Say what?! A post not about grief?!
Don’t worry, it still relates 😉
A large hurdle for me in grief has been reliability – getting places on time, submitting blog posts and such on time, and just being organized in general. My grief has given me a lackadaisical attitude about a lot of mundane life details, because loss has shown me what REALLY matters. Before grief, I was almost always early for everything, and was very organized in terms of dates and times for things. In grief, this is so much harder.
One of the comforting things I purchased just weeks after losing Jonah was a planner/journal, and I love it. For a couple months, it was by my side all the time, and I wrote and kept track of everything in it, including articles I was writing, appointments, to-dos, and friend dates.
As the months passed by and my grief matured, I found it a lot harder to keep up with my planner. As much as I like sitting quietly with paper and a pen and planning things out, I just didn’t get to it. Instead I was reading, or blogging, or running around with my new puppy. I wasn’t using my planner, and I felt myself slipping into an unorganized state that I really wasn’t fond of, but couldn’t fix.
Thankfully, I happened upon an article that explained how to use Trello, a tool I love and was already using in another capacity, to bullet journal and keep track of life. So, I set up a board using that article and just what I already knew about Trello, and now I’m in love with it. No, it’s not in a paper planner like I was hoping I’d be able to use, but because it’s on my computer and on my phone, I have it with me constantly, without carrying around my bag.
Trello is an organizational tool that a lot of companies use for certain workflows, and people use for keeping track of whatever they need to. I use it for my book blog, Literary Quicksand, because we can create a “card” (basically a sticky note) for every post we’re writing, comment on it together, and drag it from an “in progress” list to a “ready to post” list, then to “completed.”
So far, I’m loving using Trello to organize my personal life. I love how flexible it is, so I can change up how it’s laid out at any time. Here’s how I’m using it:
Yes, my board is called “Joli’s Lovely Life” 😀
I have my board organized into lists:
- Upcoming Appointments
- Upcoming Plans
- Need to Do
- Writing List
- Wish List
- Read Later List
I added a fun picture to the top card in every list, to make the board more visually appealing. Under that top card, I add all my cards that go in that list. You can assign a “due date” to each card, so that could be an appointment time, due date for a blog post, etc.
Now, Trello doesn’t come out of the box with a calendar function. First, you need to go to the menu to the “Power-ups” section and choose to turn the Calendar on.
The calendar you see on the top of my board is also not an out-of-the box Trello feature. In fact, what you’re seeing there is a Chrome plugin! I was SO HAPPY when I found it, because it adds that super handy calendar right into the Trello board itself. The plugin is called “Planyway Calendar” and you can find it here. (If you’re not using Google Chrome, I highly suggest switching!) This calendar takes all the dates from my cards and puts them on a calendar that looks very similar to a Google calendar.
The best part about Trello is you can make whatever lists you want that fit your life. You could include a reading list, a grocery list (download the Trello app for your phone to take it on the go), a gratitude list similar to a journal, a bucket list…really anything. You can attach pictures, links, and files to cards, and you can share your board with anyone you’d like.
Clearly, I recommend Trello! It has given me back some of my pre-grief organization skills, and makes me feel a little more in control.
If you have any questions about it, ask!