list. I am using the Websters Pages inserts as I find the layout perfect for this. As you’ll see some of the more personal items have been blurred out.

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To complete my more organised self I received a copy of Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod but I am yet to read it (it is on my list though!). I learnt about this book from Bohoberry blog and it’s made me really excited to see how much this can impact my life in a positive way.

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I’m almost half way through David Allen’s Getting things done and it’s been very enlightening. I can really see the changes he talks about having a huge effect on the way I do things and to help me relax.

I really want 2016 to be a good year. I want to run a more productive and organised home and life so I am trying hard to change bad habits and gain new skills and techniques beforehand so I can really take the year by the horns.

This year has has so many ups and downs but I’d like to think I’ve grown as a person and had my mind opened to so much.
I’ve met brilliant people who share similar interests and I finally feel like I’m not alone in my hobbies and what I love.
I’ve embraced my inner Stationery Geek and she now shines brightly. I’ve never followed the crowd or been afraid to be unique but it is nice to find those who understand me.
I love my blog, even if it only gets 1 reader who enjoys what I write, or just 1 person who seeks the same changes that can be enlightened with things I post. That is all that matters.
I’m so excited to see what this next year will bring:)

What are your hopes, dreams and goals for 2016?

The Stationery Geekette x

Unleash Your Mind!

I’ve always struggled with the chaotic mind syndrome. So much going on, too much to think about, planning for the week ahead etc. Sometime, well let’s be honest now most of the time I feel like my brain is going to explode.
As a result of all this chaos I usually find I hinder my own productivity by never really focusing on one task at a time.

I am a total perfectionist,  things have to be done just so and if they aren’t I do not settle, this is another thing which can hinder my ability to progress as I will not move from a task until It is done to my standard.

When I started getting into traveler’s notebooks I noticed a lot of people used what is called a ‘brain dump’ so I enquired what this was.

The concept is pretty simple. You take everything in your head and put it on paper. There needn’t be any rhyme or reason to what you write,  it doesn’t need to make sense to anyone else it just is there to allow you to de-stress.

So I picked up this idea and thought I’d give it a go even though I really didn’t think it would work for me so I  picked my cute field notes fauxdori by Lyraandco on Etsy to try it out. However there are occasions (very rare ones) where I am wrong.

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I find it helps immensely.  I don’t need to brain dump daily, or weekly I just do it when I feel that I have loads swirling around.

I tend to have mine like a spider diagram style and just write everything down. Once my head is clear I pick each point out, I shade the things in which I need to focus on. I then do a couple of lists if necessary with To-Dos mostly now and later, then look at the other things I’ve put down. If I have any concerns or worries I have a think about them logically – Is my concern necessary?  Am I over thinking it? Is it actually important or relevant? You get the picture.

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After a little while things make much more sense to me and more Importantly I have renewed focus, I know what I need to do and when, I know what concerns I have and I’ve looked at remedies to these.

This method may not work for everyone but if you are at all like me and struggle to decompress your mind it is certainly worth a try. You have nothing to loose and a clear mind to gain.

I’d love to know your tips and tricks for decluttering your mind:)

The Stationery Geekette x