February Reflection

I know everyone said their Januaries flew by — but for me it was February that really zoomed! Let’s take some time to reflect on what it was like to try to infuse creativity, and a little artmaking, into our productivity practice this month.

How’d we do?

This month was a challenge for me. I am stressed out, at work and in my personal life, and it is affecting me so much that I literally can’t unclench my jaw!? It is very weird, and stresses me out further because jaw problems are no joke.

All that to say, continuing my intention from last month, I decided to be as kind as possible to myself and keep my artmaking simple.

I partnered with Mossery this month on my Instagram, and I used the gifted notebook they sent me to try to practice creativity in a few different, low-stakes ways. This isn’t an ad or sponsorship for Mossery — I’ve always loved their products and ethos — and their commitment to supporting artists made me feel like working in my Mossery notebook was exactly the right way to dive in to this challenge.

(That said, if you would like to support me and get 15% off a Wirebound Notebook, please feel very free use my affiliate link or the code LINEUNFOLDING15 through March 3. Thank you for supporting me!)

First, I DOODLED! I literally never do this. Isn’t that nuts? I like the graphic, minimal aesthetic and my thoughtless drawings tend to be of things like eyes and faces and hands, so I don’t doodle too much in my bullet journal.

But I was so inspired by the Seafoam design cover of my Mossery journal (see above!) that I just went with it and I really love what I doodled. I even added a little poem without overthinking it — just went right in with pen, and wrote.

The other way I was creative was making new spreads! I challenged myself to make a few one-page spreads at the request of all of you on my Instagram. I very rarely make one-page spreads and purposefully chose spreads that were super unusual for me, like this study spread above (which could also be used for time/project management, too, if you’re not in school). I had a really nice time flexing my brain in a different way than my usual weekly spread.

Ideas for Creativity

I asked you all on Instagram for some simple ways you stay creative! Here are some ideas:

So many great thoughts on ways to be creative… and I love that many of them are related to bullet journaling or giving gifts to friends and family!

One of my followers on Instagram, Xu, is taking a course called creativity in marketing. I love continued learning and think it’s so cool to combine your work interests with something like creativity. One of the quotes she shared from her lectures is: “Everyone is born creative. Creativity is a muscle that can be trained.” Love that!

Challenges to Creativity

I also asked for any challenges you find when trying to be creative.

A lot of the challenges you shared are things like making time for it, overworking yourself, or not overthinking it. These are all really hard! I find meditation helps me with not overthinking it, and timeblocking helps me fit things in. But sometimes, even if it’s just a few minutes of creativity, is definitely good enough!

Benefits of Creativity

Finally, you all shared some of the ways creativity is rewarding:

These speak for themselves, I think. I feel like all of these keep me diving back into a creative practice time and again, even if it’s hard to make the time!

Creativity + Planning

I spoke a bit in the introduction to this month about how I think creativity and planning go hand in hand, and I do believe that. A problem-solving, adaptable mindset, which is cultivated by creativity, is going to get you further than being stuck in one way of doing things.

So on this note, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention another way I was creative this month: my collaboration with Rachel from @rach.study on Instagram! We used the same stickers from Pasteru on our weekly spreads, and I was way out of my comfort zone — and totally loved it!! I rarely use stickers or bright colors in my spreads, so I was really thrilled to collaborate with her. It was so much fun, and reminded me not to take my bullet journal too seriously!

I guess, after this reflection, I realize I was pretty creative this month… which just goes to show you it’s important to be kind to yourself, because you probably did better than you thought!

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