Monday, June 5, 2017

The Experiment

This stage took me three to four months of designing pages and using my journal/planner daily to determine what pages I'd actually use. The only thing I knew for sure was that I  wanted to make my pages only once and then copy off more as I needed them.



I started with a composition notebook for a few reasons:
  • I like the size (9.75 x 7.5), will fit in my purse, and I can add more pictures. I also have more room to write on my calendar page.
  • They are inexpensive. I can get these during Back-to School sales for 50 cents. It didn't matter if I totally messed up my experiment.
  • I used so many composition notebooks in college that using them now feels like going home. I buy stacks of them every year even if I don't need any.
I made lists of everything I wanted to keep in my journal/planner.
  • Monthly calendar with a to-do list
  • Gratitude pages
  • 13 Virtues of Benjamin Franklin
  • Quotes
  • Reverse Bucket List
  • Story and Blog post ideas
  • To be Read list
  • Home projects
  • Fun with Grandkids
  • journal pages

I designed a blank monthly calendar with space for my to-do list for home stuff and writing goals. I have to add the dates and holidays but I don't have to plan out a new spread every month.



4 Gratitude pages came right after the calendar. I numbered each day and left 3 spaces per day. I should be able to find at least three things to be grateful for!

13 Virtues is a habit Benjamin Franklin started to improve his life. I took many of his ideas and added some of my own. I focused on one virtue every week. At the end of the day I evaluated my behavior and wrote it down.

I added a quotes page, a page for story ideas and blog posts, a to-be-read page, a fun with grandkids page...


And journal pages. I discovered having journal pages with my planner helped me write more consistently because of the convenience.

I experimented with tabs and borders and added pictures wherever I wanted. I tried out different colored inks. I tried out almost everything I saw on Pinterest.




I used stickers for the index instead of numbering pages. I thought it was brilliant at the time. I also added paperclips to the calendar pages for faster access.

At the end of four months I could see which pages I actually used and the ones that went to waste, like my doddle page or my Amazon wish list page.

PROS
  • I really liked being able to see my whole month and to-do list at the same time.
  • I was able to group my gratitude pages together after each calendar.
  • I really liked the size. Like I said before, big enough to add pictures and be able to write on the calendar and it still fit in my bag, but I also found that it fit my desktop perfectly.
CONS
  • I still had pages I didn't use.
  • I could only schedule one month at a time. Future trackers were just another list. I needed to see my months mapped out.
  • I had to tape in extra pages or cut out pages when I miscalculated how many pages a spread would take. I still wish I had more mobility.
Enter the Disc system.
To be continued...

Happy Journaling,



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