I did a post a little while ago on how to keep a bullet journal specifically for writing (characters, story/plot ideas, etc.). It is one of my most popular posts and is still getting the majority of views. That’s pretty cool considering the lack of picture quality and the fact that the only thing about that journal that was similar at all to bullet journaling was that I numbered my pages and dedicated certain sections of pages to different topics. It wasn’t as organized as I would have liked, but it worked for me personally, and the idea obviously appealed to some people as well.
But then I decided to take the risk and start what I call my “official bullet journal.” It’s worked so far and I’ve come up with some unique twists of my own. Of course, I’m still experimenting, and since I like to plan ahead, I sort of overdid my organization instead of just adding to pages month by month. Instead I set aside about 150 pages for the whole year because I wanted to get to the pages/collections (I doubt that such forced organization in the realm of bullet journaling works at all). More about that later.
Before we dive in, I have to say: Your bullet journal does NOT have to look like a professional postcard on every page with perfect lettering that should be a font (basically look up “bullet journal” on Pinterest and you’ll see what I mean). I’m a bit artsy and creative, so I had fun making mine look nice, but don’t let it consume your time. Find a style that suits you (don’t worry about your scrawly handwriting; if it’s super messy, no one else can read it: BONUS!).
So here’s how I’ve bullet journaled so far with some (not necessarily aesthetically pleasing) photos of pages worthy of mention. As noted before, the whole thing is still an experiment. I’ve just learned some things along the way and come up with things I like for a blog post. Also, check out the Moleskine Midori and official Bullet Journaling website if you’re not quite sure how the whole thing works.
My BuJo is a Leuch-blahblahblah (it’s fun to be lazy when it comes to spelling this word) for twenty bucks on Amazon. I recommend it because 1) it comes with an index and numbered pages, 2) it’s medium hardback and is very durable and 3) it’s got dotted pages, which makes it easy to draw lines and write straight sentences without actual lines to guide you. I like my BuJo, but I would prefer something like a composition notebook because 1) it’s cheap, and 2) it’s larger (which is easier for me), though it doesn’t have the nice features of the Leuchtturm. If you don’t want to spend that much money on a journal (though it is worth it), any other notebook would do (check out the Moleskine and Midori notebooks; yes, this is an attempt to get you clicking on Amazon Affiliate links, ‘mi bad).
The Leuchtturm comes in three different languages (which is awesome, but really?), so I just sort of colored those out and left the English visible.
You can organize your bullet journal however you want. Turns out, I started writing in the index before I’d done much organizing. My advice: DON’T DO IT. Do some brainstorming and/or have a practice bullet journal first to see what works before you mark in the real one.
There are so many different keys on Pinterest for bullet journaling. I kind of stuck to the simple ones that make the most sense to me. The color coding for different days is my idea, but (hehe) I actually completely ignored them and just used whatever color for whatever day I like in the daily goals section (coming up) without referring to the key. I tend to feel like I’m helping myself out a lot and then realize, hey, what a wasted space.
Year at a Glance
I made the page, but I haven’t even referenced it yet. I guess I just practiced my fake calligraphy and got familiar with the 2017 calander if nothing else. I’m sure it’ll come in handy one of these days.
If you want to see all your goals in one place, this is the page to do it on. I didn’t exactly NEED this page, but it helped me put my year’s expectations and challenges in one place and I think it’ll be helpful.
(This is as artsy as I care to get):
This is the fun organizational part. There’s a lot of different ways to put this together, and I still want to try others, but what I’ve done so far works. On one page, I’ll have the month, and on the page next to that I have color coded whatever needs to be marked on that month (i.e. books are orange dots that go on whatever day I finished a book). I’m quite pleased to say that I came up with this system myself and that it’s been quite helpful to me.
This is probably the most used section of my BuJo. Every day I take notes, write down tasks, schedule appointments, and mark them when I complete each one.
(The subject begs to be brought up: If you have not seen Rogue One yet, I must say 1) hello, welcome to Earth and 2) it’s worth the bucks more than you know. It’s still in theaters in my area, but check the showtimes near you.)
This is one of my favorite pages. I have one for each month, and it’s great to see at a glance what you’ve accomplished or not accomplished.
(My brain wasn’t working when I made this page and I messed up the days of the week with their corresponding numbers. See? The whole thing is an experiment. And so is my mind, apparently.)
Collection: Blogging Schedule
On to the pages and collections! These are so fun. I got this blogging schedule layout from a bullet journal post on one of my favorite blogs, A Writer’s Faith. (I’m sure Katie wouldn’t mind if I stole her idea, even the coincidental color choice. *crosses fingers*) I can tell it’ll be very helpful for preparation and post schedules. I also have a “Blog Post Ideas” page right before this one, and from there I can just pick a topic I want to blog about and copy it onto here once I’ve written it.
Collection: TBR list Layout
Self explanatory. Empty boxes next to books I want to read, filled when I do read ’em. There are so many awesome TBR layouts on Pinterest, but I find it much easier to keep everything minimalistic.
Collection: TV Series
Last collection. I didn’t want to throw too many in your face, but these are just some examples. I got this layout from Pinterest and added my own details to it. It’s proving to be very helpful in keeping track of everything I watch (and yes, I have another one for movies, not unlike my TBR layout above).
(Again, I’m more prone to making mistakes using a marker or pen than I am using a pencil. It’s because of the absence of confidence in the eraser, I swear.)
So there you have it. Maybe this was a little helpful and gave you some layout ideas. As for me, I’m still learning through this experiment. Even the best and most organized bullet journals began with something far from “best,” right? Have you tried bullet journaling before? How has it helped/endlessly irked you? I’m always open to suggestions and critiques. Just comment below.