I've been fully committed to my bullet journal for 4 months now and have settled into a very manageable routine with it. I'm doing things quite a bit differently from how I started so I wanted to share some lessons I've learned along the way. If you are new to the concept of bullet journaling, I wrote a detailed post about it a few months back, which you can read here.
But for now, I'd like to share a few lessons I've learned along the way.
1.) Planning, schplanning
When I first started stumbling upon, and then collecting pins about bullet journaling, I very much felt like I needed to know in advance how my years, months, weeks, and days should be planned out within my journal. I thought that would be good for reining in my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, inconsistent style of planning. Well, as one would expect, I started within a plan, and then changed it, and then changed it again. And you know what? That laid back style of bullet journaling works perfectly for me. I love knowing that whenever a format isn't working, or is even not fun anymore, then I can change it to however I want. It's one of the things I love about bullet journaling - it is so adaptable.
For the month of May, I tracked the moon cycles, and kept a tidy list of the days' highlights. In June, I completed the whole month in alternating colors of text... and I love the completed page of handwritten text.
So whatever floats your boat...your bullet journal is your oyster.
2.) Trial and Error is half the fun.
The pics on Pinterest and Instagram are amazing, but I bet for every perfect page you see, there was a series of imperfect pages. Practicing is the fun part. I mentioned in my first bullet journal post, that I started practicing lettering last summer, you know, just for fun. And yet still, still, half my letters (and I mean the ones I'm actually trying on) look my kids did them. And yet, when I look at the page as a whole, I still love the finished project - wonky lettering and all.
I completed this doodle practice page on vacation.
And here's a great example of some awful lettering - not sure what I was attempting on that "Weekly" text... but I love the colors, the doodles, and the rest of the page.
So just because you mess something up, doesn't mean you have to start a new page. Finish it out and make the most of it.
3.) Functionality Reigns Supreme.
So, yes, it's fun to make your pages look nice, but maybe you've noticed a new trend recently on minimalist pages, free of any fancy design. Because, after all, the bullet journal must be functional! So for me, that means serving as a master to do list keeper, daily agenda, and on again, off again journal. I also like to put inspirational quotes that fit the theme of the page, the month, or my life at the moment. So above all, if your bullet journal isn't working for you on some level, then you need to make some adjustments.
4.) Incomplete pages are okay (see #2)
This drove me crazy at first. Literally the third page in my bullet journal is an incomplete drawing of my house where I was going to map out projects by room in a nice floor plan. Well as it turned out, I quickly determined that it wasn't useful for me to do it that way, so I didn't even waste my time finishing it.
Among others, I also have an incomplete page where I had planned to list all my favorite Ted Talks. Ironically, the only one that I ever wrote down was "Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator." And then I quit the page. But you know what? I'm okay with that. Maybe I'll come back to it, maybe I won't.
5.) It really does increase productivity
And I am not even kidding. I am pretty inconsistent by nature. It's just how I roll. Sometimes I'm really good about routines, and sometimes I just go into survival mode. But seriously, this bullet journal and all it's list making glory is the most consistent thing I have ever done. I mean I look at it and update it (almost) every single day, and it really does help keep me focused on projects and priorities. I always have it handy and have even created a much simpler version to keep on my desk at school for all my list making needs there. And for me, it also serves as a creative outlet where I can "theme up" my pages depending on my mood, the season, or whatever. I love it.
So to wrap up, here's a glance at some of my favorites.
Happy Bujo keeping!