Let’s be serious here: it’s easier to be unorganized than organized. I learned to be organized years ago when I realized that my brain doesn’t store more than 1 “to-do”. However, when I started working from home it was even harder to stay organized and it was incredibly easy to keep postponing. It was then that I discovered the bullet journal system and just got absolutely obsessed with how customizable it is so you can get it to fit completely with your goals and lifestyle.
If you like this post you’ll probably also like my tips to make your project a reality :).
WHAT’S A BULLET JOURNAL?
The system was invented by Ryder Carrol, an American designer. His system is based, like the name states, in making lists in a blank notebook. A bullet journal needs 2 basic sections:
- Future log: a space where you write down all of the months to come leaving a space to write down future commitments. You need this because you will only have a daily spread on the actual month and then make the next maybe a week before the next month starts. This allows us to have free pages at the end of the month to plan, make annotations, etc.
- Daily log: this is the typical spread like you have in a store-bought journal with space for every day when you note down your to-dos of the day. The design of these pages tan be as simple or as intricate as you like. I like using a large notebook because I write a lot on each day.
The ideas is that everyone has their own “code” for the lists in these two sections. For example, I do a circle for appointments and a dot if it’s a to-do. Also, if I postpone the item I change the icon to “>” and if I completed it ahead of time (rarely used lol) I turn it to “<” and write it on the day I moved it to. Also, if I have too many things to do on a certain day I’ll write the priority number next to the item to organize myself within that day.
WHAT DO I NEED AND HOW DO I MAKE ONE?
The bare minimum you need is a pen and a blank notebook. You can make a cover for it and then make the future log with future months on it. Then comes the month in hand where you put down the structure of all your days with the space you need for each one. Finally you can note down on extra pages things that you want to keep track of like your goals, habits, mood, books worth reading, etc.
At the end the main objective is that it’s useful to YOU for the things that you want to accomplish and need organizing so don’t necessarily stick to my distribution if it doesn’t work for you. I used to have sections on my bullet journal that I no longer use and viceversa. That’s the advantage of making one month at a time.
Depending on your level of obsession and art skills you can make really cute and creative spreads. I used to doodle, use lots of colours, etc. Now I simply don’t have time for that and so I turned to a more minimalistic approach. Something that helps a lot if you want to add a pop of colour is buying washi tapes. Washi tapes are like a thinner masking tape with designs on them (look for them on the photo above). Obviously you can also buy pens, markers, stickers and go crazy with the design. If you want some inspiration search for “bullet journal” on YouTube and/or Pinterest and you’ll enter a bermudas triangle of design lol. It’s really fun.
WHAT ELSE CAN I USE IT FOR?
On the photo above you can see two examples of other sections that you can add that have been useful for me but like I say you can see even MORE inspiration on Pinterest and/or YouTube. For me my habit tracker is really important and that’s what on the superior part of the photo. One always says “I need to start to…” and then never do it lol. For example I seriously suck at drinking water so one of my daily goals is to drink a personal bottle of water. So the day I actually do this I paint it in so by the end of the month I can see how I did on my habit goals. Under that there’s a mood graph and you add a dot for the general mood you had for a day and then join them to form a graph. At the end of the month you can see maybe if there’s a connection between the activities you did on each day and how you felt.
Here are other things that you can track on your BuJo.
- Books you want to read / Movies you want to watch
- Personal or professional goals
- Spending / savings
- Weekly menus (with Cravings Journal recipes of course 😉 )
- Times and kms for runner
- Medical issues you need to control like blood pressure, pills, etc.
- Travels / places you’ve been
These are only a few options but it depends completely on you what you want to do, control or even if you need any. Like I say the idea is that you personalize it and that it works for your specific goals and to-do lists.
HOW MY BULLET JOURNAL HELPS ME EVERY DAY
I swear that my organization skills have had a before and after with my bullet journal. If you work from home like me it’s excellent because it allows you to organize yourself and also it sort of “pressures” you into making things that you promised yourself actually happen. Also, I can control the space I need for all my to-dos (no more loose sheets everywhere) and see clearly how my goals and habits evolve. On every month I also have a space where I write recipe ideas or things I want to learn about food photography and so I feel really organized and have peace of mind thinking that I don’t need to remember anything because it’s all written down :). Now if I lose it… not fun.