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Entries in bullet journaling (3)

Monday
Feb192018

Photo 50/365

Saturday
Apr012017

March 2017 Recap

Tuesday
Jan032017

Hello, 2017

A new year, a new start. Actually, there are two, maybe three times each year that I feel the world giving me a chance for a fresh start. January, of course, is the quintessential fresh start month. That's when we all make resolutions that we may or may not keep down the road and flock to the local container or office supply stores in search of that one item that will finally keep us on track and organized. But I feel a similar need to set goals and create order every year in September when a new school year is beginning and a cold snap is in the air. And on occasion I'll feel a similar push during spring cleaning days, when the warmth of the sun is returning and we're all just coming out of hibernation, or our closest approximation of it.

In fact, September might be my biggest "fresh start" month, but January is still a time to look around and take stock of the situation. With so many fun traditions around Christmas and the New Year (and let's be honest, the crazy really starts back around Thanksgiving, what with all parties and performances that happen throughout December), by the time January 1 comes around, I need to take a moment to figure out how many balls I've dropped and how I can real them back in again. There's migrating schoolwork that got missed, updating the now defunct school calendar, catching up on chore lists and to-do lists, putting things back in order physically and mentally.

This year I'm using a newish method for me. I'm using a Bullet Journal. Affectionately known in social media circles as the BUJO, this has got to be one of the greatest organizational tools since the Trapper Keeper. The idea is to take a fresh journal, any fresh journal, and use the first pages to set up an index that you will keep adding to throughout the year. Now use the book to enrich your life. Use it for whatever you want—art, writing, photos, planning, checklists, reminders, recording—and just keep a record in the index of where you've put things. It can be anything, even everything, you want it to be. I joined in the fad last year, actually, with a journal I'd gotten for Christmas the year before.

I've never in my entire life kept a journal for longer than a month or so, and that's being generous, so I was skeptical at first, but as the year went by I found myself using the book religiously. At first I used it to make meal plans and track my eating and exercising habits with weekly logs. Then I drew in a set of calendars and started using it to keep track of the family schedule. By mid-summer I was creating weekly spreads to keep track of to-do lists, and individual pages for meal planning. I used the book to plan our travel, and used it on our trips as a travel log. I used pages for taking notes in meetings or at doctor appointments. And by fall I was creating full pages of art simply for the sake of art. It's a daily planner meets monthly calendar meets scrapbooking kind of deal for me, and I love it.

So for Christmas 2016 I asked for a specific planner and a few art supplies to go with it, and was thrilled open that fresh book and start making it my own. The first few spreads are monthly calendars and record keeping pages for bills, long-term chores, and some fun stuff, like a reading log and a bird log, then I got things going with a spread for tracking chores in January and my first weekly spread.

Because that's where we are, in the first week of January. And I'm read for it.