Little Golden Notebook

Where fiber art, inspiration, and words meet.

Bullet Journal

I mentioned yesterday that I started a bullet journal and I thought I’d share some of it today since I actually followed through and used it. What’s a Bullet Journal? The short answer, without popping out to is that it’s a handwritten planner system that you can use in any notebook. Most people use small(ish) notebooks that they can carry with them, but I have a thing for Clairefontaine french-ruled paper and used the last of a 5 pack of cloth-bound 96 page A4 notebooks for my bullet journal. (I used the others for journals & to track workouts.)

There are 3 (or 4) views of time in a bullet journal: annual and beyond in the Future Log, monthly in the month spread, (optional) weekly spread, and daily pages. The idea is that you record everything for future months in the future log, which is organized by month. Then at the end of each month, you create a new month spread, organized by date and day, and record everything from the future log for the following month. Every morning, you’re supposed to check the month log for activities and goals/tasks for that day and record them in the daily pages entry along with anything that wasn’t done (but was on the list for) the day before. I also used daily pages to record other accomplishments of note.

July month log, Jeffrey paws and toe beans.

I had other spreads for tracking things, like a daily habit tracker (basically an adult sticker chart) to keep me accountable for things like drinking enough water, exercise, reading books, etc. I also created an elaborate system for tracking household chores and cleaning that quickly fell by the wayside (along with the actual cleaning).

Also, there’s a whole symbol system for listing items in the journal no matter what the time view/spread is: an open square for tasks, an open triangle for appointments, and a few others that I haven’t been using. When I finish something, I color in the square or triangle. When I partially finish something, I color in half. When I blow something off, I cross it out in one day and write it again in the next day’s entry.

Daily log in my bullet journal and some Jeffrey toe beans.

The problem is that I started to write the same things over and over and instead of this motivating me to stop procrastinating, I just made myself feel worse for not doing the things. By mid-May I’d stopped using even the daily pages. Keeping up with the journal became too overwhelming; I was putting too much pressure on myself to get a large number of things done each day and beating myself up for procrastinating. I’m an overachiever with some things – all in or all out, go big or go home – and am working on being more steady with my efforts.

So in that vein, getting the bullet journal to work for me in a positive way again, I’m trying weekly spreads instead of daily pages. I like being able to look at a whole week all at once and that’s the time frame that I like to look at for setting and accomplishing goals – daily is too often and monthly is a little too broad.

Weekly spread for this week and more Jeffrey paws.

Do you use an analog planner/planning system or a really kick-ass app or online system? I have friends who use the Passion Planner, and others who use Trello for personal/household planning.


8 responses to “Bullet Journal”

  1. I don’t plan enough. I think I need to make that my goal! Your journal looks like a fab way to be organised. 😊

    1. Thanks! The best part about it is that you can use what works for you & pitch what doesn’t. And there are so many different things you can do with a bullet journal. A lot of the ones I’ve seen people post online are beautiful – penmanship, drawings & doodles, design – I forgot to mention that in the post. You can basically make it whatever you want/need.

  2. I keep journals/planners that I can take everywhere with me. I date each page and I write a short entry on my health (I have a chronic illness), tasks for the day, shopping lists, notes about projects I’m working on, etc. I plan out knitting ideas and keep all the notes in the journal. I recently started putting in a table of contents so I could locate drawing and notes about knitting and weaving projects. After reading about your bullet journal I think that I need to add some planning pages at the start of each month so I can track big tasks and projects for the month. I’ve started to put in some objects like yarn labels and pressed flowers too for the fun. 🙂

    Because the pages are dated I’ve been able to hunt down info from a few years back when I need it.

    1. Adding yarn labels & flowers & other ephemera is a great idea! And being able to go back to see info from the past is a great thing too. One of the things I thought about adding is a mood tracker (I have bipolar 2) but I just never got around to that. Hopefully this weekly spread will work better for me & I’ll use it better & more often.

  3. I really need to do this with my business. Set certain days and times to blogging, facebook, Etsy, website, work, pictures lol omg I could go on. Thank you for sharing xx

    1. I’ve considered making a schedule for myself but then never actually got around to it – I struggle with procrastination. At least with the journal I have a better idea of the things I need & want to do.

    1. You’re welcome! I’ll should write an update soon; I started using a weekly spread instead of daily pages & it’s working pretty well for me.

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