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scbusf

One Journal for Everything?

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If you use 1 journal for everything, I'd love to hear about it. I'm thinking To-Do Lists, daily journaling of personal issues, lists of whatever - books you've read, things you want to remember to look up.

I currently have several journals - 1 for homeschooling, 1 for personal stuff, and To Do Lists usually get put on random sheets of paper. The problem is that I have ADHD and I can't ever FIND anything. So I'm intrigued by this 1 journal idea. SWB posted an article about it the other day.

Do you have Categories, like Lists, Personal, Homeschool, or do you just write whatever on the next blank page?

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1 hour ago, scbusf said:

just write whatever on the next blank page

I have one everything journal, and that's what I do.  I don't necessarily even start a new page, if there's room on the current page - just draw a line across the page under the existing text.  I write the date in the left margin on the line I start the text, and write a title/subject on the top line.  If I have multiple entries on a page, I have multiple titles, separated by semi-colons.  In my current journal, I'm experimenting with a running index at the back of the journal.  I started at the very back page (and spill over into the next-to-last page, etc); I write the subject/title and whatever page numbers that subject is on, updating as I go (or whenever I feel like dealing with the backlog).  (So the subject/titles are in chronological order of first mention, not alphabetical or anything.)

For me, the amount of time I spend organizing or planning my journal arrangement is inversely proportional to the time I actually spend *writing* in it.  So a blank composition book where I write as I go has been great.  I've been doing it that way since college, taking notes in one everything notebook, always just writing on the next page or next available space.  Generally the date and a title/subject has been sufficient documentation for future reference (unwieldy documentation breeds avoidance with me).

Edited by forty-two
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I have a bullet journal with weekly and monthly calendars, to do lists, lists of books read, lists of present ideas, notes and quotes from my reading, and whatever else I need to keep somewhere.  All my personal journaling is in a different notebook, and my writing is in a third notebook.

I find it very useful. I don’t do all the cutesy artistic stuff that some people do in their bullet journals. It’s plain and messy.

If you go to bulletjournal.com there’s a lot of information on how to set one up. I started with that and made my own changes over time to work better for me.

so I have three notebooks, but the bullet journal is my brain.

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I set up an index page, book lists, present ideas, and future planning in the front of a new journal, but after that it’s just a new page whenever I start a new thing. At the beginning of the month I make a calendar page for the month. At the beginning of the week, a page for the week, and one for my weekly to dos and goal tracking. Then daily, just whatever needs written down, on the next blank page.

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Mine is simple and no-frills. I have a 3 subject notebook with a sturdy cover because it gets a lot of wear and tear. 

My first section is financial, where I have financial goals, bill paying info, and my budget laid out for the month. I use a Post-It tab divider to mark my place for the month I'm in, and just move it as I need to. 

The second section is for homeschool where I have my curriculum lists, schedule, notes, etc. and again I write on Post-It tab dividers to mark pages I want to easily find. 

My third section I call "Today" and that is where I make my daily to do lists, menu ideas, brain dumps, and the like. I have a Post-It tab divider with the word "Today" that I move to wherever I am in the notebook for the day. If I have a page I want to refer back to, I just mark it with a smaller tab divider. 

Those Post-It tab dividers last until my notebook is complete, even when I'm constantly moving and rearranging them. When one of the 3 sections of my notebook get full, I just get a new notebook. 

I suppose you could use a 5 subject notebook for even more categories, but they can be pretty bulky. My system has worked out great for me and I've used it for several years. 

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Mine really is an "everything" journal, in that I have my book notes and writing and personal journaling cheek-by-jowl with my reminders and piano lesson notes and random jottings.  A lot of my book notes and writings span multiple pages, and I title them "<subject/title>, part <#>".  My book notes have the book name as the title, and I usually abbreviate it, so only the first page has the full title (and the abbr. in parentheses), and all the rest have just the abbreviation and part <whatever>.

Eta: oh, and I write the starting and ending dates for the journal on the cover.  They don't correspond to anything except the date I ran out of space in one and so started another.

Edited by forty-two

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OK. I use a Leuchtturm1917. My Index is January, February, etc. followed by lists. Everything I do in January is within the January pages. The month is not predetermined, I just add the page number in the index at the start of the month. The only things in the index are things I might reference back to. This does not include weekly lists. I have a daily routine taped to the inside front cover and post-its stuck to the inside of the back cover. My plans for my 2020 journal, an asterix indicates that it's new for me:

In Front (these are just my big things, many lists are added after the front section within the months as needed)

  • This Year’s Bucket List
  • Wishlist - Persona, Gift Ideas & School
  • Dream Tracking*
  • Year in Photos - 12 Pictures*
  • Daily Journal - Line Per Day*
  • Productivity Notes
  • 100 Days of Productivity*
  • Personal Development Plan* (?)
  • Kanban*
  • Ongoing Tasks
  • Trip Planning
  • Regular Review (websites I reference that add new information)
  • Things To Remember (big, long term things like the 21/90 rule)

Monthly

  • Monthly Mantras*
  • Important Notes
  • Sermon Notes
  • Book Notes
  • Habit Tracker (Sleep vs Mood vs Stress vs Exercise in a Line Graph?)
  • Inspections (job thing)
  • Weekly  Spreads
  • L-School printout taped over menu and workout plan
  • R -Weekly To Dos in Allistair Method* (with week #s?)/ Notes
  • Weekly Review* - Accomplishments, Failures, Lessons Learned and Ideas for Betterment

School

  • Lesson Countdown
  • Yearly Timeline* - 123 (TCW) 4 (NaNoWriMo) 56789 (IEW)
  • Field Trip Ideas
  • Assignment Tracker
  • Books to Read/Reading Log

Ideas - Cut Out Marks by Month* (this is just cutting little triangles at the bottom so you can feel the month and flip to it)

 

Now, about Clair. Clair is my traveler's journal pictured above. She is a piece leather with 4 strings attached which I use to hold my... entire life. Here is what she holds:

  1. Chore cards in the front pockets
  2. A zippered pocket wiff pens, highlighters and random things
  3. Misc. papers
  4. Bill tabs
  5. Wallet cards because Miss Clair is also my wallet
  6. Pics that make me happy
  7. THE Journal
  8. Bible verses (ones I find edifying and read through when depressed)
  9. Collections (lists that surpass the year)

Those each have their own section. The inserts you can buy for a traveler's journal make the 4 strings very not 4. I will be slipping in a habit journal (Self Co.) and a a few sheets of paper I reference frequently and want at the forefront.

Neither of these are me:

Things not in my Journal:

  • Family calendar (my google calendar is linked to my husband's and that system works well for us)
  • My budget (we use YNAB)

I am definitely a paper gal but those two electronic systems just work better for our family.

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I use a Leuchtturm 1917, and it has it all. Monthly pages, project goals, meeting notes (financial advisor, CPA, doctors, etc.), personal journal pages, travel notes, spending tracker, movies seen/books read, etc.   Using the index helps me find thing when they spill onto multiple pages. also, if I’m moving to a new page, say the notes I keep on my dd’s doctor visits, I just put an arrow and the page number to jump to. So I started his notes on page 76 and went through to 81 but need more room...at the bottom of 81 I put the number of the next page that I’ll use to write his notes.   
‘Sometimes I estimate how many pages I’ll need for something and overestimate. I use the extra pages to be creative, illustrating quotes that resonate with whatever I’m feeling. So pages ren’t wasted. 
‘The journal has a couple of page markers but I’ve been known to use post it tabs to mark places I access frequently. 
 

Give yourself time to find your system. It took me a year to get my groove. And now several years later, my life has changed and I need to revamp my system to meet my new needs. 

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I do, I call it my brain.  Which means I get to ask my family members if it's out of sight, "Where's my brain?"  

To do, food purchase and prep, homeschool, town committees and volunteer board, notes from political meetings and trainings, Christmas list, project materials needed, thoughts and feelings, even bad drawings of banners or parade floats I'm working on. I put the date on the front when I start - I have a particular size I like of the 5 Star paper notebooks, lined but very simple.  I usually put dates on a few pages, randomly, as kind of touchpoints, but they aren't really useful as I always know where I am in a given year. I do always use the same phrases for things like traveling eg To Do To Go To _______, which also gives me a reference when I look back through.   I'm left handed so I start at the "back" and never write across the spiral.   If by terrible chance I'm out and about and I have to write something on a different piece of paper because I've left my brain at home, I tape or staple it in later so it doesn't get lost. 

Slache, you didn't ruin my day, but your system is so interesting!   I get a little anxious as I get close to the end of each notebook, as I never know if I'm going to find that particular size again (though if I shopped online this would be simple.)  

My downside is that I also use a paper calendar, no smartphone, so if I write something in my brain but don't transfer it to my paper calendar I have problems. I might look for a new type of notebook with a calendar attached or staple one in.  I should probably cultivate this as a new habit before my memory gets any worse, so thank you, scbusf for starting this thread, it's letting me consider my choices in a new way.  

My mother asked me to help her change to a 1 notebook system - she writes daily things on open tear-off paper sheet pads, notes from doctor's appointments and conversations in spiral notebooks,  and keeps a paper calendar like a champ.  But she's 91 and it's not easy to change long-established habits so I'm not convinced it's a good fit for her for this reason.  I do think her writing everything down has helped her keep both memory and independence.

Edited by Harpymom

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2 hours ago, Harpymom said:

I do, I call it my brain.  Which means I get to ask my family members if it's out of sight, "Where's my brain?"  

To do, food purchase and prep, homeschool, town committees and volunteer board, notes from political meetings and trainings, Christmas list, project materials needed, thoughts and feelings, even bad drawings of banners or parade floats I'm working on. I put the date on the front when I start - I have a particular size I like of the 5 Star paper notebooks, lined but very simple.  I usually put dates on a few pages, randomly, as kind of touchpoints, but they aren't really useful as I always know where I am in a given year. I do always use the same phrases for things like traveling eg To Do To Go To _______, which also gives me a reference when I look back through.   I'm left handed so I start at the "back" and never write across the spiral.   If by terrible chance I'm out and about and I have to write something on a different piece of paper because I've left my brain at home, I tape or staple it in later so it doesn't get lost. 

Slache, you didn't ruin my day, but your system is so interesting!   I get a little anxious as I get close to the end of each notebook, as I never know if I'm going to find that particular size again (though if I shopped online this would be simple.)  

My downside is that I also use a paper calendar, no smartphone, so if I write something in my brain but don't transfer it to my paper calendar I have problems. I might look for a new type of notebook with a calendar attached or staple one in.  I should probably cultivate this as a new habit before my memory gets any worse, so thank you, scbusf for starting this thread, it's letting me consider my choices in a new way.  

My mother asked me to help her change to a 1 notebook system - she writes daily things on open tear-off paper sheet pads, notes from doctor's appointments and conversations in spiral notebooks,  and keeps a paper calendar like a champ.  But she's 91 and it's not easy to change long-established habits so I'm not convinced it's a good fit for her for this reason.  I do think her writing everything down has helped her keep both memory and independence.

I would print and paste or do a future log. You already write in your journal so that's what's going to happen. My husband has really bad ADD(ASD?) so I handle his work schedule and pretty much his entire personal schedule so the phone is best.

The leuchtturm1917 has 3 index pages and page numbers all ready so check it out for your mom if you think she'll use that. It's available in dotted and lined so get the right one for her.

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I don’t exactly “journal”, but I do keep tons of different types of notes, and I have adhd.  I thought that putting everything in one place would help me, but it became entirely too cumbersome (for me, me, me. YMMV.)

Right now, I keep two disc planners, one that keeps my entire schedule in it as well as some school, event, and project planning.  I keep a separate one for my volunteer stuff, where I keep meeting notes, ideas, and everything else that goes with that.  Because they’re disc bound, I can move things from planner to planner (and page to page) depending on what I need at the moment or what is/isn’t working for me.

I used to keep my to-do list in my main planner, and I often transfer information into there, but I still found that too bulky for easy and frequent reference.  I switched to a very pretty hard cover, double ring-bound notebook about 5x7ish for to-dos and things I randomly jot down.  Since it’s relatively compact and quite sturdy, my current to-do list can always lay open and be carried around the house or car.  Every few days, I rip out older pages and transfer any information I need to the current page or a more appropriate location so I’m not always flipping around looking for information from a week (or more) ago.

 

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I've been shifting away from One Journal for the past 90 days because I found a planner that has a greater focus on "being" than "doing" -- it's very easy for me to fill up the hours with all kinds of doing but it is hard for me to focus on what I find meaningful (besides checking off to-do items) and to plan my time more intentionally than I have in the past.  So I am not really going to answer your question directly because now I have two journals--this planner, which really has me *thinking* more and a smaller one where I write notes from all the books I read, the notes from meetings or presentations, and so on.  I do think I have something that can help, though, from my one-journal days.  It was a sort of bullet journal.

Number all the pages, and put an index (even pages only is fine!) in the front of the book.  Some journals have this done for you.

After the index, I put the list of people I pray for.  Then a 3-month bucket list...what do I want to be/do in the next 3 months.  This is all a dream, right?  It included places I wanted to go, books to read, friends to see, all that sort of thing.

My journals get filled up in about 3 months, so the next thing I put in was a grid-calendar for 4-5 months (my schedule often looks out two months ahead).  I put in things like birthdays, events, church feasts, etc., that I knew were coming up.  I keep my working calendar on my phone, but seeing the months spread out ahead of me helped me keep margins in my day--I really value margin because it keeps me from frenetic activity and allows me to help people when they need it.  

HERE is the big reveal though:  there is no prize for using every last page of your journal.  I read somewhere of a method where you block 10 pages for a particular activity (I tend to block from the x0 to the x9 pages).  So for example, my notes from my daily devotions will be on pages 20-29, and my notes from a book I am studying will be pages 30-39.  WHOOPS--I need more pages for my devotions--so on the bottom of page 29, I write, "Go to page 40" and I continue there.  I usually have 3-4 sections overleaping each other, and it also means that things are not in chronological order--but if you use your index right, you can find stuff easily.  So pages 20-29 will have an arrow encompassing them and I can also write, "January 15 to Feb 28".  The next section is still 10 pages, and its dates might be January 20 to January 29 because that is when I used those pages.  

The key is using your index well, blocking units of pages, and not worrying about blanks from time to time. 

THEN start in the back and move toward the front with your running ToDo list.  When you meet in the middle, you get a new journal.  :0)

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15 minutes ago, Slache said:

I could not find where Susan talked about this. Do you know where it was?

I saw it on Facebook. 

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12 minutes ago, beaners said:

I saw it on Facebook. 

I can't find it! Do you remember the name of the article?

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