Bullet Journal

Bullet JournalMeet My Bullet Journal

I started using the bullet journal two years ago. After trying various phone apps and other methods to keep myself organized, this one worked. I’ve had times where I slacked, but for the most part, I stuck with it. There is just something about the physicality of having lists and calendars and somewhere to write and a place to attempt to keep my chaotic brain products corralled. And the bullet journal works for me because it is so flexible! Their video gives you the basics.

Try as I might, I still keep lists and sticky notes. Most of the time, they do end up in the bullet journal, and most of that time, they do get transferred rather than just stuck in.

What Works

Bullet Journal Calendar Layout
Full credit to Kara at BohoBerry.com for this layout, which I copied and added my own doodles

Calendar – Since I’m a visual person, having a paper calendar in front of me is great. Why calendars on the computer or phone give me problems, I don’t know. I still use them, because I need notifications more than anyone I know. But when I’m trying to schedule something, looking at my calendar page is the best. This layout is copied from Kara at Boho Berry.

Bullet Journal Tracker
Full credit to Kara at BohoBerry.com for this layout, which I straight-up copied and added my own doodles

Daily Tracker – This is a recent addition that I also learned from Kara of Boho Berry. (She does awesome things with her bullet journal!) It’s a flat-out copy. I use this every day to keep track of the things I want to do on a daily basis rather than writing it on my list for the day. Every. Day. Please don’t judge me too harshly on my lack of boxes filled in. We were looking for our next home all week.

Bullet Journal Travel ListLists – I have a list of books to read, blog ideas, my morning routine, weekly tasks, travel, 2016 goals, gratitude, and a work log for my web design work. If I need others, I’ll put them in there too. It is great to have these things all in one place! Now I don’t forget things when I make my frequent trips between Pittsburgh and Indianapolis. (the sticky note is for one-time items)

Bullet Journal Social Sharing InfoSocial Sharing Info – This gets its own category, since it’s not a list or anything, just information I refer to frequently. I am so far from perfect from maintaining my “platform” well, but I have this to help me when I pay attention to these things. I got the info from various websites and put it in one place.

Next Steps – I don’t adhere fully to the Getting Things Done (GTD) method, but I do use Next Steps, and I have a whole Moleskine notebook dedicated to Projects where I list each project I want to do and then list steps to make those projects happen. My Next Steps list contains what I need to do next on active projects as well as miscellaneous things that come to mind. No picture of that, because I feel too silly listing the dumb things I have to remind myself to do.

Bullet Journal Weekly TrackerWeekly Tracker – I just came up with this, but it is modeled after the daily tracker, so I won’t take credit for designing it either. Adapting the Sidetracked Home Executive (S.H.E.) method of having index cards, I put the tasks on a grid. Should I not have time to do every weekly task in a given week, I will easily be able to see which ones have been put off. In a perfect world, I would do everything and remember everything, but don’t forget my life has been controlled by angry orangutans for a long time. I suspect this list is going to get a lot longer.

Bullet Journal Daily PageDaily Pages – This is the engine of the system for me. I have a checklist on a sticky note I use to set up my day to make sure I don’t forget anything. I also have a small sticky note with my focus areas and try to do something for each of them.

I still use the old bullet journal system of boxes rather than the dots next to my to-dos. I have only recently added the headers (again stolen borrowed from Kara at bohoberry.com). The Christmas bulbs are my own though, and I’m pretty proud of them.

In addition to to-dos, I have a few other things I track daily instead of on my tracker. Because I am a bad sleeper, I have my wake-up and sleep times. I track my resting heart rate, since I have some ticker issues. I also track my weight, so I don’t blow up even more. Last, there is my water intake, which, as you can see, was not so good in December.

Old Bullet Journal
Oops… skipped a few days in this one!

Two Years

Before you run off screaming that it looks like too much work, understand I used the basic bullet journal system for two years before I got fancy. Some people stay with simple, and if I’m rushed, I keep it basic. The extras let me be creative and make my planning fun, but I limit myself to 25 minutes (one pomodoro) maximum with my bujo. (I only recently learned that nickname for bullet journal. Crazy.)

If you’re interested in dressing up your own bujo, I can’t recommend bohoberry.com enough! (How many times is that in one post?) From there, you can find all kinds of fun stuff.

Next Up In My Month of Planning Tips

The digital side of my planning. I’ll cover the electronic nudges I need to make sure I’m supposed to be where I said I’d be and do the things I said I’d do. Mostly.

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