Erin Condren doesn’t sponsor these posts. I just love her products. So so much. The only reward I get is referral perks. Order with my affiliate link and we both get $10 toward our purchase!
It isn’t a secret that I love Erin Condren paper supplies. Thankfully, I’ve only gotten into the notebooks and planner. I may have a history of gushing about my planner. But my system has always been somewhat in flux. I’ve tried color coding and using tons of stickers, but I just couldn’t settle on a system that felt right to me.
I’ve also purchased notebooks – one for fitness and one for financial tracking (and one for journaling, but we haven’t talked about that one- basic stuff).
But it was just too much. I was just using a lot of notebooks. One for money, one for health, one as a yoga journal, one as a journal journal, one for quotes, AND a planner. I was packing more blank books than clothes for overnight trips. It was just ridiculous.
For a few weeks, I used Cassie’s Daily Command Center Printable. I thought about getting it copied and bound even. But it still wasn’t working just right for me. Some days, I needed more space in some blocks, some days I needed less space and it looked empty. I was irritated.
I considered the Day Designer and the Simplified Planner, but neither of them really stood out over the other. And I knew I’d miss the cover customization of my beloved Erin Condren. I even toyed with creating and producing my own paper planner for sale (still on the bucket list, my friends).
But then my sweet friend Lydia posted about turning her Erin Condren Take Note Notebook into a makeshift planner. And then we started talking about bullet journaling on twitter. I watched the video and it was like the skies opened up and the angels started to sing.
I had an EC notebook downstairs that had a cover I didn’t like. Lucky for me, the covers for the new planners are interchangable, so I ordered a new cover. Just snipped the old one off and wah-lah! (This is the lattice in orange and seafoam. I don’t know why my name is in two different fonts. I have an error report in to Customer Service. But when my new cover is made, I can just switch it out!)
The front page in every notebook I carry is this prayer from the Desire Map. I adore it. I recite it daily. I don’t think I even need this, but I like having it with me.
My notebook is truly a frankenstein. The cover isn’t original, and neither is the calendar. I added it from my my money notebook (that I’m no longer using and used the remaining pages to bulk up my journal). I added July at the beginning and the rest of the months at the back. I will pull them forward to divide the months as I fill up the notebook.
I am not an un-coiler. I’m not that brave. I just snip the pages at the coils and then pop them in. It isn’t always clean on the edges, but it works for me. Totally worth a little fuzz to have the exact notebook that I want.
I am using my monthly spread as my calendar. On one hand, it is gonna get really full and busy. On the other hand, it keeps me from overscheduling myself. I can’t fit more than two stickers on a day, so no more than two sessions/activities. Works for me! The teardrop stickers are Martha Stewart from Staples and represent bills to pay. They are repositionable, so they’ll be moved from month to month. Also, please note Asheville NEXT WEEKEND! I am making a VERY excited face.
So this is my legend for my particular style of bullet journal. Most of it is pretty basic to the original design, but I kept going. Because I really want this to be as much of a journal as it is a planner.
My favorite thing about this system, though, is my ability to use as little or as much space as I want. Holidays and weekends? Just a few lines.
Busy days? As many lines as I want! (Days divided by skinny washi.)
I had started following the daily routine outlined in the Present Principle by Claire Ortiz. But, like everything, I hacked it. I can put my daily intentions across the top of the page and then write about them as I get them done. I color in the square to signify that it is done. And then I make notes in the journal.
I just make a note about each category of Pray, Read, and Journal. Just a sentence or two about something that stuck out to me. I’m currently praying through Dialogues with Silence by Thomas Merton and reading Miracles Now by Gabrielle Bernstein. I’m journaling my work through Sheer Magnetism with Mara Glatzel. Then I create my to-do and review my Schedule for the day and I’m ready to go to work!
As I go through my day, I make notes about my Exercise and Yoga. I find some way to Nourish myself – a bath, new paint on my toenails, turning my brain off with an hour of guilt free SVU. I also make a note each day of something I that made me happy (smile), gratitude (heart), and a win (!). I get the Track square when I review my planner at the end of the day.
This is what my page looks like as the day goes on.
I don’t get everything accomplished. And I don’t allow any guilt about that. I just indicate that it needs to be added to the next day and away it goes!
I make two lines on the page – a faint green line on the left so that all of my bullets line up and a pink line about an inch from the right. I keep both a food journal and a spending journal in this column. Again, zero guilt or pressure, just tracking.
More frankenstein-ing! I added sticker pages from an unused notebook.
And the rest of the monthly pages in the back.
Next comes the blank pages that were included. I’m using them for client tracking and offering checklists.
Then there’s the pocket folder and the zip pocket in the back!
I’m sure my system will continue to develop, but one week in? I ADORE IT. I’m carrying one notebook around. I’m writing down notes about my day, quotes, ideas, plans, all in ONE PLACE. I am such a happy girl.
Yes, I’m using a lot of paper. Yes, I’ll probably spend more in a year than I would if I just bought one planner. But this also frees me up to use a variety of different notebooks. Not that I have any plans of moving on from EC. She’s my pal. (And here’s my referral link again in case you don’t want to scroll up!)
FIND YOUR FLOW STARTS TOMORROW!
I seriously couldn’t be more excited. We’ll spend four weeks exploring exercise as self-care. No expectations, no pressure, just movement. Discovering what you like, what you are just-scared-enough to try, and how you want movement to fit in your day. You can read more and register here and you can see me talk about the program here.
Comment here if you have any questions!