January is a bit like September, well at least normally, in that I always have that back to school feeling. It feels like a fresh start, a time to get everything sorted and, previously, always get a new pencil-case. Whilst times might have changed and I might have got a bit older (just a bit!), I still love the feeling of fresh stationery on the 1st January and getting myself organised. Today I’m going to share with you exactly how I’m doing that this year and the two books that keep me in the right place, or on the right Zoom call, at the right time!
1. List Book
Anyone who knows me, or has been reading this blog for more than a week, will know that I looove a list! I always have so many on the go, from creative ideas to what I need when I next (if we ever) go to the shops. A problem I have encountered with this over the years is that scattered on pieces of paper and in all different books, half of the lists that I make or have made in the past become lost. RIP. Until now…
At the end of last year I started trying to bullet journal, and whilst I enjoyed it, it seemed overcomplicated so I have pulled parts of the ideas that worked for me and used the to organise myself this year. This list book is based on the skeleton of bullet journalling and how you might organise one of these prolific books. It is, however, far simpler than it first seems – it is simply a place for me to keep every list of every variety in one place.
First, I numbered every page in the book – a bit of a boring task but worth doing every one. I think mine was 84 pages and it only took 10 minutes or less. Then on pages one, two and three (or however many it takes) I created a couple of contents pages for all these pages, writing the numbers one to eighty four down the side, leaving a line next to each one. Against the first three numbers I added contents as the subject and then, from there, each time I want to make a list – I turn to the next available page, title it, make the list and then add it to the contents. Simple right? The main draw to this easy system is that now, whenever I need to find a list again or need reminding of something I can quickly scan down the contents page and find it in seconds – life made! And again, they’re all in one place! Happy days!
When it comes to more day to day planning, I do turn the ‘traditional’ diary and this year I spent a long time looking for the right one online – finding it eventually in the 2021 Monthly Planner from Appointed stocked at Papersmiths. It is out of stock with them at the moment but if you’re after a diary it is definitely worth scouting around for one.
So how do I organise it? This year I am doing it a bit differently, with events taking a backseat and having a smaller section, I mean we’re not going out much are we. I am therefore popping these in the margin next to the days. Next to this, in the main boxes for each day, I made sure to get a diary that was big enough for me to write my daily to do lists in. Each box normally gets between four and eight tasks written in it with checkboxes that I tick when each one is done. I fill this out at the start of every day.
To make this daily task of list making nice and quick on the opposite page I keep a list of priorities for the week – this diary has space for four – to keep me focused and then two lists for the week. One with general, life stuff and the other for my day job. Each day I choose task from these weekly lists and move them over into my days, this helps me clearly split the work between the days and focus on the task at hand rather than getting overwhelmed by the whole list. On a Sunday evening I sit down and write down my weekly list for the next week, transferring anything that didn’t get done into the new two column list ready for them to be tackled in the week ahead (maybe!)
And there you have it, all my many lists and the system that keeps me from getting too stressed and lost! Do you have a system that keeps you organised, or are you a digital calendar type of person?