March Slice of Life Challenge: March 3, 2014 – finding a way to keep a lasting date book

orange sol


The March Slice of Life Challenge is hosted by Two Writing Teachers .  

 There are some notebooks I love to keep, to update, to leaf through…to simply enjoy – my lesson planner, my writer’s notebook, my book-list notebook.  These are notebooks I keep in my book bag, take along on holidays (yes, sometimes even my lesson plan book!), and just like to have lying around on my desk and by my reading chair.  These are notebooks that bring me comfort, and make me happy.

And then there is my date book – the one that I am always losing, always misplacing, always having to buy a new version of.  I must “lose” three or four of these in the course of a single year, and am on the lookout for a date book with the magic formula – i.e. whatever it is that will make me want to hang on to it, write in it, truly use it to keep me up to date and on time.  Why is this even an issue? you may wonder. What’s so hard about keeping a date book?

I have wondered myself.

Then one day, I read Katherine Sokolowski’s Slice of Life a few weeks ago, the one in which she shared the secret to journal keeping:markers.  I read Katherine’s slice, marveled over her unique and vivid entries, and had a brain wave – this was the answer to my date book dilemma!

So, I found a blank composition book, “personalized” it with a few quotes that have always spoken to me, and voila – date book:


And then I began to work on just the day ahead – one day at a time – with a fistful of rainbow-hued markers.  So far, I have not lost this notebook, and it takes its place alongside my other, beloved notebooks in my book bag, always near at hand.  I look forward to “putting my day in place”, to thinking about what needs to be done, to framing the work day ahead in an appealing way…like this:

photo I love the fact that I can plan my time bit by bit – one day at a time.

I love the fact that I don’t have the sense of time marching ahead (all those calendar days to come), or time left behind (all those blank pages I meant to fill out but never did…because, you know, I could find the darn book!).

I love the fact that I can catch the day’s work in a whimsical way – with flourishes of color (I don’t get to color much any more), and goofy little doodles (I don’t get to doodle much anymore, either).

I love the fact that filling in my day this way does not make me anxious (the other kind of date book really did).

And I love the fact that this notebook doesn’t seem to want to get lost. So, thank you Katherine – I’m having a lovely time with my notebook and markers, which entice me into staying organized and happy every day.



26 thoughts on “March Slice of Life Challenge: March 3, 2014 – finding a way to keep a lasting date book

  1. THAT is a great idea! I sprung for an Erin Condren planner for the new year, and I STILL forget to update my busy week each Sunday. I’m not a digital calendar kind of girl. Wonder if the opportunity to sit and doodle and plan my day in a fun way would make me more likely to do it? Thanks for sharing!

  2. I too bought some new markers, but have kept my same book. I use the colors for the ‘to do’ list, still have a calendar, need it for my appointments at school. Love that you started this too. Katherine really inspired us, didn’t she? Have a great week, Tara!

  3. I loved Katherine’s post as well. I like your thoughts – now that I am retired I don’t have to keep a digital calendar to be shared with others. It is now all my own. Wow – I could go back to a notebook of colors. Thanks for the push in thinking.

  4. I love this idea but I would be afraid that I would spend too much timing “playing” with the markers, coloring, and doodling! Isn’t it funny the things that teachers get excited about!

  5. This is such a wonderfully great idea, Tara!! I hope your new system works for you! Even if it doesn’t “work”, looks like you’ll have some fun in the process!

  6. I love your love of notebooks. I cashed mine in right alongside real books. I was so happy to stop communicating with a pen and paper, but I love your passion.
    BTW, looks like my camera will be covered and I’m sending it out at the end of the week to make sure it returns to me after we get home. Sounds very organized, I know, but it is Canon.

  7. What an appealing datebook – like you said, much better than the calendar days marching ahead. I can see that it’s actually relaxing. No appointments that have to swim around in your head, little to-dos that go forgotten, or random acts of kindness that go undone. Now I need to go read Katherine’s post that inspired you! AND I need to get better pens. 🙂

  8. Your post is another reminder that I really need to bring my journal upstairs along with my new markers. I’ve been wanting to do that ever since reading Katherine’s post. Colors make me happy!

  9. I love this! Might have to try it! I just got a brand new pack of sharpies (aka my absolute favorite thing ever) that are calling my name. I love how you included all the pictures… I might have to try that as well.

  10. Katherine’s post made me think about the jar full of colored Sharpies I bought when I was trying to get my thesis notes organized. I haven’t used them much since, but I love your idea of using them for a date book. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I also enjoy using different pen colors to code important dates. Even the texture of the pen is important to me. You have figured out a plan that works for you. So glad it is coming together!

  12. Getting to your slice late… But so glad I did. l share this sentiment about planners “… the sense of time marching ahead (all those calendar days to come), or time left behind (all those blank pages I meant to fill out but never did…” I have that issue. Maybe it’s the markers. Ever since I read Katherine’s post I’ve been wanting to go look for those markers!

  13. I like that planning bit by bit seems to be working for you. I’m not much of an artist, but one blogger’s pics of her kids’ slicing notebooks inspired me. I’m planning to put some colorful quotes on the fly page of my March slicing notebook. What kind of pens do you like?

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