“We write to taste life in the moment”
When I miss a yoga class, I feel it. When I don’t write in my journal, I feel that too.
My bullet journal has become an extension of myself, literally. Where I end, it begins. Where I was, it remembers, and what I want is stated clearly on the page.
About four years ago, I wouldn’t have even known what a bullet journal was. I was reading an article and the woman being interviewed mentioned her bullet journal several times. I must have had time on my hands that day and googled it. Well, that was the beginning of the end. It was as if the system was made for me and I never knew it existed.
I purchased my first journal right before we left for Italy. This was my first trip and we were headed to Rome, Florence, Siena and the Tuscan hills. As I love the destinations but hate the travel part, I decided this was the perfect time to use a journal and document the trip. My husband is English and travels quite often for both business and personal reasons. We were joining the English side of his family for this particular trip.
After we came back, I knew what an important tool this would become for me.
I was one of those people who had notes and reminders everyplace, appointments written randomly on whatever piece of paper I could find. It worked for quite a few years. I remember when the Palm Pilot came out in 1997. Yes, I’m old enough to remember that. The concept was great but it fell short in so many ways by today’s standards. The idea of not having to write everything down, and just typing it in sounded so easy, just like it does today, but today you have the option of syncing all of your equipment, which is even more attractive.
The problem with that is that you can lose yourself someplace in the middle of all your electronics. Keyboards should not replace your voice and that’s what I found was happening.
Don’t misunderstand me; I take advantage of all that Apple has to offer, and the cloud holds a great deal of my business and personal life, but it holds no emotion. That I want on paper.
I think the biggest benefit of journaling for me is that it holds me accountable. I set the plan the night before, with a main focus on one or two things, and I prioritize.
Typically, I sync my journal with my phone every weekend. There are times when I only have my cell with me, so any new appointment, thought or note can easily be entered into that. I will typically move whatever is new into my journal on a weekly basis.
I have a monthly and weekly calendar in my journal. Any appointments, notes or reminders are written in the journal on the day they occur, all in one spot, which makes it very easy to reference and keep track of. The beauty of this system is that you can design it any way you want to – there is no right or wrong. The book is indexed in the front, which makes it very easy to keep track of everything. Within my journal I have included gratitude, memory and tracker pages. I keep track of my personal task list as well as my business, and tend to color-code. I keep track of my blogs, social media accounts and the e-book I am working on.
One journal will usually last me anywhere between eight months and a year. I usually start the day writing in my gratitude log and end the day with a few thoughts on how the day went, what I want to remember, revisit or not think about again.
For me, when I write something down, it becomes clearer. I honestly believe this system has helped my productivity and at the same time I can keep track of my family all in one place.
Other than their schedules, I love using pictures, so when I look back to the prior weeks and months, I see a picture and it will always make me stop and think of that day. It’s a nice diversion when I need one. I use a sprocket, which provides instant gratification and prints these small, perfect size pictures right from your phone. They are literally stickers; it just doesn’t get much easier than that.
Our social media accounts do not hold all the answers.
How many times are you working on your computer, and decide to check Facebook or Instagram just for a minute, and wind up spending the next half hour diving deeper into someone else’s thought-process, personal life or their work life instead of what you originally sat down for?
Journaling keeps you mindful of yourself and your day. By all means schedule in the time you check your social media accounts, but with this system, they no longer monopolize my day.
One of my favorite pages/collections acts as a brain dump, a page with no explanations needed. Whatever is on my mind that doesn’t fit in my day gets written down. It really is amazing how that works. Just by writing it down, I know it has a place, and I will deal with it when I’m ready. This works particularly well at night. Not sure about you, but when I lay down, that’s usually when all of these questions and thoughts enter my brain. I can’t tell you how much it helps just to dump it in my journal.. It’s like a release and allows me to relax and – hopefully – get some sleep.
Journals come in many shapes and sizes. I will link the one that I am currently using and the new one I will be moving into in June.
It will be the first notebook I am using from this company. Since I love to draw, sketch and paint as well, the paper in this new book will support all of that should the mood hit. The packaging is amazing and feels so personal – all small touches I love.
As I mentioned previously, this system can be designed specifically for your needs. I am inspired by quite a few women on Youtube and, aside from the fact that I find their videos particularly calming, I also find them very informative and always get a few good ideas.
Many of these women are bloggers and have found creative ways to track their schedules, social media accounts and editorial calendars.
If you journal, please comment below. I love new ideas. I have found there is a whole community that shares this passion and I am so thankful to have found it.