Plan, Journal, Record

Keeping track of a busy life

You may be asking your self, How on earth does this busy woman keep it all together. Let me tell you it ain’t easy. I am a full time graduate student working on my Nurse Practitioner degree. I work fill time as an agency RN. I run my ENTIRE household, and I love to craft. So how DO I keep it all together. My calendar/journal .For me, if it’s not written down I WILL forget it. I love lists. And sticky notes. I had sticky notes of lists everywhere. The problem was I kept forgetting where I put my sticky note. Sticky notes on top of sticky notes. Those little suckers have a way of multiplying like little bunnies. I would find that I had multiple sticky notes on the same topic. I needed a new plan.

I started a Bullet Journal last year as a way to get my self organized. This is a brilliant idea. You take a simple blank notebook and make lists. You can read all about it here. Now the craftiverse got a hold of this idea and it became this.

Well I went all out. And by all out, I mean I bought all the bullet journal stuff. Markers, pens, stamps, ink, stickers, washi. I have three Pinterest boards dedicated to BUJU. I filled my BUJU with list after list. I had lists of lists I wanted to write. Each page was hand written, and embellished with care. Here’s the rub, you have to start from scratch every day/week/month/year. This takes time. Lots and lots of time. I was spending so much time on my BUJU that I wasn’t actually getting anything done.

So I decided to use a pre-printed planner. I found a planner that was completely customizable. Right down to the day the week starts on (Sunday vs. Monday).  I added all the extra pages like budgeting, chores, habit trackers etc. It was expensive, but it saved me a ton of time. This also had it’s downfalls. It was spiral bound, so I couldn’t add any pages to it. It was big and chunky, and difficult to tote around with me. (Excuse to buy a new purse). Time to do what I always do. Make my own.

Along this process, I purchased and trialed a couple of different pre-printed planners. Just your generic run of the mill mead/staples planner. No extra pages, nothing fancy, but too simple for my needs. I needed something simple, yet flexible. Basic but personal. Finally I learned about disc-bound planner/journal systems. I researched all the available options and decided to just make my own.

I started with a simple month and week layout in Word. I printed these on standard printer paper that I cut in half. Using a hole puncher purchased at Michael’s, I punched the holes in the pages and bound them with discs I bought at Staples. Being the crafty bugger I am, I made a flexible cover from an old plastic folder cut to size  with holes punched and inserted my shiny new planner into a cover I re-purposed from one of the previous planners I bought.

I made monthly dividers using card stock and decorated them for the month. Using my cricut, I created some stickers that I thought would serve my purposes to separate some of the lists I keep, such as my school assignments, errands, and chores I need to do. Using some washi tape and some doodles, I embellished the pages and viola. Now I use this every day. It is small enough to fit in my purse and take with me, yet big enough to keep track of everything. I also created grid and lined pages to use for note taking and list making that I can move and shuffle as I please.

Files will be available for download upon request. Tell me what you think, and feel free to show us what works for you.

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