A few years ago, I saw someone mention something about Bullet Journaling. I know it was a few years ago because this mention was done on Flickr, back when we were all using it for photo sharing (gee, thanks, Yahoo!). The person just put a simple note under a picture of what looked like your basic to do list: Setting up my first Bullet Journal!
As I do with anything I hear about for the first time, I Googled it and came up with the official site. Watched the video and, well, judged the whole concept harshly.
I thought it was all pretty “duh” sort of stuff. Make a list of everything you have going on or have to do in a given day. Use some sort of a key to sort between levels of importance and tasks vs calendar items. The idea of writing a new page for every day made sense; you get a daily reminder of that task you keep not getting to.
I tried out the concept – the cool kids call it BuJo for short – for a month or so but found it a waste as I didn’t have that much going on in my life that I wanted/needed to track. A basic running list on a Post-it was fine. I basically forgot about the concept until about a year ago, when I started seeing about how to extend the concept, particularly Collections and Trackers.
(Collections are a list that follows a theme. Books I Read This Year. Places I Want to Travel. Recipes Tried. Trackers are a graphical way to stay on top of goals or count things. Mark off when you drink 8 glasses of water a day. Record that you met 10,000 steps. Keep track of your mood with color-coded boxes.)
How I BuJo
At the start of April, I pulled out a rather bright yellow Leuchttrum I was saving for who knows what special purpose and started to really, truly try out this BuJo thing people keep raving about.
I chose my bright yellow Leuchttrum because, well, it’s bright yellow (easy to see it in my bag!) and Leuchttrum products really impress me with the quality of their binding and paper. The hard cover, also, is great for my rough-and-tumble ways and the dueling bookmarks make it easy to keep track of, well, two different things. The one happens to be their dotted grid. (Yeah, my Traveler’s Notebook is up in the top of my closet. I got sick of it at some point. Not sure why, exactly.)
[Note: On these pages, you’ll see what look like water droplets. Just ignore those, it’s not my not very great way to smear way some personal info.]
At the start of each moth, I have my Monthly Spread. I tried to keep with the theme of pink = personal; blue = work, purple = holidays but that went by the wayside when I went to add new things to the spread and didn’t have the correct pen color handy. Still, it worked for my initial setup.
I have a couple collections in the very front – the April Hobonichi Challenge and the Yarn Love Challenge, both from Instagram. Another collection is in the back – books I’ve read/listened to this year.
Each day, I try to record what I need to get done along with what I ate. Note this is my notebook for just my personal life, so no work things in here (that’s in another notebook).
[Aside: You’ll notice I’m not great about actually getting anything done on my list but that’s more of a me thing than a BuJo thing. I have yet to get into the habit of actually checking my to do list once I get home – makes it hard to do things I can only do from home like finish a knitting project. Also, I don’t put down things like laundry or do the dishes, things I do every few days, if not daily. My BuJo is for keeping track of bigger things I tend to forget to do if I don’t write them down.]
I also take notes here and there without any sort of structure, right in my notebook. Things like my doctor’s phone number or the quote the pharmacist gave me for my new medication. (Now it makes sense why you don’t get a photo of that stuff, right?)
I’ll admit, it’s not a visually appealing BuJo, but it’s that way on purpose. My nature means I’ll just obsess over it’s looks until I decide it’s not pretty enough and chuck it aside entirely. With having it remain purely functional, I actually use it.
How Others BuJo
So say everyone has their own style would be an understatement. Some are breathtakingly beautiful, others plain. Some are extremely detailed, others more minimalistic. If you want some inspiration, I’d recommend the following folks on Instagram: bluelahe, craftyenginerd, showmeyourplanner, tinyrayofsunshine. Facebook also has a ton of BuJo groups.
How do you BuJo?