5 TED Talks for Daily Inspiration

5 TED Talks for Daily Inspiration
5 TED Talks for Daily Inspiration

What is a TED Talk?

One of my favorite self-improvement routines is listening to TED Talks in the background while I go about my day. Sometimes, if the talk is compelling enough, I’ll pause my daily tasks to sit and listen to the entire talk. I’ll even end up taking notes in my bullet journal or commonplace notebook, whichever is closer.  Luckily, the average video is under 20 minutes, so my day isn’t too derailed if I choose to do that. If you’re not familiar with TED Talks, here is the description from their About Page:

“TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.”

In other words, they are talks given by experts on a variety of topics, designed to be brief and inspiring. If you’re a fan of podcasts, you’ll love TED Talks.

Below you can find five of my favorite TED Talks to listen to whenever I need a boost of inspiration.

All of the YouTube videos posted below are the property of TED and are being used according to their usage policy found here. This does not indicate an endorsement of Simply Kelsey Jo by TED.

TED Talks on Creativity and Life

1.) Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius

Transcripts can be found here.

This talk is a few years old but I still find myself rewatching the video whenever I’m feeling creatively blocked. I love what she has to say about creativity, genius, and inspiration. Her lesson about the history of the word genius is informative, hilarious, and uplifting.

2.) Anne Lamott: 12 Truths I’ve Learned from Life and Writing

This TED Talk goes back and forth between lessons learned as a writer and universal truths about life in general, all without taking itself too seriously. It’s both heartwarming and unexpectedly funny. The first truth on Anne Lamott’s list has an important disclaimer:

“All truth is a paradox, life is both a precious gift and so heartbreaking at the same time.” -Anne Lamott

3.) Marily Oppezzo: Want to be More Creative? Go for a Walk

If you ever have read about overcoming writer’s block, you probably have heard the advice, “Go for a walk.” This TED Talk takes the idea farther and gives scientific evidence about the benefits of walking. Marily Oppezzo gives five easy, actionable steps that you can use right away.

TED Talk on Time Management

4.) Laura Vanderkam: How to Gain Control of Your Free Time

I know many creative types who struggle with time management, especially when it comes to finding time for their passion projects. This video is also useful for those who need help prioritizing their day to day tasks in order to make the best use of their time. I especially love how Laura Vanderkam emphasizes how we all have the same amount of hours every week. This video is my go-to when I’m working on my bullet journal and feeling like there is too much scheduled in my bullet journal and also was the inspiration for why I make my weekly layouts on Fridays.

“Time is a choice.” -Laura Vanderkam

TED Talk on Frustration and Creativity

5.) Tim Harford: How Frustration Can Make Us More Creative

I purposely saved this video for last. If you’ve ever had a day where it seems like all of your plans are falling apart despite your best intentions, this TED Talk is for you. It’s all about embracing the mess and creating anyway. The first story that Tim Harford tells about the piano player alone makes this video worth listening to.

More Inspiring TED Talks

I hope you found some inspiration in these TED Talks. If so, you can find my personal playlist here on the Simply Kelsey Jo YouTube account, where I curate inspiring and informative videos. Subscribe here for updated content and eventually more videos from me on planning, journaling, creativity, and how those three things tie into self-care.

Do you have a favorite TED Talk? If so, please feel free to tell me about it or post a link in the comment section. I’m always on the hunt for more TED Talks to add to my playlist!

7 Days of Journaling Prompts Renew Edition

7 Days of Journaling Prompts Renew Edition

Subscribe for updates and free printables!

5 TED Talks for Creative Inspiration
5 TED Talks for Daily Inspiration

How to Use Your Bujo for Self-Care: Psychological Care

4 Ways to Use Your Bujo for Self Care: Psychological Care
4 Ways to Use Your Bujo for Self Care: Psychological Care

Welcome to Week 3: Psychological Care of the Bullet Journal Challenge series! In case you missed it, the #BulletJournalChallenge announced on www.bulletjournal.com is the perfect way to find inspiration for all the ways you can use a bujo for self-care. The details of the challenge are here. My post about Week 2, physical care, can be found here.

This week’s topic is psychological care, which includes:

  • Relaxation
  • Creativity
  • What can you say “no” to?
  • How do you prioritize self-care when life is crazy?

This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.com.  If you purchase products from these links, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  To read my full disclosure statement, click here.

Below are four ways you can use your bujo for taking care of your psychological needs.

Habit Trackers

The most straightforward way to use your bujo for psychological care is to use your habit trackers to keep track of which creative pursuits or even simply track relaxation as a reminder to take some time to yourself. If creative pursuits are something you enjoy, but you haven’t made them part of your routine yet, start small. Don’t feel like you have to add a lot of new habits in one week. If you read the previous posts in the series, you know that I don’t track too many habits at a time. To read more about why I only track a few habits at a time, click here.

This week, the habits I made sure to include in my tracker were journaling, sketching, and writing fiction. I made a point of distinguishing writing fiction instead of only saying “write,” because I wanted to make the effort to work on my fiction projects that have had to sit on the back burner for the last few months (more on this later.)

Psychological Care
This week helped me focus on my “why”: why I blog, why I spend my time the way I do, and why I love to create.

Make a Not-To-Do List

Are you someone who needs to quit worrying about something or are you a chronic people pleaser? If so, this suggestion can be a powerful tool to help you. Make a page dedicated to all the things you want to stop doing. For example, you could write “I’m going to stop worrying about what people think of me” or “I’m going to stop putting myself last.” You could also use the Not-To-Do List to help you with a positive self-image and write “I’m going to stop feeling bad about my body.” The stories you tell yourself are more powerful than you may realize. Make sure the stories you are telling yourself help you become your best self.

Make a Page Dedicated to Relaxation

You could make a list of all the things you like to do to relax, including a list of books or shows you watch to help you unwind. In addition, you could list your essentials for relaxation, whether it’s bath bombs, magazines, favorite pair of cozy socks, or a peaceful coloring book. After you make your checklist of essentials, you could make a step-by-step guide to how you relax to look back on next time you’re feeling tense.

Here are a few of my essentials for relaxing. If you purchase products from these links, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  To read my full disclosure statement, click here.

More Ways to Use Your Bujo for Psychological Care

If life has been chaotic for you, keeping up with self-care and your own well-being can easily be neglected. If you fall into the trap of taking care of everyone else but ignoring your own needs, then you should consider making a “When was the last time I…” page in your bujo. At the top of the page, write out the phrase, “When was the last time I…” and underneath it, list out some of your favorite self-care practices that you have a hard time remembering to do. Next to each item listed, leave room for you to write the date after you complete it. The next time you feel worn out, return to the page and check to see if you’ve been neglecting yourself again.

I could have used a list like this over the last few months as my life became incredibly busy. I write fiction, but I was constantly letting my other responsibilities take priority over writing. It was making me feel restless, but I wasn’t aware at the time that was what was bothering me. During this week’s challenge, I revisited writing fiction, and though at first, I struggled to put pen to paper, afterward I felt much better than I had in weeks. Making a “When was the last time I…” page is high on my to-do list of collections to include in my bujo.

The Bullet Journal Challenge Series

If you’re interested in participating in the challenge, I’ve listed each week’s topic here:

If you’re on Instagram, make sure you follow the hashtag #BulletJournalChallenge for inspiration! Also, if you’re reading this long after the challenge is over, I encourage you to do the challenge anyway.  Self-care is so important to your overall well-being, and it’s never too late to start taking better care of yourself.

More Tools to Use Your Bujo for Self-Care

If you’re looking for more inspiration for using your bujo for self-care, sign up for my email list to receive free journaling prompts and printable quotes for your bujo. I’ll be adding more freebies, so check your inbox for updates!


Subscribe for updates + free printables!

4 Ways to Use Your Bujo for Self Care: Psychological Care
4 Ways to Use Your Bujo for Self Care: Psychological Care

20 Inspirational Quotes for Your Bujo + Free Printables

Inspirational Quotes for Your Planner
20 Inspirational Quotes for Your Bujo

Looking for inspirational quotes for your pages in your bujo or planner? I’ve rounded up 20 of my favorite quotes here.  I’ve also included four free printable journaling cards that you can use to decorate your pages with. I recommend printing on cardstock, or if you want to turn them into stickers, you could print on sticker paper.

This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.com.  If you purchase products from these links, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  To read my full disclosure statement, click here.

Inspirational Quotes

  1. “What lies behind us and what lies in front of us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
  2. “A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.” -Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
  3. “You are allowed to be both a Masterpiece and a Work in Progress, simultaneously.” -Elizabeth Gilbert
  4. “Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace, and power to it.” -Goethe
  5. “A painting is never finished – it simply stops in interesting places.” -Paul Gardner

    Inspirational Quote
    “A painting is never finished – it simply stops in interesting places.” -Paul Gardner
  6. “One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” -André Gide
  7. “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” -Anaïs Nin
  8. “Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before.” -Joseph Campbell
  9. “Play is the highest form of research.” -Albert Einstein
  10. “With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?” -Oscar Wilde

    Inspirational Quote
    “With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?” -Oscar Wilde
  11. “The walls we build around ourselves to keep the sadness out also keeps out the joy.” -Jim Rohn
  12. “There are only three colors, ten digits, and seven notes. It’s what we do with them that’s important.” -John Rohn
  13. “An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.” -Friedrich Engels
  14. “Our stories are different, but our hearts are the same.” -Christina Feldman
  15. “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” -Maya Angelou

    Inspirational Quotes
    “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” -Maya Angelou
  16. “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” -Robert Frost
  17. “No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anyone but oneself.” -Virginia Woolfe
  18. “Adventures don’t begin until you get into the forest. That’s the first step in an act of faith.” -Mickey Hart
  19. “My childhood may be over, but that doesn’t mean playtime is.” -Ron Olson
  20. “There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” -Willa Cather
Inspirational Quote
“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” -Willa Cather

Bonus: Free Journaling Card Printables!

Inspirational Quotes
Testing out the journal cards in my bujo.

Click the link for your free journaling card printables: Journal Cards Printable

Here are my recommendations for cardstock and sticker paper to print your journal cards on.  If you’d like to round the corners of the cards like I did, I also included a link to the punch I used. If you purchase anything through my links, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting my work!



Subscribe for updates and free printables!

* indicates required


Why You Should Do Morning Pages (Even if You’re Busy)

Morning Pages
Why You Should Do Morning Pages (Even If You’re Busy)

This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.com.  If you purchase products from these links, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  To read my full disclosure statement, click here.

What Are Morning Pages?

I first read about morning pages in Julia Cameron’s famous book, The Artist’s Way. The concept is brilliant in its simplicity: before your day begins, free-write three pages in a journal, notebook, or if neither of those options is available, you could even use three scrap pieces of paper. The catch is, you can’t think too hard about what you’re writing. This is critical for morning pages to work properly, but it’s especially hard as a writer to not worry about punctuation or subject matter.

It took me a few attempts when I first started doing morning pages, but after making it a habit, it became easier to ignore my inner critic who worried too much about the quality of my simple journaling. If I didn’t know what to write on a particular morning, sometimes I would simply write, “I have nothing to say,” until the words finally came pouring out. This has been especially useful on days when I have writer’s block (more on this later.)

The second component to making morning pages work is to not immediately read what you have written that morning. Let it rest. In her book, Julia Cameron suggests not reading your journal for several weeks. I’m glad I followed that advice. After weeks had passed since I wrote my first entries, it made it easier for me to have a clearer perspective about how I was feeling at the time of the writing. For example, it’s much easier to read about a difficult time you went through after weeks have passed rather than too soon when the pain is still raw. It’s true that some things will still hurt, but at least for me, I found it to be therapeutic to revisit old entries.

The final, vital part of making morning pages work is to make it a habit. They work so much better if you make it a part of your morning routine. You have more material to work with later when you do actually read the pages and it becomes easier to write without worry the more you do morning pages. It’s also important to eventually read the pages to see if there are any recurring thoughts or themes that you need to address. You may find in your pages that you have a project you want to start or changes in your life that you want to make. Reviewing your morning pages can be a very helpful tool for goal setting.

How Morning Pages Have Helped Me

When I made my first attempts at morning pages, I was skeptical. I have always loved journaling, but at the time, I didn’t think that I would have much to say right after waking up. I felt silly writing, “I have nothing to say,” or complaining about whatever what bothering me for three solid pages if I woke up in a bad mood. But then a curious thing happened after a while: my morning pages were starting to flow more easily. Suddenly, it was as if someone had opened the gates to my subconsciousness and I wrote about things, both good and bad, that I didn’t even realize were weighing on me. It was an eye-opening experience to review those entries, and it helped me make necessary changes in my life to feel happier and more fulfilled.

While I’m still very much a work in progress, it gives me peace of mind to use my morning pages as a safe place for me to check in with how I’m feeling. Not every entry is filled with profound meaning, but they still serve a secondary purpose that has also helped me tremendously. Making it a habit to free-write every day before any other writing takes place has reduced my writer’s block. It feels good being able to write without any sort of pressure of it being good or meaningful. It almost feels like clearing the cobwebs from my mind, and I’m much more relaxed when I sit down to write later on in the day.

Journal with pen and coffee
Highly idealized morning pages set up. Maybe someday this will be the reality, but not today!

Expectation vs Reality

When I picture doing my morning pages, I envision waking up early to a sleeping, peaceful household, making myself an iced coffee, and sitting down to leisurely do my morning pages. The reality is, that isn’t going to happen during the particular season of life that I’m in. I have two young children, a 3-year-old and a breastfeeding baby that still occasionally wakes up for nighttime feedings. On top of that, I have never been a morning person. The idea of waking up early when I’m already tired horrifies me. Here is my typical routine:

  • Wake up to the alarm clock (or more likely, my youngest wakes me up, wanting to eat.)
  • Make my iced coffee.  This step is essential.  If I don’t have my coffee, I won’t be able to get anything done.
  • If my husband has to go to work, I make breakfast. Otherwise, on his days off, my husband usually makes breakfast for everyone while I feed the baby.
  • After breakfast, I set a timer on my phone for 10 minutes. My oldest knows that when I have my timer set to keep himself entertained while I write unless he needs help. I’m very lucky that he’s so sweet about it. When I’m writing, he says, “Momma’s coloring.”
  • When I’m all done, it’s back to reality as a stay-at-home mother to my little ones until their nap time, which I use as my primary writing time.

More often than not, I’m writing my morning pages with my baby across my lap while my oldest is playing nearby, sometimes loudly, but always enthusiastically. It may not be the ideal, tranquil way that Julia Cameron intended, but doing my pages does give me clarity about my needs and what I want to accomplish for the day. Maybe someday, when my children are older, I will do my morning pages the proper way. For now, this works for me, and I’ll enjoy my little bit of extra sleep in the morning.

Make Morning Pages Work For You

Keeping in mind that I don’t do my morning pages exactly the proper way, here are a few practical tips for finding time to write your own pages:

  • Instead of checking your email or social media first thing in the morning, write your pages. It’s amazing how easy it is to fall down the rabbit hole of mindlessly scrolling. You may even find you have more time in the morning if you don’t check email or social media during breakfast.
  • Before you go to bed at night, set your notebook or journal out where you plan on using it in the morning. Make it a convenient location- you don’t want to hunt down your materials every day.
  • If you are running short on time in the mornings, consider setting your alarm clock ten to fifteen minutes early. You shouldn’t need more than a few minutes to free-write. (I know this is advice I will never take myself, but maybe it will help out one of you, my readers.)
  • If mornings are truly too chaotic for you to even think about writing, consider making your morning pages your nightly pages and write them at bedtime as a way to unwind. You could also spend part of your lunch break writing your pages as a midday check-in, but take care to guard your privacy if you choose this route. You don’t want to worry about co-workers peeking over your shoulders while you’re writing. I would suggest only doing this in your car or if you have your own office where you can write undisturbed and as a last resort if you have no other free time.

More About the Artist’s Way

I could easily go on about how much The Artist’s Way helped me get through a terrible creative slump. In fact, it will probably be the focus of a future blog post. If you are interested in reading more about finding or rediscovering your creativity, I highly recommend this book!  If you purchase a copy through my link, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  I’ve also included links to journals that I have loved using if you want to keep your morning pages in a beautiful home.


Subscribe to my mailing list to access free printables and journal prompts!

Subscribe for updates + free printables!

* indicates required

Why You Should Do Morning Pages (Even If You're Busy) Journal with iced coffee and pen
Why You Should Do Morning Pages (Even If You’re Busy)