Starting a bullet journal at the beginning of 2018 was absolutely a turning point for me in terms of organisation. I’ve never been the most organised of people, but I have always been a keen enthusiast of list-making and date-keeping in order to try and stay afloat of my surprisingly busy life.
As such, my bullet journal is now a mainstay in my day-to-day routine. A combination of notebook, diary and all of those fledgling Post-it Notes, my bullet journal is a one-stop destination of everything in my mind and life.
Now that we’re halfway through 2019 and my second year of bullet journaling, I thought I’d share a little round-up of how I’m using it currently, my favourite spreads for my life as a blogger and business owner, plus the resources I frequently turn to.
Why a bullet journal?
First and foremost, I want to address the whole bullet journal choice. Wildly popular, it’s also accrued a bit of a bad reputation for being hard work to keep up and a lot of extra effort for the same result as a premade diary. I find a bullet journal to be endlessly more useful, practical and ‘used’ than a classic dated diary.
Not only do I set the rules, it allows me to be completely flexible with the way I like to organise my life and keep notes. Of course you might lead a totally different life to me, in which case this may not work for you, but I find a bullet journal now provides me with a space to be creative, record goals, everyday thoughts, plan blog posts and Instagrams, plan my weeks and even keep track of my spending.
How I bullet journal
Like I mentioned, my bullet journal is an all-encompassing log. I’m currently using the Mossery Threadbound Journal with dot grid paper, which is absolutely incredible and I’m sure I’ll invest in another. My setup includes a 2019 cover page, the typical Bullet Journal Method index and a future log. You can learn more about these on Ryder Carroll’s official website.
I learned a lot from my first bullet journal iteration, and so my trackers are fairly minimal and not exactly the typical ones you’ll find on Pinterest or YouTube. So the first portion of my bullet journal documents:
- My yearly goals
- Annual reading list log
- Dream clients and blog partnerships brainstorm
- To-buy tracker
- Top performing blog posts log
- Outfit locations log
- House deposit tracker
- Client booking sheet
- Vegan cheat sheets
These are pages and spreads that I frequently revisit to update and so take on a bit more of a decorative look; in fact, I regularly go back and add little doodles, washi tape and stickers!
Following these, I then go in with my monthly logs. I always create a monthly title page – this allows me to be a little more creative where my bullet journal is predominantly functional and not so decorative. To create my title page, I hand-letter the month and add in a little calendar which is always handy to see and get a grasp of my dates. I’ll also create a collage with photos I find spark inspiration, list four goals for the month and also a fitness tracker.
Using my bullet journal as a diary
When it comes to my week-to-view pages, these change pretty much every month as well as throughout the month. The reason for this is that a bullet journal allows you flexibility, so why not maximise that? Some weeks I’m not up to anything and others are jam-packed and require more space for planning; my bullet journal allows me to skip weeks that’d essentially waste valuable pages as well as give me two, three pages to fully expand on weeks where they’re full of client work, leisure activities and meetings – where I need space to make notes.
I’ve shared some of my favourite week-to-view spreads here so you can see just how flexible my journal is. Which is your favourite?
The extras a bullet journal affords
Something I really love about bullet journaling is that it allows you to use it however you fancy. On some months this year I’ve simply used it as a diary, and on others I’ve added gratitude logs and journaling pages where I handwrite diary entries, record lists of things I love (great for sparking blog post inspiration) or just plan for things like paying people back. I adore the mishmash effect of this style of bullet journaling.
As a keen hobbyist blogger, I also use my bullet journal to plan content. I don’t tend to make notes for the copy, but what I do like to do is sketch out storyboards for post layouts, Instagram Stories and even shoot composition. Particularly effective for sponsored content where I want to make my content shine, I’ve found this to be so handy when creating a high-impact experience.
My favourite spreads
Now that we’re halfway through the year, there’s a clear couple of favourites in terms of bullet journal spreads. Aside from my week-to-view pages that are, let’s face it, pretty boring, I genuinely do use every page in my journal.
- The future log is something I skipped in my first bullet journal so I was adamant on including one in this larger iteration. And I’m so glad I did because it’s one of my favourites; mostly because of how it looks, but also because it’s so handy to record events in months that I haven’t sketched out yet,
- My 2019 reading list log is fast filling up! I designed this to emulate a bookshelf which has definitely spurred on my motivation and encourages me to read more to ‘fill’ it up. I highlight the books to denote the month in which I read it (matching my future log titles).
- The to-buy tracker is a spread I had in my first bullet journal and it worked so well I knew I’d include one for this year. Here I write out every month and add four little tick boxes. Effectively, I allow myself four purchases that I plan in advance in a bid to curb my spending. Bar this month’s epic clothes haul (somewhat necessary as I had nothing summer-suitable), it has worked incredibly well and I’ve saved SO much money. As an example as to how this works, if I know an upcoming purchase is imminent, I plan it in. Birthday presents, skincare restocks… they all get added in and I am super strict on my count of four purchases.
- Surprisingly, my house deposit tracker is a favourite! I’ve sketched this out to emulate brickwork and each one represents a certain amount of money. Each time I deposit money to my savings account, I colour the blocks to indicate the amount saved. It’s so encouraging to see the bricks stack up! I’d highly recommend this one if you’re saving for a house or a similarly huge purchase.
- #seekmonthlymagic. This year I’ve been cultivating a magic-seeking hashtag challenge on Instagram. And outside of visual documentation, I also added a log into my bullet journal to log one piece of sought-magic every day.
Top bullet journal resources
- AmandaRachLee on YouTube
- LEUCHTTURM1917 notebook
- The Bullet Journal Method
Do you bullet journal? Share your links in the comments below! And if not, what’s stopping you? I’d love to chat.