This is how I design my life….

Would you believe me if I told you that



I am an example of these lines. Thanks to my family for vesting this principle in me since birth – POSITIVE THINKING.

I have not heard a single negative word or an attitude from my grandmother or parents. Be it any bad situation, my Dad’s next word would be, ‘What Next?’ (Happened has happened, what to do next?). Not a day passed for my grandmother(parental) without uttering these words, WHAT YOU THINK IS WHAT YOU ARE; WHAT YOU SAY IS WHAT WILL HAPPEN.

I have always been that way but never realised these are pure words of wisdom until I read the book, The Secret by Rhonda Bryne. From then on, I consciously apply this principle and see myself create me.

My sister is a great list maker. For every task, she would make a list and would always be prepared and perfect. I never realised its benefits until I got married. As soon I fell in love with organising and planning, I bought/ downloaded innumerable planners (Erin condren, A bowl full of lemons) and accessories to go with it, which are more like scrapbooking. Becoming a minimalist, I quit those methods and fell in love with a concept of Bullet journaling. I love the fluidity and customizability of bullet journaling.

Journaling is a record in writing of my dreams, gratitude, resolutions, habit tracking, budget planning, wishlist etc., basically whatever goes through my mind is on the paper. Journaling makes me clear and confident of what I think and coordinates my thoughts and action. Journals are my tool for time management, money management, relationship management and makes me feel gifted every second. What all I have written is what has happened ink to ink. When I look at my past journals it’s like reading my present life. You can have positive thoughts all the time but when you write it down, you make yourself clear of what you think and go one step further to believe what you have written has the highest probability of happening or even rejoicing yourself as if it has already happened. This degree of positivity is what one should have, on what you want to happen or trust whatever is happening or will happen is only for the best for you. For things, I don’t put too much thought I follow the second strategy. Journaling has made be believe in the Universe. β€œAnd, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho.

Here is a peep into my Journals. Sorry, I have masked a few lines. it would be a joke if I reveal those lines now. When it becomes a reality, I shall unveil and keep you posted.WhatsApp Image 2016-12-29 at 11.29.02 AM

This is my journal for the year 2016. I wasn’t this rigorous in either sustainable living, travelling, thoughts of the second baby, zero waste, unschooling or blogging when I wrote this in Dec 2015. From where I was to where I am today? The answer is on each page of this book.


Some are long term and some short time goals on this list. The list is like my mission statement for life; A focus on the bigger picture. Goal setting had made me know what I am and what I am capable of. In the journey of attaining one goal, I come across much more. My main goal for the next year is, ‘Learn to perfect’. I am keen on learning a few skills and learn to perfect the things I am already doing.

Tip: Make your resolutions/goals social, let your loved ones know about it. They will encourage, remind and acknowledge your success which would help you do more. I have my goals printed and stuck on the wall, which reminds and makes me feel accountable. The more you put your thoughts onto your goals, more the circumstances will unwind for it to goals


I read a lot of books; love hearing advice from loved ones. But everything would enter through one ear and exit through the other until I practised ‘self-analysation’. It is a process of putting deeper thoughts of your action and others. It helps you unravel many knots of a situation and helps to know myself and others better. It’s a great way to improvise your personality. Conscious effort is required to polish one’s personality.areas to improve areas to improve 2


Whenever there is a tiff between Prabu and me or a misunderstanding between Thanvi and me or others, I record it here. This helps me analyse my mistakes and think through the ways I can avoid this in the future. It’s a great way to build a beautiful relationship with loved ones. I believe all relationships are like mirrors. what you show is what is reflected.what went wrong


Here I list projects to do, they range from home arrangement to travel plans. This is just a reminder, when I choose to handle a particular project, I break them into parts and make a detailed list.projects to do projects to do 2


Highest priority is given to this list. I owe all my areas of interest and perspectives in life to the people to the I met. It is People who inspire me and motivate than any meet


My 2011 wishlist was a whopping 4 pages long. Hardly any of the item in the above list would survive up to 2017 list. I hardly bought a thing this year. 2015 and 2016 were a major purging season. I wish not to add excessive things into my life as I like the freedom of ‘Living Light’. Making a wishlist helps avoid impulse purchases.wishlist


I am information loaded at times. I put things that sound interesting here and revisit them later to know research


Health is always on a check. We do regular tests and adjust our food habits accordingly. Be it small or large, all issues get updated here. Keeping track of health records has helped us know about our body


The one list that keeps growing is books to read. All these books are strong recommendations from the people I met.books


Another list that we treat with the same importance as books is movies. Prabu has a great love for movies so he comes up with this list.movies


I make goals for every month ranging from small to big. Ones that doesn’t get finished is carried on to the next month.


The planner is a marking of events, places and people we visited or plan to visit that month. Its helps us to plan and to look back and cherish the days well spent.monthly planner


I read this somewhere, ‘The bravest person is one who develops a habit consciously’ ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit – Aristotle. With conscious effort and with a lot of hard work, I have developed many habits, which has changed the way I am for great mind and body. I also maintain a digital version of this tracker in an app called Habitbull.habit tracker

Image source: Follow the link for other related habit apps

Also to mention we own a digital version of all the above lists on WUNDERLIST app. Wunderlist is a great app and I highly recommend. Prabu and I use this app to plan, collaborate and track. Wunderlist and Google calendar helps us to avoid misunderstanding, motivate and remind each other of our activities and goals.

image source:


Though cleaning happens every day, some intricates might get unnoticed, so I have a checklist to get it all done. I have a different approach to cleaning. I don’t clean area wise but item wise. All mirrors a day, ceiling fans a separate day etc., because of the limited time and labour, I can afford to do so.


Earlier I used to meal plan a week ahead. These days I just plan a day ahead, so it doesn’t need those exhaustive methods I followed earlier. I have a list of veggies, fruits and meat. I mark off as we buy so that we balance eat all the produce, not just the same ones for the sake of convenience or taste.veggies chart


We strictly make, follow and record our budget. Not a penny goes unplanned or unrecorded. We use Home Budget app. Its syncs with his ios phone, Mac PC and my android phone and windows PC.

home budget app
image source:


This is the first thing I do every morning. I write a line or two on moments/people/things I am grateful for. It sets in a feeling of happiness and contentment throughout the day. Count your blessings and feel blessed. I strongly believe each of us has lots to thank than to grieve.


Here I list the number of activities I aim to do on a particular day. I, time block the events/activities so that I make a good use of the time. I never go to bed without writing to do list for the next day. This habit has been by far the best thing I do which paves the way to achieve my dreams (like a brick a day to build my dream wall) and THIS IS HOW I CREATE MYSELF.daily to do's

Some may wonder why isn’t there a page for Thanvi’s unschooling activities. As I have already mentioned, she gets to design her own life, we just facilitate. She gets to do what she wants to do in a day.


Journaling is an art. I choose to do something very simple and practical. Here are some samples of bullet journal for your inspiration.sample journals

Instagramers whom I follow for bullet journal inspirationsbujoist

Facebook page regarding bullet journaling.

I am planning to feature my journal for the year 2017 in my Instagram, interested people can follow me there.

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18 Comment

  1. L says: Reply

    Today I wrote my name on the first page of a note book I got for bullet journaling. Then I have been wondering how best to organise the journal. This post has done that for me. I am going to take all the areas you have mentioned, you have covered all my bases right down to information over load and movies!!! Thanks for this Nandini. Love, Laya!

    1. durgeshnandhini says: Reply

      Thanks a lot, Laya. You should check out those Instagram-ers and FB page for more inspiration. Goal setting is work half done, happy for you. Wishing you a new you. Love

  2. Udayaa says: Reply

    Superb nandhu. U always rock. Thanks for giving more ideas.

    1. durgeshnandhini says: Reply

      Thanks for all the love udayaa

  3. Jayanandan N says: Reply

    Wonderfully written, Nandhini. I think I should also compliment your handwriting. Wish you the best!!

    1. durgeshnandhini says: Reply

      Thank you so much Anna.

  4. Theo says: Reply

    This is superhuman to me!! An true eye opener. Nandhini, I will definitely try and use all these tools at my work.

    And share you my feedback ofcourse! Thank you so much!

    1. durgeshnandhini says: Reply

      Thanks a lot, Anna. Use this tool not only for work but also to balance work and life. I have seen tremendous improvements in my personality and habits. Wish you the very best. Awaiting your feedback.

  5. Sindhuja says: Reply

    Thank you for this informative post Nandhini.

    Do you have all the above listed checklists in the same notebook?

    Have you split the notebook monthwise?

    Thank you in advance for taking the time to reply.

    1. durgeshnandhini says: Reply

      Thanks a lot for your appreciation Sindhuja. I have two notebooks, one for bullet journaling (all checklists) and another notebook for gratitude journaling ( few lines of what I am grateful for each day).

  6. Suganya Arunkumar says: Reply

    Great Ideas!! Thanks for sharing…

    1. durgeshnandhini says: Reply

      Thanks a lot Suganya.

  7. Bruce says: Reply

    Very simple but meaningful facts which we fail to follow, this will really help in bringing out the “Me” factor in everyone. I read where you mentioned – “Whenever there is a tiff between Prabu and me or a misunderstanding between Thanvi and me or others, I record it here. This helps me analyse “***my mistakes***” and think through the ways I can avoid this in the future”
    – Absolutely amazing, when we prepare ourselves then we can face any type of situations and people rather than pointing out their fault and areas of improvement !

    1. durgeshnandhini says: Reply

      Thank you so much for writing in. All the very best for the journey of discovering YOU.

  8. Raaghavi Yuvaraj says: Reply

    Hai, am really inspired. I really wanted to do this. am in my postpartum phase where I am on a break from work. I now feel am too idle,Financially dependent,and I keep on planning (just in my mind)to do things when I get back to my routine. I was wondering looking at blogs of people like you and others,’how are they doing this?! How’s Thier life so easy with out hassle?!’ but just now got to know the backend process. It needs more planning, building ourselves and our surrounding, raising ourselves in a new positive way…. I just need to say one thing to you, THANKS. Am starting my journal now πŸ™‚

    1. durgeshnandhini says: Reply

      Journaling has made me what I am today. Journaling has made me more focused.

  9. Sathyasudha says: Reply

    You are simply superb Nandini. Thanks for sharing it with everyone. It makes our day easier πŸ™‚

    1. durgeshnandhini says: Reply

      Thank you so much. All the very best.

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