Staying creative is a challenge under any circumstances. Staying creative when large portions of your life are in disarray is even harder. I am looking for creative outlets (always) right now. Having budgetary restrictions means I have to find ways to mostly use what I already have. That still leaves plenty of options.
This one has rather taken me by surprise.
It’s called bullet journaling, or “bujo”. Actually, just calling it a calendar is selling the concept short. This is an organizational tool. I’ve tried some of these before, and never had particularly good results. I would like some parts of it but find the rest completely out of synch with what I do. So they would fall by the wayside. I need more than just a calendar. I need something to help me keep my various blogs up to date. I need a way to track future project ideas. I need a place where I can make a quick note. Most important of all, I need all of that in one place.
Being the gadget fan I am, I kind of assumed that my smartphone would serve all those purposes for me. It just doesn’t fly for me. “Typing” notes on the tiny keyboard, the process of firing up the needed app, or not being able to make contact because of not WiFi or service, just made it not what I wanted. In the end, I always seem to circle back to a notebook type device.
So when The Kid showed off her bujo, I was intrigued. This is completely customizable. It offers organization in exactly the forms I want with the added bonus of giving me places to be a little creative.
I am quite literally at the very beginning of my bujo experiment. I started out just a week ago. Here’s where I have begun:
(Yes, I had a little fun with the image too. Hey, it’s about being creative)
Down the left side is my daily calendar, showing a full week. That’s my preferred time period. Months worth of stuff just becomes too overwhelming. You’ll note I put Sunday at the bottom, starting the week on Monday. This was a mistake that I didn’t think about till I’d done through the end of the year. This is what I get for jumping ahead apparently, but creating the pages helped me to think them out. I’ll live with this till January 1, then move Sunday to the top of the page.
Which I can do, cause it’s like MY bujo.
Not sure how well you’ll be able to see, but the little, colored strips next to each day’s box are banners with the day of the week written there. The little red drop is a place for me to record my daily blood glucose. Plus I can do little illustrations for birthdays (can you see the tiny little birthday cake and candles?) and holidays. Each one makes it more mine and keeps it creative.
The right side is organizational. At the top are habits I’m working on (before anyone yells, this is a “future” week as I write this, so, no, nothing has been filled in). When I accomplish something it get’s filled in in green. Miss it that week? Red. Not called for in that specific week? Black. Yes, some of my weeklies don’t actually happen EVERY week. Again, my bujo, my organization.
(Quick digression. Why include the non-weeklies as a weekly? So that I can glance at that week and know whether or not I need to do that. While still maintaining a standard base form. That’s important for ME. And in the world of bujo, yes, it really is all about me.)
Notes are for journaling, or whatever.
The dividing line down the middle shouldn’t go the whole way to the bottom, that space is for whatever whatever.
Further back (and not shown) is a list of the dates for posts on my media blog. It allows me to track which posts are done, and which still need to be done. A couple pages after that is my “Future Project” ideas page.
I’ve done all these things in the past, usually each in its own medium. Which means I had three notebooks, and a dozen pieces of paper floating around. I would always end up needing the one I didn’t have, and periodically things would get lost.
With this, EVERYTHING can be kept in a single medium. Which makes my life
B: More Organized,
C: More Creative.
Maybe it will wash out too. Maybe I’ll get bored. But the early indications are very, very positive.
If you’re interested in more about bujo, just search the term or “bullet journal”. The definitive source for the is bulletjournal.com