It’s become somewhat tradition to write notes on the blog, notes on how I plan to organise myself for the year ahead. And for the most part, I recommend a beautiful planner (the Ban.Do and Iconic Design ones have been my favourites) and then a handful of additional notebooks, Post-It notes, gratitude journals and all manner of other paper-rich tomes. For a long time, I shunned the idea of a bullet journal, labelling it too much effort and ‘surely a waste of time’.

Until some time in 2017, I became completely obsessed with the idea. A self-made system complete with an index, key and pages upon pages of blankness to fill with whatever you needed and/or wanted. In short, a journal that works as you do.

How many times have you finished up a diary in December and noted that half of the pages are untouched? The year-at-a-glance, the address pages, the random lined spaces right at the back of the notebook that mean you have to ‘crack’ into untouched portions? After browsing a few IG accounts firstly out of curiosity and then for inspiration, I decided that I’d hop onboard the train this year.

How I Plan To Use It

I’m planning to use one journal for my business, blog, gym and leisure life. It might sound like a lot but the idea is that everything sits in one place and I’m less likely to forget something in my cluttered weeks. The key system is oh so handy in that you essentially create your own: mine works perfectly (so far) for my current needs, although I imagine it’ll change as the months progress.


My main requirements were enough space to plot in clients by day, note down my planned gym sessions/classes and lunch and dinner plans, as well as menial everyday tasks that keep my business ticking over. Popular bu-jo features like Habit Trackers, Stats Trackers, Mood Trackers and Food Planners didn’t appeal to me as I don’t think these are standout pages that I’d religiously go back to my journal to document, so I’ve left those out. In fact, when it comes down to it, my journal is a glorified list-holder and I love it.

My Bullet Journal + Set-Up

The journal I’m using at the moment is a vegan leather zodiac dot grid journal from FRINGE Studio. It’s absolutely adorable if not on the small side, and has suited me perfectly so far. Most bullet journals come in an A5 size which would probably be more preferable to me but this smaller version is great for slipping in handbags, grabbing on the go and even for whacking in my gym bag. As I genuinely don’t have time to faff around with my journal, I decided from the get-go that I’d only have decorative pages for the cover and month dividers. I bought a selection of stickers on Etsy and will doodle throughout if I have time to do so. For the most part, I’m kinda into the minimal spread.

One thing that I’ve already failed at and berated myself for is not having created a Future Log. I thought I wouldn’t need one but the regret is real guys 😉 Aside from that, my set-up is simple with a Client Bookings Tracker, 2018 Goals List, Quotes Collection, Gratitude List, Post Ideas List, Birthdays List and then my monthly/weekly spreads. My weekly spreads have each been different so far whilst I work out what’ll be best for my needs. (And have I mentioned how great it is that I don’t have to worry about wasting space should I have a day off?!)

I also then use the pages immediately after my weekly spreads to note down lengthier to-do lists (if you know, you know), food shopping lists, recipes to try, of-the-moment notes for blog posts and other such oddments. Then, these get added to my index for later reference.

Blog-wise, I also have lists after each week to note down things to include in my Sundaze posts and I’d imagine if you post Monthly Favourites, this would work SO well. Aside from that, my main editorial calendar is hosted on Google Calendar which you can read about in today’s newsletter edition.

My Thoughts So Far

So far, I’m really enjoying the bullet journalling system. It’s such a treat to be able to open one journal and be able to reference my notes without rifling through several notebooks, rogue thought running away like water whilst I do so. It sets me on edge just a little to know I can’t flick through to June and jot something down but I’ll deal with that later. (FUTURE LOG. YOU NEED IT, MICHELLE, DAMMIT.) I haven’t used all of my spreads as much as I thought I would, so a key tip would be to start small and see where your journal grows. Leave a good 20-30 pages of the start of your journal blank even if it goes against every fibre in your being. I’ve also decided, post-Amsterdam, that I’ll be adding a Holiday Packing List to my journal to refer to when I next need to travel. Perhaps I’ll go crazy and add three! (Weekend Break, City Trip, Beach Holiday)

Bullet journalling is certainly nothing like I imagined it’d be and I certainly don’t have a beautiful bound book full of illustrations and sweet little notes. But I’m loving the creativity and freedom it allows and it’s an absolute revelation to be able to see all of my work/blog/leisure bits and bobs in one place.

My Toolkit

Journal

My journal is the Zodiac Journal from FRINGE Studio. Made from vegan leather, it’s a soft-bound book with dot grid pages and one velvet page holder. Although small, I’d highly recommend this for no-fuss bullet journalling.

MUJI Pens

I exclusively use MUJI 0.38 pens in a range of colours for my journal, although you can pretty much use any pen 😉 I’m tempted to invest in a calligraphy pen but I also have a brush lettering brush and ink to hand, should I feel the need to get a little more creative with my spreads.

Journalspiration Stickers

To decorate my journal, I’ve invested in a couple of packs of Journalspiration stickers from Etsy. They’re printed on matte paper and look so wonderful on my monthly spreads!

References

How are you organising yourself for 2018?

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