This blog post is going to be on how a setup and use my bullet journal. I have always loved planning, organizing and making lists, but I on'y started bullet journaling just over a year ago. I'll show you how I have my 2018 planner set up since I just filled up my last journal. In a future post I'll go into detail about specific sections and my monthly and weekly pages. If you are interested in trying this style of planning then I hope having a little tour of how I set my collections up with help you get inspired and start your own.
One thing I really like about bullet journaing is how customizable it is. I used to have very strict planning, I would time block out when I was doing what on Google calendar, have To-Do-ist auto fill my to do list, and then had a four point goal list per day. While this worked very well for me since I've worked for myself for the past few years and when I was in school I took on a full load plus school, I have needed to be very structured to get everything accomplished. And then... I had a baby. I wasn't able to have such a structured life anymore, and I also need to try to make some "me" time after basically getting prescribed down time after being diagnosed with PPOCD. This style of planning works well since I get a bit of creative time making layouts and "drawing" the pages rather than planning digitally and I am not locked into a specific layout for my days and I can change the layouts to fit my needs. As my daugher has gotten older I have been able to add more structure into my planning and some people even do dailies (which would work great if you were time blocking).
First off I am using a Leuchtturm1917 A5 dotted notebook (link is an affiliate link), this is my favorite notebook for bullet journaling. I like that the pages are numbered, there are two bookmarks, it has an elastic to keep it shut, and I like the dots to keep my lines nice. You can use any notebook you'd like, and if you're not sure if you'd keep up with the bullet journal it may be best to just start out with a notebook you already have to try it out. Let's get onto my collection pages.
I like to have a title page for the new year since I start a new journal when I fill the pages not at the new year. Some people go all out, so feel free to be as decorative as you'd like for title pages. I also like to have title pages for each new month.
I start my new year out with future log. This is where I add dates for events that are far out. These are usually larger things like family vacations, out of town guests, traveling, big dead lines, doctors appointments, or anything that it planned months in advance. I have a spot in my monthly page for dates in the current month and the next month, so I put things like play dates, posting deadlines, classes, and other things that are smaller or repeat often so I can save my future log for the bigger or long term planning things. I will reference this page when I plan my monthly page so I can add any events or appointments into that month. This page comes in really handy since it gives me a whole view of the year at once.
Holidays and Goals
I like to have all the official holidays in my collection pages. I didn't have one starting out, but then I wouldn't remember to write it into the monthly and then wouldn't remember to send a Mother's Day card off in time or when my husband has a day off. I sent a card for my mom a few days ago, so I definitely like having this page.
I like to have some goals set out, both personal and professional to work on throughout the year. I'll probably do a more in depth post on this one day, but I have the big ideas here so I can remind myself and working towards them. When I go over my monthlys you'll see how I have habit tracker going each month so I am tracking my daily steps towards those goals. Having goals at the front of the year makes it easy for me to reference back and remind myself what I am working towards.
This is my unfilled birthday page. This page is now full of family and friends birthdays, but I know I don't have my birthday on facebook so I wanted to be considerate to peoples privacy so I didn't include any birthdays. This is one of the most helpful pages since I can make sure to wish those close to me a happy birthday or remember to start thinking of a gift to get them.
This is one of my favorite pages since I enjoy cleaning and being in a tidy, clean space so much. One of the ways I have been able to balance work, a baby, and having a clean house is planning out when I clean things. This also helps keep everything clean without having to think about when I last cleaned something. I break my cleaning up by daily chores, weekly, monthly, and things I do every two, four, and six months and then the few once a year chores. I then will reference this page to fill out my cleaning to-do on a monthly page.
Some of these chores are specific to my life, and also to the level of clean and tidy I want my house to be. I think having a cleaning schedule is very helpful, but you need to make it yours and add in chores you may need to do or do more often, and remove ones that don't fit your life (like deep clean the high chair). I will have a post on how to create you own cleaning schedule up soon, so check the sidebar and subscribe to get updates.
Wardrobe and Things to Do
A wardrobe collection page is pretty helpful if you have a small wardrobe or if you have a large one and re buy the same thing, it is also helpful if you have items you you like to add. I have listed the things I own and things I would like to add, I also remind myself of the colors I buy. I prefer to have a small amount of clothes that I can mix and match so I keep my color palette simple. This page also keeps me from buying items I don't need and reminds me how I really need to go and find a pair of sandals for this summer. This is a great page if you have a capsule wardrobe or if you tend to buy items you don't need or wear.
The things to do page is a wishlist or a reminder of places we want to check out or go to. I have a list of things we would like to go and do as a family, like going to the zoo this summer. My husband and I also like to try out new places to eat so we write down restaurants we'd like to try when we hear about them. If you live in the Seattle area let me know what places we need to check out in the comments or on twitter!
I want to read more books this year, my goal is 36, so I try and keep a list of books I'd like to read and check them off as I make it down the list. It's nice to be able to hear a book recommendation and write it down to be able to read it later. I think having a reading list is nice and a good way to keep reading. And if you have any book recommendations please leave them in the comments!
When someone ask me what I want for Christmas I probably will blank, so I keep a list of things we need for the house, things I would like and also a list for Julia.
The fitness tracker is a collection page to track weight loss. I like this style of tracker since you can have a nice big bubble to fill in as you get closer to your goal. I am working towards a weight loss goal so I get to fill in each box for every pound I lose.
Purge and Donate
This page is more or less just a list of areas in our home, and twice a year Jeff and I go through our things and evaluate them. It's pretty easy to end up with things you don't use and won't use, and we do try to keep from bringing things that we won't use into our life, but I do find that we still have small donation piles still. I find that digital clutter and Julia's toys are what we need to continue to curate the most. Keeping up on curating the things you let into your life is really nice and your space is so much easier to keep tidy. I find having only the things I need or that bring me joy helps me feel calm and really love the space I live in. A twice a year evaluation means that we don't have any unused or enjoyed things in our home that someone else could find a use for.
I have those two pages for my content to do. These pages are very specific to me, but you can customize these to big, long term to dos. I write down my video ideas here and I have four boxes to check, Plan, Create, Edit, and Live so I can keep track of what has been done and what I need to do. I'll also take tasks from these lists and assign them to specific weekly pages.
I love learning. I miss school so much, not the homework, but he learning. I like to keep track of things I think of that I want to learn about. Sometimes it's a new skill or sometimes it's a concept I want to learn more about.
I keep a page of a gift list for friends and family. The gift list page isn't filled out yet since it's basically a list of things we could give as gifts for Christmas or something. If someone makes an off hand comment about wanting/needing an item or an interest I'll write it down and then we have a list of gift ideas for them and we aren't scrambling at Christmas.
I keep the miscellaneous schedule to jot down things I need to schedule, but I need the time to sit down and plan out when I will accomplish it. This can be things in my personal life that need to happen, appointment's I need to make, things I want to do, or content ideas that have a lot of steps. I have to get thoughts out of my head, so if I thing is something I need to do that really needs to get done, but I am not sure when I will put it here so I know I won't forget about it.
I've been keeping a mood tracker to keep up with how I am feeling. After getting diagnosed with anxiety and OCD I've tried to make sure I am monitoring how I feel, and then when I make changes in my life I can see how they affect my mood. I used to make a monthly tracker, but this time I am doing a yearly one. Next year I'll probably go back to a monthly one since it's kind of annoying to always have to flip back here.
I read and really enjoyed One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, so I am listing my own one thousand things I am thankful for. I used to have a monthly gratitude tracker, which had a space for each day and I would write out something I Was thankful for. Now I can list as many things as a want and I prefer this. Reflecting on everything I am thankful for does help my find so much more joy in my simple little life.
So many pages to go. I'll be sharing my next pages soon. How I set up my monthly and weekly pages. You can also follow my pintrest journal board to see other layouts and ideas to be inspired by. Let me know in the comments if you want to start bullet journalist and if you already journal what notebook do you like best?