Bullet Journal

January 13, 2018

New craft – bullet journal!

Yes, I’ve added yet another “craft” to my list of things to do. I say “craft,” because I’m not really sure keeping a bullet journal is a craft. It’s a way of organizing my home life, and my business life. Yet, for my home one I’m also using it as a creative outlet.

What is a bullet journal?

I stumbled on the world of bullet journals (or BuJos as they are also called) when reading my Reddit feed over the holidays. I read through the description posted there, and they referred people to the Bullet Journal website for a full description. Basically, it’s an organized system of keeping track of your various notes, appointments, and future appointments/to-dos in a way that makes sense, and helps you to find what you’re looking for in a journal full of notes.

I’m a big note taker. At work I keep two journals going. One with important things to do, and another with just notes as I work that I don’t need to keep track of past the project I’m working on. And at home I make lists all over the place. I have a journal for writing in, and another for my daily (well, many days a week) gratitude. I also have quite a few pens, gel pens, and good colored pencils. Oh, and going through my arts items, I even found some pastels that I had once used for my doll making days.

I read through the website. Then I read through the Reddit posts, Instagram, and Pinterest looking at the various books and layouts. It seemed a bit daunting. But it also seemed like a great idea. But for me, I decided to keep my work and home BuJos separate.

Work BuJo

For work, I have a small sized notebook with graphing squares on the sheets. I listed my symbols, my index, and my yearly first, then the monthly. I wasn’t sure I would use a weekly, but I did. I’ve been using it for two weeks now at work, and I’m rather happy with it. Besides the fact that I can easily find my notes now (did I say I added a page, and noted it in the index, of questions for my boss for our bi-weekly meeting), it’s helping me to get the little things done. Before I left work on Friday, I looked at my weekly spread for this week, and decided to really focus and get through all of the smaller items I had listed, and then moved the bigger ones to the next week. So instead of mentally checking out late on a Friday afternoon, I plowed through work and got a lot done so I’m ready for the next week. It’s only been a short time, but I’m liking it so far. Nothing extra fancy, and not a lot more than I was doing. But it’s organized.

Home BuJo

This is where I get to be creative! I love pencils, pens, pads, coloring, and basically office supplies in general. I don’t know why, but there it is. So I pulled together the items that I had, and then I went to Michael’s to get the items I didn’t. Basically, I needed a notebook. And of course, I wanted a dot notebook, not a lined one. I figure if I’m buying one to start with, I should go with what’s suggested. But I should have paid more attention to the types of notebooks as well. I bought a little one (which I do like the size), but it’s bound so tight that when I try to open it flat, I broke the spine. But, it’s what I bought to start with, and I spent a lot of time setting it up, so I will continue to use it. I also bought a small thing of washi tape pre-cut (more on that later). Not a bad start for my supplies!

It was a little intimidating to start. When I looked at the others, and saw how beautiful some were set up. And the writing, and drawing. Well, I’m not that gifted as an artist. But I decided not to let that stop me and jumped in.

I did my key symbols, set up my index, and then set about doing a nice, if not somewhat plain, future log (that lists all of the months out in front so you can put your important dates).

I also added a one page month of January (plain, but useful), a habit tracker (more on that in a future post as I learn to use it better), and a mood tracker. I was going to say that I’m not creative, but I am. I’m just not at the level of some people. So I looked through Pinterest, and found one that I really liked!

Of course after I put it in, and set about my colors, I started thinking that this one would be better off for a fall month. My youngest daughter also pointed out that I was not using “happy” colors for my happy moods. I kind of see where she’s going with that now that I’ve filled in 1/3 of the days with a dark brown color! But, it was a start, and now I know what I’ll do different for February. But I like the various trackers because I can get creative once a month, and then take the time each night to see how I’m doing, and if I’m on track or need to make any adjustments.

Overall Thoughts

I’ve only been using the bullet journals for a couple of weeks now. But at work I can see that it’s helpful, and I feel rather confident that I’ll continue to use the basic one there. For home, I’ve found a lot of things I’m going to change and update. First, is getting a better set of black pens that write better and don’t bleed. I used to use Microns for my dolls, so I think I’ll get those for the journal (plus they are recommended by a lot of people). Second, I’m going to get a better journal. Not really an expensive one, but one that will lie flat. I’ll buy it at the end of the month, and start my February planning in that. Third, I want a travel notebook. I’ve seen quite a few that are really basic leather ones, but they hold two books, close up, and have beads and such as decorations. I’ve seen a lot of expensive ones with a lot of work, and some less expensive that don’t look too hard to do. Being the crafty person that I am, I think I’ll try to make one. If I do, I’ll post on that as well!

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