Hello again! It’s been a little while so I thank you for your patience as I took the time to get sh*t done the last few weeks – when different commitments surface the way I deal with it is usually to cut out what I can and just handle it as best I can. And here I am!
The original Bullet Journal system calls for a single notebook that houses all your stuff – planning, lists, thoughts, etc. I wanted to separate my collections from my everyday planning so I could have some order, so I started my traveler’s notebook system – putting 3-4 thin notebooks inside a leather cover. I am using a wide “Classic No 7” Foxy Notebook cover from Foxy Fix and May Designs and Moleskine inserts.
A couple months ago I finally used up my Collections Moleskine and got a chance to start over and migrate my go-to, most referenced lists into a new notebook. I realized I have a few different types of lists: tracking, planning, and ideas. I love the opportunity to start fresh, because I can ask myself a few questions:
- What are the things I need to keep track of over time?
- When I am searching for a slip of paper, what am I trying to write down?
- What do I need to reference regularly?
- How do I make these lists the most useful as I can?
You may have seen my original post about my Collections – they were pretty simple, with headers and bullets. But I realized if I reflected just a little more, I could make them even more useful. So here are a few of my updated lists.
Short Term Tasks. Sometimes I remembered a task that goes beyond the current week; if it’s for the upcoming few months, I jot it down here.
I might add a column to indicate a time-frame, but for now it’s just to capture my thoughts and note lose them.
Cats. I have 2 cats and I can never remember what we’ve done for them so this Tracking list helps me keep track of when the last time we got their shots, etc was. It’s pretty basic, fortunately!
Cars. Similarly, I also struggle to remember what I’ve done to take care of my car – so I try to log that information here. As you can see, I reaaalllly need to check my car light. Oops! I also use this layout for my own health where I track random ailments or periods of high stress that I might want to remember when I see the doctor next.
Books. Another category of lists I keep are general ideas; often these are ideas from other people that I’m trying to keep track of, like book suggestions. In the past I’ve just listed the names of the books, but I added a header for the person who referred it to me, and an area for rating so I can remember what I thought of it.
Places to Try. Similarly, I have a lot of friends who have tried a whole lot of awesome places around the area and like to capture those ideas for quick reference when I want to suggest a date night. Like the book collection, I added areas to note who suggested it, what we ordered, and the rating of the place. (Looks like there’s some room for progress!)
Wishlist. Of course I’m always coming up with my own wish-list ideas. But in the spirit of declutter-er Marie Kondo and the Minimalism movement, I’m trying to be really thoughtful about why I want to own something. I already have more than I need, and it’s really hard to shake the constant desire to buy the latest pens, new notebooks, ephemera – it drives me BATTY because I see it accumulating. In that spirit I’ve added a column to indicate WHY I want something before I commit to wishing for it.
Savings Goals. The most helpful thing for me to do to help me stay away from buying too much is knowing what our savings goals are. We are young, we have a lot of things we want to do – and of course the many weddings that are taking place now – so we wanted to be on the same page with what we were sacrificing little things for on this Planning collection. I’m lucky that Mr. PPP encourages me to always re-center on these big experiences, so it makes it easier to say no to things.
Vacation Days. I accrue vacation time at my job, which means I have a “bank” of hours I can take off. With so with so much going on in the next year, I wanted to get an understanding of what time I had and when – so in the boxes I can indicate the days I’m taking off, the number of hours (4 or 8 for the day), and check off when I’ve submitted the time-off request. Then I tentatively tally at the bottom of the month to see where I’d be at. Unlike my other pages, this one is done in PENCIL so I can tweak as my plans change and adapt. At the bottom I log the extra events I work so I have a sense of what my comp time looks like.
Trip Planning. These are simply function – I can easily identify all the moving parts of a project or event and need to get them down together to get a sense of order. I am super easy-going on trips, but when planning one, I need to know what the details ARE in order to ADAPT them. You can see they differ a little – Charleston is more involved since Mr. PPP and I are going away, meaning more logistics with getting to/from the airport and cat-sitting compared to a solo trip to Dallas.
Gift Planning. This is my most referenced list right now. I had to blur out quite a bit since I know some …. curious … family members (LOL) – but when big events are happening I NEED a plan to keep track of it all. This is one of my robust pages, with a list of items, Assignee (J for me, A for him), $ for amount when purchased (meaning yes, we got the item!), pencil for writing the accompanying card, and present for wrapped. A lot of icons, but those are all the steps I’d account for.
So these are some of the highlights! I have quite a few others, but they are pretty specific to my job. If you’re an educator or trainer too, maybe you will like them:
- Real life examples of leadership in current events to use for students
- Log of when I see leadership in my own life
- My expectations of Students and Teaching Assistants – I am a firm believer in making expectations explicit and am trying to be aware of my own lens and what I ask these students to do
- Curriculum changes to the courses I teach
- Winter/Summer projects – when I’m NOT teaching, what are the big projects I want to tackle
What are the things you’re tracking in your collections?
PS: Thanks to @christaallan.author, @kristinatheengineer, @colleenm_202, and @actiontea on Instagram for your enthusiasm about this blog post! I am not someone who writes regularly – I write when I am so moved or inspired to share something with folks, so knowing that this was something you would benefit from really helps! If you have other questions or thoughts for what you’d like my thoughts on, comment away.