The other day my mother told me she was so grateful I had introduced her to the bullet journal system. She had been using it for one year, and although she used it quite differently than prescribed, the main idea of keeping all your planning and projects in one place had been a breakthrough thought that had allowed her to seriously cut down on the number of folders.
At the same time, as enthusiastic as I had been initially about my bullet journal, mine had been marginalized to an A4 ringbinder for workprocesses and projects that either happened only once a year or so, or could easily be cancelled.
It was the slowest moving, and most obsolete section of my entire collection of notebooks and planningtools.
I also had one small notebook where I kept my “collections”;
a wish list, standard shopping lists for two stores I visited frequently, books I wanted to read, website with great presents, that sort of thing.
This baby bullet journal was again a terribly slow moving notebook.
The main difference with the A4 ringbinder was that this one was cherished, and that I used it at least once a week for the shopping list. But neither one of them could count as a real bullet journal since they didn’t contain any planning and no to-do lists either.
I had long stopped considering myself bullet journalist.
Are you a manager or a creator?
And by now I think I can predict when a bullet journal is for you, and when it’s not. Here it is: a bullet journal is a great tool if you have a lot of little things you need to remind yourself of/ think you need to do/ etcetera.
In retrospect I would call a bullet journal more of a management tool; for when you have to manage multiple projects, or people. For example your own family. The bullet journal allows you to setup all the things you want to do on a particular day, and cross them off at the end of it.
What it doesn’t say though, is that this system is not suitable if you are not a manager, if you don’t have multiple projects and are prepared to forget all the not important stuff in life for the single purpose of getting the BIG STUFF DONE.
The things that take two hours minimum, the things that are best done with your first energy. The things that will make a difference in your life and career, and that you will never get around to if you let the little things distract you.
Focusing on the big stuff is often referred to as , a creator planning or an artist planning.
And the appropriate planning method for a creator or an artist is entirely different from that of a manager. It’s called: time blocking. Where you designate big blocks of time to your projects and keep your smaller stuff (if you do it at all) limited to spare time pockets at the end of your workday or for example when you’re on the train or plane and are not focused enough to do your important work anyway.
So for the manager type – if you manage multiple projects and have to sweat the small stuff – you will more than likely have a planningtool that consists of to-do lists, sorted by day or by project. This could be a bullet journal.
The manager has a Getting Shit Done approach.
If you are a creator type you will need a timeblocking tool, such as an agenda with time schedule or (my personal favorite) a Passion Planner. You can also draw up your own weekly schedules and block out your time, at the beginning of every week.
The creator has an Only Get the Big Stuff Done approach.
Since my work as a yoga teacher and a writer consists for over 95% of creator work, it was no coincidence that the bullet journal was not for me, and the Passion Planner is.
planning tool 1 + 2
agenda and Passion Planner
Technically you could cancel the separate agenda, and put all your appointments straight into your passion planner. The reason I don’t is that I will archive the small agenda for future reference, but the Passion Planner is just planning tool. I will trow it out when it’s full.
On a sidenote(s), these are the things you will encounter when shopping for a Passion Planner:
1. dated/ undated
The Passion Planner is available in year format, but also in undated format. If you are using it as planning tool only, I recommend taking the undated one and fill it out on the beginning of your week.
Passion Planner also comes in an academic version, which has already started in August. If you’re willing to get yourself printer labels or other blank stickers and cut and paste a bit over the dates, you can easily transform these Academic SALE Passion Planners (now $5 each, A4 or A5) into a “blank” Passion Planner (normally $30)
2. starting day
You always have the choice between a Passion Planner that starts on Sunday, or on Monday.
3. eco sleeve or bound
Passion Planner comes in bound, or in a reusable sleeve and booklet.
diary 2018: Letts of London Lecassa A5 Day per page agenda (pink)
This is like a designated diary or journal: you only use one page per day.
I write down my yoga practice here, and the title of my daily post. Those are my two goals for 2018, to write one post a day and to do a minimum of one hour of yoga every day.
I write down at what time I woke up and how many hours I slept. At night I write a little review of all the positive things that happened, and I write down at what time I go to bed.
my beloved diary; A5 400 page notebook from Hema (assorted colors)
These are my most memorable moments; I glue business cards of restaurants I visited, and tickets to shows or movies I saw, and with whom I went. And sometimes I will write stories here when I ve been with my lover. This is my most beloved diary, although I seldom write in it.
Travel/ draft notebook: my second A5 400 page notebook from Hema (assorted colors, fe black)
This is the notebook I use most frequently, and it has to-do lists of stuff that pops to mind. Writing it down and knowing that it’s at least somewhere calms me down, and allows me to let it go and focus on the important stuff.
I carry this notebook with me at all times, and also note down ideas for blogs and such.
Every couple of weeks I tear out all the used pages, and slim it down to a new blank notebook.
Although it’s the same notebook as my most beloved diary this one is purely functional and disposable.
Those were my plannings tools for 2018!
So for me the Passion Planner helps me to block time, and the Letts day-a-page diary and my real diary help me to record my life.
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