I. FREAKING. LOVE. LISTS.
OFFICE SUPPLIES ARE BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE
Seriously, office supplies light up my day. I know that I am most productive when I've got a to-do list written, I know that I can memorize and understand better when I physically touch pen to paper, and I know I love to color, highlight, cursive and bullet things.
So this makes my personality type ORGANIZING OBSESSED. Embracing this has helped me to keep my shit together as an artist, an administrator, being self-employed in general, and as a master packer for vacations.
IF YOU WANNA BE MY BESTFRIEND, BUY ME A NOTEBOOK.
I'm not sure why but cracking open a fresh journal is like heaven! I love inky glidey pens, and thick paper. I'm particularly picky when it comes to criteria for a drawing journal, and it's all about the weight of the paper, how the spine opens to complete flatness and the overall size something manageable to keep on my person basically at all times.
THE THINGS I CAN NOT LIVE WITHOUT:
I have recently joined the #pashfam and invested in a Passion Planner. I have been enjoying it greatly, and ended up with the medium size, which is like an 8 X 10 sort of. Doesn't fit in a cute purse and is a bit larger than I've been using for the past few years, but it has been cool because I can use it also like a short diary log - there's room to fill in and I'd like to think I can look back on the year and see what past Gracie was going through. Also the monthly reflection pages are going to be great for this, I plan to tear out and keep for a while instead of stashing the whole journal for 7 years. Also the company was founded by a strong lady which I love to support. Check out their stuff at www.passionplanner.com.
Sometimes my weekly spreads are lavish and colorful, sometimes they are bare and static. Moods change, energy changes, availability changes. But writing anything down counts!
Also, speaking of planners, I'm a huge fan of STICKERS! I know that for me, having every additional reason to open my planner, check in with myself and work on getting things knocked off my to-do list is helpful. One of the easiest and most fun ways to do this is to sticker the crap out of it! Also, SECRET TIP, I have found a great collection of planner stickers (and awesome stickers in general) at the Dollar Tree Store! I think any stickers will do and $1 is the best price. Though I have found some #plannercommunity pages to follow and drool over, I'm not crazy into themed designs of color or brands of stickers. Just adding a little bit of color and spice (at the right price!) goes a long way.
I also recently discovered the LITTLECOFFEEFOX blog, and that woman is MAD organized. Please check out her awesome blog because she has great hand lettering sheets and a free resource library, and all kinds of neat information for organizing fiends. I found that page when I started researching about BULLET JOURNALS.
And yes, now I have what you would call a BULLET JOURNAL, but it's my own modified version. (Get all the details on bullet journals here, but basically its a journal with all your lists and ideas and notes organized on point with an index, and there is a lot of bulleting involved.) I have been doing a lot of bullet journal stuff on my own for years, and had just never run into the term before. Also I just modify a blank journal, as it's a structure you set up entirely on your own and therefore don't need to drop any funds on some pre-made notebook. I find it super helpful because I just love to write stuff down, it makes me feel more secure to have it somewhere for reference, instead of floating around in my brain. It's a little busy up there. I get frazzled sometimes, and ways to help me cope with this is to take extensive notes in meetings, prepare for teaching classes by having hand written cues, and basically writing down things that I want to refer back to later. Its a ritual I really enjoy, writing, and honestly, I've had a smartphone for 3 years and I STILL CAN'T TYPE ON IT FOR SHIT. Like seriously, why are the touchscreen keyboard "buttons" so freaking small?! Or would an iPhone solve this problem? (Asking for a friend.) Not to mention, you can't doodle on a smartphone. It's not the same. Fight me.
So COLLECTION JOURNALS are something I'm collecting (ha), as I have all my art biz stuff in one notebook, all my dance curriculum in another, a notebook dedicated to each piece of choreography I am creating, and then a general madness journal, which holds all kinds of stuff like the gratitude log and recipe bank, self care self help list for when I need to get my mind right, a music list for movement to explore, instagram content, vacation plans, etc.
It brings me joy to have a place to house all these ongoing thoughts, and I find it appealing to color a page or add a title in a fancy script, etc, to keep it funky. Being on-the-go a lot can leave me kind of scattered and also TIRED so it's an easy way to feel accomplished and slightly creative to write something pretty. It doesn't take long, and the instant gratification is a nice warm up project opportunity.
The other thing that is super important to me is my SKETCH BOOK. (Stay tuned for a blog post dedicated just to using the journal as art! Coming soon!) Like they say, drawing is something you get better at with practice, and creating a habit of doodling will help hone your skillz. I definitely go though waves of inspiration and moods that vary with focus on poetry, drawing, collaging...I like to mix it up. But I always keep these journals, and filling one completely feels like a real accomplishment. Looking back over these notebooks are really cool, and I am often surprised by what I've put in there. It's like a data bank for content from which future me can pull from. I try no to think about it too hard, and let it be a place where I can scratch things out or try 3 or 20 times before I get it right. And when I feel sad I fill pages with quotes and poems and mottos I find appealing from a collection of wise people that I know will cheer me up and boost confidence.
Using collage, poetry and re-writing words of inspiration help me smooth out the hustle and grind mind, sometimes.
So, to wrap up:
Try literally writing stuff down next time you want to connect your mind to your body. Find a pen you enjoy writing with, get colorful, invest in a planner, commit to filling out, cover it in stickers, and never be afraid to list the shit out of your life. Your future self will thank you. <3
That's what I love about organizing. I get to do it my way, explore ideas and options according to my taste and available time. It's very personal, and super rewarding. Why? Because it's a chance to convert crazy brain patterns and thought forms into more concise and deliberate readable tangible information. I'm sure you've tried a pro and con list on a big decision, or a shopping list before you hit the store. It's like the whole living intentional thing. Why not spend some time getting organized on purpose and enjoy the process. Hey, if Marie Kondo can make folding clothes fun (seriously) then why can't we make to-do lists beautiful and mesmerizing?