Not Just Another Grouchy Grammarian

Musings about language, books, grammar, and writing in general

Archive for the category “bujo”

A New Year, A New Start…Maybe

While this is not the venue I journal about my life in general, let me just note that the past fall has been one of the roughest I’ve seen. My roommate spent much of it in hospitals and a nursing home dealing with things she had avoided dealing with for years. I lost – in rapid succession – two very good friends of over 30 years. I have been undertaking – with the help of a friend and the more limited help of my roommate – a major revamping of the apartment.

That last – the revamping of the apartment – actually borders on stuff that is the provence of this journal. I have gotten rid of about two-thirds of my record collection, and about one-third of my books. At the same time, the last few weeks have been occupied by boxing books (27 boxes), so we could get rid of an entertainment center and two of the old bookcases and get in ten new-to-us bookcases. Our acquisitions were from the IKEA Billy line: A corner unit, two glass-fronted bookcases, two wooden-fronted narrow cupboards, two narrow open bookcases, and three standard open bookcases. This was successfully done, although there were a few times that stress levels for all three of us were running pretty high. We are now unboxing the books (two more boxes to go), and trying to organize the bookshelves in some kind of reasonable order. My friend Lisa likes books organized by subject; my roommate is a former librarian who likes her books in alphabetical order within subjects; my preference is alphabetical by authors. We are using my roommate’s preference to organize things since that pleases all concerned.

The other thing is that I now have organized all the books that I was sent to review, and shall be starting to work my way through them shortly so you can expect a good number of book reviews for the next while.

The other thing I have taken on, relevant to this particular blog, are two reading challenges. I exceeded my goal for last year’s Goodreads Challenge, reading 223 books – 23 books over my goal of 200 books for the year. This year, I have raised my goal for that challenge to 250 books.

I have also taken on Read Harder’s 2018 challenge (and I shall incorporate those books into my total for the year). This is a challenge sponsored by Book Riot which consists of the following 24 tasks:

1) A book published posthumously
2) A book of true crime
3) A classic of genre fiction
4) A comic written and illustrated by the same person
5) A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa)
6) A book about nature
7) A western
8) A comic written or illustrated by a person of color
9) A book of colonial or postcolonial literature
10) A romance novel by or about a person of color
11) A children’s classic published before 1980
12) A celebrity memoir
13) An Oprah Book Club selection
14) A book of social science
15) A one-sitting book
16) The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle-grade series
17) A sci-fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author
18) A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image
19) A book of genre fiction in translation
20) A book with a cover you hate
21) A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author
22) An essay anthology
23) A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60
24) An assigned book you hated (or never finished)

I will keep folks here updated on my progress with this list.

Thanks to my friend Debbie (aka mamadeb) I have become part of the planner community.Mind, I have had a love for planners for as long as I can remember. I can even say that I was doing a form of bullet journaling long before it became a Thing. I have, for decades, put a Table of Contents (ToC) in the back of every journal, so that I could find things again. It was a very simple thing: I numbered my journal’s pages, then did a three columnrule for the last six sides (three pages) of my journal. The columns were “Date,” “Page,” and “Item.” And I always used my journal for listing tasks, tracking things, and taking notes, as well as the usual diary entries.

One thing I do want to work on this year in my planning is doing better granular work, that is, improving my skill in breaking down large goals into smaller pieces that can be done as a progression, rather than trying to do an overwhelming task all at once. We will see how that tuens out over the course of the year.

So, no real resolutions, but a number of commitments and things to work on. I hope you enjoy the ride if you come along with me.

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BUJO – The Art of Bullet Journaling

Yeah, I’ve bitten the bullet. I’m slowly adapting some of the practices of bujo into my own journal-keeping.

See, I have a friend, Debbie, who introduced me to bujo because she was successfully using it. She knows I’m a big journal fan, so she thought I would find it interesting. I started reading up on it, and it sounded like an awful lot of effort for a very small return, but I kept reading.

As I read, I realized several things. First, I realized that I had sort of been doing a pre-cursor to bujo for a couple of decades. Whenever I started a new paper journal, I would number the pages, and rule off the back three sheets (both sides) for a table of contents (ToC). I would then note in the journal the start date and – when done with it – the end date. I also number the books themselves. (I had a friend who went even further and gave each of her journals a name, but that was more effort than I was up for.)

After that, and as I kept reading, I realized that the whole damned point of bujo was not to make my journal look like anyone else’s (Washi tape? Fancy hand-lettered boxes? Who the hell has the time?) I know that a lot of folks doing bujo also scrapbook, which is another thing I do not do, and that the pages looking pretty was important to them. Fortunately, my friend Debbie is – like me – a person to whom function is generally more important than form.

She showed me her disc-bound planner/bujo one day while driving me to an appointment, and that tipped me over the line. It was neat; it was no frills; it was totally functional for her needs. I had used something similar to a disc-bound book since the 1980s (remember Day-Timers?), so the concept of a book that I could easily add pages to or move pages around was not unpleasant.

Also fortunately, I live six blocks from a Staples, so I was able to get a disc-bound planner with the “planner” function set up the way I like. I was also able to get blank pages and a set of larger discs, which I knew I would need (I tend to use my journals instead of scrapbooks, which means in addition to any writing or drawing, there are also pages with ticket stubs and various other memorabilia attached (purple glue-sticks have been my friend since they came out).

So in addition to the planner itself, I have been doing my gratitude journaling there, tracking my progress in getting my walking range back, keeping a list of bills paid and a list of books I’ve read this year, and I have just added a habit tracker similar to the one my friend Debbie uses, although I just check off boxes instead of using a highlighter to fill them in.

So, as I said, I have been bitten by the bujo bug, but in a way that works for me. Will update if/when I make other changes.

Oh, and for those interested, Debbie’s blog, Steadily On, is here.

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