Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The beginnings of my bullet journal

I was recently introduced to the concept of bullet journaling. As someone who hasn't found her "perfect planner" since leaving the workforce to marry and have children, I was pretty excited at the thought of customizing one to perfectly fit my lifestyle.

I *wasn't* so sure about how decorative some of the journals are getting these days. I enjoy creating, but I'm not an artist. That's the beauty of bullet journaling, though. You can do it how you want to.

So, in typical "me" fashion, I researched tons of layouts, page ideas, and even a few doodles. In the process, I managed to spam my Facebook friends with over 80 pins to a new Pinterest board dedicated to bullet journaling. (Lesson learned: Figure out what those icons mean before pinning 80+ ideas. I think it came pre-programmed to post everything on Facebook, which is really annoying.)

But after a day's research, I knew what I wanted and had a general idea of what layout would work best for me.

For starters, I broke the cardinal rule of bullet journaling: I went loose-leaf. I just can't bear to have reference pages in anything but alphabetical order, and I certainly couldn't bear to have them interspersed with weekly and monthly pages. I put my list-style pages in the back and only use one side of the page (unless the ideas spill over onto the back). This way, I can rearrange them as I get new pages/lists that I want to keep track of.

My second deviation came in the form of pencil - for the moment. Until I know what works well for me, I like to have the freedom to erase what isnt working and redesign it. (I'll probably design the next set of pages in pen, since this layout seems to be a good fit. That's when I'll probably add in more color, too.)

So, here is my monthly page for July:

I took pictures before I added too much personal information. I have added quite a bit already.

I have more room for habits, but I don't want to focus on too many at once. These are the main habits.I want to track for now, and I'll add more as I feel comfortable with it.

I realized that I am a slightly visual person, so I really needed to see the days like a traditional calendar (top left). However, I'm a list-maker at heart, so adding appointments/details in list format (across the bottom) works best for me. Now I have the best of both worlds.

I was surprised at how easy it was to fancy it up a bit with the lettering and a few artistic touches. As I told my daughter, I can copy almost anything. I'm not so good with doodling or drawing straight out of my head.

The next page is a combination gratitude journal/memory log. I plan to write something for each day. I need to catch up on scrapbooks at some point, and this may help jog my memory.

My last page (for now) is my weekly page:

I am trying to drink more water instead of tea, so that's what the numbered boxes are about in the daily section.

I plan to write a few details or thoughts about each day in the log section. This is more in-depth than the gratitude log.

So, that's about it for now. I may share more as I go along.

If I've piqued your interest, I recommend searching Pinterest for "bullet journal" and/or "bujo" (the shortened version people seem to use on Instagram and such). There is also a website dedicated to the original, very plain and basic concept at I found a combination of the two to be most helpful for me.

Do you bullet journal? If so, I'd love a link to yours in the comments!

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