And I was bored.
Bored and without direction and purpose in my day-to-day life.
While talking with Megan via phone one day, she suggested using a calendar and schedule, but not in the old, traditional way that I had given up after graduating from Bible school. She pointed me to bullet journals, habit trackers, and other methods of making my planner fit my needs. I fell in love with this new system and began filling it up right away! I had purpose and direction in my long, lonely days.
Fast-forward two months into the present, and I am now on the opposite end of bored! I don't have time in a day to get bored, and where does my scheduling fall in these days? It saves me so much time and anguish! I write down everything, and when (yes, when) I forget, I don't have to fret about it.
To spark ideas in your mind, whether you are in a stay-at-home-long-days stage or a not-enough-time-in-a-day stage, I'd like to share some pages of my notebook with you, along with some helpful hints!
SIZE IT UP!
SHOOT FOR THE GOAL!
When I first started keeping a notebook back in school, I thought it was silly to come up with goals for everything. I never looked at them, and I knew what I needed to do just fine. But I've learned a lot since then, and I include goals everywhere. I have goals for the year. I have goals on my month-in-a-glance page. I have goals on my weekly spread. They remind me to build a To-do list that will lead toward accomplishing my goals rather than distract me from where I want to go and what I want to be.
KEEP THE BIG PICTURE
These pages both include a panoramic view of the year we're living in, each with a different function. The left page is a simple calendar,telling me what dates fall on what days. I scatter these mini-calendars all over my notebook for quick reference!
The right page is an open block for each month, and as I have big events scheduled, I write them into their block. I don't use the right page that much, and when I come around to next year, I might not include that page. This is the real fun of this kind of scheduling-- you can tailor the pages to fit your personal needs, and you have no obligation to fill out pages that don't fit your style.
NARROWING IT DOWN
PLANNING THE WEEK
On the right side, I have my goals for the week, tasks, a small habit tracker, a section for people I need to communicate with, and notes. On the bottom, I have a small square titled "Next Week", as a heads up for what is coming.
TODAY IS THE DAY
This section is my most flexible section. It is my daily log/ to-do list/ journal/ schedule/ whatever I need it to be. I write down what I've been eating (if I have a problem, I can trace it down easier), how much water I'm drinking, what the weather was like, thoughts about what happened or what I need to do.... Sometimes I write recipes here to try later.... Sometimes I schedule out every task in my day and try to follow that.
I take up as much room as I like, then when the day is over, I write in tomorrow's name and number and do it all over again tomorrow. I make it work for my day and try not to fret about it if I miss something.
MORE THAN JUST A CALENDAR
This page says " Think about it". Whenever I have a thought of something that I want to think through later, I write it down at the top of one of these pages. Later, when I have time, I'll spend some time thinking about it and trying to solve the issue. I write down pertinent verses and keep it in my notebook to flip back and remember what I've thought through when the issue comes up again. I have found this to be so helpful, and I commend it to you, as well!
I have several pages devoted to lists of people to pray for. I have a page for family, a page for friends, a page for church folks, and this is my missionary page. I work my way down the page each day and pray for a few names on each list.
Another important section of my notebook contains my sermon notes. I do have a post to share with you about that, if my laptop ever goes to internet land again..... When this section gets too full, I will transfer the notes elsewhere so that they're not just cluttering up my notebook.
MORE IDEAS FROM ABBY'S NOTEBOOK TO YOURS
Other pages that I keep include, but are not limited to:
A list of foods to make as I think of them, including chocolate, pesto, and croissants.
Quotes and poems as I come across good ones.
A list of ideas for devotionals, blog posts, dramas, and stories. Someday, I will have time to write them all!
A vocabulary list containing words I am not familiar with, but want to learn.
A list of books that I would like to get and a list of good radio stations (have I mentioned the to love listening to the radio?).
....And other things that I find useful! The key is to get your notebook to do a lot of your work for you! Of course, to get work out of it, you have to program it, a lot like when you use your crock pot!
It saves you work.
It keeps you mindful of your goals.
It guides you in your choices.
Overall, a notebook is a highly useful tool! I hope giving you a tour of mine gave you fresh ideas for yours! If you keep a notebook, how do you like to do it? I'd love to hear how you use yours!
All for God's glory~