Experiment 3: 2017 At Home Analog
The second part of my analog set-up for 2017 includes the tools I want to start utilizing more at home. While my daily carry analog tools are about planning, capturing, and ultimately getting things done- my at-home set-up has a different (yet related) purpose.
If there's one thing I need more of in my life, it might be this one. A busy schedule has a way of crowding out opportunities to think about you're what you're actually doing when you're running around being busy. And without this reflection time, no matter how "productive" your days may be, they have a tendency of drifting away from the truly meaningful things in life. The one habit I've always wanted to make a priority is writing every day. I have heard it said that habits should either be meant to make your life better in the now, or better in the future. For me, writing is certainly both. Putting words onto paper has always been healing, clarifying, and energizing for me. Even ten minutes of writing things down can put me in a different state of mind.
But writing is also building for the future. In my scientific day job, my current degree program, and every creative aspiration I have- becoming a better writer is a significant piece of the path forward.
The idea of "morning pages" has always inspired me. This writing practice is meant to be stream-of-consciousness type writing that is completed first thing each morning. Utilizing the fresh start of the morning to put your ideas and feelings on the page before they are consumed in the overwhelming information water hose that is the internet and social media.
This practice is also every bit as intimidating as it inspiring. First, and most importantly, I am completely and utterly the opposite of a morning person. The morning is my nemesis. I usually wake up with just less than enough time to find clothes, throw my hair up, and get out the door. Never once in my life have a succeeded at any morning routine for a meaningful length of time, no matter how many amazing articles I read about the life-changing magic of not hitting snooze.
Secondly, sometimes the blank page still scares me.
So, it may not be an everyday thing at first, and it may not be three pages. But my goal is still to use analog to create a regular, simple morning routine for myself. I'm starting small. Really small. The kind of small that still seems semi-doable to a professional night owl.
Five minutes of writing each morning.
And to jumpstart this practice in 2017, I'm utilizing a brand spanking new notebook I received for Christmas. Thanks to Well-Appointed Desk for the recommendation. Meet the MOO notebook.
I will have to update my thoughts as I use this notebook more, but if first impressions mean anything, this one hits it out of the park. The design is straightforward and beautiful. When they say this notebook lays flat, they mean it. It's just about the perfect size to be substantial but also portable, and the paper is excellent. It any stationery product is going to inspire me to get up a little earlier in the morning, it might be this one. That's a darn good paper product people.
The final tool I plan to use is a tiny little notebook with an insane number of pages of world-shatteringly good paper. Stationery addicts, you know the one.
The Hobonichi. If you have never heard of it, you should go immediately to Instagram and search #hobonichi.
While the MOO notebook makes me want to curl up with my favorite pen to write the humble beginnings of a New-York Times best seller, the Hobonichi makes me want to grab every ink and art supply I own and just play. Create something. Create anything.
While its original purpose was meant to be a planner, I plan to use it as a place for visual and artistic reflections of my year. It has a small (a.k.a. not intimidating) page for each day, perfect for a sketchnote, quote, or small sketch.
While the MOO takes the ambitious morning routine spot, the Hobonichi makes it into the more reasonable evening routine line up. Turns out, an evening routine might be just as important as a morning one!
A four notebook set-up for the year might seem a little complex. I won't argue with that. That's why I'm calling these practices experiments and not necessarily resolutions. I'm trying this out to see how it goes, and I more than expect this set-up to change and evolve as the days go by.
Just one more reminder to my perfectionist tendencies:
Here's to 2017!