(Author’s note – NaBloPoMo is a thing. I’m going to try AGAIN to complete it this year, so look for more traffic from me than normal and keep me honest.)
I think it was Mel who first drew my attention to bullet journaling. I watched the video, and thought, “Huh. Well that’s interesting, but it’s not for me.” I have kept the same system for years now – a monthly calendar (if I’m lucky, from the $1 section of target) that I decorate and customize to match my word/feeling for the year along with a separate notebook for writing, lists, thoughts, etc. Except that recently it hasn’t been working for me. I use a full-size notebook to write, and a full-size calendar, and together, with all my receipts and sticky notes and the random assortment of paper detritus that ends up in my calendar, it’s heavy. And that sounds like a complaint that should be accompanied by the world’s smallest violin, but it has really started to bug me. To the point where I have started leaving my calendar and notebook at home, which DEFEATS THE WHOLE PURPOSE of having a calendar. Gah. I annoy myself sometimes.
So then I started following Zoot (who is a local runner that I really should introduce myself to, but when I see her out I feel really awkward walking up and saying Hi! I stalk your blog! Want to be friends? Yeah, no.) And she is another bullet journaling aficionado with printables and an instagram account just for her bullet journals. After reading her posts lauding her journal system and the various books/covers/pens she works with, and checking out her examples and pictures, I went back and watched the video again and thought about it.
Like really thought about it. I hit up the Bullet Journal and Moleskine and Leuchtturm1917 websites. I googled for people who don’t like bullet journaling. I surfed a half-dozen hashtags on Instagram looking at how people customize their journals to work for them. I mulled over how I could take my system and fit it into a single book.
I thought about it more than was probably necessary. But that’s how I roll, you know? I am the queen of over-analysis. See, my routine has a tempo. I make a to-do list on Monday for the week on a post-it note. I make a to-do list on Friday for the weekend on a another post-it, transitioning all the things I didn’t finish in the week. After that week/weekend is over, I archive the sticky notes in a folder in the back of my calendar. I have a calendar for the month with overarching goals/themes and milestones for things like museum exhibits and tracking the kids school and extracurricular activities. I have a ruled journal to write longhand when I can’t/don’t feel like hitting the laptop. I have multi-colored pens and fancy sticky notes and I love stationary. In short, I am an ideal candidate for a bullet journal. But I’m really, REALLY attached to my monthly calendars. I have a stack of them going back to 2005, and I actually go back and look up dates for past events. It’s a feature that I CANNOT do without.
Lucky for me, it’s the first day of November and I have a ruled journal with blank pages and two whole months before the year rolls over and the $1 Target calendars haven’t hit the shelves yet. So I’m going to give this bullet journal thing a try. I’m still going to use my monthly calendar because – well, I adore them. But I’m also going to download a printable and practice with it in my notebook, and see if this would work for me. I figure in two months, I should know pretty well whether this is going to meet all my requirements or if I’m better off sticking with what I already know. Because if I could get down to ONE book to carry around with me, then my life gets a little easier. And I am all about anything that makes it easier to exist these days.
So, my question to you (questions to you are also going to be a new thing this month) — how do you organize your life? Bullet journal (if so, would you comment on your feelings about it)? Electronic calendar (google, outlook, etc.)? Old school planners/calendars? Daytimers (does anyone use those anymore)? Flying by the seat of your pants? Is there some other system that I should know about?