31 Days of Learning to Simplify: My Notebook

Yesterday I shared about how I use my planner to it’s fullest potential as essentially an abbreviated journal. In that same vein, I also keep a notebook where I record miscellaneous lists and information that I might need to refer back to.

My Notebook is the sister to my Planner. In it, I copy all kinds of information: books to read, blogs to check out, favorite scriptures, recipes, gift ideas, home project master checklist, paint colors, and so on. Yes, I’m aware that there are apps for tracking this stuff – Evernote, Pinterest, Good Reads – I use and love all of those! But I prefer to have everything in one place (simplified) and as I mentioned in yesterday’s post – I’m old school! I just need a tangible collection of pages where I can scribble down all the zillions of things I want to remember. Out of my head and onto paper. Also, I have really irrational fears (or are they??) that all of my electronic information will just disappear completely. Enter, my Notebook. Here’s how it works:

(P.S., I did not come up with this idea for organizing information, but this is my take on it.)

On Page 1, I create an Index so I can quickly find topics as needed. I number as many as I can fit on the page, in a two-column format. Then I go ahead and fill in the first page numbers with things I already know I’ll need categories for. 

Mine looks like this:

Some of the categories take up two or more pages, like recipes and quotes/scriptures. I just tried to think ahead about which topics or lists would need extra space to grow.

Next, I go through and number each page after the Index in the corner, just like a book. 

Once you’ve finished those simple steps, you’re ready to go! You can begin filling in any information you want. Maybe start with the Notes app on your phone and clear out some storage space. 🙂

This notebook is something I keep close by (not as close as my planner, simply because I refer to it less often). It’s usually in my car or with my current stack of bills to pay at home. Every so often I will sit down with my Notebook and scroll through my phone’s notes and screenshots, transferring anything that I want to keep. 

My Notebook has become my very own reference book for my life. It wouldn’t mean much to anyone else because the information written in it is all personal to me – MY favorite authors and books, MY most loved quotes, MY “places to see” list. Having an organized spot where I can reference so many different topics and keep ongoing lists simplifies the need for fifteen different apps, and quite honestly? It frees up some brain space. Or at least it feels that way.

*Make sure you buy a journal with a lot of pages so you don’t run out of room too quickly. I also prefer a hardback because it seems to hold up better.  And as with the Planner, bonus points for a cute journal. 

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