Do you bujo? If you do, you’ll know what I’m talking about, and if you don’t, you’re in for a treat. You only need to search for “bullet journal” and you’ll find a whole wealth of beautiful images on Pinterest of people getting creative with what is, at its most basic level, a to do list. But really, a bullet journal is so much more than that: calendar, to do list, brain dump and creative space.
Setting up your bullet journal
It is pretty straightforward to set up using a lined/squared/dotted blank notebook and a pen. That’s all you need to start. At the beginning of the notebook you’re going to use, you just leave a few blank pages for the index and then you can start with the overview of the month, with the important tasks you need to do.
But the real beauty of the system is that you can adapt it for your needs, making it work just how you want it to, and making it as beautiful and creative as you want.
I’ve been using the Bullet Journal system for about two and a half years now, and consistently so since the start of this year. It feels great to have found an organisation system in place that actually works for me. I’ve tried physical diaries and virtual diaries and physical and virtual to do lists and apps and everything else in between, but a Bullet Journal is what really works for me.
My book (currently a Leuchtturm1917 dotted notebook) goes with me everywhere because it has everything in it that I need. I’ve left space at the front for monthly to do items, where I record things I need to do in the future – my Future Log.
Next I have the monthly sections. These start with a calendar, then tasks for the month, my habit tracker, books I’m reading and then daily to do lists.
I find the habit tracker especially useful to give an overview of where I have succeeded and where I have failed over the course of the month. I track my exercise, how much water I drink, mindfulness, Instagram, blogging, getting to bed on time and a few other things. Some I am better at than others, so the tracker is really helpful and makes me feel more accountable.
Interspersed with these pages are sections on anything and everything: holiday planning lists, Instagram post ideas, recipes I’ve seen and want to jot down, and planners for the boys’ birthday parties.
I am gradually getting better at making my journal look prettier too – not that this matters in the long run, but seeing a prettily decorated page does make me smile. There are hundreds of YouTube videos showing absolutely stunning bullet journal pages that people create – just check some out if you want to be inspired.
As I mentioned, I currently use a Leuchtturm1917 A5 notebook for my bullet journal. This has a few advantages: it has a hard cover, the pages are already numbered and it has an all-important index section at the front already.
However, I don’t think I will buy a Leuchtturm again, as I find the hard cover makes it just that little bit too bulky compared with the soft cover Moleskine dotted notebook I was using before.
I will definitely carry on using a dotted notebook though, as the dots don’t interrupt the page too much and you can more easily get creative without the distraction of a lined page.
That said, you can turn any notebook into a bullet journal. There is no need to buy a specific notebook for bullet journaling, especially when you’re first starting out and don’t know which pages you’ll want to include.
The advantage of the Frixion pens is that you can delete them using the little rubber blob on the bottom of the pen. Seriously – how good is that?
And the brush pens are just beautiful. You can see above in the photo of my June calendar to see how they come out.
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Have I converted you to bullet journaling yet? Let me know if I have or if you already bullet journal, as I love to see what setups other people use.