To Journal or Not To Journal

That is the question.  For today.

First off, my apologies for going AWOL this past week and a bit.  We headed off on a road trip to see family on the Friday before last, and when the kids and I got home the following Monday I finally came down with the lurgy that had been threatening.  Solo parenting and nasty-lurgy time don’t tend to encourage the mental capacity to blog once a long day is done, hence my vanishing act.

Today I am back, and with a question…

Do you keep a journal?  If so, what kind?

A long time ago, when still working full time, I used a task list / appointment set up in a day-per-page diary.  It served me well at that time and I realised how much I had been missing that helpmate at the end of last year. So I thought I’d give an expensive, pretty, day planner a go as a method of planning and tracking, mimicking what I used to do.  Sadly it bit the dust about half-way through the year.
Unfortunately I knew I still needed something, as keeping on task has become harder and harder as the kids and I go about our daily lives.  Things get missed, turn up as a surprise last minute panic, or get put off indefinitely.  My head was about to explode with the lack of productivity (yes, I may be one of those people) and focus.

A while ago I stumbled across the Bullet Journal and was taken with the simplicity of the idea, but never went so far as to put it in to practice. At the point I first saw it, I hadn’t realised how much I missed the analog organisational tools and was still trialling a number of digital options.  Then it faded from memory until a couple of months ago.

It’s implementable in any spare notebook you currently have on hand.  Hurray for not needing mega-bucks planners!  Far more flexible and creative than a store-bought book (as flexi or creatie as you can be bothered to make it).  And best of all, I really think it’s going to be something I can stick with, most of the time.

There are a few groups online that you can connect to and get inspiration from – and by crikey it’s worth it for the beautiful and individual ways people use the basic ideas.
Over at G+ there’s the Bullet Journal community and at Facebook there’s the official page of the Bullet Journal creator.  Don’t forget to search Instagram for some wonderfully inspiring glimpses into other people’s journals, try this search to see what you think.

As I type this I’m in the process of preparing my journal for December and I’ve discovered that a bit of inspiration from other creative types is all I’ve needed to up my game from simple daily lists, scrawled in random pens, to actually taking some time and effort in laying out the month ahead.

I can see this happily marrying both sides of my brain… and hopefully aiding with a jump in focus, concentration and productivity.  Not to mention indulging my love of paper products and colourful pens.  I may have happened to mention that a good quality dot grid notebook would make a wonderful Christmas gift this year.  Fingers crossed that the powers that be were listening at the time I was speaking.

In the meantime, here’s some inspiration for you to check out.

~ Boho Berry
~ Passion Themed Life
~ Bulletjournaljoy


A book review. What a mystery!

In light of the youngsters in the family coming down with a nasty cold, it’s going to be a bit of a lightweight post here today.

My latest book review was posted over at t’other blog yesterday.

It was a very old favourite of mine, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie.
You know the review is going to be positive from someone who had her entire canon as a teenager, don’t you?  Anyway, you can pop over there and read it, or wait until I re-post it here some time towards the end of the month.  The choice is yours.

Ahh, humanity

The world has been a pretty horrible place lately, and in more than one location around the globe.  It’s also been a bit more so in plain view than usual.  It’s very easy to lose faith in humanity on the back of repeated awfulnesses.  Luckily I stumbled on to a lovely artist who is doing her best to spread love and positive messages, and in a very beautiful way too.

This particular one spoke to me as I thought about the past week.



I encourage you to visit her site; you can sign up for a free doodle by email or buy any number of cute and inspiring others.  When things are bleak, it can be a hard choice to be positive.  Small things like these illustrations and the quotes attached can remind us that we can be better than our circumstances – and that perhaps we ought to, again in the words of the wise Mr Gandhi,

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”


Fillers and stalkers

An interesting thing wandered across my social media screen this morning and because I’m rarely up at 5:30am these days I thought I’d take advantage of the quiet morning to check out if I was imagining things.

A few days ago I posted about Facebook and since then I’ve noticed how much junk there was in my “like” list. Most of that list I barely saw a post from, so what was the point of keeping them?  I pared it down from over 300 to under 100.  I’m now wondering if what turned up in my feed this morning is a result of that or if it’s always been this way and I just never noticed before.

Apparently life on Facebook overnight has been so quiet that of the first 100 posts in my feed 42 were what I would label “stalker” posts.  Yes!  Nearly half of all the first 100 posts were my friends commenting on *their* friends posts or posts that my friends were ‘liking’.  The first of these is just creepy as they involve people I wouldn’t know from Adam and presumably aren’t expecting me to be getting a glimpse in to their life.  The second type isn’t quite so creepy, but again I figure my friends would share the post they’ve liked if they wanted me to know about them enjoying it.

That makes nearly half of my general scrolling limit on the news feed a filler or a stalker post! (For a full list, see the end of this post.)

These issues that are pushing me even more in to minimising my time at the social media giant – the creepiness of the news feed (witness above comments and numbers), and the flip side of that creepiness… the increasing irrelevance to my daily life that the news feed has fast become.

I’ve spent more time at Google+ lately just to see if it’s less creepy, as I value the quick and easy way social media allows me to interact with folk I don’t get to see every day.  It doesn’t seem, so far, to be posting random stalker posts – which is a big deal.  It doesn’t seem to mind if my post list doesn’t change much – no adverts so far and only posts from people or communities I actually belong to.
I’m sure they’re not snow white either, but ditching the fillers and the stalkers gets them a big thumbs up from me.

The only downside I see is the inertia of friends choosing to stay and interact at Facebook rather than have to suffer having two active social media accounts.  It’s a tough place to be if the goal of being involved is to actually stay in touch with folk who aren’t inclined to change.

I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to move forward, other than it’s clear to me that my time at Facebook is going to decrease.  Just how I manage my move away from it isn’t quite so clear.

If you’ve moved social media platforms – how did you manage it?

Full list

Post #2 = Suggested post
Post # 8 = Suggested post
Post #16 = “A friend likes this” post
Post # 19 = “A friend likes this” post
Post # 29 = “A friend likes this” post
Post # 37 – 39 = “A friend likes this” post
Post #40 = a multiple post of latests posts from a page
Post #41 – 43  = “A friend likes this” post or “A friend commented on this” post
Post #46 – 48  = “A friend likes this” post
Post #51 – 52  = “A friend likes this” post or “A friend commented on this” post
Post #54 – 55  = “A friend likes this” post or “A friend commented on this” post
Post #57 – 60  = “A friend likes this” post or “A friend commented on this” post
Post #62 – 65  = “A friend likes this” post or “A friend commented on this” post
Post #67 – 74  = “A friend likes this” post or “A friend commented on this” post
Post #76  = “A friend likes this” post or “A friend commented on this” post
Post #78 – 79  = “A friend likes this” post or “A friend commented on this” post
Post #82  = “A friend likes this” post
Post #91  =  “A friend commented on this” post
Post #94  = “A friend commented on this” post
Post #100 = “A friend likes this” post