Bullet Journaling has been one of those things that has actually made a difference in my daily life. With the fresh start of a new year and resolutions for a better, more organized year on the forefront of many people’s minds, I wanted to share a little bit about this topic.
There is an entire website devoted to bullet journaling, including its history, how to’s and products. I highly recommend checking it out, but to avoid reinventing the wheel, I am going to jump right into sharing what I love about this type of record keeping and some of my favorite tips and tricks.
I am by no means an expert, but bullet journaling has been an excellent way for me to better plan, track goals, be more present, and creative all in one place. I use my journal as a planner, keeping track of dates, appointments, etc. I also use it as my handy dandy to do list. I can make it as creative or utilitarian and I like (which can fluctuate day to day). It also has a “diary/journal” aspect as I use it to track how I spent each day. I keep track of my goals, short and long term with the help of totally customizable trackers. These have been my favorite so far, because they have been surprisingly helpful in keeping me more accountable to myself.
What do I need to start bullet journaling? Not much. There are all sorts of different types of journals you can use. I prefer a dot grid journal. There are all sorts of price ranges for these, but I found an excellent steal at Michaels. These 6″x 8″ journals come in 7 colors and are only $5! Plus there are 9 more fashion colors available for $9.99. Either way, both price points are a steal!
Once you have your journal, it’s really up to you what you use to write with and customize your journal.
My new personal favorites are these Pilot Erasable Frixon Ball pens. They are the absolute best. They legitimately erase! It’s perfect for drawing details or taking notes- especially if you don’t like to have crossed out items in your journal. Tip: I have heard that extreme heat will make this ink vanish, so don’t leave it in your car in the summer!
You can find these (and some more colors!) on Amazon or in store at Target.
I have use a couple of my leftover Happy Planner stickers and washi tape in my journal as well. Again, not a necessity, but fun to add a little flair.
My Personal Set Up. You can completely set up your journal how YOU want and for what best suits YOU. There is no right or wrong way to do it. These are a few of my favorite parts of my journal and a few tips and tricks I have.
At the beginning of mine, there were four pages of lines. I opted to use those to set up my index.
The first few pages I set aside for my key, and other trackers that I would utilize all year long.
These are the basic symbols from the bullet Journal website. They help organize your journal into tasks, ideas, notes, etc.
This is a page I’m excited about filling out. For the books, as I come across books I want to read I can write their titles, and as I read them, I am color the book in. If reading “x” number of books if part of your new year’s goals, this is a fun tracker to visually see your progress.
I also love a good podcast, so when I’m recommended a new one, I can keep track of them all on this page.
This spread shows my meal planning/laundry/chore tracker. I’ve been experimenting with having themes for different nights of the week when I meal plan. I don’t always use this exact model, but when I’m struggling with ideas, this gives me a little framework. The laundry and chore chart just helps break things down to a little bit each day. Having these three on one place makes it quick to reference.
The quotes page is pretty self explanatory. I am going to use this space to keep track of quotes I hear or read that I’d like to have to look back on.
I also have a birthday page that has all of my friends and families birthdays for the year all on one spread.
Monthly spreads. At the beginning of each month, I have been doing the following:
I usually have some sort of cover page. This is where Pinterest comes in really handy for some inspiration. (Note the washi tape marker… I’ll go over that a little further down).
I also like to have a larger calendar. This month is the first that I have done this method of pasting an existing spread into my journal. I have tried a couple of other layouts, and I still have liked the this one from my regular ol’ Target planner the best. My habit tracker and gratitudes spread is next for this month. I have found that I prefer a landscape version of the habit tracker best. I will fill in the left column with different things that I want to add to my daily routine. When I complete them, I get the check them off for the day. It has been the biggest help in keeping me accountable to myself.
The gratitude spread was one that I saw a lot of people using, but I wasn’t sure how I’d like it. Admittedly, I have not used my last couple months regularly, but a goal for 2018 is to reflect on at least one thing daily that I’m grateful for.
This is one of my favorite layouts:
It’s my “brain dump” page. I can use it to write down ideas and thoughts that may not have a designated place. It gives me one location for the month to put the random stuff.
Tips and Tricks. There are a couple of “ah hah” things that I have come across that I have found to be helpful.
I thought this was a great trick. Use washi tape on the first page of each month. Simply wrap the edge of the page, and you can easily see where each month begins. The above photo shows the side view of my journal with November and December easily marked.
For an easy way to make my labels a little prettier, I use this method:
I write a word in all capital letters then write overtop in a contrasting color in cursive. I am horrible at calligraphy, but this is an easy and a quick way to make my labels a little more interesting.
Sometimes I want to have the option to make a list or organize my thoughts on a scrap piece of paper. For this, I will take a page from a notepad or a scrap piece of paper and use washi tape to hold it in my journal. The washi tape basically makes the paper like a giant Post-It that I can take out or move from page to page. It’s perfect for grocery lists!
Resources.I have utilized Pinterest a lot for inspiration. (Here is my board for bullet journaling). I have also found these videos to be quite helpful:
Seventeen Bullet Journaling. This one focuses on habit trackers, but if you look at their YouTube channel, she has a series going, and all of them are excellent!
I would love to hear from you! Were you familiar with bullet journaling before this? Do you think it is something you will utilize? Do you already utilize it? What are your favorite planning tips and tricks? Leave them in the comments below!
Happy New Year!