Bullet Journal System: A Month End Review

I have been using the bullet journal system for about a month now. I was originally attracted to this system because of its flexibility.  A blank journal is full of endless possibilities; it can become absolutely anything that I want it do be! For now, however,  it is strictly a planner.

The past month in my bullet journal has been full of experimenting. I toyed around with the different types of spreads (monthly, daily, weekly) until I figured out what works best for me. It turns out to be the weekly spreads that best fit my needs. Here is what I came up with:

31764353122_bca2b27cb1_oI divide my weekly spread into five main sections: Appointments, Weekly Tasks, Gratitude, Meal Ideas, and To Do. These sections encompass everything that I have going on and help me to stay focused on my goals.

The “To Do” section is really the heart of my bullet journal. Writing out all of my to do’s for the week on Sunday nights is just too overwhelming, so I decided to fill in my to do list each morning as part of my morning routine. This helps me to flow through the week by doing what I feel inspired to do each day. The beauty of this system of planning is that if I find that writing out my to do’s each day no longer works for me, I can just change it up. There is no need to go out and spend money on a new planner, I can literally just flip the page and start fresh.

There are some really beautiful bullet journals out there and the temptation to decorate my journal was very strong when I first began using it. I did make some attempts at decorating my journal in my first few weekly spreads, but I found the whole decorating process to be stressful. It was hard to come up with ideas of what to do so I found myself spending hours watching “Plan With Me” videos on YouTube (Check out Boho Berry when you get a chance. I love her bullet journal). The videos were inspirational and gave me lots of ideas, but my execution was never quite as pretty as the bullet journalists I had watched on YouTube. So, I decided to just scrap the decorating and focus on productivity. Maybe one day I’ll revisit the idea of decorating my bullet journal, but for now I love my system just the way it is.

What is your favorite planning system? How do you make it work for you?

 

 

 

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Jumping on the Bullet Journal Train

I am a planner by nature. I thrive on knowing what, when, and how things are going to happen. I am perfectly content to spend countless hours planning out my days, weeks, and years, to make sure that they are as productive as the can be. I am a goal setter; an achiever; an executor of plans. Type A all the way, but you knew that by now, didn’t you?

Throughout the years I have tried many different planner systems. In high school, I started out with the simple daily planners that my school provided and I was immediately hooked. After high school, I stuck to the planners that I could find at Barnes and Noble or Walmart. Again, these were simple daily planners. They weren’t anything fancy, just enough to help me remember to tick everything off my to do list.

As I grew in my career, my planning needs started to change. I had more than just chores and homework to complete. By my early to mid-twenties I was focused on my career (teaching, of course) and my own personal projects. I struggled to find a planning system that worked for all my needs. The lack of a system that worked led me to YouTube where I stumbled on the planner community.

At first, I got caught up in the Erin Condren and Plum Paper Planner craze. I purchased a Plum Paper Planner in August 2015 and started decorating all my spare time away. Can you relate?

Anyway, I quickly realized that the Plum Paper Planner system, although super cute, did not work for my needs. Thus, the YouTube searching continued and I stumbled upon the Bullet Journal system.

So, here we are. My husband just bought me my first Moleskine squared notebook as a birthday gift and the bullet journaling (is that even a word?) has been in full swing ever since. It’s been a week and I can already tell that this system is going to work for my needs because of its inherent flexibility. My journal can be whatever I want/need it to be and this alone makes my inner type a planner nerd self smile.

Here are some of my very first bullet journal spreads. I’m going to keep it simple and focus on productivity over creating a beautifully decorated bullet journal (for the time being, at least).

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So far, the idea of having random lists sprinkled throughout my bullet journal does not appeal to me. However, these two lists were put on the pages just following the index. I think they will get a lot of use.

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This is my first attempt at a weekly spread. I have a lot of tasks to do that don’t necessarily need to be done on a certain day. We’ll see how this works. Also, I realize that I completely messed up the dates. I was so excited about getting my first weeks layout done that I wasn’t paying attention. If nothing else, the corrections will add character to my journal!

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I plan on using this monthly spread to track blog post ideas and to schedule blog posts.

 

Happy planning!