Over the last few months, I've talked to dozens of people about journals and planners. Quite a few of those people have ordered planners or journals and are giving it a try. For those who are still on the fence, or those who haven't quite found their favorite journaling methods, here are a couple of techniques to try: Some Lines a Day and Bullet Journaling.
"Some Lines a Day" is not about planning your days/life/goals as much about planning your days or life or goals as it is about keeping track of your life, activities, and feelings. It's the easiest journal I've ever kept. I wake up in the morning, open to the current page, write in the date, and a few lines about what happened yesterday. Or how I felt about yesterday. It takes 3 minutes.
After a bad day, the journaling is a way to just let it go without carrying it over to the next day. After a great day, the journaling is a great way to re-live that experience and really think about what made the day great. After a normal, boring, ho-hum sort of day, the journaling is a good reminder that life is made up of these kinds of days and that's OK. They don't have to all be THE BEST DAY EVER or THE WORST DAY EVER. They're just days and they're good even when nothing super-important happened.
You can do this type of journaling with any type of notebook. You can even do it in an app like Evernote or on your blog. You can keep it private or you can make it public. You can buy special books made especially for this type of journaling -- there are dozens to choose from.
I'm currently using Every Day: A Five Year Memory Book. I bought it for just a few dollars, on clearance, as an impulse purchase. I love the lined paper but I don't love the size of the book. I wish it was A5 size instead of pocket sized. I do appreciate the fact that my Pilot Varsity Disposable Fountain Pens don't bleed through, though.
Leuchtturm1917 sent me their version called Some Lines a Day. It's black with pretty lettering on the front. It's a nice A5 size and I really like the way the paper feels and the way it writes. My Pilot Varsity Disposable Fountains don't bleed through but they come close, so I'm using gel pens. That's not a huge problem, since I have many different favorite pens and it's nice to switch things up. My only real issue with this book is that I prefer lined paper. Since this journal isn't lined, I've decided to use it for art journaling every day and that's working really well for me. I don't know why I didn't think of this before! I love the pocket in the back of all of the Leuchtturm1917 journals and I love the cover. In fact, that's what I love most about this version -- they will look great as an archived series of journals.
My other favorite type of journaling is bullet journaling. I'm still enjoying my week on two pages, in both my work and personal filofaxes, but when it comes to special "to do lists" or big projects, I'm a hardcore bullet journaler.
Don't know what bullet journaling is? Start with this video and then take a look at the well organized bullet journal website.
There are a lot of ways to bullet journal, you don't have to do it exactly like this, (I don't, for my big projects.) There are tons of youtube videos and blog posts that show how others use their bullet journals. Give it a try and come up with the method that suits you.
I prefer to bullet journal on dotted paper, but graph paper will do in a pinch. I do some monthly bullet journaling on graph paper, in my Filofax, but my bigger projects get a journal all their own. Like the large dotted line journal Leuchtturm1917 sent me -- I'm using it to plan our move from Chicagoland to Georgia/Florida, (which doesn't happen for 25 months but I've been planning this move, in my head, for 6 years. It's time to put the planning on paper and make it happen -- which is another post altogether.)
I love this journal. It's blue, a nice cheerful color for a stressful but cheerful event. It has numbered pages and a section in front for my index. Like other journals by Leuchtturm1917, my Varsity Pilot Disposable Fountain Pens don't quite bleed through, but they do SHOW through which is fine because I only use one side of my big project journals for bullet journaling and the other side is used for taping/pasting notes, receipts, and ephemera. The pocket in the back is a GODSEND and being able to attach a pen loop to the journal means I can take it with me and not have to worry about a pen. (I don't carry a purse and I rarely carry a backpack/laptop bag.)
I would love a Midori Traveler for bullet journaling projects but can't justify the expense so,I'll keep using my Filofax(es), my Moleskines, and my Leuchtturm1917s -- they all work great and help me keep organized as well as inspire me to do all of the things. And I do mean ALL of them.
Have you tried some lines a day and/or bullet journaling? Which notebooks do you prefer?
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