Browse Author: wireandmagic

Tools of the Trade

I’ve tried many tools since I started bullet journaling about a year and a half ago. At first, I used a composition notebook I picked up only for work notes. After a while, I decided a needed a personal bug, and I started using a notebook my employer gave everyone. It was lined, which I didn’t prefer.  Once I filled it up, I switched into a Leuchttrum 1917 A5 Dotted Blue Notebook. I love the dots! It’s so much easier to line trackers up on the page.

I’ve used a couple of pens recently. My current is TWSBI Diamond 580 Fountain Pen, Fine Nib, which was a wonderful birthday gift. I ink it with Take-Sumo Pilot Iroshizuki Ink, Charcoal Black, which is a beautiful ink. It only bleeds through the page if I press hard. Before that, I was using a Sakura Pigma Micron 05, and before that, a Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen in S (link is to a 4-pack in various sizes). I liked the ink in both pens, however, they’re both felt-tipped; I was destroying them after about a month of use. I tend to press too hard.

For color, I’ve used Staedtler Fineliners since college. They’re beautiful, versatile, and don’t tend to bleed. Since I use them mostly for accents, they’ve lasted a while despite being felt-tipped.

The links in this post are affiliate links. What this means is I get a small commission if you purchase a product through these links. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and supports my work. I don’t promote anything I don’t love. Thank you! 🙂

For more photos, check out my instagram at wireandmagic.

2: Mindset

Here’s what I’m obsessed with, stressed about, done with, and found funny this week! Every Friday I’ll be posting my ever-changing answers to these questions.

obsessed with: I’ve been reading Mindset by Dr. Carol Dweck. The premise of the book is that there are two mindsets people can have: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. People with the fixed mindset think that traits and skills are inherent: e.g, if someone’s good at math, they must be naturally talented at it. People with the growth mindset think skills are learned. So if someone’s good at math, it’s because they’ve practiced a lot. As a consequence of this logic, people with the fixed mindset think that when they fail, it’s a reflection of their very being. If a fixed-mindset person fails a test, to them, it’s because they’re dumb. When every failure someone has is a judgement of their characteristics instead of an opportunity for growth and learning, that person quits taking risks. I’ve been rooting out my own fixed mindset as I’ve read this book; I find myself taking many more positive risks recently as a result!  It’s also much more difficult to get frustrated with a growth mindset.  I’ll have a full review on here shortly!

stressed about: Neck pain. The whiplash from my car wreck last week has messed up my neck, and I’ve had a constant headache since the morning after the accident. This week has been my busy week at work, and it’s additional stress I definitely didn’t need. Plus, I have to be much more vigilant about taking breaks so the pain doesn’t get worse from sitting.

done with: Commuting. Everyone is angry on the commute. If you’re on a bus, people are cranky. A train, no one wants to make space. Walking? Someone isn’t paying attention while texting and will yell at you when they bump into you. Biking? Taxis are angry that they have to share the road with you. Commuting sucks, and I can’t wait until I can work from home full time. I’m over it.

funny: One of my friends introduced me to The Kroll Show recently. It’s a comedy sketch show, but some of the sketches span multiple episodes. One of those is Rich Dicks—it’s like if the Rich Kids of Instagram got their own reality shows, and it’s hilarious!

Til next week!

April Goals

I did my March Review earlier this week, and based off that, created my April goals. Here they are:

  1. Read ten minutes a day; track via habit tracker.
  2. 3 Power Hours per week; track via habit tracker.
  3. PWK 10 minutes per workday; track via habit tracker.
  4. Sleep 7.5 hours a night; track via Fitbit.
  5. Write down when I eat junk food or carbs; set up separate page in bullet journal.
  6. Perform a weekly review every week. Note time on monthly goals page.

I use a habit tracker to track what I want to do frequently:


Each day, before bed, I go through my habit tracker and mark what I did and didn’t do. I also mark down how many pages I read in which book at the bottom of my habit tracker. Next, I write down three things I’m grateful for in my gratitude log. Then, I note if I ate any junk food that day, and finally, I review my daily page and set up the next day. The whole process usually takes about five minutes or so.

Once a week, I update my monthly goals page with my progress and do a check-in with myself. Am I hitting these goals? What can be adjusted? I’ve been trying to do my weekly review on Sunday nights, but I missed the first week of April due to moving. Here’s my latest review:


How do you review?

March Goals Review

I do a monthly review near the beginning of every month. I like to ask myself three questions:

– What worked?

– What didn’t?

– What can I do to improve?


What worked:

Power hours! If I set a timer for an hour and push through as many small tasks as I can, I get a ton done. This works wonders for little things.

Another idea that helped me in March was actually what’s becoming a mantra: “The only way out is through.” Sometimes, I just have to push through a task to be done with it, and this phrase has been steadying me for the hard ones.

What didn’t:

Recently, I’ve had a ton of small boomerang tasks–those tasks that seem complete but always come back with a next step. I’ve been having a difficult time getting them under control, so I decided I needed to track my time, not just my tasks. I tried a couple of different spreads in March to accomplish this. I used a weekly spread for a week, which just resulted in a lot of page flipping and didn’t help much.


I also took some scrap paper and drew out a weekly calendar with boxes for tasks, broken down by hour. This worked better than the weekly spread in my journal, but there wasn’t space to revise as my schedule changed.


What can I do to improve:

This month, I’m trying to plan my day out using Google Calendar so I can drag and drop my various tasks around as my schedule changes. I’ll keep y’all posted as I try it.

I’m also making sure I spend 5 minutes every day before bed running through my planner to ensure I’m keeping up on my goals. Also, I’m trying to read for at least ten minutes a day so I can make more progress on books. My goal in March was to read three books; I started six and got half way through each. My favorite so far is Mindset* by Dr. Carol Dweck.

My next post will run through my April goals, the other half of my review spread. Look for it on Wednesday!

* This is an affiliate link. What this means is I get a small commission if you purchase a product through these links. It doesn’t cost you any extra and supports my work. I don’t promote anything I don’t love. Thank you! 🙂

For more photos, check out my instagram at wireandmagic.

1: Welcome

Hey, I’m going to be posting weekly about what I’m obsessed with, stressed about, done with, and what I find funny. I’m a mid-twenties woman in technology who’s obsessed with neuroscience, dogs and improving.

obsessed with: Eliza at 16, the podcast. I love the format so much, I’m stealing it for these posts. I’ve also been obsessed with edX: as someone who didn’t have formal computer science training, I’m finding a lot of the compsci classes fun, and they’re filling in gaps in my knowledge base. I’m currently working through CS50, Harvard’s intro to computer science class. The format is great, and the lecturer is into his material. The lectures are fun to watch and aren’t dry at all.

stressed about: Imposter syndrome. I’m in tech, and even though I’ve been at it a couple years now, I still feel like a newb. I want to have confidence in my work, but it’s hard when the field is so gigantic. On the bright side, I’m getting very good at picking up new skills quickly, which is invaluable.

done with: Car accidents. I was in a bus wreck earlier this week. Luckily, I just have some minor whiplash and a sprained wrist. The driver of my bus was hurt, and some other passengers hurt their knees. This is my second bad car wreck, and they mess you up for a few days, even if you aren’t hurt.

funny: I have a cat and a dog; my dog is just over a year old, and the cat is about ten. My puppy keeps trying to get the cat to play with her, but the cat isn’t interested. They end up sitting on opposite sides of my couch staring at one another until they both fall asleep! Watching critters interact can really lighten your mood.

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