As with many good things and self improvement ideas, my latest project originated with my good friend Jack. Everyone should have a friend like Jack, by the way, someone who cheers you on but calls you on your bullshit, usually gently and with good humor. Anyway, he was talking about starting a bullet journal. And I’ve always been fascinated by them, so I started poking around. For someone who has crappy handwriting and zero skill at drawing or illustrating, googling about bullet journals is incredibly intimidating. I mean, do an image search, and you’ll see what I mean. But at the same time, who doesn’t love playing around with nice pens and stickers and all of that, while trying to be organized? So I gave in to the siren song of pretty pens and washi tape, and ordered some supplies. But since then, I’ve been focusing on doing more writing and doodling on paper. Writing on paper doesn’t come easy to me. I hate my handwriting, and I type faster than I write. But I wanted to give it a try.
I’m starting out doing the good old-fashioned morning pages ala Julia Cameron. Today was day three, and there’s something incredibly soothing about it. I’ve been just scribbling in an old journal I had lying around (and who among us doesn’t have a pile of well-intentioned journals lying around?). Starting tomorrow though, I’m going to break in my shiny new journal. I’m going to decorate pages, I’m going to color and doodle, and I’m going to screw it up. I am not going to create Instagrammable pages that people will ooh and ahh over, but that’s okay. This is for me. This is my place to play. I have all sorts of digital organizational tools that I’ve been using, and for someone with ADHD, that’s a godsend, but now I want to go old school for my personal stuff. I’ve been playing around with page layouts and ideas, and what I’m planning to do is to use the idea of the month logs, the daily logs, and the index, and also do my morning pages and any writing project related noodling. I’m also planning to track some habits and to do two versions of a very cool idea called a “year in pixels“. Given the way my moods cycle and my focus does as well, I want to use one to keep track of my daily mood, and one to keep track of my daily level of focus and concentration. I think this will be useful in spotting potential trouble ahead, and to watch for patterns.
Just doing what little I’ve done so far has made a big difference, just in terms of having some extra accountability–never a bad thing when you’re self-employed, believe me–and a little boost in productivity. I am acutely conscious of the ADHD effect where I start shiny new things and lose interest, and that might happen here. But it might not. And in any case, it’s worth planning to set aside specific time to focus on me, and to do it in the real world and not on a keyboard. If I only enjoy it for a week or two, that’s a week or two of time that I had fun, right? Time spent just for me and my brain can only be a good thing, especially if it’s enjoyable, positive time.
But that doesn’t mean that if I come up with some pretty pages that I won’t be tempted to Instagram them. 😀