Monday, September 12, 2016

Future Logging

Hey lovely people!!

So, it's been crazy around here.  Two kids back at school, the younger one starting her first year of high school!!  It has been full tilt with correspondence from school, correspondence from extra mural activities....yikes!!!

All I can say is thank goodness for my bullet journal!!!!

Not pretty, but functional!

If you follow me in Instagram, you will notice I have made a couple of small purchases from Muji...OMG, why have I waited so long to invest in Muji-magicness!!!

One of the things I bought on my first "haul" were a set of A5 grid notebooks.  My intention was to use them in my Filofax-bullet journal as the size was perfect and all I'd need to do is punch some holes.

I am currently still well supplied on Rhodia Graph paper so the Muji notebooks were on ice until I needed them.

One of the things I have not being thoroughly enjoying at the  moment is the future logging with the bullet journal.  This became glaringly evident when we got schedules for events during the school year, all the way up to March next year.

I have delved in Calendex (Hope method).  I was so hopeful that it would work, but sadly, I ditched it as I didn't feel confident in correctly capturing what was needed.

I have used the method suggested in the original Bullet Journal Video by Ryder Carroll.  I found it lacked in space for multi entries, and so I the Alastair system which resolved a couple of the snags, but ultimately, I knew I needed a monthly layout for future months.

I use a monthly log at the beginning of every month anyway, so I figured it made sense to ditch the double work of logging in the future log, then in my monthly layout, oh and of course cross referencing to the Birthday spread in my collections. (Birthday/Anniversary spread still survives in my collections section, as I still find it relevant).

NOTE:  This post is not to say the fantastic future logging systems created by Ryder, Alastair and Hope are not useful.   There were great benefits in both systems when I used them, it's just they didn't gel for me and my way of planning.

I have been toying with the idea of doing loose-leaf monthly layouts for upcoming months, storing them in the beginning of my Filofax, using them as a future log, inserting them to my daily pages when the month comes up.

So, I was sitting at my work space, brain storming an alternate solution.  I was thinking about my very first attempt at bullet journaling in 2013, when I used a Midori Passport size notebook with one notebook with monthlies setup for the whole year, and a separate notebook for the day to day bullet journal stuff....LIGHT BULB!!!

A5 Graph Notebook from Muji

Rest of 2016 Monthly pages (I have done all the way through to December 2017 in this book)

I had the Muji graph notebook, just crying to be used, so I sat down and drew up the months for the rest of the year.  It slips right into my Filofax Domino and it's not causing any additional stress on the binder.

September monthly in bullet journal.

September Monthly (Muji notebook)

Rest of 2016 Monthly pages (I have done all the way through to December 2017 in this book)

I have found two lucky coincidences since changing over a couple of days ago...

  1. I can keep the monthly notebook open in front of me while I am plotting out my day - (no more flipping backwards and forwards to the monthly/future log which is a few pages ahead of the page I am currently on.
  1. If I want to travel really light while out and about, I can pop the monthly notebook into my bag, and be confident I can future log without double booking!!
I am trialling this system for a little while and if you have read any of my previous posts on this blog, you know my feelings on planner peace...the ever elusive Unicorn!!  There is not chance I am going to get up on my soapbox and say that this is THE system that works for me forever and always full stop.  I am under no delusion that this is what works now, and who knows, 6 months from now I may be all over some other idea of perfect planning. I will say it again, planner peace is when your planning system is working for you, whatever that system may be, and I feel that just like us, our lives and our circumstances, our planning systems should be just as malleable as we are!

Happy planning all you fabulous humans :D


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

FILOBUJO - Bullet Journaling in a Filofax or Ring-binder

If you read my last post, you already know that I have moved from a bound bullet journal system (Moleskine Grid Large) , to a ring bound system (Filofax Domino A5).  Today I will be sharing my setup, as well do a flip through of some of the sections inside my Filofax.

Firstly let me get into why I decided on a ring bound system.  I like the idea of being able to keep my long term collections, long term, and not have to worry about copying the lists over into a new book each time I ran out of book.  I also like the idea of having sections for different topics.  Yes, you can section off parts of your notebook, but I found I may end up needing more space in one section, and less in another resulting in wasted pages.  I am sure there are many fabulous ways to overcome this in a regular notebook, but as you all know, bullet journaling is all about finding a system and using what works for you.  This is just what works for me, right now.  I am under no illusion that this is the be all and end all of my planner system, I mentioned this in my last post, that I think Planner Peace occurs when the system is working for that individual at that particular time, and then it's gone, and we need to tweak the system to work again.

Flyleaf with sticky notes.

Back of sticky note page & front page which came with the Filofax.  

I have just a couple of random things in the front pocket of the planner.  Some paint chips as we are deciding on doing some repainting in the house, and information pertaining to an event I want to attend.  Then there is the sticky note flyleaf which I made using laminating sheet, punching and splitting the holes so that the sheet is removable.  The sticky notes co-ordinate with each member of our family -  Hubby - green, Me - blue, Son - Orange, Daughter - Pink.   I am undecided yet as to if this is a totally functional way to have it, I rarely use sticky notes, and when I do it is just to jot down something in a hurry to home at a later stage, and being colour specific may become redundant - watch this space!!

The next page is the cover page which came with the planner.  All I did was stamp a feather on the top of the page, and add a sticky note as an index of what each divider is for.  The sticky note is not permanently attached to the page.  I have also not written what each section is for on the dividers themselves.  I have opted to leave the dividers and allocation of the sections to be changeable, should my setup needs change in the future, I will not have to replace dividers or my front cover page.  (I am now wise to the ever elusive Planner Peace Unicorn and am keeping it simple and interchangeable).

I currently have the following divisions in my FiloBujo:

  1. Collections - These are all my long term collections like Birthday's & Anniversaries, Future Log, Books Read, Snail Mail Addresses.
  2. Bullet Journal - Monthly Views, Meal Trackers, Menu Planners...basically anything that I don't want to keep long term and have to copy from one notebook to the next.
  3. Health & Fitness - As it says on the tin - Healthy Foods, Workout Tracker - Gym Schedules.
  4. Home - This is the only section I have not indexed.  It is a free flow section with running home to do lists, grocery lists, receipts to be captured on our home budget system, and a master grocery list, which I have written out, photocopied, punched and use when I do my big shop every 6 weeks or so.  We are working on doing some painting and I have some random notes on that, just written on the next blank page. (I will be sharing my master grocery list on Instagram in the next few days - you can check it out there @josocrafty)
  5. Blog - well, it's more a social media section.  I write down blog post ideas, Instagram pictures to take, blog post plans.
  6. Blank - At the moment there are just a few random pieces paper in there that can be used for when needed.  I can file them under the relevant section if needed or just throw them out when done.
I have made an index for each section, and use it in the traditional manner of indexing, other than I do not forward number my pages in advance.

Collections Index

Bullet Journal Index

Health & Fitness Index

Social Media Index

Below are some examples of the spreads in my Collections section.

Birthday's & Anniversaries

Kitchen Garden Ideas
(I live in a desert, and our small garden is not conducive to a veggie patch - this is actually a bucket list item of mine).

Next up are some examples of the spreads in my Bullet Journal section.

August title page, I don't think I will do this every month, only if I have a gap page.

August Monthly spread.
(inspired by Jessica from @prettyprintsandpaper on Instagram)

August To Do & Meal Plan (failing dismally on meal planning this month- ho-hum)

Meal Tracker for August - I don't include this every month.  Just when the urge grabs me.

Gratitude & Back To School List.  The gratitude page is new to me.  I am enjoying it.
Back To School is in preparation for school starting at the end of this month.

Example of daily pages - I am fiddling with what works for me.  This past week I changed up the check boxes for bullet points, and used double line spacing between the items per day.  I am thinking of reverting back to single spacing, but loving the bullet points.

After the Health & Fitness Section.

I have a yearly workout tracker.  I don't do daily/monthly habit trackers in my bullet journal section, but prefer to see the year in overview.

Clean Food List, Clean Eating Grocery List and Kickboxing schedule.

Thank you so much for stopping bye and spending time reading my blog.  Always remember that the best Bullet Journal and bullet journaling system is the one that works for you.  Whether you like just use one pen and keep it simple, or if you are fortunate enough to have the creativity, and have the time to create beautiful art-piece pages, the whole idea is to keep organised and productive.

Keep Calm & Bujo On!



Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Road To Planner Peace (If that exists)

Wow!! My last post was in December 2013. It couldn't have been that long could it?? There must be a worm-hole around here!!

Well, let me catch you up....

My last post was about my exciting rendezvous with a certain purple, full leather beauty (Filofax Malden in the Personal size).  I've has a few whirlwind and long term planner relationships since then.

I sold the lovely Malden after a few months of use and bought the same planner, but in Aqua, second hand. I loved the colour, and I loved the idea of the planner, but found that I was coming unstuck with the small size.  Once again, I was searching for something new. I wanted a one stop book that I could use as a planner, journal and still have a bit of creative outlet. 2014 was the year of attempted digital planning, glued together with sticky notes, wall calendars, and a first and failed attempt at a bullet journal in Midori Travellers Notebook......oh the chaos, and not to mention a year lost in the jungle of a busy life of a mom with 2 children and no solid planning/scheduling system in place......huh?!?!?  I wonder if that was the worm-hole year!

Purple Filofax Malden - Personal

Purple Filofax Malden - Personal
Aqua Filofax Malden-Personal

Midori Travellers Notebook - Regular

Being an active stalker on a long list of planner Facebook pages, I decided that 2015 was the year where an A6 Hobonichi was the answer.  I duely ordered the planner (in Japanese as I live in the Middle East and our weeks start on a Sunday, and this is a hard pass for me. My weeks must not be split!!), along with all the paraphernalia  including a cover, stickers, book marks, pen guys get the idea, one cannot simply just order the planner!!!

I made it nearly through the whole year in the Hobonichi as I was able to schedule, journal and "junk journal" all in one place....but who was I kidding, one tiny planner van only hold so much and it became impossible to use the last month or so as it was so gorgeously fat and filled and loved.

A6 Hobonichi Planner - Japanese version

By around November 2015, I found myself once again looking for planner peace. I came to the realisation that; 1, size matters (cute & comapct isn't always the answer), and 2,  there was nothing out there that was reasonably accessible to me that would fit my needs.

I pulled out my trusty Cinch punch and accessories and spent a couple of days designing and printing my ideal planner, combining aspects I liked from several of the store planners I have used over the years.  The result was a fantastic A5 ring bound beauty that I engineered to have an interchangeable cover to satisfy the gypsy in me, as well as the ability to add in those loose leaf bits of correspondence that often escape from you if not secured using a DIY coil clip system.  I found this particularly handy as it was a very busy academic year for my daughter and there were many date specific letters that came home from school.

Then....I felt stifled by the lack of available real estate to put in random bits like to do lists, notes from the day, etc.,etc.  In April this year, I decided to jump on the Bullet Journal Train again.  An impulsive person, I used what I had on hand which was a Large Moleskine soft cover in nude/beige.  I hung out in this for a couple of weeks then got myself a hard cover Moleskine in purple.  I moved what I had in the soft cover over and was blissfully on my way to planner peace....YEAH RIGHT!!!

Moleskin Hard Cover Grid Notebook

Month to View

The Bullet Journal Notebook ticked so many boxes!

Everything in one book.
Great size.
My layout, my way.
Can change layouts any time (be still my Gypsey heart!).
Can appease my creative side by adding a bit of something artsy.

And then.....the great big "elephant in the room" unchecked box.....Manouverability. I was determined to have only ONE BOOK (I mean, that's why I started the Bujo, right?)

So, last week, I did what any self respecting stationery addict does when they fall from the bliss of planner peace and need to lick their wounds.  I headed off to one of the stationery stores near me, and went to go hang with the beautiful stuff and fill my soul with the heady aroma of pens, papers, books, pens and paints.  Ok, that's a bit dramatic - my kids were at holiday camp and I jumped at the opportunity to go to a book store in solitude!

So, while I was strolling the aisles and admiring the wares, I found myself at the Filofax display case....I've done it before, I've glanced at the beauty, admired the elegance, and just walked by.  But this time, it was different....

You know the scene, a glance across the room, the mystery of the unknown behind the glass....I just had to see for myself. Could I just look at the teal beauty beckoning me through the glass, just feel the texture with my hands. Just a quick fix, then walk away and feel empowered by the ability to resist.....

I FAILED!  Once I had this beauty in my hands, I was hooked!! In mere minutes I was at the checkout counter, handing over the cash and was out the door before the guilt of "cheating" on the Moleskine could consume me!!

I got home and within a couple of hours, I'd pulled out the inserts that the A5 Filofax Domino had come with, cut down some Rhodia grid note paper to fit and was moving over my August setup and other long term collections into my new planner.

Filofax Domino in Teal-A5

Month to View

I did things a little differently this time.  I've thought long and hard as to how I envisage the planner to look, how I think it will best work long term, as well as keeping it light enough to keep it semi portable.  It's larger than the Moleskine, yes, but I don't carry my planner with me all the time anyway, and if, for now, it's functioning for me, the size is something I can work around.

Have I got planner peace?  Well, I believe planner peace is a unicorn.  After many planner attempts and journeys, I have come to the conclusion that planner peace only happens for as long as the system you have works for you.  We change, our needs change, and so should our planner systems change accordingly. A new job may mean the need for more structure and a more solid long term planning system, and that's OK to move away from one style and onto another.  The bottom line is that we plan so as to be more organised more productive, resulting in a greater quality of life, with the mental ease that our lists, appointment, to do's, etc. are in a safe place, scheduled for when needed so we can free our mind to enjoy the right now!

Your planning system doesn't need to be pretty, or like someone else's.  Planner envy is counter productive and goes against the purpose of a planner. It's purpose is to be useful to YOU.  If you spend more time trying to pimp out your planner, and doing it over and over to get it perfect, you are defeating the idea of freeing up your time by being organised.  Sure, draw from others, get and share ideas with the planner community and then enjoy the peace that comes with the being organised. Now that's what I call Planner Peace.

NEW: I've just started a dedicated Instagram account and will be posting pictures of both my Moleskine planner as well as the progress in my new planner. 

Follow me on josocrafty.