I am utterly fascinated by the people who have elaborate bullet journals. They are so creative and use their journals as their form of art and creative outlet. I watched many videos and saved many-a-pins and tried to get into it. The truth is, I’m too much of a perfectionist to have the type of bullet journal I see online.

Bullet journal:  [source: tumblr]

The truth is I envy these creative people who can spend hours on layouts and spreads. They are quite impressive and I wish I could do it. I tried. I gave it a solid effort, but I have to give up the bullet journal ghost.


IT IS VERY TIME CONSUMING


The layouts online take a very long time. I worked on one that wasn’t even close to the detail as the one shown above and it took me over an hour. All I did were a few lines using a ruler and some attempts at calligraphy. It still did not turn out the way I wanted it to and I wasn’t inspired by it.


NOT GOOD FOR MY PERFECTIONIST MIND


Ever since elementary school, if I made the tiniest mistake on anything I had to scrap and start all over. I would try to salvage the project, but my inner perfectionist was not having it. I see some bullet journal spreads with crossed out pages, but I cannot deal… it’s either perfect or it is not.


I COULD NOT FIND THE RIGHT LAYOUTS


There are a billion layouts out there for every possible thing one may want to track.  I tried a few and no matter how much I tweeked it, combined ideas and methods the concept never quite fit my style. Combine that with the above quest for bullet journal perfection and you have a recipe for failure and frustration. Going back to reason number 1, this became a time-suck; wasted time I could have used on other hobbies that bring me happiness and joy.

 


ATTEMPTED TO TRACK TOO MUCH AT ONCE…AND FOR WHAT?


Tracking everything you do, spend, eat, read, sneeze, or drink can be a mindfu*k.  I am exaggerating, of course, but once you start down that daily tracking road it is hard to turn back.  Yesterday, I turned back. I tore out my failed-attempts at creative, Tweetable, Instagramable layouts and popped them in the garbage.

The primary reason? I already have a planner. In fact, I was tracking my spending on a note page on the opposite of the last week of April’s weekly layout. Breaking with my perfectionism, I tore that page out leaving me without a daily sheet for April 27-30th.

My inner critic screamed as I tore out the page, but I ignored her. Not having three days in my planner would not ruin my existence. I already track my spending in an old-school checkbook ledger.

[Favorite post by Cait Flanders that inspired me to move beyond tracking: http://caitflanders.com/2016/10/11/stop-tracking-start-making-intentional-decisions/ ]

I already have a planner with the best pre-designed layout that works for me. A lot of people get into bullet journaling because pre-printed layouts did not fit their style. I am one of the lucky people who these work for. I have the monthly calendar and a weekly breakdown with lots of space for to do lists and notes.

So while I have deep admiration for those of you who can do this, I am walking away and giving up the ghost of the bullet journal.

CONNECT:

TWITTER: AMANDA11762

FACEBOOK: LIFEALABODE

planner

Although I am only 2 weeks in to my new role – and a deceptively easy 2 weeks with the holidays – I am understanding how important it is too keep a calendar up to date and our daily tasks/to-do lists at my fingertips.

2016’s calendar was a Lilly Pulitzer calendar which worked out well. Each month had a calendar in review, then pages beyond it with blank lines for each day. I used the calendar for keeping track of appointments, workouts, when my husband travels, etc. and the blank lined pages for daily tasks that I would lovingly “cross out” with a highlighter once complete.

For 2017 I wanted to try something a little different. Now, I ordered this planner before my new job, but it seems the Universe was involved with this one. The ever-popular Erin Condren was a little too pricey for my taste, but there were negatives about the Lilly planner that I wanted different and I wanted something like the Condren planner.


Think about what your style is

Lilly’s planner was great because it was very colorful. The downside is it was too Lilly-focused, even down to marking when her birthday was.  Also, some of the blank pages had designs on them which took up valuable writing space.

I also needed the calendar days to be a tad bigger. I do use stickers, but not to the extent of some very creative people a la Elle Fowler.

When picking my 2017 planner I wanted it to be colorful, but a toned down version of Lilly’s, larger calendar days, and I needed more space to write daily tasks, to-do lists, and other notes. I also wanted it to be more neutral in theme.


Think about the size

I like one that is about the size of my purse, but not too huge that it overstuffs it and I look like a woman carrying a bag with only my planner inside – and a book of course. I like average book-sized planners because they feel more comfortable for me: It won’t get lost in my handbag and it fits my handwriting size and style.


How do you plan to use it

I have seen people on You Tube schedule time to plan their planners in their planner. That’s dedication! I don’t do that per say, but I do take a look at the current day in the morning and through out the day and plan things the night before. I also write things down as they come up in a small, separate notebook then transfer to calendar when necessary.  Personally, I use one calendar to keep track of everything; that way I do not have to keep looking at separate planners to see what I have to do on what day for what part of life.


Electronic or Pen & Paper

I find electronic calendars difficult to keep track of. I do appreciate the outlook pop-up reminders when I am due in a meeting in 15 minutes and it is a way for co-workers to send meetings to each other. Although I will have more meetings than ever before, I will still be marking them in my personal planner.


My 2017 Planner

After some research, I decided to buy a Plum Planner. I liked that it was custom-ordered and at a good price point for what I was getting.  I think my new planner and I are going to be very happy together.

In an upcoming post, I will write about how I will use this planner to combine life and work. Hopefully this will help you!

Planner1

 

I feel like every one who blogs (or vlogs) toward the end of the month always say something like, “I can’t believe it is already the end of [Insert month].” I won’t do that. I’ll simply say that this year August to August has been loaded with lots of changes, growth, and a serious look at who I am and how I live.

First things first; I am approaching one year of being a wife. One year on September 26th (although legally by the state on September 14th. But that’s a story for another day). To keep with the title, a lot of my inward work has been how I manage my time, my home, my work, my fitness, and stress.

I’ve always used agendas to keep track of appointments or parties, but I never really knew how to keep one with a to-do list until I began planning my wedding. More specifically: the last 3 months of planning where everything snow balls and it’s hurry up, go, go, go time. Since my wedding last year, my daily planning has taken on a whole new level. I discovered Alejandra.tv and signed up for and finished the Power Productivity online course. And from there, everything fell into place. Exactly what I needed as the next step to get myself together appeared effortlessly.

With the Power Productivity Program, I got way ahead of myself and bought a lot of unnecessary stuff (which she cautions against in module 4!). I just was so excited about everything I learned I would buy organizing gadgets and boxes without thinking what I would use it for. I just bought it because I’d figure out a use for it. Or I’d get it and it wouldn’t fit – again module 4. I did not follow directions…

From there it lead me to learning how to declutter. I was so overwhelmed with crap: clothes I didn’t like/didn’t fit, cooking tools I never used, books I knew I would never read, and countless cosmetics I just had to try or have. The stuff I use on a daily basis is relatively small, but the “extra” was too much. One day, my mom brought over two huge totes of my stuff from storage. I couldn’t believe the amount of junk I had in the world: there was nail polish sets from the late 90s, floppy discs, old school papers, photos of people I can’t even remember their names, and random scraps of paper and notebooks.

Those totes were a turning point. As I searched how to declutter, I discovered many vloggers/bloggers who did just that. I learned so much about what to get rid of and, more importantly, what NOT to bring in. Which leads me back to planning.

I started to use my planner to track goals and my workouts. It also acts as my to-do list (there are additional pages after the calendar with lines). It feels good to look back at the month and see what goals I was able to accomplish.

  1. to work out at least four days a week: I set that goal because I had a very busy June and needed to get back on track. Not perfect this month, but I got back into more of a routine.
  2. to be “meatless” at least 2 days a week: I wanted to cut back on eating meat for various reasons but I can say I exceeding that goal. Average 4 days per week is pretty awesome. I’m not sure I’ll never be full vegetarian. I’ve tried and it doesn’t work for me, but setting aside days feels like a great balance for me. I don’t plan it – my body just tells me which days it doesn’t need meat and which days it does.

To track in September:

  1. meditation, journaling and yoga: I need to SERIOUSLY get myself together when it comes to stress management. I want to meditate everyday and do yoga at least one day a week. My goal for journaling is to fill at least one page every day.
  2. headache and migraine: Going with above, this month I’ve pretty much had a headache every single day and at least 2 or 3 migraines with the most recent one being yesterday. Right now, I just have it marked with H in a circle for headache and M for migraine. They certainly are not the same. I wake up at least 1 day a week with a headache and it can last a few days. Some days I have to go into work late because they are so bad. Thankfully, my migraines are very rare, but I want to track it.
  3. Mood: You can sense a theme here. September is going to be a jump-start to some massive self-care. Yesterday’s migraine was an intervention by my body. It was a massive wake-up call on just how much I let build on a regular basis. Just not myself, but the people around me as well. I want to track my mood and see how it relates to the two above.

 

In the next post, I will write about my budget notebook which I use in another tracker. The budget book is Bullet Journal style which I love. It will go through many changes as I fine-tune it to meet what I need, but all of the things I track this coming month is about my emotional, mental, and physical well-being. I’m not just dabbling either — this is going to be real.

 

What do you want to track next month?

Find me:

Instagram; amanda11762

youTube: amanda11762