I have always kept a paper journal and a planner for as long as I can remember to keep my life and my mind organized. While perusing Pinterest sometime last year, I came across the Bullet Journal.
I had never heard of such a thing but I loved the idea of the Bullet Journal from the very start. What? I could combine my love of journaling with my love of having a planner and I could design it on my own. Why didn’t I think of this on my own? It seemed like such a simple concept! I soon found out that starting a Bullet Journal was a little more complicated than what I thought.
It was very difficult for me to get started. I just jumped right in without any type of plan at all on what exactly I wanted to track, how my daily layouts were going to look, and so on. The first 10 pages of my journal are wasted sheets where I started a layout or a collection and ended up not liking it at all. There was so many design possibilities and things to track that I couldn’t make up my mind!
But I kept evolving my style each week and finally came up with a system that I love and have been using for a while now. So here is a tour of my Bullet Journal and what supplies I love to create my layouts!
Really all I need is a pen and a notebook, but I love using cool pens and adding color to make it a little more fun and creative. Here are the supplies I use for my Bullet Journal:
The Fineliner Pens and the Sharpie Pens are my absolute favorite pens to write with! They don’t bleed through the paper and I really like how my handwriting looks when I use them. I use the watercolor markers and gel pens to add color to my pages and the Washi tape is a fun way to mark pages or sections of your journal. There are a million colors and patterns that you can get. The small Post-its and the note cards are used for reminders, grocery lists, or specific to-do lists. Like below, I used my note card to map out my blog to-do list for the week and attached it to the page with a clip.
For my notebook, I use a Moleskine Classic Notebook with squared pages. I have the XL size because I like a lot of room for my layouts and the squared pages make it easier to draw straight lines and keep your lettering even. Although I do like this notebook a lot, I think next time I am going to go with a spiral bound notebook. I like to have the ability to fold the notebook in half sometimes. It’s easier for me to write that way.
I have five sections to my journal that I mark with tabs so I can easily maneuver my way around.
The Calendar Year
The first section in my Bullet Journal is the calendar year. This is an overall look at the year. I have a key and I mark specific dates where I know something is happening. That way I can quickly tell if my schedule is possibly busy for a certain date just by a glance. The actual events are written in my Future Log, which I will show later on. This one shows my year starts in May. I re-did this section because I wasn’t happy with the layout that I had. Even though this one is still messed up, it’ll work for what I need it for. That is one thing that I love about the Bullet Journal, it’s my design, mess ups and all!
Monthly and Daily Logs
The next section of my Bullet Journal is the monthly and daily logs. I only mark the current month that I am on with a tab. This makes it less messy. I don’t want a ton of tabs to try to sift through to find my place. The monthly log includes an overview calendar, my bills list, my monthly goals, my monthly project, and an overview of my Happiness Habits.
My daily logs are where I spend most of my time. I take 30 minutes on Sunday evenings to set up my log for the next week. It includes my daily to-do list and schedules. One of my favorite sections that I also include is my Weekly Affirmation section. I choose an affirmation that fits my goal for the week. Since this was my first week back at work, I thought focus would be a good intention to concentrate on.
I don’t use the all the different Bullet Journal rapid logging bullets when creating my to-do lists for each day. I bullet what I need to do, whether it is an activity or a task and then cross it off when it is completed. If I don’t get something done, I do use the > sign to signal that I have migrated the task to a different day. Seeing items crossed off my list is much more satisfying to me than using different bullets and is also a simpler system for me to keep track of.
The next section includes my collections. In the Bullet Journal world, a collection is whatever you want it to be. The items above are considered collections. For my Bullet Journal, collections are random things I want to track or keep tabs on. I have several including an area for blog post ideas, book reviews, doodle and lettering practice, and project ideas.
The actual journal section of my Bullet Journal is kept next. This is a section to write down any thoughts or feelings that I have during any given day. I keep a running log for each day, so it’s just pages and pages filled with my ramblings.
And finally the last section of my Bullet Journal is my Future Log. This is where I write down events or appointments for future months until I can make the monthly log for that particular month.
So there you have it! My Bullet Journal! How do you keep your life organized? Do you have a Bullet Journal layout that you love, an awesome collection idea, or a supply you can’t live without? Tell me about it!