You all know I'm a list maker. Love lists. I don't always follow them, but they help me get focused which is a big deal with someone like me who flutters from project to project. Mondays are usually my planning day; my day to evaluate the week and make goals for the new week.
I have been asked more about my planning system so I thought I would share the chaos, because like everything else it's a work in progress. I have used every system out there and in the end I keep coming back to my favorite moleskine notebooks.
I purchased this weekly moleskine calendar last year and there are aspects that I love and others that drive me crazy. I adore the calendar system (featured above) for my blog content. It helps me think ahead and vary my writing. It has not be the magical answer to the ruts I sometimes feel, but still... it helps. I plan out the month with the post it notes and then when fill in later what I really end up doing.
One thing I do not love is the weekly planner format, primarily because it's not enough space for my journal entries, which is a must for my planning system. One way I tried to make it all work was to create these weekly inserts (you can find more here and the download) that I added each week as necessary to the journal. I liked this with the exception that I was constantly rewriting something that I didn't get done the week before into the new week. I also found I didn't really need to chart the daily things, like homework, scripture study etc. I added them for added focus, but it is not necessary.
Then I learned about bullet journaling and have been working with that system for a few months (see this post). Really it's just fine tuning what I have already been doing for years, but didn't know it had an official name, see this post.
A few things I love about my new system....
- Monthly lists rather than weekly. It's probably silly and most people have it all figured out, but I'm slow to the game and it has made a difference. I find that I only move one or two things over each month to the new month.
- Goals. I am able to not only make the weekly goals, but I can see how they fit into the longer time frame. Goals, things to work towards is essential for me when the monotony of dishes and laundry can seem huge. I love learning new things and finishing hard tasks.
- A Record. I don't know if my family will care what I did from month to month, but I often wonder what my grandparents planner would have included. My posterity will have more information than they ever wanted about me, but they can decide what to do with it. I also love that it's included in with my journal.... everything in one place; that is important.
I love this quote by President Kimball it is something that I have taken to heart all my life
"Your journal is your autobiography, so it should be kept carefully. You are unique, and there may be incidents in your experience that are more noble and praiseworthy in their way than those recorded in any other life. There may be a flash of illumination here and a story of faithfulness there. … Your story should be written now while it is fresh and while the true details are available. … What could you do better for your children and your children’s children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved? Some of what you write may be humdrum dates and places, but there will also be rich passages that will be quoted by your posterity. … Get a notebook, a journal that will last through all time, and maybe the angels may quote from it for eternity. Begin today and write in it your going and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements, and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events. ... This is what the Lord has commanded and those who keep a personal journal are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance their daily lives." ( President Spencer W. Kimball, "The Angels May Quote from It", New Era, Oct. 1975)
During some points of my past I have used my journal for therapy purposes, venting and working through my depression. It was essential, but not something that is of value to anyone. It's not my favorite nor is it interesting. I want the pages of my life to be filled with faith and hope. It's an honest record filled with the trials, but for the most part I don't want the pages to be filled with light.
A peek into my current journal:
- StoryStamps. I have recently included this into my journal and I love the exercise of looking at my day differently, from a different perspective. I am trying to include a few more stamps into my journals just to use them more.
- Sketches. I haven't been as diligent this past year at working from my sketchbook, but it's something that is always in the back of my mind. When I do work on something I always include it in my journal with some washi tape.
- Sketchnoting. I don't think this is really what this is considered, how can you really sketch note your thoughts, but there it is.
- Lists. My day or week in a quick list. I love to list the tender mercies or blessings I have seen in my day.
- Calligraphy practice. I am currently trying to learn copperplate calligraphy and using the nib and ink in my journal is a great way to practice. This practice could be used in a myriad of ways and is just one way in which I can accomplish my goals.
- The children. I adore finding their notes and sketches in my journals. I glue in cards and notes, but these hidden pieces of art are a favorite.
- Graphs. I had some old or practice graphs (from this download) that I just threw in one day. I also include notes from meetings that I attend.
- TO DO LIST. This should probably go up in the planner portion, but it's all one big journal I just added the photo here. This to do list is a long term goal list.... projects I want to finish (quilts, home improvement, etc), classes I want to take or things I want to learn. I finished 7 on this list last year. It might take me another few years to work on the rest and that is perfect.
I typically write in my journal before I study my scriptures. It helps me clear my mind and I find that I am better able to listen and focus after I have briefly written.