Bilateral Planning

The brain. We all have one and use it every day. But how often do you actually think about the thing that helps you think?  Aside from an occasional headache, deja vu or perhaps a dizzy spell, you may not give it a second thought.  Instead, allowing your brain to operate and orchestrate the myriad of bodily functions it is in control of. Breathing is the first activity that comes to mind and is an important (dare I say THE most important) function that affects every other aspect of your life.

I admit I didn’t give a lot of attention to my brain health before 2013.  All of that changed in what seems like an instant to me but actually spans the course of approximately 10 years.  I say approximately because I don’t know.  I can not actually recall, in order, many of my life events from 2008 to 2016.  That’s not to say that I don’t remember anything.  I do, actually, and I am remembering more and more as time goes on.

While I have been in the pursuit, along with medical professionals, to determine the cause of the cognitive malfunctions and memory loss resulting from severe headaches (for lack of a better word), I embarked on a brain improvement journey near the end of 2016.

This journey, or science experiment as I like to refer to it, lead me to try many new things as brain exercises during the past year.  After much researching, I discovered I was actually giving my brain the best chance at recovery by aiding in its plasticity.

Enter OneBookJuly2017 and my dive down the rabbit hole of all things planner related, paper organization and habit tracking. Over the course of July, and the ensuing months of 2017, I learned what would work best for me.  While planning and organizing thoughts are unique to individuals, I discovered something about myself and noticed a pattern emerge within the planning community.

I found that part of the time I planned and benefitted from using a traditional, list based, heavily worded system.  The other part of the time, reading and writing words and therefore following the system was overwhelming or just plain difficult due to my struggles with recall and retention. As a result, I began looking for or creating stickers to create word-picture associations in my mind.

I quickly discovered the need to dual plan my time using two weekly spreads and began “Bilateral Planning”.  One weekly spread communicated the information in a language my creative right brain would understand using pictures when the left side was not connecting properly and reading words was difficult.  Another one communicated to my logical left brain, the events and tasks needing my focus when the nerves in my right brain would misfire, and looking at colors and pictures were distracting.

 

Both of these layouts communicate the same information for the week of October 30-November 5, 2017.

This “ah-ha” moment led me to research planning styles and I decided to incorporate both and identify it as “Bilateral Planning”.  For me, the repetition in planning aides in memory recall and improves my retention.

If you or someone you know struggles with completing tasks, whether it results from a memory issue like mine or some other challenge, I believe bilateral planning can help.

Sign up for my Newsletter and receive a FREE printable to start Bilateral Planning.

FACT: Being active is associated with a lower risk of brain issues.

Want to track your health and wellness to encourage and promote activities geared toward creating and maintaining a healthy brain?  Check out my Health and Wellness Tracker

 

 

 

Doily Folded TN insert cover

I was inspired by Christy Tomlinson of The Planner Society and a photo she posted on her Instagram “Instastories” that showed a half of a doily cut out of a card that she “franken-plannered” (that’s a word, right?)

I decided I wanted to recreate the look using the digital Halloween kit I had purchased and went to work finding a file that would help me achieve the look.  What I found was a free file from BirdsCards.  I was unable to the original file so I cleaned up the image and uploaded it as print and cut file in Cricut Design Space.  When I selected the image on my canvas I chose “Cut” but you can change the color or add a pattern and print then cut if you desire.

I’d love to see what you create with this file!  Look me up on Instagram @theorganizedmiss or on YouTube as The Organized Miss

The file was saved as a .png so you should have no problems uploading it into whatever machine you use.

doilyPocketTN

 

 

 

October Daily – Junk Journal with Me

In my effort to continue challenging and healing my brain, I have been inspired to participate in an October Daily journal challenge and I had to add my own twist.  

The challenge is to journal daily throughout the month of October (and I hope to video it as well and post it to my YouTube channel).

I have decided to use this journal time to challenge myself to participate in activities that engage the left brain, logic-based activity (i.e. math, science, history, sequencing) on odd number days of the month.

On even number days, I will participate in activities that engage the right brain, creativity based activity (i.e. paint, draw, write, play music, crochet, using your imagination is the key and your only limit).

I created this image as a visual prompt and show you how I will use it in my video.  

Feel free to print it out and use it as you follow along with me on this journey.

OctoberBrainDump

If you decide to join me in this challenge, share what you’re doing with the hashtag #odjjwm and tag me on social media.

IG: @theorganizedmiss

Facebook: @theorganizedmiss

YouTube: The Organized Miss

 

One Book July 2017 – Review of Week 2

This week found me a tad bit busier than last week and not feeling 100% but I was able to stay on task, due to prior planning, and get the things done (in a timely manner) that needed to be accomplished.  I didn’t get many personal things checked off my to do list but that’s okay with me.  This week highlighted the importance of having a flexible planning system.

Observations and changes made this week:

The first and most recognizable change for me this week is the TN cover itself.  I have been struggling with the LOVELY TPS Floral TN since my initial set up.  While I love, love, love it, the 1.5″ spine is just a little too small for my needs right now.

I am using my One Book July to experiment with tracking all of the things that need to be done this month, both personal and professional.  As the festival and pageant are at the end of July and the first week of August, I have little to do and lots of time to do it…STRIKE THAT, reverse it!

The next change I have made is the addition of a dump book.  I have one dedicated to all the details that I need to stay on top of this month in preparation for the festival and pageant, however, I didn’t have something to capture all the other items.  So, I dedicated some of my self-care time to creating an insert and have already started collecting items to be organized after my Incompletion Trigger List review.

My weekly spread is where the “work” gets done in my One Book July.  I noticed that I didn’t consistently use my dailies but went back and filled in what I accomplished, instead of using it for pre-planning.  I used stickers to create “word pictures” to help with my memory and this resulted in aiding my recall.  Therefore, I have decided to pre-set up my dailies this week.  Let’s see how that works for me.  I have had a new memory and discovered a 20 year gap…this blank spaces do not mean I don’t remember anything for those 20 years, but rather all instances relating to a specific memory group (i.e. an annual picnic that I have no memories of or the location it has been held in, although I apparently have attended it numerous times).  This leads me to look for ways to re-associate people, places, and things in hopes of being able to access the memories eventually. So, I am attempting to use more stickers in my planning routine to create word pictures in my mind.  Well, see how this works.  This week will be the first time I include the sticker associations in the “guts” of my planning and I am hopeful I can report a success next week!

IMG_0361

This Michael’s Recollection’s Hourly Vertical Planner sits on my desk and does double duty as my memory planner.

IMG_0359

This is the weekly box spread in my One Book July and functions as a weekly overview of my events and appointments using pictures.

IMG_0362

This is a printable from Ray Blake at My Life All In One Place and functions as the “guts” of my planning. I have not previously utilized stickers in this section as it houses tasks…this is where I take my “To Do’s” to “To Done” and document any changes to my planned schedule of events with actual events.

Finally, I have decided to set up my dailies for the week to see how I can better utilize them in the TN.  However, I typically use my hourly planner for itemizing the details of my white spaces.

How are you using your One Book July?  What have you learned so far?  I would love to know how has this “experiment” helped you stay on track to reach your goals.

See you next week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week One – One Book July 2017

This week was a week of trial and error…more error than trial!  I found that my TPS Pocket TN with 1.5″ spine was a little too crowded.  I experimented by making a laminated TN cover with a 2″ spine and transferred the interior of my One Book July 2017 into it.

IMG_0214

What I have learned this week … (be sure and check out my video)

  1. I quickly discovered that it had the perfect amount of room for me but I did not like the feel of the laminate as my everyday carry, so within one day I was back into TPS TN.
  2. I did try putting the TN inserts into a ‘B6″ size that I already owned after seeing a fellow OneBookJuly YouTuber try it and while it may work for me if I have a 2″ reinforced spine, the TN I have right now did not accommodate the pocket-sized inserts very well.
  3. I removed one insert, and to be honest, I can’t remember what it was supposed to be used for as I was not using it, don’t miss it and can’t recall what it was!
  4. As of right now, I believe I will be staying in the 1.5″ spine pocket-sized Tn through the month but will start investigating TN’s with 2″ reinforced spines in the pocket and B6 sizes.

Oh, I almost forgot, while at a work-related business meeting, the woman I was supposed to meet walked up to me and said, “You have a traveler’s notebook, you must be a planner girl!”  I was so excited to know how far this community reaches, and the joy it brings us “planners” right here in my small town.

How is One Book July going for you?  What have you learned this week?  Are you participating in the “Go Big or Go Home” version of the challenge?  Look me up on social media or YouTube and say ‘Hi’ – I’d love to know what goals you are working towards and how your #onebookjuly2017 is going.

Happy Planning!

The SetUp

After initial research into how I am going to structure my planner for One Book July 2017, I have decided to transfer all of my necessary planning and project management into a pocket-sized TN (traveler’s notebook) from The Planner Society.  

behindscenesOBJ17setup

Behind the scenes of my YouTube setup video

The OnebookJuly2017 Challenge is to use One Book and One Pen for One Month.  However, there are no rules save for the rules you may set for yourself.  The goal, as I understand it, is to “get back to basics” and streamline or in some cases, learn what you need to be successful in your planning routine.  

Since I am a goal planner, I have included my current projects in each area (Being, Body, Brain) to help me reach my goals.  My goal for One Book July is to streamline all of my planners into one carry along planner/wallet that I can have to track EVERYTHING!  In order to keep moving forward, I need to assess where I am in any given project, once I evaluate my progress I can decide if I need to make changes or not.   

What I have learned so far:

  • Sometimes, I can not focus and am easily distracted.  When this happens I need to step away and do something else, usually a craft project, like mixed media to help my mind get clear and refocus.  Then I can come back to the task at hand.  It is helpful to know this about myself because I don’t get as discouraged and take a long leave of absence from my goals.
  • When I am riding the struggle bus, I need my planning system to have a structure and functional form to help me stay focused and follow my plan.
  • When I am hyperfocused, I need the real-estate that white space provides.
  • Having this self-knowledge is helpful in knowing which system to work out of at a given time to help me keep moving toward my goals instead of getting frustrated and giving up.

Knowing how you operate and researching the tools to help you is key to setting yourself up for success.  

Visit my Resources page to find the inserts I am testing as well as other valuable information I will add from time to time.

See you next week for an update to One Book July 2017 !!

One Book July 2017

Organizing thoughts into SMART actionable goals and planning them can be a daunting task for some…I know because it can be for me.  So, when I learned of the ‘One Book July’ challenge from Carie of Paper Planning Magazine I knew I had found a challenge that would help me accomplish my goal of streamlining the systems I use for project tracking.

Prior to December of 2016, I had no knowledge of the planner community.  I have used a basic calendar system for scheduling and tracking appointments and events and a plethora of spiral bound notebooks and legal pads for collecting information and (trying to keep track of) projects.  Enter memory loss and accompanying challenges stage right.  Approximately 3-4 years ago, I suffered multiple seizure/stroke-like episodes that resulted in three hospitalizations and many lost memories.  The good news was that I had no idea what I didn’t know, the bad news was that it was reoccurring and lasted for a couple of years.  In addition to losing the ability to read, write, count, cook, and a whole host of other activities that I had previously taken for granted, this left me unable to track time.  Once I started getting some memories back, I struggled with extreme anxiety as one memory at a time would slowly come back. Also, I faced the realization that I did not know how long it had been since the last time I knew what date it was…(does that make sense when you read it?). I would have periods of time, that I could not track or account for. I would wake up some days and have no idea how many days had passed since what seemed to me was yesterday but a year ago to the rest of the world.

As I began being able to consistently keep track of time again, my anxiety about forgetting again increased and I began using a ‘planner’ (read: any notebook I could find that day).  Fast forward to December and my little sister introducing me to the planner world on YouTube!!  Cue: Overhead spotlights and the heavenly choir.

As my brain has continued to heal, I have begun the process of reentering life again, taking on projects with gusto, and spending more hours than seems rational watching YouTube videos.

Follow along on my One Book July 2017 challenge as I create a workable system for me and perhaps pick up a tip or two that you can incorporate into your own goal planning routine.