an A5 traveler's notebook for my planner, sketchbook, journal, and business ideas

Things that used to fit and flow just haven’t in the same way this year… all through my life, creative energy, relationships. Many have just needed adjustments, integration, clarity. Some have needed boundaries and space, or to just be released in one way, shape or form.

It’s all been about growth and assessment, contraction and expansion, and moving toward honest wholeness, on some level.

It’s good to have an environment that supports our values and choices. A commitment to that is what gets shit done, and creativity flowing. Not always easy, though…

So how do we make or help create that environment? That life? We can’t change everything, of course… sometimes it’s just about adaptability and resiliency and working with what is, too. Finding how This Me now fits in with This Life I am living, this work I am doing, these things that move and call me, these people I love, etc.

Before I go and get all side-tracked and deep about life on this one… let me just use a simple, practical example from my uncomfortable process of restlessness, trial-and-error, and growth this year. Because if it’s shifting on a deep level, you better believe you’ll feel it in all the simple, ordinary levels, too. *geesh* Which brings me to…

My planner.

Nothing has worked, satisfied or met my needs this year… which have admittedly, become more discerning than in the past. Like in all the other ways in my life.

I have literally made, modified or tried 7+ variations in the past 9 months. Like many things, I can’t always quite put my finger on, and certainly don’t graciously bring words to these days, none of them ‘fit’ me quite right. And I am an analog girl for this function.

Hellllooo… first world problems, I know… and yet, even in these little ways we respond and react and try to dance with our lives, we can learn about the bigger ways we do so in other areas of life. We can learn about the journey of restlessness and change, for instance, of trying to find what and how and when and with whom we fit in new or re-membered incarnations of our self.

So… back to my little OCD planner journey this year…

Some just had too much structure or distraction. Too much freedom or chaos. Too big and heavy. Too small. Not enough room to breathe and vision and get a sense of my own thoughts. Nothing was inherently wrong with any of these planners… they were just wrong for me right now.

Or I would carry around 5 different books/thing-ys to meet my usual process needs (the planner, the sketchbook, the journal, the thing that holds the loose things…).

Now, I do know that you have to actually *use* the planner for the planner to work. That truth can be mind-blowing to efficiency, of course. 😉

And while I am someone who needs a good amount of freedom or flexibility for my process in work to thrive, I also require some form of schedule and planning to keep me focused and grounded in the day-to-day, and from drifting off into the oceans of my blissfully creative, yet unpalpable, Pisces never-never-land.

All of this to say, after flitting about this year, seeking the structure for my planner that assists the reality of my day-to-day AND the needs of my imaginative process, I have returned to bullet journaling and a traveler’s notebook.

And I’m loving it because I did so with certain specifications unique to me. The first traveler’s notebook I tried years ago felt wonky and not big enough.

So I splurged and had one handmade in the A5 size by this great little shop on Etsy. A5 is just slightly bigger than a Moleskine, and I’ve loved that size for awhile.

The first time I gave bullet journaling a try, it got way too chaotic. I liked the freedom… but it felt too chaotic and repetitive.

I also didn’t stick with it long enough to find my sweet spot of structure and keeping-it-oh-so-simple. When I came back for another go this summer, it all seemed to fall into place, and I’m mostly loving it now – my way.

I also enjoy that a travelers notebook allows me to make my own signatures for it, if I need something specific… for instance, mini art journals for on-the-go ideas or play.

And those artsy pages don’t get lost in the mix of work planning, calendars and to-do lists… because they get their own little signatures.

Anyhow, I shared a very short flip-through of my beloved new creative life and biz assistant traveler’s notebook over on my Instagram stories today. It’s the one in the image above, of course. I *love* that blue leather.

Down below are just a few links to some planners I have used, liked and tried over the years on my journey of realizing that how things seem to fit and flow in life will just keep changing.

And if we keep stretching and trying, responding to our restlessness and discomfort – and in relation to our inherent, dynamic and unique creative energy and needs – we may just find our own sweet spot… a right fit in little approaches, to how we function and relate.

Ways that more wholly support our work, discovery, connections and how we can show up, with focus and intention and freedom, along the way.

The Simple Elephant planner
Moleskine 18 month planner
Enchanted Forest Journal
Passion Planner

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