How I Stay Organized Without a Bullet Journal

As some of you may be aware, I was pretty big into bullet journaling at the beginning of the year. I had always loved having a planner in school, so discovering a DIY project that was functional and an artistic outlet was amazing. However, when life started changing this summer it became hard to keep up with it. The first month and a half I was here in Austin, it felt like it was taking up too much valuable time.

Now with two jobs and a lot I want to achieve personally, I feel like I need a bullet journal again – or at the very least an actual planner! I’ll talk about about my December bullet journal once I have time to actually plan it. But today I wanted to share how I have stayed on top of everything I have to do in the absence of a physical planner.

I never thought I’d be a digital calendar type of person, but I didn’t really have a choice! At my new part-time job, the Google work calendar is critical. My boss will schedule everything and anything by appointment time. I used to think it was a bit much, considering we share an office and he could talk to me whenever. But now that I’ve been there for a month, I can see how it helps reduce cognitive overload! I realize if I want to have a chance to talk with him about something that keeps getting pushed off, it’s best to just schedule an appointment and send him an invitation.

My digital calendar habits have now trickled over to my other part-time job. We use Outlook for email and our training calendar, but I’ve come to realize with my new job situation it makes sense to keep my work schedule in Outlook so everyone there knows when I’ll be in the office. As my schedule here most often dictates when I’ll be at the other job, I feel silly for not doing this earlier.

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I am fortunate enough to be able to set my own schedule. This is only possible because I do a lot of independent administrative work that keeps me busy. I have a combination of work duties that include small projects and tasks with soft and hard deadlines. So that I always remember what I need to work on when I arrive at each workplace, I keep post-its with master to-do lists on my monitor.

It may look a little chaotic at first glance, but it’s a system that seems to be working. I do not know how sustainable it will be long-term as far as my mental health goes, but it is helping me survive and gain valuable work experiences. I feel like I’m learning a lot, honing important job skills, and at the same time being granted the time I still somehow need to figure out what I want to do and who I want to be.

However, similarly to the way I must force my boss and I to make the time to take care of small things, I do think that I must schedule my own shit to prioritize it the way I prioritize work tasks. So back to the bullet journal I must go…

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