In case you missed it, bullet journaling has been a “thing” for artsy people to make their own calendars for about a decade. I don’t know who started this trend. If you look up #bujo or #bulletjournal on any social media site you will open up a digital can of worms. So many people use this tool, they must be on to something. If you’re anything like me, you might even be inspired by some of the things you find.
I have been using a bullet journal for about six years now. Every year I start a new one. I used to think I could be the kind of person who mixed art and bullet journalling to create beautiful spreads to keep track of my life. I used to spend hours looking at instagram and bullet journal bloggers for inspiration on types of spreads to try and imitate. Now I stick to the basics.
I really thought I had kicked the bullet journal habit this year. I even purchased a planner I intended to use for homeschooling. Once I started inserting dates into the purchased planner I realized that it didn’t have any room for a “habit tracker” or a goal setting page, or enough room in between for the various lists that I find myself inserting into my bullet journal randomly throughout the year. So, I ditched the planner and bought a fresh new bullet journal.
I love my combination journal and calendar for all the ways it helps me to organize my days and my thoughts all in one place. I can use it to mark important dates, and jot down my feelings. It’s more than just a planner though as I can set goals and cross things off my to-do lists (crossing things off feels so good). I also use my bullet journal to make lists of things that are important to me as life is happening and then I can reference that information in the future without having to search through various notebooks. If it is important to me, it ends up being put into my bullet journal.
To start a bullet journal you don’t need anything fancy. Any notebook and pen or pencil will work. I use some of the least expensive tools for my bullet journal and they have been working for me for years. The only thing I would caution is to make sure it has a semi-ridged cover. You don’t want it to be falling apart after six months of use (that happened to me and it sucked).
There are countless ways to use a bullet journal. I think I already mentioned that a lot of artists use it to doodle their days and make their books really beautiful. That’s not me. Here are some sample pages from my bullet journals.
I find that I actually need this monthly look as well as the month prior and next on the same page. It takes time to draw this out, but I can’t skip it.
This page takes a bit of time to draw out as well, but I love checking things off on it.
This is default weekly spread. I tried to use the weekly vertical spread, but it didn’t work for me.
This is my birthday/anniversary tracker.
I put this together every year. Then I usually revise the goals and make a new page as the year progresses. I already have a few things that need to be checked off this list, that feels good!
This year I had added a moon calendar to my bullet journal. I also added a lot of planetary aspects so I can keep track of astrological aspects happening throughout the year.
I’m such a book nerd so you’re probably not surprised to see this. Honestly this is the first year I have drawn out a shelf like this. I’m not very artsy, but I’m proud of how this turned out.
It feels good to plan out each day, month, and year with a bullet journal. I know it takes extra time, to draw out everything but I can’t imagine life without it. Especially now that I am homeschooling.