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I realize that it’s uber-ironic that as much as I love technology that I don’t use it exclusively to organize my life. I use Google Calendar for scheduling appointments and important dates, but most of my planning is done in my pretty notebook.

In honor of National Notebook Day today, here’s my notebook and journaling system:

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I use my own version of Bullet Journaling, a simplified form of journaling that you can modify to fit your style. ┬áThe Bullet Journal website has a version you can adopt, but I simplified it further. I only write my to-do lists on the RIGHT side pages of my journal. I write the date, reminders of appointments I have, and then my list of to-dos. My current page is below (it’s summer vacation now, so my lists are shorter than usual!).


What goes on my LEFT hand pages? Random notes, lesson plan ideas, slide deck plans, free writing, notes from books I’m reading–whatever I feel like. Sometimes an entire layout–left and right side pages–get taken up by my brainstorming, and that’s okay, too. I don’t restrict myself to rules, because the more structured I try to make it, the less I use it.


However, if you try it, you should adapt it for yourself. Make it more structured, or less structured, for what works best for you. Some people use coded symbols for their to-do list. Others create a monthly index in the back of the journal. To be honest, I love the idea and tried it, but couldn’t keep up on it very well.


Chrome is aplomb with fantastic to-do apps and extensions, but if you’re like me and you still need that feel and immediacy of pen and paper, try bullet journaling for yourself and see if it works.