I began to plan for my binder at the end of last year. I used an electronic calendar (Google Calendar) and infinite number of apps in my phone for quick notes, ideas and to-do’s. On my desk I had lots of notes and post-it notes. A website I wanted to remember, a list of things I must do today (which always ended up under some other note), things I should remember to buy next time I was in Stockholm and so on. I missed things, lost my lists and notes and drove myself to more stress than necessary.
I first tried to solve it by putting as much as possible in Google Calendar, but then I got panicked once a month would look like this:
(This is May of this year, and it was a pretty crazy month without my own “patch” posted, but the feeling was the same last autumn)
Out of this chaos the idea that I wanted to have everything together was born. I didn’t whant all those notes everywhere, I wanted to be more organized so that I would have a chance to feel “on top of things”.
I do not know if it was so smart to start making pages digitally, but it was what I wanted right there and then. It takes time, but the advantage is that I can easily print more of the pages I need.
About two months ago I stumbled on something called Bullet Journaling (BuJo). After a little research I came to the conclusion that my binder in a big way was what BuJo was, though perhaps a bit more ….. designed. BuJo basically is a notebook and a pen. (To read more about Bullet Journaling I recommend Bulletjournal.com. The website shows basically the way it is supposed to work.) The beauty of the system is that you get your BuJo to work for you, not the other way around, which is usually common when buying a calendar.
Just like I create pages in my binder people create incredibly beautiful pages in different BuJo’s every day. There are a lot of people you can follow on Instagram and on Facebook there are several different groups with different orientations. (You find my list at the bottom of the post)
A tiny ray of sunshine
I’m very fond of my binder, and it is still growing, but it is heavy and there is no way that I put it in my bag. Therefore I have begun a BuJo in a notebook as a supplement. In it I can easily throw down ideas, I have a number of Trackers (one way to get an overview of what you have done/feel/what-you-want) and Collections (lists) which can be good to have when I’m on the go. Among other things, I have a collection of which buses I can take when I buy cat food (which is done once a quarter, and I never remember which bus I should take).
Combining my binder and my (small) notebook I have a pretty good idea of what happens in my life. The trackers I use allows me to have an eye on if I have taken a particular medicine today, when I did my work out last (a hole here gives me a bad conscience) or how I feel on the whole. I also get a connection when I see those together. I see that I have had several negative days so it is not surprising that I also had a headache for three days in a row. When I see the connections, it is easier to deal with what is happening, but also to plan ahead. If I have several negative days, it is perhaps time to review the calendar and see if I can move that meeting or cancel something.
Before I started this, I just tried to keep up, clenched my teeth and hoped that it would slow done before it became too much.
Medicines / Vitamins – If you easily forget your medications or don’t need not take it regulary
Social Media – Check when you put a picture on Instagram, update your blog or similar
Training – It’s so satisfying to tick a box when you done it 🙂
Symptoms – Do you have an illness or do you get migraines? Sometimes it can be helpful to keep track of how often and how much
Emotions – Panic attacks or just PMS, sometimes it’s nice to see how often or rarely anything happens
Sleep – A nap of the day or bad night’s sleep.
The weather – Just because it’s fun and looks so nice with a lot of sunny days 🙂
Take care of yourself – When did you painted my nails last, and when did you do a face mask last time? (This works as well to check the last time you had some self-time or an evening out with friends)
Just as you get your BuJo to work for you, it will be the same with trackers, if you at all want to use trackers. You make one that works for you in the way you need it/want it. My suggestions above are what I use just this month. Next month I might have removed any that I never fill in or I’ve added someone else. How they look is also completely up to you. I have made a grid this month that I fill with one or more colors. You may want to use circles, flowers or other shapes? Or maybe just run super simple and write a number (date) on a line? It is entirely up to you how you want to do and that’s the beauty of the whole system.
My tracker for how I take care of myself. It includes: Paint your nails, take care of your feet, when I have put on my make up and if I remove the makeup at night.
My tracker for my medications. I take no one on a regular basis, so I like to see when I last took a painkiller or if I have taken a allergy tablet today.
You will find a lot of inspiration on Pinterest or Instagram. You have to find what’s right for and appeals to you. Do you want lots of color or do you want it super easy with just a black pen? There is inspiration for everything 🙂
Instagram & Facebook
Now someone might ask why I create pages to my binder that I already have in my BuJo? Why spend so much time on the whole? Firstly, I think it’s a blast 😉 It’s relaxing for me to design new pages or doodle in the little book.
The reason I have the same pages in both places (they differ, however, on design terms) is that I transfer information when needed (eg. Trackers, I have all the trackers in the same place in the binder, the book is scattered). I also have pages in the book that’s not in the binder and vice versa. The binder is my archive and a collection point for information that does not need to move around with me. For example, I use my Silhouette only at the computer, so that information does not need to be in the notebook. That is nothing I need to bring with me when I leave home, or sitting on the sofa in the evening. Movies I want to see, however, I often write down when I see a commercial on TV or in the subway. In this situation it is not functional if I have my collection for that information at home on the desk.