Bullet Journal Basics| The Monthly Log

Bullet Journal Basics- The Daily Log Title

Once again this post is a day later than I anticipated it being. And once again, I’m sorry for the delay.

Last week we talked about the Future Log. How to use it, what it is, and some of its many variations. This week I want to focus on the Monthly Log. It’s not only a standard part of the Bullet Journal system itself, but also the first in what I like to call my three-tiered approach to planning. Though, if I really consider it, the Future Log makes more like a four-tiered approach as I use what is called a Weekly Log as a mid-level overview of my week.

But, I’m digressing. Let’s move on.

What Is A Monthly Log?

A Monthly Log is one of Ryder Carroll’s original Bullet Journal® modules. It is essentially a combination of monthly to-do list and monthly scheduling at its core.

How Is The Monthly Log Used?

There are a variety of ways the Monthly Log can be used by Bullet Journalists. Most common is a way to keep events happening that month on the monthly calendar. At its simplest, which you will find if you look at the website, being just the day of the month down and week down one side of the paper and things you know need to be done this month that aren’t appointments or the like on the other.

However, it is worth noting that the one-page monthly calendar is only usable in larger formats. Those in an A6, B6, pocket or B7 notebook/setup with have to break it across multiple pages that depend upon the variation someone is using.

Monthly Log Variations

Now that I’ve covered the what and the how in a fairly basic way, I would like to move on to talking about variations in the Monthly Log. Specifically, the calendar portion of things. I’ve found that there’s only so many ways one can discuss the to-do portion of the Monthly Log. A simple list, batched lists, Eisenhower Matrixes. Unless focused on entirely and in their own right, these useful variations on the to-do list portion of the Bullet Journal® tend to overwhelm people new to the system.

That in mind, I would like to focus on the two most common variations of the Monthly Log’s Calendar. What I like to call Traditional Plus and the Calendar Method.

Traditional Plus

Like the name suggests, the Traditional Plus monthly calendar is a modified version of the traditional monthly calendar. The most typical of this variation involves writing the date and day down on the left side like normal. The next two pages or more separated into columns labeled according to the needs of the Bullet Journalist.

Someone may, for example, need one column/page for personal appointments or events like Birthdays and one for College/Grade school/Teaching events and appointments. Another person may need to divide things into all day, personal, and work. A writer may wish to use one side of the calendar or a column to track research time and other writing related things. Like if they sent out a piece on a certain date or were contracted for a piece.

In a smaller notebook, like the previously mentioned A6 and smaller, these sections will be split into the first half of the month on one set of pages and the second half on another.

Calendar Method

What I like to call the Calendar Method looks exactly like the calendars people are used to.

It’s great for people that need to see the days as blocks in order to place events and appointments. But it does have a couple of drawbacks. If someone isn’t using a Grid composition notebook, letter-sized notebook, or A4 notebook it can feel a bit confining due to lack of space depending on the person. This is especially true in notebooks that are B6 and smaller.

Monday I to finally be talking about Camilla as Queer Fiction. Wednesday was meant to be the second in my research series, but I didn’t post the first part of the series this week. Instead, Wednesday will be the first post of my research series. Friday will, as per usual, be a continuation of this series with a post about the Daily Log.

In the meantime, I can be found on Twitter and Facebook. Feel free to come and talk; I’d enjoy it.

Book Review| Outline Your Novel

Outline Your Novel Title.png
Outline Your Novel is a great book on, you guessed it, outlining.

Published by author K.M. Weiland in 2011, this 192-page book packs quite the punch in a not too big package. Each page of the eleven chapter plus introduction craft book is densely packed with information that will not only help the reader understand Weiland’s method of outlining, but create their own.

If this isn’t enough to convince people to give it a try, the book also features nine interviews with other authors. In each one, Weiland and the author being interviewed talk about the how that particular author uses outlining. There’s, not surprisingly, a variety of answers to how they outline and how much. Some are detailed like Weiland and others are quite sparse in their outlines.

However, I wouldn’t recommend this book to someone who doesn’t wish to learn more about outlining. The author does have a book on structuring your novel, though. And if I was to recommend one of the two to someone who prefers to write without an outline, I would have to recommend the aptly named, Structuring Your Novel (Amazon Link.)

Outline Your Novel: Map Your Way To Success can be found in paperback (Amazon Link.) and as an e-book (Amazon Link.).

Friday continues my Bullet Journal Basics series with a post about the Monthly Log. Please feel free to join me then. For those interested in things like queer theory, I hope to explore how one of my favorite Gothic novellas, Carmilla, in the context of queer theory on Monday. In the meantime, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter.

Feel free to stop over and have a chat with me.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate in links. All that means is that I may receive a small commission if you click on a link from a product I’ve recommended in this post and purchase/subscribe to one of them. I’ll only ever recommend products I’ve used and enjoyed myself.Thank you for supporting my dorky little corner of the internet!

My Gothic Minimalism Guidelines

Gothic Minimalism Guidelines Title

Last time we discussed Gothic Minimalism, I talked about my own story surrounding being a Gothic minimalist. Today I would like to talk about my personal minimalist guidelines.

Why Have Guidelines?

Some people thrive on an organized type of chaos, having a mental list of guidelines at most. Or they like to go with the flow.

I’m a planner. I like things to be orderly and to have a personal code to follow. So, when I came across minimalism as a lifestyle, it seemed quite natural that my the Bullet Journal® would house those guidelines. At the time, I was in squared Moleskine Classic Notebook in Large (Amazon Link.). Seems odd now as I’m slowly moving into a pocket-sized Traveler’s Notebook, but that was what I was in and I still recommend it for a Bullet Journal or a normal journal.

All that said, let’s move on to what those guidelines are.

My Guidelines

My personal minimalism guidelines are separated into various sections. General, Clothing Related, Personal Care, Books and Movies, Office Supplies, Sewing and Crafts and a catch all for anything else. While this may seem like a lot of sections, and it is, I’ve found having them divided up like this makes the list itself easier for me to navigate. If I can’t navigate the list, then I can’t use it and there would be no point to having written it down.

General

  • Goth can be minimalist.
  • All possessions should add value to my life.
  • Hobbies can be part of a full life.
  • There’s nothing wrong with my gothy space showing my pride as either an LGBT person or as a mixed person POC.

Clothing Related

  • I do not want to own more than I can comfortably care for.
  • One off items should be very limited.
  • Each item having a Gothy vibe is a must.

Personal Care

  • No more than four perfumes, two masculine/gender neutral and two feminine at a time.
  • One lotion or body butter with a neutral scent.
  • Hair care items must fit in a medium basket.
  • One neutral deodorant to go with everything.

Books and Movies

  • The movies I own should only be ones I truly love and will rewatch.
  • Two bookcases and no more.
  • All the novels I own should be ones I love.
  • All the non-fiction books should be relevant to my writing and interests.
  • Nook or hard copy only, not both.

Craft and Sewing

  • Paper crafts should fit into one basket.
  • Yarn should also fit into one basket.
  • Crochet should fit in a small basket.
  • All fabric should fit in a medium size storage tub.
  • Needles and hooks should fit inside a handsewn needle roll.
  • All sewing patterns should fit in a binder.
  • All sewing notions should fit in a medium-small box.
  • One project basket for ongoing projects, whether handcraft or machine.
  • Only one knitting, crochet, notebook making, or sewing project at a time.

Office Supplies

  • Paper must fit into one basket.
  • Printer ink, paper clips, and other small items must fit in one basket.
  • Only the current year’s writing should be living in my desk.
  • Items not in use should be put away.

Miscellaneous

  • I only need three sets of black sheets.
  • I only need three blankets for the various times of the year.
  • I only need two throw blankets.
  • More than four towels, two for my body and two for my hair, isn’t something I need.

Using The Guidelines

Now that I’ve bored you to death with my guidelines, I should say that these are a work in progress and individualized. Some people make need more towels for example. However, my hair is kinky-curly and I don’t wash it more than once or twice a week. My scalp tends to get oilier much quicker when I overwash and detangling my hair becomes, surprisingly, much more difficult for me to do.

Other people also don’t need to the mixed and LGBT part of my guidelines. I’ve found that the reminder is invaluable to me. Keeps me grounded when people say I can’t be Goth because I’m mixed, Goths aren’t gay, Goths don’t ever listen to certain types of music and other asshattery.

The biggest things I want people to take away from this blunt and honest list? Find what works for you. If that is not having a concrete set of guidelines, then that’s perfectly fine. If you need a set like I do, then that is perfectly OK as well.

On Wednesday I will, hopefully, be on time with a review of a fabulous writing craft book. Join me if you want to know what I think about K.M. Weiland’s Outline Your Novel. The book can be found in hardcopy and e-book formats on Amazon for those who want to start reading now and comparing our opinions.

In the meantime, please feel free subscribe to the blog and mailing list, and to join me on Facebook and Twitter. I enjoy chatting with people and it’s nice to know people are enjoying the blog.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate in links. All that means is that I may receive a small commission if you click on a link from a product I’ve recommended in this post and purchase/subscribe to one of them. I’ll only ever recommend products I’ve used and enjoyed myself.Thank you for supporting my dorky little corner of the internet!

 

Bullet Journal Basics| The Future Log

Yikes! I didn’t mean to be an entire day late with this post. Hopefully, next week will be better.

Last week I talked about the Index portion of the Bullet Journal, today I want to talk about the Future Log as I understand it. It goes without saying that every opinion in this part of the series and the series as a whole is mine and mine alone.

What Is A Future Log?

The simplest answer to this question is a list. A list reminding you when things like national holidays, birthdays, faith-based holidays are happening. A list that keeps track of appointments that may be months out. A list of tasks you know you want to do in the coming months. And a list of notes to yourself for the future.

How Do You Use The Future Log?

So, if the Future Log is a list, does that mean there’s no right and wrong way to use it. Yes and no. The right way is the way that works, even if it means not using it. The wrong way is, by contrast, using it in a way that hinders being able to get the most out of it.

Even when we talk about methods like the Alastair Method and The Calendex, methods that emerged before the Future Log was officially made a component of the basic Bullet Journal. None of the methods I talk about in this post should be used if they don’t work for someone. They’re part of a tool and have a function, and forcing ourselves to use something that isn’t working doesn’t help us.

Types of Future Log

It goes without saying that there are many types of Future Log. However, in this post, I will just be dealing with the three types. The Traditional Future Log, which can be found on BulletJournal.com; the Calendex, which has been featured on the official website; and the Alastair Method, which was also featured on the official website.

Traditional Future Log

The Traditional Future Log is the one you can see in Bullet Journal creator, Ryder Carroll’s, updated Bullet Journal overview video and as part of web tutorial on the system.

As you can see from the picture, in the standard version of this Future Log you do the following: label the top of the spread, divide the pages into threes, and label each of the resulting boxes with the next six months. But you can also do this by dividing a page into two or more columns depending on the size of your notebook. Some people even include a mini calendar to help with visualizing their month.

However, I do think this method has a small drawback. It’s harder to use this method in a pocket-sized notebook or other smaller notebook size. This can sometimes force someone in those sizes to use a whole page per month if they choose to go with this variation of the Future Log.

The Alastair Method

The Alastair Method is perhaps, in my mind, even more, simple than the Traditional Future Log. Label the page or pages with Future Log and providing you’re using a grid or dot grid notebook, all you have to do is place the first letter of the month at the top of your columns on the left side of the page and…voila! You’re done.

It’s a great method for minimizing the amount of space the Future Log takes up, which is especially awesome if someone is using a smaller notebook as I mentioned in the Traditional Future Log sub-section.

The Calendex

Perhaps the most complicated of the methods, I’ll simply leave it the explaining how it works to this Calendex article.

Its drawbacks include constant flipping through pages looking for appointments/events and no place for tasks in its original form. Its greatest asset being that the combination of calendar and index makes it great for people whose lives are heavily based on scheduling things in advance. This is especially true when the columns are wide enough.

What I Use and Recommend

If someone were to ask me what I recommend someone new to this system use, and what I used myself. I would ask about the size of their journal. I’ve found that the Traditional Method works best in average and large notebooks and the same with the Calendex. On the other hand, the Alastair Method is useable in all sizes as long as the user is able to keep the columns straight when looking at it. It isn’t that the Traditional Future Log and Calendex can’t work in a small notebook, but that they’re, generally, harder to pull off due to the size of the notebook.

Currently, I’m not using a Future Log at all. I moved from a Large Moleskine Classic (Amazon Link.) to a pocket-sized Traveler’s Notebook. The two slightly oversized pocket notebooks I’m using are crappy, so I didn’t want to use a Future Log until I move into better ones. When I do move into better notebooks, however, I will be using the Alastair Method.

Next Friday I will be talking about the Monthly Log. Monday and Wednesday’s post will, hopefully, be about my personal minimalism guidelines and a review of K.M. Weiland’s Outline Your Novel. Feel free to join me for those posts, if you want to. You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter. As for my Instagram, it has currently fallen into disuse for the most part. When I start getting back to my desired weekly Instagram post count, I will add the link again.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate in links. All that means is that I may receive a small commission if you click on a link from a product I’ve recommended in this post and purchase/subscribe to one of them. I’ll only ever recommend products I’ve used and enjoyed myself.Thank you for supporting my dorky little corner of the internet!

Gothic Minimalism

Gothic Minimalism Title

The word minimalism originally came from the art world as a slur against a certain style art. Its main dictionary definition to this day being:

A style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity.

But minimalism, like so many things, has evolved beyond the original confines of the definition to include a type of lifestyle. The minimalist lifestyle. One that has seen a recent surge is magazine coverage both praising and looking down it.

I love seeing other people’s minimalism stories. That said, I would like to talk about minimalism in the context of being a Goth.

My Goth Story

Like everyone else, I came to Goth in a way both unique to me and fairly common. As a little kid, I had been interested in some pretty odd things such as Horror movies and Anne Rice’s vampire novels. I can remember reading Vittorio The Vampire at nine-years-old and asking for another scary movie after my aunt forced me to watch Bride of Chucky when I was eight.

But I didn’t really get into Goth until I was twelve-years-old. One of my grandmothers was dying of cancer, so I started to dive deeper into the darker side of things as a way of making me feel better. I read Horror stories and Edgar Allan Poe and watched a lot of The Addams Family. Tupac Shakur, Jazz, and Blues were joined by the Punk band Good Charlotte and much more obviously gothy H.I.M.

Death and its reality at that age, where things are already in a constant state of change, can feel like it is gnawing at you from the inside out. As if your emotions and your body are trying to slit your throat when you sleep. Or at least, that is what I felt at thirteen-years-old when my Nana passed.

After she passed, darkness and Goth became like a sanctuary for me. It made me feel better and cope, as much as a kid that age can cope with death, better. And when the freshness of the grief was gone, I found that my childhood’s dark inclinations had solidified into something which is still a part of me today. Though, I do admit that many other Goths seem to find it strange that I still love Jazz, Blues, and other types of music not typically viewed as Goth in addition to much more obviously gothy music like Nightwish. I simply see it as part of my being a fully realized human being. I like what I like and happen to be more drawn to the darker side of things in terms of music, art, literature etc. so I’m Goth.

My Minimalism Story

I have to admit that I never pictured myself as being a minimalist until I discovered it nearly a year ago. But I do know when it started. Somewhere during late June of last year.

On that hot summer’s day between watering the chickens and spending time with a couple of my nieces and nephews, it hit me. I wanted to spend more time enjoying life, both in the context of my life as a fully realized person and in the context of being able to enjoy living in a multi-generational home.

So I started researching minimalism and found out that it wasn’t about how many possessions you started with, I didn’t and don’t have even a quarter of what others start with after getting rid of a lot during an intense move, but about being able to enjoy life and making room for enjoying life instead of worrying about stuff. I may not have come to minimalism with a number of possessions others had, but it became clear pretty quickly that it was exactly what I needed.

Combining Goth and Minimalism

So I had the Goth and I had the minimalist, next came finding out how to combine the two in a way that was aesthetically pleasing and appropriate for my life. I’m still on that part of the journey.

I invite everyone reading to follow me and see how the journey goes. Maybe it will inspire you to try minimalism for yourself, maybe it won’t. Either way, it is sure to be fun.

Join me on Wednesday for the first in a series of posts about researching fiction. First up, Historical Fiction. And don’t forget to join me on Friday for my normal Bullet Journal post. This week I’m, once again, continuing with Bullet Journal Basics by talking about the Future Log.

In the meantime, you can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Or you can subscribe to my mailing list if that fits better.

Bullet Journal Basics| The Index

Bullet Journal Basics- Index Title

Last Friday I introduced this series and talk a bit about rapid logging. This week I would like to talk about an often neglected part of the Bullet Journal system, the index.

One thing before we begin. If you want to a more general overview of the whole Bullet Journal system, please feel free to visit the official website.

What is an index?

An index or indices, to put it simply, is a list. Topics arranged down a page in a list, sometimes alphabetically, with the page(s) in a text where they’re located next to the topic.

Sub-indices?

A sub-index is no different than the main index of a Bullet Journal. It organizes information by topics and page numbers.

Where it excels and why so many use them is because they’re great for saving space in the main index and making pages dedicated to a subject like journal entries, drawing, or meeting notes more easily located later.

However, I would say that there’s also more variation in the sub-indices someone may use in their Bullet Journal than in the main Bullet Journal index. A simple list with the relevant topic heading isn’t uncommon at all, but someone may also choose to use a method based on Future Log methods like the Alastair Method or the Calendex.

What should be indexed?

There’s some debate over what should or shouldn’t be put in the index of a Bullet Journal. Some say everything, some say only the really important stuff.

I’m in the important stuff camp. My easy rule of thumb being that sub-indices, the start of a new month, Future Log, and collections should be placed in the main index. And anything important to the topic being covered by a sub-index should go in a sub-index if someone chooses to use one.

How do you index something?

In addition to the debate about what should be included or excluded from the Index, there’s also some debate about when to index something. I won’t rehash those debates here, they’re pretty pointless. But I prefer to think of indexing as an ongoing activity.

An activity where someone updates their Bullet Journal’s Index as the need arises. This may mean daily for a Calendex style index of Daily Logs for some and/or rarely for those who doesn’t use many Collections at all. The important part is that things are updated as you go.

Next Friday we’ll, as I mentioned before, be talking about the Future Log part of the Bullet Journal system. But if you want to join me I will be putting up the promised Magpie Lord post sometime this weekend. And Monday I’ll be talking about Gothic Minimalism. What Minimalism as a lifestyle movement is and how I put my own dark, Goth flare on it to be more exact.

In the meanwhile, you can find me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as well as the blog.

Monthly Review| March 2017

 

March 2017 title (1)

March was a pain in the ass. Yes, I did say that. Much like last month, I didn’t reach any of my goals. Blog and social media, writing etc. Nothing. And it has made me feel very grumpy.

However, I can’t say things were all bad. I started planning out a Traveler’s Notebook or Fauxdori business that I hope will appeal to Goths, people in the Steampunk community, and those who enjoy non-mainstream styles in general. Of course, I hope it also appeals to those in the mainstream part of society. But I’m really excited about it.

Right now I’m trying to figure out brand/shop names. Speaking of the shop, I plan to be focused on the smaller end of the Traveler’s Notebook spectrum B6 and its B6 Slim counterpart, Personal Size, A6, Field Notes/Pocket, Passport, and possibly Nano.

I also started a new story to get my mind off of Bringing Me Dreams and Written in the Stars and will be doing that this month during the April Camp NaNoWriMo. Matriarchal warrior cultures make me a very happy writer. More on that during a bonus post that will likely be going up this weekend.

That rambling aside, let’s get on to my various goals for the month of April.

Traveler’s Notebook Busines

This month, I have given myself a fairly set of goals when it comes to the shop this month.

  •  Find a name for the brand/shop.
  • Create notebook templates and start testing sizes.
  • Research pricing.

Blog & Social Media

I’ve finally learned from the fiasco of non-organic goals when it comes to the social media part of being a blogger. However, I also learned that setting a basic blog post goal gives me something to work towards. That in mind, my goals for the blog and social media for this month are:

  • 1) Post 12 posts.
  • 2) Use Pinterest more.
  • 3) Grow my Twitter following.
  • 4) Complete May and June’s editorial calendars.
  • 5) Get back to using Instagram.

Writing

Writing is another place where I finally learned to be more realistic, so my goals for this month are more organic in nature. They are:

  •  Write several poems.
  • Write and submit a flash fiction piece.
  • Complete Camp NaNoWriMo.

What are your goals for the month of April?

Next time I will be reviewing the seriously awesome The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles. LGBT Romance, Victorian England, magic. It’s going to be great!

In the meantime, feel free to check out my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter and Instagram, and check out my Pinterest.