During May I decided to try Bullet Journaling. I had thought Bullet Journaling was a restrictive planning tool more suited to my working life than personal life, however after looking at a few YouTube videos it was more than I had initially thought. It was a chance to be creative, use colour and doodle as well as actually being a useful system. For the month of May my rationale was if I used the Bullet Journal and didn’t see it as a chore then I would continue on into June on a more permanent basis.
How I got started?
Boho Berry is the queen of helpful Bullet Journal YouTube videos. When I first entertained the idea of a Bullet Journal I had watched several of her videos which really gave me a good foundation for how you can Bullet Journal. I found these videos helpful as they showed a more creative version of Bullet Journaling. It wasn’t the original format that I was familiar with created by Ryder Carroll which I felt was more functional, the Boho Berry format seem prettier.
Below are links to several useful Bullet Journal videos and articles that I wanted to share if you are considering Bullet Journaling.
Bullet Journal Flip Through - Boho Berry
June Plan with me - Boho Berry
We are all bullet journalists - Boho Berry
My Blog and Business Bullet Journal - Tiny Ray of Sunshine
Bullet Journals - Bureau Direct’s May run down of all things Bullet Journaling
My May Bullet Journal Tools
For May I used a Mishmash Stretch Me notebook. It was sat unused on my desk and the size was perfect.
These tools have worked well. They are not part of my usual everyday stationery toolkit so it has been a chance to use more of my stationery. I can carry them with me without risk of spills and quickly scribble down notes on the page. The fine liners are great for doodling and drawing adding a lovely pop of colour to each page.
My May Set-Up
I opted to set the Bullet Journal up in the most simple format. I included a May Log, a Projects page, May memories, a habit tracker and then my weekly and daily pages. I didn’t include anything too detailed or specific as I wasn’t sure what I would and wouldn’t like, or what I wanted to see in there.
What I liked?
A lot of the Bullet Journal system is functional. It has been about planning out my to do’s and trying to find the best way to fit them into my week. This has been valuable, but actually this hasn’t been the reason I have liked the Bullet Journal system.
Some of the elements I really liked from my May Bullet Journal are the habit tracker and the memories page. The habit tracker is a great visual representation of what I want I feel I should be doing each day and what I have actually managed to achieve. By filling this in at the end of each day I can see where I am spending time, what I am actually doing and what gets pushed to one side. You can also include some simple reminders on there to prompt you to do something through the day, such as drink fluids, something I am very bad at.
With the memories page it was really nice to add small snippets of my month onto this page. In our busy lives it’s easy to forget what you do and achieve in any given month. Looking back at this page now I am genuinely surprised by how much I was able to include on this page. I was a bit skeptical at the beginning of the month when I added this page in, but it turns out it’s quite easy to fill. I can imagine looking back over a period of months this could be a really nice way to review a year and remember everything you have done.
I have also enjoyed including Boho Berry’s hourly view of my day. It’s not a big thing and takes seconds to scribble out with my dailies but it gives me a view of how my day is split. With a very simple colour coded scheme I can see how much I sleep, work and carry out tasks such as blogging.
What I haven’t enjoyed so much…
My first complaint is actually nothing to do with Bullet Journaling but about the tools I used. One thing I noticed from using the Mishmash Stretch Me notebook is that you need some sort of grid system notebook. The Mishmash notebook has blank pages which really didn't work well. For certain page set-ups such as the habit tracker having a grid system would have made filling this in a bit easier.
I have found the planning of my week helpful through the Bullet Journal system. It has forced me to consider what activities need to get done, where I may be that week and find space for the smaller things. I am still a little skeptical as to whether I will be able to keep this up in the long term. Sometimes it feels like this level of detail and planning is a little restrictive.
Moving into June
I will be continuing on with the Bullet Journal in June. So far I am enjoying the the format and have found it quite a good way to organise my tasks for the week. I really like playing around with different headers and banners, using a different range of my stationery tools and it’s become another excuse to play. I am by no means an avid Bullet Journaler and this may not last, however I am happy to push on a little longer and see if during June I find new ways to adapt and change things. There are some changes I have already decided on and I have begun to plan the layouts I would like to use. Later on this week I will publish a part 2 of this post showing you how I have set up my June Bullet Journal.