A new year always means a new organisation system to me. Normally that means a new diary. However, after leaving my 9-5 job in July I’ve hardly looked at my diary. So for 2017 I knew I wanted a different system. I wanted somewhere to write out my daily to-do lists and tasks as well as keep track of sponsored posts, parcels I’m expecting and other household tasks. Once I started looking I soon realised that planners with the options I wanted don’t exist. As I delved into the world of planners and stationery I kept coming across the term bullet journal. To be honest with you after a quick google I dismissed it as too much of a faff. However, after searching for the perfect planner I found myself on the original Bullet Journal site and discovered it’s actually a really simple concept.
What On Earth Is A Bullet Journal?
The bullet journal system was developed by a guy called Ryder Carroll who describes it as an analogue system for the digital age. The full system is explained in detail on the Bullet Journal website but it’s basically a customisable planner. The main advantage of the bullet journal system is you get to design it for you and your life. You can record all the information you want in a way which works for you. Unlike traditional planners which are set out for you. It also enables you to combine all of your notebooks and planners into one book.
All you need to create a bullet journal is a notebook and pen. Once you have your notebook and pen I suggest watching Ryder Carroll’s video on bullet journaling which explains the basics to get you started. I suggest starting with Ryder Carroll’s explanation as it’s one of the simplest out there. I made the mistake of looking at bullet journals on Google and Pinterest which are all so beautiful. This can make the whole system a little overwhelming and feel like too much effort. After all, it’s supposed to be about helping you organise your time not waste it.
However, I did find these blogs and Youtube videos really useful for ideas and inspiration. The Youtube videos are worth a watch (warning they are slightly addictive) if you need some ideas on how to record information other than daily to-dos. I recommend you check out Boho Berry’s channel as she has lots of useful tips for getting started. I think it’s worth mentioning that all lot of the BuJo community is American which to us Brits can be a little confusing. We don’t really do journaling over here so recording daily moods or gratitude log can feel awkward to us. But as I’ve already said the idea behind the bullet journal is to make it personal to you and to record whatever you want.
As you can see from the pictures my bullet journal isn’t going to win any awards for the prettiest journal. I have a feeling my terrible handwriting is to blame. As already mentioned I don’t have the time or desire to decorate my journal. I also severely lack creativity and skills in that department. I just want to keep it simple and record what I need too. In keeping with the simple minimalist theme of my bullet journal, I went with a plain black notebook. The exact notebook is the Leuchtturm1917 Medium (A5) with dotted numbered pages, I chose this because it kept coming up as a recommendation on bullet journal videos and websites. So far I’m finding it easy to use and the perfect size to fit in a handbag when I’m out and about.
One of the main things which appealed to me about the bullet journal system is that is it customisable. Being a blogger I have lots of things to keep track of which are never covered in traditional planners. With my bullet journal, I’ve been able to create my own ways of tracking things. I also like the fact that each month is open so I can miss a week without wasting any pages I can also change the way I record things to suit each month.
So far I have created the following pages
- A year at a glance
- Future Log
- My husband’s offshore shifts for 2017
- Books I want to read this year
- Netflix shows I want to watch
- A LiveLAGOM tracker to record my energy usage and food spending
- Social Media stats (I messed up this page so created a print out to cover up my mistake)
- Website Analytics
- My 2017 Goals
- My vision for Tartan Brunette in 2017
- Monthly Overview for January, with to-do list and monthly goals
- January waiting on list for online orders and emails I need to hear back from
- Sponsored posts coming up with deadlines and notes
- Weekly to-dos for January
I’m sure I’ll be adding a few more pages to this as the year goes on. I did all my January blog planning in a separate notebook and I’m currently considering migrating my planning over to the bullet journal as well.