"If it ain't scheduled, it ain't real." Or something like that. This tip is a guiding light since I started working on improving my personal productivity two years ago. I followed Marie Forleo of Marie TV and can never forget the lightbulb moment I had when she advised to schedule everything onto my calendar. I've since kept Google Calendar, my planner, and a paper calendar close with me so I won't forget what needs to get done. Keeping paper calendars gave me the satisfaction of crossing days off and marking upcoming events. It didn't, however, give me the flexibility I needed when I made a mistake or had to move an event to an earlier or later date. The paper calendar I was using was your typical promotional calendar that . . .
For three years, I'd wake up to a pair of brown closet doors that stood across our bed. They're covered in scratches and wouldn't close on their own. I'd sometimes secure them with a spare hair tie, yet their flaws seem to amplify each time I see it on my way out of my bedroom. No closet has ever left me as grumpy and gloomy as this. Unfortunately, our closet wasn't the only thing that made me want to tear the house down. The walls that surrounded our home were just as ugly. They're painted this ugly off-white/cream combination, they had holes, crayon markings and scraps of paper tacked to them. Sometimes I'd just enter the kids' room and wish the whole thing would magically have flat white walls a brand new closet that's spacious . . .
I'm planner-obsessed. Not a day goes by without looking at my weekly spread. I check for tasks I need to do or appointments I need to attend. It's my number one productivity tool and my savior from a chaotic and messy day. I've used all kinds of planners to manage my day/week/month. I've tried Moleskine, Daycraft, giveaway planners from local insurance companies, and the seasonal Starbucks planner that comes with three thousand pesos worth of coffee. I've even tried purchasing planners from digital marketers just to see what their attractive "you-can-make-thousands-of-dollars" planners can do for me. Unfortunately, not one planner has stuck with me through the entire year. More importantly, none of these planners helped me work . . .
Things was one of those Mac apps I kept in my App Store wish list for a loooooong time. It's pretty, looked useful, and was expensive as fuck ($59.99 or P2,490). What made Things so popular though was how LOOOONG it took for Cultured Code to build features and release updates for the app. The update from Things to Things 2 took four years, and the time it took to build Things 3 afterwards was even longer. In fact, Things' cloud service took about two years, I think? So last May 18, Cultured Code released version 3. Everyone who loved Things went nuts. Those who knew about the company's notorious roadmap wrote a lot of press about it. After a careful 20-30 minutes thinking about it, I jumped on the Things 3 bandwagon myself. I . . .
Today's our last day here at Cebu, so Jayson and I decided to use it to shop for souvenirs and whatever the kids wanted to bring back home. 🛍 The original plan was to visit the renowned Temple of Leah first thing after breakfast + the morning routines. But because of how crazy traffic was yesterday, I decided to skip and Instead head directly to SM Seaside City Cebu. Jayson's extended family's picking us up again and taking us there. No complaints here. Unfortunately I didn't take a lot of photos since our hands were full with the kids the whole time. But the mall certainly lives up to its name as the Philippines' 3rd largest mall. The entire building is circular where you'd walk in a full circle to see all the shops. There were . . .
Day 2 is extra special because today is my youngest son's 3rd birthday! 🎉 The little one smiled from ear to ear while we sang him "Happy Birthday" over and over. I want him to feel all the love we have to give throughout the day, so everything he wanted he got it—a bite out of his birthday cake, being carried across the hotel, a glass of mango juice, an extra three minutes in the bath tub, etc. For Day 2, the plan is to spend the morning swimming at the beach and waterpark before heading out for our Cebu excursion. In between, my mother and her family would check in at the same hotel and join us. Unfortunately, our excursion turned out to be a lot more complicated than what I expected. After our morning swim, Jayson's . . .
This year, Jayson and I decided to take the kids to Cebu for our very first family vacation. The 6-month long wait felt like forever, but we're finally here enjoying the pools and water slides, the fancy-schmancy hotel beds and carpeted floors, the wide lawns and playgrounds. The kids are having a blast, and I'm "relaxing" after months of work and stress. We're staying at the Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark. Jayson and I visited this hotel seven years ago, so it felt a bit surreal to be back with the kids. I couldn't remember any of it when we arrived until Jayson pointed out the pool bar where we bought a mango shake while enjoying a swim all those years ago. The trip to Cebu also reaffirmed popular advice to bring kids on . . .
If there's one brand I'd want to take to the Philippines, it's Yoobi. It's a school supplies brand that gives back to classrooms in need across the United States. I've followed Yoobi and their progress for years, and constantly wish we had something similar here in the Philippines. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBXPs29wSh8 Pronounced "you-be," the name basically means "one for you, one for me" in that a Yoobi item is donated for every purchase made. I admire the business model albeit the criticism that arose since TOM Shoes introduced it to the business world. As of this writing, over 2 million kids have benefited from Yoobi's initiatives, so I'm sure it's working out for them. What caught my attention though was how a company . . .
If something is of no value to me, I throw it out. This is my principle when tidying up the house and, well, pretty much my whole life. It sounds ruthless, but this mindset enables me to throw out trash and give things I don't use away: receipts, expired warranties, badly written books, scented stationery, etc. With the internet, I'm a freaking garbage truck with a Sunday-to-Sunday schedule. My inbox is always empty. I clean up my 1Password vaults every now and then. I remove pseudo-friends on Facebook and noisy people on Twitter every year. If you're special and valuable, you stay. You can already tell hoarding and clutter drive me nuts, and frankly there's not enough effort to get rid of all of the shit around the house. But I . . .
I grew up in a household that loves playing games. Board games, video games, computer games. Anything that has great objectives or a good storyline. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioSaPJHxSkU As a child, I would watch my parents battle it out on our now-ancient Playstation 1. They loved Space Invaders in particular. My dad, however, enjoys other games such as Oddworld: Abe's Odyssey, Crash Bandicoot, and Tomb Raider. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJ4G6WNeNNg&t=26s I loved watching him play, but would hide behind his back whenever jump scares or boss levels came up. "Talawit!" he'd exclaim, laughing. My dad encouraged us to play games. I remember how he'd persist with our search across the city for a second copy of . . .