Since it’s been exactly a year now since I started my own Bullet Journal, I wanted to share what I’ve learned. Hopefully I can help you start your own, show you something new if you’re already deep in it or, just wanna see what everyone is talking about. Don’t be scuuured get inspired!
PS You better grab a snack for this one….
I jumped on the Bullet Journal bandwagon April of last year. It intrigued me as an avid planner, list taker and memory keeper. I have found that the flexibility of the whole process makes it easy and, it gives me a place to be creative.
If this concept is completely new to you let’s go back to the source.
1 – mistakes are ok!
At one point I was bogged down with the imperfections in my journal. I kept making spelling or spacing mistakes or I’d just be completely unhappy with something I made. I was removing complete pages from my journal to start over just so I wouldn’t have to look at the damn thing! During one of the times I thought,
…ugh self, we bought this journal why must we remove the beautiful pages from within it?! Just because of a MISTAKE?! Most importantly the pages in the journal are numbered and really, it bothers me more that there are missing pages than the mistakes themselves. And self, don’t forget that we gave up perfection because it’s boring!
As you can tell, I’m a bit hard on myself, this will be blogged more about this later in an anxiety post…
So what have I done when I screw up?
- Small mess ups I just use white out – and yes, the rolling type and not the crazy smelly one that we use to paint on our nails during grade 8 science class
- Larger mess ups I will cover up with pretty paper from my ABM Messy box
- I’ll use pictures I’ve taken or printed to cover a large area
- There is always the mass amount of washi tape I have that I also put to good use to cover a mistake in a header or title
- The last 2 pages in my Leuchtturm1917 are perforated and I have removed those pages to cut out and glue small cover ups.
2 – it’s a place for me to put all of my lists
Before I started journaling I had multiple lists in the notes and reminders section of my phone. Oh man, and then there was my Pinterest! Now that I have my journal, I have 1 spot for all of the things. It can be as random as tattoo ideas, but also as helpful as packing lists for a crazy road trip. I simply just check out my index to find what I’m looking for instead of consulting multiple places it “could be”.
3 – it’s my very own tailored planner
I was one of those faithful people that would order an agenda for the upcoming year. I was left always a bit annoyed that whichever one I’d choose would never be 100% exactly what I want. Now that I have my Journal every page has a purpose. Nothing is wasted.
I learned about the power of a Calendex after watching a BuJoBerry video on YouTube. This has been an easy way to track appointments, meet ups, birthdays and more in a simple one pager. My Calendex is also marked with my fave donut washi tape from ABM so it is easier to find.
My monthly layout has been pretty simple. I refer to my Calendex to write out the month’s important dates to remember.
My weekly layout has been another thing BohoBerry taught me. I’ve changed a bit of it up to suit my needs, but the general layout is pretty much the same. There is a column for actual appointments. In the daily’s or reminders section is still something I’m trying to master. I added a full spot for the blog duties as this is a nice at a glance for me to keep my brain on track.
This is also where I keep my meal planning ideas, my weekly intention and a quick glance at what will happen next week.
In my daily’s I write out my tasks, and appointments. I also like to journal a bit about my day. What I did, who I saw, how my anxiety was.
I know you might think I’m crazy for rewriting things more than once but, one thing I can do to help my anxiety is to plan. So when I write things down more than once it helps me feel like I am prepared.
4 – it is a recipe book
Pinterest has been a great resource for me since 2009. But, it can become a bit overwhelming to look through when looking for a single meal. One thing that has helped me with this is meal planning. I am able to write down my ideas for the week in my weekly layout like shown before. There are always those recipies that we like more than others so, once I find a meal that we both really like I write it down. This has been a nice way to keep track of the things I definitely will want to make again.
I mark all recipes with a blue sticker on the side of the page and give the recipe name a. blue mark in the index. This makes it much easier to find the recipes and now, J (bae) knows where they live so he can simply find them ❤
5 – weekly intention reminders
In my weekly layout I have a spot reserved for my weekly mantra or intention. It keeps me grounded especially when I’m looking at all the things I have to do on the other page! I find inspiration for these from books, people and online.
6 – the freedom it has
At first I was writing out my daily’s all at once when I would set up for the upcoming month. But by doing this it didn’t allow for me to write anything extra if I was on a writing rant. I thought
“self, these pages are blank, it’s up to you to put it together”
So now I am easier on myself. My layouts change not only from week to week, but sometimes on the daily. And, some things that worked for me before no longer do and, I’m ok with that. It has been fun trying to research and connect with others to share ideas to make it even more useful. It’s a continuous process and it is nice to know that only I can make and break the rules.
7 – I can see my own personal growth
I’ve gone through a lot of self discovery since turning 30. I’m confronting my anxiety instead of letting it rule my brain. I’ve been able to use my journal as a place for me to keep positive reminders, notes from sessions with my therapist and, where I can track my mood.
Late last year I was diagnosed with diabetes so, it’s been a place for me to track my sugars and since I am trying to get in the habit of taking pills twice a day I can have a place to see how well I’m doing on all fronts.
I keep all this info + more in my monthly habit tracker. Not every month is the same, it just depends where I want to focus.
8 – my memory keeper
I’ve learned that time is the one thing that we can’t buy or find more of, it is always moving and its easy to get left behind. It’s crazy to even think that IT’S MAY RIGHT?!
In my daily gratitude layout it forces me to
1. Be more present throughout my day. There will be moments where I think
in this moment, I am grateful. I need to write this down so I can revisit it and live in this feeling more than once.
2. It forces me to find something positive that happened in the day even if it was a shitty one. It gives me perspective and keeps me out of a negative mind trap.
9 – a place to put my ideas down on paper
Now that I’m blogging it has been a great place for me to write down ideas, sketch out flat lays and even more.
I am a big user of the mind map and, when I get to put my over 50 pens to use I’m gonna do it! Sometimes I say that my brain moves too fast that my mouth can’t keep up. Well, my hands seem to do a better job so this has been a life saver to get what’s in my brain down onto paper.
10 – I made this
I like that they are basically books of my life and it was written by me. I get to hold it in my hands and look back on my memory pages, pictures I’ve taken and moments I chose to keep track of.
I’ve been journaling since first grade when it was first introduced to me in Language Arts class. It has always been in a diary type format which kept me away from doing it. I like that in the bullet journal it is meant to be short hand and there are moveable pieces that keep it interesting. It has made me more creative, productive and sane and, for right now it is what works for me.
Look forward to plan with me posts and flip throughs in the upcoming months.
Do you guys keep a planner? Let me know 😊