How to create your own Lifebook: A personal workbook of your life

Do you have a Lifebook?

For me, creating a lifebook is the love-child of both; my obsession with stationary and my obsession with planning and documenting my life.

I love journals (Moleskine in particular).I have so many journals. So many! And sadly, most of them are unused. I don’t even want to use them for the fear of wrecking them. Journals are something that I both don’t need and desperately need simultaneously. Ick!

I finally found a good use for my beautiful journal. A lifebook.

So what is a Lifebook? A Lifebook is your personal workbook for your life.

For me, it is the perfect balance between art and productivity/planning. I like art, but not always enough to fill an entire journal.

I’m going to pretend you find it as fascinating as I do, and tell you how to make your own life book!

Source: blogdelanine.blogspot.com via lemelimelodeval on Pinterest

First of all you need to buy a beautiful blank journal. Decorate it how you wish. Make it beautiful!

Here are some suggestions of pages and topics I use in my lifebook:

Books read: A list of books you have read this year, along with a rating for the book. If you are a movie lover, you could also have a “Movies watched in 2012” page too.

Weekly meal plans: Every Sunday night, make a plan for what you plan on eating every day of that week.

Weekly themes: What is your Life Theme of the week? What area of your life would you like to focus on upgrading this week? How do you plan on doing it? Identify the title. Then make a list of: 1. the things you need to do in order to fullfill your life theme. 2.  What habits would you need to acquire to fulfill this life theme?  3. What improvements would you like to see in this area of your life?

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read this my blog post on Life themes.

Monthly Habits: It’s nice to work on developing one new habit a month. That’s 12 new good habits a year. A pretty good way to re-write some of the unconscious hard wiring of your life. It takes around 21 days of consistent action to create a new habit, so try a 30 day trial of new habits to see how they fit in your life. So, every month, take a moment to decide what you habit you want to try out – and every day for that month, make it your priority to make sure that habit happens! Examples of habits are: Cleaning, cooking, networking, rising early etc etc.

Goals: Your goals for the year are an absolutely essential component of your lifebook! Along with writing out your goals, you could also have separate pages for tracking your progress. For example, if your goal was to read 25 Novels in the year, you could also have a page to keep track of the books you read in the year.

Weekly Achievements: A couple of years ago, I not only made a list of my goals and resolutions for the year, but also a list of all the cool things I’ve achieved in the previous year. Some were small private accomplishments, and some were bigger and brighter. But they all represented success in some form. In the new year, I could set my new year goals and also exercise gratitude for all the great things I have experienced, the goals I achieved. 

Then for the next year I stopped doing that, and then on new year, I felt like I achieved nothing all year. It was a great feeling..NOT.

It’s important to document our successes as well as our goals. We need a To-Do list and a Done list. Every week, make a small note of little accomplishments you made in that week. Most of the time they may be small like “I finished my book _____”,  or “I consistently studied for 3 hours” every day”, or “Called an old friend that I haven’t spoken to in 3 years”.

Creative Projects: I randomly get ideas of things I want to do, things I want to create, projects I want to start. It could be things like blog posts I want to write or  recipes I want to try or simple DIY craft projects I want to create. Here’s a personal example. Recently I’ve become absolutely obsessed about drinking milkshakes (and other drinks) from a jar. It sounds weird and kind of unimportant, but it is important to me!  I think it looks pretty, and interesting!


How awesome does that look? It looks delicious. I can’t wait to try it! Other examples would be to create a Photobook, bake cinnamon rolls, photograph myself every day to see how I change , write an e-book, create a short film, take part in the 365 photos (one photograph a day) challenge etc.

It’s important to me to write down these ideas, because often when I get them, I don’t always have the resources or time to act on them right away. So I keep them in storage for a rainy day. They make me happy.

Intentions and Focuses: Set aside a couple of pages to write down your intentions and focuses. Areas you want to improve and focus on. Goals for your mind and spirit. Things like “Be more positive” or “Set boundaries on my time, resources and energy”

Gratitude page: A list of things you are grateful for. Maybe do 3 a day?

Magical moments: Eeach time you experience a moment in your life that is magical and meaningful, take a moment to write it down. It could be something funny/touching that your child tells you, or a special date you went on with your boyfriend. Moments that reveal the magic in your life.

Most Important Tasks: You can also use some pages in your lifebook to write down your three most important tasks of the day the night before. In the morning, you quickly review, and make it your life-purpose to complete these three most important tasks before the day is over. It helps you focus on what’s important.

Relationship goals: A monthly anniversary is usually too short to celebrate in most relationships, but I like to take each monthly anniversary with my love to think about 3 changes I could make to make our relationship stronger and better. I write these down in my lifebook so that I can review them next month and see how well I stuck to them.

**Generally I don’t write my daily to-do lists in my Lifebook. I don’t want to clutter it up too much. I use a different book for this.

** I start a new Lifebook every year.

** Remember to make your Lifebook your own. Add more pages, change some pages, make it beautiful, and get creative. Fill it with doodles and quotes and colour and prettyness. Lifebooks make great memories to look back over the previous years.

How about you guys? Would you like to make your own life book? Do you have a similar system?  What do you use to plan, organize and document your life? What kind of creative ideas do you have? Do you have any questions? 

And now…I’m late for class.

Adios!

48 thoughts on “How to create your own Lifebook: A personal workbook of your life

  1. MDawson says:

    A great idea! I’m making my own journal right now and I’m going to use your ideas for it once it’s finished. I’m not good at daily entries, but notes and observations I can do. Thanks! Love your blog!

    Like

  2. Erin McNaughton says:

    I love this idea! I already have something similar, but it’s mostly things that inspire me or bring back good memories – I’ll have to incorporate some of these other things you’ve mentioned. Thanks! 🙂

    Like

    • Malavika says:

      That’s great! Different people like to document different things. Some people love to collect beautiful images or inspiring quotes! I like looking at beautiful images and quotes but for me personally, what really inspires me is to make plans and track my progress 🙂 It’s all about whatever works for you. And your lifebook is personal, so you can incorporate whatever inspires you!

      Like

  3. Axy says:

    Great ideas! I usually can’t keep a journal because I become to lazy to write in it or I simply forget or find the stuff that I experience in that day too boring to be put on paper. But this is different and cute, thanks! Lovely blog!

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    • Malavika says:

      Actually, I am usually pretty bad at maintaining a journal too, but the good thing about my Lifebook is that it requires to be updated intermittently, so it does keep growing and filling up those pages. If I had to make things up day by day, then it wouldn’t last long at all. That’s why I like the pre-decided themes and categories for the pages, so I have some kind of order and sense of progress!

      Good luck with your lifebook. Have fun 🙂

      Like

  4. Kristen Hopf says:

    You are awesome. I feel like I know you because I get all of your posts sent straight to my email, and I always get so excited by every one. You’ve really got it all together, don’t you!? You’re really an inspiration! I have a planner, but a lifebook is so much more fun and efficient! I’m totally starting one of these.

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    • Malavika says:

      Kristin, some days I have it together, and some days not so much 🙂 I’m sure you can relate!

      Have fun with your lifebook! I am sure it will be beautiful 😀 Let me know how it goes.

      Like

  5. Haley says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your ideas! I have a beautiful Andy Wahol notebook my friend gave me a few years ago that I would love to use as my lifebook. I love your blog- I discovered it a few months ago when I was going through a really hard time in my life. I have found so much motivation and inspiration from your words 🙂

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  6. smallestforest says:

    Reblogged this on the smallest forest and commented:
    Malavika’s got a great post about “How to create your own Lifebook”, a personal workbook that combines her obsessions with stationery and organization into one amazing and beautiful whole. To me, it would more likely be combining my love of art journaling, journal writing, and bookbinding. I do not love planning and organizing so much. 😀

    Like

    • Malavika says:

      Unfortunately, the pretty picture I put up is not mine but I placed the source just beneath the photograph. But of course, I think prettyness is very important for your life book.
      You can add doodles, cut outs, textures, quotes, typography etc to make it pretty. Like a scrapbook! But cooler.

      Like

  7. Cath says:

    I love this idea but I’m not sure if I could do it, I write in a journal (almost) daily and I don’t know if it’d have any meaning have another one. But I just love love the idea and want to try it too! But would hate to start it just to use it for a week. Any advice? Already overwhelmed and I didn’t even start!

    Like

    • Malavika says:

      Ok first, we are going to just chill 😀

      I can imagine that it could be hard to maintain two journals at the same time, but remember that both of them are different and require different kinds of input.

      Your journal-journal will probably take more effort to maintain on a daily basis. You have to contemplate and think about your day. Reflect on it. Express it eloquently.

      But your Lifebook is not like that. Your Lifebook WILL take more effort to create, because you will have to set up all the pages, title pages, and make it as beautiful as you please. BUT your lifebook will not be difficult to maintain. Your Lifebook would be like just filling out a questionairre, or a quick bullet point recap of your week.

      A Lifebook is not for everyone. But neither is journalling. And some people do neither. And some people do both.
      (An example – Some people read textbooks for school, and are unable to pick up a book for pleasure afterwards. Some people only like to read books for pleasure. Some people don’t like reading at all. Some people just love reading, so they make sure they read for pleasure and also read for school.)

      So, why don’t you try it out for a while and see if it works for you, and if not, it’s not a big deal. Remember you can always adapt your Lifebook to work better for you. You could have less categories, or simply different ones, that seem less overwhelming for you…

      What do you think?

      With love,
      Malavika

      Like

      • Cath says:

        Wow, thanks for the fast response and thank you for all the advice!
        I think I’m going to try for a while, see what’s important for me to record, keep it simple and try not to make it more difficult than it actually is!
        Thank you so much and please keep up with this great blog, I’ll keep reading! 🙂

        Like

  8. weelilwimsy says:

    I love this idea! Journals for me usually are bitch sessions or hopeful wishing. I think I will try this. I’m guessing it will help me personally, but also generate great blog entries. Thanks for sharing this!

    Like

  9. Ruglovermary says:

    I have been really good at collecting journals too and not using. I love this idea as I am starting a new chapter in my life and need to center myself more.
    I am bad at guess-a-mating how much space I would need for each section, so I might use many different books one for each type of goals achievements, gratitude, oddities, etc. A binder would be a good idea, but I am not a big fan of binders.
    You have such great ideas and ways to have a great life, I am glad your blog got freshly pressed and I decided to read it!!! Thanks

    Like

  10. Nina says:

    OK, I like this idea overall but I’m just going to be annoying and pick you up on something because it was a particular bugbear of my grandfather who died last year… There’s no such thing as a monthly anniversary! The very word “anniversary” is from the Latin for year, so applying that word to any length of time other than a year is nonsense. Maybe you can come up with a more accurate name for your monthly commemorations?? By the way, nice to see someone giving proper credit for a picture instead of just linking back to Pinterest.

    Like

  11. Elke says:

    This is great! I am just now diving into your blog and see a lot of you in how I view the world. I struggeld with the “organizer” concept for a while. The storebought ones just didn’t have what I needed, so I made my own. Without realizing it I made a lifebook, where I keep track of all aspects of my life. I just added a tab in my book (which is just two pieces of chipboard with cool fabric sewn over it with binder rings and paper sandwiched in between so I can add and subtract at will) for magical moments (so many times I wish I just jotted down that cute thing my little one said) and a page to write little messages of gratitude which I will cut up and put in our “gratitude pig” (we have a piggy bank at home where we put little strips of paper in throughout the year on what we are grateful for and read them at Thanksgiving dinner). Thanks again for the inspiration! You rock!

    Like

  12. Heather Haymart says:

    Thank you for sharing this idea of a Life Book. Recently, I have experimented with creating a vision board and an art journal. I think I know the direction my art journal (and probably my paintings) will be taking now! I needed this, thank you!

    Like

  13. Virgie says:

    Hey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyhow, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and
    checking back frequently!

    Like

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