Yes, this seems to be one of my biggest challenges, and that is getting my planner organized and into a method that makes me happy. I know that I have tried quite a few different planners that I purchased, but all of them seem to have something missing that I want in my own planner.
Standard daily planners
I have tried the standard daily planners but that just doesn’t seem to work for me because my work isn’t based on a time in the day, it is based on getting things done that need to get done when they are needed to be done.
I have turned blank bullet journals into my planners, but again they just didn’t seem to work for me. When I was sitting and looking at the last bullet journal that I used, one thing stood out to me about why I didn’t like it, and that was it wasn’t organized. Yes, a bullet journal isn’t something that should be super organized as it is meant to capture tasks, ideas, etc. For me, the bullet journal ended up being something that I just couldn’t seem to handle.
For me a structure is something that I like, and now I am going to try another method and something that I tried to try last year, but it just didn’t work with everything else that was going on in the world and my own life.
When I first heard about these notebooks, I immediately thought of something very large, where you wrote about all your travels. Yes, it can be used to do just that, and I know that there are people that use this set-up to document places they have been and places they want to visit. For me, it is a method of getting a little more organized and have things in sections. The purpose of a traveler’s notebook is to capture inspiration, ideas, thoughts, journals, and everything else. Yes, the magic words for me are “and everything else.”
This summer I decided it was time to pull out the cover for my traveler’s notebook and start to set up my own version of what I wanted and now to see if it is going to work for me. The first challenge was finding the books that I wanted to use for the inserts in my notebook. I had made some in the past, but I have to admit that took a lot of time, and it started to get frustrating, so that just didn’t work. After some looking on various website for sizes and layout, I finally found what I wanted on Amazon. I ended up purchasing the Coopay 24 Pack Journal Notebook Kraft Brown Cover Dot Grid Bullet Notebooks for Travelers A5 size. I compared a lot of things, and what I wanted was basically a standard letter size piece of paper folded in half. That was the size of notebook that I was looking for, and the A5 was just that.
Once the books arrived, it was time to figure out what I wanted my traveler’s notebook to contain, and I ended up with five books in my cover. To make a traveler’s notebook work, you need an odd number of inserts, so that is what I did. Here is the list of the inserts that I have and the basic idea of each of the inserts:
- Notes – this captures all the quick notes and thoughts that I have. I normally am writing down all those quick ideas that I have so that I can either get something done later or work on setting something up.
- Writing – here is the book that I normally use to capture the various blog ideas that I have. I have more than one blog, so that means that I have lots of ideas and need a method of making sure that I can capture them when they occur.
- Calendar – this is a weekly calendar that I have set up and on one side of the page I note all the things that need to be done that week. It is set up with each week day having its own block, and then the weekend is combined. On the other side of the page, I work on documenting the accomplishments that I have made that week. I find if I can note what I did, it makes me feel like I am making progress, even if it wasn’t something that had a deadline that week.
- Reference – this book is used to capture the things that aren’t going to have to be written too often such as the list of patterns that I have for cross stitch, the fabrics we have for our ETSY shop and items like that.
- Spare book – this book is available when I need it, and it is currently just empty and will see when it either gets its own name or when it is used because I have filled out one of the other books.
One of the biggest things that I have discovered through trying to figure out my planer is I am not alone in this journey. There are so many people that are having problems finding what works best for them. Being able to sit back and figure out what you want your planner or organizer to really be. It will probably take a few tries to get something that might work for you, but you learn so much during this.
I know that I am still learning what works best for me, and that doesn’t bother me. What I have learned is that I need the information that I need, and it is going to be different from another person. My notebook is always beside me at my desk and the calendar is open so that I can see what needs to be done and document what gets done.
A planner or organize needs to be something that works for you, and you have to first figure out what you want and then look to see if it is available and if not don’t be afraid to make your own. My journal probably isn’t over yet, but I know that at least I have something that is working for me right now, and that is what is important.