I am a highly organised person, there is no doubt about that at all. Not only am I organised, but I like to get organised, and if people wanted me to I would be more than happy to help them become more organised too, from stripping down their wardrobe, to sorting out their inboxes and massive to do lists. I am a proponent on inbox zero and I get stressed out on behalf of people when I see their inboxes full of hundreds of emails. I know, I think I have a slight problem!
I own a copy of Getting Things Done and I generally read it about once a year. I learn new things each time and although I don’t follow it slavishly, I do find it helps to order my mind.
I have lost track of the number of different tools I have used to get and stay organised, from going completely electronic, to small Filofaxes to HUGE Filofaxes to multiple apps, multiple note books, to all sorts of things. I am a digital person, however I have recently reverted back to a paper diary. I do find that I like to think on paper.
The main reason for this, is as I work for ROH 3 days a week, plus I am self employed and I am trying to look after my health I found that 2 electronic diaries was just a recipe for disaster. It is far too easy in an electronic diary to keep adding things into to it – the day just keeps expanding. It is also quite difficult to get a single glance at the whole week and getting a good understanding of what is going on. Which means I could easily book a week of major travel on most days and not realise, this is not good for anyone’s health, let alone mine.
To get things done I need time where I am just sat at my desk and not running out to meetings all day. I like whole stretches of time to get things done in, the big, thinking, strategic and IMPORTANT things. It is far too easy to end up in a very reactive situation where I am just firefighting. I try to do this between meetings, but I do like big chunks of time to think.
So, now I use a paper diary and cross out days and write NO MEETINGS across them. As I can’t delete them I have to stick to it, unlike electronic diaries.
The other day I was reading a year of creative habits and she mentioned in passing that she uses the Bullet Journal system. Of course, I had to immediately investigate. It turns out this is a very interesting system! Up to now I have been using my morning pages journal (which I have recently stopped – I will write about this soon), creative writing journal, sketchbook, ROH notebook, to do notebook, diary, planning Filofax, and then a new one where I am attempting to monitor my spoons (Spoon theory is a way of understanding chronic illness).
This is a lot of notebooks, and of course I still use my faithful Evernote to capture online things. I do admit to have a stationery fetish, but even so this is slightly ridiculous. You can find details of how to use it here – lots of useful hints and tips and a great video too.
So, I have condensed everything into the one bullet journal, except my creative writing and the sketchbook – they are very different things.
I have also changed it slightly from what they said – my monthly calendar page is over three pages as I want to be able to comment on energy levels too. I have also added a daily habits checklist for the month as I can track how I am feeling from a health perspective.
Within a day of using it I already have a blog posts to write page and lists dedicated to each working relationship, which is what I would expect really.
I am interested in seeing how this works out and I will come back and write an update at a later stage.