Fight the Funk Friday (and some more about planners)--Jan 20, 2017

I'm trying out a couple of new twists to what I've been doing--or, rather, things that I think will work better towards reminding me to do what I've been doing.

First, I'm back to using my lightbox this week. It's been a mild winter and more sunny than usual, so I haven't used it more than once or twice all season, but I don't get out in the sun much even if it's there. Since I realized my motivation for life was starting to flag a bit, I thought it was time to get back into the habit. It is helping.

Apple Watch Series 2 Nike edition

Apple Watch Series 2 Nike edition

Second, I've discovered that the Apple Watch "stand" notifier wrist buzz is far easier to ignore/miss than my FitBit Charge HR wrist buzz had been. The Charge would vibrate for about a second two or three times in a row. The Apple Watch gives me two little taps. If it doesn't register in my consciousness, it's gone. Trust me, I had everything on the watch set as high and loud as it could be set. I just need something that will almost reach out and cuff me upside the head to get my attention when I'm really focused on work. So I've started using either the straight-up timer app on the Watch--which has a much stronger vibration than the stand notification does-- or a web-based Pomodoro timer instead, which makes my computer sing to me. (For more about the Pomodoro technique, click here.) I've been moving more during the day since I made that switch.

Third, I've also started playing around with bullet journaling this week. I'll speak to how that's helping to fight the funk in a minute.

Why am I thinking about switching it up so soon after starting with the Passion Planner? I've now taped so many extra pages and inserts into my Passion Planner to allow me to do everything I want to do with it that I'm close to breaking the binding, and I've only got January and part of February set up. No way will this thing survive a whole year of this. And it still doesn't have room for me to do everything I want to do. Don't get me wrong--I still love the concept of the Passion Planner, but I want a slightly different layout that matches the way I think better. Last week, I ended up buying the Weight Watchers journal tracker so I'd have more room to plan out my eating and such. I do my final tracking digitally using their app, but I like to plan out an entire week of meals ahead of time when I'm doing my grocery list on weekends, and it helps me to write it in every day's schedule ahead of time so I'm not making decisions in the moment but only following my own plan. Unfortunately, my compact Passion Planner wasn't quite big enough to do that. Yes, I could get the full-sized planner but the whole point to switching from my DragonTree planner to the Passion Planner was to have something I could carry in my handbag. However, I don't like having two notebooks I have to keep track of all the time.

The first time I looked into bullet journaling in the fall I got extremely turned-off by how complex everyone seemed to say it "should" be. Some people's keys/legends are--well, I won't be judgmental here, but I'll say "they wouldn't work for me" and leave it at that. I also felt like it wouldn't match the "neat-and-orderly" side of me--you know, that side that has to have all my labels on boxes match or I get twitchy. Having something as free-form as a bullet journal made me worry I'd get equally twitchy.

Earlier this week, though, I stumbled across some videos on YouTube that suddenly made it seem like it would be the perfect system for me. (She has several, I'm only embedding the first one here.)

Basically, I think I'm getting ready to get over myself about the twitchiness. I'm a brave girl: I can handle having everything just appear in my journal in whatever random order it occurs to me and using an index--or dividing each journal up ahead of time in ways that would make me feel more neat-and-orderly. I think.

At the moment, I'm still keeping the Passion Planner going at the same time as the bullet journal. This helps me really compare which one is better for me. There's still a lot of beauty for me in having pre-printed calendar items while still having space for me to go free-style. So I'm also pondering the hybrid possibility of what Sarcasm & Sweet Tea describes on her blog. (Hence looking at Daytimers and such again.) 


Since I had an unused blank book already in the house, I'm currently using that as my trial bullet journal. Pretty, but it's smaller than what I'd want to use for realsies (smaller than the Passion Planner), and being hard-cover it doesn't lay flat so it's hard to write in. But it's good enough to give me a feel for how well bullet journaling and I will get along.

What does that have to do with Fighting the Funk? Part of what I want a planner to do is help me stay focused on personal goals, most of which have to do with health and wellness. I want to be able to do quick "micro-journal" entries, as it were, about why I did or didn't achieve a daily goal or how I felt about what I did get done, etc. I'm also writing my daily "why"--why I have the goals I do--and a daily "proud moment" to remind myself not to beat up on myself. This is all critical stuff for fighting my particular aroma of funk so I want a planner system that will allow me space for that as well as tracking tasks and schedules.

What's critical for fighting your funk?