I’ve got to say, one of my highlights from the year so far has got to be learning how to bullet journal and make it work for me (followed closely by Kylie Jenner’s uncanny ability to blow the Super Bowl out of the water with her birth announcement).

This time last year, I remember reading bullet journal blog posts in wonderment, fascinated at their versatility and beauty but also bemused at the efforts one might have to exert in order to simply see a week to view. I mean, I was also deep in the throes of glorifying busy and I didn’t have a level-headed perception of many things, but I honestly didn’t get it. I did, however, enjoy gazing on from afar.

Fast forward to October/November time and the idea of a bullet journal seemed more and more appealing. In case you weren’t sure, the bullet journal system was introduced by a guy named Ryder Carroll who sought to simplify his method of productivity by consolidating a diary and notebook and to-do lists, etc. all in one place. Guided by a key, an index, future log and other such missives, the bullet journal is a completely customisable system that is growing phenomenally in popularity. Read more about the original system here.

My own working system wasn’t, erm, working.

I had a beautiful Bando planner that was half empty because I tend not to write entries in for weekends and spent many days either not working or out with my clients, a separate notebook to write notes and to-do lists, another notebook where I penned ideas and that I’d take to meetings, and then countless daily Post-It notes with odds and ends on them. On top of that, I also had a very neglected blog planner. Pretty as it all looked, it wasn’t working.

My take on the bullet journal is a pretty simple one and it isn’t necessarily groundbreaking. I’m only 2 months in and I already wish I’d done things differently, but I’ve also established a few awesome spreads (or ‘collections’) that I use all the time. For one, I was positive that I wouldn’t need or use any trackers. And I also instantly set my bujo up with collections that I haven’t even touched. Ahem. What I have found is that once you find the perfect spreads for your own needs, you’ll use them all the time and it’ll spark your bujo obsession. I’ve also found that I’m not as precious about a regimented structure for my journal too: my collections zig-zag in-between weekly spreads as do my note-making pages and I kinda dig it.

Without further ado and with bonus downloadable collection templates, let’s talk about the collections I use and recommend…

Clients Booked

A self-explanatory collection, but I devoted four pages (two double-spreads) to a simple grid where I could track my booked-in clients by month. This year, I’ve decided to take on a smaller pool of clients in order to give each of them my all and so I added in space for a list of four per month. Once booked in, I add them to the relevant space and once I’ve completed my booking with them, I check it off.

Download this collection.

Dream Blog Partnerships/Dream Clients

My bullet journal works for all aspects of my life: personal use, business and blog. Henceforth, I added a little page in to list my dream blog partnerships and clients for the year. I think it’s really good to dream big (or small!) and I like being able to flick over to the page and see exactly where I want to be headed. It also means that during quieter work periods or blog months, I can go through my list and brainstorm for or even pitch briefs to them.

Download this collection.

Invoice Trackers

I primarily use a spreadsheet tracker for all of my invoicing (I shared it in a previous newsletter – subscribe here to receive future editions), but have really been enjoying these invoice trackers throughout my bujo. Of course it totally depends on the nature of your work and how you price your services (by piece or package, for example), these ones might not work for you. The one provided here, however, is great for totalling up a month’s worth of work, entering in date of issue, whether it was paid, and the total outstanding. For review purposes, I’m also interested to look at this after the entire year and see where my workload fluctuates! #nerd

Download this collection.

Phone Use Tracker

Having found myself in numerous situations where I’ve run out of data, I took it upon myself to create a small table to keep on top of how I’m using my phone. Yes, you can view it at the tap of an app, but if I’ve run out of data, how do I check? This table allows me to add a dot for every 1GB used, a ‘+’ symbol if I exceed my limit, the number of minutes used and number of texts (lol) sent. I’m hoping that after the year, I’ll be able to review what sort of contract to opt for next.

Download this collection.

Objects of Desire/To Buy

I’m saving for a couple of big things at the moment and as a serial shopper – a frivolous, impulse one at that! – this collection has been a dream so far. The layout in itself means I am only allowed to covet four things per month (I don’t know if this is excessive or pretty damn good?), and the idea is that each time I feel like I want to buy something, I add it to my list along with where it’s from. Thankfully I’m really into logging things, so I’ve not yet cheated and in fact I’ve been really ‘good’ so far! It also means I won’t miss out on things I see while scrolling and that I can get a good grasp of what my covet/spending habits are looking like.

Download this collection.

N.B. To ‘use’ my collections, simply use my downloadable templates as a guide to setting up your own pages.

How are you using your bullet journal at the moment? Let me know if you download any of my collections, and if you’d like more!

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