When other women ask how I "do it all" (whatever that means), I usually shrug my shoulders and talk about what a good team Jeremy and I are. Which is completely true. Never once have I stopped to consider there are additional ways I intentionally calm the crazy in my life.
Enter my notebooks.
I'll put myself out there and say that I feel all warm and fuzzy about my notebook collection. I usually take one with me anytime I leave the house. I'm a pen and paper sort of girl, and only use my phone to keep track of shopping lists. I even use a tried and true wall calendar to keep track of the family schedule.
I've tried apps like Evernote to keep it all together, but I just wasn't jiving with it.
I love writing things down.
If keeping track of life in notebooks helps me, someone who believes the brain cells in charge of memory slipped secretly out when I gave birth five times over, then maybe they'll help you too.
You certainly don't have to have as many notebooks as I have, (or any!) but maybe this post will give you an idea or two and help you gain some extra brain space of your own.
1. Bible Study - This notebook holds whatever notes from whatever book of the Bible I'm currently studying. Right now I'm studying Numbers with the gang over on the First 5 app. (It's free! Go snag it. I love waking up with the First 5 crew.) It also holds the things I'm learning from certain passages or books of Scripture that I'll eventually use to form speaking notes when I have a speaking engagement.
2. Personal Journal - In this notebook, I ask myself questions and answer them. For instance, "What's making me crazy right now?" or "What am I worried about?" and other honest inquiries. Leanna Tankersley speaks about having this sort of journal in her book Brazen, which was a great read for me in early 2016. We were thankful to be able to chat with her as a guest on The Masterpiece Mom podcast a few months back to discuss her new book. Have a listen right here.
3. Project or Ministry Notebook - This one helps me keep track of all things regarding the ministry of The Masterpiece Mom. Blog post ideas, meeting notes, podcast notes, and brainstorms are all kept here.
4. Bullet Journal - Meet my brain: the bullet journal. It's not a specific type of journal, rather it's a journaling method. Learn about it at www.bulletjournal.com -- You're welcome! I keep track of my daily and monthly to-do's here, along with other sorts of lists like party invites, book lists, packing lists, etc.
5. Sermon Notes - I retain more when I'm taking notes during a sermon. The end.
6. Moving Notebook - More specifically, I call this my North Carolina book. But if there's anything that requires tons of attention and numerous details, consider dedicating an entire notebook to it. Eek. There I go again, mentioning that we're moving without talking about it. I promise, that's coming soon.
7. Healthy Living - This one is dedicated to keeping track of healthy eating habits and exercise. It helps me stay accountable to myself and my goals, even though I often forget to write in it. As an almost 40 year-old woman, the importance of staying active and eating well for my health is at the forefront of my mind. If I don't feel well, it's usually because I'm not taking care of myself.
8. Writing Ideas and Quotes - This little notebook holds all the writing ideas that pass through my mind when I'm going about my day. No matter how much I convince myself I'll remember them, I just can't. I also collect quotes I may want to use in my future writing as well.
9. Prayer - Usually, I post prayer requests on my bedroom wall using white post-its and pretty washi tape, but since we've been in home-selling mode around here the last couple of months, I've had to clear the wall. So I turned to a prayer notebook. Again, I just can't remember all that I'd like to be lifting to the Lord in prayer. This helps me be more intentional.
How do you keep track of your life?