Trying to Stay On Target

Hello again. You might not have noticed I’ve been posting on other blogs, keeping my online life moving, but I thought it was time to talk a little about writing.

Actually not so much writing, as keeping it all straight and organized and stuff.

I like to think of myself as organized, but really I can be scattered even at the best times. Now, with writing and photography and working a “real” job and getting ready to start traveling again come summer. Well, there is a lot going on all at the same time. This is supposed to be a good thing, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed or loose track of what I am supposed to be working on at any moment.

I love paper and pens. I’ve had a fountain pen for most of my life, and the feel of ink on paper is relaxing in ways that only pen users can understand. A few years ago I started using a Bullet Journal type system. Since I keep an electronic calendar (easier to share), it was mostly the todo features, though I would write out the calander spread and fill in things anyway. I liked how it looked.

In the middle of last year I learned about BestCo’s Self Journal, which is a print journal intended to serve as a road map to some goal you establish in it’s pages. I liked the idea, but it wasn’t cheap and I was already using a nice leather journal (which I’d made and sell, by the way) so it wasn’t critical to upgrade. I did end up getting one for Christmas, and starting using it January 1st. I liked the idea of the system, but my old journal fit in my pocket, while the Self Journal didn’t (at all). This meant I was keeping two todo lists (since I was supposed to write one in the self journal, which I didn’t keep with me during the day), and that was very annoying, not to mention it resulted in stuff being missed since it was on one list and not the other.

Before going to Bullet Journal, I had moved to (mostly) paperless. The reason I say “mostly” is because I couldn’t stop myself from scribbling down quick little notes about things that came up during the day. Story ideas. Article idea. Grocery lists (which I would later move onto something electronic). Even now, I would like to be paperless, but my journal is also my wallet. How do you stop carrying that (at least, while not everyone takes Apple Pay?).

I do have some of my tasks and projects mapped out electronically, as well as in my journal (I usually do the journal first). The beeps and alerts help remind me of what I am supposed to be doing (and what I am behind on), and it means due dates appear on my calendar, which is nice as well.

Nothing is a perfect system, but the best system is always the one you will use.

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