I love Pinterest. I mean, I really love Pinterest. I go there to look up one thing and the next thing I know I have lost hours of my time. My boards are full of crafts and recipes and quotes, saved for that “someday” that may never actually come. Out of my 2,000+ pins, about 2/3 have never even been attempted. I’m a Pin-hoarder.
I did find one thing that kept popping up: bullet journals. It piqued my interest. A lot. So I dug into it.
In December, I grabbed an old, empty, lined journal just to try it out before I spent a minimum of $15 on a new journal that I would end up hating. I actually ended up falling in love with it, although my sketches were not nearly as put together as my new one and it was actually quite messy. Honestly, I thought that it would be a time waster and causing more problems and chaos than actually keeping me organized, but I was wrong. I actually really needed the creative outlet, and it lets me customize it to fit my needs. Weekly planner? Make a page. Grocery list? That goes in there too. Improvements for our home, medicine dosage times, keeping track of appointments and instructions, planning the garden? It’s all in one space. Here’s how it’s done:
I purchased a journal from the company Superior Maker on Amazon. It was the best value by far. It was under $20, had the greatest amount of dotted pages, hardback with an elastic closure, and and envelope inside the back cover for storing little tidbits. It’s very high quality and an amazing bargain.
A lot of people start their bullet journals in composition notebooks or other small notebooks. Some people prefer lined pages or grid pages. I preferred the ghosty dots on the pages. They are almost invisible and hard to see without proper light, but once your page is designed, it looks much better without weird lines running through your sketches. Whatever route you choose to go, make sure it’s durable and small enough to carry everywhere.
Make sure you have the proper materials. I first sketched in pencil and then went over in ballpoint pen, but I didn’t like the way the pen pushed down on the paper to create a bold line. I ended up switching to Sharpie pens after about a week. They are soft, long-lasting, and they don’t bleed through the paper! If you want to get fancy with it, feel free to grab some colored pencils to prettify your pages. And, yes, prettify is a word.
I couldn’t wait to set it up! The first thing I did was design my key. Please don’t think I am some wonderful artist or highly original. Because this was my first time doing this, I gathered ideas from other bullet journal users to experiment with layouts. So feel free to swipe some of my designs if it helps you!
As you can see, I have a number of different symbols that I use. This keeps my planner organized so that I can quickly find doctor’s appointments or household chores or something that I wanted to research.
Next, I set up my index. The index in the journal works like the index in regular books; it tells you what page your items are on. As you create pages, you will number them and then write it down on the index.
Next, I set up my future planning page. Since bullet journals are a “create-as-you-go” type of deal, if you plan an appointment or event weeks ahead of time, it can be very hard to keep track of. When I’m writing out my weekly pages, I simply flip back to my Future Planning page to see if I have any events or appointments for the week.
I also set up various other pages for birthdays, books I’ve read, movies to see, and moods. I even made a little house for home improvements!
At the time these pictures were taken, I hadn’t filled much out. I wanted you to see the layout, not the nitty gritty of my life. Haha!
My weekly pages have varied in design from elaborate to simple, trying to find what worked best.
The great thing about the bullet journal system is that YOU design it. You do what works for you. You can make charts, lists, etc.
If you like what I’ve done and decide to make your own, or you are already using a bullet journal, feel free to post some of the pages you’ve created!