I've enjoyed watching YouTube videos of Bullet Journal flip-throughs and page ideas for a few months now. But by the time I was interested, I already had my little 2016 diary. However, with Summer and more free time fast approaching, I decided to pick up a cute notebook when I saw it was reduced to £1.50 a month or so ago and give Bullet Journaling a go. I want to be productive this summer and not just sleep my days away, so I thought it was the perfect time to start one.
Although I have watched the "proper" Bullet Journal videos by Ryder Carroll, I kinda do my own thing and just take inspiration from him and other "BuJo" vloggers/bloggers. I'm trying not to give myself too many rules and complicated keys etc. I can be quite a perfectionist and don't want to get all stressy about it. Actually, I think the whole bullet journal concept is good for people trying to chill with the perfectionism, as it's very flexible, and if something doesn't work out or you end up not using a page, you can just scrap it next month! It's a good way to keep in mind that not everything (or in this case, every page) has to be perfect.
This is how I'm using it so far:
I started with a handy index as Carroll suggests. I made the mistake of writing every single page on the index to start with, and only taking one measly little page for it... whoops... Looks like it's going to fill up pretty soon! My plan is to only put pages such as "Blog Post Ideas", or "July 2016" on the index and leave out the hoards of weekly spreads from now on. I can always use a bookmark on the current week to help me find it fast.
Next I have a future log for the following few months. I'm not sure if I'm using this all that effectively. So far I'm just jotting down things I know are going on that month and new things as I find out about them. If I was doing the whole task migration thing it would probably be more full... but I haven't done any of that (yet).
I also include a calendar like page for each month in Carroll's style. To be honest I'm not too keen on the way this looks and I can't fit more than a couple of words in for each day. Maybe I'll try out a more traditional calendar style next month... I think you can see how it's all panning out better that way.
Lots of people who make bullet journal videos mentioned a "brain dump" page and I thought it sounded like good idea, so at the start of each month I make a "Big To Do List". I rack my brains and write everything down that I want to get done that, anything from buying someone a birthday present to life admin stuff. If it doesn't get done that month, I write in on next month's list and hope it gets done then (haha)! I suppose if I decide mid-month that I'm going to do a task in the future, I could write it in my future log (and make better use of that section!).
I've been enjoying making miscellaneous list-type pages. It's nice that everything is all in one place and easy to access rather than scattered in random notebooks... and I do own rather a lot!
As for decoration, I admire the effort some people put into the aesthetics of their journals, I just can't be doing with it myself! If start spending ages on doodles and fonts etc, I run the risk of getting into perfectionist mode and feeling pressure to make it look beautiful every month. I do want my journal to look pretty though and have been utilising easy stuff like washi tape, coloured pens and sticky notes to add a bit of fun. I might treat myself to a trip to Paperchase soon and get some stickers too... exciting. ;)
As for the future with my bullet journal, I thinking of trying out some blog organisation and planning pages and some goal pages too (both blog and general life goals). I've seen other bloggers using their journals to track stats and habits and all sorts and I might give that a go as it looks pretty interesting! It's just so bloody flexible... you can do whatever you like with it!
I've been enjoying using my bullet journal so far and I'm pleased that I'm keeping up with it reasonably well. I reckon I could do more with it though, so look out for an update post sometime soon!
What kind of journal/diary do you use?