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About This Coterie

Interested in organizers, planners, or bullet journals? Want to learn or already use them as part of your daily life? Then this place is for you. Come along and join in the joyous world of washi tape, layouts, and colorful writing utensils as we (try) to make our lives, both on and off the internet, make sense.




First and foremost, remember not to break any of the rules or violate the ToS of the Initiative as they still apply in our little planning circle.

  • Be kind and excellent to each other. Intense organization discussions should remain civil.
  • Be responsible with the sharing of sensitive information in any images especially if it's not just your own being put out there. Remember this is the internet and people can be douchebags.
  1. What's new in this coterie
  2. This is actually how I did it for a little while before I found BuJo. I just did it by hand in a tiny notebook. Generally I broke my stuff down into basic things for RL I needed to do and basic things for RP I needed to do then branched those into smaller things to make it feel as if I was doing more(some days I need the motivation). BuJo just seemed a natural extension. Of course, I might have to suck it up and start doing it more electronically than by hand(sometimes they just bother me too much). I don't really use Evernote anymore(since they limited how many devices you can put the free version on), but I have GDocs and other things so that could be a start. Honestly, listing stuff in general was just nice for the motivation. Something to nudge me when I felt I was struggling. With chronic health/pain issues even just a little note that needs checked off can be enough.
  3. Journals for me are to try to organise my notes and day in ways that make sense. Unlike you, my handwriting is terrible and sometimes I need a translator it for myself. 😂 I like the simplicity of it. I organise my day in evernote and then strikethrough whatever it is that I have completed, and break down any goals into mini-goals so I feel like I am doing more, (and end up doing more, strangely, in the process!).
  4. I came across this article, IN DEFENSE OF UGLY BULLET JOURNALING, on Book Riot and it got me thinking: Who else is a fan of Ugly BuJoing? Who else finds it more stressful to worry about how organized, pretty, etc. the BuJo is? I know that for me I've found it hard to get back on the BuJo wagon for a similar reason. Each time I consider trying to start again I worry over what layout I'm going to use, how nice it looks, and so on. This leads to me never getting anything done. And honestly, it does feel more stressful to me. Perhaps if I stop worrying about how pretty and organized my BuJo looks. . . or how nice my handwriting looks(note: sometimes I do have handwriting that is nice enough people frequently compliment me on it, but I have chronic health issues that causes pain in my hands and when they hurt my handwriting goes down the toilet) then I might be able to actually get started again. Maybe 2019 could be my year for getting started again. Does anyone else have the same thoughts?
  5. Since there's been some new additions, I thought this would be a good idea. Feel free to tell us about yourself. 😃 (I'll do mine once I'm not mobile lol)
  6. I'm hoping that with changing jobs and moving out of the place I'm in I'll get back to it, because it will greatly decrease my stress to not be in my current job/program and my current living situation. I'm just looking forward to trying again.
  7. Worry not! I have had this issue with planners since I started creative planning/journaling and using them for different purposes around 2-3 years ago. It happens! Anything from actually being too busy to sit down and write (and how often does this get to any of us? Carving out self time even planning time to plan can be hard) from illness, to events, anything. Depression used to throw me off, because I'd see what I had to do and become so anxious by it. Then, there would be not knowing what I wanted to put in things, or feeling I couldn't do it. It had the reverse affect it once had of actually helping me out. So, I stopped awhile. Then I rediscovered a drive by switching systems. I went from Happy Planners to trying Traveler's Notebooks, to Mini HP's and back over to spiral bounds to see what I really liked, what was my thing! I adore BUJO and Frankenplanning *meaning I create hybrid systems* It really is my thing, and I still use other systems for different purposes. I am setting a TN in my purse for my lists and idea book on the go, and a fuller size TN for faith things, and another for memory keeping, with no pressure on when I have to pick those up. Sometimes I like to just dress them up so they are ready for use because I enjoy making folders, tabs, etc. It was only recently I began to do all of this consistantly again. Don't feel bad you haven't done it since early this year, you can pick it up any time! What part do you find easiest to do. List, like Love Me said? A little diagram of ideas? Whatever you find easiest, do that. The rest will build with time!
  8. This happens sometimes. For awhile there I was BuJo-ing pretty regularly. Then life hit me hard, I fell off the wagon, and have been struggling to get on board again. It's like every time I think "I'll start" something pulls me back down and I'm just being dragged along by my crazy life like I'm stuck to a run-away carriage or something. Recently though I've made the firm decision to do something in that regard: I bought a ruler and post-it tabs. I figure, if I make the active choice of drawing a calendar in my BuJo that'll be a motivational step to push me forward. Perhaps you can find something similar? Even if it's just keeping a tiny to-do list for the day/week every so often until finally you feel like you can get back to doing the BuJo thing. . . the smallest effort can sometimes help. But even if you don't or can't right now? Don't fret or feel guilty or bad or anything negative. It'll happen when it happens. 😃
  9. Yes, I love this so much. In my "practice" BuJo I was always worrying over the ugly crossed out imperfections and thinking 'maybe I should use something that erases or invest in white out' to handle it. If you're not someone who is driven insane by something like that not being perfect though? I definitely agree with the above idea. I think showing those mistakes and imperfection is helpful in the long run. It shows to you and others that perfection isn't what this is about. . . wanting a pretty layout? That's totally okay, but that's not the goal here. And having those flaws there to be seen can help you better accept that it's going to continue happening.
  10. all of these things. And then in the one month I have done in the BuJo, I used littlecoffeefox.com and she's really good about showing her GORGEOUS spreads. WITH MISTAKES. like, leave the mistakes, crossouts etc. Allow yourself to do that. I have epilepsy, severe depression and anxiety, and a migraine disorder, and they all interact. We're constantly adjusting medication. I just got a service dog, so while he helps (because furry medical device!) I also have to take care of him! So yes, adapting also means expecting that every page will not be perfect.
  11. Studies show that hand writing something activates different neural pathways than typing. As such, in the case of planning and journaling, it is actually more beneficial to hand write!
  12. I have a bullet journal, but I haven't used it since January. My life has gone BANANAS. I have great things to use in it too!
  13. I tried bullet journaling, but my dyspraxia makes it very hard for me to do anything involving drawing or writing on straight lines, so I switched to a Plum Paper Planner for this year. I am in love with it. Helps me keep track of when everything is, and I can make it even more aesthetically pleasing just with stickers and not having to write or draw anything! While I live on my computer(s), for whatever reason having digital calendars and whatnot never helped me remember things or keep track the way a paper planner does, which is odd because I otherwise do not actually handwrite anything. I can't even really read my own writing most of the time. But I certainly can't track migraine flares with a computer (because I can't even look at one) and the planner helps me keep everything in one place! I've been reliably keeping with it and keeping a daily to-do list going since I started using it a month and a half ago without missing a day, so there's something about it that works better than the computer ... just not quite sure what it is. I wanted to be better with the bullet journal, but every page I made was just ugly, and my lack of any even remote ability to draw made it more unhappy-making than productive.
  14. <3 Okay, so this is making me think of some things I can finally offer. I didn't really think I had any answer for this, but really loving the responses above which made me also think of some things. I enjoy changes. I usually love them or roll with them in some way if I don't love them. Like, if I want "trim" for my long ass hair, what I end up doing is getting those locks drastically cut off all the way at my chin. If I'm unhappy being around someone, I please myself by removing myself 100% out of their reach. Used to be I would move from place to place every few years, but now I paint all the rooms different colors every few years and change the decor in the house my hubby has lived in for almost two decades. I've resisted from changing too many things about our site. But those are all things I can control... so moving on. Being completely surprised (usually by something not so great) is NOT my favorite thing ever. Being unable to read a person, a situation, or knowing a spoiler ahead of time, hate all those things. Not knowing what something will be like before I get to it, like surgeries or appointments, absolutely loathe that. And so, when something surprises me, I get stumped, abrasive, and lashy-out. Instead of doing these things, I will figure out what this thing is that's got me internally raging then talk it out with my super close peeps. Once I've detailed what it was that sent me spinning, my head is clearer and now I've got a thing I know I can journal for future reference. "This happened, so I can deal with this with one of # ways." "This happened and then I reacted like this, this is why this reaction is bad. Friendships and family are important." The more I do this, the more that I know I can handle the next unexpected thing that I may not like. Don't think in terms of averting the unexpected, think more in terms of ... so that unexpected thing happened and this is why/how it happened this way, so it may happen this way again for this reason, so I'll plan for it next time. OR ...so this unexpected thing happened, this was how I managed it which I thought wasn't bad at all (brag on yourself once in a while, babe), then think on ways to improve how you might manage a change like that next time. Rolling with a change is sometimes the best thing you can do, and sometimes also the funnest thing you can do. Journal your thoughts on these things rather than planning for every single contingency. Look for ways to care for yourself and find quotes to write down that's relevant to life's changes, worries, sorrows, and joys. Admit things to yourself when you make lists, too. "Not looking forward to this" being one of my usual admissions I write next to something on a list that I dread. Sometimes, the thing you dread is the thing you can plan really well for and also to brace yourself for situations you're not sure about.
  15. When I originally started my BuJo before, one of the most helpful links I found on the official Bullet Journal site was this one. It's about how to create a better to do list. The key to it seems to be breaking it down into separate lists as you need. My favorite on this is the If/Then List. I have chronic pain/health issues. They usually(re: more than 90% of the time) mess with my plans no matter what scheduling I do. There are some moments where I can be down for multiple days or even a week. What this does is both help motivate and encourage self-care. Sometimes what I'd do when down is tell myself, I'll do my Top 3(or at least 2) then I'll stop and choose something from my 'If I feel sluggish'(mine had a different name, but. . .) list to do like take a nap, have a hot shower, etc. cause sometimes the self-care aspect is important. Plus it's important to realize that changes are going to occur and setting up for that possibility ahead of time is always nice. Whether it's just making sure your list is broken down more, or planning for if you're having a day of more or less energy.
  16. I prefer pen and paper to the computer because I am more likely to forget about something on the computer than I do if I have physical copy of something. I think it's because files have a tendency to get 'lost' on a computer as I am always saving images and other things from the 'net. Because something's in digital form, to me, it seems to have less value than a physical item and so I'm more likely to 'forget' about it - in physical form, I can see it even when I'm not using it, so it's like how Giles in Buffy described why he preferred books over computers.
  17. I am terrible at keeping up with journals. I was forced to write one for uni in my first year, and deciding that I didn't have time for the thing, I mostly ignored it and only did the bare minimum. I don't think that I would keep up with a bullet journal either. I might start it with good intentions, but then further down the line something will happen, like getting sick, then I can't be bothered with keeping up with it and don't resume when I'm well again. Instead, I just keep a notebook where I write down when the mood strikes and attempt to keep a list of things that need to be done and then forget about it - this is why, I think that even having a bullet journal would be useless to me.
  18. Before I fell off the wagon, I was using my BuJo for RP related things as well. Generally it was either by a general listing of "make x group posts today" or sometimes more specific breakdowns "post for y and z characters in x group today". There were days where being more specific helped as I could break my posts into posting for two characters on one site, a character on another site, two characters on another site, etc. that way I wasn't focusing all on one site at once. That was when I was more spread out. It helped me though to keep more on the ball with things when I was able, and also helped me track when it was my turn in a thread(used in conjunction with my thread tracker, of course, as I'd check it first then mark down what was finished, dead, awaiting a post). It's something I really am looking to get back into now. While my one aim is a health related BuJo, the other one I want to be more writing & RP related(this includes things like graphics, coding, etc). I'd be interested to see how others use their own, if they do, and their processes.
  19. My bullet journal plans got derailed due to the start of the year being so hard, but they are getting back on track! I feel like an RPG area for BUJO would be very effective. I Plan to supplement some of this by utilizing spaces in my goal planner to remind me of it. The tricky part with BUJO is actually setting down the time to impliment and create everything. The middle of a move is hard to do that, but it is why I kept some planner supplies purposefully unpacked so that I could play around on Sunday evenings! Perpetual work in progress. Stay tuned for more visual details as time rolls on!
  20. Since we are a group of planners for various reasons as well as a community of RPG nerds, I wanted to know if anyone has incorporated RPG into their planner spreads in the past, or is this a future goal you are looking to pursue? For a little while when I first started planning, I wondered if RPG was "important" enough to have to plan for. This thought was sussed out of my head quicker than not. All I had to do was ask myself the following questions: - Was I passionate about it? - Did it occupy a great deal of my free time? - Did it have roles that needed to be defined out? - Did it have projects I wanted to complete and time frames for them? If the answer is yes to any of those questions? It was well worth planning it out instead of trusting my head to remember everything or myself to look at the forum, even my thread tracker, and catch every thread to reply to, every arc to plan, or anything else forum related. It even includes socializing on community sites which I've had to remind myself in the past to do. No matter what it is, if you find a reason for it, you should plan it! I wanted to start by asking does anyone else use their planner areas, spreads in planners, or a specific listing system for their posts? If so, what styles do you prefer? In the next day or so, I plan to post up images at my past attempts to organize the perfect system. For me, that is still a work in progress! Let's also talk about how you like to organize your creative time in general!
  21. You're welcome @Gothic, glad I could be of help!
  22. Thank you for this, @Seahorse. It was quite helpful.
  23. This is something I struggle with constantly, because having a chronic condition, can, itself, mess up all of your plans. Top that off with the unexpected needs of family members, husband's schedule, or any number of things messing up my well stacked bricks? Man, bummer! You can help yourself by: - Contingency plans can be things you have sort of pre-set aside. You need to study for something that's come up. Where do you fit in the time when you have so much in a week? Maybe you have an hour or two a day you keep open for just in case items. Perfect time to put that unexpected bit in. This can also go for appointments too. I am trying to adopt cushion space around preset things or leaving room for items because things can take more time than we think! Arriving, getting there, getting ready, etc. - Cushion time in general. It's nice to leave yourself unplanned blocks of time just for those extra things! If you have none? More time for self care, which leads me into. - Self care. Self care. Always, always, always schedule in some self-care. It's so important to decompress from anything we have planned or from planning as well because we all have to recalibrate. - Lists are magic. You can list out the steps to planned things if they need more break down because those steps can be easier to move around than entire block of the task they pertain to. I like to carry a listing pad in my purse for such occassions on the go, or set up my phone to be my catch all. -- You can set up your lists/favorite system as a section in your planner no matter the style. It just feels nice to have it. Like a secret weapon! -- Most of all? Just breathe and go with the flow. Life is good for throwing stuff at you!
  24. What do you do when you plan for things to happen and then either something comes up unexpectantly or expectantly? I've found random things tricky to deal with especially when it comes to dealing with my studies. Do you guys have any ideas or suggestions to make?
  25. Each of these posts has helped me when it comes to organising myself. <3 Nothing to add, but seriously. Thank you.
  26. Ah, the ongoing discussion of paper vs digital! I have come to find that, for me, it truly is a hybrid system or none at all. There are certain things I find easier to do in the digital sense than I do in the traditional pen and paper format, and there are things that I prefer paper for to digital. Composing things such as post starters/ post replies/event ideas/arc projections area easier done for me in a place like Google Docs because it is easier for me to create a formal note style. I also have a tendency to think and communicate at a very rapid pace, so the fact my fingers can type 80-90 wpm at any given time means that I am able to throw down a blurb at rate quick enough for me to wrestle with all the things in my brain. Having files/folders/shared documents between board staff and members leads to being able to get people in on the planning process. It is easy to combine digital mediums such as Google Doc + Forum board area devoted to planning, not to mention visual mediums such as Pinterest to archive a variety of information for later use. We also have something called Basecamp that was pretty instrumental in our earlier planning days. It isn't used as much now (poor, poor digital child) but this is another great avenue for taking a variety of internet things and putting them all in one area for ease of access. I used to love the way you could compile a research list in that bad boy! That being said, I admit, my dominant way to initiate planning does begin the good old fashioned way. I carry paper with me everywhere. I keep a paper planner of important numbers, dates, appointments, shopping lists, etc because I find the more I write something down? The more I remember it. I also find that seperating various planner needs into books/journals helps me to focus. Like I am still working on composing my BUJO for 2018, but in addition to this I have a planner that focuses souly on goal planning and another that is a catch all in my purse for every little thing. The BUJO and the goal planning each have areas (or will have areas) specifically related to my online time. I make lists based on each character I have with to owe/to write/to consider sections. For as much as I use the internet, if an idea catches me, it catches me! I have pens all around my room, work bag, purse, etc. My creativity is fueled by tangible items. Color coding with a highlighter, doodling, coloring, using washi tape, stickers, etc all help to get the brain going and fill a need to create something. Checking off or crossing off things on a list is so fucking fulfilling. I have an obsession with pretty stationary products, stationary, notebooks, and paper.
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