My Bullet Journal: One Month On.
It is no shock to the system to learn that I am a fan of the bullet journal trend that has taken the blogging world by storm. I have long professed my love for stationery and lists and organisation and I'm a cliche blogger too. I started my bullet journal (a TK Maxx bargain FYI) in May this year and I am IN LOVE.
You can read my initial week journaling, download my free bullet journal printables and grab yourself a pack of journal stickers or a notepad from my Etsy store below.
My key and index has been updated a bit throughout the month, not majorly but a little. The key is working really well for me, I'm mainly using the important reminder exclamation mark and the task transferred which I think tells you a lot about me... My index has been completed bit by bit as I added to the journal throughout the month and I am quickly running out of room. I am thinking about creating a flip down piece of paper to continue the index on but to be honest I don't use it that much so we'll see how we go.
I have included this page for the purposes of 100% honesty, as you can see, it's not the most motivating of pages. Like I mentioned in my original journaling post, savings goals ins't really the right title for the page as due to my freelance income I can't set specific goals like 'save 100 quid a month' so this is more of a tracker of what I am managing. I also have a page which you can see on my original post which is money I owe where I track what I've paid off eg my car, my phone etc but I haven't bothered including that in this post because May was my first month paying it off anyway. Books wise, I'm STILL on the same book and STILL not finding room or time to get back into it which I hate. I am also toying with a film tracker which I saw on Pinterest but I might start that for June because I can't remember what I watched in May!
My monthly look aheads come about 5 double page spreads apart at, you've guessed it, the start of a new month. I am using these as a way to remember engagements, things I need to do on specific days and things like birthdays and bills. It's essentially a calendar (of which I also have a desk top one in my office and a wall one in my kitchen) but it's handy because it's always in my handbag with me. As you might be able to tell if you flick back to my original post and you notice how sparse June is at the moment, I tend to fill it up as I go along and things come into my diary.
Naturally my most used and most frequently updated pages are my weekly planners. I have included an example of how I used it in May to show you how full it's getting, plus the current week and next week's which as you can see is much emptier. I do four double page spreads of these planners at the beginning of every month because originally I was just designing a week at a time but I quickly found I needed to write things down for upcoming weeks that were too complex for just jotting in the monthly look ahead. Now I do 4 weeks in advance I can jot down things I know I have scheduled like birthdays and blog posts and then fill it with tasks as I go which I normally do a night before or occasionally on the day when new tasks come up. This is where my key is most used and where I track my daily tea and water intake which I enjoy. I also started my bullet journal with a time tracker so I had a little bar at the beginning of each day with hours written down and I'd draw a line with an event on eg babysitting or shopping etc during those hours but I scrapped that after 3 days because I was not getting on with it at all.
My habit tracker is my absolute favourite part of my bullet journal and I am obsessed with filling it in. Just look at that horrific wobbly line on the June layout where my brother nudged me, I legit wanted to cry for messing it up but I didn't rip the page out, I stayed strong and have learnt to accept it. As you can see, the top section of my tracker is where the most work gets done as it's tracking things like how many days I blogged, days I scheduled tweets, days I live tweeted to prove I'm not a robot, Instagram days etc and the bottom section is things I only do occasionally like finances and rotas and meat free/pop free days. Aesthetically, the designer in me wishes this was a bit more balanced out so it wasn't a dense bit of shaded area at the top but whatcha gunna do. Obviously we're only a few days into June but my May tracker gives you a bit of insight into how much social media I use and how crap I am at drinking 8 glasses of water!!
This has probably been the most fun part of my bullet journal - the addition of random pages in amongst my monthly layout. I have to say I have X amount of diaries and calendars and notebooks and I didn't really NEED a bullet journal in my life. In fact, my bullet journal weekly and monthly layouts are very similar to diaries I own but hardly ever use and I think the reason a bullet journal does work for me is the flexibility to add these random pages where I need to when other diary formats won't allow me that. So far my additions have only amounted to packing lists but damn were they handy to have in a notebook in my handbag and not on a scrap bit of paper I'd inevitably use like normal. I also really carefully thought about the design of them because this is my BuJo after all and I much prefer the shaded box system to a traditional tick list or strike through when I've packed something. It also allowed me to create a second mini sub list for things I needed to pack on the morning of the trip or to dos before I left. I can see me adding little bits and bobs where I need to like this more often.
So what's next for my bullet journal?
The beauty of this type of journaling is the ease in which you can add things and get rid of things and redesign. At the moment I am quite happy with the way I lay out my weekly planners and monthly calendars and the habit trackers so I can't see those changing. I also can't see me adding any colour in any time soon which I know is a big love of other peoples' journals. I LOVE seeing really pretty colourful journals and I don't know why I just can't bear the thought of adding any to mine.
I think I will be adding a film tracker in for June as I really liked that idea and will probably update it more frequently than my book tracker! I'm on holiday in July so no doubts I'll have 3012749264873 lists for that and I am toying with the idea of a goals page for my blog. Up until now I haven't set any goals for my blog or social media, I am just happy to see it growing at a million miles an hour (although I think I might hit 1K on Twitter which is exciting) but I really like the tracker Sarah has in her BuJo and could definitely see myself adding something similar!
Also it's probably worth mentioning this bullet journal is for my personal life only. Although I do write in days I'm blogging and I track social media, blogs and illustration income, this isn't my main notebook for those things. I have a blog planner for a year which has a monthly planner, a content ideas page, a daily blog page and a stats tracker which I bought on Etsy and is sadly no longer available and I have an A5 page a day planner for my business. So yeah, I run three notebooks on the daily and then have 1890372896453 others for god knows what else.
I am heavily into pinning journal inspiration on Pinterest so please go have a nosey and a follow which you can do just here.
Like I mentioned above, I do have some bullet journal stationery available on my Etsy and I am particularly in love with the days of the week stickers and heart pack. I love stickers but I often talk myself out of buying lots if they're novelty ones or cartoons because I know I'll never use them so I am trying to keep my stickers practical and useful whilst still beautiful. If you have anything you'd like to see on my shop or any ideas or anything you've thought 'oh I wish someone would just make that' please leave me a comment or tweet me! Oh and go buy all my products so I sell out and can finance a new line ;)
Link me if you have any posts on Bullet Journals - I'm obsessed with reading them!
If you liked this you might also like 'My Stationery Wishlist.'