Friday, June 13, 2014

A Place for Everything Part 2: The Bullet Journal

I love lists.

I make lists all the time.

Throughout the day I will even add things that I've already done to lists JUST so I can mark it off!

My problem? Remember in Part One I mentioned that I have a little of a split personality? Well, my unorganized side takes over and I lose lists. I jot them on slips of paper that get misplaced or in spiral books that I've lost somewhere in a pile. (Perhaps I'll discuss piles in another post...) So what's a list maker to do? I also tend to allow thoughts to roll around 24/7 in my brain. A friend told me to "dump the bucket" so I can actually rest once in a while. It's true, it is hard to rest with all these things running through my mind day and night! I needed a Brain Dump!

Enter the Bullet Journal. I was told to Google the idea and not only did I Google, I searched Pinterest as well!! I immediately fell in love with the bullet list idea, so much that I had to get started right away! It has given me a great way to track so many things in my world, that it trumps any planner I've used in the past. I had several people ask me to send them photos or bring it to show them 'face to face.' So I've decided to continue my "A Place for Everything" blog series with my Bullet Journal!

Here it is! I purchased the 3 pack of Moleskine soft back graph paper notebooks and dusted off my scrap booking skills and supplies! I decorated the front very simply. And I love an elastic band to keep the book closed, but these do not come with such a band. So, I stopped at a local grocery store and they had hair bands that were EXACTLY the size I needed. I hot glued the band to the back of the book and used washi tape to cover the band. I put another one on the spine to be a book marker.

Opening the book, I glued an envelope inside the cover to hold small goodies, like stickers or other small items. I also wanted some inspiring quotes. So I just covered the first page with a great verse on scrap book paper. We all need a little 'rah rah' some days. This isn't necessary by any means, but I liked the idea of something pretty to greet me and I loved this red scrapbook paper as a background!

Turn the page and you'll see a calendar that I printed from Donna Young's site. I like looking ahead at dates, so this was necessary for me. The opposite page is the Index. You'll add page numbers as you fill in your journal, so you'll add this to your index as you go.

On the following page I found some cute Post-Its. I love owls. So these were perfect for my "Year at a Glance" page. I glued them down, wrote the months on them, and jotted down important dates for each months. This could be important appointments, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.

On the next page we jump in to the nitty gritty of this type of planner. You'll see on the left page I have the month with the dates and days of the week down the left column. Then I have important events written down, I can look at my month at a glance and see what's coming and what days I have open. On the right side of the planner I have my "Get To Do" list for the month. Every time I think of something I need to do, I can jot it down here. Then as my month goes on, I can place them in my daily planner lists and then mark them off the main list for the month. I also decided to put a Post-It with a calendar for the month in the bottom corner. I am very visual and I liked having an actual calendar page to see. Each month will begin with these two pages.

Turning the page we get to start our daily check lists. Unlike most planners, you aren't writing out your daily to do lists in advance. Instead, you write your lists as you go. So on Monday night, I use this for my brain dump to make my bullet list of to-do's for Tuesday. I never have to worry about finding my list, it's right here in my Bullet Journal! And since I'm visual, you'll see that I use all sorts of colors. You can make this as plain or complex as you like. I love adding stickers and washi tape to give it more color and joy when I look at the page. Some days are very short, others are several lines long. You'll also see that each item has a check box in front to mark off. Did I mention that I love marking off boxes?
You may notice that in front of several of the boxes I have drawn other symbols. My memory isn't always spot on, so in the back of the book I've pasted a pretty piece of scrapbook paper that folds out with the 'key' written on it. This way I can see that '0' is an event, '!' is priority, '.' is for notes, '$' is something to purchase, a heart is something inspirational or something I LOVE, an arrow is something I migrated from the previous day, a line through the task means it is irrelevant, and '/' means I've started the task, but 'X' means I completed it. This is how the back cover looks when my 'Key' is folded in. (You can also see all my Post-It's with each month of the year pasted on them, all prepared for when I need them!)

You can see here how I've pasted the scrapbook paper so that when it is unfolded it is visible while I am writing in the journal.
I decided I needed space for other lists, like helping my friend plan her daughter's birthday party. Or yard sale prep. Or things needing to be done around the house, spring cleaning and other spruce ups. So I jumped to the last third of the book and made a "My Lists" section. Again, no more lists getting lost, they are all in this one section of my journal.

I also started a section near the end of the book for accountability. So I wrote the days of the month across the top of the page, and the daily tasks down the left side. For example, exercise, water, Bible study, etc. I can fill in the squares if I've done the task. This is a new thing and I am still teaching myself to remember to get the slots filled in... but I like the idea of this.
Finally on the last couple pages I decided to track 100 days of Joy/Gratefulness. So I wrote the days of the month down the page and then write one small thing that brings me joy, small things I am grateful for each day.

One final important player in this process is my tote!! I love this product. It is designed to hold make up and make up brushes. But I love it for washi tape, rubber stamps, and more. In the back I have my large roll of tape, some glue, clips in pretty colors, and a pretty jar that holds my pens and markers. In the front I have the washi tapes, rubber stampers, scissors, and Post-Its. This keeps everything handy and easy to carry from one area to another.

This Bullet Journal can look any way you like, get as creative or as simple as you prefer. But for me, it allows me a place to empty my brain. I don't worry about forgetting important dates or things I need to do. It's small enough to go with me and large enough to see what I am writing WITHOUT my reading glasses! I hope it gets your creative juices flowing for planning your days!!


Watch for A Place for Everything Part One
Part 3
Part 4 and
Part 5


Destinae W. said...

I'm getting out my supplies and doing this tomorrow! Great article.

ourhearts4home said...

Thanks for your help on the photos, Destinae!!! :) ENJOY!!

Tori Prophet said...

Happy Thanksgiving! I've been homeschooling for over 4 years and just discovered bullet journaling today. I was thrilled to discover your post about BuJo and to find that you are a homeschooler too! Unfortunately the pictures of your fabulous journal are not showing up for me. Is there any way to send them to me directly?