Getting Noticed

Looking for a new job is hard work. Not only can local markets be job depleted but selling yourself to potential employers can leave you feeling restless and unworthy. It’s important to make a great first impression, but it’s hard to make yourself look good when your personality gets distilled down to 2 thin sheets of paper. Resumés help you get noticed. But when employers try and find the diamonds from the two foot tall stack of "best impressions", yours might get lost in the sea of words. So, here’s a few tips on getting your resumé to the top of the stack and noticed by the potential employers without using your favorite pink scented paper and internet l33t speak.

A Well Balanced Pie

Sometimes I feel like there's never enough time in a day to get everything done. I get up, go to work, come home and do housework and D*I*Y Planner duties and then play World of Warcraft (when there's time). I always feel like my To Do list gets fatter and fuller and longer and it never shrinks. I'm finding it hard to strike a balance in my life between all the roles and responsibilities I have. So, what does someone do when their overwhelmed? Well, in my case, I turned to pies.

I wish I could tell you how yummy these pies are, with a soft, moist, and warm apple center and light, flakey crust. But I can't. You see... I'd be lying (and gaining an unhealthy amount of weight) if it were to those pies I turned to every time I felt swamped and overwhelmed in life. No, I'm talking about cooking up and comparing a few pie charts to help you get a bigger and better picture of where you spend your time and how you envision the perfectly balanced life. I'll even make it easier by giving you the recipe and detailed instructions. All you need to do is add your dreams, time, and patience.

Sense-ical Writing: Putting Your Senses into Words

We're all born with five senses: seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling. All too often we can get too caught up in our daily routines to really see, hear, taste or smell the world around us. Whether you're reconnecting to your self after a long day of work or writing a more realistic picture of your world in your work, our senses provide a great tool for journalling. You can also expand your writing by including bits of each sense into your prose. We experience the world through our senses, allow them to show through your writing as well. Use the following exercises to expand your senses. Writing about how you experience the world can teach you just how much you rely on each sense. Pick a few exercises or a sense and record your thoughts down in your journal.

My First Reflections: On Personal Journalling

A Classic

A few days ago, innowen asked me, if that's the word... to write a piece on how I journal. I nearly had a heart attack. After the hyperventillation, I obliged. What follows are my thoughts on why I journal and the tools I use to scribble my thoughts down.

Since meeting her, I've added a new dimension to my journalling - creative writing. For years I reflected on all kinds of data and opinion while studiously avoiding any emotional discourse. I am now discovering creativity is just as much collaboration as science; and that the best way to learn is through a mentor whose writings one admires much the same as with scholarly pursuits.

Refueling the Muse

You’ve been writing faithfully in your journal for months now. Making handmade bound journals for all your friends and relatives on their holidays and even been sketching daily doodles in your HipsterPDA. You’re a creative person and everything you do has a unique twist that’s unmistakably your style, down to the socks you're wearing. So what happens when the muse battery runs dry? What are you supposed to do when you go to your studio, fully intent on knitting a new pair of socks, or writing a story, and instead of being met by your muse... you feel your body slump in the chair and all you think you can do is google for zombie videos for hours on end.

Sounds like your muse is running on empty. Time to take a break and recharge. Read on for more ideas on how to refill those creative batteries when you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom or the muse has gone on vacation and left you alone with nothing better to do.

An Introduction to Journal Writing

Something a little different today. I've mentioned to a few select people that I'm writing a book on paper-based productivity and creativity, and this is a first (and very loose) draft of an introductory chapter on journalling. Hope you enjoy. -DJ

Journal writing. What a terrifying and intimidating concept to many of us. It's rather like keeping a diary, some consider, but one we have to take far more seriously, and one that will shame us to the core should its ill-conceived words be read by another. Others conjure up images of literati sitting in Parisian cafés, sipping expressos by day and sucking back brandy or absynthe by night, committing all their complex thoughts about la condition humaine to their sacred little notebooks. Still others, beguiled by the mysterious power of becoming a creator, see journalling as a form of automatic writing, a way of channelling higher spirits into words upon a page, completely uninfluenced by the hand that inscribes them.

Hooey. Those are all ridiculous notions, ones that arise from fears and stereotypes. There are plenty of reasons to keep a journal, and very few of them involve any higher calling, or desire to be psychologically laid bare and naked for the world to critique. Journal writing, in its simplest form, is for collecting, remembering, exploring, and providing focus; all of us --whether we're a depressed teenager or a world-hardened scion of industry-- can benefit from keeping one, and on so many levels.

Keeping an Accomplishment Log

Hey everyone, I'm out this week on personal matters. Instead of leaving Thursday blank with nothing new, I asked Eliza Metz for permission to reprint one of her creativity articles to help inspire you all. This article is taken from BeMUSEd #9. Eliza (also known as moderngypsy in most art circles) is a goddess amongst creative enablers. She makes her own journals, knits her own socks, writes and publishes books and zines slammed full with creative tips and tricks, and teaches classes on all sorts of creative and fun art topics from creating your own imagiNATION to crafting revolutionary art. You could say that she's my mentor. Because if it weren't for her friendship, classes and inspiration, I'd have never thought I could write articles for creative souls on a productivity site. Read more about Eliza and her publications at

Some of you are already on my yahoo group, doItNOW, which kind of started as just a little thing for me and a few friends, as a way to communicate what I was doing with a Control Journal to try and keep motivated, organized, and clear in the New Year. Word got out and it’s growing by the day and has become a little more like a creative life-coaching-in-general type thing, which uses three basic steps to help get things under control. The Control Journal, which is based on the whole thing only for art stuff; getting into the studio and making SOMETHING for 15 minutes in mid-afternoon/evening; and the third thing: An Accomplishment Log.

Sketch Journalling: One scene at a time

Now that the new v3 D*I*Y HipsterPDA is out, I thought it’d be fun to give you all a new project. Sketch journals become fun, quick and quirky projects that capture and distill certain elements of your life down into fast and simple drawings. Leonardo daVinci kept one, Danny Gregory keeps one and now you can too. Keeping a sketchbook is a great way of keeping track of creative ideas and getting in the habit of regular drawing, as well as being a useful, visual brainstorming tool for when you’re feeling short on ideas. More importantly, it gives you the perfect opportunity to put those new 1-up Storyboard cards from the D*I*Y HipsterPDA core pack to good use.

Journalling Prompts: Resources for those days when the blank page bites back

Journal writing can be hard. The blank page sits ready, teasing you and your pen. A million and one thoughts swirl around in your head and you can't settle on just one thought or idea. And as soon as the best idea one does float into your mind, you start to worry about whether or not you can get it down and how that will all look on the finished page of your journal. Or perhaps maybe you never get an idea at all, so your page sits blank once more, awaiting the muse. Sometimes it's easier to not write than it is to write at all with all this pressure.

Fortunately, for those times when you feel the pressure, or can't think of a single thing to write about there are prompts. These small snippets of thoughts or questions or pictures help assist you in getting out of the writer's funk and into the writing process. Strangely, collecting prompts can also be addicting... so this week I've decided to share with you a few online and offline resources where you can get some quick fix inspiration to get you writing in your planners as well as meet some groups who are also journalling right along with you.