Hands up who feels like the first two months of 2018 just flew by?! Argh, honestly, where does it go? You can have the best intentions, and great plans but then you wake up and it's March already. I bought my journal with the best bullet Journaling intentions back in November after having a Moleskin Diary last year where I added some Bullet Journal type pages to help organise blog and vlog ideas. This was really helpful and I quickly wrote up lists of ideas, projects and tables of stats. It was quite literally my OCD's dream come true.
So, before more months fly by and baby is here, I'm sharing some tips on getting back on top of you time and organising your weeks so that months feel much more manageable. Let's start with some basics on this Bullet Journal trend.
What Is A Bullet Journal?
Think of it as your Bullet 'Diary' or a Bullet Journal 'Notebook', the main difference between it and a standard diary is that the Bullet Journal is a place where you are free to plan out your day, week, month, year the way you want to work on it. A standard diary or organiser typically has the days or weeks already typed out and planned for you. In a Bullet Journal, you design out the contents and pages the best way to suit your life.
Check out this site more info on what the Bullet Journal is and why it was invented.
I don't have a dotted journal, but after planning out my Bullet Journal on the plain pages of my notebook, I see the need for that wonderful grid of dots now. Ruler in hand, I slowly penciled up all the pages, boxes, checklist and titles I wanted for my journals contents. I then inked everything up, creating some bold headings and used some calligraphy, and erased the pencil underneath so it was neat and tidy. It took a few evenings but I found it very therapeutic, and once it was all done it was quite satisfying - although I actually found it hard to then use it. I was almost scared to mark in it or make a mess, but I got over that mid January and haven't looked back.
My Bullet Journal
My Bullet Journal is a Agenzio by Paperchase and I use the Pigma Micron Pens (01, 03, 05, 08) to write in it. I planned it out with the following pages:
2018 Year Overview - the basic calendar for the year
Future Log (page spread 1: Jan - Jun) + (page spread 2: Jul - Dec) - where I make a note of important events for each month (birthdays, holidays, meetings, etc)
2018 Goals - a list of 10 goals for 2018
2018 Memories - a place to list out all the important things that happen in 2018 to look back on
Inspo Quote - for prettiness and inspiration
Social Medial Stats Tracker - a way to keep track of my online growth of social media
Pregnancy Diary - a week by week record of all things baby
Pregnancy Notes - a list of classes, apps, websites, videos and other notes to refer to
Etsy Products (shopLayoutlines) - upcoming products either to be designed, finished, ordered, or listed in the online shop
Blog Post Ideas - exactly what is says
Video Ideas - exactly what is says
Weekly Overview (Jan - Dec) - Monday to Sunday, weekly planner with a box per day for activities, plans, to-do’s and general notes
There are a few pages at the end of the year where I have penciled them up but left them for use later on. There is also a pocket in the back of the notebook where I keep vouchers, tickets, important notes, etc.
How I've been using my Bullet Journal
Two months in and the pages I tend to use the most are the future log, stats and the weekly views. I am glad that I included the Pregnancy page spread so that I can note in, week by week, how i was feeling, baby changes, cravings, scans and anything else to look back on. I also have a page for notes so I can remind myself of anything, at a glance, like he apps I have been loving or videos to watch, etc.
The page I have used the least so far is really just the year overview as I work mostly on a week by week basic but its good to have for reference.
My Top Tips For Staying Organised
A FRESH START
I love January because it almost gives us a fresh start with a new year full of new hopes and plans. Don’t be afraid of the blank pages but instead take time to plan these out your journal and enjoy getting stuck into all those lists.
KEEP IT ON YOU
Your Bullet Journal is a vital tool with all your list, plans and ideas. Use it. Keep it on you, in your bag, open on your desk. Always write in it, make full of it - the more you use it, the more it will help you work hard / play hard.
SPACE FOR INSPIRATION
For all those bursts of inspiration, new ideas or projects - write them down before you loose them. I have a few page spreads for blog ideas, video idea, new products etc in the front of my Bullet Journal so I can refer easily to and add to as new ideas comes up.
Add pages in your Journal for lists which will help you in your life, such as:
Books, Movie, Netflix List
Places To Visit
Experiences / Memories
Skills To Learn / Improve On
Big / Small Life Goals
PREPARE FOR THE DAY
Set aside some time each week to go over your Journal. I do this first thing, each morning, when I sit at my desk with a nice warm cup of tea.
Taking the time to write your daily to-do list, notes and check over appointments is a great way to relieve stress and it can improve mental health too. A chance to clear your mind and as you check off each item from that to-do list, you will feel a great deal of accomplishment. I finds it’s always better to get all those ideas and thoughts out of my head and down onto paper - remember to ad a note on when you want to do each item by and any notes on how to tackle them.
It’s been said that writing for 15–20 minutes on a stressful topic can lead to significantly better physical and psychological outcomes.
Back when I was lecturing, I always asked my students to take notes as physically writing things out gives better cognitive recognition and learning outcomes than typing does. We live in a world where we rarely write anything. Yes, typing is faster, and you might not like your handwriting or be able to reread it but we actually take in more of what is being said when writing notes than typing out word for word whats being said.
PERSONALISE IT ALL
We spend a lot of our lives on our phones checking apps, calling, emailing and messaging people. So why not set away and get creative with a paper journal. Use it simply as a calendar or start playing around with the idea of Bullet Journalling by writing out your goals on a page, listing your plans in a future log and creating all those wonderful to-do list.
As a visual and creative person, I often sketch or doodle things out so why not do this in your Journal too. There’s no rules after all. You can do this for titles, covers, lists bullet points, use a spare page for an inspirational quote or even for brain storming and mind maps. Decorate pages or titles with colour and washi tape, whatever makes it more fun for you to use.
OUR MODERN MEMORIES
This is scary but apparently our modern, digital lives are actually changing our brains natural wiring which is making our attention span shorter and our memories less reliable. Argh!! This is why I love the future log page spreads as they give you a quick snapshot of the key dates you really need to remember like birthdays, anniversaries, events, holidays, etc.
Bullet Journal Inspiration
Instagram is where I go for inspiration these days, that and Pinterest so I thought I’d also share some great posts and accounts for you to check out. These are some of my favourite Bullet Journal insta posts, check out the feeds behind them as they really are full of beautiful pictures.
Bullet Journal Books
You definitely don't need The 365 Bullet Guide or the Leuchtturm 1917 Bullet Journal but I'm popping then in here just in case you are looking to join the Bullet Journal trend and need some inspiration. For my Bullet Journal, I simply bought a plan notebook from Paperchase to use as my journal, watched some YouTube videos, and armed with some good ink pens, I dove in and started planning and designing mine out.