My experience with Planners and Journals

I haven’t always been very good with planners and journals.  I took to planning a lot faster than journaling. I like learning new ways of planning and organizing to help my scattered brain find time to do the things I want and still be able to accomplish the things I need to do.  But I’ve never been good at using a journal.  I have several unfinished journals from over the years that I start but never finish.

This past year, I had a new year goal of writing in a journal throughout the year.  I actually finished an entire journal, but the second one I started didn’t get completed.  I do enjoy going back and reading where I was a year ago, so I want to keep trying.  I’ve also tried traditional scrapbooking, but that really didn’t work.  The one scrapbook I actually finished took me seven years to complete.

I know I’m not the only one who struggles with finding the right kind of planning and journaling techniques, but when I find that thing that works for me, I get really excited and want to share.  So here is where I am this year.

As far as my Erin Condren planner, it has turned into my almost exclusive scrapbook/journal.  It isn’t as overwhelming as a traditional scrapbook, and I can include things I did at work that day and at home, which you wouldn’t really include in a tradition scrapbook either.  I also like the fact that I can put ticket stubs and parts of brochures into the planner.  It allows me to hold on to keepsakes without it just getting way overwhelming.

At the end of last year, I was introduced to the Bullet Journal technique.  There is a lot of information on this kind of planning/journaling on the internet.  Many people use it in various ways for various reasons.  I like to use it to do my meal planning and my week planning. I use the back sheets for brainstorming and include all of the brainstorms and planned days in the front of the book in the index.  I’ve only been using it for a month, but I really like the flexibility and brainstorm advantages.

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The final major planning tool I use the Google calendar.  I use this for a lot of long term planning and family and work planning.  I have a calendar that communicates with coworkers about things coming up.  And I have a family planner that does the same thing with Michael.  I also plan my blogs and a lot of my errands in the Google calendar as well.

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I am definitely scatter-brained and easily distracted, so making the planning or journaling process fun and flexible really helps me keep my head attached to my body most days.  And I’m sure I will be using different tools in the future (and sharing with you, of course), but for now, this is what is working for me!

Are you a planner or do you journal?  What techniques or tools work best for you?  I’m always up for more advice in this area!

 

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