Season’s Greetings everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday time in a manner that is wonderful for each of you! For me, I plan to bring order back into my life. This past year has been crazy. We’ve been super busy with family and kids activities. We’ve been living week to week with little time for relaxation and regeneration. I blame that in part to over-scheduling and lack of planning. It’s had an impact on many facets of my life–sanity, creativity, physical health, and happiness.

I used to be a BIG planner person. I always had my calendar or planner with me. I’ve always been a big goal setter. I’ve always been good at challenging myself to make decisions based on a “big picture” type plan that I had outlined early in the year. 2015 has not been that type of a year.  I didn’t “plan”. I picked my One Little Word–“sparkle”–but that was about it. I didn’t do anything with that word. About mid-October I decided to reclaim my sanity. I came up for air and began 10 months late planning the rest of 2015. I grabbed the quickest thing I could find–a calendar that had been sent to the office by one of our vendors.

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Yes, for all the mega-planner/bullet journal aficionados this looks pretty plain…but it was helping me get my groove back. You see…I was a BIG into planning and journaling. In college I had perfected time management and had thrived because of my skills in planning. I go through periods in my adult life where I plan and journal and then others where I just exist. 2015 was a period of “exist.” This plain little vendor calendar was a start.

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In November my I received my 2016 Appointment Book that American Express publishes. It is an interesting hard back book that has calendars–month spread and daily. It has some travel type tools that I sometimes use. It has a purpose and is what I will use for 2016…with some additions. So in an effort to use it NOW I began doodling and drawing a calendar in the front cover and added a numbered overview of the month and things that seemed noteworthy–it’s starting to resemble my old planning and functioning to get me where I needed to be.

I then began working on my plan to take back my life in 2016–the plotting and planning to reorganize my creative life and my blog/website, the need to sanely keep up with the kids activities and the bunnies. I found myself reverting to my old planning skills and then I found they now call this Bullet Journaling [BuJo for short]. I am determined to use this appointment book–altering it as necessary–because there are things about it that I truly love and because it was purchased for me to use (2016 is also about not being wasteful).

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Since my 2016 calendar does not include December, I grabbed my favorite grid paper and created a quick bullet journal for the month. This is the month spread and behind it is my daily notes. I know this is a work in progress and I expect it to take many turns before the end of the year when I will be ready to move to a more traditional notebook…or perhaps return to my upcycled journal, which is also in the back of my mind as I alter these pages to meet my needs.

I hope you join me on this journey–I will be checking in a few times during the month, sharing inspiration from journalers I love, sharing my own journal journey and sometimes sharing printables that I’ve developed to make my own journal what I want it to be or to help my kids with their journals. They too will be creating bullet journals this year, The kids are using Staples BETTER mini binders 1″ for their journals…It will allow them to order the pages however they want and to have the flexibility to remove pages as well. These are amazingly constructed binders. We use the regular sized ones for school and since moving to these have not had to replace binders mid school year.

Staples Mini 3-Hole Punch is our favorite punch for adding pages we’ve created for ourselves…like the 2016 overview calendar. The PDF can be printed on paper and trimmed at 5½” the set on the left has a margin to punch the left. The set on the right has a margin to punch on the right. ALSO, you could print on card stock, fold the page and punch on the left to make a pocket to keep items like receipts in. Simply tape the bottom of the “pocket” to keep stuff contained! The little calendars could also be cut out and added to the bottom of your monthly calendars or wherever you need a smallish calendar. I created this for the kids to put in their journals to help them get started with their planning.

2016 overview calendar

click to download

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Playful kitty is hoping we will find more time for the cat as well.

“Time is the most valuable coin in your life. You and you alone will determine how that coin will be spent. Be careful that you do not let other people spend it for you.” ― Carl Sandburg

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