|Note: In this blog post, you will see that I have used some crystals for paper weight (literally, to keep the pages down while I take photos of my planners and journals) and to censor out personal/private bits of my 2017 planners/journals. Please understand that I mean no offence or disrespect by using them in that manner (I know many spiritual people regard them as magical objects and use them in rituals and such, but I really wanted to include the ones I got after watching “What’s the Matter with Gerald?” because I think they’re very pretty: I’m just very drawn to them, I felt compelled to have them in this post because the colours would make this special post look beautiful, and I find them aesthetically pleasing—I just want you to know that my inclusion of the crystals in this post comes from a very good place and love).|
Hi, everyone! So I’ve drafted and taken all these photos of my agenda set-ups for my friends. I’ve been wanting to share this anyway, because I always love sharing things I’m excited about. But then, after posting my BTS Instagram posts of setting up my planners/journals for 2017 (like here and here and here and here) some of my friends got excited for me too. They’ve been like, “can I come over to your place and flip through them?” or “can you bring them next time we hang-out?” after sharing a whole bunch of them on Instagram/Tumblr. And I was like, “but they’re full of secrets”, and decided to take even more of these photos to share what I’m comfortable with. So since it was requested, I decided to go completely all in on this post!
The same goes for my tarot art collection, by the way (nobody can touch them but me, because they’re precious to me and one of them is even out-of-print now). And when I say “tarot art”, I don’t just mean my card decks, I mean the 2017 “The Economist” annual edition cover too. LOL. And I definitely do not allow the shuffling of my cards! When I’m done taking photos like these, I like them put back into the spot they came in from the publisher and keep them in that exact order!
But when it comes to my stickers, I would rather share them in person (because there is a whole folder of them—I might even have to move them into a cookies tin because the folder is getting very full—and I can’t possibly take photos of them all, and there’s nothing private/secret about them at all). Also, if you have a sticker book/planner, feel free to bring them along when you meet me in case you like anything you see (just don’t take any of the “Alice in Wonderland” ones because I need them in that exact amount for my woo-woo research/experiment).
Before you scroll down to see the pictures, I will warn you that:
If you’re used to seeing “plan with me” videos on YouTube, you might find my planning setups boring/plain because I’m ADHD and I need a lot of white space to function. I can’t do blocks and blocks of bold-coloured pattern stickers (that would be far too distracting to be functional for me). In fact, my workbooks will be sticker-free zones.
Sometimes I do envy those YouTubers, and maybe I while treat myself once in awhile (for the seasonal stuff, but most of the time I think I’ll keep it functional/practical). Like, I wish I had that all-black NYE weekly kit with the gold foils everyone’s doing on YouTube. I enjoy watching them, but I don’t want big chunks of stickers in my own dashboard every single week—I’d be so overwhelmed, although I like the idea of having weekly/monthly themes (I already did Valentine’s Day for February, and maybe “Magical Mystical March” because I finally managed to get my hands on the 3mm gold-foiled black washi tape I really wanted for that look).
I do feel slightly insecure sharing this on here because I know you all are probably used to seeing the really fancy (but maybe unreasonable) stuff and the weekly kits (I do too, but I only enjoy them in the way I enjoy beauty bloggers: I live vicariously through their videos, but then IRL I only stick to what I need and is functional to me personally). But this still excites me a lot. I’m not delusional enough to believe anyone will actually read all the 11,000+ words in this post (realistically, I know the obsessive details are really only interesting to me—plus, I think a lot of it is repetitive). Feel free to just scroll down look at the photos. Enjoy!
|This post is also dedicated to: My original Dutch psychiatrist (who originally wanted me to do daily to-do lists, but then I dumped to be with a more prescription-happy shrink and regretted after I decided I hate Ritalin).|
1. Why I do these things
I have an unfortunate stationery fetish. I’ve kept diary books since I was very young, as soon as I learned how to write (I owned those diary books with locks). I consider it my one environmentally-unfriendly vice, everyone’s allowed one or two! We can’t always be perfect and run on solar power, because come on now! But because I’m ADHD, I can sort of justify it (I need this and digital planners I find disorienting).
The urge to document (and plan) didn’t stem from use of social media. It happened far before I was finally allowed the Interwebs (in 1999). I was excited about the Internet for different reasons: It’s was more about being heard and sharing an opinion. I’m also unfortunately wired to “vent and purge” (and I tend to not feel good before I do so online—even when I know I have no audience, it’s just the way I’m unfortunately wired. it’s not about ‘oversharing’ for me, but rather to unburden).
This ‘unburdening’ (data unloading) is why I do this. As one YouTube plan vlogger put it, “it feels good to store it somewhere so you don’t have to think about it all the time, but it’s still there” for you to refer to when you need it. And that’s precisely how I feel. It’s always in my mind, but when I manage to organise everything in my books, suddenly I feel fine, unburdened but still responsible, and still very much in control. And it’s a wonderful thing and glorious feeling. There is also something extremely satisfying about ticking things off a to-do list, so I get why people are very into bullet journaling these days (although I don’t have the energy to fancy calligraphy-style bujo).
And then there’s my autoimmune disease and spoonie life: I swear This combination of ADHD and a chronic illness that causes fatigue is the absolute worst! It’s like I have limited energy per day to begin with (and fever days following outings and/or more intense days) and half of the time I do have energy, I’m distracted by something unproductive. That only gets worst when I’m disoriented because I’m disorganised. So, the best I do is keep everything on-track on paper, it keeps me focused. And I always have to take “fever days” (autoimmune flare-ups) into account. Usually I get them a day after an outing.
So there. If I were to make a list: Stationery fetish, ADHD, responsible unburdening, spoonie.
The story of my life.
2. How I normally do things
2.1. Fixed & Flexible
Anyway, normally I have a weekly Moleskine (pocket-size) + a daily (hourly schedule/to-do list, which I prepare every morning) to compliment the weekly/monthly overview:
- In 2015, it was a notebook with a “to-do” grid printed on the side/margins.
- In 2016, I used an undated 12-month weekly planner for the daily stuff.
The weekly planner is the unchangeable (things I have to work around to make happen). the daily planner is for the flexible (and how I can work around the unchangeable).
Every year, in around autumn/winter—usually October, I go out on a trip to the Kinokuniya at Loki’s mall and buy myself the Moleskine for the following year, almost like a proper yearly ritual for me to do:
This year, IDK why I felt like going to the Gramedia instead of Kinokuniya (probably because I get good feels after they kept the Doraemon plush emoji I wanted for me) in between watching a pre-recorded ballet and a film. And I also got the Daiichi daily habits tracker on the same day at the same place.
2.2. Organically & Purposefully
The weekly Moleskine (for a good overview of how my week will look like) I set up organically when something comes up, with the accompanying additional planner for my daily hours and/or to-do list for that day set up purposefully every morning.
- When I say “organically“, I mean like when a friend says, “can you be my bridesmaid on X date” or after I’ve booked tickets to a ballet or planned to a film on a certain date, I will write it down on my monthly layout right away, when the week nears, I add that on the weekly layout too. It is done on-the-go.
- “Purposefully” is when I actually sit down and STFU to set-up plans (like the “plan with me” videos on YouTube, just much less glamorous and way more pathetic/sad).
2.3. My 2016 format/system experimenting (lessons learned: what worked, and where I epically screwed-up)
In 2015 and 2016, I used the weekly Moleskine (not the ‘dashboard’ view, but the one with horizontal days on the left-hand side and just plain ruled page to the right). In pocket-size. IDK WTF I was thinking, and considering Moleskine only added monthly pages to the pocket size weekly planners in 2016 FFS, IDK how I ‘managed’ (actually, what I should be saying is, “no wonder I was such an epic mess.” LOL).
2.3.1. What I started off with in 2016
The usual suspects: Weekly Moleskine and a daily planner.
This year my resolution was to not buy anymore nail polish (I failed, of course—in fact, I so epically failed I launched a beauty blog entitled “243 Types of Nail Polish” instead) and to reduce my involvement in certain groups/organisations (basically I became Greta Garbo in the “Grand Hotel”, I just vanted to be alooone).
I collect nail polish and tarot cards. I used to collect pins, postcards, and maps too. And Sailor Moon cards before Mother cut them all up, leaving an unhealable emotional scar that will forever remain within me and will haunt every decision I make in my adult life (if I were to psychoanalyse myself, I think this is the incident that led to my tarot cards obsession and keeping them a certain order—IDK, who knows with anything about life anymore? What is life).
This year, rather than go completely, “I will not buy X or Y item at all”, I’ve chosen to moderate (by limiting the amount of nail polish I’m allowed—to 6 bottles, for instance, in tick-off boxes).
2.3.2. Mid-2016 (June–July)
On June 27, I started using the daily habits tracker (worked) and social media planning (but used an ineffective format, and stupidly just mixed it with my hourly-to-do daily stuff). Because I figured, if I have a busy work day, I shouldn’t be posting anyway—which is wrong because sometimes I can just make public for a post I pre-drafted months prior, and still spend the rest of the day focusing on doing other things.
2.3.3. Halloween Season (October–November)
On November 14, I started the gratitude journal (on the remaining pages of the daily tracker, which I had already dated up to December 26).
I had begun running out of pages on my undated weekly agenda. Because of this, I started using the undated weekly agenda for social media only. I was also using scrap paper to make-up for my lack of a dailly/to-do list (because I had used up all the pages of my normal daily/to-do book by November, I couldn’t wait for my 13-month social media planner to arrive because I had no space left to write in). Plus, because I merged the social media activity into an undated weekly planner, the overlapping just got confusing and overwhelming (and I’d run out of space to list things I haven’t started at all, because I’d listed “post draft” in the daily slots).
2.3.4. December 2016
On December 14, I started making myself list one material thing a day that I already own (so I actually enjoy things I already own and stop buying new things all the time). So by the end of 2016, I had:
- Weekly pocket-sized Moleskine
- Daily habits tracker (on an undated planner, which I had prepared for until December 26)
- A gratitude journal (which occupied the second half my plain journal after the end of the habits tracking)
- Social media planner (repurposed from the weekly planner I used for my daily to-do list)
- A bunch of scrap paper/random used-on-one-side paper for a dailies (hourly/to-do) list
IDK what I was thinking, but I thought I could continue on with my scrap paper for the dailies, and it just started getting all over the place.
3. How I plan to do it this year
|Moleskine Weekly Dashboard 2017||Monthly/weekly||Future (Planner)||Dates of what’s going to happen: Notes of basic/important info, deadlines, hang-outs, important dates, big social media postings, annual to-do lists, annual shopping lists, budgeting notes/financial planning. Worries. Filled out organically.|
|Daiichi Weekly Agenda 2017 (Spiral)||Daily Habits Tracker||Past (Journal)||Health/productivity records. What’s already happened: Hydration, pills, skin routine, discipline (cleaning, reading, hygiene, etc.) as well as symptoms/side effects. Might use for future reference at the doctor’s. Filled out organically (with the exception of medications arrangements).|
|Social Media Planner||Monthly (13 undated) with tons of undated pages for conceptualising||Past, Present, Future||Chessboard-ing on the monthlies. Planning, strategizing, and documenting (for self-regulation). Filled out purposefully.|
|Gratitude Journal||Weekly with daily slots (undated)||Present||I list what I’m grateful for that day in the provided slot (which is huge) until it’s full. Also will be listing one material thing to focus on/play with so I don’t keep buying new stuff all the time. Filled out purposefully (at the end of the day).|
|“Woo-Woo & Wizardry” Journal||Dated from publisher’s for 2017 (magical info included)||Past and Present||A place where I like to document strange and/or scary occurrences (to transfer the burden onto paper, so I can stop thinking/obsessing about them). “What does it meeean?!” And I also am using this for qualitative experimenting/research where I keep tallies using “Alice in Wonderland” stickers. Filled out organically (with the purpose of pissing the bigots off).|
2017 Brain Defragmentation Workbooks
|Brain Defragmentation Workbook #1||Annual reflections book to get one’s shit together||Past, Present, Future||See Section 5.1 below. Filled out purposefully (at the beginning of the year).|
|Brain Defragmentation Workbook #2||A workbook intended to process one’s feewings, includes amazing template for daily/hourly schedules and extensive to-do list for the OCD||Present, Future||See Section 5.2 below. Filled out purposefully (in the morning).|
4. This Year’s Planners/Journals
So, this is the part where I actually show them to you! Wheee:
4.1. Moleskine Weekly Dashboard (Normal/Standard-Sized)
Basically, the weekly dashboard (large/standard-sized) is an overview of things that will definitely have to happen and/or I have to make time for (because the time/place is determined by an outside party: meetings, hangouts, receptions, screenings). It’s kind of like “marking” steps in ballet class, while the accompanying daily planner is when the music starts playing.
Another example would be: The weekly dashboard is where I mark when I should be refilling my pillbox and cutting pills, but any special arrangements in the pillbox are noted in my daily habits tracker and I refer to that when I actually perform my weekly obligatory pill-cutting ceremony (it’s the only thing that’s ‘scheduled’ and not ‘journaled’ into it). Because there are some meds my doctor and I are currently working on reducing dosages (I only take half a pill, once every two days—which can be confusing/hard to keep track of if you’ve an ADHD scattered brain).
It has a monthly layout, which is the first place I note things, IDK how I survived on a pocket-sized Moleskine the past two years because even with my teeny-tiny handwriting, I couldn’t fit one event in sometimes! I’m glad I made the change this year—this isn’t so small nothing fits, but also not so big I have to worry about wasting paper. The box sizes are just right:
And then of course there’s the main feature: The weekly dashboard, which I might fill in 1–2 weeks beforehand and I do the “time-blocking” for things that definitely have to happen:
I adore my “refill pillbox” stickers—it looks like those pills are doing something dirty and torrid…
|As a sidenote: I bet you think it’s silly that I still use the emergency credit card my parents gave me (I’m only supposed to use it for medical stuff) and then reimburse them (when I use it for non-medical stuff). Because I’m a dumbass, I only just recently found out you can use those Visa debit cards (like from local everyday banks like Bank Mandiri, and such). Spread the word! You can help someone save a lot of hard-earned money by telling people (who would otherwise in desperation go to a “PO” service that would charge them ridiculous amounts at jacked-up prices—one actually had the gall to charge an “import deposit fee” for a product that didn’t even qualify for tax charges WTF) that they can use their debit cards on sites like Amazon.com!
And a sidenote to my sidenote: I would normally rather support SME, but when a business is charging me up to IDR 950K (one store even sold it used at IDR 1,250K) for a product that costs US$ 23.28 (retail price) plus like ~10 bucks in shipping, I have to side with the customer. Sorry.
The “time-blocking” is also important because I have to take into account my “fever days”. Usually, if I’ve been out-and-about one day, it’s very likely I’ll be have a fever the next (even if I’ve just had an intense workday, I can be rather fever-ish the next day). There’s a pattern to it. So I plan accordingly. I never do days and days in a row of leaving the house if I can help it, and I give myself time to recuperate after every outing. Your idea of a day of leisure can mean a “big, busy day” for a spoonie. I mean FFS, things you do just to start-up your day like showering can feel like an ‘incident’ on a bad day.
The “blocked dates” (like December 27–28 above don’t necessarily mean I work on them on those dates, it means I better get my shit together have them done by those dates in caseI flare-up). Not risking it!
I treat upcoming work deadlines like that too, I try to work ahead because I know I can completely lose my energy after moving just a bit. Sometimes to anticipate any unwanted occurrences, like maybe a fever, I work ahead of time (like notice how I’ve already ticked-off “Page 3” even though that photo was taken on December 26). Because you never know.
However, even as I’ve gotten to know myself pretty well, things can still get unpredictable for me. Some days I can be surprisingly good, some other ‘aftermath’ days are just downright awful.
And even then I can have a lucky day (like between November 22–24, which were full of outings on top of a very social weekend—I was actually not fever-ish for 2–3 weeks after) or have unexpectedly disastrously bad aftermaths (like after watching “La Bayadère” and “Doctor Strange” on the same day (also the day I got my 2017 Moleskine) when I spent about 10+ hours at Loki’s mall, I ended up with a 4-day fever and woke-up with a stuffy nose on the fourth, not to mention my leg cramped painfully while I was driving home).
Like, I was very tired on the actual evening November 22 (I was standing all evening between 18:00–21:00) and I thought I was going to have to skip ballet class the follow day to preserve energy for the Cleveringa lecture (November 24). And yet I miraculously did not get a fever and attended ballet class just fine the following days, and even still felt nothing when I went to the Cleveringa lecture feeling really fit. And that was on a week where Imuran was out-of-stock. It was just an amazing time for me.
And then I still wasn’t feverish for like 2–3 weeks after that? Weird. I was just so bizarre, and I’m confused about it still…
I can’t do the weekly “plan with me” style most YouTubers do (where they plan everything to meticulous details) in a week. I plan the big stuff/block out major days on the weekly planner, and the small stuff gets planned on a day-to-day basis, depending on how I’m physically feeling in the morning. And even then it might not work out, because to me, having autoimmune fatigue feels like having “energy bipolar” which is really how the “energy swings” feel, like it can feel really good when I do my daily planning in the morning, and then go completely bed-ridden by 14:00 (which is super annoying when you’re mentally pumped to be productive). And when that unfortunately happens, you have no choice but be like, “Dormammu, I’ve come to bargain!” the following morning (or after a nap, maybe).
I can’t realistically have the “I’m definitely, certainly doing my laundry precisely on Friday, and it will absolutely totally happen” attitude in those “plan with me” videos, because that realistically might not happen for me because my body is too unpredictable for that anymore (I guess I’m more of “Dormammu, I’ve come to bargain” kind of girl now? LOL). The only things that I know are certain are my off days (which are #ChillaxThursday and #GezelligSunday).
I try not to watch too many of those videos, I find it depressing sometimes.
Chronically healthy people depress me.
Like, why can’t everyone just be sick too and die?
No, just kidding. LOL. I wouldn’t wish this upon my worse enemy.
I have figured out the pattern for thee post-outing fevers, but I still can’t control the bursts of energy and complete fatigue.
This is the best Moleskine layout ever (I am loving the weekly to-do list, and the amount of free writing room on the righthand side). In highsight, the normal weekly layout was a stupid joke.
So this year, the plan is to do as much of the obligation stuff as I can when I’m in “sitting-upright mode”. And then do the things like read books when I’m fatigued (which I know seems obvious, but I was just figuring things out last year, plus emotional things going on too). That’s also partly why it has taken so long to clean my room/redecorate, because I can be sorting things to throw-out/donate on the floor for just an hour, and then all of the sudden, I completely lose my energy (except when my days begin with a political debate, for some reason. LOL).
This is why I get so pissed-off when I can’t get my Imuran fix: Because I plan ahead and I’ve planned on when to refill my weekly box. And I need to make sure it’s always full because the fatigue can have me literally so tired, I don’t even have the energy get out of bed to cut my pills. It’s like I was being really ADHD one time and I couldn’t for the life of me understand why I couldn’t function, and it turned out because I forgot to take my pills. But the box was empty, and I was too fatigued to prepare them. That’s the crap I’m trying to avoid by being organised AF.
Blocking hours is also important because going out in Jakarta means traffic, so an appointment at 18:30 in a 3-in-1 (or even/odd number plate-regulated areas) means I will have to leave in time to arrive by 16:00 (and then also consider if I need to be at the hairdresser’s to get my hair done, or whatever). It’ll mean that I will have to get all my work done by (not necessarily on) the day prior (which can be intense because there’s a chance I might get a fever). And bring books/downloaded films/shows in my phone.
Just a 2-hour dinner can turn into an entire whole-day affair in Jakarta (literally the only time I got to be laidback about events was when I lived in Mega Kuningan and the venue was the Erasmushuis because it was within walking-distance and I could walk). The traffic makes everything so time-inefficient, and then you have an autoimmune disease that causes fatigue. It can get overwhelming and makes for shitty quality-of-life. And I’m one of the lucky ones.
4.2. Daily Habits Tracker
After my experimenting with daily habits tracking (journaling my habits after the fact) which kept me on track because the handwritten bujo-style format format served as reminders, I decided to ‘codify’ the system for 2017. The actual bullet-journaling process was tiresome, though. And dating the slots (as well as drafting the daily checklists) became a chore. Just like how the pill-cutter I got was so neat and so much fun in the beginning, but eventually it got old by the third week, and felt like a bloody chore. Anyways! Chore or not, it served a purpose and I had to keep doing it. So I decided to buy this dated 2017 agenda from Daiichi:
What I like about this planner from Daiichi for my daily habits tracker is the weekend slots are the same size as the weekday slots, which makes it ideal for tracking daily routines that don’t change just because it’s a weekend (which also makes it ideal for freelancers, shop-owners outside the Netherlands, and Cousin Violet). It also has Indonesian public holidays printed in the first few pages (which I think I’m going to cut-out and actually glue onto my Moleskine later on).
It’s available at Gramedia (and Gunung Agung) for a little less than IDR 50,000 (US$ 3.50) and I believe they’re still in stock. I got mine at Loki’s on the day I got my Moleskine.
Random Tip: Spiral-bound is always best for past and present-oriented books (journals) because you can always keep it opened on the given day/week, even when tucked-in to your box/shelf (my woo-woo journal, which I grab whenever something strange occurs is also spiral-bound and always open to the week’s pages). It’s quicker.
Another thing I did to save time and energy (before, the bullet journaling process with the little check-box-drawing was taking up a lot of my precious energy) was I started printing the forms on sticker paper. What would normally be a daunting whole-day task I managed to design in about 30 minutes on MS Word.
Look, I even have these cute stickers of a girl in scrubs that reminds me of Christine Palmer:
Christine Palmer is #ActressGoals (she’s not annoying at all—I’m telling you, it’s #MadSkillzzz).
I was originally quite reluctant to share this with you guys because I didn’t want you to think I have bad hygiene or anything. But I decided to share anyway in case there are other spoonies out there who feel bad about themselves about it too. The reason why I have “dental” in my checklist isn’t because I mentally have bad hygiene or I’m lazy about personal hygiene (okay, except maybe I do actually despise flossing, but not the brushing).
It’s because spoonies like to pass-out. (Well, I don’t like it as in I ‘enjoy’ it, I think I meant to say we ‘tend’ to get so tired we just fall asleep–which feels more like passing-out in slow-mo rather than falling asleep, really. Hm, odd, I just realised that’s how it feels.) Anyway! I’m not talking about actually dropping on the floor fainting, I’m talking about thinking, “hm, I think I’ll have a short rest” and then fall asleep before you get a chance to brush before bed (or once, I even slept with my makeup on after a big outing). And next thing you know, it’s the next morning…
My previous doctor (from late 2013) kind of liked me to be docile. Like, he didn’t like it when I researched and looked things up online and asked him about it. The one from October 2013 kind of freaked out about me looking things up online and it felt like he spent more time treating my cyberchondria (“stop Googling symptoms”, doctor’s orders) than treating my illness (misdiagnosed me too) and really didn’t like me talking back to him.
My current doctor (autoimmune specialist) is very communicative, breaks down and explains my bloodwork results if I ask (the GP who referred me to her is also cool, she actually listened and wasn’t dismissive about my concerns at all). Which is also why I take videos like this now. With my current one, I feel like I can give feedback on prescriptions, so tracking things/patterns down and sometimes recording videos of symptoms like that video are worth my while.
Male doctors (especially) don’t like it when I’m a smartass, they prefer to patronise. And just gavage me with medication (imagine having my pharmaceutical foie gras, nom-nom). It’s like they’re saying, “know your place, you’re the patient.” And I’m all like not having it, “you know your place. It’s my body, asshole.”
And FTR, “create content” doesn’t actually mean that I have to post something. It can just mean that I draft, edit drafts, or maybe just I draw an outline for a planned drawing that I plan on sharing online eventually even. It can be drafting, noting ideas in my social media planner, drawing something (on paper, with watercolour) I’ll later show off online later. Even just colouring labels like this counts:
I don’t like the idea of having to post online every day to “stay relevant”, that’s like the non-celeb’s equivalent of calling the paps (I’m already thirsty enough from my Sjögren’s syndrome, I don’t need to be the other kind of ‘thirsty’ too). Nor do I believe that people have to tweet #SaveLatestTragicEvent every time something happens, because I’d rather people really listen to me when I have something to say about issues that I care about but don’t get enough coverage (like domestic workers’ rights and Papua). And if I don’t tweet about a causes, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t care (maybe it’s just because I don’t have anything valuable to contribute to the discussion, and therefore I am not compelled to post something about it). I don’t want to be the girl who cried wolf. How will you be able to tell when I really care, then? And also I don’t appreciate people who demand celebrities comment on every single event just because their accounts are verified—they owe you nothing. Why are people so entitled?
This system is very convenient and time-efficient. Some tips:
- Print quarterly, i.e. 3 months’ worth of stickers at a time (so that if your routine changes, you can apply them to the next order and you’re not stuck with a format that isn’t working for you).
- Many sticker printers only accept PNG and JPEG/JPG files, learn how to convert MS Word files into image formats here.
- If you need to change MS Word’s imperial system to metrics, you can learn how to do so here. Also, why are you driving on the right side of the road?
4.3. Social Media Planner
This is one of those times where you know you just have to have a piece of stationery because its format speaks to you and you can already envision how you’re going to use it. It has 13 months of a monthly layout (that I use like a chessboard) and the rest consists of ruled, plain white, plain black, and some graph pages (and I loved that it didn’t have a weekly layout because I just wanted most big events/postings centralised in my Moleskine). I needed the extra month to start using it in December as I already ran out of social media-planning pages since I screwed-up 2016’s undated weekly by mixing all the messier aspects of social media planning (everything from the ‘chessboard’ post date-shifting to the concept notes) together in my weekly agenda (instead of just dotting dates). I went after this one feverishly.
At first I wanted the one reminiscent of Geneva’s Old Town (sold out). The red alcoholic’s one was sold out far before I discovered it, and I was never interested in it. Then the “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” colour one of the herbologist’s (sold out aussi). And finally the pink one (which upon closer inspection is the best one, actually). It’s almost like a metaphore of my life about discovering how being around the Mister Pinkster makes me feel… (It’s a sign. LOL.) Which is a good thing, because it reminds me to keep it classy.
I’ve never had black paper before, so this was very exciting for me:
That Instagram caption above also explains how use my social media planner.
The reason why I own a social media planner in mid-2016 is not because I intend to start blogging or doing YouTube professionally, but mainly to protect my feewings/reputation. In the past I’ve been burned and humiliated: I just had a really bad experience. But the positive side of being hurt like that is that I’ve started this habit, and it gives me structure. As someone’s who’s been blogging since I 1999 (and wired to overshare online) that experience has taught me to be more reserved about my feewings (I can’t help it still: it’s like half of my soul is online and I do have the urge to vent every once in awhile). But I do hope that this will lead to a more polished, “professional” feel to my social media. Where I do strictly “talk shop” and keep my personal life private. I just need to learn how to calm myself and kill the urge to “purge” to relieve myself of burdens, or the constant need to explain myself because I have no name-recognition (and therefore nobody really knows what my deal is). I’m working on it. I don’t want to be the typical “oversharing Gen Y-er”. Eh, I drafted this a long time ago and I actually edited out a bunch of it because I don’t feel like talking about that chapter of my life anymore, it’s in the past. It feels like a very distant past, oddly (in reality it was really only just months ago). I can’t believe that was me in mid-2016, it feels like it was years ago… I’m in a better place in life right now, something happened in mid-November and it just changed the whole landscape. I actually feel like a different person these past few week (but more like old original myself, the real self). A new perspective, but not necessarily a new person. Just like that. Just like how Hatty changed on her wedding day in “The Noble Bachelor” (the Sherlock Holmes short story). All in just one day, and everything changed, all in a single day. I see things differently, I enjoy life differently… I’m not even interested in thinking about it, let alone blogging about it. I’m just grateful it happened.
I’m sorry I had to include that one paragraph above about my personal life (this is a place to talk shop) but this isn’t me shoehorning something irrelevant to prove a point, I’m just trying to explain what you can/cannot expect of me (like, just because I plan/schedule my social media posts, don’t expect me to suddenly start YouTubing professionally) and share what life event/experience was the catalyst toward me becoming more productive, disciplined, and structure. Our past doesn’t have to define us, but our experiences shape us. What’s done is done.
I’m learning. I’m a messy person. I wasn’t born with the ability to make my social media presence 100% work-related and professional. I have issues—we all do, and this is mine. But I’m also working on it.
I was originally aiming to have all my ideas produced before Vine shuts down, but looks like Vine’s shutting down as early as January 2017 (my life’s been too hectic to do Vine). IDK what I’m going to do now that Vine’s gone. Do ASMR videos? Alan Rickman is dead. Who’s there to teach me how to punctuate my words properly anymore? I hope he and George Michael are in peace now… Bless them both.
The reason why “cleaning and redecorating” is part of my social media agenda is because it gives me more options for “filming corners” for my social media content, by the way. But the social media journal isn’t just for strategizing, it’s also for self-regulation (and time-management). As you can see here:
See how there are boxes where I write in colour in teeny-tiny hand-writing? That’s me journaling what I’ve posted/vented about online after the fact (it can be something done anonymously about things I can’t talk about publicly because they would be otherwise inappropriate or whatever). But the point is, if the daily box is full, that’s when it’s time to stop.
4.4. Gratitude Journal
I also have a gratitude journal (which was 2016’s habits journal repurposed—this is what I mean by miaximalism/minimalism). I won’t be sharing the contents of my gratitude journal here (I did once or twice, though). I don’t want to look like I’m being a smug show off of how great my life is (because honestly, it’s really not that bad in spite of everything! I have some good stuff going on too and I’m still luckier than many). I was thinking of covering the title with these cards:
This “plain/simple” planner is awesome, but I think it’s no longer for sale. They costed about the equivalent of US$ 2.50 (IDR 31.2K) a pop! They’re sold out now, but I have an extra spare.
It can be a bit tedious because you have to write your own dates (if you use it for actual planning instead of journaling, the handwritten date might get lost with your other handwriting unless you apply highlighter on it). If your ADHD borders to dyslexia (words get jumbled up and you become overwhelmed) like me, alternatively you can use dating stamps. But dateless agendas are actually quite environmentally-friendly because if you decided to stop using it for while, you can repurpose it later on and/or start when you left off without wasting pre-dated paper. So it’s nice too. They can be very versatile.
Just look at the first one I owned, I’ve already used it for its third purpose and once my daily planner arrives in the mail, I’ve already an idea what to do with it. I’ve repurposed my original daily habits tracker into my gratitude journal. In December, I’ve started including one material thing a day to focus on and play with so I don’t keep buying new stuff all the time. When my new daily agenda/workbook arrives in the mail, I’ll move the “material thing” bit into that one (because it has a section for that in its template).
However, environmental-guilt can occasionally be a good thing. This year, I’ve decieded that instead of the undated dailies, I’m getting a pre-dated a daily agenda (with an elaborate template) to tug and guilt-trip on that very environmental-guilt. Because TBH, I do worry that I use my autoimmune fatugue as an excuse, and I want to really push myself to still do useful and enriching things (like read a specific, designated book) during my bed-ridden times.
Obviously it’s not as terrible as an opiates habit or anything like that, but if you have a stationery habit, the least you can do it maximise whatever dead trees do make it into your hands make sure they don’t go to waste!
Tip: I recommend using an agenda/planner format book (instead of a regular ruled notebook) to do your gratitude journaling because there are allotted slots. That way, it becomes an obligation and you have to sit down and actually write something, or else you waste paper, and a tree died in vain (it’s amazing how as soon as you find one good thing, even if teeny-weeny, the rest just flows out and follows).
4.5. “Woo-Woo & Wizardry” Journal
Not sharing it here because you bigots will just make fun of me, but all I can say is, it’s a more “experimental” thing—granted I don’t have a scientific methodology yet—but I’m not going to brainstorm one because I think for more spiritual stuff it’s best to just go with the flow and see where it takes me. Just me trying to prove how that works for me, much like my how I have two food books.
In case you don’t know already: I have an experimental food book and a codification food book (where I note things that actually work for me, for safekeeping and future reference). Basically what I do is, if something “comes true” or “resonates”, I will leave a stamp/sticker there, using these “Alice in Wonderland” stickers:
That is all I’m sharing. No more pictures for bigots, that’s what happens when you make fun of and shame people, they stop sharing stuff with you. I will also keep track of signs for future stats too (by marking the dates with Alice stamps on the provided calendar pages of the daily planner). Then by the end of the year, I think I will tally everything so I can measure the truth of these spiritual things (or the extent to which they work for me). Just because something isn’t working for you doesn’t mean someone else can’t benefit from that belief system.
No system of belief is better than another, or inferior (no matter what Trump and Wilders and their ilk want you to believe). We all have our own paths in life, and I believe we’re meant to take them and stay in our lanes. I’m not here to impose my beliefs on anyone, I just vant people to leave me be. I just vant to be alone… If everyone would just stay in their lanes, we’d all be happy.
I was raised to believe (Mother taught me this) that everyone is born into a path, and that includes the system of belief you end up with in this life. What that system of belief teaches you is what you need to learn, if it it’s difficult then that’s your life trial. She taught me, “there’s a scientific explanation for everything—sometimes we just don’t know it yet, or we’re not ready to know it.”
But you cannot base your beliefs on one or two good experiences that stick out in your life (oh, turns out I did this and that on the day I fell in love). Nee, there must be a high success rate first. If you believe in a system that isn’t proven (at least statistically) then you’re putting hopes on something unreliable and that’s not something I recommend.
Even if my experiments make a skeptic out of me in the end, at least I’d be a credible skeptic. (Calling things ‘bullshit’ before you even tried it makes you no different from protesters who didn’t even vote. If you didn’t vote, then you’re not entitled to complain. It’s that simple. And it’s only logical and reasonable.)
If anything, Marvel’s distasteful STEM-supremacy attitude while promoting “Doctor Strange” just made me want to rebel and explore the esoteric even more—and give it a chance. You don’t get to insult my grandmother’s beliefs and take my money in the same breath, Marvel. Fuck off. I wasn’t kidding when I said I wanted to get every single rock featured in “What’s the Matter with Gerald?” and use them in the order he did. I like being the opposition, it keeps the Universe in balance, as it should be.
I just want to sit Marvel down and school them on some “Animal Farm” (the Orwell book).
The “magic of STEM” quite literally sounds like a witch hunt against “female hysteria”, or worse: Against an actual system of belief. If you wanted to “promote STEM among women”, you could’ve done so with Tony or Bruce. But DS is not the time or place for that. It was highly, highly inappropriate. And yet nobody said (or even noticed) anything about this because they were too busy complaining that Marvel cast a white woman to serve tea (I don’t even want to involve myself in that discussion because, to me, it feels like listening to people question why Mother Teresa is white—it makes me so uncomfortable). My grandmother practices some of the things you portray in your films for “entertainment” to make money, which would’ve been okay if you hadn’t been so dismissive of it:
What I can never wrap my head around when it comes to the PC/SJW crowd is that they’re all game when it comes to defending systems-of-belief as a basic human right, but the moment you start getting into the nitty-gritty, the actual details and what that belief entails and the substantive matters… Somehow they’re just as bigoted as the very people they cry murder about. It be-Wilders me. (Pun totally, deliciously intended. Sue me. LMAO!)
FTR, I am aware that the term “woo-woo” is a pejorative. But it just sounds so cutesy, uwuuu… I can’t help but use it! So I use the term in a positive way. And if there’s anyone who knows how to take the lemons of life and stuff them into my bra to make my boobs look bigger, it’s me: I can even spin a smear campaign into a sweet, romantic fantasy if I like someone enough!
I just don’t get why people (fellow believers) like to pretend one system of belief is superior the others, none of them have been scientifically proven. Pot, meet kettle.
Fascinating. But I’m not sharing. The persecution is real.
5. This Year’s Workbooks
This post does not really include my daily workbook (where I do the hourly schedule/to-do list) because I completely forgot about that (crazy, I know—I’ll explain in Section 5.2 down below) and didn’t order it until December 22 and now I’m scared to death it won’t arrive in the mail on time. I know that sounds completely bonkers, but that’s just how absent-minded I can be!
But here’s some brief explanation of what they are: They’re books filled with interesting questions about yourself (prompts) that sometimes you wouldn’t have otherwise thought for yourself (for someone like me, who has no questions about anything ever, these are so awesome). They also make you want to live life properly. I can’t wait to fill them out!
This year, I’ve discovered feewings “workbooks” (if you have Asperger’s or think you might have Asperger’s and struggle with overwhelming feewings, I recommend you check them out) pretty late. They ask you questions that make you feel things and consider things about them. Instead of the year looking like my “Year In Review: 2016” blog post, you might actually have some concrete things to say about yourself and think about!
I call this brain defragmentation. It unloads the data out of your brain, organises everything into different categories, and then you can sort all the pieces out to make them neat and tidy. And everything starts to make sense! It’s like spring cleaning for the Mind Palace. Eventually, you can then leave the small things on autopilot and start doing stuff you really want!
These two work books will be my sticker-free zones. The reason for the first one being sticker-free being the white space (I want to take full advantage of the calming effect it has on me). The second workbook will be sticker-free because it’s a daily planner, and using stickers for a sheet you only look at for one day is just wasteful and excessive (if my attention needs to be drawn to something, I will use highlighters).
5.1. Brain Defragmentation Workbook #1 (Annual)
This is an annual workbook. I’m still waiting to get it from the printers’ (I’ve ordered the main workbook to be printed out along with the calendars with monthly check-ins and the “Find Your Word” e-book, which includes a list of fascinating words—some will require me to look up in a dictionary). This is what it looks like:
Sorry about how gross my iPad casing looks in this photo, it doesn’t look that icky in person and it’s just the colour of the material under the peeled pink stuff (it’s not ‘dirty’ like it seems).
You can download it for free here (and get the words thing here). At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to print out the calendar book (because I already have a monthly view in my Moleskine—which I use heavily, and then there’s also the monthly layouts in my social media planner—which I use even heavily-er. LOL). But as I was contemplating it and weighing whether or not I should have that bound with the workbook, I found myself zoning-out into the white space (the calendar is very clean, just the date numbers and moon phases without holidays) and I just found it so soothing and clean. I felt so calm, it felt like “all the time in the world” was there… I could just picture myself in my room (window open, with the sound of leaves rustling on a Sunday afternoon) staring into the empty calendar page to clear my head. I know that sounds so creepy. But I really liked it, so I’m getting that part printed too. I’m going to leave it completely empty (the calendar part, I mean—I’m still answering the prompts under the monthly view).
5.2. Brain Defragmentation Workbook #2 (Daily: Hourly Schedule + To-Do Lists)
Like I said, I completely neglected to buy a daily. I don’t even know how I could’ve missed this, it’s so basic which makes forgetting so stupid (the daily is a staple in my planning system). I’ve prepped everything and the 5 main books are perfect…
And I completely forgot to get one that would work as a daily hourly/to-do list.
Holy. Fucking. Shit. These past few days, because I messed-up my original daily hourly/to-do weekly planner by combining it with my social media planner in 2016, I started using scrap paper for my hourly/daily stuff and literally forgot that I needed a designated place for that sort of thing. And what’s ridiculous is, I was like, “oh… So that’s why my life is such a mess these past few months! My daily planner got messed up!” Well, duh, you little idiot.
And even stupider thing is, I actually procrastinated buying the daily planner. (After the fact. Of remembering that I had forgotten about it.) Because I figured it’s such a common product, I can just easily buy one last minute (like buy a bigger version of the Daiichi one I use for my health tracker).
But theeennn, I discovered this ginormous daily planner that has empty hour slots and a to-do list (plus 3 major things that need to be done, and even a slot to write something to stop doing/change—I just had to have it). When I saw the daily template on the author’s website, I had an OCD orgasm and my head exploded. It has:
- 14 hourly slots that can fit up to 14 hours (or 3–4 hours if you’re hardcore and plan by the quarter).
- 3 big things to focus on during the day.
- A longer “to-do” list (6 points that you can either use to break down the 3 big things, or use to add fringe tasks).
- It even has a place to write and repeat what to “stop doing” as a reminder so it sinks in.
- A section for something you “want to change” (I’ll be repurposing this for whatever corner of my room/the study needs to be cleaned-up/redecorated).
- A “gratitude” box (I’ll be repurposing this to for the “one material thing” I’ve mentioned under Section 2.3.3 above).
I just had to have it.
And then of course there’s the slightly-spiritual brain defragmentation component (which is why the book exists in the first place, and I’m guessing that is its main draw to most people who use this planner).
I think I’m just going to end up filling that main feewings spot at the very top with “gezellig” and “hygga” all the time. LMAO. Those are the only two emotions I really like/enjoy, and also these three: “The clean feeling I have when I see a lot of white space in a minimalist picture”, “gloomy rainy day”, and “wind blowing rustly leaves on a Leiden spring day” (although I like autumn/winter more and I hate the sun). So that’s a total of 5 feelings I like.
And maybe plus my “magnetic experience” (when I was really drawn to someone, I think I fell in love). I like that too… It felt very physical. It was very overwhelming, it’s almost scary (but I don’t ever want to forget it). I’ve never experienced anything like that in my life before. I just sounded bonkers saying he’s a “magnet”, but it’s honest-to-God, how it felt: like a physical pull. Against my will—in fact, it didn’t feel like I wanted to walk towards him: It was more like a force pulling me sideways to stick (with my feet dragging). I seriously legit sound crazy. Is this even fucking normal? It’s too intense for me. I’m not going to say I didn’t like it—because I liked it very much, I found it scary-but-pleasant, and I like being physically close to him. But I can’t handle it, I just find it extremely overwhelming. IDK. I’ve just never had that with anybody in my life (but that feeling was also very overwhelming and scary, so I don’t know if it counts). I need to learn and understand what that was.
IDK about other emotions, but the monthly layout (which I will leave unused as a kind of separator/cover page—because otherwise I’ll just get overwhelmed if I don’t keep everything centralised in the Moleskine/social media planner) has these words and I don’t know all of the meanings, so I might end up with new English vocabulary. Which is always a nice bonus for something like this.
And then I’m going to repurpose the blank page next to the “monthly check-ins” for budgeting (which I kind of feel terrible because it’s such a spiritual book and it’s so practical).
Unfortunately, I discovered this very late in 2016, and I only just ordered it on December 22 after figuring it out (because it looks very overwhelming with the spiritual jargon at first, plus I was very narrow-minded about it).
And once I found one that I absolutely needed to have (and not even for the design, but for the template printed inside—which makes it even more absolutely needed and pressing that I get that particular one). It had to be one that I could only get a hold of from Amazon. And even then, I still weighed my options because I’m so wishy-washy that way, and only clicked ‘checkout’ in a panic on December 22 (and then I cancelled my first order because I got it wrong when forgot to checkout using AmazonSmile). Uuuugh.
So I just ordered a daily planner literally on December 22. And now I don’t know if it’ll ship on time for the New Year’s WTF.
Don’t panic, don’t panic, don’t panic.
It’s bad enough that I can’t get my first/annual “brain defrag” workbook printed and delivered until after the New Year! I was thinking about filling in the workbook while NYE was happening. With my lemon beer.
Since they haven’t arrived in the post yet, I’ll be doing a special post on these workbooks. I think they warrant their own separate post anyway, because they’re not just to-do lists (although I did initially order one of them because I liked the daily templates).
I’m horrified that I could forget such a basic thing and I can’t stop checking the Amazon.com tracker… Naturally, I’m worried senseless:
It has only just changed status to “shipping now” and “shipping today” on the 28th. I am freaking out. Bye. What’s worrying me now is that this time, Amazon’s used UPS i-parcel (which has a terrible reputation internationally, like how British Airways is known for losing people’s luggage) instead of ARAMEX. At this rate, I might miss using an entire month’s worth of the pages instead of the first few days anticipated. And if you Google “UPS Indonesia”, you find horror stories about bad apples at UPS (so I emailed UPS to ask if it’s true and get a contact person just in case, and they told me the tracking number indicates Kantor Pos Indonesia will be handling it). My God, I loathe logistical drama with a passion.
My chosen AmazonSmile charity is The Nature Conservancy (whom I’ve met with in Borneo in 2009, so I know their work). And also because I know every time I order from Amazon, a tree gets cut down so I can collect pretty art cards and stationery… Isn’t that just depressing?
5.3. Blog Follow-Ups
Because these books haven’t arrived yet and I haven’t had a chance to use them, I will have to write about them seperately later. Also, it would probably be a good idea to put them into a different category (workbooks as opposed to planner/journal) because they aren’t just dated columns and grids or to-do lists. Someone authored these pages. Mainly I’ll be writing about whether they worked for me. And some:
5.3.1. Follow-up for Brain Defrag Book #1
- How I discovered this (because I have a good story about how I saw a video online and one YouTuber led me to another, and eventually found out about this gem).
- How I used it! This should be fun! So hyped! Eep!
- Where to print (because drama, see below).
- The drama: I will explain in the next post what thing rattled me on December 26 (an Indonesian e-book publisher [I’m not going to name any names] refused to publish this because I wanted it bundled with other articles about karma and stuff). I’m still in shock. I mean on one hand I have to respect them (like if Serena/Venus Williams say they can’t participate in politics because of their beliefs, then you have to respect that) but at the same time… But at the same time I also feel like I’m discriminated against? Maybe I’ll be ready to talk about it by the time it’s time to post that post I’ll be ready. Right now I’m still in shock. I tend to feel very ‘attacked’ when things like this happened. The whole “my belief is superior to yours” thing never stops hurting.
This is the second time I’m saying this in this blog post: The persecution is real.
5.3.2. Follow-up for Brain Defrag Book #2
- How I used it: In the follow-up post, I will also try to explain how I went from thinking this is the worst possible thing an Aspie could use to thinking this is the best thing an Aspie could ever wish for (I’m not proud of how narrow-minded I was, but I’ll try to share my experience for the greater good—I’ll only do it after I’ve actually used these two workbooks, though).
- Where to order and the drama endured to obtain this: I will explain why I hope Periplus.com lists the daily version (right now they only sell the weekly version, which doesn’t come with the epic template). Why I wish Periplus.com sold the daily edition (they only listed the weekly edition). Don’t get me wrong, I love Amazon (they shipped twice as fast as Periplus last time with ARAMEX). But when you order a certain value, it can turn into a logistical nightmare, even when things do go right (I’ll explain the details in the follow-up post). I just feel like I can’t justify it once I do the carbon credit accounting.
5.3.3. Other stuff, possibly
They seem like a good idea, these workbooks (there are plenty of them right now). They’re better than seeing an Indonesian therapist. Not only did a have a terrible experience with one once in charm school (she reduced me to tears). Some of them actually still believe sexual minorities suffer from a mental disorder (it was removed from the DSM decades ago, FFS). I’m only getting tested for Aspieness overseas. Plus, talking to these workbooks seems less daunting than doing weekly/biweekly appointments.
6. My daily set-up
It’s all in one place, which warms my heart, all on my bookshelf (but I can’t show you the small bookshelf in my room right now, because it is still messy).
This is in the study, though. Normally, I would do this on my bed. Maybe on the floor when I eventually finish cleaning and finally get a fluffy faux fur rug (I used to have a pink faux fur rug in Hugo de Grootstraat 32) so I can have it on the floor where I can see it all the time. IDK.
I’m a bit worried about it, because right now my room is so messy that I actually have to keep putting it back into the box when I go to bed. During the day, they’re all laid out on my bed. Because right now (as I’m still cleaning and redecorating) there’s no other place for it. Trouble is, I’m so scatter-brained that when I forget to take it out and lay it out on my bed, I totally just forget to take my meds or something.
Worse, during the period where I had no designated place to do my dailies (when I relied on using scrap paper, like the back of online shopping receipts and stuff) there would be days where I completely forget to do my daily scheduling altogether. It’s just completely lost to me.
There’s the penta-coloured pen I’m using this year for the Moleskine, some of them are very fine pen (0.28 mm) and you have to check the tip size when you pick the colours (I bought this at Loki’s mall on the day I bought the Moleskine).
7. What I’m trying to make happen
It’s weird, I know… But they’re the centre of my universe. Now can you imagine how it must feel for someone like me to lose my scripts on set? Terrifying. I would have a meltdown, definitely. Because my screenplay/stageplays are never ‘pristine’ or ‘clean’ (maybe have one colour highlighter) like other actors. My scripts contain tons of notes and everything is colour-coded (I draw boxes around my bits, which makes it less overwhelming when I read the thing in its entirety to make sense of where my character stands/the scene’s context, but until I have my bits separated, I can’t really get them to sink-in).
So for the past 1–2 years, I’ve lived in a very strange state: I feel like I’m being ‘chased’ by life (like I should be getting things done, like time is running out). But at the same time, I always put things off at a big scale like “I’ll use this when I eventually finish cleaning and redecorating and start living like a normal human.”
Like even little decorative things I buy, “oh, this is a pretty magnet. I’ll use it when I finally get my shit together.” But then I never do anything towards getting my shit together and they start piling up. I forget I even own that magnet and I end up buying another magnet because I forgot I already own enough magnets to cover an industrial fridge. LOL.
So if you’re wondering what I’m trying to achieve with all this…
I want this year to be the year I finally try to get my shit together.
I can’t imagine running a whole country. Not even a tiny one. Can you imagine? OMG.
Last updated: December 31, 2016 (made public on December 26–29, 2016)