If I'm not careful one day like that can easily roll into a week. It's misery. There's nothing like going and going and having nothing to show for it. It's even worse when my husband asks me to do something and it gets forgotten.
Last fall I reached a point where I was done. Done with flying by the seat of my pants. Done with having nothing to show for my time. Done with being unorganized. I started looking for a planner, hoping that if I started writing things down I could actually remember to do them and maybe start to get some control.
On a side note, have you priced planners lately?
Anyway, I ended up where I get all my best ideas: Pinterest! I searched for planners, hoping that I could maybe find something that would work for me that I could print for free. One of the results wasn't a printable, it was link to a video on bullet journaling.
Watch it. I'll wait.
It resonated with me. It was simple. It was cheap! I was sold. I went straight to Amazon and ordered a 5" x 8" hardbound Moleskine with grid pages. In January I started bullet journaling just like in the video. I kept everything in the journal: writing ideas, garden plans, Whole 30, menu planning, grocery lists. It was great.
It was also a hot mess.
But on the plus side I was getting things done.
It was still hard to fit in writing, so not working. Summer hit and I chucked the whole thing. Which was okay for summer, I guess.
But, we start school on Monday, and I can't fly by the seat of my pants again. I don't want to go back to how I felt last year. Back to Pinterest. Bullet Journaling has really picked up steam over the course of 2015, so this is really me adding my voice to the noise at this point. Onward.
The first layout I tried was a week in squares at the top leaving most of the page for to-do listing. Only that week I wasn't very busy and most of the two page spread was empty. Bummer.
So, I decided to give this layout a try. Love. It. Having the week on the left side lets me see everything going on. This week looks pretty empty, because I took the picture last week. It filled up! It always does. My life happens in condensed fashion. I make a few appointments way out (dentist, hair, etc.) but for the most part things happen and get scheduled the same week they happen. Especially since there are teenagers involved and they do things last minute anyway.
The right side I write something to memorize: this week it's a Bible verse. I also have a smaller section for to-do's which I have determined is the perfect amount of space because I have room at the bottom of the page for daily habits. So, those things that used to take space on my to-do list are now in their own space and being tracked. The notes for next week is where I can jot down anything that needs to be handled the next week. Duh.
I create this spread new every week, usually on Saturday or Sunday. I look at my phone calendar and transfer appointments over and carry over any to-do's that still need to be addressed.
How does this help me as a writer? Because I can focus when I sit down to write. I've checked off my tasks. Everything's steaming along. I don't get interrupted by thoughts about what I've forgotten to do or when I have to leave for the next appointment. I can put on my headphones and just write and immerse myself in the story for as long as I have time. I have found this is the best way to keep the real world from intruding into my writing time.