End of the World or End of the Year

Although it currently unclear whether this is the end of the world or the end of the year, I’m being optimistic. I’ve started thinking about how I want to set up my 2021 bullet journal. If nothing else, it keeps me occupied, and hopeful, and thinking about something other than the existential horror of 2020.

The first thing I did was review my current bullet journal to see how I’ve used it. There are pages in the front devoted to the four major goals I wanted to accomplish this year, all of which when straight out the window by March. Not because they were squishy resolutions; they were solid SMART goals. It was all COVID-19 and related ennui. I’ve settled on one objective for 2021, and it’s far less ambitious: just survive. I’ll write more on this in the near future.

Looking over the current journal, I realized that I have a finite number of pages left. This year was the first time I started a new journal on 1 January. I’d like to do the same for the coming year, because the tidiness of it sooths me. So I counter the number of pages left, and divided it by the number of weeks left this year, and that left me with a reasonable “page budget” that I need to stick to.

Going Mostly Analog

One thing I want to do next year is get rid of as many electronic tools as possible. When I look through the windows of our flat, I see forest and sky and a lake. Looking through the window of the internet on my laptop and phone, I see nothing but a burning hellscape. Again, unclear if this is the end of the world or the end of the year. I’d like to avoid that window as much as possible.

I’d also like to spend less time staring at screens in general. It’s far more pleasant to be able to look things up in my journal, write down notes, and review things while sipping coffee. To that end, I’m replacing Google Keep with tiny pocket notebooks that measure about 5cm x 7.5cm (2″ by 3″). When I’m not in a position to access my journal, I can jot down notes. I will hand-write grocery lists, and copy down any information I need before going it.

It also means that some things that I currently track on spreadsheets or in Scrivener will move into the bullet journal. I spent a day going over what I currently track, deciding what matters and what doesn’t. Then I figured out the most efficient way to turn those things into spreads, collections, or simple trackers in my bullet journal.

Two or Four Journals Per Year

I’ll be writing more about my new setup in the coming weeks. There’s still a lot of filtering to be done. I want to make sure that I’m not tracking things for the sake of tracking them, or making things needlessly complicated and confusing. Even though I fit all of 2020 into one journal, I figure that 2010 will take at least two. I’ll break it evenly, six months per book. There may be some empty space at the end, but not a lot.

If I add in some of the things I’m considering, though, I may even go to one journal per quarter. The appeal of that is more journals. There are very few things that I buy for myself, or enjoy shopping for. Journals are a treat. I find setting them up relaxing, and then using them extremely satisfying. The thought of a new journal every 3 months makes me giddy. It also means that I can switch things up as my life, and this f’n world, inevitably continues to change.

End of the World or End of the Year

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About Berin Kinsman

Berin Kinsman is a writer, game designer, and owner/publisher at Dancing Lights Press. An American by accident of birth, he currently lives in Finland with his wife, artist Katie Kinsman.

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