Although it's only November, I've already started thinking about my plans for 2014, particularly about how I can be more productive and organized in the new year. I've been relying on my DIY planner a lot this year, and it's made me happy to have a system that suited my needs so well. But my productivity system has evolved over the year, and now my planner no longer fits me quite as well. As the year draws to a close, I've been thinking about making some radical changes to my DIY planner for 2014. Some of the issues I have with it include:
- My productivity system has grown beyond my planner - I now organize my master to-do list on the computer, because it makes it easier for me to shuffle around the order of tasks by cutting and pasting rather than rewriting the entire list. I also have a separate, monthly to-do list that I keep on a pad of paper, not in my planner at all.
- I'm not using all parts of my planner - I rarely touch the Notes or Reference section. My To-do List section has mostly migrated to the computer, as discussed above, and is confusingly organized. I used to refer to the Goals section during my weekly reviews, but I've gotten out of the habit of doing that. The only sections I really use anymore are the weekly and monthly planning pages.
- My weekly layout doesn't work for me anymore - I've been using a layout that allows me to plan my day hour-by-hour, but I usually end up not following that schedule exactly anyway. I originally thought of trying a different layout, but then I realized that there were all these other issues as well, so I think that would only be a temporary fix.
- Finally, I love the flexibility of being able to add and remove pages from a ring binder, but I also like the permanence of a bound journal - With a bound book, I could combine my planner and my journal, which would cut down on the number of notebooks that I need to use, something that's part of my ongoing project to simplify my life.
I've been reading about the Bullet Journal system, and it looks very appealing. I like that it is a simple system that I could easily modify to suit my needs, and that it would allow me to incorporate a planner, journal, and sketchbook into one notebook. And instead of buying a new notebook for my Bullet Journal, I could simply use one of the Rhodia Webnotebooks that I'm currently using as journals. I have been using one of my Webbies since September of 2010, which is rather a long time for me to be keeping a journal, and I would be glad of an excuse to use this notebook more often and fill it up.
I'm still nervous about the idea of giving up the system that has worked so well for me this year, even though I know I could easily change back again if I needed to. Luckily, I still have over a month to decide what my system for the beginning for 2014 will be, and I certainly welcome any of your suggestions or ideas.
Have you tried the Bullet Journal? Are you making any changes to your planner system for 2014? Do you even use a planner, or do you survive without one? Am I totally crazy to be spending this much time thinking about this?