Back in May, I learned about bullet journals from Cass, the awesome chick who has done a ridiculous amount of work for me and who does my web design and takes care of all of my technological problems.
What’s a bullet journal?
It’s an analog organizational system.
What does that mean?
It means writing all your shiz down in a journal, to put it really simply.
(You can learn more about the bullet journal system and how it started here, at bulletjournal.com)
So anyway, back in May, I started my own bullet journal.
It was nowhere near as streamlined as the system outlined in the bulletjournal.com site, but it was a start.
I just used a cheap graph paper composition book.
Then I discovered the bullet journal community.
They had these really amazing bullet journals.
And they weren’t cheap, crappy composition books. They were legit bullet journals. Leuchtturm 1917s.
They were gorgeous.
And I decided I’d keep using my cheesy composition book journal until the end of 2015. Then I’d get a real Leuchtturm 1917 to start of 2016.
I got a black one.
Had I known there were a bazillion different colors when I got mine, I probably would have gone for the pink rather than the black. I’ll get a pink one the next time around.
So I LOVE these bullet journals for a whole bunch of reasons.
First, they are dotted inside. That makes for easy design and layout of whatever you want to put on the pages. But you aren’t overwhelmed by graph paper lines.
Second, they are set up with an index and all the pages are already numbered.
I’ve got a whole bunch of stuff indexed already. I know, if you are new to bullet journals, that may look confusing. So let me show you what that all refers to.
That’s the other thing I love about this bullet journal system. While there are suggested systems to use, it’s flexible. You can set it up whatever way works best for you.
My bullet journal has a lot of stuff in it already. But for me, for now, that’s what works best. And if something starts to not work or I need to change something, that’s not a problem. I can change how I set it up or use it. I’m not locked into some predesigned layout.
So I put in a calendar in the “future log” section. This is basically a spot for you to write stuff down that’s going to happen in the future. Holidays, birthdays, etc.
This was the first thing I put in my journal. I was so scared to mess up, but I tried a little doodling. I haven’t doodled in, like, a lot of years.
I was a little rusty. Okay. A lot rusty. It looks like Number 5 designed my first few pages. But it was fun to try to be creative. (I wish now I had just done it in all black and skipped the flowers and the awful shamrocks because it’s really busy. Lesson learned for the next journal).
Next I planned out January. Sorry the picture is blurry. It was late and the only camera I have is my phone and I didn’t realize it was blurry until just now.
Anyway, I have most of the sports events for the kids in there. In the far right is a list of stuff to do in general in January. That will grow, but that’s the stuff I know I need to do this month.
Next I did a page for my goals in 2016 and a tracker page. I set some big goals for myself.
Go big or go home.
The tracker page has stuff I need to do consistently if I want to reach those goals. Plus flossing. I suck about flossing.
It’s also stuff I didn’t want to have to write on a list every day.
After that is what they call “dailies” in the bullet journal world. The list of stuff I need to do on a daily basis.
Then I have some lists. I want to listen to more music as a family. I want to teach my kids about, gulp, the oldies, from back in “my day” as the kids say.
And I want to watch way less Girl Meets World (dumbest fucking show on television) and more classic stuff with the kids.
Then I’ve got the books I want to read. I want 2016 to be the year I spend more time reading than watching television. I want to get back to those days of not being able to put a book down. Plus, there’s some stuff I want to learn.
One of those things I want to learn more about is Imago therapy. That’s the kind of therapy my husband and I were doing together.
Then our therapist had to go and move to England!
So I got the book her method of therapy came from. Getting the Love You Want. I’ve left a few pages open to take notes on that.
I’ve got a page for quotes I like. I like these for my e-course or just for reminders for myself. And I’ll often come across a quote I really like and then forget to write it down (or I write it down but forget where I wrote it). Hopefully this will help.
I’ve got my whole marathon training plan in there (I got that from a book — Mastering the Marathon — Time Efficient Training Secrets for the 40+ Athlete),
I’ve got a place for races this year. I never write them down and I’m always going back online to check and see when they are.
This year I’ve already got some scheduled, and when I find some more that I think I want to do, I’ll add them in.
I’ve got a spot for blog post ideas. I’m always writing those down in random spots, and then I can never find them.
I’ve recently started using a new meal planning system. (There’s a post coming soon on that.) But I have a place for that stuff. I did my shopping today, and I got everything I needed for the week at two different places in less than ninety minutes which is kind of a record for me.
I’m always thinking of stuff for my e-courses and then writing that all over creation (or not writing it down and then totally forgetting the thought), so I made a spot for that.
Then I left a spot for random stuff I happen to think of that I don’t want to forget.
And finally, I made a weight loss tracking chart.
This one will have a whole separate blog post of its own. More to come on why I have that…
So there it is. My 2016 bullet journal set up.
I’m still learning what works best for me, so who knows how all of this will work.
What I do know is that I really enjoy the designing aspect of my bullet journal as much as having all my crap organized and in one spot. My bullet journal has turned into my version of the adult coloring book. I’m not much into coloring, but I do like creating my own stuff. I’m really loving trying to use different types of lettering. I like the doodling.
And it was a little disconcerting to me how hesitant I have become to try anything new in that department. I was so scared to make a mistake.
In a journal! What the hell!
So the creating and designing is helping me to be a little more creative in general. And I love that.
I’ll be sharing more bullet journal stuff here on the blog as well as on Instagram (notyouraveragemomofficial), so consider yourself warned. It’s my latest obsession/stress reliever.
If your organizational system isn’t working for you (or if you don’t have one at all) you might want to give it a try, too!