Bullet Journal thread 3: organise your life!

(353 Posts)
Eolian Wed 17-Aug-16 07:06:19

For newbies... Bullet Journal is a special method of setting up and using a notebook as a calendar/planner/journal/habit tracker/bunch of lists/record of your achievements/diet log/exercise plan/doodle pad/anything you fancy all in one!

It is all over Pinterest and Instagram, so there's a whole world of inspiration out there. Much of what you'll see there is full of intimidatingly beautiful calligraphy and embellishment but yours doesn't have to be!

Explanation of the set-up to follow. Or you can jump right in by checking out the instructions and video on the Bullet Journal website .

The system can seem a bit strange and complicated at first, but we're here to help. And once you've got the hang of the basics, you can customise the system any way you like.

Oh and if you love beautiful stationery, this is the perfect excuse to indulge!

Eolian Wed 17-Aug-16 07:32:21

So here is the basic method...

In a lined/squared/dotted notebook (most prefer A5 size):

The first two double page spreads will be your index. This is an important and useful feature of the Bullet Journal. Every time you fill some new pages in your journal, write them in the index.

Number all the remaining pages!

Pages 1-2 or 1-4 are your 6 month or year overview (known as a Future Log). Divide the pages into 6 or 12 (depending on how many months' journaling you think you'll fit into your notebook) and label them with the months. Write in any events/appointments which have been planned in advance for those months.

Next double spread is your monthly calendar and task list for the first month of your BuJo. Write the dates down the margin of the left page. Use this as your calendar for any events this month. Right hand page is your To Do list for the month.

After that, the following pages are your daily journal for the month. Some busy people like to use a whole page per day and include their work meetings, after school clubs, what they have for dinner, what the weather's like, etc etc.

Others (like me) take a week-to-view approach and divide their double page spread into 7. (Pics to follow).

Apart from your calendars and daily/weekly journal, you can fill up your BuJo with all sorts of things - lists of diy projects, craft ideas, supermarket shopping master list, holiday planning list, list of books you read or want to read. The possibilities are endless.

The key thing is, you can add a new 'collection' or page of stuff any time you like. Just turn to your next blank spread and dive in, even if you are right in the middle of a run of daily journal pages. Just index each page you fill, and you'll know where everything is!

AGnu Wed 17-Aug-16 16:56:53

Just marking my place on the new thread. I've been a bit lax with my BuJo recently but getting back into it now with a couple of events to plan! I had a habit tracker on my weekly spread for a while but it got a bit depressing to see hardly anything filled in every time I looked at my journal. I figured it made sense to drop the habit tracker & actually use the BuJo than avoiding it altogether!

Iggi999 Wed 17-Aug-16 18:42:13

Checking in. Not sure how successful my work and home journals will be, no way to just use one though.

Eolian Wed 17-Aug-16 19:53:57

Yay! Hello! Yeah the habit tracker has been the least successful bit of my Bujo, but I'm hoping the weekly one will work for me. If not, I'll probably ditch trackers altogether tbh.

Nishky Wed 17-Aug-16 19:58:32

I tried this when I read a previous thread, but......isn't it just very time consuming? I gave up after one night- I just decided that there was no point when I can use iPad/iPhone.

Am I missing something? I do love stationery ( I had a beautiful purple leather Filofax before the iPhone)

Eolian Wed 17-Aug-16 19:59:18

This is how I've set up my weekly spread for my new Leuchtturm starting in September. I've decided on boxes rather than just full page width entries. I'm liking the dotted pages so far and I love that the LT has numbered pages and a built-in index, but I must say the paper is a bit thin!

Eolian Wed 17-Aug-16 20:00:23

Oops - forgot to add pic!

Letmesleepalready Wed 17-Aug-16 20:02:56

nishky I found that using the bujo meant I was less likely to forget appointments etc, as I'd write it 3 times (once in the yearly calendar, once the ne the monthly one when I got to that month and then lastly at the beginning of the week) I find it takes maybe 10 minutes on a Sunday. And I've also finally got a system for bdays.

Nishky Wed 17-Aug-16 20:06:51

When you set it up, for the first time, did you fill it out for a whole year?

How long did that take, that is what I became a bit daunted about. Maybe I ought to try it again.

Letmesleepalready Wed 17-Aug-16 20:09:48

nishky at first it did take a little while, but part of it was trying things that I'd seen other people do, but now it's a much simpler set up, as I do the bare minimum with it.

Nishky Wed 17-Aug-16 20:12:58

Ok final question, then I will leave you alone! Do you use it in conjunction with a digital calender/to do list, or do you carry the journal everywhere and rely on that alone? Thanks for answering!

Eolian Wed 17-Aug-16 20:18:27

Nishky - when you start, you don't even need to set it up beyond the first day (unless you want to)! Apart from the index page and the future log (which only fill up a few pages), everything else just gets filled in day-to-day. Each day you just start your new day underneath yesterday's entry. And add other pages (lists etc) as and when you feel like it.

So there is no need for a lengthy initial set-up at all. Some people clearly spend countless hours on laying out and embellishing their BuJos but that is for enjoyment rather than necessity!

I now prefer to set up a week per double page because I now know that that's how much space I need, but when I started out, I just did each day's journal entry as long or short as it happened be, and just turned the page when I ran out of space.

DoitotmeSheldon Wed 17-Aug-16 20:18:46

Place marking, I've taken on some new responsibilities at work including mentoring a junior employee. I wonder if this would help to record our progress

Eolian Wed 17-Aug-16 20:20:12

I don't use a digital calendar at all now as I don't need one! Don't get me wrong, I'm no techophobe. I'm glued to my phone far too much, but I find the BuJo works far better for me than any app.

Eolian Wed 17-Aug-16 20:28:45

Sheldon - some people have a work BuJo and a home BuJo or just one or the other. I do various bits of part time teaching work, which I keep track of in my normal BuJo. If I went back to full time teaching I'd have to have a separate journal just for that.

It would probably be a good place to keep track of progress in mentoring meetings, but you might not want work stuff in a personal Bujo if you might have to show it to colleagues etc.

AGnu Wed 17-Aug-16 20:37:15

I don't use anything electronic either, I find physically writing things out helps me remember. I also started out with my days like a long list but have switched to a very similar looking 2 page, 8 box lay out. Mine isn't quite so pretty though - I use a different colour pencil each month to draw the outlines & write the month at the top & each day gets a box on mine because weekends are usually busier than weekdays, the first box on each week is my to-do box. It used to contain my habits tracker but now just has things I need to remember to do at some point during the week.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Wed 17-Aug-16 20:42:31

I started mine about 6 months ago and have found it very useful. However I don't have a future log, a monthly planner or use the index very much. I did plan my school holiday childcare but otherwise only use it for a week ahead, plus lists. I use a Yahoo calendar religiously for all appointments and long term planning, plus reminders and short term lists (things to get next time I'm in town for example) so I don't have to take the Bujo everywhere with me.

The format I have settled on is a double page per week, RH page divided into 8 blocks (1 for each day plus a blank). LH page is for lists. To Do long term, TO Do this week, things I am waiting for and anything else relevant that week. Interspersed with these are all sorts of other lists on their own pages but I'm not very good at indexing as I mainly only refer to that week's page and I have a ribbon marker for that.

Every weekend I make the weekly pages for the following week, copying all appointments from my phone, adding all regular commitments. carry forward all the to do lists etc. Anything that needs doing at a specific time is set as a reminder on my phone, as are regulars such as put bins out. I only open the Bujo once a day on average but find the mere fact of having filled it in helps me remember what I am supposed to be doing. And it's a gorgeous colour and I use coloured ink in it smile

building2016 Wed 17-Aug-16 21:09:53

Hi - thanks for starting this new thread.

Eolian Wed 17-Aug-16 21:19:03

No worries! smile I hope we can come up with some useful ideas between us, and maybe draw in some new people.

Nishky Wed 17-Aug-16 21:52:50

Well I have made a start. It does seem to focus the mind!

Eolian Wed 17-Aug-16 22:26:53

It does, doesn't it? I think there is just something about the physical and permanent nature of the written word which is reassuring, pleasing, memorable and helpful.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Wed 17-Aug-16 23:11:49

Yes, I think so too. Although my Yahoo calendar has proved very reliable over the last couple of years, I can't imagine I will have everything saved on it forever and I like the idea of having a pen and ink record of what went on, even if I am not writing very personal stuff in there.

DelphiniumBlue Wed 17-Aug-16 23:26:51

I use A4 lined notebooks, so you can fit a month on a page, then each week on a page ( divided into 8 sections, Saturday gets 2 sections as I have most ' to do ' stuff on Saturdays). Then records of things like when I last dyed hair/beauticians appointments, and separate lists of films /TV to watch, events I want to go to, meals everyone likes, things I need to buy when next going shopping. Daily logs of good things/ what hasn't worked sometimes pan out as weekly, but the intention is there, and I feel a lot more productive. I really recommend it.

Cheesymonster Thu 18-Aug-16 10:01:54

Hi everyone. I'm just marking my place because I really want to do this.

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