As a real lover of lists I was super enthousiast when I first heard about the Bullet Journal. I had been struggling to keep track of the various notebooks, post-its and phone notes that I had laying around. Having one notebook that had all of that was a lifesaver! It has taken quite some time for me to find out my perfect way to work with a bullet journal. I’d love to share my tips with you so you can get there as well! 😀
Back in 2016 I was actively following Lily Pebbles, so when I saw her post about starting a bullet journal (or BuJo) I was verrry intrigued. Can you guess how lifechanging it was, since I still remember how I first heard about bullet journaling? 😀 Afterwards I spent days researching it, and I decided to take a random notebook I still had and just start. Since then I’ve gone through two lined notebooks until I got a real Leuchtturm 1917 bullet journal from the boyf as a birthday present. He definitely got the hint when I put it on my wishlist back in March. 😉
The process behind the perfect Bullet Journal set-up
Getting to where I am now was a real process, stretching over two and a half years. My first notebook was lined and I would put aaaaall of the ideas I’d find online inside it, just to try out what would work for me. That first notebook was a mess and had so many things in it that didn’t work for me that it felt like a task to keep it updated. And I gave up.
I started a second notebook in which I only put the things that I knew from my previous notebook would work for me. No more full pages per month with what I would post on the blog, quote pages, weekly logs, … I could go on about what did not work for me, but let’s focus on what did work instead! 😀
How I organize my Bullet Journal
Every BuJo starts with a content page, which is SUPER useful to find certain pages back. I’ve also added some colour coding to it, for blog purposes. Thanks to the pink boxes I can see which blog ideas I’ve already started working on. If they’re filled it means I’ve posted a post about it. 🙂
Next I’ve put a 2018 overview page in my BuJo. I use the week numbers for tracking certain things, but more on that later on. 😉 The coloured days are a fun way to see in one view which week it is now.
One of the other advantages of bullet journaling is that you can always continue on a certain idea. Even when you run out of space on a page and the next page is already filled with something else. This trick is called ‘threading‘. Next to the page number of the original page you simply write the page number where you can find the remainder of the content. No more constantly looking back to your content overview. Winner!
Some tips before starting your own BuJo
Just start your BuJo and then you’ll see what happens next
It might seem overwhelming and you might not know if something would work for you, but just go for it and start. You don’t have to wait for January first for the “perfect day” to start experimenting with it. If you don’t feel that secure, you can start with a super cheap notebook to try out some things first, as I did. Even when changing to a ‘real’ bullet journal afterwards, things might still change. I also changed things even after having used my previous one for a year and a half before switching to a ‘real’ Bullet Journal.
Don’t feel like hours doodling or painting in your BuJo? Then don’t. The main goal of a BuJo is having more peace of mind. Some people get there by simply writing to do’s down, others love to doodle around that. Just don’t be put off by all of the beautiful designs you will find online and not feeling like you can make it as pretty as that. Sometimes beauty lays in simplicity.
There are soooo many things you can put in your BuJo. I loved the tips from the inventor of the system, which you can find on www.bulletjournal.com. Boho Berry also has wonderful tips, but Pinterest, YouTube and other blogs are also great sources! You’ll want to start a BuJo IMMEDIATELY! 😀
Washi tape is your best friend
In my first BuJo I used a lot of washi tape to cover up some messed up (parts of) pages. Now I’m rediscovering it after a trip to Japan where you could find them in all colors on sizes. I also recommend it as a first step to make your BuJo colorful if you (think that you) are not that artistic.
Using my Bullet Journal for personal matters
Even though most of the pages of my BuJo are filled with blog things, I also have some personal pages that I use A LOT. My “personal space” starts with my goals for 2018. In January I wrote about the 18 things I wanted to do in 2018. This is a great way to keep track of them AND be reminded of them every once in a while. Some things I track down per week, so the week numbers at the beginning of my BuJo are super helpful to do so.
My habit tracker is something I’ve been looking at at least once every two to three days. I have these 12 things I want to do on a daily basis which I repeat each month. Every month I add two different ’30 day challenges’. I absolutely love to track things and try to fill it in every day/evening. As with my goals for 2018 the habit tracking sometimes goes super well (I’ve only had one 100% day though), and sometimes I don’t do something for weeks in a row. At least I’m reminded of these improvements to myself every now and then. 😀
Do you also have troubles to keep track of your online shopping returns? Then this kind of online shopping tracker might also be a solution for you. 🙂 If it had not been for this page I would have had to stick with clothes I did not want because I had missed the return deadline quite some times. Also a page I use regularly. 😉
One of the things I absolutely loved when I was first looking into bullet journaling were the book shelves with the books you’ve read that year in. I’ve put it in the first bullet journal I had and it hasn’t left ever since. Such a fun way to track your reading progress!
I also wanted to add another of my hobbies to my BuJo: board games. While I struggled to put it to paper, I finally got to an overview of my board games and how many people you can play them with. 😀 When we play board games, we just have to know with how many players we are and check the coloured boxes to easily see which games we can play. I also tried to track which games we’ve played so far, trying to play all of our games at least once in 2018. Will be difficult, but we’ll get there. 😉
My bucket list also has a place in my bullet journal, even though I’ve added it later than the rest of my personal BuJo pages. I’ve only had the idea after having put it on my blog; before that it was hidden somewhere on my computer. Putting it in the open also made me put it in my Bujo so I would think about it more often.
Using my Bullet Journal as a blogger
As you can see there are quite some pages I use regularly for personal matters. They however don’t fill up most of my BuJo: I also plan blog posts and write down inspiration for them in it. Ever since I used this planner for my blog, I must admit my blog content has improved. I try to post more regularly, and if I don’t know what to write about I can always look back in my ‘blog post ideas’ page. For a short version of it I just watch the coloured boxes on my content page. There are so many shortcuts when using a BuJo! 😀
I’ve been using my blog post planner a lot ever since I incorporated it in my Bullet Journal. First I would write down a month on a full page, but I ended up using too many pages. I then made a smaller version of it and that system has proved to work well for me. Afterwards I added more trackers to it: to check when I had finished the text, the pictures, etc. I also added the date, week number and reference to a BuJo page afterwards.
You might also notice that the lay-out of the blog post planner has changed over time. I only started using colours when I changed to my Leuchtturm planner, and then I had to figure out how I would use them. That’s the beauty with BuJo journals: it grows and nothing is final, you can always change things.
This is an example of what I would write down working on a blog post. You might also notice I use the same coloured boxes on this page: pink for regular posts, blue for sponsored posts, with a deadline beneath it. When published I will fill the box, and also fill it on the content overview page.
This blog post turned out to be muuuch longer than I intended! I always get so enthousiastic explaining why I use a BuJo, and writing the reasons down was no difference. 😀
Do you use a Bullet Journal? 😀