Oh, hello, February – the first month of 2018 has gone awfully quickly. I mostly attribute this to my long work hours and studying as of late. I revamped this blog over Christmas and New Year’s, when everyone was out of the office and no one was responding to emails. I’m a much better blogger when I’m unemployed (shocker). Sigh, the life of a freelancer. Those people who keep elaborate gratitude journals and somehow do photoshoots of themselves everyday? Who even are you?
Toward the end of December, I found out about YearCompass from a friend. I promptly downloaded it, printed it out and started filling it out, only to abandon it halfway through. I did finally finish it last night. Not necessarily a planner, it is helpful for looking back on the previous year, learning from it, and sketching out what you want the coming year to look like.
But this week, I mixed up the due dates for my term papers for grad school – I thought it was due February 15, and actually it was due the first. After a couple nights staying up writing until 2 am, I thought maybe I need a better way to keep track of this stuff. They ended up giving us a last-minute extension until the 11th – but still.
So after reading a blog post by a friend and this Buzzfeed article, I took a blank notebook I had at home (if you have dots or grid that’s better) and made a bullet journal. Yep, I’ve gone insane.
Mine, as you can see, is pretty basic compared to what other people do. You can get pretty elaborate, but I am not Martha Stewart. I basically suck at lettering and only have black/blue pens and no colorful tape.
It takes some time to set up (writing out that full calendar at the beginning was a pain) but I only set up the year at a glance pages and pages for February. After that, I can decide what I might want to change.
At the beginning you can also put an index and number all your pages so it’s easy to find things, and put a key/legend so you use the same kind of markings consistently.
Also, the main reason I’m never happy with other planners I buy is they assume you only work Monday-Friday, and since I live in Jordan, Sunday is a workday, and I’m always irritated at the tiny little box allotted for Sundays. So now I can customize the box sizes based on the days I actually work.
I also like having a sort of general to-do list for each month so I can remember that at some point in the next month, I have papers due, I have to send tax stuff to my accountant, I have to buy plane tickets, etc. The details of an appointment/task can go in the actual block for that day.
Since I’m not much of a paper journaler, it helps to be able to look back and remember what was going on each month, what I was trying to achieve, what things made me happy. I had bought this notebook and started using it for notes during class, but ended up just typing all my notes into Evernote because it was faster and I could actually read what I wrote. So maybe this will continue to be a journal/planner/field notes kind of book. We’ll see if I stick with it.