Alternative Vision Boards part 3 of 2

Posted by RichD | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-03-2011

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When I started covering these ideas for interesting vision board techniques I intended to just do two articles.  One post on using graphics software to create and print a vision board and the second post covering making vision board movies.  Recently I have come a cross a great technique that definitely warrants sharing.

If you read this blog or know me at all you know I interested in bookbinding.  I love making journals, notebook, and sketchbooks.  I even print out game guides and bind them for my video games.  I was looking at different book binding crafts on YouTube a few days ago and came across a quick and easy scrapbook technique. It’s simple and elegant and lends itself to a great many projects.

Its called Teesha Moore’s Amazing 16 Page Journal

Teesha Moore’s Amazing 16-Page Journal

Teesha uses some really nice watercolor paper for her journal.  I did this for my first one and I have to admit I loved the results. But after the first journal I made I started thinking of the mind numbing possibilities for this simple project.  I did some experimenting and found that I could do a pretty good job using poster board.  It doesn’t crease as nicely as the watercolor paper but it’s a LOT cheaper and comes in lots of colors (incase you aren’t into the watercolor thing she teaches).  The only catch is, using the dimensions she sets out for the book, you will need to use two sheets of poster board if you want the same number of pages.

Maybe by now you have made the connection between this journaling technique and vision boards.  This book will give you a very attractive way to build your vision board and even let you uses pages to separate subject matter for you visions.  The one I am working on now has a large page spread for my new home, a smaller page dedicated to a car I love and pages dedicated to friends, romance and fitness.

Since all parts of the book aren’t visible at once as they would be for a more traditional vision board, you might consider making the cover an over view of your goals, then you can flip through the book at your leisure.

As with any vision board, have fun with it.  Make it yours.

I am also working on a means to collect several of these vision books into a larger format.  Ill share that with you as soon as I complete a few so I can show you how I do it.

Thanks Teesha! (www.teeshamoore.com)

Alternative Vision Boards (part 2)

Posted by RichD | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 21-03-2011

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Sample Mind Movie

So you have spent hours going through old magazines and using a giant glue stick and finally you’ve mapped out the vision of your perfect life.  The poster board collage is stuck dutifully on the door to your bedroom closet and you can see it every morning when you get dressed and every night before bed.

Or…

You read my earlier post and did the entire thing digitally and printed it out in many formats.  You have a poster on your bedroom door, a screen saver and even a copy folded up in your back pocket at all times!

Let the good vibes roll in!

Well my friend you have taken a large step in the direction of achieving your to your goals.  I can’t let a good thing go, however.  I’ve been thinking and I think I’ve come up with a couple more exciting vision board techniques!

If you have been collecting images from the Internet an/or scanning them into your computer for either your digital vision board or to print and cut out for your analog version, then you already have the raw material you need to take another giant step into vision boarding for the twenty-first century.

I have two techniques I want to hand you.

Number 1  MAKE A MOVIE!

Most computers have the software necessary to take all of those images you’ve collected and turn them in to a pretty impressive slide show.  You can just dump them in to Windows Movie Maker or iMovie (PC and Mac respectively) and voila!  Instant movie.  Now you can show your creativity by changing the transitions between images, adding motion to some of the scenes, typing over the photos and adding words of inspiration and motivation.  You can even add some background music.  That’s a dimension you just can’t get with a poster board!

If you are not familiar with the software, don’t sweat it.  It took my 15-year-old niece all of ten minutes to show me how to use it.  Kids have totally educated themselves in video production (YouTube).  If you don’t have a teenager available, trust me, it’s pretty easy.  Basically you open the software and drag all the photos in your folder to the storyboard, and then just put them in the order you want them in.  There are plenty of tutorials online (even on YouTube).

There you have it, your own movie/visionboard, email able and playable on any computer you care to play it on.  Possibly even playable on your phone.

If you take it one step further (though I have to admit this gets a bit more complicated) you can burn it to a CD that you can stick in and watch while you are going about your business.  I know a lot of people that like to keep the TV on, even if they aren’t watching it.  They like the “company.”  What better company than your visionboard playing in the background with your favorite music.

Number 2  PUT IT IN A FRAME

I’m not talking about finding a giant, ornate frame for your poster board creation (though I kinda like that idea).  What I am talking about here is a Digital frame.  They are available everywhere these days, in all sizes and all price ranges.  The nice aspect about these frames is that most of them now have a “slide-show” function.  Take all those wonderful, motivating images you’ve collected and move them to a digital frame.  Flip the “slide-show” switch and enjoy.  Your vision board plays right there, you can have it on your desk, by your bed, or on the kitchen counter.  Some are battery powered so they can literally travel anywhere with you.  Believe it or not, many of them can also play music.

Doing a quick search on the net, I’ve located some great examples of movies others have made.  You can head to YouTube and do a search on “mindmovie.”  I bet you will be pretty inspired.

Now you have two more ways to keep you goals and aspirations right in front of you.  Using some readily available technology you can update your concept of a vision board and give it the extra dimensions of sound and movement.  Give the glue stick a rest and give these methods a try.

Alternative Vision Boards (part 1)

Posted by RichD | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 16-03-2011

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A vision board is a great way to keep your life plans, goals, and ambitions clearly focused and in your mind at all times.  By creating a vision board of your ultimate life design you have in your possession a clear, visual representation of the important things you want to achieve and accomplish.  By keeping it in a place that you see often and regularly throughout the day,  you are constantly reminding yourself and your environment of exactly where you intend to go in life.  There have been countless studies on the effectiveness of such a clear, persistent and positive vision.  Either by activating the Laws of Attraction or as simple a reminder to keep you on track, vision boards are a proven tool for changing your life.

One of my vision boards for getting lean

Traditionally, creating a vision board was an exercise in arts and crafts.  You would take a poster board or a foam-core board and a stack of magazines and start to cut out images  and words that represent you and the things you are aiming for, and gluing and/or taping these images and words to the board.  When you are done you have a collage of the things in life you are gunning for.  You then place this board in a spot where you could see it often and regularly.  For instance over your desk or on your fridge or bedroom door.

More recently there have been several types of software that let you create vision boards on your computer.  You surf the Internet and find the images (or scan them), then plug them into the software and you get a pre-made template of a board with your own images pasted into it.  You can then use it as a screen saver on your computer or, in some cases print it out on a regular 8.5×11 sheet of paper.

Both of these methods are highly effective, but each is a bit limiting in its own way.  Don’t get me wrong.  However you make your vision board, it’s a good thing.  The hand-made, cut-and-paste version, is big and beautiful and full of your own energy.  The way they are laid out is a reflection of your own artistic personality and means a lot to you (even if its only subconsciously). The limiting factor is also what makes it so special.  It’s one of a kind.  You may place it on your bedroom door, but there it stays.  Its not very practical to carry a large piece of foam-core with you throughout your day, but wouldn’t it be cool if you had it with you more often to keep it in sight and therefore in mind?  Keeping it over your desk may keep it in sight but unless you can really personalize your workspace it may not be an option.

The digital versions of the vision board cover some of these problems.  You can print a copy and keep it with you and its probably okay to have it as a screen saver on your computer at work.  However I find that an 8.5×11 printout of a vision board is really selling yourself short.  You need bigger space for your big plans.  While the screen savers are very cool and all, fitting your goals into the software’s template takes a lot of “you” out of the equation.  The pictures are “you” but the arrangement is the creation of the software designers.

My approach  gives you the best of both worlds with a few added benefits.

It’s a two-part approach that may require a small learning curve (but not much more of a curve than learning to use a dedicated vision board software).  The two parts being; the creation of the actual board and the production and distribution of the finished product.

Creation:

To start , I am recommending a digital approach to creating this vision board.  Instead of using a software package dedicated to vision boards (though I imagine they would work just as well) you can use any photo editing software.  You may have some already on your system but if you don’t there are several packages you can choose from and some of the best ones are absolutely free.
The first software package I am recommending is GIMP.  This is a very powerful software package that is a fantastic image/photo editor, nearly on par with Adobe Photoshop.  While Photoshop will set you back hundreds of dollars, GIMP is absolutely free.  If you are completely new to image editing you can find tutorials all over the web and some very good video tutorials on YouTube.  Once you’ve learned the basics of Cut-and-Paste, Resizing, and Layers, you are on your way to creating any type of collage or photo mosaic you could need.  The learning curve is the steepest but the larger freedom to create is well worth it.
Another free piece of software is Picasa.  This is a free download from Google for photo editing and they have recently added a “collage” feature. That takes your photos and arranges them for you on the page to create the collage/vision board. Your layout choices are much more limited. But it’s a much less complicated procedure.
If you don’t want to download and install software (even for free), or maybe you aren’t near your own computer but still have Internet access there are several online image editors and collage makers.  The one that I looked at before writing this article is called Collagr.  This site offers you the tools to take the URLs of images you find online and dump them into a collage online.  Again the layout is pretty standard but not bad looking.  For creating a quick vision board on the fly its very usable, available, and FREE.

Using any of these resources will give you a great range of possibilities for creating a vision board suitable for your needs.  Just remember it will take a little playing around to see how they work for you.  Don’t get discouraged.  Have fun with them.

Production/Distribution

Now you’ve collected images and words that are important to the plan you have for your future and you’ve used the software to put them all together into an awesome vision.  Now what?

Firstly and most importantly you save your work.  Make sure you save it as a jpeg (.jpg) file that you can find on your computer.  In the case of Collagr, it seems that you can only save it to the site.  Don’t panic.  Once its saved to the site. Click on it until its displayed in a window of its own then right-click on the collage and save the image to your desk-top.  It will automatically save as a .jpg file.

Now for even more computer fun.

This jpeg is just your basic file.  Here are two more pieces of software you are going to love.

The first is called Posterazor, and again it’s a FREE download.  Posterazor is super-easy to use.  It takes your jpeg file and blows it up as large as you want it to be, then prints out pieces of the image on sheets of paper so that it can be assembled, like a puzzle into a much larger poster.  I’ve seen entire walls covered with poster made from this software.  Now you have a large poster of your vision board.  But since it’s a digital file you can print it out as many times as you want and in any size you need.  You can have a giant poster in your bedroom, a smaller one on the inside of your office door and an 8.5×11 folded up in your pocket or used as place holder in your organizer.  I even use a very small image as the wallpaper on my phone (it’s way too small but it does remind me that I have these goals).

The final piece of software is a free ONLINE version of Posterazor called Blockposters.  Its basically the same as Posterazor but it takes a much smaller file size because its online.  I use it all the time but because it’s a smaller file to start with it tends to not blow up as large and stay clear.

And there you have it.  All the tips you need to create uniquely satisfying, multi-functional, any-sized vision boards on your (or any) computer.  In no time at all you will master these resources and not only will you be turning out great tools for manifesting your future but you will be picking up some highly useful/marketable skills in the process.

Create with:

http://www.collagr.com/ (online)
http://picasa.google.com (download for free)
http://www.gimp.org/ (download for free)

Enlarge with:

http://www.blockposters.com (online)
http://posterazor.sourceforge.net/ (download for free)

Starting Again: Less Technical / More Illustrative.

Posted by RichD | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 16-03-2011

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Okay.  It’s been awhile and I will be the first to admit I lost my motivation for regular posting on this site.  But lately a lot of things have been brewing, swirling, and banging around in my head.  I think it’s time to get going on this blog again.  I think I will take a little different approach this time.  Up to this point I have been pretty much focused on the nuts and bolts and the whys and wherefores of keeping a journal.  I think it would be easier on me and maybe a little more interesting for you if I not only gave you the technical aspects of journaling, but also shared how I am actually using it and what I am doing with it.  Maybe even share some of my life experiences and goals so you can see how keeping a journal keeps me on task for them.

So you get to follow me on some of my adventures, see how I set goals, chide me for not sticking to my plans, and watch me grow along with this blog.

Since I be able to share my experiences with you I will have more to write about.  You can expect more posts.  On the other hand I will still cover the practical aspects of keeping journals, diaries, logbook and all manner of personal writing.  I’m just too fascinated with the whole process to let it slide and just tell you how I am doing.    Hopefully you will see what I am using and it will inspire you to find a method or methods that will work for you as well.

So here’s to a new start and I hope you all keep coming, reading, commenting, and journaling.

And a special thanks to KB, who for reasons unknown, showed up unexpectedly and rekindled the fire under my butt without even knowing it.

Rich

Your Life’s Time-line (Memoirs)

Posted by RichD | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 11-08-2010

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So maybe writing your entire life story IS a little overwhelming.  I mean there is a lot to remember, right?  So start easy.  Set up a timeline for yourself.  Start with your birthdate and mark off every decade up to the current date.  Surely you can come up with ONE major event for each decade.  And how many decades can there be?

If you start here you will see something interesting happen.  Usually, after you mark a major item in a decade, you will suddenly remember something else that happened around that time.  All you have to do is decide if it happened before or after the first thing you came up with.  Before you know it you will be breaking 10 year periods in two, then the 5 year periods will break down.  Very soon you will come up with at least one major event for each year of your life.  Probably more.

Now you have a time-line for your life.  Not only that but it is a good outline for writing a memoir.  Just take each item on the list and write about it.  No one said a memoir has to be one continual story.  A collection smaller incidents and personal essays is a fabulous way to go.

Updating Your Journal With Your Text Messages

Posted by RichD | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 20-07-2010

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As much as I love the idea of keeping a day-by-day unbroken string of entries in my daily diary, I admit I fail at it often. Sometimes a week (or more) will go by without me touching the book by my bed. Yes I know its perfectly alright to just pick up the book and start an entry for today and not worry about the days I missed, but it just feels untidy somehow. Today was such a day for me. I opened my diary and it has been exactly one week since my last entry. Not only that but I will have to say it was a pretty uneventful week because I couldn’t readily bring much of it back to my mind.
My normal process in this situation is to make a list of the days missed on a sheet of paper and work my way backwards, filling in the days that are freshest in my memory and eventually connecting back up to my last entry. Then I simply transcribe them into the diary. It worked okay at first. The weekend was still pretty fresh in my mind. Last week, however, was not in there for some reason.
That’s when I hit on this idea! I grabbed my phone and started flipping back through text messages! They turned out to be great little reminders of things I did with friends or places we ate, or things we talked about. I also found that these messages sparked other memories of the days that weren’t even in the messages. In no time at all I had reconstructed the week with short, but pertinent, entries.
Other places you might go to reconstruct some entries would be your email or your daily calendar. Sometimes all you need is a quick reminder of how the day went and the memories come flooding back in.

Using Simplenote for Journal Keeping Accross all Platforms

Posted by RichD | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-07-2010

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I’ll be the first to admit I am not well versed (or even well educated) in keeping a journal electronically.  Up until now I’ve been pretty much a book and pen kind of guy.  However, about a month ago I decided to split my journal keeping in two again.  Keeping a notebook for all the random thoughts and information and keeping a second book for simply recording the events of the day.  I found that I can keep the daily diary much better if I keep the book by my bed and jot things down before I go to sleep.  Its been working pretty well.

As usual one thing leads to another and I find myself thinking about keeping the daily diary in a digital form.  Since it is mainly just text I don’t have to worry about keeping up with any ephimera.  Why not keep the info in a form that makes it easy to search and reproduce?  I could even keep the diary for an entire year and then publish a volume at a print on demand site.  I found myself envisioning shelves books with the year of the diary neatly printed on the spines.

Looking into it further I found that there are a great many ways to keep a diary electronically. There are specialized software packages and websites made especially for keeping your journal in this fashion.  I intend to explore these further in the future, but right now I am not inclined to get involved with anything with only one use.  I also explored Google Docs.  I was almost sold on that option when I discovered Simplenote.  Google Docs work fine on any computer and that was the initial draw.  Unfortunately you can’t edit your documents on your smart phone.  That means you have to sit at a computer and work on your diary (or any other notes).  That’s not a bad thing unless you realize you don’t have to.  Simplenote has smart phone applications that let you edit the same notes you edit on any other computer.  Write something on your phone, it updates your computer.  Update something on your computer and it updates on your phone.  Its all wrapped up in a simple, straight forward interface.

Check out their video:

PJK is now Social! We are live on Facebook and Twitter!

Posted by RichD | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-07-2010

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Hoping to bring more people into the conversation I have decided to experiment with some social media sites.

You can follow me on Facebook here or Twitter here 

All Hail The “Grail Diary”

Posted by RichD | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 07-04-2010

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Lately I have been thinking about the diary or journal that is kept for a specific purpose.  The single minded book of research notes and such.  Ill post more on them later but in thinking of them I was reminded of the wonderful “Grail Diary” from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

I remember the first time I saw the movie.  Doctor Jones (senior) was pouring over the pages of this book, making notes and drawings, all concerning his lifetime obsession with legends of the Holy Grail.  It was a work of art.  Throughout the movie we are treated with glances and peeks into this incredible diary.

When I say it was a work of art, I am not exaggerating.  It was literally the work of artistic Hollywood prop makers.  Even so, what a great addition to any diary enthusiasts collection.  Fortunately this is very possible.  While locating an purchasing the actual used in the film might be out of the realm of possibilities for most of us, there are ways to get some pretty good reproductions.

Firstly, there are prop reproduction companies all over the Internet that produce fine copies of this book, including all the inserts and ephemera stuck between the pages in the movie.  Photos and tickets for Zeppelins included.  The better reproductions are pretty pricey.  I have been looking on eBay and they seem to range (for the nice ones) from between $300-$500.  There are some copies that don’t look quite as authentic for substantially less.

The other route to go is to make your own.  If you have a tiny bit of craftiness or artistic inclinations there are several websites available that supply you with images and instructions for recreating your very own copy of the Grail Diary.

Bring Back the Desk Journal

Posted by RichD | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 29-03-2010

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I know that most desks or offices seem to run on sticky notes.  I step into a colleagues office and I see them everywhere.  Stuck to the computer monitor, stuck to the wall or in neat little stacks on the desk.  If you ask someone a question there is a flurry of the little pastel squares to find the answer.  People that don’t get to a sticky pad fast enough will often jot down information on any scrap available and just hope they have that scrap available when they need the information.

In days gone by, long before the advent of computers and even before paper was taken for granted people kept all of the daily business in a a journal. Every transaction, every meeting, every detail of a days business was jotted down and dated.  Somehow, with everyone using computers, handwritten information has lost its importance until its lost.

A good way to declutter your desk as well as save your mind frdesk journalom having to remember where all the scraps of information lay, is to re establish the use of a desk journal.  Of course you can go and purchase a wonderful, leather-bound book to do this.  That might work for you.  Personally I use a thick spiral notebook from the drugs store.  Here’s my technique:

I sit down at my desk in the morning and flip to the next clean page in the notebook.  I take a ruler and make a vertical line down the center of the page and the days date at the top of the page.  Notes, information, to-dos and even phone messages go in the left column separated by at least one blank line and then a horizontal line (I use my ruler for this line as well).  As the day goes on and I take action on any of this information, further notes and actions are made in the corresponding space in the right column.  This gives me one place to look to find any info or answers I need.  It also gives me an archive to go back to to find old information I might need.  More than once I’ve had co workers come to my desk and ask me to check my spiral notebook for a phone number or clients name.

As for sticky notes.  I still use them.  Mainly I use them to give information to other people and they hand me info on them as well.  The trick is to either transcribe the info into the notebook, or, more often than not, I just take a bit of tape and stick the note right to the page.