Who says hobbies can’t be functional? Actually, I think many are. Exercising and sports help keep people fit and healthy. Meditation and reading may reduce stress. Painting and knitting may strengthen fine motor movement while pets provide joy on too many levels to count.
With 2022 scheduled to swing daily life to more “normal,” many people are venturing out and checking off items on their bucket lists. If the last two years have taught us anything, it is to take nothing for granted and that situations can change overnight. I fully hope to enjoy the return to fewer social restrictions. However, while some things are returning to the way they were, some things will not. Businesses have closed with no plan to reopen. Friends have moved away. The cost of daily living has risen tremendously, and some resources are limited.
Since summer is right around the corner but with a busy schedule, I found myself in a bit of a predicament. First, scheduling self-care and me-time can be an issue. Like many others, I work full-time, and by the time my work day ends, many retail businesses are closed or closing. That leaves only the weekend which would be fine if I didn’t have to cram in all of the things (e.g., grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, errands, etc.) that I didn’t complete earlier in the week. Thus, the best leisure activities for me are ones that I can perform…well, at my leisure. What I mean is finding activities that I do not have to depend on anyone else to be able to do and that aren’t dependent upon the weather. I also enjoy inexpensive activities because I’m cheap.
However, I’m also a person who needs to use my weekends and free time productively. Just because I clock out of a nine-to-five does not mean I stop working. I have plenty that I need to do. This requires me to be organized and efficient. Yet, I don’t want to neglect myself. So, I found a way to do both. It is decorative journaling/planner.
I’ve always used planners. But wait. Aren’t I a self-professed pantser? Yes, I am. Very much so. I use my planners not so much to outline my day but as long lists of reminders. See, my planners function in two ways. First, it allows me to know what I need to get done and when. It lists my deadlines and appointments and important events. Second. It is my reference log. I use it to remember when I mailed or received packages, tracking numbers, submission dates, and anything that I may need to remember days, months, and even years later. In this technology age, I could do it digitally, and often do. However, I remind people that I live in an area where power outages aren’t uncommon. It’s convenient to be able to locate information without booting up. But not only that, it’s fun and relaxing.
Years ago, I tried my hand at decorative planning. At the time, I didn’t know that was what it was called. I owned a bullet journal and decorated with colored pencils and markers. Having a limited artistic ability, it wasn’t always pretty. I gave it up because the bullet journal wasn’t functional for me. Again, I didn’t realize this was the problem because I had very little understanding of what I was wanting at the time. In fact, I wasn’t even including the information that I should have been.
I moved on to an organizer with a dated calendar. At the time, my life was simpler, and I didn’t have much to write in it in the way of appointments and such. It didn’t dawn on me to use it also as a tracker—not that I had much to track, either. I used colored ink to spruce up the appearance and occasionally plopped in a sticker—mostly birthday reminders. While this served its purpose, it wasn’t something that brought me a lot of joy. Again, I wasn’t thinking along those lines.
Eventually, I drifted away from this and stuck reminders in my cell phone calendar. The issue here came when I had to replace phones and the data didn’t transfer as promised. I lost lots of photos, dates, videos, and music that way. Even with the best backup plans, not everything is saved.
Then, last year, I was introduced—or rather, reintroduced—to deco journaling via YouTube. I found an entire community that has turned planning into pure art. Not only does the outcome allow me to be more productive, but creating spreads allows me time to relax and tap into my creativity. I can do it whenever I have free time and at my convenience.
I will say I found there to be a learning curve. First, I had to find a planner layout that meets my needs. There are all kinds of planners out there, and I enjoy the disc system in a classic size with a vertical layout. However, in all fairness, a horizontal layout probably would work better for me, but there are enough elements about that type of layout that I don’t like that have prevented me from switching. I admit, I’m still finding my footing, as I’m not one hundred percent satisfied with the functionality of my planner, but that’s not the point of this post.
During this process, I created a writing journal/planner. While I would have liked to have kept everything in one place, that wasn’t happening. On the other hand, it did allow me to eliminate some of the notebooks I used to jot down research notes and references. The beauty of a disc planning system is that I can add, remove, or rearrange pages as I choose. I can add dividers or pocket holders, or change covers and designs. I’m able to have sections for story ideas, reference pages, tracking, marketing, analytics, and more. I have a monthly calendar overview where I jot down when events occur and then use the weekly sheets to document the details. And because I spend time decorating the pages, using it doesn’t feel like a chore. My spirits are lifted when I see what I’ve created. Believe it or not, it makes my to-do list look less overwhelming.
Decorative journaling is a great hobby for anyone wanting to stay in or unable to go out. It does not require strenuous activity for anyone physically limitations or those who are too fatigued for much movement. If planning your week or listing things to be done is stressful, visually seeing how those chores can be divided to make them more manageable can be achieved. Plus, there are weekly online challenges that can add more fun. The best part about deco planning is it is up to you how you create it. Some people work with stickers while others use stamps or inks. Some people opt for large planners while others elect to use a mini. The pages can be dated or undated, hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly. Layouts come in dashboard, horizontal, vertical, teacher, dot-grid, and more. The options are endless. Some people use their journals/planners daily while others less frequently. Some people have built Frankenplanners. (I tried this, and it didn’t work for me but only because I set it up wrong and didn’t realize it. Again… learning curve.) Some people use their planners the way I use mine while others use them for journaling, as part of a fitness/health or weight loss journey, for spiritual gratitude, for school or work, or as a creative outlet.
So, if you’re looking for a way to relax, consider decorative planning.
That’s this for this post. Do you agree or disagree? What is your take on the subject? Did you find these tips helpful or informative? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comment section. Also, let me know if you would like me to cover more of these types of topics or dive deeper into this one. If you like this post, please click the like button and share it. If you’re not following me on Creole Bayou blog, what are you waiting for? There’s always room at the bayou.
When the scandal of a double homicide threatens to destroy his career, this billionaire hockey player hires an ambitious sports agent to improve his public image. It’s time to let the puckery begin.
Timothée Croneau is that jock—the bad boy superstar with the naughty reputation. He’s handsome, arrogant, and a billionaire. He’s also the number one person of interest in a double homicide and recently was traded to a losing team that is showing him no love. And wouldn’t it be just his luck that his career splashed in the toilet six months after his long-time agent kicked the bucket? Now, he’s stuck with Ryker Kitsch. An agent is supposed to fix his life, though, not break his heart.
Speaking of breaks, ex-athlete Ryker Kitsch wants his in the sports agency realm. He sees his chance to make a name for himself by helping rebrand his agency’s newly acquired hockey star, Timothée Croneau. The guy needs every lick of positive PR he can get. So, why is the devilishly gorgeous forward fighting him at every step and leaving Ryker to wonder if he’s been hired for a babysitting gig?
The mess Timothée is stirring was never in any contract Ryker was hired to handle. One thing’s for sure. Whether it’s a forecheck or backcheck, collision is inevitable.
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Missed the three in my hockey romance series? No frets.
Out of the Penalty Box (book #1), where it is one minute in the box or a lifetime out, is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links on where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.
Defending the Net (book #2) can be ordered at https://amzn.to/2N7fj8q or www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.
Ice Gladiators (book #3) is the third book in my Locker Room Love series. When the gloves come off, the games begin. Available at https://amzn.to/2TGFsyD or www.books2read.com/icegladiators.
For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou.
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Until next time, happy reading and much romance. Laissez le bon temps rouler.
Thanks for the thoughtful post. Pets definitely provide joy on too many levels to count. Journaling has never been my thing but rediscovering music I’ve always loved and discovering new music is what helps me to relax.
Music is an excellent way to relax and and has so many genre options. I frequently write while listening music.