Why I Need Two Bullet Journals Per Year & How To Migrate Over.
Oh man it feels nice to write a bullet journal blog post again! It's been a long time and whilst I maybe haven't been writing content as much, I sure as hell have been bullet journaling as much as ever.
I am using my bullet journal as much as ever these days and I am loving it as much as I always have. I really feel like I have got into my groove with journaling and found a system that works really well for me and honestly I'd be lost without it.
I have a shiny new berry coloured journal waiting in the wings to become my second journal of 2018 so let's get into it shall we? Why exactly do I use two Leuchtturms per year?
Why I have 2 journals;
I don't want to scare anyone but very soon we'll be half way through the year. I know. How quick is this year flying please? I have been using a yellow Leuchtturm for the past few months since the start of the year and have around 60 pages left to go and will use it right up to June - however I am already starting to think about the next journal in my life.
In about 6 weeks time I will be moving from this sunny coloured journal to my vampy berry coloured one just as last year I went from traditional black to a sexy lil aqua one. I have been journaling now since May 2016 (happy bujo birthday to me!) and for the last eighteen months I have been using two journals for the year. I have one that begins in January and ends in June and then move onto a new one for July through to December to see the year out - and I couldn't go back to just using one.
My main reason for using two journals per year is space....being that in a single journal I don't have enough space for a whole year but 6 months is absolutely perfect. Let's remember here that before I even get into my weekly spreads, my bullet journal is around 70 pages deep full of trackers and calendars so you can start to see where I am coming from. I don't use any other journals in my life, no notebooks, no pads of lists - everything is in my bujo from work to life to packing to food shops to job notes to plans for my garden. It's full, I am coming to the end of this one and I have fully embraced the two journal per year life.
So you want to move your bullet journal over to a new book? Maybe like me you have run out of space, maybe it's come to the end of the year, maybe it just isn't working for you anymore and you have decided to move on. Whatever it is, migration into a new journal can be one of the most difficult tasks but having done it 5 times now I have picked up a few tips on how to do it successfully...
1. Analyse your current journal.
The first thing you should do when working into a new journal is to analyse your old one. Have a look at the last book and work out what you liked and wish to continue with and what you didn't like and want to change or get rid. I made the mistake in one of my journals of drawing out calendars for the whole year, when it reality that notebook only took me 6 months in. You won't need anything like calendars or blog schedules from the past few months so remove them and make sure you're only using what's appropriate to the now.
2. Make a list.
Secondly you should make a list of all the things you ARE keeping in your new journal. The trackers you want to continue with, the calendar pages you need, the future log, the master lists....whatever it is make a big list on a scrap of paper and then jiggle them about till you're happy with the order of how it's going to go into your journal. If you didn't quite like a spread but want to alter it to make it work for the now then this would be your place to work out how you're going to do that.
3. Use pencil.
I cannot stress this enough, especially if you are using a Leuchtturm or other notebook that falls apart if you rip out a page. Use pencil first and consult the list you made in point 2 and map out the pages you want and in what order. I don't actually use pencil to draw the spreads out themselves in full as I'm reasonably confident I have used layouts for a long time that work for me but I do always just write the page content ideas out before drawing them in. It just gives you that safety net before you commit to how this journal is going to work for you.
4. Change your dates.
This comes down to me learning the valuable lesson of mapping out 12 months of trackers when I only needed 6. If like me you're working Jan - June, July - Dec then you only need map for the first 6 months of the year because you won't be using this journal past that. My biggest recommendation would be to map out 6 months and then have a future log for any plans for the rest of the 6 months or beyond and that's worked famously for me. However, when it comes to my second journal of the year I will be including the previous 6 months as well as the next 6 for things like my mood tracker and sleep tracker as I want to be able to see the whole of 2018 in one go.
5. Make changes.
The best part about starting a new bujo is the ability to change things. Idk about you but I'm unlikely to stick to one theme, one topic, one tracker, one layout for much longer than 6 months so my new journal allows me to make the changes I need. I fudged up the layout for my mood tracker for example which means in my new journal I'll be able to rectify that. I have money trackers that are no longer in use that I can get rid of, I will up my step and fitness goals for the next 6 months on reflection of the last 6 etc etc etc the list goes on. Make the changes you need, adapt as you go and don't be afraid to add something new, or just sack off something that didn't work.
6. Keep your old journal.
This is probs the most important for me - keep your old journal. I know some of you will be more minimalist than me and won't see the sentimentality in keeping your old journals (I have kept all of mine thus far) but keep it for 6 months or until the following year before you recycle it. I always go back to my Jan - June journal of 2017 when mapping out this years and when I make the move into July I'll do the same with that journal too. Working in 6 month blocks means I constantly go back to my old journal for reflection, to add important dates that roll around every year, to check when my car was MOT'ed last year, to find directions to somewhere I visited or someone's address. Your journal has likely encompassed your whole life for a while so it's understandable it's a big resource to look back on.
So there we have it - a full explanation into why I have two journals for the year, plus my handiest tips for migrating yours over. Who's with me?