The Trouble with Grandma

Notebook Junkie

Hello, my name is Mary, and I'm a notebook junkie. It all started many years ago when I was introduced to the Franklin Day Planner, a classic case of "first one's free."

In 2016, I used a very nice planner from Ink and Volt, but it made me write down too many things. I wrote down goals - yearly, monthly, weekly. I reflected on my progress and celebrated my accomplishments. I kept track of appointments and events.

Last year I went full Marie Kondo minimalist and kept a bullet journal in a wee notebook the company gave out.

Here's a picture of my current collection.


I also have a journal devoted solely to the Sequel. I fished it out for Camp NanoWriMo. I basically jumpstarted it and it worked a treat! I wrote down ideas, edits, and snippets. I kept research notes and pages for things I needed to remember as I wrote, like the route and show program.

During November, I bought a new notebook for the next book, but I didn't use it very much. I was too busy writing words. However, it will still be the Volume 3 notebook. In the picture, it's the one with the red ampersand. I like the notebook very much - it's pretty much blank, with a dot grid on the verso pages and an indentation grid on the recto pages. So - visuals on the left and words on the right, or however you want to do it.

Then I bought the nice big blank notebook that NanoWriMo sells, because I wanted a new notebook for 2018 and I like to support NaNo. It's the one the says "Write Every Day." It's wire bound and has college-ruled paper. I figured I'd use it as this year's bullet journal.

But then I started getting all these Facebook sponsored posts for planners and notebooks. Best Self planner. Dreambook planner. Ink and Volt planner. Full Focus Planner. Baron Fig notebook. Code & Quill notebook. All of the planners, while lovely, require you to answer questions and have inspirational quotes and places for goals and how well you met those goals and soul searching sections and on and on. Oh, and all kinds of calendars. The plain notebooks are nice, but require you to draw in the calendar parts, which is fine if you want to do that.

Then I saw the sponsored post for the Bullet Keeper notebook, which is based on the Bullet Journal system. It's a perfect combination of plain plain plain and structured. It's the brown one in the picture, the one with the upper-crust pen holder. The front half is an undated calendar. There are 12 monthly pages followed by five weekly pages. The back half is blank, dot-grid paper. It's pretty perfect for me. Here's a sample weekly spread.


Just to show you that I'm not really against setting goals, I put my weekly To-Do/Goals in the bottom left corner in the blank day space. The other day spaces have my appointments and events, plus a wee diary entry about the day.

The blank pages are there for fancypants Bullet Journal-style trackers, lists, longer journal entries, ideas... whatever. A lot of Bullet Journalers are really good artists and calligraphers. I had resigned myself to plain-ness, when I remember that I have a huge stash of stick-on letters in various fonts and styles, a remnant of my scrapbook cult days. HAH!

Here's a sample of my quasi-artistic skill - behold, my cancer treatment log.


So that's the one that I'm really actively using at the moment. I'm thinking I could use the NaNoWriMo notebook for morning pages - that's a practice I haven't done in years, but I did like doing it. Might be worth taking up again. I'll think on it.

"Well, cool, I guess," I hear you cry, "but what's that last burrito-looking black thing in the notebook collection?"

That, my friends, is a Traveler notebook. The idea is that you have a lovely cover. Then you use elastic bands to bind in however many little notebooks you need. My bundle came with a daily planner, a lined notebook, a grid notebook, and a blank notebook. Oh, and also a plastic pouch and and a heavy paper sleeve. God knows what I'll do with it. Maybe I'll save it for next year. Maybe I'll incorporate it somehow. Maybe I'll just gaze at it, open it up, play with the notebooks and elastic bands, and then close it up again.

But I couldn't resist buying it.

Because I am a notebook junkie.