Bullet journalling was created by Ryder Carroll and it's basically a notebook system which incorporates planning, organising, list-making, doodling (basically anything you want) in an organised way. I've always kept notebooks and diaries/planners and I've always struggled to use them effectively; to decide what should go in which notebook and not finding most dairy systems effective. The bullet journal basically solves all my problems. It allows for me to make monthly, weekly and daily plans but I don't have to, and it also gives me the space to be creative and to make lists and doodles and whatever else I might want to do. The bullet journal system is quite difficult to explain but once you get the concept it's super easy, I'm not going to try and explain it here, so I really recommend watching Ryder's video.
I thought I'd just show you how I've used my bullet journal so far, and maybe it'll give you some ideas for starting your own. I'm hoping it's going to become not only a daily organisational tool but also a record of my year, and as it's all completely designed by me, mostly by hand, it feels really special and personal. So let's take a look at some of the spreads I've completed so far:
First of all, I have my index. This is basically a list of 'collections' or topics and the page numbers that hold that collection or are about that topic are listed next to each one. This just makes it a lot easier to find things later on.
On these first couple of pages I decided to put a word for the year and a 2016 calendar, mainly because it looks pretty but also because it'll be helpful to refer to if I need to check a date.
This spread is all about my goals for 2016. My word for 2016 is 'focus' and at the beginning of the year I decided that there were a few areas in my life that I particularly wanted to focus on and improve. The left hand page just sums up those areas and has some more specific goals for each area. On the right hand page I have created a chart for each goal area and the idea is that I will fill in monthly on how I think I did in that area. I'm obviously hoping to fill each section by the end of the year.
I can't quite remember where I came across this idea, I think it might have been on the #bulletjournal tag on Instagram, but it's a great way to keep track of my physical TBR and the idea is to colour in each book as I read them. That way I'll have a visual representation of how well I am doing at reading the books I already own. The great thing about the bullet journal is that you can put whatever you want in there, in whatever order, and it'll be easy to navigate using the 'index' system.
Over these two spreads I have my 'Future Log', which basically can be used to mark out any upcoming events or tasks for the year and I'll easily be able to refer back to it when making my monthly spreads. The next page is a little calendar of the current Twitter chats that I'm interested in so I can refer back to it easily when daily planning.
This is one of my favourite spreads and one that I think I'm going to find the most helpful, particularly at the end of the year when I'm looking to collate my reading statistics for a post, like I did for 2015. I'm going to add to it every time I finish a book, so that it won't take me hours to collect this data at the end of the year!
These spreads are examples of weekly and daily logs. As you can see, I basically just use them as to-do lists for each day and with the daily logs I like to record my water intake and how many pages I read that day, just for fun really but to encourage me to keep these things up. I find it kind of relaxing to sit down each night, look over my daily log and create the next day's log. I enjoy being creative with the pages as it just makes it more fun. I haven't been too well lately so my days have been a bit unpredictable so I've ended up migrating quite a lot of tasks over to the following days but I don't beat myself up about not getting everything done. In the end it's all just a fun way to try and be a bit more productive and a good way of expressing my creativity.
At the moment I just use this bullet journal to organise my daily life and to-do lists, I actually have a separate blog planner but I find I'm not using it as much as I should be so I think I might actually incorporate that into my bullet journal soon. If I keep up this journal system then I might do an update after having used it for a few months to let you guys know about my experience and how my use of it changes as time goes on. That's the beauty of the bullet journal, if you don't like something then you can just change it on the next spread!