After posting on Instagram the other day that I am getting back into Bullet Journaling after trying to go down the app route and coming to the conclusion that it is not for me, I had a couple of requests to explain what exactly a bullet journal is.
My explanation is not going to do it justice so here is Ryder Carroll’s video to explain the background:
So…Why a bullet journal?
I can’t even tell you how many diaries and planners I have purchased the last ten years. Each one looks amazing. I do my research, I fall down Insta rabbit holes looking at how different people use their’s – I decide it’s EXACTLY what I need. It’s going to be perfect. I am going to be the most organised person in the WORLD. Then it arrives and it doesn’t work for me.
Then I stumbled upon bullet journals. I’ve always loved a list and a bullet journal suits me perfectly.
At the beginning, I tried to make it all fancy with colours and little doodles (I’m really not a doodler) and it took so long, I just kept abandoning it.
Then I started using it in a more functional way. My bullet journal is really not the prettiest. It is literally just a pen and paper. If you are lucky, I might add a highlighted line, but that’s as far as the colour goes.
If you are crafty and making things pretty this is perfect for you. If you like things being plain and simple – this is also definitely perfect for you.
My bullet journal is literally my brain in a book. I write everything down in it, and it has made my life so much simpler.
How I use my bullet journal.
First off, I don’t use the future log aspect of the bullet journal. We have a family calendar on our kitchen wall and I add things into google calendar so I know what’s going on when I am out and about.
I do write down on the specific day if there is something going on, but that is as far as it goes.
I mainly use by bullet journal for brain dumping all the tasks I need to get done out of my head and onto paper. If you don’t do this you really need to!
The front of my bullet journal is my ‘planner/diary’. The back is for all my lists.
For the start of every month, I have my habit tracker. This is where I track all my habits and check them off as I am doing it. It’s very basic, there are amazingly beautiful ones online, but the minimal design works best for me.
Then I have a page where I write down my expenses for the month. When I buy something I write it down here. I am absolutely AWFUL at doing this, but I’m hoping eventually it will become second nature.
Next up is my meal plan. I write down the page 1-31 and then for every day I make a plan for what we are going to be eating this month. I try and do this the last few days of the month so for the next month we are good to go! As you can see from the photo I’m a bit behind with it – but you get the idea.
The next page is my monthly to do, so any month specific things like birthday presents I need to get for that month, or events coming up like Halloween etc.
As well as a monthly to-do I have a rolling To-Do list that I just update as I think of things.
Then I have my weekly plan. Some weeks I have a really simple grid with the days of the week on so I can make a bit of a plan for the next week on a Sunday and I cross things off as I am doing it. Usually I use a more task based approach – my weekly tasks, what I need to clean, what workouts I am doing, and just little reminders like £1 for tuck etc so I have to tick it off when it’s done so a) I remember to do it and b) it doesn’t get to Thursday and I can’t remember if I have paid this week or not.
Then the next pages are my dailies, I write the date at the top of each page and then I just fill in my todo list and any appointments for the day. Sometimes I time block, depending on how crafty I feel on a Sunday, but usually I just do a to-do list.
The back of my BuJo
The back of my BuJo (Bullet journal) is where I keep all my lists.
First off I have my ongoing todo list, which are things that need to be done at some point, but they are not urgent, but they do need to be done at some point. Yes, there are some things still on there from 2015.
I have a page for my annual goals, our family annual bucket list did used to be here too but now it’s stuck to the wall in the playroom.
I have wishlists for myself and the kids so that over the year I will jot down anything I think they will like or anything they mention in passing that they would like so that I have ideas for birthdays and Christmas.
Anything you can make a list about, goes in the back of my journal.
Book wishlist, Books to read, Places to visit, just random notes. Whatever you want.
I’m half debating having a blog planner at the back of my bullet journal so everything is in one place. Although maybe it’s a good excuse for a second bullet journal!
That is it really!
My bullet journal is not very exciting, but it’s functional and that is the most important bit for me.
Do you have a bullet journal?