In January I first heard about the bullet journal. As you may have noticed I’m obsessed with all things stationery and colour-coding, so this was too tempting to pass up! I bought one around a week later, but didn’t really start properly until February. So when I say it’s six months later… It’s roughly six months later.
Since then it’s become one of my favourite tools. Or, rather, organisation accessory. Tool sounds too cold, like I don’t care about it – and I probably care too much given that it’s just *ahem* a notebook.
If you’ve been around the internet at all this year, you’ve probably seen the name Bullet Journal pop up here and there. If you search for it on Pinterest you’ll find thousands of posts on how to pretty it up a little, or how to get started. To save you some time, I’ll show you my favourite pages from mine and how I use them.
Also, you can check out the original website and explanation here.
There are two things I love above all others about the BuJo (I’ve seen it shortened to BJ loads of times, too, but my dirty mind won’t allow me to run around telling everyone about my BJ) – the way it helps me organise anything and everything, and that it’s flexible! You can use it for anything you like, and if you change your mind partway through or want to add something new, you can. There are no restrictions whatsoever! Whatever you need to achieve with it, it can do it.
These two pages are at the very front of every BuJo. This is your legend, and includes every shortcut or signage you might use throughout. It tells you how things get marked, what different highlighter colours mean, and so on. Mine also includes what I use my various stickers for, but I won’t go into that here.
On the website I gave you above, you’ll find loads of suggestions for your key – and then on Pinterest you’ll find even more to the extend that it feels a little overwhelming. I suggest you keep it simple. You know your own routine best, so stick with what you’re actually going to use. And don’t worry if it turns out that you need others or that you’re not using one as much as you thought you would – this beauty of a notebook is flexible, remember? Change it as needed.
Now, I’ll admit, I’m hopeless at keeping my index updated. Most of the time I forget to add page numbers and/or new sections, and I think that’s partly because I started out with too many. Once it’s time to start BuJo 2 I’ll cut back considerably, and maybe I’ll manage better.
Your index is primarily there so you can easily search the contents of your book, without needing to go over every page until you’ve found what you need. It tells me I mentioned my giveaway on page 57 (amongst others), and that I met a friend for lunch on pages 4 and 55 (amongst others). You can easily see at one glance what comes up loads of times throughout the year, and what you hardly ever have to plan.
This was a natural addition for me. It’s not entirely up to date here, but you get the point. Unlike my TBR list on Goodreads, my BuJo’s TBR list only features books I’ve actually bought, and which are waiting on my physical bookshelf. There’s another double page reserved for future buys after this one, because I know I’ll use it sooner or later.
I’m tempted to also add when I started reading a book and when I finished it, so I can keep track of how long it takes me to read one novel.
I don’t come back to this one often since writing a first draft and editing it over and over again takes time, but it’s a nice little progress status on all my WsIP regardless. Because I don’t come back to it that much, some of the titles are outdated now (Gods + Demons translates to Soul of the Heart)
Plus, it feels amazing to tick off big milestones!
I used to be hopeless at staying caught up on my favourite blogs every day. On this page, I can see at one quick glance which blog to catch up on today. I’m not kidding – before this I tried to catch up with everything every day! Needless to say, that didn’t work out. This is much easier, and I don’t forget whose turn it is all the time.
If your blog is on this list, you might have noticed me commenting on all new posts on the same day every week – this is why! 😉
This is one of the main pages just about everyone uses. My yearly planner allows me to see everything I’ve got planned this year, sectioned by month, and I can make additions when necessary. It’s great, but it’s not as fun as this…
… my monthly calendar! It’s almost the same, but it’s more detailed since it’s monthly and therefore features every day, and – my favourite part – I award myself stars for small achievements. Got up at 7am to run for ten minutes? Silver star! Wrote 1K on Relics of Ar’Zac? Gold star! Green stars and blue stars reward the same on Soul of the Heart and Immortals (temp. title)
(I also call bullshit on all the people who say running is fun. It’s not fun. It’s torture.)
This is where I really get down to business. Everything I need to get done per week appears in these. This is where the legend from the first picture comes in – all important appointments are marked by a triangle, all important tasks which should taker priority are marked by an exclamation mark, all research I want to do gets a question mark, and so on. Plus, I go nuts colour coding. My word counts goals for the week get highlighted in blue, awesome feedback I received that week gets turned green, everything in red is directly related to my books – you get the idea.
It’s so satisfying to tick of priority tasks, you guys. So. Satisfying.
There are several things I want to add in the future. I’d like to add a gratitude log, and I really want to add pages for monthly highlights such as cinema tickets. And of course the pages I’ve shown you above are only examples! I’ve got two pages for favourite quotes, pages filled with writing goals, a tracker for the Instagram tags I’m doing…
As I already mentioned above, Pinterest is full of ideas on how to fill your pages. It’s a little discouraging to see how beautifully some people design their BuJos, and how creatively some of them get adorned, but remember that it’s yours, and you can do whatever you want with it. If you want to add little birdies and leaves and other stunning drawings that put my doodles to shame in every free corner, you can! If you want to do the bare minimum because you’re artistically challenged, like me, you can do that, too.
You can do whatever you want with it. If this sounds interesting and like something you’d like to try, I suggest you search the internet and see what other people are doing with theirs. Just remember that, at the end of the day, that’s for inspiration and ideas only – you can use yours however you want. It needs to suit you, and no one else.
For all of my other musings, click me!
For Cookie Break’s home page, have a look here.