Update. It's been a while!!
After disappearing off the radar for a while, I've returned. I've discovered much over the last 3 years... what works, what doesn't, different layouts, collection ideas, and trackers that are the most useful for me. Bottom right is my current bullet journal - It's not as thick as the previous years, although I may have to add more pages yet - not sure.
when I first started bullet journalling, I could see the huge potential for an increased organised life. Has this happened?
A big YES!
For me, I have achieved a flexible structure in which my life operates - getting things done without chaos. Organised mind, manageable days with breathing space, and goals reached. The key - checking in at the beginning and ends of the day to plan and review respectively.
For me, the two most beneficial aspects of bullet journalling are:
1. No more bits of paper all over the place! (clear desk, tidy handbag, organised study and clutter-free kitchen drawers a bonus). Everything goes straight into the weekly log. If, for some reason I don't have access to my journal, I'll make a note on my phone (in Notes) and transfer it at the end of the day.
2. Things get done! This is amazing for me, a person who constantly put things off until the last minute, stressing out over details I couldn't remember, couldn't find etc etc... Now, I'm calm and efficient. Sure, some things get left, but you can only "migrate" for so long - right?
My journey is ongoing. Over the next weeks I'll share further how bullet journalling has evolved for me. Until then keep going and keep sharing your ideas on Instagram!
To Do & Have Done
You know those people that like to add things to their lists - just so they can cross them off? I'm secretly one of them sometimes. My bullet journal To Do list has been a constant weekly commitment and, I have to say, the only one to date where tasks do actually, and eventually, get done! Until recently, my To Do was simply just that - a To Do. Then one day at the end of the week, I was reflecting on my long list of crossed off tasks and felt a real and pure sense of accomplishment...something I hadn't felt in a very long time... I added the words "have done" alongside the To Do. It felt great!
Our lives are busy, and some days it feels as if there isn't much to show for it all. I remember when my children were younger and I'd fall into bed at the end of the day feeling like I hadn't achieved anything. My days were filled with stuff that could hardly be added to a To Do and crossed off, but the sense of exhaustion by bed time must have meant I'd done something - Right? I've learnt that a task is a task. Some tasks are quicker to execute than others, but they all take time. I've learned that interruptions mean a small task like getting the washing from the bathroom to the laundry can take all day, especially if your hallway is long and you have several children, pets, or the phone goes! My point is that when we assign a value to a task it may not rate, and therefore doesn't count.
I head my To Do list up in my Bullet Journal as "To Do & Have Done" What starts out as a To Do finishes as a Have Done. If I'm waylaid by completing a task that hadn't made it to my To Do then I add it, cross it off so it is registered as a Have Done. This balances the list, reflects more of an accurate log of the days proceedings, and when looked over can produce more of a psychological sense of well-being. My criteria for adding on to cross off is; Would I have added it on (had I known) and/or has it taken a significant amount of time.
What are your thoughts on this? I'd love to hear.
I love my Monthly Memories. All my life I've wanted to keep a diary / journal...but something just stopped me. I couldn't commit, and I was worried others would find it and read it making it hard for me to be honest. So, aside from a few months when I was 16 years old and madly in love with a boy at my school, I never have written my thoughts or experiences anywhere. Enter Bullet Journal Monthly Memory Spread. It's not the same thing, but for me it's close to it. Each day I think about what I've done and if memorable enough I find a way to express it creatively. It's more a collection of images and words reflective of the feelings and experiences I want to remember. I can make a quick entry or take my time to cut, paste and colour. It's become the resting place for those show tickets I hate to throw out (but are they really needed!) and it's the memory jogger I know I'll need in a few years time when I'm wondering "what was the name of that..." Mostly I love the sense of appreciation and gratitude that arises when I take the time to reflect on each and every one of those moments and remember how lucky I am to have lived them.
Thinking of introducing a Monthly Memory Spread? Here are some ideas:
* Try creating a series of boxes (much like a calendar month lay out) and fill one in each day
* If you like to just write, try using different colored pens for each day starting on the first day of the month with "1. Had an awesome morning shopping and lunching with Jane and went to see a movie after" then "2. etc etc..." It wouldn't matter if you didn't do an entry every day - just add the number for the date you do. Your page would look colorful with each entry standing out.
It's also worth checking out Instagram and pintrest for other Bullet Journal monthly memories. Mostly just experiment, have fun and find your own groove. Got any good ideas - share them in the comments below.
After trialing the Bullet Journal idea for three months; trying different page layouts, being a bit creative and making "mistakes" I had a good idea about what worked for me. I wanted to create my own journal from scratch, mostly because I like the design aspect, and enjoy the making. I also could completely customize it to my needs. The question was - What did I need? I'd really enjoyed the look and feel of my hard covered journal and felt it worked really well for the Bullet Journal approach. However, as I wanted to avoid ruling up my appointment pages by hand I needed to create templates. I have a spiral binding machine (from years of making my own planner/diaries) and so that won out. Added to which the spine would easily store a couple of pens, and add and remove pages should I need too. Following this I went on a hunt for good quality paper, and settled on an artist sketch pad which was slightly off-white in colour (doesn't show up white out) and thick enough to prevent bleed through or ghosting. The next task was to decide on content. I made a list of criteria based on what had worked over the last three months:
We are now moving into June, and I'm moving into my third month of this journal. I'm loving it - still experimenting, trying different ways of getting things done and holding myself accountable. Having a daily relationship with the Bullet Journal system is key to it's (and my) success - it really is the next best thing to a Personal Assistant!
Let's start at the very beginning.
I discovered Bullet Journalling by accident in January of this year, trawling the net for something else. I was immediately enthralled, and spent the next few weeks googling anything and everything I could to do with "bullet journal". I felt I couldn't start my own journal until I had gathered all existing information and was completely prepared. I didn't want to muck up, make "mistakes" and ultimately give up as I have done so many other times when it has come to keeping a journal or a diary. Then, somewhere among the plethora of information and people's stories I read about the "perfectionist" and came to the realization that my own tendency around this was stopping me from starting, and from their advice gave myself permission to start a "trial" journal, and see it as a "work in progress / living document" Thus sorted, I went through my varied collection of blank notebooks to find a suitable candidate -coming up with the one pictured. It already had a head start on the others as it was indexed, and page numbered. I'd bought it a couple of years ago because I liked the cover and it had alternating lined and blank pages which appealed to me. Ruling up the first page was a big step, but once over that hurdle I found it easy to commit to the daily practice of developing it. I tried different formats for my weekly spreads, created different To Do Lists, and started collections. I found I followed through on my tasks (for the first time ever) and felt more peaceful and grounded as the weeks went by. I created an Instagram account so I could follow others in the Bullet Journal Community, and am continually inspired by what others are doing and how they have adapted this system to suit their lives. By the time the end of March came, I had a really good idea of what was working for me and decided to custom make my own journal for April, which will be the topic of my next blog. In the meantime here are a few pictures of my first attempt. You'll see I rediscovered my long lost love of hand-lettering and inspired by others journals found the courage to start practicing again!