Cooking Journal

Food Journal and PenI should have known this would happen. Making breakfast burritos turned out to be so easy (and, once I got the method down, the results were so delicious) that it’s sucked me into the dark side of actually wanting to cook.

Mind you, that’s not to say I’m going straight into gourmet chef territory. I’m still looking for things that are quick, easy, and don’t use too many pots and pans.

To help me keep track of all of this, I’ve conscripted this mini Eccolo. It’s kind of a victory for me, actually using a notebook I already had instead of going out to buy a new one. And who knows? Maybe some of those foods will make it onto this blog as well. (In picture form, at least.)

So, sorry, that’s all I have for you today. I’m just happy about starting a new journal, and I felt like blogging about it. I hope Wednesday is treating you all well, though! And with any luck, treating you to some delicious food.


Time to Choose a New Notebook (Again)

“Tricky customer, eh? Not to worry, we’ll find the perfect match here somewhere . . .” (J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)

I’ve talked about choosing a notebook before. As I’m (re)reading the Harry Potter series now, I can’t help thinking it’s a lot like choosing a wand. Maybe that’s why I always like knowing what the wands are made of.

Right now: black cover with chalk-like writing and designs (slightly flexible but also offers some support); lined, off-white pages, roughly 8 x 5.5 inches, with design at top left corner.

Choosing a New Journal

Notebooks 3

Notebook brands (from left to right): Markings by C.R. Gibson, Moleskine, and Bonnie Marcus & Co.

Sometimes choosing a new notebook (I only used the word “journal” in the title so no one would accidentally come here looking for laptop advice) takes a while. I weigh what I want: spiral back? Decorative cover, or something more subdued? Plain pages? Lined or unlined?

Other times, I know what I want as soon as I see it.

This is why I buy so many notebooks. I never know which one will be right for which moment. It’s also why I like to have things across a wide range of possibilities. Sometimes I need a paper adventure, something different from my usual style.

This past weekend, I was quite sick. (Crohn’s, in one of those occasional horrible flares.) Coming out of that, I might want to focus on work, or wrap myself up in something soothingly blank, but I don’t think that’s what I need. What I need is that verse on the leftmost journal. And maybe some other verses, too, but that’s a good place to start.

It’s not the notebook I had planned to use. I was all geared up for a ribbon bookmark. But when I saw that verse, something inside me said, “That one.”

Notebook PagesSo the new notebook begins, with a lace-filigree topped page. There are worse ways.

A Review of Bullet Journaling

“Her fingers itched at the thought of a notebook, of a pen flying over the pages, of her thoughts, finally free to move, flowing out.” (Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh)

I started keeping notebooks because of Harriet M. Welsch. But I wonder if I had any idea that they would become part of my brain space–that, like Harriet, I would feel strange and constrained when I hadn’t written my thoughts down, or when I hadn’t summed up daily events.

Nevertheless, that’s been happening more and more often. So when I saw this post about bullet journaling, it immediately appealed to me as a way of organizing things at a glance, separate from the irregular stream-of-consciousness life of my notebooks.

A month later, I have to say that I quite like the system. I’ve made some adjustments, of course. The summarized calendar view doesn’t work for me; I’m good with a monthly list of things to do and a daily breakdown of events. I also only use two bullet types: dots and check boxes. Another thing that works for me is that I chose a slim journal. This was in case I didn’t like the system, but it had a great side effect: my bullet journal can fit in my purse without taking much space from my regular notebook, so I can use it to jot down events or to-do lists as needed throughout the day.

As far as worrying about the bullet journal replacing my notebooks: it does seem to have absorbed my notebooks’ recap function, but I tend to neglect that anyway. And now that I think about it, since starting the bullet journal, I seem to feel less stressed about missing daily recaps; this way I am recapping, and I can always come back and fill in some detail later, in my notebook.

I also like that my notebooks “talk” to the bullet journal, referencing things written there, so that to a certain extent, the two function together rather than independently. I could write a whole post about brain space, all the external things that become part of the way our minds function, and that thus become essential to constructing a complete view of the inward identity of an individual. (On second though, nah, that’s probably enough right there.)

But this post is about the bullet journal specifically, so instead I’ll just say this: I expect bullet journaling is something I’ll keep doing, not as a replacement for my notebooks, but as a companion. I’ve found it useful for keeping things organized in my mind, and that’s invaluable for me. Besides, as everyone knows, notebooks are always ready to gather companions. One way they’re like the TARDIS. Also, they’re bigger on the inside.

Notebook and Logs

Reading and writing logs, bullet journal, and current notebook: a few of the things that make up my external brain space.