New Year, New Way of Doing Things

I’m not always good at change. Old dog, new tricks…same Jill. I don’t know. It’s complicated. I mean, it took me a couple of listens before I could get used to the new Taylor Swift album. You can’t tell me you weren’t nervous about it, too. Come on! We were so attached to the old ones! There were so many questions! Would we like this one just as much? Was the change a little too over the top? We had concerns. It was all new and we just couldn’t be sure, you guys.

Change is hard, yo.

Except…well, except when it’s not.

I’ll admit that I’m much more comfortable with change when I’m in the driver’s seat and I get to pick who rides shotgun. It’s the unknown or uncontrollable that can make a gal crazy with worry or apprehension. I have a feeling this is pretty normal. Even if it’s not, we’re going to pretend that it is because I’m the one typing on the keyboard right now and I feel like that’s the best way to look at things right now. For me. Because I’m the worst.

And, apparently, a control freak. (We’ll continue our sessions of “what’s wrong with Jill” next week and we can talk about how I hate pumpkin, coconut, Nutella and Oreos. It will be fascinating.)

With my aversion to (certain) changes, it may come as no surprise to anyone that I was hesitant to change my planner/calendar ways and how I track things. For the first time since I can remember, I didn’t order some sort of day planner/calendar system to start the new year. Because after all these years, I finally realized THEY DON’T WORK FOR ME.

I have spent years trying to mold my life and task lists around various systems that seems so appealing each and every year. I love the idea of all of them. They’re so pretty and uniform and I keep thinking there must be something wrong with ME because I get so frustrated with them so quickly. (I mean, besides all the other things that are wrong with me, of course. Gawd, this post is getting depressing. For me.) I think that as nice as it would be to have my life fit into the cookie-cutter layout of these various planners and calendars, my proclivity for making lists to keep up with my very full life made it hard to maintain. I just wanted a list of all my things and a way to keep them organized.

Last summer, I started paying close attention to Kim and her foray into Bullet Journaling and how much she loved it. However, with my concerns about changing things up, it wasn’t until a month ago that I buckled down and did my homework. And then I did some more. Then I made Sarah do the homework with me. Because of course I did. THEN a bought a tester notebook to try it out. You know, for the sake of science.

All of my homework and testing must be paying off because it’s been a couple of weeks already and I LOVE BULLET JOURNALING. (Incidentally, so does Sarah. I double checked with her this morning.)

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An example of a daily list. My actual list is, perhaps, quite a bit longer than this. Oops.

Monthly pages at a glance.

Monthly pages at a glance.

Kim and the Bullet Journal website do a much better job than I could to explain the essentials. (I’m still new to the system and worry that my explanations would not do it justice.) The organized simplicity appeals to me on a level I wasn’t expecting. I have my daily lists that I make anyway. But I can also have a list dedicated to a specific project or an entire page with a list of books I want to read and a way to index them so I can find it pretty easily.



I love it.

Full Disclosure: I still use our shared family calendars (iPhone) for appointments and events so that reminders and pop-ups yell at me when I’m supposed to be somewhere. This is just necessary for my life. But you do you.

I will tell you that it took some trial and error to find the notebook and pen system I loved best. Because I’m a giant, office supply loving nerd. I ultimately settled on the Moleskin dotted notebook and these Sharpie Pens. I tried a regular ruled notebook at first but I found that was extremely long-winded and treated it like an actual journal. Since the first rule of Fight Club Bullet Journaling is to keep it short, sweet and FAST, I splurged for the new notebook and holy crap, I’m so glad that I did. (Graphing notebooks I also like, but the dotted notebook is my personal favorite.)

Now, I do not expect this wonderful, new way of doing things to magically make me more productive. (Of course not.) But I have already noticed how much I appreciate this new way of keeping track and staying organized. It’s almost forcing me to keep it simple and, therefore, less overwhelming. I don’t want to run from my to-do list. Not yet.

What about you? What is your “go-to” organization trick? Have you tried Bullet Journaling? WHAT ARE YOU FAVORITE PENS? Let’s geek out over pens and notebooks. It will be way more fun than listing all the things wrong with me. (I’m sorry, I just don’t like Oreos. Please don’t take this personally.)

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    January 9, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    I’m starting this tonight. Unless I can’t find the journal I want. THANK YOU for discovering it for me

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