This Week I

Fell Down a Rabbit Hole

And read about an Earth-like planet that’s less than five light years away

Followed by how long it would take to travel one light year by shuttle: about 37,200 years.

Finally, my expedition ended with how many light years it is from Earth to Pluto: five light hours.

Thanks for the memories, Google.

Started a bullet journal

First, get over to and click on “watch the video.” After you watch the video, watch it a few more times. Then get a notebook and a pen (or pencil) and set up the journal the way Ryder Carrol, the creator of the system, does. If the system didn’t make sense before, it will once you set up the basic modules. Don’t spend too much time setting things up. Right now, speed is key when you use this method the first time.

I didn’t work quickly first, and that worked against me. Even though I initially watched the video before doing anything else, I ended up on a major Google expedition, coming across more than a few gorgeous, fancy, dressed up books. People are talented. People can draw and design some really beautiful stuff. I am not one of those people.

But I am a person who wants to be more organized and use her time efficiently.

So I went back to Carrol’s video — playing, pausing and setting up a composition notebook with the building blocks of the system: an index, future log, monthly log and daily log.

As I added info to the monthly log, I realized this aspect of the journal wasn’t going to work for me. I have lots of little appointments throughout the day and need to be on time to each one. I’m stuck with my Google Calendar for now but am exploring other ways I might be able to incorporate the monthly log back into the journal. This left me with the future log — which I immediately renamed Future Logs (because I like it, and it makes me feel like I live on a spaceship) — a monthly task list, daily logs and collections titled story ideas and places to pitch. A collection is a fancy way of titling a page and writing about whatever you need or want to. You number each page as you go. When you add a collection, you number the page, and add the page number and title to the index.

Carrol did a six month future log. Mine is 18 months long, and I love the big picture overview of my trial schedule. Initially, I worried about running out of space for enough daily logs for 18 months. But my day-to-day is full of court dates and long-term projects defined by my trial and writing schedule. The daily log, in my experience, blends long-term goals with day-to-day tasks. Because of this, I’m able to consistently make progress on bigger projects while managing the stuff that also eats up time every single day. I can actually see a future where my desk isn’t covered with 58 incoherent sticky notes containing information about tasks past and present.

I’ve spent years in search of the perfect planner, and every single on has always fallen short. Something that’s totally 100 percent analog may not be possible for me right now, but I think I’m almost there. And there’s something liberating about knowing that I don’t need a $65 planner or $28 leather-bound blank book to manage my day-to-day — that a flimsy composition book and whatever pen I have on hand will do the trick.