Wednesday, January 08, 2020

new year, new planner

Over the holidays, I watched a number of YouTube videos on organization--closets mostly, but also cupboards, bookshelves, pantries. It's probably akin to everyone making New Year's resolutions about staying and maintaining some sort of organization system that makes you a little less chaotic and crazy.  My favorite, which I binged nightly over my Christmas visit, were bullet journals--a seemingly intricate system of planner/journals/scrapbook that is intriguing, though at times seems a little obsessive and fussy.

When I came back, I was blessed with a brand new shiny sketchbook, my previous one, slightly larger, having served me well for at least a couple years of post-it planning and organization. Thinking as I laid out my usual system, I might incorporate some of the aspects of the bullet journal aspects into my sketchbook--places to include monthly goals, weekly outlooks, etc.  While I'm not sure I'm willing to commit to mood trackers or exercise. trackers like some of the folks on YouTube, I do think maybe seeing the goals and writing them down might make me remember that I actually have them.  Or, at best,  keep me pointed in the right direction and less adrift mid-year.  As I mentioned in some previous posts about overall goals, it was good, for the first couple of months to break them down into more manageable parts.

While I used to just be an avid maker of to-do lists and kept a traditional planner/calendar, both in print and digitally, my post-it strategy started in 2014 and changed pretty much everything.  I have this tendency to think of things I want to do--whether it's a potential writing project,  a new art technique, an idea for library programming. The problem before is I would lose track of things, forget about them for months if I didn't write them down. Then there is also the morass of dgp--easily tracking which books are in which stage of development--layout, cover design, proofing--when several are underway at the same time. We were having some communication/execution problems in our library department and my boss had experimented with a board, divided by staffer, with post its designating what people were working on.  I liked being able to look at the board to see what was on deck next, what needed to be done, but wasn't mission critical.

I didn't need a giant board on the wall for my own planner, obviously, but I liked the post-its, to be able to write something down, to move it around if need be, to jot down an idea for later when I had time to consider it.  I tend to use the first part of the book for planning out the week.  Then there are pages for "Next Week, "Next Month", Two to Three Months," and "This Year".  I usually move divide the post-its into their relevant days, along with reminders (meetings, events, appointments), and can, with a flip of pages, see what's happening any given week or day.

The second section is "Projects,"  which is divided into sections for Writing, Art, Press, Shop, & Library. Then a separate dgp section with columns for pre-layout, layout, cover design, proofing, finalization, and ready for release, ready for shipment.  It's followed by a section designated "Promo & Marketing, which includes pages dedicated to social media ideas, future blog posts, places to submit work to, submissions out, and forthcoming publications. Then "Personal, " where I keep track of home projects, books to read, books read, movies/shows to remember to watch, etc.

The addition this year was a "Goals" section, with a page for each month that I will fill as I go along. Then a "Weekly Round Up" to combat my feelings that I am always treading water, but am actually getting quite a bit done (ie, that my post-its are disappearing, that things are getting finished, but it's always met with more post-its).  The rest is just for "Notes" which so far, just has a list of things I need to get to stock my bar cart appropriately (I seem to have a lot of liqueurs and endless tequila but lack other basics like a good vodka and bourbon)..but will eventually also include things to remember for various projects, research notes, relevant quotes.

I do feel a little self-conscious every once in a while when the student workers find me, post-its all over my desk arranging my work week (though admittedly I have led at least one down the path of adopting a similar strategy who was trying to keep his fashion-design details organized.) It might look a little obsessive, but then again, maybe it is, but it does work.  I don't feel so much like everything is mounting up and slipping away.  If I don't finish something, I simply move it to the next day or the next week.  At the point where the post-it looses it's stickiness is probably where I need to either do the damn thing or let it go.

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