Planner as Bullet Journal: 2018 Jibun Techo: (3) A5 Standard: EDC / Core

Planner as Bullet Journal: A5 Slim Jibun Techo Standard, as EDC / Core


My EveryDay everyWhere Carry plays third limb, keeping essentials of my bullet journal system accessible at all times. An A5 Slim Jibun Techo Standard hosts this critical module.

Estimated Reading Time: 12 minutes

Mapping this Series

✦︎ Part 1: Bullet Journal ReVamp: Why
✦︎ Part 2: Jibun Techo B6 Slim Biz Mini → Business & Related Finances
✦︎ ✓ Part 3: Jibun Techo A5 Slim Standard → EDwC / Core
✦︎ Part 4: Jibun Techo A5 Slim Biz → OnLine World
✦︎ Part 5: Accessories; Summary


2018 A5 Slim Jibun Techo, Standard: EDwC / Core Component

Jibun Techo models: Lining up our ducks in a row
Jibun Techo models: Lining up our ducks in a row

Now that we’ve lined our ducks in a row, it’s time to focus on my baby, the gal playing maestro to harmonize all components. Recall this section from my full how-torevamp mindmap shared in Part 1:

Jibun Techo A5 Slim STANDARD → EDwC
Jibun Techo A5 Slim STANDARD → EDwC

The Daily Log and time blocking rule all else.

A5 Slim Jibun Techo: Yearly Index: Personal projects timelines

A post-it note sticks to the facing page, presenting a list of nicknames assigned to current personal projects. The sticky reflects each project in a different color. The color matches one or more descending vertical arrows in the Yearly Index, drawn through the pertinent time period.

A Hobonichi Weeks is dedicated exclusively to housing 2018 dreams (hence, its name: Dream Magnet). Hammering out action steps, including personal projects, spread across its Note Pages section. The Weeks section within the Hobo witnesses my cobbled milestone deadlines. I’d rather set books next to each other, viewing both with ease, than flip back and forth among pages in the same book. Learned that preference the hard way.

Jibun Techo Standard: Month: HardLandscape Events

  • Be there events: preceded with a drawn open checkbox

No pretend dates live here. The typical entry reflects a date and time arranged by someone else. Others confirm my agreement to meet/converse with someone at the designated time, whether in person, via Skype, or the like.

  • Deadlines: Color Bars

Deadlines also form hardlandscape events. Mine usually fall under one of two professional umbrellas: law or writing.

Query: when you’re allergic to duplicates, how do you resolve Calendar items meriting an appearance on both the core and business calendar (Biz Mini) components?

Answer: Ya get tricky, as detailed in the Annotated Notes section following the pic below. Hint: color proves a friend.


A5 Slim, Jibun Standard: Month: HardLandscape Calendar
A5 Slim, Jibun Standard: Month: HardLandscape Calendar

Summary Annotation Notes

  1. Blue bar: writing deadline (details: Biz Mini/ Biz book)
  2. ✓ box: handled as scheduled
  3. Orange date block: holiday (Philly Eagles parade day. Philly courts closed, making this a kinda holiday.)
  4. Red-filled checkbox: event cancelled
  5. Red “X” through checkbox: rescheduled
  6. Yellow bar: Birthday or similar (see Special Days list in Permanent Collections/ Idea/ this book; Valentine’s Day treated like hubs’ b-day)
  7. Red bar: law-related event or deadline
  8. Scratch notes re accrued (mandatory) CLE credits (Continuing Legal Education). Interpretation for Colleagues: By the end of February, I’ll have satisfied Pa., NJ and CT CLE requirements through April 30, 2019. Yesssss, fist pump!

Writing and legal deadlines are detailed within the Biz Mini / Business component.

Why not use Frixion erasable ink pens? I live in North Carolina, where snow is rare but intense heat is not. Hardlandscape dates are critical, and I dang near live in my convertible when weather permits. This book is usually with me.

Translation: since Frixion ink loves playing peekaboo when exposed to heat, and I ain’t wild ’bout shoving my baby into the freezer → pass. Other Jibuns? Fine, but not in this core calendar.

Jibun Techo Standard: Week View: (Dual) Time Blocking

A5 Slim Jibun Techo, Standard: Week View → dual time blocking
A5 Slim Jibun Techo, Standard: Week View → dual time blocking

I kicked todo lists to the curb early part of last year. Reason: they promote an ongoing timesink: migration. Not how I choose to invest my time. A more thorough explanation appears in my article focused on time blocking.

Cliff Notes: I spread 90 hours involving 5 primary life categories over the course of a week. Those hours transform into category time blocks, forming The Plan for each day. That plan serves as guide, not schoolmarm.

As the day unfolds, I use an ink pen to note time blocks along the right side of the column → → The Reality. I add brief notes in the middle.

During a subsequent review session, I add color to The Reality time blocks. I compare the two sets of blocks during the Weekly Review. Why? Because patterns (e.g. orange category mismatches, serial days) tell me I’m avoiding something, likely due to fear. If I didn’t employ this technique, I’d miss the pattern.

Working independently yields a need for heightened accountability. The dual time blocks satisfy that need better than anything else I’ve implemented. They also keep me focused, withOUT the hassles of todo lists.

Time blocks remain among my best friends. I respect them as a direct result.

Why didn’t I get another A5 Biz version? I know my foibles. Visual cues protect me. Munchkin book? Business stuff. Colorful? Core. Clean pages? Blog stuff and related. No chance for an oops.

The A5 Slim Jibun Techo’s Gannt Chart: Routines

Short and sweet:
• Morning Routine primary steps
• Evening Routine primary steps
• Weekly Routine: Saturday spaces highlighted
• Monthly Routine: last 3 days highlighted

The A5 Slim Jibun Techo’s Miscellaneous Forms

I draw nothing. The provided forms address my needs.

✦︎ My Dream 2018

A 2018 Hobonichi Weeks plays Dream Magnet. General rule: I’m allergic to duplication. Therefore, this section remains unused.

✦︎ Weekly Plan (template): my ideal routines-focused schedule

This section zeroes in on my morning and evening routines, as well as my preferred dual time blocks distribution.

✦︎ Japan Map: ink swatches

Limited to writing tools used in this Jibun A5 Slim Standard and related companion notebooks.

✦︎ Favorite Phrases → Motivational Quotes

Example: No use going back to yesterday. I was a different person then. (Author unknown)

✦︎ Book List → as intended

The list reflects Audible, Kindle, and print books. I always include length/size/time, so I’ll know what I’m committing to before I choose. The Jibun factory labeling includes three blockheads: smiley, why-am-I-here face, and smiley face, coaxing my quickie ✓ rating note.

✦︎ Movies List → as intended

The Movies list sees lotsa NetFlix entries. And, a first in several months: one theater movie (Black Panther —methinks it’s gonna prove historic).

I also enter on-demand webinars. Having branched out into a new-to-me arena, I’ve got boatloads to learn. Leaving a comfort zone opens two doors: the road to glory (I did it! Woot!) and gory (playground of Poindexter, my inner critic). Fear loves to instill resistance. To counteract it, I devised this webinar listing. I want it in my face, rather than tucked away at, YouTube, or similar. I can’t beat fear if I don’t confront it. The list constitutes my confrontation zone.

✦︎ Recommendations List → Forest Therapy, i.e. My Church

A5 Slim Jibun Techo, Standard: Recommendations → Church / Forest Therapy
A5 Slim Jibun Techo, Standard: Recommendations → Church / Forest Therapy

(Moved from the former everything Biz Mini.) Providing two checkboxes per month, local and driiiiive, hun! nature spots populate the listing. I’ve not yet filled in January and February indulgences. Scheduled for the Presidents’ Day holiday weekend.

✦︎ Gifts Given / Received → Wisdom Folks

I don’t keep track of gifts I’ve given. Not how I was raised. Give. Shut up. Move on. The one thing my brain does recall: kindnesses extended to me. Therefore, I ignored these pre-printed labels on sight.

Instead, I keep track of elderly relatives, friends, and associates —in terms of last contact. Ditto some older folks in the ‘hood. That’s all I’ll say here. My belief: if your heart’s in the right place, the left hand will never know what your right hand has done.

✦︎ Promise List → Munchkin Errands

Lesson learned: if you stare at a form and draw a blank as regards usage, walk away. An idea came to me while vacuuming. (If you knew how much I despise housework, you’d need stitches from the bust-a-gut uproarious laughter.)

Low on AAA batteries → feed this list. All those little things popping into your head from day to day necessitating an errand, otherwise destined for the Daily Log? Here’s your dumping ground.

No rush state is involved when these discoveries materialize, so I risk nothing in flipping to this section for data entry. In exchange, I enjoy a one glance view of needed “piddly” items I can consult prior to hitting a brick & mortar or electronic cashier. Cool trade off.

Exploiting Excess A5 Jibun Techo Standard Pages

This book crossed my threshold mid-January. The timing gifted at least 5 sets of extra (December 2017) week pages. Turns out, the Week pages can handle MUCH more than the “Week” designation suggests.

✦︎ A year’s worth of HouseHold Chores, over 1 facing-page set

A5 Jibun Techo, Standard: Week → HouseWork checklist
A5 Jibun Techo, Standard: Week → HouseWork checklist

✦︎ Companion Notes section for HouseHold Matters

A5 Jibun Techo, Standard: Week → Notes re HouseWork matters
A5 Jibun Techo, Standard: Week → Notes re HouseWork matters

✦︎ Daily (!) Self-Care Diary, Feb–Dec 2018, over 1-facing page set

The only “plan” involves double-checking to ensure I spend time on me every now and then. I add entries only after the fact. (Yeah, one entry reads “luxurious bath” —treat, cuz I’m a shower gal.)

A5 Jibun Techo, Standard: Week → Self-Care Log/ Diary
A5 Jibun Techo, Standard: Week → Self-Care Log/ Diary

A5-ish Idea Booklet (made to fit the A5 Jibun Techo diaries)

• Daily Log
• Waiting For list: last page, working backward

Doubling as my wallet, the A5 Standard accompanies me whenever I climb into my car.

I find this truly odd → The 3 card slots provided in the factory B6 Jibun Techo Mini cover barely cover half the card. But the A5 covers all but the top sliver of each card. For transport missions, the A5 is tons more secure than the B6. No cards have fallen out of the A5. With the B6, the cards live to make love with gravity. Since most folks think of the B6 as the more portable item, I’m guessing the munchkin Mini size dictated the paltry card pockets.

✦︎ The Daily Log

Long my primary sanity saver, I delved into Daily Log details in an earlier post. For now, another Cliff Notes summary.

A5 Slim Jibun Techo: Idea booklet: Daily Log
A5 Slim Jibun Techo: Idea booklet: Daily Log

The day begins. I enter the date and day name on the next empty line, in the left margin. Later, I highlight it in yellow. Why? Nod to visual searches. Dates form my Index, so I want the ability to pinpoint them, quickly.

Any non-date thought worthy of memorialization gets dumped in the Daily Log. I don’t care if it’s blog related, law related, etc. No colors. Always the lone black pen. Why? My goal is to capture otherwise fleeting thoughts. I want no friction during this data capture process.

I exploit the generous left margin, adding history via signifiers. Each signifier materializes solely per instinct. Hence, no need for a “Key.” Example from a January 30th Daily Log:

  • gD 02.03,4 ③︎ ☑ research task described here

This is the 3rd item, from within the Jan. 30th Log, elevated to MIT status (Most Important Task). I performed the task on Feb. 3rd and 4th, resulting in files stashed in Google Drive. That task stands completed.

  • Google Drive, dates of work, 3rd MIT, completed mark, task described

The name of every Google Drive file saved, related to this task, begins with the same format:

  • 18.0130.03.client- description.pdf
  • ^ ^ ^ Jan. 30th, 2018 Daily Log, task marked #3

The digital refers me back to the precise source task in the analog Daily Log. The Daily Log’s gD signifier alerts me to the related digital files.

✦︎ The WF List: Waiting For

This one starts on the last page. In the left margin: the creation date, leaving a couple of blank squares before the dividing margin line. I reserve that square for a checkmark. To the right of the margin divider, I enter the item.

Follow up notes appear within the left margin, before the creation date.

Trimmed A5 Muji 6mm Lined Booklet → Daily-Notes as BookEnds

Some “jot notes” —e.g. one-word intention, gratitude, day’s win(s), fun thought— cry out for a just me, please, mom container.

I wanted this content on lined paper, period. Why? Every other book within my bullet journal system sports grid paper. I craved a strong visual signal shouting “different,” telling my brain “yo, start/end time, SherlockReena!” And I know from experience: if you play your cards correctly, the brain will retrain into knee-jerk mode, my precise desire. When I open this Muji, my brain knows I’m either starting or ending my day.

Muji scratches that itch, in admirable fashion. Its luscious paper fights MIO paper (Kokuyo’s Campus, Jibun Biz and Life books) for the number 1 spot in this stationery nerd’s heart. Tomoe River paper? A distant third. Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Apica? Fell off my short list of LawdHaMercy!! goofy-grin inducing paper products.

My bookcase includes oodles of Muji notebooks in B5 and A5 sizing, because I found only multi-pack offerings. Something like 5 for under $10. 30 sheets, 32 rows per page. Plenty for my purposes.

Evenly spaced drip marks stretch across the top and bottom rows only.

Caught heck trying to snap a page retaining visibility of those marks. Still trying though!

The markings are perfect as alignment cues. If I want to draw a line, it won’t look like it spent waaay too much time parked on a stool before a well stocked bar. If I don’t need vertical lines, the markings fade from view.

DarbyKlan, cockatiel-type dude, playing model
DarbyKlan, cockatiel-type dude, playing model

Our master bedroom includes a small-ish desk on my side. When I enter the room each night, my first stop is that desk. I pull a fountain pen, an orange-tipped clear Pilot Prera with calligraphy nib, from the lamp’s mini pen cup. If needed, I top off the Prera’s ink —Noodler’s Apache Sunset. I jot a win occurring that day, and end with a fun thought. This almost-final leg of my nightly routine sends relaxation vibes throughout my being. A few minutes later, I’m in bed, with DarbyKlan (cockatiel) chirping his night-night.

Come morning, once peepers naturally pop, I ease down the steps to the kitchen. After retrieving and drinking the glass of lemon water prepped the previous night, I return to the bedroom. Alexa honors my request for the day’s Spotified Motown tune. I boogie over to the desk, plopping in its chair. While nighttime smiles at one of my two fave colors, orange, the pre-dawn hours belong to the purple family. Reaching for my lavender Pilot Vanishing Point (italic nib), I open the Muji to jot two thoughts: gratitude, and my one-word intention.

What’s the deal with italic nibs? They force me to slow down while writing, for enhanced legibility.

Task accomplished, I move through additional steps of my morning routine. 30 or so minutes later, I’m at my home office desk.

Physical bookends keep books upright. Spirit-tinged bookends keep my being upright.

Summary: A5 Slim Jibun Techo Standard: EDwC / Core

• Yearly Index: personal projects timelines
• Month: hardlandscape events, deadlines, special days (birthdays, etc)
• Week: dual time blocking with summary Notes between time blocks
• Gannt Chart: routines
• Idea Book: Daily Log, with Waiting For list on last page working forward
• Idea #2: Permanent Collections
• boxcutter trimmed A5 Miji 6mm Lined Book: daily BookEnds

Mind’s Assigned Old-School Tune re A5 Standard: Temptations

What tune could possibly do justice to the massive maestro role this core journal plays, harmonizing all components? To ask the question is to answer it.

♫ You surely must know magic, Booj, ’cause you changed my life
It was dull and ordinary
But you made it sunny and bright
I, I was blessed the day I found you,
gonna build my whole world around you
You’re ev’rything good, Booj and you’re all that matters to meYou’re my ev’rything
You’re my everything ♫

Call to Action

Harmony. Strive for it. Every dang where. Milk does a body good. A well-thought out bullet journal scheme does a spirit good. 😉


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