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Let me guess. The demands of life have you spinning and you can't seem to keep yourself organized. Chaos has ensued and you just can't seem to keep everything running smoothly.
Trust me, I've been there.
So you go out and buy a pretty new planner or order a dotted journal to try and get yourself together. Because let's face it, you're a hot mess. But you leave that pretty new planner or dotted journal piled underneath the clutter and the next thing you know, it's been months since you touched it and you're still a hot mess.
Planning systems, whether you are using a planner or bullet journal, only work if you use them. Not if they're laying in a junk drawer somewhere getting swallowed up into a black hole.
So get that planner or bullet journal out and use it!
Planning systems are great when used properly because you can have all your information in one spot. Not on a thousand post-it notes sprawled around your house or office. While I've always used some sort of planning system, I went through a post-it note period where I hardly touched my planner and had an ungodly amount of post-its all. over. the. place.
I like to leave my bullet journal laying open either on my desk or the kitchen counter when I have a ton to do and my mommy brain is unable to remember a thing. There are honestly weeks that will go by and I don't even touch my bullet journal.
If you guessed those are the weeks I'm a hot mess mom, then let me offer you a non-existent digital cookie. It is really so eye-opening for me when I don't use my bullet journal every week.
Find a planning system that works!
Not every planner is created equal. Nor is every bullet journal. If you need a lot of space for extra notes and things, buying a $3 planner at Target isn't going to cut it for your needs and you'll have wasted time and money on something that isn't going to work for you.
While bullet journaling has become my favorite way to stay organized (check out this post if you're lost on starting a bullet journal!), I know some of you have to have a pre-printed planner or you might never use it. I get it! If you need a journal with lots of space to write, The Happy Planner is my number one choice followed by the Erin Condren Life Planner.
For bullet journaling, I am loving my dotted hardcover Leuttchurm 1917. I do have a set of 2 extra large Moleskine journals that I got on clearance at Sam's that I'm thinking of using as my bullet journal when I run out of space in my dotted Leuttchurm. While I love the dotted journals, my handwriting really isn't terribly small and sometimes the spaces between the dots are just a little too small for me. My first bullet journal was a lined journal and I liked it, so I might give it another go soon.
Know yourself and what kind of planner doesn't work for you
I know some of you are sitting there reading this and are thinking "Candice, you have no idea. I cannot for the life of me stay organized with a planner or bullet journal. I've tried them all, but I just can't lug that thing around with me all the time. Then I forget to write things down when I come home from being out and I'm back at square one!"
If you know a printed planner or bullet journal isn't going to work for you, take a look at the App Store. There are tons of apps for digital planners. You can't tell me you don't have your phone on you or in the vicinity 24/7. At the dentist with your kids and they give you your next appointment date and time 6 months out? Whip that phone out and plug it in.
Evernote is a popular app and I've even seen articles of people creating digital bullet journals in Evernote! (I'm also considering giving this a try!) If Evernote is something you're interested in, check out Rose's post on how to use Evernote! It's a great post to help you get started with it!
Some people also just use the calendar app that comes on their phone and will sync it with their email. Whatever you have to do, do it! I even know some people will use their phone and then write things down in a physical planning system as an extra reminder. If it gets the job done, that's most of the battle!
Trying to get yourself organized can be a difficult path. But once you get it down, it can be life changing! If you're looking into bullet journaling, but don't want to be tied down to a bound journal, click below to head over to my products page and get a dot grid and graph paper printable to create your own bullet journal!