When I was in college, I had a planner for my studies and assignments and kept track of when I had to work. When I was a teacher, I had a desk calendar and a wall calendar that served the purpose for my personal life. Of course, all the lesson plans went into my Lesson Planner. I thought of myself as an organized person.
But when I became a stay-at-home mom, I floundered. I started staying at home 13 years ago, before the calendar apps and electronic organizers. I used my trusty wall calendar for appointments and outings, but it was hard to plan my day. I was owned by the tyranny of the tot and couldn’t seem to figure out how to get back on top of what I needed to do, what she needed, and what I wanted to do.
I struggled with different systems and tried many and varied planners, calendars, and apps, but nothing served me the way I wanted. I loved the look and style of the $50 planners, but they didn’t have the space for everything I needed to keep track of. The “official” Bullet Journal method seems way too complicated for my needs, while most of the other kinds of planner people waste too much space with decorations.
Enter my psuedo-bujo. Bujo is short for Bullet Journal. My psuedo-bujo is literally my brain. I have everything in here from quotes I love, places I need to be, to-do lists, keeping track of my period symptoms, and goal setting, to books I’ve read, money I’ve spent, shows I watched, and when I went to bed.
The last year and a half have been the most productive of my life. I know what I want to do, I write it down. It happens. Eventually. Or I realize that I didn’t really want to prioritize it, and it’s a purposeful choice instead of just an idea that just got lost in the shuffle.
After my Bible time, I sit down in the morning with my coffee and double check the plan for the day. I look at the goals I’ve set for myself and decide when it’s going to happen. I make sure I know when I have to leave the house to get a child somewhere or what meetings I’m scheduled attend. It helps me stay focused.
My children’s homeschool is thriving because of my planner. I have a monthly school tracker so I know what I want to do and what we actually did. I’m a girl full of big ideas, but often don’t have the follow through. With my planner, I stay on track.
I have a “spot”. When I get an idea, or I want to remember something, I know where to write it. Then later, I can look back and see what it was I wanted to do, make it happen, or be inspired all over again.
It’s a creative outlet. I enjoy decorating it and making it pretty. It’s relaxing and therapeutic for me to sit down at the end of a day with my planner. I break out my colorful pens or put stickers over the penciled plan and move things I didn’t get accomplished to another day.
There is no right or wrong way to do this. Last year, I started with a composition notebook some child had left lying about. I tore out the few written-on pages, and started drawing my calendars. I learned as I went what I liked and what worked for me, and edited as I went. I wasn’t sure I would stick with it, and in fact, was fairly confident this would just go the way of the zillions of other organizational tools I had tried and be a fail. I love that I was SO wrong about that!
This year, when I realized I loved being a planner girl, I upgraded to a slightly more expensive notebook. True, it was one I had bought originally for my daughter, and still had couple of used pages but it boasts thicker paper and a nicer cover.
If you want to see more, you can follow me on Instagram and look for the hashtag #jessicaplans. You’ll find a ton of inspiration on IG by searching #bujo or #plannergirl. Remember though, don’t compare! Your planner will be incredible in its own way because you’re your own amazing woman.
I encourage you to break out of the pre-made planner that isn’t working for you and make your own psuedo-bujo. If it doesn’t change your life for the better, at least it’s an excuse to buy fun pens!