My Notebooks – How I Stay Organized

Ok, I know I’ve been promising that I would share my notebooks with you for a few weeks, so here it is finally.

Last year, I read this post by Karen which prompted me to get my own journal. (she’s since written more about it and her post is excellent.) I decided to use a squared Moleskine because I love squared paper.

I had some plans for the notebook but my process and what I put in it has evolved and progressed throughout the year. So it’s a constantly-evolving process.

After using my first one for a few weeks, I decided the black was too depressing so I started painting them. I never do a good job but I still love them. So here’s the outside of my second book:

It gets a lot of use and goes everywhere with me, so it gets banged up quite a bit.

The first page has the calendar:

The second page has my personal statement from the Soul Restoration 2 class and then my first todo list page:

I make the todo list pages every Sunday, for the week ahead and then add, cross off, change them throughout the week.

My todo list pages have lists: must-do (for things that have to get done that week), nice-to-do (things I’d like to get done but it’s ok if they don’t), write (ideas for blog posts I might want to write), create (layouts, projects coming up due), blog (art, layouts, books, etc that I’ve already completed that are waiting for me to put up on the blog.)

I then put a piece of paper for each week that has my daily tasks on it. Everyday, I cross them out. As of now, the daily tasks I do are: exercise, sketching, journaling, reading to David, art journaling, collage book (new project for 2012), and blogging thoughts at night. At some point, I had more and I might have different ones in a few weeks. I create these on the computer and print them out a few weeks’ worth at a time. I then tape one for each week.

The page in the photo above is colored with pencils but i don’t do that anymore. It was an experiment and I didn’t like it.

I then use the same book to journal in the mornings.

Most days, I only write one page. Sometimes it’s more but one page is my minimum. This is literally the next page in the notebook. I also sketch in the same book right after this page:

when I first switched to watercolors, I started to glue down my paper:

but now I do it on a paper and then slip it in a 4×6 adhesive slip just like Karen mentions in her post. I then glue my art journal page right next to it.

This means my art journal pages are the same size as the Moleskine 5.125×8.25 but I am ok with that (at least for now.)

I put everything in this one little book. Here’s a double-spread of todo lists:

the mind maps I made in Karen’s class:

the visual board I made there, too:

the love list, or any other homework I had in her class. In all the classes I had this year that involved journaling or writing thoughts down:

Here’s my current journal:

It’s much much bulkier than that now and I am only 3 weeks in. I took this photo when I was almost done with number two:

The blue is the first one, then red. Yellow is the one I am on now and green will be my last one for 2011 (assuming the yellow one doesn’t take me to the end of the year.)

I’ve come to love and rely on my notebook. I carry it with me everywhere. I doodle, sketch, write, and keep my lists in it. My kids love looking through it and never read my journaling. I keep the journaling pages facing each other and never put art or todo lists on the facing pages. And I don’t mind that they are all together.

There you go. Now you know how all about my notebook. This is definitely my happiest way to get and stay organized. I love and adore my books and swear by the process. Let me know if you have any questions and I am absolutely happy to answer.

By the way, I will do my best to catch up on all the comments in the next two days. Thank you for your patience with me.

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