Yearly Archives: 2018

Stay Organized During Back to School with Zebra Mildliners

By: Laura Geraci

The beginning of fall semester is both my favorite and least favorite time of the school year. It’s tough to leave the relaxing monotony of summer, and it is daunting to take on a full school schedule after three blissful months of relaxation. On the other hand, it’s always exciting to be reunited with friends and get back into the swing of things. One great thing about the fall semester is that by the time it rolls around, you’ve almost forgotten about the endless nights you spent drinking energy drinks at the library late at night. Never again during the school year will you feel as refreshed and as ready to take on new challenges as you do at the very beginning of the fall.

My favorite way to get ready for the academic year is to go shopping, which will not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me (sorry, mom). There’s something magical about starting the year with a new set of pens and a completely blank planner. Buying myself office supplies somehow makes me feel organized and put together, even if I roll out of bed at noon and forget to brush my teeth. But seriously, owning supplies that I love motivates me to stay productive and organized.

Get the Right Tools

If you’ve spent any time at all in the bullet journal community, you will certainly have come across some nifty little markers called Zebra Mildliners. For a solid month, I was convinced they were called midliners. I even made a post where I tested every single one I had just ordered by writing the word “mid-liner.” All was fine and dandy until someone corrected me in the comments – oops!

Mildliners are just about the most popular tool used for planning, and for good reason. They come in an array of lovely pastel colors and are dual-tipped, with a chisel tip on one side and a finer marker tip on the other. The colors are vibrant and the pens have little to no bleeding, making them perfect to use in your planner.

How to Use Mildliners

I use Mildliners for absolutely everything. I refuse to take lecture notes by hand unless I have a few of them on me. They work wonderfully for highlighting headings or for doodling in the margins when your professor goes on a tangent. Mildliners are also the perfect tools to use in bullet journaling. Whether you are creating fancy headers or making a simple weekly spread, Mildliners are the ideal tool. Zebra Pen, the creator of these wonderful markers, is hosting a Mildliner Challenge in August where fans will have the chance to win products, so make sure to stay tuned!

As always, remember that there is no right or wrong way to bullet journal. What’s important is discovering the tools that allow you to achieve success and meet your goals. There’s no sense in stressing over a smudged header or a misplaced date – it is important that the process is bringing you joy.

Enter the Zebra Mildliner Challenge, and post your favorite mood trackers, monthly spreads, and other bullet journal images, tag Zebra Pen, and use the hashtag #MildlinerChallenge. Be sure to follow Zebra Pen on social media and look out for weekly prompts.

How To Take The Stress Out Of Back To School

After a summer of relaxation and fun, heading back to the hustle and bustle of the school year may seem stressful. However, there is also a lot to be excited about! Use these tips to stay calm, cool, and zen during the school year.

Maintain a Summer State of Mind

Instead of stressing about going back to school this year, try to focus on maintaining your summer mindset through the fall and winter as well. Make time for fun each day and allow yourself to practice self care when things get hectic. Continue trying new things during the school year, and spending time with friends and family.

Set Attainable Goals

Start the new school year by setting personal goals for yourself, and by helping your children set personal goals for themselves. Set weekly, monthly, and seasonal goals to help track your progress and keep the school year exciting and fulfilling! Goals can be simple such as reading a chapter of a novel each night, or long-term goals such as learning a new subject or language. Learning about subjects of your choice can help keep learning fun. Hold yourself accountable and track your progress using a journal, notebook or bullet journal.

Establish New Habits

This is the perfect time to kickstart new routines and healthy habits. Use a bullet journal or a planner to keep track of your schedule, and make sure you have time for work, leisure, and other activities. If you’ve been wanting to pick up a new hobby such as yoga or cooking, make sure you designate times for those things during the school year so that you have something to look forward to each day. Try using Zebra Mildliner highlighters to organize your goals or schedule by color and priority each day! Mildliners are perfect for bullet journaling, planning, coloring and more.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of taking time to focus on mental health by living in the moment and focusing on the present. Practicing mindfulness is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, especially when faced with assignments and deadlines. When you’re planning your day or week, designate some time for yourself to practice mindfulness such as meditation or journaling.

5 Professional Items You Need To Start Your Semester

For students and professionals, it’s important equip yourself with the right tools to take to a job or internship. Being prepared will allow you to feel confident and ready for whatever tasks are thrown your way. Make sure you have these five professional items before you start this school year.

Planner

Whether you’re embarking on the job search, or starting a new job or internship, keeping a professional planner is a helpful way to stay on top of upcoming deadlines, vacation days, and important meetings. Keep all of you work-related notes in one organized planner to hold yourself responsible for finding or maintaining that dream job.

Pens

Not all pens are created for the professional world. However, Zebra STEEL pens are designed with style, strength and professionalism in mind. The Zebra STEEL F-701 is an all metal, stainless steel ballpoint retractable pen making it the perfect writing instrument for note-taking, interviews, and a professional setting. For all your professional writing needs, check out Zebra’s STEEL line of pens, in addition to the sleek and stylish Sarasa Grand.

Bluetooth Headphones

Bluetooth headphones are perfect for getting work done in coffee shops, bookstores, or other public places. They’re also great for the daily commute and relaxing before interviews on public transportation. Listening to career-related podcasts on your lunch break or even at the gym can be a great way to supplement your learning – and impress your boss.

USB Drive

Keep and save your hard work by using a USB drive. If you’re a student, keep a USB or hard drive to save extra copies of papers, assignments, and study material. At work, use a USB to gather portfolio materials and other work-related examples along with your resume. This will allow you to access your files anywhere.

Notebook

Though it may seem simple, carrying a notebook or journal is a great way to make a good first impression. Take notes in an interview, and every day at company meetings. Hand writing notes has been proven to help students retain information better than writing on a laptop of tablet. It’s also important to keep in mind that sometimes unfortunately, technology does fail us however if you take care and hold onto a notebook, you may keep those notes forever.

5 Must-Have Items for Your Summer Adventures

Summer is the season of adventures and new experiences. To take full advantage of summer vacation, it’s important to carry the right tools. Grab these useful items before heading out on your summer vacations.

Insulated Water Bottle

Stay hydrated and stylish on your summer adventures with an insulated water bottle. There are different kinds of water bottles designed to keep your water cool and refreshing for hours at a time. Using a reusable water bottle also helps preserve our oceans and wildlife.

Portable Phone Charger

When you’re packing your bag or backpack, don’t forget a portable phone charger! Sometimes it’s nice to get away from your computer or cell phone however it’s important to be able to reach family and friends if you need them or if they need you while you’re on your summer adventures. Stay connected for safety while adventuring this summer!

Polaroid Camera

Polaroid cameras are a huge trend right now. Take instant photos of new places to capture and document worthwhile moments while adventuring this summer.

Durable Writing Utensils

Keep track of your summer adventures through writing and drawing using Zebra’s STEEL This series consists of stylish yet durable pens, pencils, and permanent markers perfect to take along on your summer adventures! Try our STEEL PM-701 to caption your Polaroid pictures for years to come.

Sunglasses

Don’t forget to pack your sunglasses for your summer adventures! No matter where you go, sunglasses are crucial to protect your eyes from the harsh summer sun.

Summer is the perfect time to get outdoors, try new things, experience new adventures and create memories that will last a lifetime. It’s important to remember to document all your summer adventures in a travel journal so that you can relive your adventures no matter what season it is.

5 Ways to Keep Kids Writing This Summer

For kids, summer vacation means playing outside, staying up late and hanging out with friends. Kids often associate writing with work and school and view it as a daunting activity, rather than something that can be done for leisure and fun. This summer, make writing and drawing fun for your child with these tips.

According to PsychCentral, “writing is a magical medium.” Writing serves as a vehicle for communication, connection and creativity. It also gives kids an activity that fosters learning and growth. This summer, show kids that writing is not only an educational tool, but also a fun way to think independently and be creative in their spare time.

Quiet Reflection

Have your kids reflect on their favorite summer activities or topics that they enjoy through writing and drawing. Allow them to think freely as they practice handwriting, grammar, mechanics and more with quiet writing time at the end of the day.

Keep Creative Tools on Hand

Zebra creates products specifically with kids in mind! Try our Zensations Colored Pencils  available in 24 rich colors and created for easy control while writing, coloring, or sketching. These mechanical colored pencils are also refillable.

Boost Reading Comprehension

Allow your child to select a book of their choice, and encourage them to reflect on their favorite characters, favorite part of the book, and what they learned. He or she could write a letter to one of the characters, write from a character’s perspective, or write an alternate ending or scene.

Foster Imagination

Encourage kids draw pictures of animals, places, or people and write a story that corresponds with the pictures they created. Giving them the opportunity to create the whole story themselves will show them that writing and drawing can be fun.

Don’t forget to show your support for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums this summer by participating in our art sweepstakes! To enter, you or your kids may draw their favorite animal (real or imaginary) then tag Zebra Pen on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, and use the hashtag: #FromAToZebra. Winners will receive our whole Zensations art line, and the winning drawings will appear on our website.

Learning New Words

Challenge your kids to use new words each week. Teach them a word a day and have them write sentences or stories using that word. Keep them interested by using vocabulary words that relate to their favorite things such as animals, sports, and more.

 

 

How to Make the Most of Your Experiences Using a Travel Journal

Traveling can be life-changing. Experiencing new places, people, and cultures may uncover a variety of different emotions and awakenings. Keeping a travel journal on hand is a perfect way to document your experiences.

When you are caught up in the chaos of traveling, it can be difficult to reflect on the sights and sounds of a new place. It’s important to continue journaling even after you return home. Revisit everything that happened during your vacation and devote time to writing in detail. Perhaps you are craving a meal that you had abroad, or you can’t stop thinking about a new place you visited.  Replicating those memories through drawing or creative writing will give you a keepsake you can treasure for years to come.

Be Consistent

The most important piece of advice for any kind of journaling that you are doing is to be consistent. If you don’t have enough time to write full journal entries each day, you can simply jot down some notes, thoughts, and important events each day. Make sure to date each entry, and write down what you ate, new things you did, people you met, and more.

Next, designate a time for journaling, either in the morning before you begin your day or at night before you go to sleep.

Use The Right Tools

Creativity is fueled by the right tools. Select the products that are right for you and take them along on your journey to aid your creative process and bring you daily catharsis.

If you enjoy the ink lay down of a gel pen, but crave a weighted, sophisticated body, our Sarasa Grand is the pen you will reach for while journaling each and everyday. The Sarasa Grand features the same Rapid Dry Ink Technology as our classic Sarasa Gel Retractable pens and won’t smudge or smear.

Zebra’s STEEL F-301 is an affordable, yet sophisticated pen that pairs perfectly with any pocket notebook. The STEEL F-301 is ideal for crossing off to-do lists, taking notes, and more.

The Zebra STEEL F-701 is an everyday carry essential that offers a premium writing experience. The all metal barrel is perfect for camping, hiking and more. Stay tuned for an exciting announcement about our STEEL F-701.

If you’re looking to get creative with your travel journal, turn to Zebra’s Zensations Technical Pens. Technical pens are perfect for sketching, and feature archival, acid free ink that won’t fade.

Although traveling is a great opportunity to start a journal, keep in mind that the impacts of traveling can last long after you return from your trip. In order to make the most of your experiences, utilize your travel journal each day so you can find your Zen in the art you create from the memories that will last a lifetime.

How to Draw a Grevy’s Zebra Tutorial

By: Alice Hendon

Anyone has the power to experience art by following instructions and using the right tools. By following this step by step tutorial, you too can draw the beautiful Grevy’s zebra!

There are many free sites online where you can download photos to use when illustrating. I knew I wanted to draw head and shoulders, so I found five photos of Grevy’s zebras in poses that were cohesive with the vision I had in my head.

I drew my zebras using a light box. Light boxes are an excellent way to learn how to draw, transfer and trace with ease regardless of skill level.  If you don’t have a light box, I recommend using a bright light on a glass tabletop.

Take the photo you want to use and place it on the light box.

Then, place a sheet of regular computer paper on top and turn on the light.  The light box will shine light through the image and through the paper placed on top, allowing you to trace the outline of the zebra.

Using the Zebra STEEL M-301 Mechanical Pencil, begin drawing over the lines of the zebra on the left. I used the main photo of the two zebras for the head, and the photo showcasing the side view of the shoulder and upper hip for the rest of the body.

For the second zebra, I wanted the head to be more front facing. I used the third image I saved and using the light box, added it to the pencil sketch.

For the body of the zebra, I used the same photo I began with, flipping the image over to draw the reverse side. The really great thing about light boxes is they can handle just about any thin to medium weight layer.

Next, to go over pencil lines, use a combination of Zensations Sarasa Fineliners and the Zensations Technical Drawing Pens to darken lines and watch the zebra take shape.  

Now, for the fun part. Place the computer sheet image sketched in pen on the light box first. Next, place a sheet of white cardstock on top of the computer paper and turn the light on. This will allow you to see the design underneath, and sketch your zebra on a higher quality paper. Use the STEEL M-301 Mechanical Pencil to sketch the zebra stripes onto your final copy.

Here is my final pencil sketch on the heavier cardstock.

Use the black Sarasa Fineliner and the Technical Drawing Pens to go over pencil lines and fill in the stripes.  The brown Sarasa Fineliner works well for the coloring in the eyes. The 0.1 Technical Drawing Pen is ideal for the little fine lines in the mane that are so distinctive to the Grevy’s zebra.

Continue filling in the stripes, going over pencil lines and adding details.

 

Before you know it, you’ll have a set of Grevy’s zebra! Use a white eraser to remove the remaining pencil lines.

 

Now, use the M-301 Mechanical Pencil to add shading to my zebras, giving the illustration dimension. Use a paper tortillon to blend in the pencil shading.Take a final look at your zebras and add any stripes, shading or details you see fit. I hope this encourages you to embark on your own creative journey!

Check out more of Alice Hendon’s work at alicehendon.com.

 

 

 

 

Make Time For Bullet Journaling This Summer With 5 Foolproof Techniques

Summer is officially here, providing the perfect opportunity to indulge in a relaxing hobby designed to make your life easier…and a lot more colorful. Bullet journaling has revolutionized the way we plan, doodle, and express creativity.

A bullet journal can be a planner, to-do list, journal, notepad, and/or sketchbook all in one. Include what you want and leave out what you don’t. Your bullet journal should be about you and can be customized to suit your needs. For some bullet journal inspiration check out “Zebra’s Guide to Bullet Journaling”

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a self-proclaimed bullet journal expert, here are some foolproof techniques to turn your bullet journal into a fulfilling summer activity.

Designate a time to practice

To make bullet journaling part of your daily routine, it’s important to make sure you practice daily. Whether it’s fifteen minutes or an hour, find a time that works for you and designate it as your “bullet journal time.” Try working on your bullet journal when you wake up or before you go to bed, or as a method of fitting in some “me time” during a busy week. Disconnecting from digital and taking time to put pen to paper can decrease stress levels and cultivate your creativity.

Customize it to Suit Your Needs

No two bullet journals are the same. Don’t feel pressured to produce elaborate bullet journal spreads right away (or at all). Include things as simple as your grocery list, daily to-do list, weekly schedule, or get creative. No matter how you use your bullet journal, it should suit you and fit into your day. Remember, your bullet journal should be fun and relaxing, not stressful. Use it to keep track of new books you want to read, places you want to go, and long and short-term goals. Create a habit or mood tracker as a practical way of holding yourself accountable for achieving your goals. The possibilities are endless.

Get the Right Tools

Color makes bullet journaling fun and therapeutic. To optimize your bullet journaling experience, use products you love! Try our Sarasa Fineliners for smooth, vibrant, marker-like ink combined with the performance of a fine tip pen. For coloring, hand lettering, highlighting and more, try Zebra Mildliners, available in 15 unique, pastel colors! If you’re looking for a traditional writing tool with an modern twist, try Zebra’s Fountain Pens available in seven vibrant colors.

Take it Along

Bullet journaling isn’t just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. Make sure your bullet journal is readily available by taking it with you wherever you go. Bullet journaling is a great way to unwind after a business trip, vacation, or long day of travelling. Keep it in a backpack, purse, suitcase or briefcase so you can find zen in bullet journaling anywhere.

Have Fun

The most important rule of bullet journaling is quite simple: have fun. All you need is your favorite notebook and some pens. If you need help getting started, connect with other bullet journalists to get tips, ideas, and positive encouragement. The bullet journaling community is vast and diverse, proving that anyone can create something amazing.

For more bullet journal inspiration and to share your own tips, follow us on social media.

How-to Practice Mindfulness This Summer

The mindfulness movement has experienced huge growth in the past year alone, as more and more people are placing an emphasis on mental health awareness. If you’re looking to reduce anxiety or perhaps just take more time to live in the moment and focus on the present, mindfulness and meditation can be a great way for you to #FindYourZen this summer.

Mindfulness is simply a state of mind that is achieved by focusing on the present moment and consciously thinking about one’s own feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. According to Forbes, mindfulness has been proven to reduce anxiety, reduce implicit age and race bias, prevent and treat depression, increase body satisfaction, improve cognition, and reduce brain distractions. Many people achieve this state of mind through meditation however, losing yourself in any activity that you love could also help you reach those benefits.

Use these methods to practice mindfulness this summer.

Breathe Deeply

Practicing mindful breathing for at least 15 minutes a day can help melt away the stress of your day. Whether it’s while walking, listening to music, eating, or even showering, focus your mind on your breathing. Take deep breaths, sure to focus on the motion of the rising and falling of your chest. Breathe in cadence with the music to feel more connected to your favorite song. Try to stay focused on simply breathing, and if your mind begins to wander, slowly bring it back to your breathing. You can practice mindful breathing wherever you are.

Write in a Journal

Mindfulness and creativity are complementary. Exploring your creativity can strengthen your mindfulness practice, and vice versa. Take time to sit down and write in a journal this summer. Write about your emotional changes, inner thoughts, and most importantly, the present moment. Try using Zebra’s Sarasa Grand for an indulgent writing experience. With a weighted brass barrel and smooth ink flow, focus on the motion of your hand and the importance of each letter or word you are writing.

Recognize Emotions

In the chaos of everyday life, it can be difficult to take time to recognize your emotions as they arise. Rather than subconsciously feeling emotional changes, try to acknowledge those emotions to better determine their purpose and how to cope with them appropriately. If you are at work or in a busy setting and you feel an intense surge of emotion, good or bad, don’t ignore it. Later, allow yourself to reconcile any negativity, and write about what may have triggered the negative energy.

Express Yourself Through Art

Sketching, drawing, coloring, poetry— whatever you enjoy, make a conscious effort to do it more this summer. Whether you consider yourself an artist or not, you can still practice expressing your thoughts and feelings through art. Zebra’s Zensations line of products was created with your inner artist in mind. From our Zensations Calligraphy Pen to our Sarasa Fineliner and Zensations Technical Pen, there is a product for every artist. Be sure to focus on hand movements, thoughts, and breathing whenever you practice mindful artistry this summer. Allow yourself to feel accomplished and proud of your work.

Adjust Your Daily Routine

As simple as it seems, altering your daily routine is an easy way to practice mindfulness. Changing your route to get to work or taking a different path on your walk or run will subconsciously focus your thoughts on your surroundings and the present. Focus on your senses, how things look and smell. Try a new food for lunch, a new fitness class, or read a new book. You could even write about your new experiences later in your journal.

Be Present

No matter how you practice mindfulness, the most important tip to remember is to be present. Being present is an art. It means allowing yourself to be available, emotionally and physically, in every moment. Put your phone down and enjoy being around others or participating in your favorite activities independently. Whether you are present in the activities we have suggested, or even while hanging out with your friends, you can practice mindfulness by appreciating and living in the present moment this summer.

What are your best mindfulness tips? Use the hashtag #FindYourZen and tell us!

Top 5 Ways to #FindYourZen in Studying

When finals season approaches, stress and anxiousness often follow close behind. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, approximately 30% of college students report that stress has negatively affected their academic performance, and 85% of college students report feeling overwhelmed balancing courses, work, a social life and more. Use the tips below to combat stress and #FindZen in studying.

1. Take Better Notes

Before you begin studying, make sure you are taking high quality notes in class with organized formatting. The key to efficient note-taking is to write down key statements and emphasize the valuable information being spoken. Highlight key terms with a Zebrite highlighter, or pastel Mildliner to reference later. This will make studying less stressful when it comes time for the big exam. Utilize bullet points, traditional outlines, or numbered lists to make your notes easy to comprehend.

2. Avoid Cramming

It’s impossible to learn an entire semester worth of information in one night. In fact, it can increase test anxiety and lead to poor performance. Reading your notes for a short time daily drastically increases your chances of absorbing the information on a deeper level. According to researchers from UCLA, keeping a consistent study schedule is essential to ensuring students don’t lose sleep over studying for a test the night before. Even reading notecards on the treadmill is a great way to make studying fun and dually productive. Use Sarasa Fineliners, Mildliners and more to create a bullet journal spread for mapping out your study schedule.

3. Practice Mindfulness

Practicing mindful habits can help improve productivity and eliminate stress or feelings of uneasiness at work or school. Be aware of your surroundings when studying and take deep breaths before beginning. Are you comfortable? Are you in an environment where you feel you can be successful? Allow yourself to take breaks and be honest with yourself about when you need to take one. Don’t be afraid to exercise, eat a snack, or do anything else that will make you feel at ease.

4. Create Practice Quizzes

Creating a practice quiz is a great way to study a large amount of material. Curating questions, structuring the quiz, and then taking the quiz is beneficial, and provides the opportunity to determine the material you need to study more. Use our colorful Sarasa Gel Retractable Pens to practice essay and short answer questions. The rapid drying, smudge-free ink is perfect for left-handers, and writing in different colors has been proven to help visual learners retain information.

5. Study with a Friend

Studying with a group from class or a group of friends can allow you to openly discuss the exam material and ask questions about things you don’t understand. It can also help keep you accountable for studying and prevent distractions you may have when studying alone. Organize a brief study session with friends to review and attend any review sessions held by professors or teachers. Take notes at the study sessions and use them when you’re studying independently.