This and that, everything including the kitchen sink.

Posts tagged ‘planners’

Organizing My Brain

Now my brain isn’t fixated on hoarding, I am trying to build new and improved thought patterns. Since I have ADD, I have a very busy brain. I tend to hare off after multiple ideas at once, which causes me to rarely finish anything. Being an artist, it’s pretty easy to have multiple projects all going at once, hyper-focusing until another idea comes along, leaving the old project idea unfinished and scattered, adding to the mess.

This is where my ever-present bullet journal comes in. I love to get ideas off the internet, I can waste a day just following  intriguing links. My “favorites” links are legion. So easy to organize and don’t take up any real space. I think of my bullet journal as my real time favorites list. Instead of dropping everything to do something new and challenging, the idea gets put down in my bullet journal and logged in the index. Now I’m sure I won’t forget that brilliant idea (all my ideas are brilliant of course) I can stay on task. I also log the links from favorites that I want to make sure I don’t lose in case of disruptive computer/internet burps. My ADD loves my bullet journal. Not having 891 1/2 unfinished projects helps my hoarding too. By recording it, my brain accepts I have done something about the idea. It’s physically there, so I can read it and touch it. Then when I do have time or need for that project, I can clean up what ever project I was working on and concentrate on the new objective without a lot of clutter in either my brain or my worktable. I can also find everything for the unfinished project when I can get back to it.

lampTo illustrate: I bought a table lamp with a beautiful base that I love. It’s 45″ inches tall, 20″ of that is stained lampshade. It only fits in one space in my apartment because it is so tall. I can’t even hang art above it, wasting display wall space. So it idles in the back of my mind. Let me just say here that I think of lighting as art. I’m fascinated by it. My floor lamp looks like a chandelier. The floor lamp beside my bed looks like lilies, very organic and fits the flow of the room. I have three antique lights that need rewiring. I love lighting, so I know this is a project I’m keeping. However, it is low priority at the moment. I’m busy decluttering, it does work and gives a nice bright light, I’m planning on moving as soon as I can find a place, who knows what shape and size I will want for a shade in the new place.

However…I find pretty cool ideas for lamp shades as I’m surfing, shopping, just dreaming. Internet ideas get listed on favorites, in a “lampshades” folder. If I see something I like I take a photo of it and it goes into a lampshades file on my computer, with notes. Any other middle of the night inspirations go into my bullet journal, with sketches, pictures from magazines, what ever. Now my brain is willing to stop worrying at the problem and accept I am still on an inspiration gathering process. It will let me clean the kitchen and decide what to declutter next without shrieking in the background that I am going to forget the BEST IDEA EVER!!!! When you  have ADD, you have a very noisy brain.


Messies, Neaties, Hoarders-Helpful Things.

While I mostly use the term “hoarder” because that’s what I am, anyone can use this site and the insights therein. I want this to be a place we can help each other gain knowledge and feel safe to share. You may be a messy, you may keep a spotless house or like me, be a hoarder who is ready to quit. So I am just going to make this an ongoing list of things I found to be helpful. I hope you will share some too!

Photo journaling. I take quick snaps of storage areas so I can see what is in there without digging or having to drive to the storage unit. I snap piles of clutter before I start to clean so I remember just how much I’ve done. If I’m having trouble throwing out something I really love but it isn’t functional anymore, I snap it, then release it. Projects, so I remember how I made them and don’t forget they are still pending, or to put in my photo portfolio.

Keeping a journal. You can actually rewire your brain doing this. Write what you want to be like, accomplish, do. Keep adding details as time goes on. Picture it frequently. Something in just putting ink to paper helps rewire your brain. I found keeping a bullet journal the most helpful but you can do it any way it works for you.

Be gentle with yourself. You didn’t make this mess in a day, it takes time to change. And if you are a hoarder, you are probably going to need some help. That’s ok too. Making mistakes is how we learn. Take a break if you need it, but know you aren’t quitting. Know you can do it.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy. The absolute best therapy I have ever tried, and believe me, I’ve tried a lot! It seems simple, but it works and keeps on working. Google it, or start out with this link.

Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Something else to Google. I bought the book as a Kindle edition so I didn’t have one more thing to store. If you do buy it, please be aware that a lot of people think it’s about being a minimalist, it’s not. It’s different methods of thinking about tidying and only keeping things you really love or that works for you. Only you can decide what level of tidy is comfortable for yourself. My closet and drawers have never worked so well!

Keep on trying. Don’t feel bad if one method doesn’t work for you, no matter how many people think it’s wonderful. Each brain processes information differently. Give it a fair try then move on.

Set reasonable limits. Pick one small area that you know you can clear and work on that. Time yourself. You’ll feel better about yourself and will probably be surprised at how little time you actually spent.

Celebrate your victories, no matter how small. I’m a huge fan of lists. I like making lists. I can make lists so detailed, so down to the minute I have no time to do the action I made the list for. What I had to learn to do was at the end of the day, make a list of what I accomplished. How did it make me feel? What did I learn about it/myself. I’m talking nitty gritty here. Somedays it was merely getting out of bed, feeding the cats or eating decently. Seems silly I know but it worked.


Another Bullet Journal Addict

Last year, I took a stab at Bullet Journaling. I didn’t quite get the hang of it, although it’s certainly easy enough. Even not doing it correctly, I know it helped significantly with my ADD, short term memory loss and anxiety. I have journaled off and on since I was a child, writing helps me deal with life. Also, writing things down can actually change your brain patterns, it seems the more I journal, the better I control my thinking.

I found this site which helped me see what I could do better and decided to buy a journal and start fresh with the new year. Another awesome link that worked for me is this one which is a mega useful site after you have read the first two. It has a handy dandy printable reference guide.

Since I research everything, naturally I hit the internet again. OMG, TMI! Beautifully done art, super neat, gorgeous graphics enough to intimidate me, even though I am an artist.  Also, some of these people spend what I consider a small fortune on stickers, stamps, stencils, washi tape and bling. Not having a small  fortune, I bought a hard back A5 Art Journal for under $6, slapped on some Dollar Tree stickers, a couple of bits of ribbon for place markers and a back pocket for storage. I also hit the Dollar Tree for some cute sticky notes, some binder clips and an excuse to buy a couple more gel pens. I have had a lifelong adoration of stationery supplies. Only a determination not to buy more than I need (and a lack of money) kept me from buying the store out. All you really need is something to write on and something to write with.


I doubt my journal will ever be a thing of beauty, although some pages are prettier than others. I don’t need it as a planner so much, as a way on staying on track, appointments, medical information, journaling and doodling. That’s the joy of BuJo, you adapt it to your own needs. Wish this had been around when I was working full time with a small child to raise. There is a ton of printables, (free and pay for) for every need you can imagine. I’m not going to go into that here, just click on the links and you will get the basics, Google “bullet journal” and happily surf away.


I added a back pocket using a bit of vinyl from a purse calendar. I glued the book marker ribbons down, then covered all the edges with washi tape. Since I keep this with me almost all the time, I tucked a copy of which medications I am on in one of the pockets. In case of medical emergency, I just grab my book. The left side is my pen testing page and notes about which pens I like and check to see if the pen bleeds to the other side. On the back side of that page I make a key for my pens by drawing a line with each one and noting which pen I made it with. I also give it stars if I really like it and want to buy that kind again. The purple polkadotted pencil pouch holds my gel pens. So far this arrangement is working really well for me. That’s the whole idea behind the flexibility of Bullet Journaling, it’s tailor made for you, and can be changed as your needs change.

After a month of very successful journaling I decided to buy some BuJo bling. For a review of my first internet buy, see my next post. Before that I had spent a grand total of around $10 including the journal, a few sticky pads and a glue stick. Every thing else I already had.