Planning Reflection For the Past Three Months

Photo by Alina Vilchenko on

In December, I started an experiment using my A5 Archer & Olive notebook (called Roisin) and my Sunshine Sticker Co. Dot Grid Slim notebook (called Morticia).

I started playing with a more artsy Bullet Journal format.

In December, I loved it, as much as I could use it, as I was so sick.

Come January, I had to fight to keep up with tracking and whatnot, although I had finally found a weekly set-up and format that appealed to me.

In February, I set everything up, and basically, didn’t do much at all. February is typically my favorite month as my husband’s birthday and my birthday are both held within Her borders. Not this year. It was a deep struggle to get through every single day of February for me.

I even started to lose track in my ‘memory keeping’ journal, my B6 Stalogy (named Sarasota). I do not think I have even cracked that notebook open since February.

By the end of February, I had decided that having two Bullet Journals was driving me nuts, even though I worked hard to minimize any cross-over and duplication between the two. So, I set up my March spreads in Morticia, mostly set up anyway. I never finished setting her up. To date, I have not even bothered to open her either.

Now, in this week’s newsletter, which you can find here:
I wrote about how I bought a Jibun Techo starter kit, with the weekly planner, the life book, and the idea book. To be honest, I don’t have a lot to do in my Jibun at the moment.

Since I had already started downplaying the artsy side of my Bullet Journal, it’s a sure sign that I am not all that into it.

The thing is, it has nothing to do with the art, or in my case, the collage work. Although I did paint in the A5 last month, to try it out. I used watercolor paint, but the brush I used was not the right one and everything turned out … not the way I wanted it to … but the experiment was fun and I learned a few things. For one, make sure to use the correct brush for the project you are creating.

My problem is actually with the spreads. The spreads are not working for me. Having pages and pages of things, they are not working for me.

A goals page. A writing topics page, a videos to make page, a media consumed page. Yada yada yada… My weekly set-ups held all my trackers for the week. Having weekly trackers works so much better for me than having monthly trackers. Plus, I could add and subtract things on a weekly basis, as needed.

Now, all of my typical planning methods are basically sitting and waiting for me to see if I want to pick them back up again in some form.

Ophelia, my HObonichi Weeks Mega, is still working hard for me, holding writing topics on a daily basis, and keeping track of my word count six days a week. I also have two different sets of trackers in the back. Now, the trackers in the back, which I have drawn out into April, are now irking me because I don’t want to track a few things the way I have been tracking them for years.

Just so you understand what sort of changes I am undergoing—I have tracked these things for YEARS in the way I have drawn up in Ophelia’s back pages.

And now, I want to change what I am tracking, and how I am tracking these things.

For one, my new Jibun has options that my other notebooks and planners have not given me before, short of me drawing something in to track them. However, I am probably not going to change everything I want to change until next year when I buy a Jibun Techo Days in the A5 size.

I know for next year, I will be getting two Hobonichi Weeks planners, and that Jibun Techo Days. After that, I am going to let things mold and meld this year to see what works for me. Of the planners and notebooks I am currently using, this is what works best for me.

Something I picked back up that I have been using at random for the past several months because my brain has been all over the place and I could not find a way to settle down enough to write in it, is my journal. Yes, as in my daily pages, a place of meditation, sit down and brain dump it all out whenever needed, journal.

Not writing daily pages or using my journal on a regular basis is one problem that crops up when my brain is too overactive and won’t focus enough to let me actually think.

I sat down one day and everything I needed to know just poured out onto the page—much to my amazement.

Also, I finally found out where I stashed my A6 Stalogy that I had been using for my ALP ‘feminist scrapbooking’, or in my case, simple collage on a daily basis. I moved the Monday currently page and the Thursday 3 with a selfie into my daily memory-keeping journal.

The ALP is currently doing a challenge and I signed up for it because I needed to have something to focus on doing… I ended up back in my little A6, which, by the way, is far too small a size for me to use as a planner. So, I won’t be buying an A6 Hobonichi Techo or anything else.

My new Hobonichi Weeks, Melangell, is a regular Weeks. No tons and tons of back pages, just the usual amount. I am tracking goal-setting month-by-month, reflections on the prior month, Tarot and Oracle card readings. She has become a Moon Cycle tracker, holiday tracker, event tracker, magic tracker, prayer journal, and Tarot/Oracle journal all in one. She is a real comfort to me lately.

Let’s see. For daily use, I am still using Memnosyne daily. That is my dated Archer & Olive planner. I track my crafting, like painting, knitting, crocheting, making things with my son, that sort of thing. I may not write in it every day, but I do try to catch it up a couple times a week to keep up with my making.

Her back pages are now full of all sorts of information and ideas for next year’s temperature blanket.

I am not using a Passion Planner at all, even though I am still an Ambassador for the brand. I love them, but I cannot use them because I need something more…as well as something less. If that makes any sense. There is too much in the Weekly journals and not enough at the same time. I could move into a daily, even if I went with the A5 size daily, but that isn’t something I want to do right now. It seems a bit counter-intuitive to how I am working at the moment.

I never discount Passion Planner because I typically end up coming back to them for one reason or another nearly every single year.

Plus, I still have an A5-sized passion Planner Journal I meant to try out, full of blank pages. I have thought of using it as an art journal, but every time I stop and check out the paper, it isn’t what I want to use to make art with or on.

This is a funny thing to say as today I pulled one of my hand-made hand-bound journals off the shelf. It had started out its life being a place to glue down prompts from the Brave Girls Club, but then I decided that that is not what I wanted from it—so it became a pseudo-art journal. The pages of this book are simply speckled typing paper that I bought years and years ago and have not been able to find since, now that I want more of it. I love the flecks of color on the paper, but oh well.

What I think is going to happen with this book is I will go back to swiping random paints over the pages, covering up the pages that have prompts on them — not all of them do. Once I do that, I may use it as a planner…or as a tracker. We will see when I reach that point.

Until then, the act of merely swiping different shades of paint across and over the pages will keep me happy and involved on so many levels. It’s a meditative thing that I enjoy deeply, even if nothing ‘artful’ or ‘beautiful’ comes out of it.

What makes you happy does not need to be pretty, you know?

Now, I know I am still in the middle of a planning/planner shift. I know there is still a long way for me to go before I settle down and decide, ok, this is where I want to go and how I want to get there.

No, I have not actually made any planner videos since January. Yes, I plan to make videos of all the planners that I started the year with and where I ended up in them. I do not have a schedule of when I will get these videos done. I basically took the first ten days of March off completely because my brain is still so overwhelmed by issues I will not get into at the moment.

If you are wondering and want to use my affiliate code for Passion Planner, please click here and upon check-out use this code: TABITHA955
I might earn a little bit of money or credit towards Passion Planner merchandise. It costs you nothing but does give you a discount.