Mastering Time Blocking: Take Control of Your Productivity and Achieve Your Goals

Mastering Time Blocking: Take Control of Your Productivity and Achieve Your Goals

Time is our most precious resource, yet it often seems like there’s never enough of it. We’re constantly bombarded with distractions and interruptions that make it challenging to stay focused and get things done. That’s where time blocking comes in – it’s a powerful productivity technique that can help you take control of your time and use it more effectively. In this ebook, we’ll explore what time blocking is, how it works, and how to use it to achieve your goals and make the most of your time.

time blocking graphic

What is time blocking?

Time blocking is a technique that involves dividing your day into blocks of time and assigning specific tasks or activities to each block. By doing this, you can create a schedule tailored to your needs and priorities and ensure you’re using your time in the most productive way possible.

Why use time blocking?

There are many benefits to using this technique, including increased productivity, reduced stress, and improved work-life balance. Dividing your daily schedule into blocks of time can also help you prioritize your tasks, minimize distractions, and spend your time on the things that matter most to you.

Daily plan time blocking sample by West Coast Dreaming

How to get started

Getting started is easy – all you need is a calendar or planner and a willingness to experiment and adjust your schedule as needed. If you want to make the most of your time, this method can be an incredibly effective strategy. First, set clear goals for yourself. This will give you a sense of direction and purpose and help you stay focused throughout the day. Next, identify your priorities so you know which tasks to tackle first. Finally, breaking your day into manageable time blocks of 15, 30 or 60 minutes can help you stay organized and on track. This allows you to work efficiently and avoid distractions, ultimately leading to greater productivity and success.

Tips for successful time blocking

While time blocking can be a powerful productivity tool, it does require some discipline and effort to make it work effectively. Effective time management requires setting achievable goals, being adaptable, and utilizing helpful software and tools to improve organizational skills. By implementing these key strategies, you can optimize your time management and quickly achieve your objectives. In addition, remember to prioritize tasks, take breaks when needed, and be flexible in adjusting your schedule. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of time blocking and achieving success in your daily tasks.

Time blocking calendar sample

Common challenges and how to overcome them

Like any productivity technique, time blocking can have its challenges. Interruptions and distractions can quickly derail your schedule, making it difficult to stay on track. Be gentle with yourself, and remember to recognize that you are human and working on your goals and develop strategies to overcome your obstacles. One approach is scheduling time for interruptions and distractions, allowing you to address them without sacrificing productivity. Another method is eliminating or minimizing distractions by turning off notifications or finding a quiet workspace.

It is also common to underestimate the time it needs to complete a task. You’ll get better at estimating how long tasks take over time, but until you’ve honed your instincts, err on the side of blocking off too much time rather than too little. Instead, pad your schedule with extra time to complete and transition between tasks. You can even create “conditional blocks” of time you can tap into if you fall behind.

Try these tools
Find out how long it takes you to complete your tasks by tracking them with RescueTime or Toggl. Over time, this will improve your sense of much much time you should budget for in your daily or weekly plan.

By proactively addressing these challenges, you can maximize your time and stay focused on your goals.

Advanced time-blocking techniques

Once you’ve mastered the basics of time blocking, you can take your productivity to the next level. One such technique is “batching,” where you group similar tasks and complete them all at once. Another technique is “theme days,” where you assign specific themes to each day of the week and only work on tasks related to that theme on that day. These advanced techniques can help you stay focused and maximize your productivity, ultimately leading to greater success in both your personal and professional life.

Software and tools to improve your time-blocking skills

Various software and tools available can help with time blocking and organizational skills. One popular option is Trello, which allows users to create visual task boards and organize their to-do lists by priority and deadline. Another helpful tool is RescueTime, which tracks how much time you spend on various tasks and can help users identify areas where they may need to improve their time management. Additionally, apps like Focus@Will and Freedom can help eliminate distractions and enhance focus during designated time blocks. Ultimately, the best software and tools for time blocking will depend on individual preferences and needs, but these options are a great place to start.


In addition to digital tools, planners and journals are popular choices for many people who prefer to have a physical record of their tasks and appointments. By writing down assignments and deadlines, users can better visualize their schedules and prioritize accordingly. Some people also find that physically writing down tasks can help them commit them to memory more effectively. Additionally, using coloured pens or stickers can help make the planner or journal more visually appealing and engaging. Ultimately, whether someone prefers digital or non-digital tools depends on their preferences and habits.

How long does it typically take to see the benefits?

The time it takes to see the benefits of time blocking can vary depending on several factors, including your current habits, the complexity of your tasks, and how effectively you implement the technique. However, with consistent practice and proper implementation, you can begin to experience the benefits of time blocking within a few weeks or even sooner. The process involves an initial adjustment period, followed by increased awareness and focus, improved productivity and time management, enhanced work-life balance and reduced stress. It’s important to note that individual experiences may vary, and consistency and perseverance are essential to fully realizing the benefits of time blocking.


Time blocking is a powerful tool that can help you take control of your time and achieve your goals. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this post, you can create a schedule that works for you and make the most of every minute of your day. So what are you waiting for? Start time blocking today and see the difference it can make in your life!

Why we love planner supplies and where to find the best ones in Victoria, BC

Why we love planner supplies and where to find the best ones in Victoria, BC

Whether you’re an artist, writer, or planner, having the right stationery, art and planner supplies can make a huge difference. Here are some of the reasons why you might want to invest in a selection of planner supplies, why we love stationery, and the best places to find all your stationery, planner supplies, and art supplies in Victoria, BC.

Do I need planner supplies to use my planner or journal effectively?

While it’s true that using a journal or planner can help you stay organized and on top of your tasks and goals, having the right supplies and stationery can make the experience even more enjoyable and effective.

If you are like me, you love a variety of writing materials, papers, pens, pencils, envelopes, stickers, washi tape, markers, and other related items.

Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider investing in more supplies and stationery for your journal or planner:

  1. Customization: Having a variety of supplies, such as pens, stickers, and washi tape, allows you to customize your journal or planner to suit your style and preferences. This can make the experience more fun and engaging and help you stay motivated and committed to your goals.

  2. Functionality: Using the right supplies, such as pens with different colours and tips, can help you organize your thoughts and tasks more effectively. For example, use a different colour for each category of tasks or a specific type of pen to prioritize your to-do list, tasks and appointments.

  3. Inspiration: Using beautiful stationery and supplies can inspire your creativity and make journaling or planning feel more special. When you enjoy using your journal or planner, you’re more likely to stick with it and achieve your goals.

Of course, it’s okay not to have a ton of supplies and stationery at home to use a journal or planner effectively. However, having the right tools can make the experience more enjoyable, functional, and inspiring. So don’t be afraid to invest in a few extra supplies to enhance your journaling or planning experience.

Favourite West Coast Dreaming Planner supplies

Why many People Love Stationery and Planner Supplies

  1. It’s a form of self-expression: Stationery allows people to express their personality through their choice of paper, pens, and other writing tools. For example, some people prefer colourful or patterned paper, while others prefer sleek and simple designs. The choice of planner supplies reflects one’s individual style and taste.
  2. It’s a form of art: Many people enjoy creating art or calligraphy with their stationery. They may experiment with different types of pens, inks, and paper to create unique designs and lettering styles. In addition, creative processes can be therapeutic and relaxing for some people.
  3. It’s nostalgic: For some people, stationery brings back memories of a simpler time when letter writing was a more common form of communication. So writing a letter on beautiful stationery can evoke nostalgia and sentimentality.
  4. It’s a gift: Stationery can be a thoughtful gift for someone who enjoys writing, drawing, or organizing. In addition, it can be customized to suit the recipient’s tastes and preferences, making it a thoughtful and personal gift.

Where to buy stationery in Victoria?

Whether you are visiting or a local, and, depending on what you’re looking for, here are a few options in Victoria that suit your journal and planner needs.

  1. Monk Office & Art, formerly known as Island Blue Art & Framing: Monk Office & Art is a locally owned family business providing products and services to Vancouver Island’s creative and business communities and beyond. They offer a wide selection of art supplies, including paints, brushes, canvases, and more. They also have a great selection of stationery and planner supplies, including notebooks, journals, and pens.
  2. Opus Art Supplies: Opus Art Supplies is a chain of art supply stores with a location in Downtown Victoria. They offer a wide selection of art supplies, including paints, brushes, canvases, and more. They also have a great selection of stationery and planner supplies, including notebooks, journals, and pens.
  3. Munro’s Books: Munro’s Books is a locally owned and operated bookstore that has been a Victoria institution since 1963. They have a great selection of books, including art books and journals. They also carry a small selection of stationery and planner supplies, including notebooks and pens.
  4. Russell Books: Russell Books is another locally owned and operated bookstore in Victoria that has been around since 1991. They have a great selection of books, including art books and journals. They also carry a small selection of stationery and planner supplies, including notebooks and pens.
  5. The Papery: The Papery is a stationery store in downtown Victoria that offers a wide selection of stationery and planner supplies, including notebooks, journals, pens, and more. They also carry a small selection of art supplies, including pens and markers.
  6. Michael’s: Michael’s is a chain of craft stores with a location in Victoria in the Uptown Mall. They offer a wide selection of art supplies, including paints, brushes, canvases, and more. They also have a large selection of stationery and planner supplies, including notebooks, journals, and pens.

Whether you’re an artist, writer, or planner enthusiast, there are plenty of great reasons and places to find stationery and art supplies in Victoria, BC. From locally owned bookstores to chain craft stores, there’s something for everyone. So go out and find the perfect notebook, pen, or paintbrush to inspire your creativity and keep you organized. And if you haven’t seen our post on how to get started with a bullet journal, check out our How to Start a Bullet Journal post.

How to Fix Mistakes in Your Bullet Journal

How to Fix Mistakes in Your Bullet Journal

Planning your goals with a bullet journal or planner has become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to keep track of tasks, events, and notes in an organized and creative manner. However, even the most organized and careful journalers may need to correct mistakes from time to time. Errors can be frustrating to deal with, whether it’s a misspelled word or a misplaced line or point. But fear not! In this blog post, we’ll discuss some tips on how to fix mistakes in a bullet journal.

Cover up the error with a piece of craft paper.

Tip #1: Cover Up – Use Craft Paper, Correction Tape or Whiteout

One of the simplest ways to fix a mistake in a bullet journal is to use correction tape, whiteout or a piece of paper. Cover Ups allow you to hide the mistake and try again. Grab a colourful piece of paper and get creative on your page. You can add even more of these pieces to give your page a distinctive look. These options are quick and easy, but keep in mind that they may leave a noticeable mark on the page.

Tip #2: Cross It Out and Rewrite

Another option is to cross out the mistake and rewrite the correct information next to it. This quick and easy fix doesn’t require additional materials, but it may not be the most aesthetically pleasing option.

Use washi tape to fix mistakes in your bullet journal.

Tip #3: Use Washi Tape or Stickers

If you’re looking for a more creative way to fix a mistake in your bullet journal, consider using washi tape or stickers. Washi tape is a decorative tape that you can use to cover up blunders or add visual interest to your pages. You can also use stickers or add decorative elements to your bullet journal. This option is not only functional but also adds some personality and flair to your pages.

You can fix mistakes in your bullet journal by adding a page.

Tip #4: Add pages to your Bullet Journal

When you are creating your spreads ahead of time, your mind might wander from time to time. For example, after beautifully lettering the following weekday, you suddenly realize that you forgot a day in between. So simply add a page to your journal and get creative with the additional room you gained.

Easily fix mistakes in your bullet journal by making the mistake into something new.

Tip #5: Make Something New

It can happen all too easily when drawing lines or planning on a nice flourish to end a word with, and the line goes not where it is intended to go. Embrace it and make something new. A favourite go-to is to doodle or to draw around it and incorporate the wayward line into an intricate new design element.

Tip #6: Embrace Imperfection

Finally, remember that mistakes are a natural part of the bullet journaling process, and it’s okay to have some imperfections in your planner or journal. You can even use mistakes as an opportunity to add some character to your pages. For example, you could doodle around a mistake or turn it into a funny anecdote. So don’t be too hard on yourself for making mistakes – embrace them and make the most of them!

In conclusion, fixing mistakes in a bullet journal is a simple process that can be done using a variety of techniques. Whether you prefer a quick fix or a more creative solution, plenty of options are available to help you fix mistakes in your bullet journal. Remember to embrace imperfection and enjoy the process of creating a personalized and unique journal that reflects your personality and interests.

10 super simple weekly layouts for your bullet journal

10 super simple weekly layouts for your bullet journal

A good weekly spread is the backbone of your bullet journal and will probably either make or break the habit. If you find them too complicated or tedious, it will be hard to keep at it. If you are not happy with the way they look or how creative you can get or the space you have to express your thoughts, you might get discouraged and not stick to your new ritual. . How to get it right? Well, find a set of layouts that you like and understand your needs and goals. Are you a minimalist, the creative type, do you delve in watercolour, or do you want to explore them all? Check out these 10 super simple weekly layouts for your bullet journal and decide for yourself what suits your needs best.


In my experience, I have found the horizontal spreads to be the best if you prefer to jot down memories. The horizontal format gives you the space to write short sentences or bullets, and, depending on the size of your journal and handwriting, leave room for creative space.

In the next four spreads, you will see the same theme in four different varieties. Same basic layout, four entirely different looks.

The minimalist

Boxes denote the space for your weekly goals and each day. Instead of boxes, you can choose lines, or separate the daily space with the day of the week in your favourite brush lettering font.

You could try the same format, boxes and all and add some tangle patterns as a design element? Doesn’t take long and creates a distinct look for that particular week. Find the instructions to this pattern in my tangle pattern post.

Again, I used the same format again, this time added some fancy washi tape and created room to track water intake, meals and active time.

If you have some lightly coloured craft paper, you can also use this to create a stunning spread using the same structure.

How to deal with the tail end of the month?

What to do with the end of the month? How do deal with the gaping white space that needs to be filled? First of all, don’t panic. As I learned in design school “Don’t be afraid of white space. The page elements need this space to breathe.” Secondly, I started to use the extra space for either some creative outlet or a mini reflection on the month. This will help you greatly when you do your year-end reflection. The more you make yourself aware of what happened each month, the less often you look back at the past year not remembering how it went by so fast. No more blank spots and more memories which all in all help you perceive time to progress a little slower.

Weekly spread with habit trackers

Ok, we have finally left the same-old horizontal pattern behind and added creative and tracking spaces to the sides.

This is a weekly spread one-pager that tags on a page with goals, trackers or whatever you want to add to your page. Not to forget space to give gratitude, my favourite tool to staying mindful, and appreciative of the blessings in my life.

Vertical weekly layouts for your journal

The vertical layout is ideal if you want to highlight your appointments, and jot down simple notes. It is the perfect way to gain an overview of your week.
In the simple weekly layout above I decided to hand-draw my lines, which give the page a distinct freestyle look. See the spread below that features accurate boxes which I drew using a ruler.

This layout provides lots of space for notes or trackers while clearly structuring your week. I love the simplicity and contrasting beauty of the black cursive versus rigid grey lettering.

This layout focuses on giving you an hourly overview of your day. It could also be used to track how you spend your time and see where there are “pockets” of time that you could use more efficiently.

Whether you are a seasoned bullet journaler and already have your favourites, or are are about to find your style, it is always fun to try out something you don’t usually do. What I love about journaling is that I can fit it exactly to my needs. If I am feeling minimalistic, i’ll go after that style. If I need to focus on tracking anything, in my case usually water intake, goals, gratitude and exercise, I can do that. Care to share which weekly layout you prefer for your bujo?

How to draw banners

How to draw banners

banner exercises - header img

Have you ever wondered how so many bullet journals are lovingly adorned with beautiful banners and why they look always crooked when you try to do draw them? This is totally me. And that is exactly why I am writing this post today: to help you hoist your banners and let them fly high all across your bullet journal. And without further ado, here is how to draw banners. Five different ones to be exact.

Why do we like banners? They help you structure a page or give emphasis to a headline. They are eye-catching and all in all so much fun to draw.

1. The Classic

The Classic banner |

Start with a rectangular box. Then add two small triangles to the top. Now add the flaps. Make sure the flaps end higher than your box’ baseline. If you want you can now add texture to the flaps and darken the triangles (back of the flap).

2. The Classic – variation

The Classic banner-variation |

As the title suggests, this is a variation of the first banner I showed you. With this one, I chose to curve the base box ever so slightly. Follow the steps as prompted and you can’t go wrong.

3. The Wrap

The Wrap banner|

This one is a little bit more advanced, but you can do it. I had to fiddle around with it at first, but it did turn out nicely. Make sure to stagger your first two boxes. Then, connect them in a Z like way from the end of the top to the beginning of the first. The flaps are similar like the ones above but achieved differently. The bottom lines almost look like a swoosh.

4. The Single Fold

The Single Fold banner|

Start the single fold with a slight bend to your base box. You can let this end in a forked flap if you wish. Next, add your upper swoosh (would also work on the bottom). Finish your

5. The Scroll

The Scroll banner|

Start your top line almost like a lower-case letter e with a very long tail. Then add your vertical V-shape to create the side of the flap and close up your base box. Make sure the lower curve of the box matches as closely as you can to your upper curve. Add two vertical lines to finish off the scroll look and et voila, you did it.

A few more tips: Test your headline size and length before you set your banner in stone, so to speak. Penciling in the headline and box size helps a great deal. You can also create your favourite banners on one sheet, and draw them in a nice “fat” black. Keep this sheet handy and you can use this to trace your next banner into your journal or similar medium. Never forget, have lots of fun and keep practicing how to draw banners. It’ll become second nature in no time.

Have fun practicing how to draw banners.

Brush lettering tutorial: Real-life tricks

Brush lettering tutorial: Real-life tricks

brush lettering tutorial |

It has come to this. You have started your bullet journal or been looking at other people’s successes with their journals and couldn’t help yourself but feeling utterly envious of the simple ease with which presumably all the bullet journalers skillfully master their fonts and headlines. I hear you, I have been there, and I have searched many times for “brush lettering tutorial”.

I’ll be super honest with you, what you see online is so often the most perfected version of itself, in this case, brush lettering or faux calligraphy. Don’t get me wrong, I utterly admire all those wonderfully skilled artists out there that have mastered the skill of calligraphy and the art of brush lettering. I know from my own experience, it takes a lot of practice, patience, diligence, not giving up and bit more practice. Yes, and let’s add a bit more practice, please. After all, practice makes perfect. I have yet to come across a single brush lettering tutorial that shows the struggles the artists face.

And of the topic of being honest, I did study graphic design, a long time ago and for that, I had to take courses in calligraphy. Even so, brush lettering IS hard. Creating elegant swirls and holding the pen do come easily to me, yet my lettering is often not as perfect as I would like it to be. Nevertheless, I do not mean to discourage you. On the contrary. I am writing this post about brush lettering for you, to tell you to just dive in, hang in there and/or not give up. You will get there, all it takes is practice and accepting the stage you are in.

Brush lettering tutorial: Real-life trick #1: Tools

To get started, you won’t need to rush to by fancy paper or pens. Don’t get me wrong, I love fancy stationery, but there are less expensive options out there for sure. pens | What you will need:

  • Brush pen or Crayola pip squeak pen, brush and watercolor
  • Paper
  • Patience

Yes, a brush pen is probably best, but before spending money on a pen you probably run dry just by practicing your letters, you could practice the technique of holding it and varying pressure just as easily with a Crayola pip squeak pen. I borrow my daughter’s pens sometimes. Oops, another real-life trick comes out.Brush lettering tutorial:

Brush lettering tutorial: Real-life trick #2: Paper

The smoother the paper, the better for the pen. But again, don’t worry about buying fancy paper if you are just practicing with a practice pen. The exercise is just as effective. Tracing paper also helps, if you have that handy. Using lined paper also helps at first to get the hang of writing straight.

Brush lettering tutorial: Real-life trick #3: Technique

What do brush letters consist of? In short, thinner upstrokes, and thicker down strokes and some transitions in between. Let’s try. basic strokes |
Practice simple up and down strokes and fill a full page. Get a good feel for the pen and how much pressure it takes to create thinner versus thicker lines. Go and practice now. Once you feel confident, try to put up strokes and down strokes together in a waveform. Practice and fill another page.

Brush lettering tutorial: Real-life trick #4: Practice

I know you can’t wait to progress and get to use this font in your bullet journal. But again, think of the four P’s: grab your pen and paper and patience, and practice. Ok, I’ll give you two letters to practice the combined up and down strokes: n and u. n and u |
Done? Great, let’s move on. Let’s progress to the next level: curves. a |
The trick with curves is to not rush it and control the amount of pressure to the pen and angle you hold it in. Practice some a’s, e’s, c’s Now you can add strokes to curves like in the letter d, g or q. dgq |
Again, take your time, pick up the pen from the paper very briefly, if needed, and keep going.

Brush lettering tutorial: Real-life trick #5: Make things easier

d |

Have a look at your favourite brush lettering style and get familiar with the shape of each letter. Practice the flow of the letters with a regular fine tip pen to get the shape into your muscle memory. When this feels familiar switch to the brush pen. Fill pages and pages with your letters.

Brush lettering tutorial: Real-life trick #6: Cheat

Use a pencil to sketch out the word on your page. Either use a brush pen right away or add a second line next to your down-strokes to mimic the thin-thick effect and then fill the gap between the two down strokes and voila, you have created faux calligraphy. Yay. By using a pencil you see how much space the word takes up on your space and where you want your swirls to land.


Brush lettering tutorial: Real-life trick #7: Practice makes perfect

Do you see how many of these letters look uneven or have too little variation in the thickness of the stroke? It is because this takes a lot of practice. I can’t stress this enough. Practice makes perfect.

brush lettering tutorial - pinterest |

Brush lettering tutorial: Real-life trick #8: Large font

Another trick is to try a larger font first. The change between thick and thin strokes is way easier to master in a larger font. When you feel confident in lettering larger words, try your hand at smaller fonts.

Whenever you feel like it, start transferring your new skills to your bullet journal. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. It is all part of the process. Thanks for reading. What do you struggle most with when it comes to hand lettering? Let me know, I would love to know how I can help you.