My Story

Hey there! Thanks for visiting! My name is Jess and I created Pinecone Papers as a way to share how I use bullet journaling to reflect on life, track and evaluate what’s happening, and plan some really great days ahead! I live with a chronic autoimmune disease called Lupus, which turned my life upside-down in 2010. Since then, I have learned a lot about tracking and planning to get the most joy and productivity out of every day while balancing self care. I’m always exploring and learning, so follow along with me!

Within Pinecone Papers, you’ll find a mix of tools and ideas for everything from bullet journaling to symptom tracking. I hope to help you find ways to reflect on what’s working in your life, and where you might take baby steps toward becoming your best self. My goal is to offer you guidance whether you’re living with a chronic illness, starting a journey toward something new (having a baby, buying a house, changing careers, etc.) or you just want to be more mindful and take time to reflect on the wonderful, sometimes-chaotic life you lead.

What I Love

I’m grateful to have three incredible sons and an amazing husband of 24 years. We live in northwest Montana, where I turn to mountains, forests and lakes to fuel my inner peace. I adore where I live so I’ve been learning to photograph my natural surroundings for many years now. It’s a continual work in progress! You’ll see my macro photos throughout these pages. Most Saturday mornings, I’m out birding on country roads, at one of our many lakes or rivers, or near wildlife management areas. I also love gardening, gaming, camping and reading. I adore learning new things!

I am incredibly passionate about helping people. Throughout my adult life, I’ve gone through phases that have shaped me to be the woman I am today. In no particular order, I’ve been a volunteer art teacher for 4th graders, an editor of a national pregnancy magazine and website, a chronic illness support group facilitator, and a birth and postpartum doula. Currently I’m working as a Customer Advocate at Buffer, where I help our customers and work with the most amazing, kind and creative people I’ve ever met.

I’ve been blessed to work remotely from home for the majority of my career, which has allowed me to grow professionally while also being here for my kids when they need me. This road is not for everyone, but it’s worked incredibly well for me and my family.

What Guides Pinecone Papers

Here are some things you should know about me because these philosophies and quirky traits drive my blog. 🙂

  • I’m actively squashing my perfectionism so I can finish what I’ve started and move more quickly on projects. My latest mantra is, “Polishing is really procrastination.”
  • I believe in giving credit where credit is due. If I ever link to a product, a design, a method, or anything else that I did not create — I will give credit. I respect other people’s work and art!
  • I give myself permission to step back during Lupus flares in order to rest and recover. This means I work doubly hard when I’m in remission to make sure my work is the best it can be!
  • I’m deeply empathetic and always thinking of how my content might affect you. That’s why I try to keep positivity and gratefulness at the front of everything I write and I hope my posts leave you feeling warm and inspired.
  • I believe that a handwritten journal/tracker/planner can be a very powerful tool for mindfulness and deep reflection. That being said, I will also recommend apps or other digital products if I think they might help! Sometimes your busy life requires a digital solution, and sometimes quiet reflection with a notebook and pen is soothing to the soul.
  • I only promote what I use. You may find affiliate links and products throughout the site. These will always be of products I personally use, recommend and love. Randomly served ads (like Adwords, etc.) do not help you, so I will never use them. See my disclosures.
  • I believe creativity is within all of us, and that by channeling it, we learn about ourselves. There are a lot of artistic bullet journals out there. Your journal pages may not look like anyone else’s — and that’s great! Let yourself make mistakes, find your own style, and let yourself flow into your pages. Your journal is for you! I’ll always encourage you to find your own way, while also giving you resources to learn new skills if they help.
  • I love to connect with people and hear their story, and I love learning about other perspectives and experiences. Please understand that it may take me time to get back to you (full-time job + full-time mom & wife + side hustle + chronic disease = a lot!), but I strive to reply to each and every one of you!