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Unclutter your mind

I am a great believer in not cluttering up my mind with things I need to remember to do and I confess I am one of those ‘list makers’. However my idea of fun is not searching through a mass of paper, magazines, newspapers etc to find the reminder note I need. So this month I’m going to purely talk about notebooks. Those practical hard covered little books which fulfill a number of purposes, and are so wonderfully portable if you want to carry one in your bag or briefcase.

There are a number of quite diverse purposes for which you can use notebooks:

Favourite and/or often used websites you subscribe to; a handy place to store the website links and your login and password.

Keeping track of your everyday spending to help you stay on budget; note everything you buy/ spend your money on for a month [including the coffees and any other small spends which you may think are incidental]. At the end of the month you can tally your spending by category and check it against your budget.

Goals and your step by step actions you’re going to take towards your goal plans. You could even include your Bucket List in this notebook.

If you frequent the library as I do, and here I use an address book, you can note under each of your favourite authors’ names their books you’ve read. I find it helpful to remind me of the authors I’ve enjoyed, and I also don’t end up getting the same book out twice.

Renovating the house? Write down your ideas and plans in a notebook. You can staple in paint cards and material swatches as well; make a list of helpful websites, and contact details of your suppliers.

Trying to lose weight? Use a notebook to write down everything you eat so you can track problem times of the day or unhelpful triggers. It’s often surprising when we write down everything we eat to find we may have snuck in a snack or two without realising it.

Menu planning: my wonderfully organised sister-in-law plans her meals and menus for the week, a great time saver and it makes the weekly shopping a breeze. Keeping your weekly meal plans in a notebook also allows you to refer back to previous plans for ideas.

Using notebooks is easier and more effective than jotting everything down on pieces of paper; or worse, thinking you’ll commit your ideas to memory. I have a very good memory and this may be partly because I write everything down. In other words, I keep my mind as uncluttered as possible.

Besides my notebooks, I also make scratch pads out of my recycled paper held together with a sturdy bulldog clip. These scratch pads are kept in my home as well as in my car, [we can get great ideas when we’re driving, although you want to wait until you stop at the lights to write them down].

Here’s what a few famous people have used their notebooks for:

General George S Patton: used his notebook to record daily happenings, explore ideas of leadership and war strategy, draw diagrams, and even pen poetry on love. But its most important use was as a place to write down the affirmations and principles that would guide his journey toward his ultimate goal- becoming a great general.

Mark Twain: filled notebooks with observations of people he met, thoughts on religion and politics, drawings and sketches of what he saw on his travels, potential plots for books, and even ideas for inventions.

Director George Lucas [of Star Wars fame]: carried a pocket notebook with him at all times for taking down ideas, words, and plot angles on the go.

Ludwig Van Beethoven: was a devotee of the pocket notebook and was seldom seen without one in hand or pocket. He would walk the city streets and forest paths with it clutched behind his back in case inspiration should come upon him while away from home.

Ernest Hemingway: brought them on all his travels and adventures, jotting down notes wherever he was in a bar, a train, a bullfight. He was a keen observer of life, trying to capture the richness and texture of his experiences. He stored sights, sounds, and smells away for future use when they would re-emerge as vivid passages in his short stories and novels.

And Sir Richard Branson says: “”I can’t believe when I see people not writing things down. You know they’re not going to remember everything”. He now has 122 black ledger notebooks that he’s written in over the years.

Why not indulge yourself and buy a few designer notebooks and decide what uses inspire you. Have fun with it and you’ll love feeling super organised. I hope you’ve found this newsletter interesting and useful, and I wish you a wonderful month ahead.

In Joy!

Angella Gilbert

P: 09 410 4166
M: 027 224 8937
E: angella.gilbert@xtra.co.nz
W: www.gioia.net.nz

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