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I started bullet journaling in March as a way to consolidate my obnoxious amount of calendars, planners, idea notebooks, and to-do lists my phone notes. I saw the bullet journal as a creative way to get all these moving parts in one place. (Bullet Journal? What is a bullet journal? Check out the basics here if you have no idea what I am talking about).
Now I have been bullet journaling for three months and I really like it! In addition to trying to convince everyone I know to start bullet journaling, I have also figured out what works for me and what doesn’t. Admittedly, it took me a while to find my bujomojo (I went through a lot of graph paper practicing layouts before committing them to my beautiful notebook!) but now I think I have a system that works for me. Hopefully some of these ideas will work for you too.
Things I love about my Bullet Journal that I will keep doing
1. At the beginning of each month, I love having the basic monthly calendar with the numbers down the side and the monthly to-do list next to it. On the next page, I have my monthly tracker that takes up a full two page spread. Each month I track different things but basically the categories are physical health (did I have a cold, headache, upset stomach, did I eat like crap, workout, get enough sleep), and mental health/mood. Its interesting to see correlations, like how getting two hours of sleep also causes one to feel stressed… who would have thought?
2. After the monthly pages, I move into my four weekly spreads. It took a few weeks to settle on a template that works for me. I tried all kinds of fancy stuff like Dutch doors, fold outs, even GRAPHS (yes graphs) but after a while it got annoying to keep up with all that stuff… even though it does look really cool finished. Now I do space for each day, space for weekly to-do items, next week tasks, and a tracker for my lizard, Yoshi. I also leave some blank space for scratch paper because you just don’t know what the week will bring.
3. This might sound blasphemous to bullet journal purists, but I like to keep my calendars and weekly spreads separate from my “modules” or fun pages. I know you are suppose to just add in the modules as you go, but things started getting really crazy and disorganized. I still can’t find that cute map page I made at one point… it is lost somewhere in the middle of April, never to be found again. So instead, I do my calendar pages from the front moving back, and I do my module pages from the back moving forward. That way I know if I am looking for my book list or travel abroad tracker, I flip to the back and I don’t have to dig through tons of weeklies.
4. I found some reusable sticky tabs that I use to help me quickly get to the future log, monthly page, and weekly page. I was skeptical about a sticky being reusable but so far it has held up for quite a while. It saves a ton of flipping through pages time.
Things I want to Improve
- My index is a mess… like I really dropped the ball on that. I know that the index is a crucial part of the bullet journal, so I know that I need to get that in order. Right now, I am on page 80 and the last thing I noted in the index was page 53. Oops
- I need to get better about tracking what I really care about tracking – not just what is trendy on instagram or pinterest. Everyone seems to love tracking their water, I just can’t get into it.
- I want to incorporate more room for daily gratitude. This is an all around healthy practice and I usually skip it because there isn’t enough room on my weekly spread, but maybe I can start making it a monthly page at the beginning. We shall see.
My favorite pages
1. The reading/book page!! I love this concept so much more than a check list. When I get a book or hear about one I want to read, I write the title in a square. When I finish a book, I color the square in. In the future, I want to make sure I add the full title and author so it is easier to find the books again in the future. I’m also playing with the idea of coloring them in certain colors based on how much I liked the book.
2. My travel pages are still some of my favorites! Check them out in my past post: Bullet Journaling for Travel Lovers
What are your favorite bullet journal spreads and tips?
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