This week for our '2022, It's Nice To Meet You' series we chat to Jess Molina, the storyteller & Founder of Loudly Quietly. Jess is the definition of a stationery lover & always has an array of her favourite An Organised Life Notebooks & Diaries on her desk & home.
We chatted to Jess about her love for a physical diary, her top organisation tips, the learnings she is taking from 2021 & what she is most looking forward to 'meeting' in 2022.
Occupation: I tell stories for a living whether that’s through writing, acting, or my online community. I’m also the founder and editor of loudlyquietly.com -- a place for intersectional storytelling and celebrating our collective humanity.
Traditional Place Name: Currently in Aotearoa, via Manila, Philippines
What are you most looking forward to ‘meeting’ in 2022?
I’m excited to meet the new version of me that’s beginning to emerge. The past year or so has been filled with big life changes -- resigning from nearly a decade of corporate life to becoming a full time writer and creative storyteller, turning 30, moving to a new home, and reevaluating my life and priorities. It’s been transformative to say the least. I’m ready to meet the person I’ve become through all these changes and that includes a new creative direction for Loudly Quietly too. 2022 is such a cool number sequence -- I am so hopeful!
Reflecting back on 2021, what is something you have learnt that you will take through to 2022?
The biggest thing I’ve learnt was definitely how to show up for myself fully and back my visions and ideas. Taking a big leap like quitting a stable job in pursuit of creative passions and happiness really pushed me out of my comfort zone and taught me how to believe in myself, trust the process, and enjoy the now. I’ll be bringing that into the new year. Oh and prioritising rest and sleep!
What is one personal, professional or financial goal you will be tracking in your 2022 diary?
I LOVE setting goals. I personally love spending the first of January writing them down and doing some big time dreaming. My biggest one seems to encompass personal, professional, and financial goal and that’s to push my writing and creativity more. It’s personal because I’m a happier, better person when I’m being creative, professional because that signifies career growth, and financial because next year marks my first year of being a full time creative working for myself and not relying on a corporate salary.
How many years have you been using an An Organised Life Diary?
Gosh… is it weird that I can’t remember the year but can remember the moment I bought it? I was in the office in the first week of January (think it was the 4th) and I really wanted to get a new diary. I was looking at my options and got my colleagues to weigh in on which one to get! I think it was 2017. So quite a while now!
What 2022 diary did you pick & why did you choose that style?
I picked the A4 in beige. I’ve always had the A4 size because I like being able to have a lot of space (tell me you’re a writer without telling me you’re a writer….). I keep it at my desk so I don’t mind the size/thickness as I have A5 lined journals on my handbag and bedside table etc for portability because I’m constantly writing things down!
Talk us through that feeling when you first unboxed your new AOL 2022 Diary? What did you notice?
Another specific memory here… the diary arrived on a Sunday afternoon during the long weekend in October. There’s nothing better than that new diary feeling when the pages are untouched and waiting to be filled with moments, thoughts, and memories! I was really excited about the beige this year because I’ve picked the black diaries with gold accents for years now and it feels symbolic to go for a lighter choice this time around. It’s got everything I love in the diary, just in another lovely colour! That said I am thinking about getting a specific black A4 diary for Loudly Quietly and keeping this personal because I have big plans for it next year and it deserves its own space.
What is your favourite feature in your 2022 diary & how will it help you stay organised?
I’m really loving the financial tracker! It’s my first time to be self-employed and I’m learning a lot of business and financial skills. These pages will help me get on top of money in a way I’ve never done before!
What are the top 3 ways you organise your life?
1. I have a very specific way of writing my to-do list for the day. I call it my WIP and coffee time and I love doing this first thing in the morning when I get down to my home office. I have three prompts on top of my WIP list and I fill this out before I even write what I need to do for the day: “I am…”, “I have…”, “Grateful for…”. I don’t always have the time to do intense journaling during the day but I still want to incorporate a bit of that practice in an easier way. Having those three prompts really make a difference because it feels like I’m writing my own story at the start of the day. And having these sit on top of my to-do list means that I can refer to it throughout the day as I cross things off and even add to my gratitude list as it happens. I started the daily prompts three years ago when I was still working in corporate and struggling not just to get on top of my WIP but also struggling to find motivation. I was feeling stuck and dreaming of a creative life doing something I’m really passionate about and these three prompts anchored me and gave me something to look forward to and helped me be more grateful about where I was at in life. It also serves as an affirmation at times because I write things down that I need to hear. For example, when I’m on deadline for an article I like to write something like “I am… filled with ideas that I find easy and enjoyable to articulate’. It makes my to-do lists just a little more special and I notice the difference in the quality of my day when I skip this part.
2. Time tracker for tasks so I can see how much time I spend on projects, how often I get distracted and let my mind wander, and where I put my energy in. I’ve learnt through this practice that I’m bloody useless from 1 - 3 ish in the afternoon and struggle to focus/stay motivated so I’ve been able to schedule my day around that and let myself rest or do more creative tasks during that time.
3. Having weekly priorities and breaking them down into days/tasks/activities so it’s not too overwhelming! I’m a serial procrastinator and this keeps me accountable!
What are 3 things in your wellbeing toolkit?
Music, quality time with loved ones, and great food!
What are your current desk essentials?
I used to be a maximalist when it comes to desks and having too much going on but now that I have a slightly smaller desk I’m absolutely loving being clutter free and keeping it minimal. Candles are a must though! I light one when I start my work day and getting a whiff of the scent always make me happy. I also love having flowers nearby and often catch myself just staring at them and dreaming! A diary and a pen, and usually a glass of water because I get #thirsty a lot.
Top Work From Home organisation hack?
Have what you need within reach so you are able to focus more, try to stick to a routine and have clear boundaries around office hours etc so you can keep work and home life separate… something I’m learning to do better too!
Get ready for 2022. Start HERE by exploring our 2022 Collection & shop Jess's favourite diary HERE.
Follow Jess Molina HERE & Loudly Quietly HERE