One book July is something that myself, Carie Harling and Rhomany from Rhomany’s Realm have been doing for the last several years. We initially came up with the challenge to challenge ourselves as well as others in the planner community to just put everything away and use one pen and one book. This allows you to just clear your mind of all the noise and focus on what is important to you and what your daily needs are. Every year since that first year it’s been a great success and people started flooding our social media and emails asking what it is that we will be doing this year!
In years past I have really loved and enjoyed doing this challenge because I have learned so much. I consider myself a seasoned planner but I constantly crave more and love to change things and play with so many different inserts and stickers and methods. In 2015 I decided to take a plain sketchbook that I found at Michaels and turn it into a book to catch everything!! Not only was the size something different but so was the concept. I had a lot of fun decorating the front cover. It was easy to do because the cover is made of a canvas and so drawing on there to personalize it was great fun!! I used ballpoint and colored pencil, just that simple!
A lot of the setup was inspired by Clark Danger and his youtube channel. When doing research I found his channel and I felt very inspired with how he put together his journals and kept organized. I also added sections into the journal to help break it up and keep me organized. I placed washi tape on those pages to help me tab to those sections. The sections are setup with anything and everything that you would want to have with you!! I have to say that this was one of my absolute favorite setups that I have ever done!
This is the first page of the book and I think it’s a great phrase to remind yourself of everyday. I did a video recently talking about how planners to me are little time capsules and with all your plans and appointments have captured your life at that moment in your life.
I will share some of the sections that I decided to place into this book. In each section I had plenty of space to work with and with a blank page I was able to be very creative with how I wanted my pages to be setup!
You can add a bullet journal section and a hobonichi section, the options are endless!!
I felt so incredibly free with each of the sections and very liberated. I didn’t have any lines to follow and my brain just wrote down and did what it needed to do. I think that having preprinted planners is great because it guides you but it can also limit you on your own creativity and doesn’t all you to focus on what you need instead follows what someone else needs!
In the above pictures on the left, is an example of how I would lay out my week. With such a large amount of space to work with I have room to add lots of ephemera, notes and stickers and just have fun!! On the right hand side, the picture features some research that I was doing with water colors. I like to have a palette in each journal that I work in and here I have them laid out just to see what they look like and how they play in this book!
Adding a section on this post (left picture) it I captured what I wanted to keep in this section. It was great to help me not just pile everything in or use the sections not in the way I intended for them to be used. I initially was worried that writing notes would pose the problem of information getting lost but I actually think that I found a way to easily find everything I need. I drew lines around some information, added pictures and post its to help separate things I did not want to get lost and the result was something I just loved!! I still adore how all these pages turned out!!
If you know me then you know I love to memory keep and I did just that on these pages!! I sketched images of shows that I liked watching and used my pictures of memories that captured those special moments!!!
Last year I used a 5×7 Barron Fig book and did a lot of memory keeping in that book as well. I didn’t utilize it quite like I used my sketchbook but it’s still something I loved doing. I took that journal with me on our family vacation and captured many pieces of ephemera and many water color images. I thought I would feature the sketchbook version of my one book july because I feel as though it’s one of my most creative endeavors to date!!
I hope you join all of us this year as well. I can guarantee that even though you may hate it or feel challenged for the month in the end you will feel something and learn something new about yourself. It will definitely improve on your planning and organizing of your thoughts!