My Bullet Journal Journey

How many of you have a bullet journal or have thought about getting one? I stumbled upon the wonderful world of BuJos back in May and was instantly engrossed in this new world. If you don’t know what I am talking about you can get the basic run down from the original creator of the bullet journal here.

 

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While this approach is very simplistic the basics are what makes this method so great when it comes to planning your day and even life. When pulling up a quick search on Pinterest of “bullet journal” you will quickly learn that there are many versions of a bullet journal and some people are really simple while others are extravagant with their creativity.

Bullet Journals are not for everyone. I understand the question of “with the technology we have these days why would I want to write everything down when I can just use my phone/tablet/etc.” And that is a valid question. I think it takes the right person to use and thoroughly enjoy using a bullet journal. Speaking for myself, I always wrote down my to-do lists because for me psychically crossing something off my list is what kept me productive and made me feel like I was accomplishing my day. What I love about the bullet journal is that you can make it however you’d like. What things work best for you. I know that I personally have a few pages in my book that are just for fun like “Books to Read” and  “Games to Play” but that is what makes it great for me. My BuJo is completely personal to me.

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If you look at any pinterest Bullet Journal board (like mine) you will be overwhelmed with how creative and beautiful people make their bujos. While I love pulling inspiration from those, my bujo never really looks like that. I don’t have the greatest handwriting and I am constantly making mistakes as I write. I add a little creativity to my bujo because it is something that relaxes me, to set up my month and make my pages. However, in no way is my bujo as pretty as many out there on pinterest. I had to learn that was okay. When I first started I tried to live up to the beauty of the bujo which I found in many posts and on instagram and that caused me to use it less which would just throw off my whole day. I find that now that I accept that my bujo will not be as perfect as what I see I use it a lot more and it helps my day to be more organized and on schedule.

So what is involved in my bujo making you might ask? Well I have had trials and errors, tried many things from pinterest that I thought were really neat but quickly learned that they did not work for me. The base set up of a bujo is:

  • Key
  • Index
  • Future Log
  • Monthly Log
  • Daily Log

I made a key on the first page when I first set up my bujo but i realize now that I don’t even use the key symbols that I created. For some people I can understand why the key and setting up key symbols would be helpful but I never stuck with it and I am glad I didn’t. For me, the stress of having to remember certain symbols for certain things bothered me more than just writing down the things and caused me to waste more time since that is not how I ever made my lists before a bullet journal. You notice now I stick with simple bullets and crossing off which is what I always have done so it feels more natural to me.

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I honestly don’t even have an index. I knew I wouldn’t use it and therefor I used washi tape to make tabs that stick out of my book for important pages that I may need to quick reference to.

The Future Log is something that I don’t often refer to either, unless I am making appointments far in advance. I do have one for those items though. Then when I create my new month I will refer to the future log to fill in any possible appointments that may have been scheduled early.

So far, all these things are made once in your bullet journal. Now we get into the pages that are made multiple times. Monthly layouts and Weekly/Daily layouts.

Each month I will get a new month set up in my bujo about a week before the new month starts. This consists of a Monthly spread which for me looks like a calendar page as well as the weekly spreads where I can write in info about each day individually and so on. My monthly spread has been the same since I started doing this however my weekly/daily spread has changed each month. I have yet to find the right spread that really works for me. That is what a bujo is all about, making it work for you. You just have to find the right groove. I have already started to set up my month for September so I will share the monthly spread as well as the weekly/ daily set up.

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The monthly spread is pretty simple. Here I write out the days like a calendar and fill them in. I also add a notes section where I may write any thing that needs to be noted for the whole month.

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My weekly/monthly spread is a little different this time around. I used to just fill a spread with the whole week which really limited my space on writing in my daily to-dos which is what really keeps me on schedule and on task. This month I am trying a new thing. One week consists of two spreads. The first page is a weekly bulletin board, so to speak. It has any important information right there in the front which also includes some inspiration with a weekly quote. I also include an appointment schedule, weather boxes, weekly to-do, weekly meal plan, and a snapshot of the month. From there you can see my daily set ups which I have given more room to write more to-dos so I don’t feel cramped. I also added in a journal for each week. I hope that doing this journal helps me to release any tension or let me ramble out my brain onto the page each week, kind of like a fresh slate each week. I have prompts on my first one to try but I may just switch to a blank space where I can down anything that my pop into my brain. Hopefully this set up will be more successful in my crazy life!

Now, while these are only the base pages you could put in your bujo there is so much to discover. I also have a “year at a glance” page which I find myself referring to quite frequently.

File-19-01-2016-11-43-41Year at a Glance – Cerries Mooney

I also have a cleaning spread which helps me to stay on track of all the house work. Now, mine does not look as pretty as the one I was using for inspiration but it gets the trick done.

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When I first started my bujo I tried a monthly cleaning list like the following from Boho Berry but it just did not work for me. I couldn’t keep track of what I was supposed to do each day and I like being on a schedule. I like writing my day down every day in the morning while enjoying my coffee or my tea. Having to write it down that day for some reason just keeps me motivated to actually do it.

Bullet-Journal-30Monthly Cleaning – Boho Berry

You can see very clearly how some bujos are just a lot prettier than mine. At first that bothered me because I am a graphic designer and a creative person but I had to tell myself that it didn’t matter. My bujo is for me and the only reason I add more color and doodles is because it is relaxing to me to create the whole thing. I’m not using a bujo for anyone other than myself.

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So if you are considering trying a bullet journal that would be the one thing I would want you to take away. You don’t have to have all the right supplies, and you don’t have to have the best handwriting, and you don’t have to make yours as pretty as what you see on pinterest or on instagram. Your bullet journal is for you and no one else. Make it for you and only you. Do what works for you and don’t ever feel like you are not as good as anyone else out there because honestly none of that matters. The bullet journal to me is something to keep me organized and sane and give me a place to quietly reflect on my thoughts and relax. Use your bullet journal for whatever you need it to be.

The number rule of bullet journaling (if you ask me) is that there are no rules!

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