IMG_0161Writing, planning and journaling have always had a special place in my heart. Between keeping a diary, getting into art school for my doodles done out of boredom, constantly rewriting my ABC’s to practice my handwriting, and writing poetry… I’ve always had a pen between my fingers and paper beneath my hand. Not to mention, I am a HUGE stationary junkie! Pens, markers, journals, paper, notebooks, pencils, highlighters, you name it, I’M OBSESSED! I love the feeling of writing, so much so that I would never turn down the opportunity to write something for someone. I take pride in my handwriting and am always interested in learning more ways to improve it.

I’ve also been a long time lover of systems and organization. From the way I hang my clothes, to how I write my name, and how I function throughout the day, everything that I do, ideally, has a system and a way it should be done. Though, if I’m totally honest, sometimes my life is super chaotic and my surroundings can often be cluttered beyond belief, I am still obsessed with looking at chic, neat and well put together spaces and organization systems. It makes me kind of OCD.

IMG_3423With my stationery obsession and my love of systems, it only makes sense that I am a “Plan-NERD”, but it didn’t start there. When I was in high school, keeping a daily planner was an important daily requirement that influenced my eligibility for graduation. Every day, before anything else happens, the entire school gathered in the lunch area for the morning “Pick-Me-Up” meetings that consisted of the morning welcome, announcements, recognition, and anything else we all needed to know for that day. After, we were dismissed to our homeroom classes (we called it “advisory”, and we stayed together from freshman to senior year), where our “advisor” would give us guided instruction on what to put in our planners which included the day’s schedule, important notes, assignments, tests, due dates, etc.

Between being required to keep a planner in high school as a factor for graduation and the vast assortment of student planners that bombard you throughout school, planning is a habit that has always been second nature to me. I’d even binge watch planner and calligraphy videos on youtube, and scroll Pinterest for hours, fawning over clean, precise and expressive writings and journals (don’t judge me!)

As I started to develop my habits in college, I was introduced to the “unicorn magic” of Apple and iOS, and that was the start of my technologically driven obsession with automation and convenience….I BECAME A LAZY, DIGITAL CENTRIC MILLENNIAL! I mostly stopped physically writing and drawing, and replaced it with writing and drawing on the computer (even though I was still a total stationary junkie).

A few years ago, all of my Apple devices started giving out on me at the same time. One by one, I lost them all… First my iPod, then my iPhone, MacBook, iMac, and finally my iPad. Once I lost the convenience of having my calendars, notes, memories, and everything else being able to sync and having constant access to all of my information, it was like my life broke. My productivity, daily habits, motivation, and memory suffered a MAJOR reduction.

IMG_0163Since then, I have been trying to find my way back to physically writing and have discovered the Bullet Journal system that everyone has been ranting and raving about.

Bullet Journaling (or BUJO for short) is a customizable organization system that can be your planner, to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, all at the same time. It was created by Ryder Carroll, a digital product designer in Brooklyn, NY, to be a rapid, analogous note-taking method to increase productivity. In the years since it went viral, it has been an ever-evolving tool that can be adapted to that of the user to be any and everything that they need it to be. (You can learn more about Bullet Journaling on the official website www.bulletjournal.com)

When I found the bullet journal system, I was eager to try it to see how it would fit into my daily habits. It sparked my interested as a tool that I could you to release some of my creative desires and redevelop a writing habit that I could stick to. I researched for what seemed to be forever, until I decided that I would just jump in feet first and see what would come of it. (I’ll let you know how that goes)

When I moved to Houston, I decided that I would buy my first “official” Bullet Journal and start my BUJO journey. Being that I was new to the area and didn’t know aything at all about Houston, I did a Google search for local places to buy the bullet journalers’ notebook of choice, the Leuchtturm1917, dot grid, hardcover, medium-sized notebook. Initially, my search turned up nothing. There were actually several people in the area that had been looking for places to buy a dot grid Leuchtturm, but after some intricate digging and reading several forums, including Reddit (which I haven’t quite figured out yet), I found a comment from someone that a local stationary store called Dromgoole’s Fine Writing we one of few places in the area that actually carried Leuchtturm brand notebooks in-store. THAT WAS IT! I hopped in my car, loaded the GPS directios to Dromgoole’s in my Google Maps app, and I was on my way to get that notebook, no matter what!

IMG_0086When I finally got to the store, I had to practice really hard at containing my excitement and keep from acting like a big ole “kid in a candy store”. It was STATIONARY HEAVEN!!! After looking around for a while (meaning that I pretty much walked up every aisle in the store), I looked through all of the color possibilities that they had in dot grid journals to ffind the perfect one for me.

Once it was about 30 minutes to closing time (5:00 PM CST), I had finally made my decision. It was a lime green, dot grid, Leuchtturm1917 notebook. I bought my notebook and a Pilot FriXion Erasable Gel Pen and that was the start of my BUJO journey.

I created an Instagram called “Plan With Desi” to keep me interested, inspired, and accountable while I explore myself through practicing this journaling and note taking method. I’m going to try not to let my Type A side get the best of me with wanting perfection, or the Type B side that’s bouncing off the walls with creativity and ideas get me so excited that I’m not productive at all.

You can follow along with me there @planwithdesi, or here on my blog at www.desimslaughter.com/create/planwithdesi

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