I’m always looking for ways to help my life run a little more smoothly. Usually the starting point for that is getting organized. As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m a list maker/planner type and very routine oriented. Unexpected changes to my schedule can cause anything from mild annoyance to full on anxiety depending on the day.
When I was pregnant with Kiddo, I kept a planner. It was one of those academic style planners with the monthly spread followed by the weekly pages. I used it to keep track of my doctor’s appointments, our military appointments and changes in his work schedule due to exercises, temporary assignments, etc.
In the months following Kiddo’s arrival, I fell out of the habit of keeping that planner and began the transition into electronic event management. Google Calendar was my go-to and it worked fantastically. All members of our household could sync their calendars and reminders could be set for both email and phone.
When I moved back home and entered the workforce again, I kept up that system since my job in retail required varying shifts and special events. After I purchased an iPhone, I began using the TinyCalendar (formerly CalenMob) app to manage appointments. In the last few months I’ve taken that one step further and gotten a list organization app called WunderList.
I have noticed that this system is not working for me. I get a lovely little ‘ding’ reminder from WunderList about an email I need to send, for example. Let’s say I’m on my tablet just browsing around on social media. I can just swipe that little reminder right off my screen and totally out of my mind.
I’m not nearly as productive as I would like to be in terms of getting tasks completed.
After I realized this, I began giving some thought to returning to a paper planner system. I searched the internet to see what is available. After all, it’s been nearly 10 years. Things have definitely changed! There are so many systems available now – things with beautiful covers, personalized inserts, add-ons and all kinds of accessories.
I learned a long time ago that the traditional personal sized planners (DayRunner, etc) do not work for me. I am not happy with the way they look when I write in them. I like the full size academic type planner with the month and then daily spreads. I absolutely cannot stand anything that lists a time. I can’t find any logical reason for that last one, it just is.
I considered many popular planners – the Franklin Covey personal planner, the Erin Condren Life Planner, and the Midori Traveler’s Notebook. A search on Etsy was absolutely overwhelming. So many stickers, dashboards, tabs, and the list goes on…
Somehow, I came across the Bullet Journal while browsing on Pinterest (because, where else?). I read the description on the website and it sounded very intriguing. One of the things I saw mentioned repeatedly was the ability to customize the design and makes it as minimalistic or complex as you wanted. I saw pages that were absolute works of art and some that were just black and white symbols and lists. I made my own board and started pinning designs and ideas that looked good.
I realized that this would be both the most economical and practical solution for me. I decided to get an inexpensive graph paper composition book and give it a go before investing in something more expensive like a Moleskin. So I stopped in at the local office supply store and picked up a few things.
I did a layout for this week since it’s the end of the month and then set up the monthly for June. I’ll use a similar weekly setup after the monthly. In just a few days I can already see how I want to adjust the weekly setup in the future. I’m trying not to make things too overly complicated so that I’m less likely to get frustrated and not continue.
Then I added a bit of color, just for fun. I’m not quire done decorating the June calendar.
So that’s the newest project in my world. It should be interesting to see how this changes over time. I will say that if I continue with this, once I get my setup figured out the first thing that I’ll look for in a notebook is paper that is thicker. There is bleed through on these pages and it drives me nuts. But since this is the trial run I am doing my best to deal with it. However, with that said, I’m very happy with how my first tries have turned out!
Do you have a system to keep your life organized?