I talked about my new planner here, and mentioned it here, but realized I never really got back into talking about it after I’d used it for a while. So here we go… an update on how I’m using the Rituals for Living Dreambook & Planner.
First off, it fits perfectly in my Oberon Designs planner cover (the Tree of Life composition cover, if you are curious). Dragontree does offer a few styles of planner covers that fit both this and the spiral version, but y’all know me and my love for Oberon Designs.
The main thing that I wondered if I could get past or not was it not being dated. When I switched from bullet journaling to this, it was (among other things) because I don’t have time to draw up and write in everything any more – I need something pre-printed. So was this going to bother me, or be a time sink? Not much at all, turns out. I’ll get more into that in a sec, but suffice to say it doesn’t bother me or take up a lot of time.
Oh – and for those who are new, I use this about 85% for work and 15% for life. I’m an artist who works out of a studio at home, and so I make everything I sell and am in charge of my own website… it’s a handful, so I use my planner as, like, an SD card for my brain.
As part of the Q3 planning, I broke down the major things I wanted to do over July- September. “Blog Regularly” was more of an ongoing thing, and I’m trying to get better at it. The more I blog, the more I want to blog, so that’s good, I guess.
I mentioned above that this bound version is the undated version of the planner (unfortunately Dragontree doesn’t offer a dated bound version, just a dated spiral version)… I tried the spiral version but I could tell I was going to like the planner itself but not the spiral – it was just too bulky… so I went with undated. Now, it’s not nearly as troublesome writing in all the dates as I thought it might be — I think it took about two hours of doing six months of the journal while watching TV one night. But I’ve never gone back and looked at the monthly layout pictured above, so I don’t think I’m going to bother doing that again. If I’m not going to use the page, no point in filling it out. Why don’t I use it? Because….
… I use this ginormous thing on my wall instead. I know, a big yearly spread doesn’t work for everyone. But everything I do takes about six weeks from start to finish, so a monthly spread just doesn’t do much for me. It doesn’t let me get a good vision of what I have planned when during the year. So I use this big wall calendar I discovered about three years ago. I got it at Office Depot, but think you can order it through Amazon as well. It’s about $25, and has July-June on one side and Jan-Dec on the other. Oddly the J-J works better for me, because as a retail business it’s tough to plan for the year in November and December — the holiday shopping season is just too busy. So I do my best planning for the next year in August-October.
Here’s a shot of the monthly breakdown, and which projects I want do do in August and the things I need to get done to have those projects accomplished. Most of these actually need to start in early to mid-July or earlier, though, to have them done by August. Again… my project turnaround is usually about six weeks (or longer) (sorry if you’re waiting on a custom order from me!). I list those things that need doing in the order in which I was thinking about them as I write them down, not necessarily in the order in which they need to be done. I’ll add them to my weekly task list under the weeks they need to be done.
Here’s the thing I worried about the most when switching from a bullet journal. In my bujo I used a 2-page spread per week. Left side was days, right side was blank for notes. But wait! The Dreambook & Planner comes with a blank page! This is where, if you were using it just for life, you’d journal, or draw pictures about your week, or put stickers, or whatnot. I use it to make lists of things I need to do during the week, or need to remember to buy, or take care of, or cross off my list, or whatever.
This is the left side of the two-page “bootcamp” spread (the right side being the dot grid page I talked about above). It’s a recap of last week, prep for next week, a challenge that sometimes I do and sometimes I do not (one week it was something like “make some art” and I was like HOLD MY BEER. It’s not special for me to make art, I make art every day. I mean, it *is* special, but it’s special every day. There’s nothing really that makes it any more special, unless I’m making art for a friend instead of making art for my job. Does that make sense? ANYWAY. Off topic!
Hey! Let’s look at the super personal thing I have written up there! I lost a really important piece of paper the other week. It was something that has since been replaced (thank you) but I really, really beat myself up for losing it and tore the house and studio apart trying to find, and I came down really hard on myself. More than I would have if it was someone else who lost it, which, hello, huge sign of how I care for others vs caring for myself. So I’m giving myself permission to forgive myself for losing a piece of paper, and maybe I’ll even accept the forgiveness.
Oh! Stickers! I bought the complete sticker set Dragontree offers, and I also have some little stickers I got from Miss Moss (the curvy girl stickers – love them!). I’m not nearly as into stickers (my laptop aside) as I was when I was twelve, but I do use some. Pretty much just those, though, although I’m sure if you’re a sticker junkie you have your main hookups!
Now – MOVING ON.
This is where I draw out my tasks for the week – what was incomplete from last week; what I want to remember to blog about; specific things I want to work on for HaldeCraft; things I can set aside or get Shop Elf to help me with if it comes out that week; specific things I want to work on over on my Patreon; and the occasional personal thing like lunch with a friend or whatever. I have an intention of the day, answer the little question in the “middle” of the day, and have something I am grateful for.
The thing I might like most, even though it’s a little thing about this planner, is that there aren’t times written in for the day. There was the first time I looked at it a couple of years ago and that’s why I didn’t get it, but when I looked again and saw they’d changed that, I was happy. I work at home for myself and generally am more focused on “get this thing done” rather than “do this thing at this time.” I know not everyone lives like that — someone who has a busy job with meetings and maybe a kidlet or three who needs to be trucked around to sporting events and doctor’s appointments may really miss those times not being written in. They have the colon, just not the hour/minutes. I dig that — I can use the space between the line and the colon as a box to check if I’ve finished something. If I do have a time I have to be somewhere – lunch with a friend, doctor’s appointment – I’ll write the time in after the mid-day question, and what it is I have to do.
So… I think that’s it? Did I leave anything out? I am really digging this planner. So much so that I bought another one for a friend, and just bought another one to start getting ready for next year. Will it work for me forever? I can’t think that far in advance. But it’s working for me right now, and I can see it working for the next couple-few years.