Prepare for Launch!

Yes, you read that right.

Prepare for launch!

For several years, I struggled to find planner peace. What’s that?

Well, you know you have found planner peace when you find a planner system that works well for you and you like to use it.

I tried making my own. Then I found the Bullet Journal system developed by Ryder Carroll. Then I started melding my own ideas with that system. Now, while I use a few elements of that, I use mostly my own.

And I wrote a book about creating your own planner system.

Create Your Own DIY Planner.

It launches on Wednesday, which is, not coincidentally, also my birthday. Wednesday evening, I will have a launch party on Facebook where I will give away an e-copy. Print copies will be available in mid-June.

Watch this space for more updates about the book, launch party details, and more!

So You Want to Start a Bullet Journal

I could tell you and show you exactly how to start your own bullet journal, how to set it up, personalize it, ad find what works for you. And I will do that, but fist, I want you to see something.

Carrie Crista has a two-part series on YouTube about starting a ullet journal. She describes how to get started here. The second video talks about how to use collections, trackers, etc.

Regardless of if you follow her approach or the system described in the original bullet journal video by Ryder Carroll, you need to make it work for you. If that means you have a separate journal for work projects, so be it.

In a future post, I will talk specifically about what I have done and why. Meanwhile, set it up, learn what it is, and make it work for you.

My Search for the Perfect Planner

For years, I have searched to find a planner that worked for me. I tried the DayTimer system several times. I tried academic calendars. I even tried several apps on my phone, computer, and tablet. It finally got to the point where I was trying to make my own.

I actually made some progress on it. I had a working title and some project pages described. I called it the KNOWS – Keep a Notebook Organization Working System. I started researching DIY planners.

One day, I happened across this thing called a “Bullet Journal” developed by Ryder Carroll. In his video and on his website, he describes it as “The analog system for the digital age.”

Someone else had been having the same kind of issues I had and already did the work to create a flexible planning system that would do everything I wanted — and needed — a planner to do. 

I abandoned the KNOWS and became a Bullet Journal convert.

I used it consistently for several months. Then, for various reasons, I quit.

Once again, I struggled. I knew I needed to get back to the Bullet Journal system. But it was so plain. How could I jazz it up?

Since I had found Ryder Carroll’s video on YouTube, I went back there. I typed “bullet journal” in the search and found Kara Benz and her BohoBerry channel and website.

Through her videos, I found out more about trackers, lists, collections, and other ways to add interest to my Bullet Journal.

Is it the “perfect planner?” No. But, like life itself, it’s a work in progress. I decided to have fun with it, try new things, keep what works, and change what doesn’t.

So, I guess the answer is also yes because it’s perfect for me and the changes life throws my way. One thing’s for sure: I’ll keep using it and helping other people implement it for themselves, should they want to.

Planner Up!

bujoI know I need a routine. It gives my day some structure so I don’t just fluff off a whole day. I’ve done that before. More than once. It’s not a good feeling to realize it’s 10:30 at night, time for bed, and I’ve accomplished absolutely nothing.

That’s what not having a steady, full-time (or even part-time) job can do to you. Er…. To me.

To help establish and maintain a routine, I need some kind of planner system.

I’ve tried the DayPlanner system that you can buy at office supply stores. I use it for a while, then stop because it doesn’t really work for me. It’s not flexible. I can’t add things to it.

Then I tried coming up with my own system.  I called it the KNOWS – Keep a Notebook Organizational Working (or Writing) System.It worked, to an extent. I could only use it for one project at a time, though.

I needed something I could customize. Something flexible. Something that I could use for more than one project at a time. That’s how I work. More than one project at a time. I typically have one big project — a novel, perhaps — and several smaller ones — articles, blog posts, etc.

Someone online mentioned this thing called the Bullet Journal. I watched the video by Ryder Carroll and I knew it was exactly what I was looking for — and trying to create myself. Someone had already developed the system, tested it, put it in place, and knew it worked.

After I watched the video, I went to the website and read everything I could to learn how to set it up. Then, in January, I started it. I used it for a while, but since nothing was really happening, I let it slide. Now, since I’m getting back into a routine, my Bullet Journal (aka BuJo) is back. And I’m making things happen. Which is really how it should have been in the first place.

If you decide the Bullet Journal system is for you, I’ve been collecting resources and have run across some great ones. My Bullet Journal is evolving from a plain vanilla notebook that I’m not all that inspired by to something decorated and showcasing me and my life on the page. I like that. I’ll be glad to share my resources with you. And even tell you how it works for me.

But for now, I figure we’re good to go.

Oh, and what kind of notebook do you use? Whatever kind you want! The one in the picture above is my current personal BuJo. I’m working in a larger black one (that I will soon decorate on the outside as well) for my work life (writing, editing, photography, speaking, etc.). It’s so customizable, there is really no wrong way to do it. And that makes it fun.

Until later.