I wrote my first post about bullet journaling back in February. I had been using my beloved BuJo for a few months at that point.
So it’s my first anniversary using the Bullet Journal! And I still love it, probably more than I did back then. It’s the ONLY journaling habit that has stuck with me for any length of time. I think it’s because I keep bullet journaling simple.
Simple Bullet Journaling
I am no artist. I don’t doodle in my BuJo. I do try to keep it as neat as possible, but I don’t let form get in the way of function.
It’s all about making my life easier and keeping up with all.the.things a homeschooling, blogging mom of 7 has to keep up with.
This is how I start my day every morning. Six days a week, I’m at the local coffee shop at 6 AM. I don’t have time to sit there and wonder, “What do I need to work on now?“.
I need to KNOW, instantly, when I sit down to begin.
Here’s where my BuJo comes in.
This is a sample spread. Note there there is no real color-coding. I tried that, but as any mom will testify, little kids ruin your pens, so I couldn’t always find the right color when I need it. And to quote Sweet Brown’s now famous words, ain’t nobody got time for dat.
But let me back up. The beauty of the Bullet Journal, and what makes it different from other organizers/planners/journals is the INDEX page at the beginning of the book.
Pure genius on Ryder’s part. (Thanks for inventing this, dude.)
The index reminds you where all the stuff you wrote down IS so you can actually, y’know, find it again. Which is useful.
Unlike many bullet journalers, I do remove pages when I’m done with them.
Clutter really disturbs me visually, so I either neatly tear the page out (if you hold a ruler to the page you can do so neatly), or use washi tape to tape together spent pages so I don’t have to see them and get distracted by their tackiness.
I use my Bullet Journal many times a day, for many different things. Recently I added a “Health Notes” spread.
I’ve been waking up with bloodshot eyes a lot, and attempting to figure out why. Is it coughcough perimenopausal hormone changes coughcough? Does it happen when I have wine before bed? When my sleep is interrupted by a thankfully adorable but nevertheless annoying nursing toddler? Or what? This tracker will help me figure it out.
Funny but true story. My 4-year-old (hence the extreme blurriness) grabbed my phone last night while I was cooking dinner, and began snapping pics.
Guess what one of the pictures was of?
Me, writing something in my Bullet Journal.
With my leg propped up like Courtney Love‘s. Which has nothing to do with the focus of this post, but as a Gen-Xer, I had to throw in there. But at least you can’t see my underwear, like you would have at a Hole show. So there’s that.
I’m writing in my Bullet Journal, or checking it, many times a day.
Speaking of spreads (suddenly that feels like an awkward choice of word, but that’s what they’re called people!), here are the ones I currently employ in my Bullet Journal:
- Monthly online income tracker (amounts, sources)
- Future log – this is a year at a glance
- Monthly calendars
- Grocery price book
- Basic weekly schedule
- Gratitude journal
- Daily goals tracker
- Monthly business objectives
- Food journal and health notes
- Notes on books I’ve read
Then, I have many “collections”. Collections are simple lists.
Reminders, things I want to keep track of for later. They include:
- Online content publishing reminders (it’s a blogging thing, there are several of these with good writing tips, editing and grammar reminders, post-publishing promotion to-dos, etc)
- Films I want to see
- Writing/blog post ideas, new ebook idea
- Places I want to go/fun things to do
- Misc to-dos, both short and long-term
- Things I want to cook (mostly these are in Pinterest, but sometimes I jot them down)
- Quotes and words I like. (Did you know “avuncular” means “pertaining to an uncle”? Now you do. Now I challenge you to use it in a sentence.)
- Parenting notes
- House buying notes
- … and more
If you’ve looked into Bullet Journaling and felt intimidated because everything you saw on Pinterest had amazing artwork, color-coordinated writing, and all that… don’t be. (By the way, here’s my Pinterest bullet journal ideas board.)
Your Bullet Journal is yours, and you can keep it simple like I do, or it can be as complicated as you want! It’s highly individual.
Writing tools I use with my Bullet Journal:
My favorites are the Staedtler triplus fineliners and also the Pentel Slicci (I buy the 0.25 width, super fine). Both are fine point pens, which work well with the BuJo, but don’t bleed through. This is important.
I do occasionally bullet journal in pencil, though, especially for to-do lists and collections that are somewhat disposable.
Do you bullet journal? How do you keep it simple?
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