Dot Journaling Planning System + a GIVEAWAY!

bullet journal

I’m a sucker for a book on organizing. Or planning. Or both. 

Have you ever tried to make a bullet journal? (Or, if you’re like me, you’ve just filled up an entire Pinterest board with bujo inspiration instead). 

I’m always attracted to the ongoing list/journaling of bullet journals and that everything is personalalized. Everything is YOURS. YOU make lists and layouts that YOU care about. 

But I have to admit, I’ve started a bullet journal a few times, and I’ve never been able to stick with it for more than a week or two. 

I recently read Dot Journaling, A Practical Guide: How to Start a Keep the Planner, To-Do List, and Diary That’ll Actually Help You Get Your Life Together by Rachel Wilkerson Miller. 

This is kind of a step-by-step how-to for starting your now dot journal. 

Call me crazy, but having a sort-of instructional manual made the process a whole lot easier! 

Here were some of my favorite systems! 

The Basics of Dot Journaling
First of all, a Dot Journal has the same planning layouts as a traditional planner (that is, if you want it to!). Yearly spread, monthly, etc. But what I was really fascinated by, and wanted to know more about, were all the symbols! 

Of course, you can always make your own, but here is how Rachel suggests using them…

. to do
x done
> migrated
< scheduled
^ started
/ cancelled
– note

She also recommends using a blank square box for events and coloring them in with different colors, depending on what the event is. For example: 

Blue Square = work event
Green Square = school event
Pink Square = personal/home event

Most importantly, make it whatever YOU want it to look like! Otherwise, it will be harder to stick with it. 

Using Your Dot Journal as a Diary
This is something I like about the Passion Planner. It not only allows you to look forward and plan, but to look back and reflect. The chapter about diaries was very interesting because guess what diaries used to look like? LISTS! 

Until about 100 years ago when we started writing paragraph after paragraph of our daily dramas in them. I kind of love this way of thinking about diaries, because it forces you to think of/write a highlight or outstanding moment from each day. And when these lists are put together, they’ll still tell the beautiful story of your life! 

Making Your Dot Journal Your Own
You know how sometimes you get a planner, and you like the layout but you don’t love the color scheme? Or you think the colors are beautiful, but you wish there was more room to write on the weekends? (WHY do they always make Saturday and Sunday so small?!?!). 

Dot Journaling means you’ll never have to deal with that. Because YOU are using the exact layouts, colors, etc. that work for you. This is where you have the perfect to follow a million Instagram accounts with beautiful bujo (or dojo?) inspiration! 

Making a dot journal is an excuse to buy a new cute notebook and pens in every beautiful color you want a sure way to keep your to-do list relevant to your life.

But for real, get those beautiful pens and that notebook, too! 🙂 

Ok, are you ready for a giveaway?! Enter below to win a copy of Rachel’s book and get on your way to making your very own beautiful dot journal! Good luck!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you keep a bullet journal or dot journal? If so, what tips and tricks do you have for starting one and sticking with it?! 

Follow Organized Charm’s Planner Ideas board for bujo/dojo inspiration! 

List of Lists to Keep in Your Planner

Lists are the best, aren’t they? They can give you information, help you clear your mind, and (most importantly) they look so lovely!

I would say about 80% of my “Planner Ideas” board on Pinterest consists of lists to keep in my planner. (Speaking of planners, it’s time to order a new academic planner– YAY!)

Almost every (good) planner has room for notes/lists in the back of it. However, I NEVER used them until last year. I kept thinking… “is this important enough?” “is it TOO important?”
You want it to be a list you can use all year, but you also don’t want it to contain too much personal info (such as usernames & passwords)… just in case!

Here are the lists I currently have in my planners: 

Karen Adams Agenda:

Baby Registry Items
Home Décor Shopping List
House Projects
Kindergarten Curriculum

Passion Planner:

Baby Names (Boys)
Baby Names (Girls)
Bands to See
Christmas Card List
Christmas Gift List
Gardening Map
Gift Ideas
Movies to See
Pinterest Boards
Possible Junior League Placements
Quotes I Love
Shopping List
Style Inspiration

Here are some list ideas for my upcoming planner

Yes, I already have a list of lists that I’m planning for my next planner. If that doesn’t sound crazy, I don’t know what does!
Birthday Tracker
Books to Read
Changeable Meal Plan, Meal Prep, & Shopping List
Color Coding Key
Habit Tracker
Monthly/Seasonal Bucket Lists
Movies to See
Things to be Happy About
And, of course, it’s always great to add just a pink page, like Bekka Palmer did! J

Do you keep a lot of lists in the back of your planner? Do you plan them out or just write them as they’re needed? What are some of your favorites? Share below! 🙂 


High School Study Tips

I spend a lot of time focusing on college study tips, and that is really important that we take the time to remember our OC babies! 

Homework, study hall, drivers ed, curfews, and the potential to get grounded. 

That’s right, this post is all about studying in high school!

Plan Ahead.
First and foremost, I’ll start this post like I start every post: Have a planner and use it religiously! (I just happen to know of a great one). But for me, high school was always a little harder to plan for because there was no full course syllabus at the beginning of the year. 
Dates for quizzes, tests, assignments, homework, (and substitute teachers) can sneak up on you… especially with 6+ classes a day! Don’t forget all the extracurricular stuff, plus bringing money for fundraisers, field trips, etc. So keep your planner with you at all times and write down EVERYTHING as soon as you hear about it!
Use a mechanical pencil just in case things change (which they will). Also, use a highlighter system to keep you on track:
Yellow = In Progress
Pink = Complete

Set a Timer.

When you get home from school every day, set a timer and work high priority to low priority! So…either start with the thing that’s due the soonest or the thing that’s worth the most points.
I played competitive sports in high school, so sometimes I didn’t even get home until 10:00. There was no way I was getting ALL the homework done EVERY night, so I just went with the top priority items.
So, if I didn’t make it to that 5 point worksheet by the next day, it wasn’t really that big of a deal.
(I also knew which teachers would give me extra credit for bringing in extra boxes of tissues. God bless you, Ms. Parker)
Perfect Your Time Management.

Manage your time as wisely as possible. High school is full of important schoolwork and every day feels like it’s the most stressful one ever (or at least, that was my experience). At the end of the day, make sure that you’ve also allowed yourself the balance to actually enjoy your friends, football games, dances, etc.
Work for 30 minutes at a time then give yourself a 5 minute break. Also, work smarter, not harder. A lot of teachers assign similar assignments, so don’t be afraid to “piggyback” off of your prior projects and just make it a little better each time!

Even though it’s been (ahem) a while since I’ve been in high school, I definitely remember it was a high stress time… Having 3 lockers (one in each building), literally running to class carrying 30 books to make it before my teacher locked the door, and (most importantly), trying to catch up on the details of every little daily drama between classes.
If it feels a little overwhelming right now, just remind yourself that college will be here before you know it and things get SO. MUCH. BETTER. 😀

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