Oh hi! Twitter has been talking about bullet journals lately, which inspired me to throw together some photos of my latest experiments in organization.
If you’re not familiar with bujos, I really like this BuzzFeed summary. There are two things in particular, I think, that make bullet journals so awesome:
- You don’t need much to start — just a pen and a notebook. Yes, you can buy lots of tape and art supplies and fancier pens, but you can also just spend less than $10 and call it good.
- It can be as complicated and perfect as you want it to be.. or as simple and messy as you want it to be. There’s no wrong way to use your bujo.
Take those two points to heart, particularly if you surf Instagram or Pinterest for page inspiration. It’s really easy to get caught up in the idea that every page must be a perfect piece of art that is both so beautiful and so well organized that tiny cartoon songbirds will fly in the window and tweet songs of joy in its honor. And hey, more power to those folks with skills who care to approach their bujo that way, but I’m just a lady with a few pens and no actual art skill who wants to remember to call the dentist tomorrow, y’know?
I recommend evaluating your bujo thusly*: did you have fun working on it, and did it help you stay organized and/or preserve memories for later? COOL. As one of our grand philosophers once proclaimed, “Don’t worry, be happy”.
* Huh, I don’t think I’ve ever used “thusly” before in a sentence. Thank you for sharing this moment with me.
In my particular case, I am rather a whiz at organizing and simply awful at graphic design and drawing. But I still cannot be stopped from sharing my latest pages!
I forgot a family birthday earlier this year because I neglected to mark it on my Google Calendar as a repeating annual event. (We still use Google Calendar for appointments and holidays because it’s easily shared across the household.) So, a birthday page was in order! I love the layout of this page, which was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest. The shiny washi tape is at the top because it looks cool and also I badly screwed up my first attempt at a page title.
I have seen a number of wonderful “gratitude” page layouts, and it seemed like a nice, positive idea. So now at the end of each month I make a page for doodles that represent cool or notable things that happened that month, like a family visit or a neat new hobby or say some kind of terrifying federal election result. I’m sharing this page here in part because I think it’s a neat idea for a spread, but largely to say that you should feel free to do art in your bujo if you want even if you are bad at it. It could be worse, you could put it on the internet! Ha! Ha ha.
New Monthly and Daily Layouts
In my previous planning post I talked about getting rid of a daily spread altogether and focusing on a weekly spread, as I was having a hard time keeping up with it. With the dawn of 2017 I decided to try something different, and now I’ve abandoned the weekly spread in favor of a daily one!
First, I came up with a monthly spread that I really like — the calendar is the same as always, with holidays and birthdays delineated. The opposite page lists my weekly routine (things that happen every week like clockwork), a list of any appointments (events with a specific date and time, usually involving somewhere I have to be) that I keep updated throughout the month, and 3 monthly goals.
I’ve already gone through a couple of daily layouts in January, and this is the one I currently like the best. Todos get blocked out when they’re done, a “>” symbol if they rolled over to another day, or an “x” if they are cancelled. Personal journal-y notes and thoughts and stuff get a dot. I’m also a sucker for keeping track of my media consumption, so video games get a pink “+”, television shows get a light green tv symbol, and movies have a little dark blue clapboard. If I go out to eat, restaurants get a little light blue .. well, it’s supposed to look like a dinner plate with cutlery on either side.
Maintaining this layout does require near-daily effort, but it takes 10-15 minutes and is very easy to do at the end of the day when I’m watching YouTube or something. I think the effort will pay off — I’m already enjoying going back and reading my notes from just three weeks ago!
And those are the changes to my bujo for 2017 so far! I started this project in August, 2016, and I’m currently up to about 80 pages of todo lists, project pages, and memories.