I realized that when I’m stressed or I have a lot on my mind, two things happen:
- There is constant noise in my head– I can walk around and it’ll be like I’m listening to music but there is not any music playing and that noise is just my thoughts.
- I send text after text of rants to my boyfriend– I really appreciate that he is my “live journal.” The thing is, he doesn’t even need to respond to what I say… I just need to get those thoughts out.
#2 is what really got me to put my thoughts (and ideas) on paper.
I carry my journal every where I go– it’s in my backpack on school days, it’s on my beside table if I’m home, it’s in my purse if I’m out… if I carry it around with me, I can just write as soon as “inspiration” strikes. I need to write in the moment, because if I put it off, I will not journal.
My journal holds everything from personal “Thought Dumps,” anxiety lists, big project ideas… anything that I don’t put in my planner.
Here are the different writings I have within my journal:
Thought Dumps– I call these “thought dumps” because I am literally just dumping my thoughts onto the page. I love doing this because once it’s out, I can stop worrying about it. My Thought Dumps are epiphanies, dreams, ideas, and writings about how I’m feeling or what I’m thinking. Writing all these out gets them out of my head, but I still have them to look back on.
Anxiety Lists– When I’m feeling super overwhelmed or incredibly anxious, I like to write EVERYTHING that could POSSIBLY be making me feel that way. In the short-term, writing it out calms me because I can take my mind off of it (because it is on paper). In the long run, I can look back on all of the lists collectively, reflect, and see what the recurring factors are (is it a class or a person or an activity?) and then think of what I can do about it.
Blog Post Plan– I plan my blog posts in my journal because I see my planner as a more concrete way of having my life together (lol) whereas my journal is more for thoughts and ideas.
Big Project Ideas– For example, I am filming a music video in the winter, so I have a page that has all the shots I need, lyric line-by- lyric line. Once again, I am putting my ideas and thoughts onto paper so it is a visual reference.
The benefit of carrying my journal with me is that all the writing is in the moment. I’m feeling anxious? Bam! Anxiety list goes in the journal. New project idea? I can immediately jot it down before I forget it.
I set up a domain through Domain of One’s Own (a program at the University of Mary Washington where students can own a website for FREE while they are students at the University), and it was one of the best things to happen in re-establishing who I am online.
My website is an open platform where I have full control of my online presence. I can design the layout and create content that specifically reflects who I am as an individual. I have a voice on the web. While I love Instagram, my website is not structured to just photos. This website is my own personal space. It is my own little world.
I’m also hoping it’ll help me think and write better– I write how I speak/think (which always isn’t a bad thing because I think it shows off my personality very well). But, hopefully I will get to a point where everything is a little more organized and it follows a train of thought instead of derailing.
With a blog, I can share my ideas and hopefully inspire some people.
oh my… what would I do without my planner? I cannot live without my planner. I write in EVERYTHING from phone conversations, social events, assignment due dates, to meetings.
My mind works on lists– I have to write every thing out and cross it out. My planner is full of grocery lists, songs I’m going to put in my videos, to-do lists, future to-do lists, gift ideas.
If it isn’t hand written in, I will most-likely forget about it.
If I have a busy day, I will list everything time-by-time, and cross them off as I go. This way, there is no possible way for me to forget about something.
A planner really helps me stay organized and sane.
WHAT PLANNER WORKS FOR ME?
I loved the Lilly Pulitzer planners when they had two monthly calendar sections. With the two different sections, I could separate my social life and my work/class life. Unfortunately, Lilly Pulitzer changed their planners so they only have one monthly section. A calendar is essential because it helps me plan my time and I am able to visually see my responsibilities/meetings/due dates.
The Lilly Pulitzer planners are perfect if you like lots of color and stickers– I used it more because I loved looking at it and adding more color and stickers. I also preferred the large version because it allows for enough writing room.
My GO-TO now is the Moleskine 18-month planner. The monthly section is a little too small and cramped for my liking but the rest of the planner makes up for it. It has a weekly layout on the left side and just lined paper on the right side. This layout works beyond perfectly for me because I can see my due dates/meetings/events on the left and it’s not crowded by my to-do lists. The to-do lists and little reminders go on the right side.
I did a 180– I went from an overly bright and colorful planner to just a plain black/creme colored pages planner, but I still get to use my pretty pens and stickers to decorate it and personalize it.
All in all, I’m a paper/pen girl and I journal and plan to get things out of my head and make it seem like I have it together. I blog so I can improve myself, claim an online presence, and inspire others to just live life.
*I had this post scheduled originally for Sunday, but I decided to post it today in honor of National Writing Day. Let me know why you write!