As a busy mum, I always had notes everywhere and was desperately trying to get myself (and my house) organised. At the end of May / start of June I felt I was drowning so started searching for ideas. Thanks to Pinterest I discovered Bullet Journalling. It called to my creative heart with the prettiness of it and thought: Yes! This is for me!!!
“The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.” ~ Ryder Carroll
I won’t go through every little detail, as you can find lots of comprehensive guides online that I certainly couldn’t compete with, like the original method by Ryder Carroll or Boho Berry’s Bullet Journal 101 series or even join a Facebook group but here’s what I have personally done and found and my experience.
One thing you need to remember is, this is YOUR journal. I know you will compare it to others, but remember, this is your journey and if it brings joy, creativeness and helps you out with your every day life, then it’s absolutely perfect. You don’t need to spend big $$ (unless you want to) and I have managed to do this system quite reasonably when I didn’t get caught up in the hype of you have to have this, that or the other!
- A cheap NOTEBOOK will be absolutely fine. I personally have this one from Kmart for $5 – budget friendly with PLENTY of pages. It is lined, which bothers some people, but not me. I did feel like I was doing “something wrong” by not using a grid or dotted notebook, but I couldn’t find any in my smallish town and I certainly wasn’t willing to fork out the money for these journals as most are quite expensive. And honestly, at the start, I wasn’t sure I was going to stick with this whole Bullet Journalling thing, so cheaper was certainly a great place to start.
- PENS – I use my Pink Parker Pen with medium nib black ink.I purchased it years ago when I was working in an office. This is my every day pen, I also use some cheap Glitter Gel Pens for headings and decorative features when I have the time or need to de-stress. I know a lot of people prefer fine line pens, and I do use these occasionally (and again, I just use the Faber-Castell from Kmart which are fairly cheap).
- HOW DO I START? Well, that’s easy:
- A Key for your journal. Mine is fairly simple and sticks closely to the original key for my lists
and to migrate tasks etc. This is right at the front of my journal.
- Next I went with a calendar overview for the next 6 months with the school holidays in a different colour (because now that Miss S is at school, I need to know these dates). This is just like the calendars you see on your fridge, nothing fancy and nothing really on there except that.
- Index – My index has item first, and pages last. Eg: Cleaning – 35, 49-53, 76, 101 This way if I’m after something to do with cleaning, I simply refer to my index and am able to flick to those pages and find what I’m after.
- Future Log – this just has the months listed with blank spaces, anything that is a future event and I need to know but haven’t set that month up yet, then I put it in here.
- Month Title Page – this is my pretty page to mark the start of a new month. I sometimes add goals that I want to achieve that month. This month (October) I haven’t done that, but may go back to it next month.
- Monthly Overview. This is basically a calendar for the month. I add in all my upcoming events transferred from the future log and when I’m setting up my weekly spread, I refer to here as well. Again, this month I didn’t include this as I have set my whole month up together. So I transferred from the future log directly to the appropriate page.
- Daily To-Do List. My Bujo (Bullet Journal’s nickname), has the date and then my to-do list. After the first 2 months, I had a really good idea on how much space I generally used per day and now do my own version of a weekly spread. So I set my whole month up together, separate the days with narrow washi tape, put in the dates on the top, transfer items from my future log and then my set up is done.
- Collections/Spreads – A lot of people (including me) chooses to add collections or spreads. Some of the ones I have made in mine include: Budget Tracker/Dave Ramsey Baby Steps (slightly altered to suit our personal situation), TV Series trackers, Book Shelf, Long Term Goals (including money, Level 10 Life, Ultimate Travel List etc), Zen Art Challenges, Jamberry collection, Spring Cleaning etc. (I may go more into these at a later date)
Every night before bed, I sit down for a few minutes and write out my next days to-do list. I have found this method really beneficial and definitely have started sleeping better as there isn’t 1,000,000 things running around in my head when I’m trying to sleep.
Decorating, making it pretty, unique and mine. I love using washi tape on the edge of the pages, I do a different theme/colour for each month. I really feel a sense of achievement seeing my Bujo getting “fatter” and crossing things off my list. I can just sit down and realise that I did make progress. Every day. Even if I done nothing but chase my tail. And yes, I DO sometimes add things that I’ve already done just to cross them off hehe.
Do I still use my Bujo daily? Absolutely. Has it helped me? No doubt. There’s just something about putting pen to paper, feeling the crinkle of the pages and crossing off items from my to-do list that is just satisfying. I know I could probably find an app that will do all of this, I much prefer this method. It’s motivating! And although I have had to skip my ZenArt Challenge this month due to time restrictions and wanting to spend a bit of time setting up my Blog, I still need to finish September’s Challenge and will start fresh for November. Honestly, this process takes next to no time at all (unless you want it to of course) and I have found I have been much more productive, sleep better and feel happier.
Do you use a Bullet Journal? How have you found it? Would love for you to share your pics.
PLEASE NOTE: This is my personal experience and opinions. There are NO affiliate links posted above and would not recommend any items I have not personally used.