Fauxdori – Bullet Journal Update

Leather fauxdori with red coverI’m several months out from my last bullet journal update, so I thought it was time to post another.

I’ve been using a fauxdori, with a bullet journal insert, for organizing my personal life since October of last year. I took a break from the bullet journal for most of June, but as soon as July hit I realized how much easier it was to keep on top of things when I was using my bullet journal.

My fauxdori has two elastics in the spine and usually has four inserts, two on each elastic. My current set up is: First my gratitude journal, second my bullet journal, and finally a scrap paper notebook wrapped in a plastic pocket insert. I keep the bullet journal in the middle because I write in it the most, and I can use it while still in the fauxdori. The gratitude notebook I pull out if I am making a lot of notes, and the scrap notebook doesn’t need to be neat or legible. The plastic pocket is from Michael’s Travelers notebook line. I like it, but it is narrower than my other inserts and the zipper pull might get annoying. I’m not sure yet if I’ll keep it long term or not.

I used to keep a novel or writing notebook in my fauxdori instead of the gratitude journal. If I don’t start using the gratitude journal more, I’ll probably switch back to that set up. I could easily keep both, but I find the fauxdori a little too thick with four notebooks in it. Three is my preferred set up.

My Bullet Journal set up is as follows:

  • Index at the front. I don’t index daily logging pages, but use a range for months from the first to last page used.
  • Set up pages:
    • The first page is my priorities for this year.
    • The second (facing page) is My quilt to do list which includes the sizes of my finished quilts for reference. I use this all the time!
    • The next set of facing pages I’ve broken into four sections on each side. This is my future log. I have June-Dec (I started a new journal in May as I used up my previous one), and the last section is for 2018.
  • Month, daily logging and list pages:
    • Each month starts with a set of facing pages. On the left is the month at a glance calendar. On the right I put my goals at the top of the page, then I do a to do list for each week.
    • The daily logging pages are the usual, but I don’t migrate unfinished items until I turn to a new page and can’t see the items anymore.
    • I put my list pages in whenever I need them and add them to the index as per usual.

Do you use a Bullet journal or a Midori? How long have you been using your journal?

How I use my Bullet Journal

I started bullet journaling in October and it has been several months of figuring out what I like about the system and what doesn’t work for me.

A Weekly Spread
In October I started with the system as described plus I added a weekly spread and skipped daily logging. This meant that at the beginning of the month I had a month calendar page, a month to do list, and a weekly spread. I quickly figured out the weekly spread wasn’t going to work for me. I ran out of space on a few days, and had a few days that I didn’t use all of the space I had allocated. I did really like that I could put to do items onto future days though instead of into the general monthly to do list.

A Weekly to do list
Later in October I tried removing the weekly spread, adding a weekly to do, and adding daily logging. I liked the daily log a lot more than I thought I would. Having the weekly to do list also allowed me to write in things I had to remember for later in the week. After a few days I also decided not to migrate tasks daily. This took up too much time and left me repeating a few tasks for days at a time. Instead I switched to migrating daily tasks when I moved to a new page and could no longer see them at a glance.

Figuring out the right To Do list
In November I tried removing the monthly to do list. I found I was using the weekly one instead of the monthly, so why not toss the monthly! Instead I did a monthly calendar, and used the opposite side to hold goals etc. Then I had a new weekly page spread for each week of the month. It turned out that didn’t work for me either. The weekly and monthly pages all had too much space. It felt very inefficient.

In December I figured out what works for me

  • the six month future calendar.
  • the monthly calendar.
  • on the facing page I put my monthly goals and then start my weekly logs. If the logs run off this page I just move to the next blank page the way I would with daily logging.
  • daily logging, but I only migrate unfinished tasks when I move off that two page spread.
  • I do have a few lists on the go including – books I’ve read, funny things my son says, etc.

In the end the only real change I needed to make was to break the monthly to do list into weekly segments. Who knew such a small change would make such a big difference for me?

In an effort to keep my journal simple and uncluttered I’ve been sure not to include the following:

  • grocery lists. I keep a blank scrap notebook in my midori for this and other notes I don’t want/need to keep.
  • writing notes, ideas, and plotting stuff. I keep a notebook for each novel length project, with the current project’s notebook in my midori.
  • I was very careful in the beginning about what collections I started. I still have fewer than five list pages. Any more and I would struggle to keep track of them.

Do you use a bullet journal or other logging system? Have you ever tried a midori notebook to keep yourself organized?

New Years Goals (or Resolutions)

I like to set priorities, then goals within those priorities. For some reason this works better for me than trying to set resolutions.

My Priorities this year are:

  • Organizing the house with the top priority being a new crafting space
  • Sewing/Quilting
  • Writing
  • Exercising

My goals within these priorities are:

Organizing the House
The biggest thing on my mind right now is finding a sewing space in the house, and continuing to reduce the amount of clutter and stuff we own. Everytime I visit my mother or inlaws I am reminded that we don’t need as much as we have to get by. We can certainly get by with far less than we have. It will probably even make us happier in the long run. It will certainly make me less anxious.

With that in mind my specific goals are:
– Continue to get more out of the house than comes in, including at birthdays and other special times
– Set up the crafting corner in the study

Sewing/Quilting
I’ve really enjoyed sewing the last few years. I would love to try new sewing projects, but at the same time I’ve felt a real sense of accomplishment from the two quilts I finished. I would love to have several quilts living in my living room and one on each of the beds upstairs (eventually). This year I want to get a start on that goal.

Specific goals:
– Piece at least three quilt tops (this includes already started quilts)
– Finish at least three quilts (this can include any already started quilts)
I actually hope to accomplish more than this, but I don’t want to over commit.

Writing
I don’t always give writing the priority that I should. I enjoy writing new things, and I am learning (slowly) to edit what I’ve written. I was to continue to improve as a writer and that means getting the practice time in. I’m always telling my son he just needs to keep practicing his reading and it will get easier. Time to live by my own words.

Specific Goals:
– Write 10k a month (I was going to go with 3k a week, but my friend is doing this and I like it better)
– Submit to crit group at least eight times

Exercising
I’ll admit the goals I’ve set for this one aren’t enough. I know that, so I’m going to start small and work up through the year. For now my goal is only applicable to Jan and Feb while I find my feet after a far too long hiatus from all exercise.

Specific Goal:
– Exercise twice a week.

Accountability
To keep myself accountable I plan to include how I’m making out on my yearly goals when I do the wrap up of my monthly goals. I hope that the constant reminder will keep these priorities fresh in my mind and prevent me from forgetting about them next month or even next week.

Do you set resolutions each year? Do you ever complete them?

Journals, Notebooks, and Organization

I have always loved notebooks. My love of notebooks probably comes from my father. He almost always carried a little notebook with him. When he passed away I found a little stash of notebooks ready and waiting for when he needed them. He used to write notes about books he wanted to read, articles he enjoyed, music he’d listened to, or things he wanted to do on his next trip. Basically he kept a running list of everyday stuff he found useful or handy.

In Jr. High and High school I kept a true journal or diary. I would write in my journal almost everyday. A lot of it was boring everyday things, but it helped keep my mind clear and remind me of what was important to me. It was a great place to let loose when I was angry and struggling to process events, or when I wanted to note a great accomplishment.

These days I use notebooks for writing, crafting, and to do lists. When I’m planing a new story I almost always have a notebook on the go. I start writing out the plot, character sketches, research topics, and random ideas about the story. A friend of mine introduced me to Bullet Journaling and I’ve been meaning to try it to help schedule and keep track of to do items.

My latest idea for journaling is to make myself a Midori Travelers notebook. The Midori brand version is a little too expensive for me, but the concept is fairly simple. My plan is to make a small one to be able to use Moleskine cahier pocket notebooks as inserts. This should allow me to have a bullet journal in one notebook, and another notebook (or two) for stories I have on the go.

Are you a notebook person? How do you organize your thoughts, to do lists, etc?