This post is for all of those really organised people out there, or for those that wish they were really organised.
It’s time to release your inner Monica Geller (if you don’t get that reference then just leave).
For those of you who have never heard of the term bullet journaling, then let me give you a little introduction:
The simplest way that I can think to put it, is it’s a planning system but the amazing part of it is that it’s totally individual and you can make it as simple or complicated as you like and you can include you want to include. Unlike an actual planner, you aren’t restricted in the amount of space you have or with what you have to include. You can be as creative or as simplistic as you like.
All you need to begin is an empty notebook and a pen.
I have been bullet journaling for many years now and I found it to be extremely useful for planning my revision when I was at school and for keeping track of things in my life such as books I’ve read and my running progress. However it’s never something I have kept up. I’m really bad at sticking to things so I’ll do it for a couple of months and then forget about it and come back to it a few weeks later.
As I am now on my summer holidays I was determined to find a system I loved (I’ve tried many) and keep it up. Forever. Hopefully. So to help me on my journey I purchased a book about bullet journaling and there are a surprisingly large amount of them out there but I had seen this around loads and I would highly recommend it to anyone. It basically features loads of ideas for layouts and helps give you ideas for the sort of things that you can include and tips for keeping yourself highly organised. From this I created my own bullet journal and I wanted to guide you through mine whilst giving you ideas if it’s something that you want to try out yourself!
First things first I did a title page just in case I ever forget what year it is… I’m just kidding it was a way of signifying the end of my pathetic attempt at planning the beginning half of the year.
Next things next I made an index which I haven’t actually filled in but I will one day. Basically you number every page and then when you are wondering what page you July calendar is, you can just consult the index to save time. This is a very sophisticated way of planning. In the corner I just included a key which I will probably end up adding to when I think of more things. Obviously all of these page ideas are just optional and I wouldn’t say this page is the most useful, but I chose to try it out.
Then I included a yearly overview, well just the second half of the year. I’ve only done it for June, but next to the calendar I have written some key dates and events that I know I have for that month. It’s a great place to put birthdays and events that you don’t want to forget about, such as my exams that I had. You could make this space as big as you want, but it’s just a way of looking over the year as whole and seeing when you may be away or important things you have coming up.
I love a good goal so I had to dedicate a whole page to my new year resolutions which I completely forgetten that I even set. To make it look funky I put them all in clouds and then when I’ve done one I could colour it in and as you can see, when I took these photos, I hadn’t done any….. I think it’s good to set out your goals in writing so that you don’t forget about them and if you haven’t got any then make 3 now, there’s no wrong time to make a goal.
This is something new that I hope I will keep up and it is a mood tracker. I’m really trying to work on my mental health and over all wellbeing this year and so far this is really helping me keep track of how I’ve been feeling. I just chose 3 vague moods but you could easily chose way more, I’ve obviously filled in more than you can see and overall I’ve been quite happy in June which is good!
As an avid book lover, I always record what books I read every year so that I can see how many I have read. I decide to lay it out in a more fun way by actually drawing a book shelf and then I have colour coded the books in accordance to the months. So in March I read 5 books for example and you can see that I am now reading the Harry Potter series for about the 3rd time. I love these pages, they’re more aesthetically pleasing to look at.
The next couple of pages are trackers that I have not filled in because I didn’t want to show on here how much money I have. I’m trying to save up for university so it’s important that I put some money into savings every month and on this page I can easily do that. Again with the social media, I’m interested to track my followers because I started all new social media pages for this blog (Feel free to follow, links at end of post #selfpromo)
Again this is similar to the last one and isn’t filled out because I hadn’t relaunched my blog when writing this. I’m really putting so much effort into this page and trying to grow it as much as possible so my tracking all my statistics I can see how things are looking month by month.
This is empty because I took these photos before posting my summer bucketlist post which is what I filled these pages with. Every summer I make a huge bucketlist of what I want to do so that is what fills these pages and then I can cross one off when completed.
Now we get into the monthly sections and this is June because it is June when I am writing this (I like to be ahead of the game). This double page shows the month at a glance and I can put in when I’m working (not that I ever know) and when I’m meeting people and just anything I can think of. I also put a steps counter because I am really trying to get out more and this is actually encouraging me to get out and walk to the shops or go for a run. I can then see what days I was particularly lazy.
Yes, that’s right, another goals page. Basically every month I like to break down my yearly goals and into more manageable ones I can do each month. I can then have a sort of theme for each month, if that makes sense. I find that the more you write down your goals then the more likely they are to be completed and by breaking them down feels less overwhelming and I feel like I can actually accomplish them.
I am trying and failing at going running. But by writing down my times and distance I can see if I am improving so I would recommend this to anyone who runs or even goes to the gym because you could track other pieces of equipment or weights or whatever (can you tell I don’t go to the gym?). Another suggestion is tracking your food or water if you’re trying to be more healthy or loose weight. If you have it in writing then you’re more likely going to do it.
This is the final page I promise. This is a weekly overview so I can be more detailed with what I need to do each day and additionally include smaller task which I couldn’t fit on the monthly over view.
You could skip this and just make daily to do lists or even do both. I did both when I was revising for my exams because I needed to list everything I had to get done but now I have nothing to do I don’t need that much space.
I hope anyone found this useful. Just remember that bullet journaling is such a personal thing so don’t feel you need to copy anyone, just do whatever you want and be as creative as you would like to be!
Are you a planner sort or person or a bullet journal person?