Bullet Journaling is one of those things that I never thought I’d do. I remember seeing concept art of notebooks and would marvel at how beautiful it was. I also remember thinking how much work it would be to create a customized journal.
And yet, here I am designing a layout and customizing it to fit my needs. I’m obsessing over decorating it and picking the color scheme for each new spread. I am a product developer and the end consumer at the same time. I’m developing this thing for me to use and am free to change it to my needs.
Let me start at the beginning: so I did what any other elder millennial in denial would do and started out using apps to get organized. I tried iPad apps and apps on my computer to keep myself on task but it rarely worked. I would use it for a little while but I’d stop using the apps after a few weeks.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some apps that I use and will continue to use in addition to my new bullet journal. And those apps are Google calendar Google Docs and Google sheets boring I know this is pretty much the software that I used 15 years ago and that’s pretty much a calendar, a word processor and a spreadsheet.
I was really good about tracking work related tasks in spreadsheets. I had it set up where I would have a list things in a reoccurring schedule. I would change the color of the tasks that I was working on, orange meant that it was in progress and green meant that it was completed. I loved this method of tracking tasks at work.
A few months ago I realize that the what I was doing was an electronic form of bullet journal. I decided to give the journaling method a try.
I already had a lot of colorful pens and highlighters and pencils. I spent a lot of time in Pinterest looking at bullet journal pins which turned into hours on YouTube watching people set up new bullet journals.
After doing all of this research I was finally ready to order some supplies and I ordered my first paper journals. Thanks to my research I knew that I wanted something small and lightweight and relatively thin. I wanted to carry it with me everywhere so it had to fit in my purse.
I have a favorite set of pens and some straightedge tools so all I really wanted on my list was some washi tape because that stuff is so cool. Here are the supplies I started out with. I was pretty happy with this since a planner by itself could cost up to $40!
The typical bullet journal setup goes like this:
- Table of Contents/Index
- Future log (fancy name all 12 months)
- Various Tracking/Journaling
I follow the typical template with table of contents in the future log. Then I made my first weekly spread inspired by a picture I found on Pinterest. It took me about 20 minutes to draw this layout and I was pretty happy with how it turned out.
I’m trying not to do too many things at once In my first few layouts. I did pick five or six things to track each week and my list has changed slightly from week to week.
I’m kind of stumbling my way through my first journal and I’m not really tracking things in my table contents. I started with the recommended template but not really using all of it. I am however, using the weekly logs a lot.
It’s surprising how consistently I am able to add flossing as a habit, which is something that I’ve been wanting to make a habit for years and years. Flossing is not something I enjoy I find it pretty painful, but I know it needs to be done. I dislike doing it so I was a typical 60% of the time flosser. I don’t know why it’s different writing it down on my bullet journal with pretty colors, but it is and it’s more satisfying. I feel more accomplished coloring in a box than I do by pushing a button on an app.
What I’m really excited about this all the fun little things you can get to put in your journal. My daughter has a bunch of animal stamps I can use.
I also want to start attaching some pictures for inspiration from magazines. Although since I am a minimalist I don’t have a whole lot of newspapers or magazines laying around to clip from. #MinimalistProblems I guess.
So my main goal is to remember to use my journal. That is the biggest challenge for me and to remember to check my notes. I have intentions of completing a few things and then I’ll forget to check my list.
So working with a to do lists and having a bullet journal isn’t about getting everything done it’s about prioritizing the most important things and making sure you get those most important things done