Organising my day with a notebook and a simple method

Hello hello I am back, I suppose it is really late for a Happy New Year, but anyway I really wish you a fantastic (and green) year ahead full of great health, time to spend in nature, joy & happiness, learning and personal growth. 

January is usually the month when we are all into goals and planning, trying to organise ourselves to transform those resolutions into realities – or at least trying our best – and for many people a diary are a good tool to have.

Being a paper and stationary lover, for a couple of years I got into the habit of buying a new diary at the beginning of the year, it made me feel more in control of my time because the calendar was already there embedded in each page, I just had to fill it up with long to-do lists each day.

Today I no longer use diaries but a notebook and a system that I really like and reduces waste. Curious? Keep reading

Diaries and waste

Diaries definitely allowed me to be more organised especially at work but eventually I realised they were kind of wasteful for several reasons:

  • It’s like buying a calendar, each year I had to get a new one. I couldn’t reuse a diary.
  • Most of them bring all sort of additional and usually useless information: public holidays (from countries we don’t live in), average temperatures, international dialling codes and the list go on and on depending on the brand.
  • If let’s say I go on holidays for 1 month during the year, all those pages were just wasted because it goes by date.
  • It is hard to find diaries made from recycled paper and many have other materials like faux leather (in other words plastic) which can’t be recycled.
Diaries

Diaries

I wasn’t happy with the habit of using a diary but what else? I had already migrated few things to software/apps to replace paper (I use apps and calendars at work and in my phone to set up reminders, meetings, planning and other things), but for organising my days I prefer paper.

Bullet Journal

A couple of years ago a friend of mine sent me a video about this method called the Bullet Journal (or BuJo) and it really caught my attention. Basically BuJo is a notebook that you organise following a particular method, which allow you to keep track of your activities and the things that are important in your life. 

I especially liked its simplicity and flexibility of this system. According to the creator, Bujo:

“It’s designed to help you organize your what while you remain aware of your why. The goal of the Bullet Journal is to help its practitioners (bullet journalists) live intentional lives, ones that are productive and meaningful.”

This video gives you an idea of what it is and how you set it up:

To learn how to use the different components of the system (like the index, collections, future log etc) check the Learn Page from the official Bullet Journal website. 

My first BuJo

After spending sometime browsing the Bullet Journal website learning more about the system, I was convinced this was a better choice than buying a new diary each year, so I was ready to give it go.

I got my notebook and started setting everything up and using it on weekly basis. I really liked it, especially because it was flexible, I got to organise it in a way it was useful and relevant.

As I progressed with my BuJo I realised there were so many online communities following this system and so many ways to personalise these journals. People really spend hours making these journal look so beautiful; it is truly amazing, check Pinterest if you are curious.  

Anyway being someone who likes pretty things, I must admit I got a little carried away and I ended up spending too much time on the creative side of it and not so much on the real purpose of my notebook!

How I use it today and how it helps me reduces waste

After experimenting with this method for maybe 1 year, I decided to keep it really simple. 

At work I only use the daily log and collections but I don’t have an index. At home, I use the future log all the time to organise things, the daily log depending on what’s going on (not every week) and few collections which I don’t index. 

In terms of waste, one of the things that I like is that any notebook will do, you don’t need anything fancy. My experience so far:

  • During the past 2 years that I have been using this method, I have only used one notebook at work and the original which was for my personal use and both of them are still going.
  • Some weeks I can get away using my phone or reusing pieces of paper around the house so I don’t use my BuJo.
  • The notebook I own allow me to reuse the cover and only replace the actual notebook which are easier to find from 100% recycled paper.

It really depends on how you use it, but the bottom line is: this is a very flexible method, you can adjust it to serve your needs.

Recycle your diaries

Recently I went through most of my diaries and decided to recycle them, I don’t know why I hadn’t done it before. The tendency to hold on things “just in case”.

I removed the sheets of paper that were clean to use them around the house, then started separating the different materials.

I had to remove the metal from the spiral notebook which I put together with other metal scraps for recycling (as I didn’t know what else to do with it), the strings which I kept for reusing around the house and the synthetic covers that I could not recycle. What it was left was just mainly cardboard and paper which I put in my regular recycling bin.

I actually felt lighter when I recycled them, less stuff around the house is my main goal.

“My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything” – Peter Golkin

That’s it for today,  tell me in the comments below: Are you a paper lover? Do you use diaries? I hope you find this info useful, if so please share on social media. 

Do you follow any of my social media accounts? Let’s keep in touch!

Thanks for reading,

Diana

By | 2019-01-27T19:27:43+00:00 January 25th, 2019|Habits, Paper|4 Comments

About the Author:

I am Diana. I write about my journey trying to live a greener lifestyle and how we collectively can make a difference revisiting our beliefs and daily habits, learning more about the environment and being an active participant.

4 Comments

  1. Claire January 26, 2019 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    I used to not have to use a diary at all. The memory was really good. Now I need a diary. I believe that the calendar does a cycle every 10 years or so so diaries c asn be reused. That is if you can hang on to them for that long and remember where you stashed them, and tee up the appropriate old diary with rhe appropriate new year.

    Happy New Year to you all

    • GreenerIdentity February 1, 2019 at 11:00 am - Reply

      Hi Claire, nice to hear from you. Hehe Fair enough, we all need some help with our memory 🙂 It depends on the type of diary you buy. I used to buy the ones that you get the full week in two pages and because the space wasn’t much, most of the days were full, no more space available, so I can’t really reuse them even if the dates are the same. My diaries are gone anyway 🙂 Happy New Year!
      Cheers
      Diana

  2. Katherine February 1, 2019 at 9:26 am - Reply

    I love bullet journalling! I find I’m much more organised at work where I’ve been using a journalling system, then at home I’m more of a blob. I was most organised at uni when I was bullet journalling. I’m trying to do it at home too but I guess I haven’t quite figured out yet the best way for me to do it.

    • GreenerIdentity February 1, 2019 at 12:00 pm - Reply

      I am the same, at work I am way more organised with the journal compared to what I am at home. I suppose it has to do with the fact that I have key things to do at work and I have to do them asap, but at home often is more like “when I have the chance” approach lol… I know it takes time to find something that really works, we all so different. Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂
      Cheers
      Diana

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