Happy October! It finally is looking more like autumn around here but I think it's not going to be particularly colourful this year. This summer was so hot and dry and the soil is still parched especially under the trees. Leaves are going brown and falling off before the colours develop. Despite this I will still watch carefully for all the changes. This is always my favourite time of the year!
So this post may either inspire you or bore you to tears depending on your interest but after nearly 2 months into it I wanted to report on my Bullet Journal - aka BuJo. First off, what exactly is a Bullet Journal? It's a simple system of keeping track of your life developed by digital project designer Ryder Carroll originally for his own use. Subtitled "the analog system for the digital age" it can be adapted to keep track of pretty much anything you like: appointments, birthdays, projects, to-dos, lists, thoughts, ideas, inspiration, mood, gratitude, exercise, art, stories...
You get the picture. Why write it down rather than put it in a notes or calendar app? Because it sticks in your head much better than typing it! And you don't really have to be a major list-maker or have a soft spot for stationery and pens to use it. Though it does seem to have extra appeal for those types of people. Personally I could never get into journaling in either the traditional or the "art" journal sense. I always ran out of steam very quickly because it was too much like a school assignment which immediately made it into WORK. And took too long. And made me have to think too much. Not to mention the competition to make it well-written and prettily decorated too! Ugh. So instead I started this here blog to get the babbling out of me.
However recently I heard a couple of people whose opinions I value discuss the Bullet Journal and how it helped them to get organised. More organised than they could seem to get even with smart phones, iPads and laptops. My first thought was that my life is much simpler than someone who has a day job, a business, kids, pets etc. so why would I need to write the things down? It finally dawned on me that I could actually use something to keep all the parts of my life together. It seems that I'm all over the digital world. Along with the Calendar app, I have Ravelry for my knitting, spinning, crochet and weaving projects and Textillia for my sewing ones. There's the Goodreads app for my books and Sortly and Cora to keep track of my stashes. I have all my digital pattern files spread out among iBooks and GoodReader on the iPad and folders on my desktop, with various things floating around on OneDrive and DropBox as well. And there's also OneNote which I especially like to use for inspirational whiteboards and Evernote which I mostly use for recipe clips these days. We won't even mention my Pinterest boards! For a person who likes to keep things orderly, this can be frustrating especially when I can't remember where I put something I need. That doesn't just mean I'm getting older, does it? Maybe don't answer that question.
Does the BuJo sort all these things out for me? The simple answer is no, not really. Not yet anyhow. However, it is a work in progress and it already has kept me from forgetting several things I wanted to remember. And best of all I'm actually remembering to use it every day! That right there is a Big Thing. What I like best about the system is that you don't have to keep something if it isn't working for you and you can add something new at any time. Just turn the page, label it, add it to your index (so you can find it later) and carry on. So simple and easy.
How does it work? I'll let you go read Ryder's website and watch his YouTube videos, plus there are several other people who are very enthusiastically sharing this system online like Tiny Ray of Sunshine. But in a nutshell you have a notebook and a pen. You have several basic pages in your notebook: a key to the symbols, an index, a "future" log, a monthly log, and a daily "rapid" log. Here's my simple monthly log:
You can see I've already added a couple of trackers: the weather, when I blog or Instagram and long walks. It's not spaced out that neatly but I can work on that next month. You can have whole pages of trackers if you like and arrange them whatever way works best. I'm keeping it simple for now. I don't need to track my sleeping patterns, amount of water I drink or when I floss. Heh. But some people find that kind of thing helpful. You can also see the word "Migrate!" at the end. That's where you start a new month's layout and check to see what needs to be moved over to the new pages, such as to-do's that weren't done yet and items from your future log for the new month. When you migrate is also a good time to assess your current layouts and whether or not you're happy with them or want to change or add something.
Here's an example of my daily logging:
That was when we were on our holiday so I had more things than usual to write down. Normally I've been using a weekly system instead of daily which works better for me and my rather uneventful life. You can see some of the symbols that help identify what category the entries are. Small circle is an event, a dash is a note, a dot is a task and you cross it when you've done it. Or you can < schedule it or > migrate it (carry it forward). Add an asterisk beside something and it becomes important. There are other symbols you can use too or invent your own. See how easy it is?
I also wanted to keep track of my current UFOs:
This is a bit different from the "standard" bullet journal item so I invented a layout and a key that works for me. You can even see that I can keep my patterns in more than one place. I know I can/do keep my progress on Ravelry but this can cover more project types and is very satisfying to fill in. I'll complete this page and then see if this layout continues to be useful or if it needs tweaking or changing. That's another nice thing about this system, you can constantly shift things to make it work better for you.
My current little notebook is handmade with Coptic stitching so it lies very flat and the paper is plain but nice and thick (watercolour paper?) so ink doesn't show through. It's quite small so I'll be using it up fairly quickly. But that's ok. I can carry on with a new one which I already have and I'll show you next time. (No, I didn't make it like I said I would. So smack me with a wet yarn hank.) I repurposed a lovely ribbon to keep my current place but I think I need to attach it permanently to the cover because it keeps falling out. Oh, and my pens are Faber-Castell PITT artist pens. I love them and I'm happy to get to use them all here. My current favourite for writing is the Indanthrene Blue 247 in an S (superfine) tip. There's more I about the BuJo I want to discuss but this post is getting kind of long so I'll leave off for now. Perhaps before I start to sound like a born-again Bullet Journalist? Sorry. (Not sorry.)
Coming up this weekend is our Canadian Thanksgiving. We're having a total of 21 family members for dinner on Sunday. Yup, another of our insane marathon turkey-fests! Tomorrow is Rooting Out the Pigsty Day and cooking anything that can be done ahead. Wish me luck and Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating! I'm certainly thankful for you all.