I am willing to bet that you’ve already heard about bullet journaling – it seems to be all the craze right now. I wanted to try it out before giving my assessment and thoughts on the idea, so I’ve been using my journal since the new year and am ready to share my experiences with you.
First, though, for those of you who are not yet familiar with the system, here is a video from the original creator to help explain the idea/process:
Ok, got it? Pretty simple, right? And fairly ingenious, really.
First, my journal is a simple Moleskine, dotted, in the extra large (7.5×10) size. My favorite thing about this journal is the dots. While setting it up, I had considered a lined journal, but opted for the dots which afford wonderful guidance as I draw and create graphs and date boxes. I think a lined journal could work, but you’ll have more obvious horizontal lines in your open spaces and you’ll struggle more getting the vertical lines at proper right angles.
As I use it, I am finding that it’s a bit large to carry around and use away from home. I like that I have room for my little drawing and such, but might give a smaller size a try next year. I also am finding that this journal’s pages are quite thin and ink shows through so that I can really only use one side of the page. I have heard that the Leuchtturm brand has a bit thicker paper.
Now, for the set up: I kept to the, sort of, standard way they recommend to start. I have key, yearly calendar, and index pages:
Pages to track goals, books, movies, and travel:
And then I start my months and calendars. Each month starts with a page that includes a habit tracker, a month calendar, and space for goals that I have that month. I also include a picture or quote here to liven the page up a bit:
After the initial month page, I have a page to write daily gratitudes. These pages go along with the theme of the first page or with a holiday/feeling that I associate with the month (so, for February, it was hearts and for March, it was thistles and tea).
Finally, after the gratitude page, I have each week for the month drawn out. These pages include space for each day, a menu for the week, and a space for notes or a to-do list (this is where I use the transfer system with the >, <, X, etc symbols as suggested in the video and my Key page.
Overall, I really like this system. It has helped me to hold myself accountable and to remember things like sending birthday cards and scheduling appointments. The set up time is a bit long and the book is less convenient than having an app in my phone, but I find the time setting it up and physically writing or drawing in the book is sort of meditative and does help my brain to slow down a bit. I’ve also discovered that I am in love with washi tape and I really love experimenting with different hand lettering styles and art!