Happy New Year!
It’s that time of year where most of us are sitting down and making plans for the new year. And I’m no different. Last year I had already made all my goals for the new year before it arrived, but this year I was a bit slower… I’ve been debating on how I want to move forward with my goals and if I want to continue with some of the more basic habit based ones from last year, or if I want to just go for new goals only… Lots of humming and hawing… I think I’ve sorted it out now…
But before I can do any of my goals, I need to get organized. I need to have a place to keep track of my goals, my to-do lists, and whatever else I have going on… I had a notebook that I was sort of using for this over the past year, but I was so rigid on what I could put in it and I didn’t just let myself have fun with it, so it didn’t stick very well. And I didn’t use it to plan… just to record (my failures)…
Enter Bullet Journaling.
Yup, I have started bullet journaling. If you haven’t heard of it, it may just change your life… like seriously. Like more than Marie Kondo’s method of tidying up (sorry Marie). (I have seen a lot of posts of people using their bullet journal to declutter with the KonMari method though…) Anyway, I had heard of bullet journaling before, but it wasn’t until ShyWriter over at writerstyle.wordpress.com posted about her plan to use a bullet journal in 2016 that I really dug in to it. And I have been Instagraming and Pinteresting all sorts of bullet journal fun. You can check out the original bullet journal concept at bulletjournal.com, but that’s just the basics… Look up the hashtag #bulletjournal or #bujo on Instagram and you’ll find some crazy artistic takes on what you can do with bullet journalling.
Over the Christmas holidays, I took my notebook from last year and started experimenting with layouts and doodling. I wasn’t about to go spend money on a new notebook without knowing how I’d like this whole bullet journaling thing and when I already had one with over half the pages left. I played around with some fonts and different options… I drooled over all sorts of blog posts and youtube videos showing various 2016 layouts… Finally, I was ready to put something together for myself.
I put in a special page to indicate the start of my new year in my notebook. I lined the page with washi tape to that I’d easily be able to find the start of the year in the book.
Next, I put together a key for what symbols I decided to use and an index. You’ll see that I didn’t use the most current official bullet journal symbols, but a mishmash of old and new with some “borrowed” from other bullet journalers.
Then I started planning. I borrowed my future log layout from Kara at BohoBerry.com (her bullet journal is amazingly beautiful – I borrowed a lot of my layouts from her) and decided to only do 6 months at a time, with a space for future events that I can then move to the next future log when I get closer to that date. I took the photo before I put too many of my events in, but it is starting to get more filled out now…
Once the big events were in the future log, I moved to a monthly overview and goals. I copied this partially from the original bullet journal and partially from various Instagram and Pinterest posts. I like the vertical layout of the month because it is different from the traditional calendar… You can see I hadn’t put together all my goals for the month yet, but I had a big one… “Make New Year’s Resolutions” and then blog about them… sort of check? Will be checked off after a couple more posts…
By this point I had decided on a few goals for some habits that I wanted to work on in January, so I took the idea for a January habit tracker from Kara at BohoBerry.com and put down 7 habits to keep track of. I’ll go over those goals in a separate post, but here’s the beginning of my layout:
I think I read about this on a blog somewhere, but I can’t seem to find it to reference it… so, if this is your idea, let me know and I can give you credit… but somewhere I read about someone who had a layout to keep their shopping lists, but use post-it notes inside their journal, so that they were all in one place and could then be pulled out when you go to the store… I always have shopping lists on scraps of paper and always lose them… have to try and remember what was on them… Anyway, I totally stole this idea and am loving it. I created four “lists”, one for food that we need, one for other random things we need to remember to buy… and one for each of the two stores we normally shop at, so I can go through the sale items on their flyers, compare prices and make store specific lists.
After that I made a goals page, to list and brainstorm goals, but I haven’t fully flushed that out yet, so here’s the before picture:
And finally I started on my daily spread… I played with a weekly layout separate from and in addition to my daily spread in December… but found that it was just too redundant… I have a monthly for an overview, and then I use the daily lists for most everything else… So I have laid out the full week ahead of time, and can schedule tasks, events and appointments for the whole week, or as they come up. Here’s the clean blank view:
And then after I started adding things in:
So far I’ve been having loads of fun with my bullet journal. I’m excited to keep going, and hopefully it will prove itself with helping me keep organized and focused. The only downside to my current notebook is that I can’t use the pens that I want to use because they bleed through the pages too much… So I’m using coloured ball point pens that aren’t my favourite… but will do until I either use them all up, or run out of paper in my notebook… When that happens, I’ll get myself a new notebook…
Have you heard of bullet journals? Are you a “bujo junkie?”