I’ve finally done it: I started a Bullet Journal!
Over the past week I’ve been trying a few different ways to help me get organised as I adjust to a full-time job and needing to prioritise my time differently, but I have the feeling the Bullet Journal will be what I stick with because it allows you to do so much.
In the first half of the year I had a physical A6 yearly diary which showed every week of the year on a double spread. While this worked in writing down a simple schedule, like my work hours and due assignments, there simply isn’t enough space for the things I want to keep track of now. (This diary also has a giant soy sauce stain on the cover and tea rings, so there you go.)
So, what am I tracking? I’m meal planning and writing detailed shopping lists, I have a specific morning and night routine (which could change, but at the moment I am needing the reminder so I feel ready for work the next day), as well as other habits I want to prioritise around work.
I haven’t succumbed to a Bullet Journal before now even though I have always liked the thought of them. I always felt I didn’t have enough different things I needed to keep an eye on, and the creativity aspect was intimidating. There are so many videos of people sharing their beautiful journals, and as someone who doesn’t have neat handwriting and can’t draw, I wondered if it would still hold the same motivation. (Plus, the only stickers I own is a collection of sea creatures. So.) But I thought to myself: this journal is supposed to help you, which means you can keep it as simple as you like. There is no pressure! If a page is ugly, we learn for next month! So I went for it and bought a pale pink Leuchtturm dotted notebook and some different coloured pens yesterday.
The habits I am tracking are exercise, writing, and reading. Having worked part-time in the past, I am used to being able to do these things every few days without needing to fit them into a specific schedule. Now that my time is different, I want to track these so I don’t stop them altogether. I would love to write every day before work, and read every night before I go to sleep, and this way I can have a visual representation of when I actually do these things.
I have also made a double spread of blog ideas, something I definitely did not have room for in my A6 diary. While I could have used a different notebook specifically devoted to this, I love having everything in the one place. My Bullet Journal came with three bookmarks so I can easily find what I use the most.
I spent yesterday setting up the start of my journal. Here’s what I have so far:
- Index: double spread
- Future log: double spread
- August timeline: one page
- August habit trackers: one page
- August daily log: set across multiple pages
- My morning and night time routine: double spread
- Blog ideas: double spread split into four categories of femininity, at home, faith, and words and poetry
- 2022 Watch List: double spread of the movies and TV shows I’ve seen this year, and how I viewed them
- August meal plan and shopping list: double spread, but will make another double spread for next week
Already this has taken up a substantial amount of pages, but now I have the double spread for blogging, I shouldn’t need to do that again for a while, unlike the daily log which I will write up at the beginning of each month.
I am also thinking of making some sort of book tracker, whether that be a list of books I read in the year (though I already have this in an excel spreadsheet) or a reading log of what I read and when. But there’s no rush, and I will think about how I want my information stored.
I cannot describe how much I am already loving this mix of creativity and organisation; two of my favourite things! Even though mine isn’t “pretty”, it is still fun to go through each page and see how it all fits together. I think it will be a wonderful experience to look through once the notebook is full, and seeing all the tasks, experiences, and other trackers and lists. That is perhaps my favourite thing about the Bullet Journal: having everything in one place. It means you don’t need to have lots of different notebooks for different things – though I’m sure some of you prefer that method, which is good! We should all do what works best for us, which is what these different methods of journaling are there for.
Ultimately, it’s not about having a certain aesthetic, it’s what helps us feel organised and less stressed. It’s about decluttering your mind by having information written down. I feel most stressed when I’m carrying all these tasks and appointments in my mind, but as soon as they’re written down, I can breathe again and not think about it until it’s due.
In the future I may invest in some more stickers, or ask my sister to teach me calligraphy, or learn some simple drawings of leaves so I can make some nice titles. But for the moment, this seems like exactly what I need, and there’s no pressure for me to try and make it pretty in one day. I have time! I will use this all year! Amazing.