Organizing My Life in Notebooks

If you've been reading my little blog for any length of time, you've probably noticed a few things about me... Things like: I like to make things. I have allergies which make me a picky eater, so I like to cook things. And, I like to write things. 

I am a huge fan of lists. Maybe since my accident, I depend on lists more than ever to keep the wheels from falling off my life. I joke with my students that the left side of my brain is contained inside my iPhone. But, I have never been able to go completely paperless with all my lists and calendars. I'm a writer that hates to print things out until I'm ready to proofread just before hitting the publish button, and even then I loathe doing it. Go figure. 

As soon as I turned in my fall semester grades, I was busy making Christmas presents for friends, and itching to find a way to simplify, de-clutter, and generally take back control of all the craziness in my life. The end of the semester always makes me feel this way. So, I took a look around my tiny little tree house of an apartment and realized something. I have little notebooks scattered everywhere. Each for a different type of list or project. I'm not exaggerating. I found 11 notebooks! The next thing I learned about myself is this: I unconciously write everything down. When I stacked all those random notebooks on the table, I felt like I was in a scene from Memento or A Beautiful Mind when the room is suddenly covered in Post-it notes. It wasn't pretty. I had to do something.

I guess you could call it an intervention. "Amie, I'm here because I care about you and your flagrant misuse of small notebooks is more than annoying. This cannot continue..." It took a little while to flip through each notebook and toss, shred, and organize all the paper. The third thing I realized about myself is that I have a lot happening in my life and I have even more ideas than I have time to make those ideas happen. I am teaching, I have my little print shop online, plus I have 4 different stores that carry my tea towels, cards, and aprons. I tutor. And that's just work... there's family and friends and church and walking the dog... Who wouldn't need eleven notebooks to keep track of all that?!

After, I took stock of the things I needed to keep track of, I went to Staples for a new notebook.

Hi, my name is Amie and I have a notebook addiction.

Quick disclaimer: No one is paying me to say this... I really love do love it and recommend it. Staples makes their own brand of a calendar/notebook system that is fully customizable and significantly less expensiive than the other brands. I went home with a new notebook which included a calendar and neat little dividers and a hole punch so that I can refill paper with my printer paper as needed and only purchase the calendar pages once a year.

amie-longmire-notebook-pens

Now, I keep track of lesson plans, blog/website stuff, personal goals, and my calendar all in one organized spot. So, I'm down to a single notebook! I've been carrying it around for almost a month now and it really seems to be working.

amie-longmire-notebook-organization

I'll be honest with you, if you glanced around my place, you'd notice four notebooks. In the interest of full disclosure and since it is really easy to just start writing in new notebooks without thinking about it, here's how it goes:

amie-longmire-notebooks

The little blue one is my prayer journal. I write in it every morning. I don't carry it around with me and I keep it seperate for a reason. It's private. The "quad pad" and sketch book are where I design my block prints... so I rarely carry those around with me and I need lots of room for that design process - so I think I've justified their use as well.  

2016 is shaping up to be a delightfully, chaos free, and creative year! I hope it is for you as well!

This is Not the End,

Amie