I’ve been bullet journaling for just over a month now, and I’ve learned a lot of things, so I thought it would be a good time for an update. I’ll be reflecting on my experience with using a bullet journal, plus going over my current system, how I use my journal, and what changes I plan on making or trying out in the future.
Some reflections about the bullet journal:
- It’s super flexible and customizable. Sure, there’s a basic sort of system that most people start out with, but it’s really easy to make changes that best suit your own personal needs.
- Even though I’ve been using a planner and some sort of to-do list system for years, having a bullet journal is a little different, because it’s something that a whole community is using. It just feels more… legit? I feel more productive because aspiring towards the sort of organization that other bullet journalists have is a great motivator.
- Speaking of other bullet journalists, the community is great. I actually don’t participate a lot, and I don’t really talk to any other bloggers or instagramers, but just being sort of on the fringes and seeing what other people are doing is helpful as well. I’m participating in the #planwithmechallenge on instagram for the first time, and I really like seeing what other people do for each day as well.
- On that note, also, it’s okay to not be perfect. There’s a bunch of people on instagram who have beautiful handwriting, or their layout is really clean and pretty, or they’re really good artists. Whatever. My handwriting is about average neatness, and so are my art skills. But having some imperfections in your journal is what make your journal yours. Besides, messy or inconsistent handwriting is artsy in and of itself. Even if you make mistakes or something, either you can just leave it as a decoration thing or a reminder to improve, or you can just use whiteout. I use it a lot, because sometimes I’ll accidentally misspell words, or change my mind on something. That’s okay too! There’s a reason whiteout exists, after all. No shame in using it.
- Finally, I really like that the bullet journal is not just a planner, it’s also a place where you can write down your thoughts, make lists, and anything else you want to do. See below for my books to read list, and other pages!
My bullet journal:
First things first, I switched to a new journal! I was using an old journal with lined pages during June because I was just starting out and didn’t want to risk “ruining” a nice new journal. But the current one I’m using is actually the planner I used my last semester of college, so not that old, but still used. This current one just has a plain black cover with an elastic holder. The pages are completely blank, and there’s a handy little pocket in the back for holding stickers and stuff. It’s a little small- each spread (two pages) is just under the size of a piece of printer paper. The pages themselves are a cream color, not too thick but not too thin either.
This is the page I’m currently on. I’ve recently started making the headers like this after seeing it in a lot of other journals (I like to creep on people’s instagrams for inspiration). I really like this minimalist style, without too many frills and decorations. It gives me the sense of productivity. I’m using a different bullet system, where each task is a small circle that I check off when completed. Events and appointments are marked with a dash. Off on the right side, I have space for writing down three things I’m grateful for or happy about on that day. I am doing the #planwithmechallenge on instagram (I’m alice.purupuru) so that’s been a great motivator to keep on bullet journaling. I think I’m mostly satisfied with this sort of layout. I actually plan on trying out a weekly spread next week just to see how I like it, but I’m definitely going to keep the headers and design similar.
And here’s the tracker I started using this month! Look at the cute bear stickers!! I’ve been really liking it so far, because I’m more motivated to do these things so I can fill in the colors. (You can tell I’m really bad about going to sleep early, haha. I’m still trying to adjust from college schedule, so I often don’t go to bed until after midnight still.) I have a monthly expenses tracker on the opposite page, but it’s just a really simple list. I also have a monthly calendar, where I plan out blog posts, what I’m doing that day in general, and more long-term things. The little tabs sticking out mark the pages that are like lists and stuff (collections, I think they’re called?) that I go back to. I numbered them so that I can find them again easily, since this planner doesn’t have page numbers (and I actually don’t care for them too much).
This one, for example, is my list of books I want to read. I really like how I decorated this page, haha. I only listed the books that I haven’t read before, so it’s actually not a complete list of books I want to read soon. (For example, my favorite author is Oscar Wilde, and I have most of his works. I re-read them on a fairly regular basis, so they’re not on here.) I like the progress bar I have next to each one, so that if I start reading multiple, I can still track my progress for each one. I don’t bother with having specific page numbers (though I’ve seen some people do that) because I use bookmarks anyways. The progress bar is just a general “how close am I to finishing” sort of thing. On a side note, I feel like I should have made the bar longer for Brothers Karamazov to account for how long it is, lol.
Some things I plan on changing or trying out:
- A weekly spread, instead of dailies. I have no need for both, but I’d like to decide on one or the other and stick with it. I still need to give the weekly spread a try.
- A better goal tracker. Currently, I just list out my monthly goals on the monthly spread pages. I think I might want to try to have a separate page or spread where I have some sort of progress bar thing or tracker for the little steps I need to take to reach my goals.
- Another tracker for weekly tasks (like cleaning, paying bills, etc.). I think I might incorporate it into my daily tracker. But if I end up sticking with weekly spreads, maybe I’ll just do it there. Like have a tracker on the weekly spread instead of monthly.
- I think I might want to try a handwriting challenge or a doodle-a-day challenge in the future. It seems fun.
- I also kind of want to try using more sticky notes and washi tape and stuff. I really like cute stationery products, so I want to eventually incorporate those into my bullet journal aesthetic. Currently, I’m into the more minimalist look, but I also really like the more crafty-looking journals.
- When I get a new notebook, I’m definitely going to get one with thicker pages, so that I can draw and color in it without the marker or pen bleeding through. My current journal doesn’t like anything heavier than a ballpoint pen. I also want something with larger pages, so I can have more room in one spread.
So there you have it! A super-long post about my bullet journal. I can say that this is definitely something I’ll be sticking with for the foreseeable future.
Cheers ヽ( °◇°)ノ