Every single Sunday, I schedule a date with myself.  It happens at different times, depending on everyone’s schedules, but it HAPPENS.  It doesn’t get pushed off the calendar (and the couple times it has, I feel like I’ve lost a limb, and that is not a good feeling, so lesson learned), it doesn’t get superceded, and my kids know it’s time I need (usually it only takes about half an hour) uninterrupted and focused, so for the most part, they leave me be while I do it (for the most part, haha). When I feel like I have this time set aside, everything else runs more smoothly- I feel like I’ve got my footing for the week ahead, and things just tend to fall into place better.

So what is this magical date?  It’s my planner time!  I have used ALL THE PLANNERS.  Many I have loved, many have worked for a time, and many have just flat out not worked for me at all.  I spent quite a few years really searching for what about each system was important to me, and what wasn’t as important- which helped me immensely in discovering that I need to have one thing above all other things:

Flexibility.

I loved the way that I could add and remove things from the Happy Planner Disc-bound system, but neither the horizontal or vertical layouts gave me enough room to write, and then on some weeks, I had nothing to write at all.  It was also way too big to carry around in my purse.  I loved the passion planner, too, which I moved into after the Happy Planner, except that again, there wasn’t enough room for me to write in the weekly spreads.  I LOVED LOVED LOVED the monthly reflection pages, and the goal setting ones, but I found I stopped using them (and the planner in general) because I couldn’t include everything I needed in those teeny tiny little lines.

At this point, I had been following a lot of bloggers and youtubers who were doing bullet journaling.  In case you aren’t familiar, check out the original bullet journalist pioneer, Ryder Carroll, right here on his site.  Basically, it’s a system that you create yourself inside a blank journal.  At first, yeaaaaaaars ago when this first came on my radar (before the whole saga of other planners), I dismissed it outright, because I thought I wouldn’t have time for it- wasn’t the whole point of a planner to save me some time??  Also, I am very creative, and while the original creator didn’t concern himself with aesthetics, I knew I’d want to do some sort of decorating.

Thankfully, I was able to come to a place where I was desperate enough to give it a try.  I set aside some of the ideals I had seen on my favorite social media bujo (bullet journalists) stars, and decided just to give myself the planner date on Sundays to make all my spreads- whatever decorating (or not) happened during that time, so be it.  I’m happy to report that the coupling of the planner date and lowered expectations (why is this so tough to remember?) has worked out like a dream for me and my planning process!  Now, I’m working on a course to help other crazy busy, creative, harried moms cope through the use of a bullet journal as well- no more forgetting important appointments, feeling overwhelmed by a to-do list that’s WAY too long, or feeling limited by a planner that’s all set in stone.  Watch this space, I hope to have the course ready before the end of the year!

Also, I’m running a little fun challenge in November- it’s called the Sparkcognition Daily Journaling Challenge, and I hope you’ll join us!  Watch for more details coming soon in your email inbox!  Not signed up for my emails yet?  Head to this link and get yourself set up so you don’t miss a thing! 

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