Bullet Journal

Bullet Journals

Bullet Journals. Does anyone else do them to put their thoughts out for the day? I have a process before I sit down and work for the day. It’s what I’ve done for years to help me focus my mind and prepare for the day. I use a dot grid notebook, since it’s my goto notebook style for anything in design. To organize my thoughts the best, I have 5 main sections. The date, the action list, meeting list, goals and sprint box.

First, I make a date box for the current day and then I go to the bottom to create my sprint box. There are 10 days in an iteration and I use 10 boxes to represent a point. I check up to make sure I’m on track for the sprint or if I’m falling behind for any reason. I then jot down every meeting I’m in above that with space between. 

My main focus is to sit and think about my goals. What do I hope to accomplish for the day? What needs to get done no matter what? I try to aim for 3, with the most important being at the top. Sometimes I have 1 core goal, sometimes more. They’re mostly based on the sprint stories.

Once that’s all set up, I start on my day. Every single action in my day gets marked down as a bullet so I can remind myself what I’ve done through the day.

Does anyone else do this? I felt like this used to be a trend when I started it, but once I started, I never stopped.I haven’t seen much talk about it at all. I’m posting this for those who feel like this might help organize their day a little more!

You can check out a picture of my current bullet journal. It’s from October, so nothing I’m currently working on is being shown.

The Gaming Dream – The Long Road (And Read)

What’s your favorite side hobby? Mine has always been video games growing up. It’s very clear that I have a love for video games, especially if you found this post from my main page. It’s currently June 27th, and I have my upstairs office wall covered in gaming posters. I’ve always wanted to make games for a living or be in the industry of video games, its been the dream.

I remember growing up with an Amiga 500 playing Pluto and Firepower, while coloring things I printed out on Printmaster. Me and my brother used to go to a family friends house to play Mario and Renegade on their NES. The neighbors kid even had an NES that I used to play Excitebike and R.C. Pro Am all the time. Then one Christmas, me and my brother got an NES with Mario/Duckhunt and Megaman 2. The birth of my gamer dream started at that point. I knew I wanted to make games for a living.

When I was in 8th grade, I got a bunch of info from Digipen, which is a video game school essentially. I was reading through all of it with excitement everyday in hopes of going there one day. I spent most of my days drawing and exploring video games of all types. I went from console to a mix of console/PC gaming and had my fair share of love with Starcraft, Diablo, Red Alert, Warcraft and Quake 3 Arena. In high school, I never felt smart enough to be able to go to a great video game school, nor did i have any counselors that knew anything about how to go to school for games. They were all about doctors, nurses, lawyers, accountants and other 90’s high end positions the typical person should go for in life.

My love for gaming and drawing hit a crosspath when high school was ending. I ended up going to college for Graphic Design for an associates degree and putting my drawing and design interest into a career. I spent the next 10 years in graphic design and UI design until I went back to college for a degree in coding for web design with a bachelors in Digital Media Production. At the time, the school I got my degree in also had a gaming program which was super exciting. However, I was struggling with 3 kids, 1 being a newborn. Did I do the gaming program and take 4 years? Or transfer over my credits and clean up with a bachelors in 2 years? I put my dreams on hold of finally being a game designer to do the right thing and do what I could to make sure I get a good coding job as soon as possible.

I spent the next 10 years going from a web designer to UX designer to finally a Senior Product Designer in one of the Big 3 automotive companies in the country. I’ve loved my career path up to this point! I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be in the gaming industry. The same questions keep coming through my head. How can I transfer my skills from the automotive industry to the video game industry? How can I show my work, rather prove I’m doing great as a product designer when I have a strict NDA?

Rather than think of ways of how to skirt around all that, I’m deciding to just start doing it on the side. Last year, I went through a pretty fun Idle Clicker tutorial and was stoked about reskinnig it and making it my own. It’s still on my list of to do’s. I can say I’ll post daily updates throughout my process, but how often do you actually see someone sticking to it? I feel doing it that way would just put unnecessary stress to post something, anything whether I want to or not, or if its even of quality.

So here’s my current goal for this year:

  • I got the year long Zenva subscription on the cheap and go through one of their Unity tracks.
  • I plan on using Unity
  • I plan on posting updates irregularly on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • Create a game to launch as a mobile android game or steam game.
  • Join a group or 2 of indie devs to get some continual feedback.


In closing, I’m not waiting on my game design dream anymore. I’m starting it now.



I’m Learning Figma

Figma has just been another tool to me as a product designer. I never really used it proactively for any reason other than to try out the latest thing. I’ve always just used whatever I had available to me and made the best out of it. It started with Photoshop, then Fireworks, then back to Photoshop, then to XD, then to Sketch and now here I am doing a deep dive into Figma

Fast forward a few months ago when I learned the company I work for planned on phasing out Sketch and replacing it with Figma in 2023 for every product designer. Licenses would be issued starting in March and we could ease our way into the program before being cut off at the end of the year from Sketch. However, one of the teams I’m on is starting a new project that will be huge with multiple screens, so it seemed pointless starting it in Sketch and then slowly migrating over to Figma. 

Deep dive time! I got my license and downloaded the desktop version of Figma and I was ready to go. Did I learn the basics? Nope, I immediately imported what we had in Sketch to Figma and threw myself into the program. How else would I learn? I could look up some basic tutorials but I’d rather just import and learn what I need and when I need to know it.

I was very surprised to see just how easily Sketch imports into Figma. I was very pleased that the only issues I’ve had so far was sizing with frames and certain symbols. I’m sure there are a ton of proper ways to figure things out, but google has been like an old friend when it comes to seeing exactly what it is I need. 

After a week of using it and figuring out what I NEED to do, I went to udemy to properly learn any quick tips and tricks I could. Lucky for me, my agency has a Udemy business account for all their talent. While it doesn’t have everything Udemy has to offer, it does have everything a product designer needs to evolve. I’m half way through learning Figma and I’m already discovering lots of cool things that I can implement and share with the team to make our workflow a lot faster and more efficient. 

It looks like I’ve finally stepped into the party, and I’m now an official Figma user.

Holiday Plans – The Cliff Lineup

Christmas is around the corner and a lot of people are asking what my plans are for my Christmas break. Yes, my company gives time off between Christmas and the new years to just relax and enjoy the holidays. I’m very thankful to work there and the past few years have been a blessing to be able to sit back and relax and enjoy the holiday time with friends and family.

What will I be doing during that time? If you have picked up on anything you’ve read so far or have seen on my social media, you know exactly what I’m doing. Nerd things. To be more specific, designing, watching anime and playing video games with my kids.


My clicker game reskin has been put on the backburner with the release of Modern Warfare 2 and now more recently, Fortnite Chapter 4. While I do plan on putting together my own custom thing, my first pass of putting my design skills into Unity will be a Fallout or One Piece theme. It’s up in the air right now if I want to go dark or colorful, and those two fall in one of those categories.

Sticker – I’ve made stickers in the past and sold 100+ individual stickers, but never pursued that venture. I’m going to create some more designs and make use of the cricut I have and never actually tried. I usually get prints from sticker mule, but its slow and limits what I can actually offer on an ecommerce platform.

Craft Website – My fiancee is getting back into resin creation and jewelry making. I plan on making some mockups of a website for her to sell her awesome creations on through WordPress.

3D Printing – I print random things I find hilarious. My son has recently recommended that I print out a Rock Lobster… Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson head on a lobster body. He also mentioned other various Rock head things. So I’ll be printing up a bunch of that random those


I wouldn’t say I’m a huge anime nerd, but I do like watching shows here and there. I’m currently watching One Piece, My Hero Academia and Assassination Classroom. Well, technically I’m reading the Assassination Classroom Manga, but also watching the anime of what I’ve already read. So it’s not a binge as much as a per manga situation that’s happening.

Video Games

Modern Warfare 2 – I’ve always been a Call of Duty fan, and I love dropping into a quick match or 3 to unlock camos for my weapons. Their new DMZ mode is super fun. I heard it’s like Escape from Tarkov, which I never played, but to me it’s like a chill non-sweat version of warzone with objectives.

Fortnite – Chapter 4 AND I heard My Hero Academia characters are dropping the 16th of this month. Their lineup of unlocking DoomSlayer and Geralt from “The Witcher” in the battle pass will have me dropping in… a lot.

7 Days to Die – I play this most with my youngest, and our recent strategy of a skybase has been very successful on the 7 day hordes. Almost a little TOO easy, but we’re having tons of fun as we’re higher levels and unlocking the good perks.

That summarizes my Christmas break. Ill be enjoying the usual christmas festivities as well, but I plan on designing, watching and gaming during my break. Here’s to a great year and that everyone has a good holiday time.

A Look Back

This past weekend was a great reflecting point in my life. I turned 40 and while it used to be the “Over the hill” moment in life, it wasn’t. It was a weekend filled with family, friends and fun. I’ve been designing things since I was a kid in school, but professionally it’s been a bit longer. It’s been a smidge over 19 and a ½ years since I started at a small newspaper in Dearborn, MI. Looking back on my career path and changes, I’ve done a lot. Here’s a quick list of a few that I remember from my time. The numbers are a bit fuzzy, but it’s all generally speaking!

As a Graphic Designer

  • Created 1000’s of Print Ads for newspapers
  • Laid over 100 magazines and catalogs
  • Created dozens of front page publication designs
  • Created over a 100 poster design
  • Designed over a 100 logos

As a Web Designer/UI/UX Designer

  • Designed 100’s of websites with a focus on usability and accessibility
  • Designed and coded dozens of WordPress sites
  • Created 100’s of Flash animated banners and advertisements
  • Designed 100’s of animation in Flash
  • Coded a dozen interactive Flash sites
  • Designed over 2000 Ad banners for google, facebook, instagram and web pages
  • Helped 100s of companies go from no website/make from home site, to a thriving business with sales that multiplied.
  • Coded dozens of interactive sites with HTML/CSS/JS
  • Created a hand full of design systems

As a Product Designer

  • Designed the interface of over a dozen applications that launched successfully
  • Took part in saving 1000’s of hours and well over a million in costs for the user and the customer.
  • Created trust with users that their voice is heard
  • Talk with 100’s of users, getting to know them and their life and finding out who they are as a person and how I could make their life easier.
  • Spent 1000’s of hours doing user research, usability testing, persona creating, task flows, journey mapping, sketching and creating wireframes and interactive prototypes.

On the side 

  • Design enthusiast
  • Mentored a lot of people in design and usability
  • Created dozens of WordPress sites
  • Created 100s of flash animations
  • Created a couple games in Unity
  • Designed multiple logos for companies
  • Designed dozens of youtube banners and instagram ads
  • Created youtube intro animations
  • Sold a few created icon packs
  • Spoke at a dozen meetup events
  • Spoke about UX at a WordPress Conference
  • Took part in Inktober for the past few years
  • Draw daily

Current outside ventures

  • Creating my own game in Unity 
  • Creating stickers / digital art to sell in an ecommerce setting
  • Get more into the video game industry

Overall, I’ve met 1000’s of people and connected with a great community of designers and developers. A lot I talk to as friends to this very day. Though my life has had its fair share of twists and turns, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.