I have a problem with planners. I'm addicted to the researching and purchasing of planners of all varieties. However, I have a tendency to fall off the planner bandwagon after approximately 2.3 months, wherein the new, shiny planner begins to gather dust. And cobwebs.
You see, I love, love, LUV planners -- the design, the organization, the eternal hope that I will get my stuff together and manage my days seamlessly and with a touch of panache. But the particular, organized parts of me have an ongoing battle with a free-spirited side that wants to run with wild abandon, to be UNENCUMBERED, to suck the marrow out of life. You know, the part of me that wants to watch Netflix for the better part of the day.
At the beginning of 2016, I decided to try the bullet journal because it speaks to organization and precision AND to creativity and free-thinking. Also, it encourages doodling, writing, and using really cool pens.
Here are the main ideas of bullet journaling:
- It's customizable. It's essentially a notebook organized by what you WANT to record. It might be a calendar, a journal, or a compilation of to-do lists. Mine is all of those things at once.
- The typical bullet journal contains a table of contents, numbered pages, and daily logs. But the possibilities are limitless. I've seen habit trackers, exercise trackers, budgeting pages, wish lists, and so much more.
- It's all done in a simple, blank (or lined) notebook. The most often recommended notebook for bullet journaling is the Leuchtturn 1917. It has a dotted grid that's helpful for headers and bulleted lists. I'm currently using the Midori MD notebook because I happened to have one on hand. It also has a grid pattern, and it's worked exceptionally well. For pens, I'm using the Staedler Triplus Fineliner.
There are thousands of bullet journal modules -- meaning lists and pages you could include. Type "bullet journal" into the search bar of Pinterest and you'll see what I'm talking about. Here are the pages that I'm loving at the moment:
1. Monthly calendar and goals.
2. Monthly gratitude log. I write two things each day that I'm grateful for.
3. Daily task log: In my daily log I write what I want to accomplish that day as well as appointments or other necessary tasks. At the end of the day, I review the daily log and try to write at least a few sentences about how the day went, special happenings, funny moments. In this way, the log becomes more of a journal. (And sometimes I don't journal. AND THAT'S OKAY TOO.)
I really like the flexibility of the journal. If I miss a few days or a week, I don't have blank days in my planner -- I just start up on the page I left off. In the front of my journal I have a running list of books I want to read, yearly goals, and a table of contents. Essentially, any time you want to include a list or special module, just plug it in and indicate the number in your table of contents. The journal can expand and shrink based on your planning needs of the moment.
Have any of you done a bullet journal? Any special pages that work well for you?