I love journals!
There was a time in my life when I seemed to collect them because they were pretty. I never really used them but I liked having them! Weird, right?! If you’ve been following my blog, then you know I purchased a journal that I didn’t write in for 20 years! I was scared. I’m not sure why. It’s not like I would be sharing my journal with anyone. It was just for me.
In late 2017, I was introduced to the bullet journal by Rachelle Rae Cobb. Read her post, “The Tools That Can Organize Your Entire Life” to learn about the bullet journal and more great productivity tips. To me, a bullet journal is like the offspring of a pre-printed planner and a journal. It offers the ultimate flexibility in planning because you draw your own calendar pages! And if you’re creative, you can add your own artwork too! What this meant to me was I never had to buy another planner that didn’t quite fit the way I wanted to lay out my month, week, or day. I can draw it however I want and Pinterest has tons of layout ideas for those days I get stuck.
If you’re starting to panic about drawing your own calendar pages, don’t worry. The beauty of the bullet journal is the paper. It’s a grid or dots that form a grid depending on the style you choose so it’s super easy to draw straight lines and center things how you want them. I started 2018 drawing ALL the layouts. I had a calendar at the beginning of my journal for the whole year where I wrote birthdays. Then each month I drew a monthly calendar and every week I created a weekly spread.
I also included a number of what are called “collections” pages. These are pages you can use to keep track of anything. My favourite ones that I use in my journal are gratitude (I use the one that looks like a sun), book ideas, self-care, and how to save $1378 in one year (save the amount of money for the number week it is and do this all 52 weeks of the year).
Now that I have been using the bullet journal system for three months, my calendar pages have morphed into what works best for me. My weekly calendar is no longer a calendar but a page of to-do’s for the week. This way I can choose which day of the week I want to complete the task. It takes the pressure off having to complete the task on the day I allocate it to and makes me feel less bad for not getting it done on a certain day.
My monthly spread takes up only half a page now and it has become my writing tracker. I noticed that was what I was using it for the most. I love being able to put a number in each square and challenge myself to fill as many squares as possible. I also use the monthly calendar to track my freelance writing jobs so I remember to bill them all at the end of the month.
The collections pages I use have morphed somewhat in the last three months as well. Because I want to take my writing seriously, I’ve added pages to track agents that I query as well as freelance jobs I apply for so I can follow up in a timely matter. The point of a bullet journal is to keep things simple but you have the option of making your pages as elaborate as you like. I love that mine is super simple and if I get some unexpected extra time, I can use a blank page to doodle or add some affirmations.
So, what do you think of the bullet journal system?