Good Friday evening, my friends!
I will be signing off shortly for a weekend internet break, but before I go, I wanted to address a few of the questions that popped up about my daily notebooks. Now this may be way too much information for some, but I know I love reading about how other folks notebook and journal, so I'll carry on. (And if you do notebook or journal, I would love to hear about it ~ please leave a link to your post or a comment below!)
But before I get on with detailing my journal, I wanted to answer a question left by my friend KC about the books I pictured in my previous planning post:
"Are those books on your table listed on your sidebar? I love the liturgical ones you've listed but was wondering about the others."
Thanks to KC, I realized a whole lot of my favorite seasonal books were not listed anywhere on my blog! So I just added a new Typelist called "Seasonal Fun" on my righthand sidebar. (It may still be on the bottom left; Typepad is slow sometimes to update.) Between these books and the liturgical year books (not to mention all the online friends I am grateful to know) I find it an immense joy to plan out my family's year.
Next, Lucille asks:
"Is it because you are timely in pasting things in your journal that they end up being 'seasonal'?? You know, just fall stuff in the fall ones for example? (This way you can look back ...?)"
Yes, this is pretty much how I do it - I fill each day's page with notes and bits and pictures that reflect that day and ultimately, the time of year I am in, plus the one I am looking towards. So my August notebook has plenty of summery things in it, but also, because my brain is in plan-ahead gear (and all the fall issues and catalogs are arriving in my mailbox) there are also a lot of autumn ideas. The same holds true for each season; in my October notebook you'll see all kinds of fall thoughts and mementos, but plenty of holiday planning!
When I revisit my journals I get a real feel for a season, but I also re-discover ideas and plans that I can use again, or perhaps for the first time. In my notebook I write down a lot of ideas - and I hardly ever get around to doing all of them (or even most of them!). By keeping them written up in my journal, they are there for me to consider in years to come.
For example, I might come across a flyer for a fall fair we never attended and make a note to try and go this year. And I just saw a note from late last July when I wrote away for a local audubon site's fall program guide; I added that to my to-do list for next week. I also found a list of picture books that are wonderful fall reads. I would not have remembered any of this if I had not seen it written down! (I am definitely a visual learner!)
I guess if I called my brain my hard drive, these notebooks are my back up files, lol!
These journals are filled with - oh, gosh, anything and everything! Basically, if I think it then I write it, and if I can tape it down, in it goes.
I jot down notes throughout the day - things to do, things to remember, what's going on in nature or with our family, in our community, the world. Sometimes I get sentimental and reflective, but mostly I'm just keeping tabs: a good sale to check out, a new fruit at the farm stand, a show to Tivo next week.
I tape in lots of stuff as embellishment - items I've clipped out of the newspaper, a magazine, a newsletter or something I've printed out online. The other night Bill and I went to see the new Harry Potter movie - I taped in the ticket stub the next day. I suspect tomorrow I will receive an email from Amazon alerting me that the new HP book has been shipped - I will print out that email, cut it to size (possibly folding it in half) and add it in as well.
Here, as an example, is my journal page from the other day:
It's probably hard to see, but here I have a page from my Mary Engelbreit calendar (I happened to like the quote, not to mention the artwork), a review of a set of Hogwarts building cards (a possible birthday gift for CJ next month), a newspaper clipping of Thomas train recalls (must go through our stash this weekend), a blueberry cake recipe, a new line of flooring from Martha Stewart (we're in the market for flooring at present) as well as notes on squirrels at the feeder, a woodpecker sighting, a party date to mark in the calendar, a food-shopping schedule change and an idea for our "blueberry study" next month.
Complete hodgepodge, I know! But it all makes perfect sense to me. :)
The above picture also shows my usual journaling spot - parked at the short end of the L-shaped kitchen island. To the left of the open journal is the magazine I was flipping through that day (I really like that "buzz" graphic and cut it out for the next page - the colors are summery as is the word itself.) Above the notebook is the phone, the tape dispenser, a collection of clippings to add in, my favorite pair of scissors, some grocery flyers to look through and my calendar. Off to the right is my laptop.
Keeping these things out in the open, smack dab in the middle of things, allows me to "pop on and off" - dash a quick note, peruse one or two pages, check things online briefly. Sitting down would be nice, but really, how often do any of us get to sit and work on "personal stuff" for any length of time?
Now, it goes without saying my journals would probably not seem very interesting to others - because what's neat to me may or may not be neat to anybody else! (I was going to post pictures of journal pages, but they all seemed so random, lol!) But that doesn't matter, these journals are for me - they are very personal and a way for me to be creative and expressive, a way to capture a moment and my thoughts and my world as I see it, in an easy and fun way.
The other thing I try to do, is to work in a set time each week (usually over the weekend) when I can go back over the previous week's pages, in case there are things that I'll need to remember going forward. That's the catch, see - pouring every little bit of thought into one place does take the pressure off remembering it all (a bit like a pensieve, isn't it?) but I have to make the time to revisit all those thoughts in order to make any use of them.
One more question and then I'd better wrap up because as usual I'm getting carried away. :) I'd like to talk a bit about the size and style of notebook I use.
"What are the dimensions of your tote bag and daily notebook? I have medium totes for my children but your bag looks a little smaller."
Well, my bag is an L.L. Bean medium size boat-and-tote bag (with long, rather than regular length handles). It probably appears smaller because it's so stuffed to the gills, lol!
For my journal I use a Mead 3-subject spiral notebook, 9.5x6 inch size. This is actually a break in tradition for me, because I have always used a large 5-subject 11x8.5 inch notebook in the past. I'm trying to get comfortable with the smaller size because I think, especially considering how full I stuff them, the notebooks can be somewhat unwieldly when full.
I always use very plain notebooks for my journals. In the past it was always an Office Depot brand notebook (the paper is smooth and lightly lined), but I've had a hard time getting them without perforated pages. (Perforated pages tear out too easily when a notebook is handled as much as mine are.) This is why I went to the smaller size originally; its pages are not perforated. Now I find I like the convenient size, though I miss all that "canvas" space.
Using such a cheap, plain notebook as my journal is very freeing for me. Certainly there are beautiful journals out there, but if my journal was too fancy or fine, I would hesitate to slap any old thing in there, or to use up too many pages, or I'd worry about my handwriting, lol. In short, I would hesitate to mess it up, and actually I want my journals kind of messy. I don't even mind a bit of a coffee stain or a smear of jam from little fingers -because this is my life (coffee, jam and little fingers and all) and that's what I'm trying to capture.
I will try to post again next week about this subject as there were a few more questions I wanted to answer about the notebook, the folders and planner pages. For now, I must sign off - I am working on a project this weekend AND that new Harry Potter book is coming tomorrow. I'll be "internet-free" for a bit.
And thank you for the links and helpful advice many of you sent my way - every little bit helps and is fun to consider - because you never know when or where you'll find just the thing that makes your planning (journaling, filing, etc.) work best for you.
Have a great weekend everyone!