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The Notebook System That Gets My Life Together

The Notebook System That Gets My Life Together

A new year excites a stationery lover because it signals one thing – setting up a notebook. For many, it entails searching for the perfect tools and system that will accompany them their writing journey.

See also: The Ultimate Guide to a Budget-Friendly Art Journal

When the -ber months hit, I started looking for ideas and ways to improve the way I plan and record. I go through hundreds of YouTube videos, blog articles, and social media posts. It is a journey on its own – seeing how other people organize their planners. It gives a glimpse of their character even if we don’t know them. It is one enjoyable ride and it is one of the things I enjoy doing as a stationery enthusiast. 

Despite my so-called in-depth research, I decided to stick with my previous set-up. I realized that the “If-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it” philosophy holds true in this situation. This system had been working for a while now. It helps me achieve the goal of recording the past, capturing the present, and planning for the future. 

Let us get started by giving you a glimpse of my journal system for this year. 

I am using four notebooks. This sounds tedious for many especially with the birth of bullet journal where everything resides in one place. But my brain does not function that way. Separate entity for different categories. 

The Planner

January page of the Belle De Jour Power Planner.

My Belle De Jour Power Planner works as an overview of my monthly commitments and weekly activities. I consolidated my activities here – work, serious writing, social life, creative pursuits, and health. This planner helps me keep track of tasks and projects and remember important dates.

It contains a back pocket and it houses my stencil, loose papers, sticky notes, and index cards.

The Notes

Stradmore dotted notebook

It works like a bullet journal where I keep ongoing lists, trackers, and important notes to remember. I didn’t implement the popular system in my planning because numbering the pages exhausts me. That is why I only adapted the parts that are helpful for me.

Here are some of the lists I keep here:

  • Key
  • Monthly tracker of bills payment
  • 2020 Plans
  • Memories made for the year – helpful to keep track of personal photos and the ones I should grab from friends
  • Books read
  • Movies and TV series watched
  • Christmas gift ideas, People to greet on Christmas
  • Work routine (day job and writing pursuit)
  • Weekday and weekend routine
  • Mental inventory
  • Project monitoring
  • Quarterly plans and review

The Brain Dump

Unbranded notebook from Landmark

 It is a catchall of the chaotic universe of the brain. This is where I generate bad ideas, draft articles, and make lists. It is a war full of conflicting thoughts, and random write-ups. It is so messy it is a shame to show it to people. The only organized page is the index which I meticulously keep track of. The index makes the process of going back to my old works more manageable.

The Journal

Another unbranded notebook from Landmark

It does not leave the premises of our home since it houses my darkest thoughts and secrets. This is also where I unleash my creativity whenever I fancy making art. 

See also: 10 Tips For the Confused Memory Keeper

That is how I set up my notebooks for 2020. For now, they will serve those functions and who knows if I’ll tweak things in the middle of the year. Planner peace is a myth after all.

How about you? How do you manage your tasks and jot down fleeting thoughts?

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