Friday, June 16, 2017

New Youtube Channel, Bullet Journaling

Hey, everyone!  You probably thought I was dead.  I'm not.  It's great.

The past couple years of teaching have been a real rollercoaster for me.  I was on a cart, I had major back surgery, I had a fantastic TA while I recovered, and I finally got my classroom back last year.  I will make a post about mobile art programs sometime in the future.

But for now, let's talk about something that has helped me deal:  Bullet Journaling.  If you're unfamiliar with the system of Bullet Journaling, invented by Ryder Carroll, here's his original video on the topic.

Now, as a human with anxiety and ADD, I had always struggled with stress and organization.  But in my experience directing youth theatre, I found that organization is essential for dealing with stress.  I found that since theatre was something I was passionate about, I prioritized it in a way that made working on all aspects of it feel good to me.  I enjoyed the very act of creating calendars and rehearsal schedules.  But I found using online resources designed for this to be tedious.  For me, an analog system turned out to be best.

When I began running Dungeons & Dragons games for my friends, I was looking for ways to index notebooks, and I came across this system.  I implemented it for my notebook, and I found that planning for that became exponentially more enjoyable, as well as productive.

And so in January 2017, I made a New Year's Resolution designed to level up my life.  I wanted to do adulting for real.  I was so tired of missing deadlines and having long stretches of time when I was working on too many things at once, only to never finish any of it!

As I set up my journaling system, I was intimidated by the beautiful folks like Kara from Boho Berry, who showed me what a true work of art these journals can be.  But I folded in my knowledge from art school:  a sketchbook is for you.  You don't have to show anyone.  It's utilitarian.  I mean I wanted my notebook to be a joy to look at, but I also wanted to feel like I could actually use it without fear of ruining my pages if I made a mistake.  Here's the fabulous Kara's video for some inspiration:

So what you'll see below is a walkthrough of my almost complete Bullet Journal for the first half of 2017.  Incorporating my lesson goals into each week made my entire school year flow so much more smoothly.  I was able to see when I had free time to accomplish certain tasks, but I also grew to know how much time I could expect to take doing certain things, and plan accordingly.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, this has allowed me to control my ADD and anxiety by keeping me accountable for tasks, and helping me to feel productive every time I check something off.  I rarely struggle with the anxious feeling that, "I should be doing something right now...I am wasting time...but what do I want to do?"

And I found that having this notebook with me wherever I went was a huge comfort to me.  I really love when someone asks me if I'm free on a certain date and I can open it up and check what I'm doing months in advance.  I suppose people who like Google Calendar and the like can do the same thing...but they can't glue in ticket stubs, or the sticker they found on the sidewalk while they were out for a jog, or create custom headers in whatever hand lettered font they want.  Only us analog planner people can do that.  :)