|All images: Kara Benz, via Bullet Journal|
I have this weird relationship with planners. I love them. But I also sometimes don't know what to do with them. I love flipping through them, I get excited about their various features, I may sometimes purchase more than one for a given year, and yet, I'm always feeling like I'm not using any of them effectively and to their fullest potential.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not one of those hoarders who amass planners by dozens, keeping them in their drawers, but never actually using them, for fear of spoiling them, or whatever. Quite the contrary: my planner gets his fair share of daily use, but I always feel like I'm not using it to my best advantage. And what's worse, I'm not using it in the most effective way to help me with my scattered mind.
Also, my problem with all those pretty planners (whether bound or printable) out there is, that with each and every one of them I always feel creatively stifled. There's never enough space for my own true self to express itself. There are dozens of various tasks I need to accomplish each day, pertaining to our business, to my blog and to my personal life, and I need to log them all in one neat space. I also rarely get to use any prefabricated daily categories (like food log, phone call log or savings log) that always take up too much valuable space in any given planner. What I need is the blank space to create and define my own categories.
And if there's one thing I currently need the most, it's getting my stuff and my act together in all my areas of interest. See, right now I'm using this bonkers organizational system, where I have a separate notebook for everything: a daily planner for my work, blog and personal tasks and events, a "brain dump" notebook where I download all my random ideas and inspiration, a blog binder with my editorial calendar and blog post master list. I also have my daily logbook & gratitude journal, a book journal, a goal binder, and I could go on and on... Believe me, it's really as crazy as it sounds. There are notebooks literally strewn all over my apartment, and at any given moment, your can find at least three of them in my purse or on my desk. It's getting ridiculously out of hand, and I feel like I'm not able to keep up with this anti-system anymore.
What I really need is a pen-and-paper system that will bring all this mess together, and define one neat little cohesive space that would help me create that elusive, but much needed focus and peace of mind. A planning system that will be flexible, easy to work with, visual and creative. Just like me :)
And just when I thought that I'd need to create that system myself, I stumbled upon Kara's Boho Berry blog, and her gorgeous Bullet journal, and I immediately felt that tingle of excitement that accompanies the sudden stroke of inspiration. And I fell down the rabbit hole: I've spent the past two days researching this concept and falling in love with all its glorious possibilities. If you've never heard of bullet journal before, or want to get a better idea of how it works, be sure to check the original Bullet journal blog.
I've decided to give this system a try for a month - for the time being, I'll use a random grid notebook (no need to invest in any fancy gear before I actually see if it can work for me), and I'll definitely work on my hand lettering and doodling abilities. I'm really excited and curious to see how it works out!
Now that I've confessed my planner struggles, I would love to know: what system do you use to manage your time and stay on top of all your tasks? Are you more of a tech or an analog kind of girl? And have any of you ever tried the bullet journal? If so, to what results? Do spill the beans in the comments!