journal blog, a glimpse into my regular life

Long Weekend Blog || 4 Books & Notion Setup!

Vlogs are a huge thing on YouTube and while they meant to imitate blogs, we somehow stopped journalling on blogs. And I want it back.

I’ve been wanting to do this kind of post but eventually I end up making them as life updates instead of journal logs. After seeing Alison’s reading blog recently, I decided I’m going to finally do it too. But I don’t want to do only reading so you’re coming along with me with whatever activity I do.

Will this become a regular series with a name to it? No idea. For now, I’m just winging it. Let’s see how you like this post and then I can consider doing more.

The content below was written during the weekend, which is why it is in present tense. As with my other life posts, this might become a bit long. So grab a drink or snack and experience last weekend with me.

person holding hot tea gif

Friday, 2nd October

1 pm

Hello everyone! Happy weekend! We (in India) have a long weekend because of a National holiday today. I was actually on leave until yesterday due to my surgery & recovery. I’ll be going back to work on Monday.

Today, I got out of bed at 10:30am after lazing in bed for half an hour. This has been my normal time recently, especially since my body becomes super tired at the end of the day. Just maintaining a proper neck angle and even doing normal tasks still tires my neck and shoulder out. And using the laptop adds more strain, which was one reason why I didn’t work on Notion before this.

The whole reason I took leave from work was because I can’t sit and work on a laptop for long periods of time. It’s better now but I still become quite tired and need to lay down/rest afterwards.

After breakfast, I spent sometime just chilling with music and Brooklyn 99 (I started re-watching season 1 on Netflix). My mum decided we need some coffee around 12:30 and that prompted me to get my laptop out and continue working on my Notion setup.

If you don’t know what Notion is: it is an organizational tool that puts most other applications to shame because of the amount of customization and flexibility it provides. You can just look up Notion and make an account to try it out.

The book community has become obsessed with Notion and it took me a while to get over the skepticism and realize that it might be good for me too. But it takes AGES to setup. I’ve been procrastinating until now. Since I’m going back to work soon and I don’t know if I’ll be able to get the time then, I decided to completely setup my Notion now and get it done with.

My goal is to make it completely functional as to how I want it, and also make it little pretty. Any data or content that I use often has to be shifted to Notion from my other apps. Anything that is not required soon can be shifted later. For now, my goal is to just make it completely functional so that I don’t have to continue using other apps.

I started setting up my Notion yesterday evening, actually. I spent 6 hours setting up the pages and sections with the plan of improving everything iteratively. So the basic skeleton was done yesterday.

This morning, I decided to first tackle the Kdramas section since it doesn’t require too much effort. My Kdrama stuff are currently scattered between my brain, Evernote & my bullet journal. So first I want to make all the pages for every Kdrama, shift everything from Evernote and write down whatever is in my brain. I will shift from bullet journals later since they require more time and this is not very important right now anyway (yes lol they’re spread over multiple notebooks).

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3:30 pm

I spent about an hour on Notion while listening to Skyhunter by Marie Lu as an audiobook on Librofm. I started listening to it yesterday and I’m not very impressed so far. The world building is okay and the characters are quite nice too but the plot is not very interesting for me. Especially the part where I’m at right now, 73% through the book. It doesn’t make sense at times, too.

I took a break for lunch and to just chill for a bit. Now I feel like reading something either as a paperback or e-book. Realising that The Dragon Republic by R. F. Kuang is on my October TBR* (with priority), I’m starting it. I’m settled on the sofa with the paperback, a brush pen and pencil for annotations. Let’s go!

*To Be Read list

5 pm

Stopped reading at 126 pages, and it’s going quite well so far? I feel like this part of the book will be the easiest on my heart haha.

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11:30 pm

So I spent time on my phone for a bit before getting back to my Notion setup. And I was on it until 8:30pm!! I thought making my dramas page would be easy but it took ALL DAY because I’ve watched too many dramas. Remember when I said I thought this would be easier to get done? What a joke.

But anyway, it’s DONE!! I made pages for all 47 dramas that I’ve seen so far and also wrote any notes from Evernote/in my brain. Notes from my bullet journals will be shifted later because that’s way too much for today haha.

Here’s how it looks right now.

screenshot of Notion dramas page.

I’m just happy that if someone asks me for recs/my list, I can now just share this page with them. Every time friends asked me for recommendations and opinions, I used to type stuff out. Very tedious. This will be helpful. The reason I pushed to finish this was for one of my friends who asked for my list recently.

Skyhunter by Marie Lu

I also did listen to Skyhunter while transferring Kdrama notes and finished that as well! Honestly, the book disappointed me. I wasn’t into the characters, and a few settings and scenes felt recycled from the Legend trilogy. I also just couldn’t connect to Talin, the main character. The plot was also quite predictable at times. I rate it 2/5 stars.

After dinner, I got back to Notion while on Discord with my friends with LoFi music. Since it was getting late, I decided to just do icons and cover images for the major pages tonight.

It’s now 11:41pm and I’m finally stopping for tonight. Here’s what my blog page looks like. You can see icons for every page on the left. I also added header images for each page. Doesn’t seem like much but it took me time because I’m too picky about quality, aesthetic, and what kind of pictures I want.

screenshot of Notion blog page

I do have placeholders in multiple areas. for example, lists have “item 1” and “item 2” under them and quote blocks have “some quote here pls”. I need to replace placeholders and add images to break up text (like in the blog page above) in all pages. Right now I’ve done only blog.

Alright, time to sleep. Good night!

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Saturday, 3rd October

3:40pm

I am checking in VERY late today haha.

The day started at 10:30 for me, as usual. The highlight of my day was breakfast when mum and I had noodles. We generally don’t eat processed food and keep noodles for maybe once a month. It was actually banned at home by mum until this year when she accepted that it’s easy to make and started allowing it. Hence, noodles was a treat because we’re having it after at least a month. Also, my neck has healed enough that chewing and swallowing doesn’t tire me out so noodles was a good reward.

Okay, my mum’s calling me for lunch (our schedules in this house start late and end late). I’ll come back and update further.

4:05 pm

Hello again. Where was I? Oh, still at breakfast.

Anyway, today’s mood was chill Saturday so I spent some time catching up with Cindy‘s latest videos after breakfast. They were super fun to watch.

the dragon republic cover

After that, I picked up The Dragon Republic again because I was just not ready to be productive. I’m reading it as part of The Poppy Warathon. The plot is still going easy and it’s not hurting me. All the reviews I’ve read of this book say that it will shatter hearts and cause pain but ?? where is the pain ??? I stopped reading after Chapter 12 because apparently reading about characters being productive makes me want to be productive.

I opened Notion with no idea about what I’m going to tackle. All the functionality is set, only aesthetics was remaining. Hence, I spent a little time on adding pretty images and quotes. There was not much to do, to be honest. That got done quickly.

my social media page on Notion with cute art aesthetic photos
here’s my Notion page for social media. I found some pretty pictures on Pinterest and added it to some of the pages where I wanted images.

All the stuff that I immediately need is already done so now I have to shift whatever I’ve been pushing off. Which is everything from my bullet journals. I’ve been pushing that off because I can’t simply copy and paste. I still don’t want to do it right now so I decided to tackle this blog post.

This started off as a page on Notion actually. Look at me, already using it! It was easy because I can type on both phone and laptop into the same page without any extra navigation like WordPress requires. So I spent about half an hour copying all my words from yesterday to a draft post on WordPress. Considering my notes were written quickly, they were not full sentences with proper grammar, I had to go over everything and edit as well.

And then I just continued to write today’s update. This post feels like a mess to me. But I don’t want to scrap it because I’ve spent a lot of time on it. Fingers crossed that it’s not as messy as it feels to me and you can actually understand the timeline.

I’m not sure what I want to do now. Since I want to hang out with my friends on Discord later, I’ll leave any more Notion work for then. I’m also not in the mood to read so… ? I think I’ll just format this post until the current point. It’ll reduce my work for later. Oh and I can listen to an audiobook! Let’s pick up… The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston which is a book on my Ace Race TBR.

Okay I’m back. It took me 3 minutes of listening to the audiobook to feel a sense of dΓ©jΓ  vu and check Goodreads. It turns out that I’ve ALREADY READ THIS BOOK. Why am I such a noob? I didn’t even check Goodreads, I just thought I haven’t read this book yet. Normally, I wouldn’t share my small mistakes like this but you get to know this one because of this blog post. Congratulations on getting a front row seat to my embarrassments.

Time to choose a different audiobook. Since the rest of my Ace Race TBR is not available on audiobook, I’m starting City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty which I decided to read this month because of the Daevabad readalong. See you on the other side.

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7:24 pm

Hello again! Since my last update, the electricity has gone at least 4 times and my WiFi has NOT been cooperating with me. It takes several tries of switching it off and on for it to work every time electricity comes back.

Because of that, my blogging and audiobook have suffered. Blogging more than the book. But, I did stuff done! Formatting this post got me into the mood so I worked on a couple Blogletters interviews. Multitasking is not easy, of course. Whenever I needed to use my brain for the posts, I paused the book. But formatting while listening to an audiobook is very easy, and surprisingly a calm activity. I also had tea around 6:30 pm, which was nice. Yes, I have tea almost every day and yes, I still enjoy it every time. It’s one of the small highlights of my days.

city of brass book cover

Other that that, I’m 1 hour 50 minutes into City of Brass and I’m really liking it! The world building is so cool, even though I’m not fond of the way the author throws out many terms without explaining. Explanation comes later sometimes or doesn’t at all (yet). But otherwise, I really like it. The characters are interesting, especially Nahri. And I’m excited to see where this story leads.

I’ve had enough of working on this laptop, since I’ve been on it almost all day. Will I hang out with my friends on Discord? No idea, especially since no one has told me anything. So I’m going to log off and read a paperback for a bit.

This time, I’ll pick up The Shadow of Your Smile by Mary Higgins Clark. I’ve had this book for almost two years and only now am I finally pushing myself to pick it up. I started it a couple days back and am only 40 pages in but it’s turning out to be interesting. It’s also my first mystery novel in a while.

I’ll check back in with my progress before sleeping. See you then!

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10:03 pm

the shadow of your smile book cover

I only read until page 109 in The Shadow of Your Smile because my friends called for a video call. This was the first time I did a video call after getting surgery. People did ask me to do video calls before so they can check in on me but I was always tired, my throat was sore and hurt when I spoke. Also, I had a bandage on my neck and I didn’t want anyone to see me with that. So yeah, today was the first time anyone (other than my parents) saw me after surgery.

Immediately after I joined, my friends asked to see my face with my hair back and they were like “nice” which just made me really happy. I have good friends. Also, any comment about my neck and swelling being gone is going to make me happy from now on. The swelling had become such a part of my life and my mannerisms that not having it is liberating.

For example, for the last two years, the first thing I look at when I see myself in a mirror or in selfie mode cameras is my neck. I check whether my swelling is seen if I’m going out/video calling/taking a picture. Otherwise, I examine how bad the swelling is, whether it has gotten bigger. And, inevitably, it makes me sad. I did not like looking at the mirror. Now, I’m finally able to see the mirror and not hate my face because of a random engorgement.

After two years of looking at mirrors and expecting to see a swelling, not having it actually surprises me. After the bandage was removed three days back, I did look into the mirror and become happy. I took a selfie and was excited. But it did not fully register until last night when I went into the washroom and glanced at myself in the mirror, subconsciously expecting to see the swelling since my hair was tied back. But it was not there, and I was so surprised even though I know that it’s not there. It took me a few seconds of staring into the reflection to accept that this is real, and I’m not going to hate my reflection anymore. I actually teared up at that.

It’s definitely going to take a while for me to get used to having a normal neck. When COVID-19 is kinda under control and I start going out, that’s going to be another adjustment. I used to always have my hair down and have a scarf covering my neck, and I was always conscious about hiding a side of my face. Not having to do that anymore will be another adjustment and I can’t wait for it.

That was a random rant. Anyway, my point was that the video call was really nice. I needed that because it’s been a while. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay the whole time because I had to go for dinner and the call ended by the time I came back. But when I was there, it was nice.

I’m going to back to reading now. Hopefully I can reach the halfway point of this book before going to sleep.

11:45 pm

Instead of getting to the book immediately, I spent 45 minutes reading blogs and catching up on my WordPress Reader. Did not regret it at all. It was nice to read blogs and catch up with everyone.

I did get to the book after that though. And I reached the halfway mark! Time to sleep.

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Sunday, 4th October

11:50 pm

Morning! It’s been a morning of lazing around. I’m picking up The Shadow of Your Smile now. Plan is to finish it today, so I hope to read as much as possible right now. Oh and mum made some coffee for herself and gave me a smol cup too. Yay πŸ™‚

1:43 pm

Finished the book! It was really good. I missed experiencing a good mystery novel. 3.5/5 stars. Initially, my rating was 4 but as usual I changed it a little after further thought. I also got myself a fruit bowl with banana, apple and pomegranate as a snack while reading. It may or may not be out of guilt that I had junk food yesterday lol.

3:00 pm

Finished with lunch. Also spent some time talking to mum and on YouTube. Then I got my period which brought cramps with it so… I have no mood to do any work-ish thing right now. I just want to crumple into a ball and lie down.

4:00 pm

Okay I made a cosy place in a short sofa where I’m sitting in one specific position that is alright with my cramps and opened my laptop, hoping that being productive would distract me from the pain. It’s kinda working, actually.

Finished editing & sending Purple Lotus review for Let’s Sonder magazine. Also finally placed an order for The Burning God paperback. One day I will talk about why I’m really hesitant and think 10 times before buying paperbacks/hardbacks but not today.

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5:13 pm

Shifted all blog post ideas from my bullet journals to Notion. Wow I have many to write, and I’m kinda excited about them all. Slightly want to start working on them now but cramps are not going to let me get in the zone.

I also shifted notes on 1/3 Kdramas to Notion from old bullet journals. Will take a small break before doing the other 2.

Mum has been very curious about why I’m spending so much time on my laptop this weekend lol. She actually asked me yesterday whether I was working because I was on the laptop almost all day.

6:06 pm

I spent time replying to DMs on @bujobeauties Instagram account during the small break and got back to Notion. The other 2 Kdrama notes are now shifted too.

I’m pretty sure my Notion setup is done! I don’t see anything left to do. I’m already itching to outline blog posts with my setup.

I think I’ve had enough of using the laptop today, especially with how much I’ve been on it in the last few days. Plus, I’ll be working on a laptop all day for work from tomorrow. No need to strain my eyes further.

It’s time for tea! It’s surprising how I’m excited about tea everyday lol. As I finished the Notion stuff, I listened to a bit more of City of Brass. I’ll just continue listening to it for a while longer at least. Let’s see what to do next after that.

11:56 pm

I watched many episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Just needed a comfort show to laugh and chill which doesn’t require any use of my brain. So yeah, that was my night. I’m about to head to bed now.

Since it’s been two weeks, and also because I’m craving more human conversations, I’m quite excited to begin working again tomorrow. From March to August, I was juggling internship/work, blogging, and college. I’ve become so used to being as productive as possible every single day and only taking days off when I really need it that this break has been weird. I almost itch to get back in the grind. And now that college is really doneβ€”we got our results on Thursdayβ€”I feel like I have more free time than I’m used to.

Generally, I would fill this time with meeting up with friends and getting things done outside, but coronavirus has changed all plans. Until we go back to normal, I will probably scramble until I decide on some new project or hobby to spend my little extra time on.

One day, maybe we’ll talk about how I feel useless if I’m not productive every day unless I’m taking a day off with the intention of charging up so that I can continue to be productive later. We might also talk about how I’m also a lazy person who scrambles to do things as fast as possible. But let’s save that ramble for another day.

This is the end of this blog. If you’ve stuck around until the end, you are great and have a lot of patience. I’m going to go to bed now. Good night!

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Thanks for experiencing this weekend with me! How was your weekend? Did you do anything productive or did you take a weekend off to rest, like you deserve and probably needed? I would love to hear from you in the comments or DMs if you prefer.

Also, do let me know whether you’d like to see more posts like this!

38 thoughts on “Long Weekend Blog || 4 Books & Notion Setup!”

  1. This is such a cool post to read! Also I’m loving your notion set up
    I need to jump on the notion bandwagon but I’m too lazy to actually sit down and set it up πŸ˜… but I’m loving looking at others set ups, maybe one of these I’ll actually do it πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you liked this post! I was excited writing it and was quite anxious how it would be received since it’s a new thing πŸ˜… Notion does take a lot of time to setup, but once setup is done it can be quite helpful!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a good post & idea! I have been setting up my Notion recently too (inspired by Charley, who I think was inspired by you? so indirectly you inspired me haha) but mine is nowhere near as pretty as yours: I still have to play with it more and figure it out! I’m impressed by how many books you read in a weekend! I assume you don’t usually read this much but it’s still super impressive, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you liked it! I’m excited about doing more like these since y’all seem to like it πŸ˜„
      I’m not sure if I inspired Charley, we were both inspired by Fadwa haha.
      Since my Notion is not having every part of my life, I figured might as well spend some time making it pretty haha.
      I don’t read that many books generally, that’s true. I may have read more this weekend just to show something in this post πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I thought you’d like the City of Brass update! And yess jump on the Notion bandwagon. I’m planning on sharing my entire setup soon in a blog post so you can look at that too πŸ‘€

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Sumedha, I’m impressed that you got so much done over the weekend! I am using Notion too, but mine is more functional than aesthetic for now. I don’t exactly have the time to beautify it as you have with two columns, proper headers, typewriting fonts etc. I do love how functional and versatile Notion is once you get down to exploring what it has to offer and how you can customize it to your needs! All the best Sumedha, and wishing you a speedy recovery from surgery!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I think I finished only because I knew exactly what I wanted and it doesn’t cover everything, just what I already used digital systems for. Notion’s flexibility is definitely a plus, it allows function AND form. Thank you, Ming!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I was introduced to her books through one of my mom’s colleagues back when I was in school. The author’s books are short, fast paced, and guarantee a good time. I highly suggest trying them 😊

      Like

  4. Wishing you a fast recovery from your surgery!
    Also, I love how you set up Notion! Really aesthetic. 😁 I started using it last week and I really like it so far, super handy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really like the journal log template of this post! I’m also currently trying to set up my Notion to organise my blog and personal life and I agree that it takes SO long but I’m sure it will be worth it in the end!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for telling us about Notion. I hadn’t heard of it before. Signed up and poked around a bit. One day when I have a big chunk of free time, I will sit down and really focus on it. Right now it would only make cry. LOL

    I have a small cyst on my neck that I have tried squeezing and hot compressing, but that doesn’t work so some day I will probably have to go under the knife like you did. I think I’ll wait until I get home to L.A. and try to get an appointment with Dr. Pimple Popper. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha yes, take your time with Notion! Do it over a free weekend like me or something. And you’re welcome! (P. S. my Notion setup tour is up if you want to check it out to see the whole thing πŸ‘€)

      oof do you know what kind of cyst it is? have you done any tests? and hot compression doesn’t work! I tried it a lot too but benign cysts aren’t affected and my doctor told me it only has possibilities of making the cyst worse so DON’T πŸ˜… and try not to wait too long like me if it’s increasing/worsening 😬

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ha ha πŸ€£πŸ˜‰ I enjoy reading your life posts all the time and this made me tear up at some places πŸ₯ΊπŸ‘‰πŸ‘ˆ
    I love that you’ve been reading so much and the notion setup video on instagram was wow .. you’ve done so much work on it and it helps to know how to work that thing cz I’m bad at some stuff πŸ˜‚
    I loved spending the weekend with you in my head and never a dull moment here

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did do a lot of work on it, only because I love organization and organizational systems haha! I’m an organization NERD.
      I’m happy you liked experiencing my weekend with mee πŸ’œ

      Liked by 1 person

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