Personal Blog Posts
Down the Rabbit Hole into a new world of planners, fountain pens, and stationery.
A few months ago I started a series of blog posts on how I stay organized. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). While those posts are still pretty much how I keep on top of my tasks and life, I have also tried a few new things since then. I am still very much enjoying the analog (i.e. non-digital) organizational system after being so tied to my phone and computer for many years. The pen-and-paper approach feels very natural to me for planning and remembering important things.
Like Alice’s first glimpse of the white rabbit my new fascination with planners started with a quick peek at a new-to-me world of planners called the Midori Travelers Notebook. I was watching a video on the Bullet Journal planning system when the YouTuber showed her new Foxidori - a Midori-style notebook system from FoxyFix. Midori Travelers Notebooks and the wide range of faux products inspired by the original features a leather cover held closed by an elastic band. The leather cover holds one to four or more paper notebooks inside with more elastic bands. The original Midori comes in black or brown leather in two sizes, the faux versions come in many different leather covers, non-leather cover options and many different sizes.
Seven weeks ago we packed up our lives. We drove 100 miles north on the 101 freeway. We settled into the sunny beach town of Carpinteria.
Ben, my husband, grew up in Carpinteria. His parents have lived here since the mid-1980s. We’ve been up to visit many, many times over the years. Each time we came we dreamed of being free enough to make the move.
Now that we’re here the realities of a 100-mile move are setting in. Over our 18-year marriage we had lived in five different homes, but all had been within 10 miles of one another, and all definitely in the area where I grew up.
The move has meant a shift in what is “normal” for me. I knew I would need to settle into a new grocery store, learn the ropes at a new school for the kids, and remember that the trash now has to go out on Thursdays. But there have been many unexpected changes, as well. Some of those changes have been delightfully wonderful, and others frustratingly annoying.
Our close proximity to the beach and the mild climate means that most afternoons call for trips to the beach for a quick swim and some sandy sunshine. I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy that convenience and respite. But I still have no idea where to take my car for it’s oil change. And while the town has a lovely and diverse downtown area and plenty of places to shop and eat, my weekly visits to Target and Trader Joe’s are now maddeningly inconvenient.
As we get ever closer to the start of summer break my anxiety over summer plans for the kids kicks into high gear.
We have mostly decided to spend the summer relaxing, getting settled in our new home, and exploring our new town. But the downside is that will mean lots of relatively unplanned days on the calendar.
If your family is like mine, many go-to kids entertainment options have screens: video games, TV, computers, iPads... And the kids love screen time, which makes managing that time even more challenging.
Two things that we have implemented over the last year to manage screen time is a daily allowance of screen time for weekdays and some boundaries for screen time on weekends.
Last weekend a devastating earthquake rocked Nepal and the Himalayas. You may have heard about the avalanche at one of the Mount Everest base camps. My heart goes out to all of the people effected by the earthquake.
Chris Marquardt and Monika Andrade, German photographers and podcasters, have published a book of gorgeous photographs from Nepal and the Himalayas to raise funds for the people effected by the recent earthquake. The book is a "choose your own price" project and all funds go directly to charitable organizations helping in Nepal for this disaster.
1 days until summer
I know, I know, spring has just started, but I'm already starting to think about summer. This summer is going to be epic for us. We are moving this summer and I have had that on my mind for months and months, but I'm now ready to start thinking past the move.
Our move is planned for mid-June, as soon as school gets out for my boys. We have been busy getting the new house ready and are slowing bringing loads of stuff to the new place. The hardest part about the move has been sifting through all of our stuff and deciding what to bring, what to donate, etc.
I hope you are finding this series interesting or helpful (maybe both!). The first post was about my overall organization strategy and tools. The second post focused on task management and my hybrid approach using both the GTD and Bullet Journal systems. This third, and final, post will center around planning strategies. I will show you how I accomplish meal planning, photo session planning, and general project planning
What I have adopted is a hybrid of the GTD and the BJ systems. It tends to be more of the GTD system, but look more like the BJ. I use a single notebook with grid paper to keep track of projects, tasks, and notes. I don’t strictly use the “next action” concept on a day-to-day basis, but do use it when I get stuck with a project. I also don’t record my entries by date, like with the BJ system. Rather, I keep rolling lists and move my section tabs as I go. As I finish off a page (complete a project, list of projects, list of tasks, etc.) I clip the edge of the page so it is easy to flip past in the journal to find the most current list.
I have always been in love with stationary and paper products. As a kid I was as excited to go to the office supply store as to go to the toy store. Weird, right?
But then I became an Apple girl. I got my first Mac in 2002 after watching Ben use Macs for many years and my love affair with Apple began. It started with just a computer.
Then came the iPods. Oh how the iPod changed my life. I loved being able to plug my iPod into my car and listen to whatever music I wanted without having to carry around a huge binder of CDs.
In years past I have always rejected the notion of resolutions. This stems from the overwhelming failure rate of most people’s New Year’s resolutions. I have always figured that declaring change and then knowing it had a high likelihood of failure seemed pretty counter intuitive.
That being said, I have had this strong urge to review the past year and make plans for the new year. Therefore, instead of making resolutions I am going to conduct a review of my past year and document my goals and aspirations for the upcoming year.