The Bullet Journal
Many of you, I’m sure, will have heard of the bullet journal. It’s a way of organising your life, but old school – analogue; using a notebook instead of Google Calendar. I’ve been doing a version of it for years. I don’t fill my journal with tasks and planning, because I don’t like to have my work life in my journal, so my journal is more about recording. I love being able to look back and see how I felt, what I was doing and how my year unfolded.
1. The Notebook:
I use a Leuchtturm 1917 A5 dotted notebook. I find the dots really help me set the spreads up. However, the pages do bleed through a bit, they’re very thin, so if you want to do a lot of colour and even paint, I wouldn’t recommend this one.
2. Monthly Spreads:
I have a few ‘spreads’ which I use every month. I use a ‘month at a glance’ which is basically a calendar which I make for myself and populate each month, and I have a ‘line a day’ page where I write one line for each day of the month.
I love having the month spread out before me, and the process of adding in events and birthdays really helps me not to forget anything important. I also like looking back on these years later to see what I was getting up to that same month but 3 years ago.
My line a day is my own mashed up version of what other bullet journalers call a mood tracker and a gratuity log. A gratuity log is where you write a line a day on something you’re grateful for, while a mood tracker is a means of plotting your mood and emotions over a month – it useful for working out what might be triggering low moods. However, I don’t want to stick to either of those two things as a focus so I simply write one line about anything that happened that day, but this will often be a statement about my mood, or something I’m grateful for.
3 Weekly Spreads:
After you’ve created your monthly overviews of anything you want to track and log that month, the weekly spreads then follow. These can be highly functional – an overview of tasks, appointments and to do lists, or can be more more about journaling. I tend to do a mix. I have a whole separate notebook for work bullet journaling, and that’s where my most functional spreads live.
I decorate my spreads with stickers, washi tape, magazine cut outs and some of my own photos which I get printed as ready made stickers from my redbubble account.
4 Get Creative:
This step is very much optional, but I personally try to use my journal as an opportunity to be creative. So, sometimes, I add paintings and spend more time on the aesthetic of it. But other people keep their bullet journals very functional and don’t worry about this step.
It’s very easy to get bogged down with trying to make your journal ‘perfect’ but remember that it’s just for you, and the process should be calming, satisfying and enjoyable.
To help with some ideas, click here to watch my 2020 set up!