|In case you wonder how empty my calendar looks it is just because I tend to take BuJo pictures before filling the page.|
What is basics then in keeping BuJo?
I really suggest you watch the video I linked, because it explains the basic idea very well. Point is that you have a notebook. To that notebook you draw a calendar page and list of to dos. You can see one example of a monthly calendar on the first picture of this post. You don't have to draw a candle there or write November in a fancy way. Just list the days. Then to the next page you list to dos. Then to the next pages you mark the dates of the month and move some points under the date from your to do list to accomplish that day. This is similar to having a calendar. You go through what you have to do in that month and then book things to your calendar. Then you mark your task done or move it to another day. When the month is over you go through what tasks you got done, what needs to be moved to next month's to do list and what tasks you can remove completely.
When you have your monthly calendar page where all days are listed you can use it to mark very important events, deadlines and tasks. I also have a page with twelve boxes, one for every month. There I can mark special days so I know what will be coming on a monthly level. I might for example know that on January I have got one weekend booked and that I have to remember some special task to do on March. Then when I draw monthly spread I can move these directly to my calendar.
What is special about BuJo is the space you got for planning and modifying it according to your own need. In normal calendar you have months and days but you might not have enough space for notes and planning the future. When keeping BuJo you can have a whole page or two for just one day. There you can list to dos, mark events where you have to be in certain time and take notes about things you feel are important. For example I can list what tasks I need to do for my blog post (sew a block, take photos, write etc.), Then I can mark that I have to be on a meeting at 8:30 a.m. I can also list new blog ideas that come to my mind and evaluate them later. Then for example on Sunday I might not have any to dos or events. I might just list some ideas and I need just a small space from the notebook to do that.
Best part of BuJo is customization. On my monthly spread I can have a blogging calendar and tracker. Some keep lists on what has made them happy that month or color their moods into a picture. Wellness related customizations are also popular. It is handy to plan a project when you can choose to have a whole spread for planning a craft project, career goals or weekend trip.
What needs to be tracked?
I have mentioned trackers quite a few times now so a word about those. I was highly motivated when I started my BuJo and I thought trackers were an amazing invention. I still think tracking, meaning following your habits for example, is a great way to see how you are using time and how you would like to use it. I browsed many BuJo inspiration pages and found lots of things to track. After the first motivation boost went off I re-evaluated what are the key habits I need to track. Going to shower and washing dishes are not. I know how to take care of my personal hygiene and I know to wash dishes at the latest when I run out of clean plates and mugs. So I calmly left these two trackers out of the list :D
|Jogging and workouts? Where are you?|
Things I have found interesting and motivating to track can be divided into three categories.
1. Creative work: Keeping track about my blogging habits and blog related activities has been very important for me. It tells me how much time I use for this work and how the time spent is divided into different phases like making DIY and craft projects, taking photos and writing. If I would track just published blog posts it would not show the whole reality behind the post.
2. Personal development: In this category I have got two of my major projects: reading more and socializing/networking. Last summer I thought it might be good to focus on planning and making the future. I tried to visualize my dreams and how I want to spend my life. It is actually quite small things that make a change.
First thing. I wasn't pleased with was my reading habits. Or lack of these habits. I had become lazy reader and I felt it is not me who stares TV all nights. I needed change and started a reading project. A simple, yet very effective step, was to start tracking my reading. My goal was to read 100 pages per day and after that I got a mark to my reading tracker. In the October tracker you can see I have not marked all reading I have done. It has became a habit and I read a little everyday. I have finished many books during the summer and autumn season. I am also motivated to find new books to read. And you know what? Nowadays I don't watch TV at all. I find it boring and time consuming.
Reading was also part of personal development. Project that I started after the reading plan. I wanted to become a person who knows what is happening in the world. It is so easy to just focus on your own small circles. I decided to read more non fiction and current books. I also felt that even though I am mainly a DIY, crafts and home decor blogger it should not stop me from following social discussions more and re-tweeting articles that I find interesting. After all blogging is always personal and one's thoughts come up no matter how strictly you stay in the so called main focus. It shows in what I think is worth writing, taking photographs and crafting. It is about thoughts and values what kind of projects I make and what materials I use. For example I favor low cost projects with materials that are from thrift stores. DIY thought is also a philosophy of empowerment. How is not societal already? In the tracker I have also got this part socializing. I get a point when I take part in an event, course or hobby. I meet people everyday but I wanted to focus on going to new places, starting hobbies I had always wanted to start and learning new skills.
Listing thoughts and writing them into daily life has made a huge change in my life. Tracking helps to see if some part of life needs attention. If I haven't been socializing for some days I browse through news papers and social media for events and book something to my calendar.
3. Keeping Fit: Jogging, workout, 10/20/30 000 steps.
Seems like cold weathers have effected my workout routine. Ups, promised to be honest! Seems like I have done workout just 6 times during the six months. It might be good to evaluate if this tracker should be removed or if I should make project about this. It depends how important I think this is. If it is not important and I am never doing this, there is no need to keep it on my BuJo. In case I decide it is very important and something I have neglected in life then a proper project and and planning page might be the way. What comes to steps I found it very motivating from the beginning to count steps and track how active I have been. Tracker also gives a reason why some days there is less steps. Focusing on other areas like blogging or reading has taken the time and it is OK.
Power of Processing
So I have had three successful projects during these six months: a. reading more, b. socializing, learning new and being active and c. getting enough exercise. All projects have evolved from the original thought. One thing leads to another. Reading more inspired to start learning new skills. For me important part of BuJo has been processing. At first I wanted to keep my notebook clean and organized. I designed every page in advance and tried to avoid messy notes and sketches. I have always had a notebook for ideas and sketches. This autumn I began to draw ideas to BuJo. It makes pages that are not so beautiful but is necessary for the process. It is amazing how the messy sketch/idea becomes a plan, plan gets booked to calendar and becomes action and turns out a blog post, completed reading list or more active lifestyle.
I have noticed that when I skip this processing work my productivity goes low and I am less pleased with how the time has been spent. I might do less and feel busier. When all is on paper it is possible to calmly move from task and activity to another. Small notebook is easy to carry with, in case new ideas occur. It doesn't have to be harmonious. When you put an idea that has not yet fully formed to a paper it looks as messy as it is in your head. I have noticed though, that the moment I see idea on a paper I find out many solutions to make it better.
Currently my BuJo is:
-space to plan and schedule blogging
Here you can see how I have used BuJo to plan my quilting projects. It is actually a nice thought that all that has happened in my life is in one notebook, bigger and smaller events, reading lists, craft projects, DIY ideas and exercise notes. It was pleasing to look back this 6 month period to see how much has happened in life.
Have a Wonderful Weekend!