Oh how I love this beautiful thing.
I really found my groove with bullet journalling. I will probably always incorporate a part of it into my planning life.
Right now, I use it only for my calendar. “Collections”, as they are called in the bullet journalling world, are kept in my ring bound planners. But more on that in other posts.
As I’ve discussed in previous posts, my planners are for the different parts of my life – photography, planning blog and IG, work, home. I don’t have day-to-day “calendars” in those planners. I hate the idea of having multiple calendars. I needed a system where I could keep of track of all those different aspects in one place. And so I use my bullet journal for all calendar activity.
I have a Leuchtturm 1917 A5 slim dot grid journal (that’s a mouthful), and I have it in a kikki.K leather notebook cover.
I think what I love most about using this system is that it’s still as beautiful as a traditional kikki.K planner, it has lovely details, and it has the pocket set up inside to allow me to decorate to my heart’s content.
You can see here, that I’ve decorated the pockets and I’ve included my business cards.
So bullet journalling. If you don’t know what it is, you should go to Ryder Carroll’s site to
see how it was originally set up. We planner girls have added our own spin to the system to make it pretty but still incredibly functional.
For me, I’ve pulled in the parts that work for me.
I’ve started my journal with a title page, shown at the top of this post. The postcard on the left is one of my own (my addiction to macro photography is real).
Next up, I have my future log. When I set it up, I ran it from April to September because I wasn’t sure how long I would take to fill the
journal. So to cope with any events that popped up for October and beyond, I added this little feather sticky note. And I could add as many as I need to record any future-future events.
As a side note, I think one of the most satisfying parts of bullet journalling is the hand lettering. I’ve always loved calligraphy but prefer the more modern lettering styles. So, I use my bullet journal as an opportunity to practice my lettering whenever I can. I’m not great at it, by any means, but I love doing it, and I love the effect. It just adds something special.
After my future log, I dive straight into the monthly layouts. I have a couple of monthly pages that I use.
First, I like to do a title page, and this is on the right hand page – it’s the opener to the month ahead. I use different styles each time. Sometimes this gorgeous ring system, which so many people on Instagram are doing. I didn’t invent this, I just loved it so made a version for myself. This is nice, because it gives you a visual representation of how your month is going to look. For me, I was travelling a lot at the time, so I shaded in the dates that I was away, just so I could easily see when I would be around for any events at home.
I also used to include the traditional “down the page” monthly list but with the ring calendar above, I was finding it less useful.
One of my favourite spreads is the “Focus” and “All the things” page. I like to choose 3-4 things for the month that I know I have to get done and have them listed as a reminder, so that when I flip to the month, there they are, waiting for me!
“All the things” is my version of a brain dump. I despise the term brain dump, I think it sounds awful, so I call mine “All the things” and I literally list all of the to-dos that spring to mind. Sometimes, I try to make separate lists for each part of my life, but I find that can stifle the process, so I usually just write until I’m done. And of course, I can go back and add to it at any time, but usually new items are added within the weeks where they happen.
After this, I do a weekly spread. I struggle with the weekly spread. I’ll show you what I used to do and also how I’ve changed it. I used to do a single page for the week, and then start my days. I would only set up Monday in the daily spreads, because I like to let the day use up as much space as it needed.
I think this layout is really pretty and I used it for four months in this bullet journal, but I was finding that I would fill out what I could on the Sunday when I set up the spread, but then I would never come back to it. I would just add new appointments into the days or into my Outlook calendar. It was almost a waste.
So I’ve recently changed it to a two-page spread for the whole week, with no separate daily spreads. Please forgive the photo quality, it was an iPhone shot on Sunday evening “before the pen” 🙂
I’ve just had a week in this layout and it seems to have worked. I like having my weekly goals, notes and to-do list all available to me during my week, without having to flip pages. I have one bookmark on this spread, and one back on the “all the things” spread, for easy access.
Finally, at the end of the month, I do a monthly review. Having recently just applied for an started a new job, now more than ever I realise how important it is to have a log of my achievements. I think we forget the really awesome things that we do and achieve throughout the year. Not only should we celebrate those things, but we should also keep track of them. For work, we should keep them for our quarterly reviews, for pay reviews, for job applications. And on a personal level, it’s again satisfying to remember – “hey look, I DID that! it was me!”.
So that’s my bullet journal. I’m very attached to it. It’s pretty. It’s functional. And I freak out if I can’t find it.
I recently purchased a new planner, and it’s a zip around, which I find incredibly appealing for an everyday carry – imagine I can fit everything in it! Money and phone as well as “all the things” LOL.
So, in usual #plannergirl fashion, I may change all this up very soon, but you know what? I’ll keep you posted.
Let me know if you do something similar to me with your bullet journal and calendar system. How do you use yours?