A Place for Everything

Does this ever happen to you?…

“I know that paper was here yesterday”

You’re heading out the door to the grocery store – but where’s your list? It was just on the kitchen counter this morning! Or you are leaving for your cousin’s baby shower, but can’t find the invitation with the address. And remember the time you went to the mall to pick up the birthday gift for your niece, but couldn’t find her wish list?
The phrase, “a place for everything and everything in its place” suddenly comes to mind and your frustration begins to rise. Been there, done that! Well that phrase has become the mantra for my use of small journals kept together in a cover known as a traveler notebook.

The best laid plan of “places to go and things to do” can go awry very quickly. More often than I care to admit, somehow the post-it note with valuable information has disappeared. The coupon from my favorite ladies’ clothing store that was in the pile of mail from yesterday, is nowhere to be found today. Organization can be so elusive.

I’ve used planners for years; scratch that, for decades. And I’ve probably tried them all – spiral, 3-ring, composition book, expensive, hand-drawn, small, large – you name it, I’ve tried it! But they were never quite right for my needs. For a few years I even made my own from scratch and a former boss told me I should design one and have it manufactured; genius – but of course, I didn’t. At least, not yet.

Enter Moleskine© notebooks, and the bullet journal system by Ryder Carroll, along with Midori (now known as Traveler Notebooks).

I first heard about Moleskine notebooks decades ago through our son when he was in school and was intrigued by Ernest Hemingway’s use of them. Fast forward ten years or so, when I learned about the Documented Life Project, started in 2014, by Art to the Fifth. That first year, they used the Moleskine weekly planner as the basis for their combination of planning and making art. I loved the concept and started in 2015 but I just couldn’t keep up with it. The art portion didn’t come easily to me, so I fell behind quickly and became frustrated yet again.

About this time, our daughter was getting married and setting up her own household. She was active on Instagram and learning about junk journals while I was learning more about Moleskines being used as bullet journals. We inspired each other with new recommendations of people to follow and learn from. After years of hit or miss, the year of 2016 was the beginning of my journey using Moleskines© as my three journal inserts into a traveler’s notebook cover that I made. My planning needs had finally been fulfilled with my bullet journal planner!

The best thing about these journals is that you can make them exactly how you need them to be. That’s a story for another day, but this system has kept me organized with planning and running my life and business. Finally – a place for all the information that used to be on all those little pieces of paper. With this new method, all the information and details that I need for my day-to-day activities are in this one place — which means no more searching for that little piece of paper that mysteriously disappeared.

I have a friend who says: “If I could get back all the time I’ve spent looking for things, I’d be a young woman!” I love that — because I can certainly relate. But I’m happy to say things have become much better with the use of my travelers notebook method. How about you – how many hours, days, or weeks of your life have been wasted unnecessarily? Maybe it’s time to start by keeping just one area of your life in a journal and see what a difference it will make for you. You may end up like me, with a stack of journals for every facet of your life.

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