Hey Guys, So you’ve all seen Megan’s post about Time Management. Well, a couple of weeks ago I decided to start a bullet journal. My bullet journal is how I keep up with my to-do list, keep up with what is due daily, and know where it is. I have read so many stories about how much it has helped with: productiveness, organization, anxiety, overall awareness, not overbooking or investing, etc… So I started my journey.
What is a Bullet Journal?
Well, simply put it is a place for everything. A bullet journal is a journal where you put absolutely everything you use in your life. To-do list, Meal plans, Grocery list, Birthdays, Trackers for anything and everything, weekly, monthly, and yearly outlooks, etc…. These are designed to declutter your brain while inherently keeping you organized because you no longer have to ask, where did I write that down. You don’t even have to ask what page it is on because you can keep a running index for each time you add a page to your bullet journal. You can learn more about bullet journals. there set-up, and purpose on the official website.
How I got started.
First, I didn’t buy one of the official bullet journals. I started in an empty half page spiral I had laying around. I wasn’t sure if I would like it so I didn’t want to spend money on it at that point. This was one of those things that I just had to take a plunge on. I had been so intimidated by all these beautiful spreads I would see on Pintreset. One day I found myself frustrated that I couldn’t find that phone number I wrote down a week earlier that I needed in 5 minutes. So, I did a little research and found that most people while they will take some time to doddle and such to make pretty pages in their journals; they do because they find it relaxing not because their pages have to be pretty. For an overall statement they think of function over beauty.
This is the layout I have for my journal. You don’t have to follow this layout. I have alter it slightly from the layout on that is presented on the website; you can follow it or mine or do your own. Do what works for you.
My first page is a key. I am known for changing which bullet stands for what so this is a great way to stay on track for me. I’ve included: work, personal, when a task is completed, half completed, moved or canceled, etc… You have to come up with what you need and what helps you.
My to-do spread. Each time I start a new day I put the day and date. I box the date in the color I will use for all the task that I complete that day. Each day on each page has a different color. This way I know when I finish a task even when I look back on it. And then the next page has some daily doodles outlined in the days color.
This is another to-do spread where I put each daily doodle on the same page and out lined it in the days color instead of having a second page.
An example of one of my meal plan spreads. I have some doodles around the page because why not. Then any recipe that I have everything to make already I write in blue. Then any recipe where I need to buy something for the recipe I write in green. Really helps when it comes to writing out a shopping list.
This is a packing list I made for my trip to South Padre Island (My first beach experience!!) I always forget something when I’m packing so about two days before I needed to pack I wrote down EVERYTHING I needed and then the next two days I spent writing out random things that I needed. I didn’t forget anything this trip! YAY! I’ve tried doing this in the past but it always became a pain keeping up with the list. This way I already had the journal for others reason so it was always right there. How convent!
I have many other list: phone numbers, post ideas, picture ideas, date ideas, etc….Best of all, I know right where it is.
What I’ve changed from the original layout to better fit me.
I like the idea of the index; it stressed me out since I wasn’t using one of the official journals I didn’t know how many pages to leave. What if I didn’t leave enough. Oh no! To me the purpose of the journal is to simplify life in ways not overly stress it so, I left it out. The monthly, yearly, and/or weekly outlooks. I keep this in my Google calendar. That’s the system I used in place of a planner all through college and now. It’s on my phone. easy to use, and always right there to enter in anything that isn’t for today only. It works for me. Anytime I need to write something down it goes in the journal. Which makes it’s an ever running to-do list with the occasional list interrupting it. That works for me.
How it has helped
To talk about this I need to talk briefly about my layout and routine.
This system has helped me because of the almost routine I have made with it. I say almost because I don’t use it everyday. I was on vacation last week, so I didn’t use it. These past two days post vacation I haven’t used it because I had work Sunday and Monday became a relax day very quickly for many reasons. So, this doesn’t always happen, but most days it does. If doing your bullet journal becomes an item on your to-do list you’re doing it wrong.
So, before I go to bed (I try to give myself around an hour) I sit down and write out my to-do list for the next day and give that day a color. I consult my Google Calendar to see about any appointments and such that need added to that day. With time that I have left, I will do many a random things. I have a free doodle page where I draw little random things sometimes. I also like to have a doodle a day usually with a small quote that goes with that day. If a doodle is centered around a day I like to outline it in that days color. Other nights I make other list, such as: weekly meal plan, packing, etc… I found that doing this at night my day starts a lot faster.
Why this system and routine is helpful:
Doing the list at night I just have to wake up, make tea, and read what I need to do that day. No thinking required. A lot of my anxiety stems from atelophobia, which is the fear of not being good enough. This has cause my soical anxiety and need for constant assurance that I’m doing okay and I am good enough. It also causes me to feel like if I have down time I have something I am forgetting to do, and basically that I am always forgetting something.
So, having a list that tells me what I need to do and other list that have all the reminders of what to pack, what I bought that for (food wise), blog post ideas, etc… I know that I am okay. Doing the list the night before gives me reassurance going to sleep that tomorrow will be okay. It helps me know that I can or can’t hang out at lunch because I visually see I do or don’t have the time to commit that day. Best relief of all, I don’t have to remember where I wrote that thing do three weeks ago because it is in my bullet journal.
It’s so simply and to a lot of people the ways it has helped me is small. In my life it has been a game changer and I think everyone should try it out. It’s not for everyone, but it’s worth a try. I see ways I want to change my current one. I want to move to a homemade disc bound journal with a dot grid instead of my lined spiral. (wanna learn more about disc binding? Look at this video)
What are some of your favorite things to keep in a journal? (Bullet journal or not)
Let us know below!!
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