But they are so pretty!

Vladimir Proskurovskiy

You may not be aware that, in another life, I run a productivity blog for writers, the Productive Indie Fiction Writer.

I have been interested in productivity for a long time, and the blog is a natural outlet for that interest.

When I was researching a blog post for the site the other day, I tripped over something that is making my creative muscle twitch, that I want to show you.   It’s so pretty!   I can’t really talk about it on the productivity blog, because it is a personal thing.  Besides, I have a feeling there are many of you reading this blog post who will understand.

Christina, over at My life in a bullet, is a self-confessed stationary addict. I have known that I am similarly addicted for a very long time. Staples and Office Depot are among my favourite stores. A box of colouring pencils makes my fingers twitch. I used to love paper planners, and thought I had died and gone to heaven when I saw my first Filofax. (Remember those?)

I love the act of writing on paper. Unfortunately, I rarely do it anymore.  My work and most of my life resides inside my computer, cell phone, and tablet. Oh, also my laptop. And the cloud–which I can get to with anyone else’s devices, and the right password.

The one drawback of paper planning systems is the repetition involved. Particularly for me, because so many tasks I complete throughout the day must be completed the next day, and the next day… That repetition soon becomes overwhelming.

Electronic planning systems with their repeatable tasks to the rescue. I think I was the first and only person I knew to have a Commodore computer–and used it to run a small home business. I was also the first person and only person I knew to have a PalmPilot. I have been using electronic gadgets to keep my work and life on the rails for a very long time.

Back to Christina at My life in a bullet.  She uses a bullet journal. Bullet journals are to paper what task managers are to cell phones. Only, they’re even better than that.

I have resisted with all my might the temptation to use a bullet journal, since I first learned about them.  Primarily, I’ve avoided them because of the repetition thing.  But I contemplate converting back to paper about every six months also because of, well…stationary! Coloured pencils! Writing on paper!  Calligraphy!

There is something exciting and appealing to me about a blank sheet of lined writing paper.

Then I saw Christina’s bullet journal, using the disk binding system and my heart stopped.  For nearly ten minutes, I seriously contemplated ditching my computer and reverting back to paper. It’s that pretty!  Ditching electronic task management would be insanity, though. I know that very well. However, for a few moments, I really did think about it, because it would let me play with pens and paper and pencils.

In the back of my mind, I am still wondering if there is some way to have the best of both worlds. I wish there was. But frankly, everything that I would put on paper, I would sooner or later have to convert to bytes.  In my time-crunched world, it is a time sink I cannot afford.

If the idea of stationary makes your nose twitch, head over to Christina’s page about her bullet journal, and have a look. If you don’t rush out to the nearest office supply store after that, you have more discipline than me!

Do you keep a bullet journal? Do you use the disk system? Do you use a paper planner? How have you resisted the lure of electronic organization?



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Tracy Cooper-Posey
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