I think it's safe to say I have been bitten by the planner community bug. There are just so many ideas, projects, chores, memories and appointments my brain wants me to record! While iCal on my phone is the first stop for scheduling, and allows my husband and I to sync our calendars, it leaves me craving a more beautiful place to express my creativity and do some memory keeping.
Last summer I began bullet journaling with the One Book July challenge. It completely harnessed my wild and crazy mind into one book and I felt immediate planner peace. I didn't follow the bullet journal rules much and decorated every page with washi tape, stickers, doodles and hand-letting practice. But by the end of the month, I ran out of pages and it felt ridiculous to have to begin a whole new book and to have to transfer all of my on-going collections to a new book. Thinking of doing this repeatedly was daunting.
Somewhere in my Instagram perusals I came across Jenny Penton and her blog, Planner Perfect. That led me to her You Tube videos on her planning method which led me to the Periscope app. If you don't have Periscope yet and you are a planner addict, you are really missing out. Periscope is like a live Skype conversation where the "scoper" can be heard and seen but the watchers can only type messages. It creates a live discussion where artists, planners and authors can do presentations, lead their own book club discussions and art demos while followers can directly ask questions and get immediate responses. Jenny Penton's flip-throughs of her hand-painted journals captivated me.
A creative spark was lit and I knew I had discovered someone whose mind worked like mine. I ordered a glittery gold traveler's notebook cover on Amazon, bought a few Moleskine Cahiers at Target and dug out my little used art supplies that were stashed in my bedroom closet. I set up an impromptu artist's studio at the kitchen table and began to put paint to paper.
It was so fun I couldn't stop painting! All weekend long, while Jonas' winds blew wildly against our windows, I sat at the kitchen table, surrounded by my artsy mess and simply played with paint. When the creative outburst subsided, I had painted a book cover for each month, memory books for each of my children, a 2016 Goals book, an errand runner, a Misty's Mornings book for long-term collections and I even grew brave enough to paint a birthday journal for a friend. Now that the painting was done, I needed to see how the planning would go.
As of today my glittery gold cover holds four books: my errand runner, where I write grocery lists and errands, my February book, where I write daily to do lists and plan ahead for big events like Ash Wednesday, Super Bowl Sunday, my boys' birthdays, Valentine's Day and more, my 2016 Goals book and my Misty's Mornings collections book where I keep lists of books to read, trips to plan, blog ideas, personal and family goals, and home projects.
So far I can say that I feel the most together and creative I've felt in a long time. I finally have a beautiful planner that doesn't constrict me with tiny boxes and set dates, that easily goes with me from my computer desk to my purse to my nightstand. And I want to paint some more! Several of my friends and family have requested a book painted for themselves and I love the excuse to get my paints out again and see what else I can create.
Even though my art is far from perfect or professional, I find immense satisfaction in the process and the results. As I wrote on Instagram, perfection is the enemy of creativity and I am convinced that creativity is a way of connecting to the divine within ourselves. If I waited until I was able to paint a perfect book I'd never have the plan book system in my hands that is working so well for me already.