Setting my own metrics
Around the last quarter of every year, I start to look around for my next yearly planner. It's something that I really look forward to and I make several trips to National Bookstore and Fully Booked to find THE one for the upcoming year. This has been my tradition for almost 2 decades.
My requirements for a planner are pretty simple. I want a hard cover, weekly layout, with enough blank pages for my numerous lists and brain dumps. Also, I want a functional planner that isn't too heavy because I bring my planner with me everyday and I don't want it to weigh down my bag.
I've heard of people raving about the bullet journaling method but I never thought it would work for me because I'm not artsy at all and have horrible handwriting. No way can I do those elaborate spreads that my artistic friends seem to churn out with ease.
But then I saw a feature on how bullet journaling started and realized that drawing skills were optional. I was riveted.
Ryder Carrol developed the bullet journaling method as his own, personalized productivity system. He stressed that the main point of bullet journaling is to create your own system that will track what you want to track or note what matters to you, so that you can live life with intentionality.
I roadtested my own bullet journal October of this year using a dot grid notebook I had lying around. I first tried using the weekly spread I've grown accustomed to with my traditional planners. But soon realized that it was more efficient to create separate categories instead of dumping everything in my weekly spreads.
I eventually developed the following general categories:
- Schedule- year at a glance and rolling weekly spread per month
- Personal- period tracker, monthly round-up, wish list/ ponder-ables, exercise tracker
- Work- work output tracker
- Blog- monthly stats, blogpost ideas
- Personal finance- monthly numbers (i.e. income, mortgage balance, savings rate), net worth tracker, portfolio tracker (projected v actual)
For my schedule, I include appointments, internal or imposed work deadlines, bills and basically anything that needs to be done at a set date or within a certain time. I like the rolling weekly spread system because you can differentiate between events that have a set date and those that don't.
For my personal category, I added a monthly round-up just last month as an afterthought, but I was surprised at how quickly I came to love it. With it, I basically summarize the day in 1-3 sentences and I don't set a rule on what sort of thing I can write about, so it's very nice to just jot down the first thing that comes to mind when I sit down to write about the day. It's very meditative and a good gauge of what I'm actually feeling at that very moment.
The wish list/ ponder-ables is my think-it-over list. When I want to buy something or do something, I write it down first to give myself time to mull over it. More often than not, the impulse to buy is gone after a few days.
I'm most proud of my exercise tracker because it's the most labor intensive tracker in my journal. Now let's see if I'll be able to fill in most of those dates.
My blog and personal finance trackers are pretty self-explanatory, so there's no need for a lengthy explanation.
Aside from just wanting this year to end already, another thing I'm obviously looking forward to for 2021 is using my new bullet journal! So cheers to the upcoming year and to the year 2020, don't let the door hit you on your way out.