My Bullet Journal

Aug 9, 2016

I'm not really much of a planner--I guess you could say I'm more of a pantser. I was better at using a planner back in high school, but for the most part I buy planners, fill out a week's worth of information, then never use it again. I'm wretchedly horrible at this kind of stuff.

But then I heard about bullet journals (thanks to Twirling Pages's blog post) and I was intrigued. What was appealing was how customizable they are. It's still a planner, but you can make it look however you want and feel it with whatever content you want. It's literally a personalized planner, and it allows you to get creative. (Seriously, just look up #bulletjournal on various social media sites.)

So I thought that I, the person who can't use seem to a planner (and whose whiteboard calendar never got updated after November), would give bullet journaling a try. And I thought that I would tell you all about it.

The Journal

I purchased this Blueline business notebook from Amazon as an add-on item for like five dollars. It's not the usual sort of journal bullet journal gurus use, but I didn't want something that cost much in case I didn't use it. (Ha.)

The notebook has gridded paper, which is perfect, and 192 pages, which just fit everything perfectly. (See: The Planning.) My own complaint would be that the pages are a little on the thin side. You'll see in the photos of my bullet journal that you, depending on what pen I used, you can totally see what's on the side of a page. (Also, this is my title page.)

The Planning

From what I understand, most bullet journals are built on a day-to-day basis. It's not like a planner in the sense that every week is already laid out and waiting for you to write information in. Like I said, you kind of go day by day.

But that didn't really work me because I wanted to be able to fill out what was happening in June all at once and be able to know everything that was happen ahead of time--especially with school. Going day to day just wasn't going to work for me.

So I made a personalized planner, but in order to do so I had to know what was going on every single page because I only had so many pages and they had to last the year. It took me some time to actually write and format my bullet journal because I spent so much time planning and configuring every single page. And I did just that. I figured out when February would start and October would end, what months needed a four-week spread and which months needed five. I'm just hoping that I won't find any miscalculations once I get to December.

In order to have lovely fonts--because I can't just do that myself--I went crazy on Word and typed up everything I wanted with their desired fonts and basically just traced them into my bullet journal. As you can see, I have a folder filled with random scraps of paper--and that's not even all of them. Those are little bits and pieces that helped to bring my journal together. (It's a little crazy, I know.)

The Supplies

-1 journal with quad ruled paper
-Pens of various colors (plus one nice black one)
-Colored pencils (markers will bleed through, at least with this journal)
-Ruler
-Fonts and images for personalizations and design

The Personalizations

Like I said, bullet journals have something your average store-bought planners don't: the ability to personalize. Which is EXCELLENT. With planners you're forced to fit everything into an outline, but here can you break that and create whatever layout you want.

I started with the months, giving each a title page and lists for important dates, possible and planned blog posts, book releases and ARCs to review, and what I'm reading book club. (I've decided I need to mess more with colors. Every month has its own color that's used the most, but like this--it's just too much orange and things don't standout. As you can see, even though the end of the year is near, I'm still perfecting my bullet journal.)

Each month also gets a log to help me break bad habits and to also keep track of things like blogging and reading and working. The lightbulb represents my idea/brainstorming page, where I can plan out all kinds of things, from blogging to crafts to Instagram photos. We're going to pretend I actually use these pages.

At the end of each monthly section there are two pages: one to recap and rewind what happened that month and another to do some sort of creative/fanart thing having to do with a book I read that month. I also have yet to use these. Go me!

I FINALLY just filled out this page--and forgot to number each book, which would've been helpful. I have four pages total to keep track of what I read this year, but there's little room for much else besides a book's title and author. I would like to make notes for some books, but this page will get squishy.

I also made four pages to keep track of my favorite book quotes throughout the year because I'm horrible at keeping track of quotes. As you can see, I'm still horrible at it. These pages are BLANK because I haven't been writing quotes in here, WHOOPS.

The Basics

And last but not least, the basics! At the beginning of my bullet journal I have a six-page spread of all the months at a glance.

Then there's the weekly spread, which looks the same every month aside from the font/styling of the month and date. I wanted enough space--again, especially with school--to write out as much I'd need to. What I need to work on is color coding for different categories, and now that I'm no longer in school I have more room to, well, do more.

the experience

I really like the bullet journal, but the problem is that I don't really use it. I'll be honest: I never even made the layout for July. It's just a bunch of blank pages. And without school, I'm wondering what the purpose is of me having me a planner. I need to make goals for myself, and one of those goals is to use this journal and use it to work on goals. I can keep track of upcoming events, volunteer hours at the zoo, and working. I've been working on improving the blog and can use this journal to enhance that. And I need to use my damn log and do the damn things on it. It also wouldn't hurt if I wrote down a book quote every once in a blue moon. Bullet journaling is definitely an experience, and a learning one at that and time consuming--and I don't want to give up on it. So, dear bullet journal: let's get our asses in gear, shall we?

Do you have a bullet journal? If so, how do you get yourself to really use it? If not, do you want one?

5 comments:

  1. I had the same issue you mentioned at the end when I was keeping a planner - I really don't have much to write in it on a day to day basis. My digital calendar keeps track of appts. and sets reminders, and I don't have time to do double work like also writing it out in a paper planner. For school though, I can see how it might be useful to keep track of assignments etc.

    I do use the bullet journal system for work - and it worked - but now I'm moving into a new role, and I've figured out a digital system that will work better.

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  2. I actually JUST started one but it's solely for blogging. I feel like I need to separate the thousand things I'm doing in my life, which is why I'm having one specifically for blogging. So far I'm having a lot of fun. It's oddly therapeutic to just slowly write out the stuff I plan on doing and want to do and to decorate it.

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  3. Pretty! I tried to do a bullet journal but it just wasn't something I kept up with haha xD whoops.

    Molly @ Molly's Book Nook

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  4. GORGEOUS! I absolutely love your journal, it looks so well put together. I keep trying to make mine, but get so frustrated at times with how it comes out. It'll take some time :P

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  5. Where did you get that zippered "EVIDENCE" bag? I love it!

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