Creating my first Bullet Journal
This year I stepped into the unknown and decided to go digital. Having suffered a severe notebook addiction through Uni and with a slightly unhealthy obsession to organisation and planning I felt going digital in these aspects of my life could be a big financial and time saving step. At the end of December I searched high and low for the the best calendar app I could find, got them synced up with Steve and began logging all my notes and important dates. Fast forward 6 weeks and I am probably the least on top of my life I have ever been. Granted I am in the process of moving flats so probably one of the more hectic points but I have become that person who forgets plans. I was never that person. I have realised that I forget to check my apps, note pages become forgotten and I don't actually get through everything I planned for that week. So with my digital tail in between my legs I began the hunt for a diary. Turns out not many places sell diaries mid February!
I have been following LilyPebbles blog & youtube for years now and stumbled across her bullet journal post. This discovery spiralled quite quickly and I spent probably far too much time reading about the bullet journal and watching other Youtubers setting theirs up. While I don't love her style (everyone has a very different look for their journal)BohoBerry is really useful for layout options. The actual Bullet Journal youtube page has great resources in helping you set up, as does the Lazy Genius Collective blog. Being a designer and creative person I always found standard diaries and bit constrictive and ended up doodling all over the shop with numerous pieces of paper sticking out with lists on them. The bullet journal however allows you to create your own layout, adding in whatever kind of pages you feel fit your needs. For me it was doodle pages for jewellery ideas, a reading list, a class schedule for my yoga/ gym classes and a blog schedule.
With the bullet journal you have an initial couple of pages with monthly overviews so you can jot down any events you know are coming up that month (I took a few extra pages to make this section for the full 12 months). The unique thing about the bullet journal is that you create it month by month; this means as dependant on what you have ahead of you that month, you can add different lists in at the start. Ultimately the bullet journal gives you more flexibility with how you note things down and keep track of them with a log that uses different symbols for current events, notes and things you are moving forward to a following day/ month.
I decided to use a Leuchtturm notebook after looking at a lot of different brands as I just really liked the shape of it and it had an inbuilt index at the start. As I said I started off with an Index which I can update as I go along, then the Key which is a series of symbols you use to refer to events, notes, important information etc. I then added in a full year calendar so I can quickly view the days/ weeks for the full 12 months. I spent a bit of time getting my penmanship right with a calligraphy pen (tricky but fun) so I could create a slightly more interesting calendar. Some people go wild at this point but I knew I wanted to keep my diary simple, clean and monochrome.
This was followed by the Future Log, 2 double page spreads for the full year where you can jot down any upcoming events before you have created that month in your journal after which i put in a 'Brain Dump' page. I'm not sure what exactly to use that for, I currently just jot down random notes which seems to be useful! I then created pages for lists of books i want to read, a budget tracker (still to work this out), a blog schedule, an exercise schedule and then finally the week to a page diary for the full month. I ended the month with a monthly Gratitude page comprising of a line for each day where I can jot down something at the end of every day that I felt grateful for. Occasionally when I have been having a crappy day I got and have a look through this and it re-grounds me.
Having used my bullet journal for almost a month now I have realised that there is something really satisfying about writing things down. Writing seems like something we are doing less and less of in the digital age so it almost feels like quite a treasured act, maybe even a bit therapeutic! It all seems a bit overwhelming, there is so much to think about before you actually put pen to paper but I really enjoyed the creativity and ability to tailor it exactly to my needs. I can really recommend it, particularly if you are someone who enjoys a bit of creativity or with a slightly crazy organisation streak.
Also on a side note just go get yourself some Muji pens. I have been using them for the past 18 months and they are possibly the most satisfying implement to write with.