Free Downloads for Quarantine

Wow. with COVID-19, quarantine, school closures…this spring has really been something beyond imagining, hasn’t it?

For an introvert, social distancing and self-isolation isn’t a problem, but I am fortunate enough to have only cats to entertain, rather than children. I can’t imagine how difficult this time is for extroverted people, especially if you’re trying to work from home while keeping your kids occupied and on-task, school-wise.

Eustace Clarence, my quarantine coworker

Eustace Clarence Scrubb, my quarantine coworker

I’ve been wracking my brain for some way I could help people who are stuck at home in quarantine, and today I finally decided on a couple of  free printables.

The first is designed for kids. There’s no question that we’re living through historic times, and as an historian, I know how important it is to have primary documents–journals, letters, and that sort of thing.

COVID-19 Quarantine Journal

I designed My COVID-19 Quarantine Journal for kids to keep a guided journal during self-isolation. You can download it as a PDF and print as many as you need. I included daily pages for 30 days. (Optimistic? Maybe.)

Download the COVID-19 Journal

 

Quarantine KonMari Checklist

The second is designed for adults who might be inclined to work on decluttering while we’re all stuck at home. I know I’ve been noticing my clutter more, since it’s sometimes affecting my ability to work from home (for my day job). The clutter has also making it difficult to find things I always said I was work on “when I have time.”

Well, time has been pretty much forced on us now, hasn’t it? So I’m trying to get to some of those “someday maybe” projects…when I can find them! So the second download I made is a printable KonMari checklist.

Download the KonMari Checklist

 

I love the KonMari method, but I know it isn’t for everyone. Even if you don’t ask yourself if every item sparks joy, this list can at least get you thinking about all the crazy places clutter collects in our houses.

Other Quarantine Resources

By the way, f you aren’t a KonMari fan, Kendra Adachi (aka The Lazy Genius) has a fantastic ebook called The Swap that I purchased a while back. It gave me a different way of thinking about a problem I had with my work setup. It resulted in my ditching a guest bed and radically overhauling my bedroom and home office (for Etsy).

Kendra also has a fantastic blog post called A Lazy Genius Survival Guide: Quarantine. It has lots of good resources and suggestions. (I admit it, I’m a Lazy Genius fangirl. I don’t listen to a lot of podcasts, but I never miss this one.)

I’ll be adding these files to the downloads page soon. If you have any requests for resources that would help you, I’m open to suggestions and happy to help!

And please stay home and stay healthy. Let me know how you’re doing in the comments.

Travel Planning with Redhead Paper

I just got back from a quick overnight trip. I’d like to say it was beautifully planned and everything went as I’d hoped.

I’d like to say that, but I can’t.

The truth is, faced with the prospect of an unexpected extra day off, I decided to take a quick jaunt up to Lake Michigan. I booked a hotel room in New Buffalo, Michigan, about three hours from where I live. I did a little bit of internet searching on kayak rental, because I knew I wanted to paddle the Galien River.

It was all clear in my head: dinner at Redamak’s, hanging out at the beach, hiking at Galien River County Park, kayaking on the Galien River, more hanging out at the beach.

What I failed to realize is that the New Buffalo Ship and Shore Festival was taking place. Southbound traffic was backed up so badly I couldn’t even think about getting into the Redamak’s parking lot. There was no getting near the beach. Ultimately I ended up with an hour-long dinner wait at a place in Three Oaks, where I couldn’t see the lake. Then I took the long way ’round to avoid New Buffalo on the way back to my hotel room.

Where I sulked a little bit.

I usually do a much better job of researching and planning a trip. Here are a couple of my methods.

Travel Planning in a Bullet Journal

My preferred method is planning in my Bullet Journal, because that goes everywhere with me. If it’s a trip I’ve been anticipating for a while, there’s a good chance things will occur to me at random times. I want to be able to capture those thoughts when they hit me.

I sell a set of trip planning stickers in my Etsy store, and those are the stickers I use most of the time when I’m planning a trip.

A picture of travel planning stickers with packing lists, trip information, and moreThe stickers include packing lists for categories like Medicine/First Aid, Electronics, Makeup & Personal Care, Miscellaneous, and all the outfits I’ll need. There’s also a trip overview where I put the dates, the number of days and nights I’ll be traveling, and the expected weather.

That last bit is important! One year when I went up to the Indiana Dunes, I failed to realize it was going to be just as hot and sticky there as it was where I live. I ended up at the Michigan City outlet mall to buy clean clothes!

Travel Planning with a Printable

An image of a printable travel itinerary page with room for destination, flight and hotel information, expected weather, things to do, and budget.I also have a new Travel Itinerary Printable that I’m offering here as a free download.

This printable has places to note your destination, flight information, hotel information, and expected weather. After that comes a grid to plan out several days worth of things to do and your daily budget.

It’s a two-page printable. The ten days included are all numbered. If you’re lucky enough to be traveling longer than ten days, you can always print extra copies of the second page to fit your trip.

Download the Itinerary Printable FREE

Traveling with your Planner

Once you have the trip all planned and you’re ready to leave, do you take your planner with you?

I always do. For one thing, I use my Bullet Journal as a planner but also as a sort of scrapbook. I have a little HP Sprocket printer (the red version) and I use that to print small photos that I can stick in my Bullet Journal with some recollections about the day.

Another reason to take my Bullet Journal with me is so I have important addresses with me, even if my phone battery dies. I love sending postcards to my friends–even though a lot of them don’t even bother checking their mailbox daily!

(What is up with that, by the way? I’m Gen X and check my mailbox daily even though it’s usually just bills and spiders. My Millennial friends don’t seem to remember to check the mailbox daily.)

Anyway… I also like to have my Bullet Journal with me to record expenses during the trip, write down places I want to go or things I want to do next time I visit, and so on. Maybe if I were using a traditional daily or weekly planner, I wouldn’t be as inclined to take it on personal trips with me.

What about you? Do you take your Bullet Journal or planner with you when you’re traveling? Do you have any tips I’ve forgotten to mention? Comment and let me know!

And don’t forget to download your itinerary printable!

Download the Itinerary Printable FREE

Introducing Redhead Printables!

Redhead Paper Planner Printables digital downloads

I’m very excited to announce that starting in August, I’m adding lots of printable downloads to my Etsy shop!

I already have a few daily planning pages and a travel packing list there, but I’m adding actual planner kits now. Two planner kits are currently available, and more will be coming.

I have the Live Like a Redhead Planner Kit and the Crazy Cat Lady Planner Kit.

Planner Kit Printables

The Live Like a Redhead printable kit has 21 pages to help you plan out your life, define and achieve your goals, and be mindful of your finances.

Pages include:

  • Cover
  • Yearly Overview
  • Monthly Overview
  • Monthly Calendar
  • Week at a Glance
  • Today’s Plan
  • My Goals
  • Vision Mapping
  • Project Planner
  • Budget Tracker
  • Expense Tracker
  • Income Tracker
  • Financial Snapshot
  • Health and Fitness
  • Meal Planning and Grocery List
  • Lists
  • Books to Read
  • Brain Dump
  • Password Tracker
  • Workflow Planner
  • Habit Tracker

The Crazy Cat Lady Planner Kit has all of those pages plus a Pet Care page…and it’s decorated with adorable cat pictures!

How to Use the Planner Kits

Printable Financial Snapshot worksheet from the Crazy Cat Lady Planner Kit

The Financial Snapshot page gives you a year-at-a-glance overview of your income and expenses, so you can take a longer view of your financial situation. The Workflow Planner allows you to consider daily, weekly, monthly, and annual tasks that need to be done. The Habit Tracker is a four-week tracking sheet for five different habits–because you don’t want to try to change too much at once!

Download the file and print as many as you’d like! This listing is for a digital PDF download that you print yourself. No physical items will be delivered.

Other Printables in the Works

I’m currently working on designing a Budgeting and Debt Reduction Planner Kit, and I’m planning a Write Your Novel Planner Kit. I’m also thinking about a Medical Planner Kit, since I’ve been working with a customer of mine who is a doctor to create trackers for various medical conditions.

Free Printable Downloads

Just a reminder, I have a Downloads page here at the website so you can get an idea of what I’m making. I’m also adding one more today!

This is a printable daily plan. I’m listing it in three versions at my Etsy store, but you can get the black and white one here for free!

DOWNLOAD

I’m open to suggestions for other printables you want. Tell me what your planner needs are!

New Downloads Page

This is just a quick post today. I wanted to let everyone know that I’ve set up a separate downloads page on the website. That way you don’t have to search through the tags to find my free downloads.

Right now it isn’t a big deal because there are only a couple of printables. But I plan to start adding more printable downloads in the next few months, so I wanted to have a place to collect them.

Currently available to download are my weekly time-blocking worksheet and a two-sided printable bookmark I created inspired by The Dark Is Rising. Over time I plan to add daily dockets, a spring-cleaning checklist, packing lists, and more.

If there’s a printable you’d like to see created, I’m happy to take suggestions! Let me know in the comments on this post!

Digital Time-Blocking is also an alternative

Free Time-Blocking Printable for Better Productivity

I love my Bullet Journal. But it isn’t perfect. I often use it in addition to other tools, including a time-blocking worksheet, Google Calendar, and a timer.

One thing that isn’t easy to do in the Bullet Journal system is future planning/scheduling. Sometimes, when I have a large project I want to get done, the only way for me to “find” time to work on it is to make time. But in my Bullet Journal, I don’t keep a daily or weekly schedule the way you would in a paper planner. I rely on Google Calendar for my appointments & meetings, writing them in my monthly log and looking at the calendar every day. That works well for me.

So when I need to block out my schedule and make time for my project, I print out a blank weekly time-blocking sheet and start marking what I have to do each day of the week.

Cal Newport seems to be the first person who wrote about time-blocking, back in 2013. He does time-blocking a little differently than I do. He recommends blocking out every single minute of your day. I don’t do that. I suppose I could just block in “Play Skyrim” or “read a novel” instead of leaving those blank spaces. I’ll talk more about that later, though.

How to start time-blocking

Start with the essentials. We all have commitments we either can’t or won’t give up. For most of us, there’s a full-time job, for instance. For those of us who can’t work from home, there’s commuting time.

So I start by writing in church, my work week, and commute time, because those are unchanging. Sleep is important, so I block out the time I want to be sleeping. I also put my television shows on there, because I don’t want to miss them (right now it’s just The 100, but iZombie is back next week!)

Time-blocking printable worksheet by redhead paper

Add Negotiable Commitments

After the essentials, I add any meetings or appointments I might have. Those can vary from week to week, depending on what committees I’m involved in or if I’m volunteering somewhere.

If you have kids with sports or activity commitments, you’ll need to put those on here, too.

Once my time-blocking worksheet is filled in with everything I can think of that I must get done, that’s when the magic happens.

Block in Reactive Time

Here’s something I hadn’t thought about before reading Cal Newport’s blog. Even if you have a job that involves a lot of necessary interruptions, you can handle that with time-blocking. Just mark in “Reactive Work.”

Newport writes:

“Even if you’re blocking most of your day for reactive work, for example, the fact that you are controlling your schedule will allow you to dedicate some small blocks (perhaps at the schedule periphery) to deeper pursuits.”

I think that’s a great way of coping with the reactive work. Part of my day job involves me being available to give tours at a moment’s notice. I’m going to talk to my coworkers about each of us blocking in reactive work time to co-ordinate how we share the load. I have lots of other duties besides the tours, which means I also need to be able to schedule in deep work time blocks.

Block in Project Work

This is where I look at the time that’s left over on my schedule. I figure out how to spend that time and how much of it I can give to my project.

In this case, it’s my writing. I’m way past overdue on my latest novel, and it needs a serious commitment from me now that I’m recovered from the nasty case of bronchitis I had for a good part of this month.

Looking at my time-blocking sheet above, I see a lot of blank spaces on the calendar to do things like laundry, meals, and playing with the cats or reading.

But I also managed to find time for a solid 17 hours of writing in this week.

Leave Yourself Some Free Time

I think it’s important to leave some flex in your blocked out schedule. For one thing, life happens. Electricity goes out. Tires lose air. Germs attack. Not only that, but other people may not be privy to your schedule, so interruptions happen–some more important than others.

Not only that, but time-blocking should never be an exercise in pain. The goal of a time-blocking sheet isn’t to keep your nose to the grindstone 24/7. It’s to be intentional in how you use your time. It’s to make you aware of just how much time you have, if you put off checking email until after you do the deep work you’re committed to.

Now, since Cal Newport recommends blocking your entire schedule, I had a go at doing just that on Google Calendar. The good news is, you can create a time-blocking schedule pretty easily on a digital calendaring system, too. I’m not sure if I’m in love with scheduling everything, and it takes a little more work than doing it on paper. But here’s what it would look like on GCal.

Digital Time-Blocking is also an alternative

Use a Timer during your time blocks

Another useful tool with your time-blocking printable is a timer. The Pomodoro Technique, designed by Francisco Cerillo, has you set a timer for 25 minutes. You work on your project until the timer goes off, and then you take a short break. Every four Pomodoro sessions, you take a longer break.

I’ve learned first-hand how well this works. During NaNoWriMo my friends and I often have word wars. We put our heads down and write for a set period of time (often 15 minutes, sometimes 30 minutes). At the end of that time, we compare to see how many words each person has. The point of the word wars isn’t to have perfect prose. It’s to get words on the page so you have something you can polish later.

Free Time-Blocking Printable

Do you have a project you need to commit to? I can help! Click the button below to download a PDF of the blank time-blocking worksheet. No email required!

DOWNLOAD

Let me know how it works for you!

Additional Time-Blocking Resources

For a deeper dive into time-blocking, check out this great post on RescueTime’s blog: Time-Blocking 101.


Get a free time-blocking printable for planning and time management from Redhead Paper!