Bullet Journaling has changed my life. That might seem like a faintly ridiculous thing to say about a little pink notebook, but it has.
On returning to work after maternity leave, I was really struggling with the pressures of managing my family and home, managing my workload and wanting to breathe some life back into this blog. Although I’d spent time designing what I thought was the perfect planning system, I kept forgetting things. Some of them were simple things like forgetting to buy a bottle of milk or to take some chicken out of the freezer so that it would be defrosted in time to cook the following evening. Others were more important – I missed a major deadline at work because I’d got the date that it was due wrong. At this point I started to look into different options and Bullet Journaling came up when I searched planning on Pinterest. I took a look at the Bullet Journal website and decidede that this was the system for me, albeit with a few tweaks.
I found a notebook that I had stashed away and found the #planwithmechallenge community on Instagram. Inspiration a go-go and I was off. In the first month I’ve worked through a variety of layouts and worked out what I need. There’s a couple of pages that I’ve abandoned because I didn’t like the look and feel of them once they were set up, but that’s what’s so wonderful about a bullet journal – it’s what you make it so that it works for you. Some are beautifully designed, some have loads of colour, some are purely functional. This is where I seem to have found my home. Functional with a bit of colour from my choice of pens (Papermate InkJoy and Uni-ball Eye fine).
I have come to the conclusion that I need a series of monthly layouts that run through to the end of the academic year (even if my journal won’t last that long – I teach, we work September through to July in our planning).
Through trial and error I have discovered that I then need weekly layouts that include space for a daily timeline during the working week, menu planning, shopping list, task lists for home and work. I tried daily layouts for a week and it was an unmitigated disaster! I’ll explain more about this in a couple of weeks time.
I then have a monthly habit tracker and goals list that contains the things I want to work on throughout the month. I decided to put these on the same page as I would be forced to look at my goals on a daily basis as I completed my habit tracker. Really pleased that I’ve already completed two of these – it spurs you on to complete the others when you’ve coloured in those task boxes!
These are the basics, the essentials of my planner that keep me going every day. I’ve also got various collections and reviews that have helped me along so far and help me to plan for the future. I’m going to walk you through these in next week’s post, when I’ll give you an overview of the rest of my bullet journal so far.
There’s loads of reasons why I like this system (the ability, no necessity, to have lots of lovely stationery is one!), but the main reasons are because I am so organised and productive that it’s scaring me. I don’t know what I used to do with my time! I seem to fill my working hours so well and prioritise my time that by the end of the week pretty much everything is done and I only have my preparation for teaching on Monday morning to do. This, in turn, is making me less anxious. On the whole, I’m not forgetting the little or the big things that I need to do. I’m writing everything down and reviewing it regularly so there’s no chance I can forget.
There have been a couple of days where there’s been little issues – a quick menu change when I forgot to take some fish out of the freezer, but these things happen – nothing is going to organise me completely unless I get my own PA, and that’s highly unlikely unless I win the lottery!
Have you tried Bullet Journaling, or has this inspired you to have a go?