Organizing 2021

It’s a new year. Time for a new bullet journal.

\When you read about bullet journals, the idea is that you grab a new blank notebook and begin fresh each year. That’s not the way I roll but it just happened to work out this year.

When I began bullet journaling, I grabbed a cheap skinny notebook that I had in my collection, set it up in the recommended way, and started my index. Four or five months later, the journal was full, so, I found another little notebook in my stash and began again.

In the second book, I eliminated the pages I found redundant or unused. To my way of thinking, the future logs were a lifesaver. The weekly spreads made sense and worked for me. The monthly spreads felt like a waste of time, energy, and paper.

My calendar is on my phone. At one point, for the monthly pages, I found myself printing a copy of my electronic calendar. As I added events, I then had to update in two places! I saw no sense in that. Years ago, way before smart phones, I had a little electronic calendar with a stylus, a Palm Pilot, and from then on I realized that, for me, electronic calendars were the way to go. My phone is always with me, whether I am home or rescheduling at the doctor’s office. Now, each week, I copy my weekly schedule from my phone to my bullet journal and bypass the monthly pages.

Eventually I decided it was annoying to create a new journal every six months, partly because that requires creating a new index and a new future log. Why not buy the fattest journal I can and save myself the work? That’s how I ended up with my beautiful leather journal with the orange leaves. It actually lasted me eighteen months, but only because I conserved pages by doubling up weeklies in December 2020. Shoot, once I was that close I might as well finish out the year in the old book.

A new beautiful leather journal with a psychedelic purple flower now sits on my table. I started using it last week. It is the same brand, from Barnes and Noble, as my last journal. If it lasts eighteen months, great. But as I’ve learned to include increasingly more information in this remarkable organizational tool, I realize this one might not last as long.

What, you might wonder, am I adding to my 2021 bullet journal.

I’ve added a key for my washi tape tabs.

I’ve added a collection page called “Medical” to keep track of notes about anything from doctor appointments to investigations about yearly health insurance changes. I even wrote in the journal about how to navigate the health insurance page to check my billings. I had these spread out throughout my last journal so I wouldn’t lose papers. Now it’s all on one spread, called a “collection” in bullet journal langage.

Because I prepare so many meals at home now, and like to make larger quantities and freeze them, I have added a “Freezer” collection. When my husband and I cleaned out the upright basement freezer a couple months ago, I realized how many freezer containers were buried and of dubious nature. Now, I look at my list, choose my meal, and cross off a tally when I bring up one of three frozen taco soups. Oops, as I typed this sentence, I recalled that I didn’t cross off the taco soup we ate yesterday. Hopefully I will get used to doing that.

I’ve always thought “Habits” collections would not be of use to me, but, because my husband and I have chosen not to mall walk in the COVID age, I find myself struggling with “getting in my steps” when it is wet or icy. Those darn mud patches, wet leaves, acorns, and sweet gum balls are the enemy of someone with weak bones and poor balance. I want to try picking up another online exercise from Silver Sneakers or some other site to add to my daily Classical Stretch workout. I even have old physical therapy exercises I do occasionally. I’m going to monitor how often I actually engage in extra exercises.

I also want to see if adding a writing habit helps me try to write a little more, even if it’s just to say, “I know nothing.”

I decided last year that I need to create a “Where I Keep Things” spread. I won’t say any more about that – taking the fifth.

Since I haven’t been reading much lately, I thought maybe I would start a new and shiny collections of “Books to Read” rather than search out my antiquated list of books on Dropbox. We’ll see if this inspires me. In my enthusiasm, I even added washi tape, hoping that I will fill the two pages and need to expand the collection at a later time this month. I’m being optimistic here.

I’m not sure what genre I even like any more. In the past I liked historical fiction set during the Civil War or WWII. I had several favorite fiction authors. I liked cozy mysteries. Now, who knows.

Book suggestions anyone?

So far, I am enjoying the only book on this list, Live Inspired, by John O’Leary.

I will probably end up adding a page of projects I want to start or finish, but that can be done later.

Just remember to add it to the Index, as they say of Bullet Journals.

Is anyone else making changes to their calendars, planners, or bullet journals for 2021?

10 thoughts on “Organizing 2021

  1. I recommend Naked by David Sedaris, He’s a humor essayist, but a lot of what he writes has a dark interior. I wish I could be a quarter as organized as you are. I have one of those journals. I’ll use it for some activity, make notes and then tear our the notes and lose them. I never learn.

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    1. I just added it to my list and reserved in on Overdrive. I’m number 2 on 2 book copies. Should pop up soon. I read “Me Talk Pretty One Day” years ago and don’t know why I never read anything else of his. Thanks.

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  2. Oh my gosh, I have one of those journals that I carry around with me filled with notes but it is not nearly as organized as yours. I have the same earlier problem you had – I keep replicating what I didn’t complete and it becomes a waste of space. And I have so many notebooks I can never find that one important note I wrote down for next year. I could really benefit from a bullet journal like this. If you ever do end up on Goodreads I would happy to be your friend and follow each other’s books and recommendations. I am under my name, nothing special or funky, just Robyn Coupe.

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    1. When I went to open the Kindle book A Tale for the Time Being I accidently opened a book I had checked out yesterday, just because it was available to borrow. I caught the error as I glanced through the contents but decided to read it anyway. I began it this afternoon and am 16% through. Maybe there’s hope I’ll finish it and then I’ll get on Goodreads and look you up. It’s called The Authenticity Project.

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      1. Sounds good! I just looked up The Authencity Project – looks like something I would like too. I put it on my “to read’ list. Looking forward to reading it!

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  3. I keep a family Outlook calendar on the computer and sync it with my phone. That’s worked for years, but recently I’m finding I need additional written task reminders. I bought a plastic letter tray at the office store and stack paperwork in it according to due date. I’ve not forgotten to do anything yet!

    John O’Leary is an inspirational writer. Have you read Life of Pi? How about revisiting the Agatha Christie classics (and see if you can remember how they end when you’re in the middle of them)?

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