Bullet Journal Tour!

Yes, I realize that April is a weird time to be sharing my bullet journal since normally it’s a beginning-of-the-year thing. But let’s just roll with it, eh? 2017 is the first time I decided to give bullet journaling a go. Id’ heard a ton about it and seen the gorgeous Instagram bullet journal porn. But the real decision to make one came from the fact that ready made planners are so expensive. Don’t get me wrong, I know that people put a lot of work into the design of the pages and layout. Plus manufacturing costs. But $50-$70 for a planner that, let’s be honest, I will probably crap out on using halfway through the year, is just too much for me. So I decided to go the bullet journal route!

Bullet Journal Tour - Journal

Serendipitously, my partner happened to give me this fantastic journal for Christmas! I immediately knew I was going to use it for my bullet journal. So I grabbed some pens, hopped on YouTube, and spent a few hours getting lost in the bullet journal world.

Upon emerging from YouTube back to real life, I realized that I could easily become someone who got obsessed with having my layout perfect. Where one mistake ruins the whole damn thing. I also realized I could quickly get caught up in decorating vs actually planning and I wanted to avoid that too. So I decided from the get go that this was NOT going to be perfect. And that it being a slovenly mess was totally okay. It’s my first attempt at a bullet journal, so I can experiment until my heart is content. Here’s what I’ve come up with.

Bullet Journal Tour - Hello 2017

 

Bullet Journal Tour - Goals + Books

My goals page has since had some changes made, as I adjusted/added a couple goals. Also, these pics were taken weeks ago so my Books I Read page isn’t current. I’m hoping I’ll have enough room for all the books, but if not, I can just tape in a fold out page.

Bullet Journal Tour - Art + Stats Tracker

My social media stats tracker is much more for personal curiosity than me actually putting in effort to grow any particular stat. I’m kind of giving numbers the middle finger this year, and I’m curious to see how my numbers change with minimal effort put in.

Bullet Journal Tour - Monthly Spread

For my monthly overview pages I have a tracker to the left with the actual days of the month on the right. Here I write any appointments or engagements we have. Yes, I am a genius, and in my January tracker I didn’t actually COUNT the number of squares as I was making them. GOOD JOB, BRAIN. But I shrugged, fixed it, and moved on. Embrace the imperfection! My tracker stats are in no particular order. I just listed things I wanted to keep track of; the extra space in to the right is basically just for jotting down anything I feel like.

Bullet Journal Tour - Weekly Spread

My weekly spreads are used mainly for journaling. I like to jot down a few sentences about each day, particular highs or lows, etc. I don’t start on a particular day each week; whatever the first of the month is becomes the ‘lead’ day for that spread. I realize this would drive people nuts; it works for me. I also keep a weekly to-do list, and track weekly highlights since I think remembering the little things is important.

As you can see, I started out using individual boxes for the weekly tracker. This was achieved by tracing a piece of paper eight times per page set. It was a phenomenal pain in the ass, and by the time I got to filling in May’s weekly spreads, I gave up and just used a ruler and made lines to separate the days. Much easier.

Bullet Journal Tour - pens and markers

As for supplies, I raid my kiddo’s marker and gel pen collection! I have basically every color under the sun as an option plus, GLITTER!

Bullet Journal Tour - shiny Index

So shiny. I also use a variety of stickers and things that I’ve had for ages and never used in my old planner. On the whole, I’ve used very little decoration so far. I do have a few list pages following my monthly/weekly spreads – blog post ideas, hiking trips we want to take – stuff like that. Despite me being an avid lister, I’m having trouble coming up with things to make lists about and track!

As you can see, my bullet journal is far from perfect. It’s messy, with mistakes and cross-outs and scribbles. But I’m loving it. I feel no guilt if I don’t use it (which I do when I don’t use a $50 planner) and I love that at any time I can change any layouts to accommodate what I want. I plan to have a few more bullet journal posts throughout the year, once I get some more lists and such in there to share!

Do you have a bullet journal? What kind of stuff do you track? What do your layouts look like? Feel free to give me any tips/suggestions, and if you have a post on it, link it below; I’d love to check it out!

 

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  • B.

    I think they’re awesome but I know mine would be a mess and I’d stop after a week. LOL

    • Kay

      HA! I hear that. Mine is a mess, but I’m actually keeping up with it! For the most part. I definitely have days where I realize I haven’t filled anything in like four days and have to play catchup!

  • It looks fantastic!! I love love love the flexibility that bullet journals offer, and I totally feel you on embracing the imperfections. I get lost in bullet journal videos and Pinterest posts all the time and it’s easy to feel like my journal isn’t pretty enough, but I’m learning to just deal with it and give myself the okay to not be perfect:P I’m glad you’re having fun with it, and yay glitter!!

    • Kay

      Thanks! Seriously, I don’t get how some people can just like whip up beautiful handwriting and design for their layouts, it’s crazy! Embracing mess and imperfection is definitely the way for me! 🙂

  • Mariah Kaercher

    This is a really cute idea! I may have to do this with a journal that I have.

    • Kay

      I’m loving it! The customization is just great; I really like not being stuck with a layout. At first I didn’t really have any idea where to begin, but thanks to YouTube there are endless ideas for layout inspiration!

  • I have a whole blog post about it on my blog, so I won’t annoy you with my ramblings 😀 I came back to my beloved weekly Moleskine for 2017 (only 12$) and I use some bullet journal concepts in my personal diary and my simple notebook I carry with me everywhere. I love you used a cool geeky notebook rather than following the YouTube trend, it makes your journal more unique 🙂

    • Kay

      Yes, I love your bullet journal! Much more neat and organized than my own. 😀
      And thank you! I do love this Zelda book; the pages are a bit thin so you can see through the backs sometimes but it’s not enough to be a bother.

      • Aww thank you! It looks organized, but I promise it’s messy too 😀 If you want some inspiration to avoid that feeling of not being perfect enough, I highly recommend Ariel’s video (not your typical bullet journal video), she’s the best! https://youtu.be/_CmoaJqBrZ0

        • Kay

          Ooo thank you, I will definitely check it out!

  • I loooooved seeing your bullet journal!!! I have two right now, one for tracking bookish things and one for tracking fandom things. I feel like that was my big project to set up this year but next year I want to try using one for daily life planning as well. I just can’t carry them all around at the same time or my shoulder will break lol! I really love the glittery gel pens you have! And I’m the same way with my social media tracker. I’m mostly just checking it out of curiosity (with the exception of YouTube because that’s where most of my effort goes so it’s nice to see any type of gradual increase). I knew yours would be beautiful with your artistic skills! And I actually gave my husband that same Zelda journal last year!!!

    • Kay

      Ha, no way!! It is a lovely journal; the design on the front is so beautiful!

      And thank you!! I feel like my journal is such a mess compared to the beauty perfection of others, but I’m really loving it. I do enjoy spicing it up with fancy headers and glitter pens though haha! 😀 I’m really liking having a place to do a bit of daily journaling along with keeping track of other life things and appointments. Having all in one place is a huge convenience whereas before I had about three notebooks PLUS a planner for it all. And the fact that I can change it all whenever I want is also really freeing!

  • Love it! I’ve been interested in starting a bullet journal, but I fear that I’d make it three months and then never pick it back up. I started to take some of the bullet journal ideas and use it my big planner…and this past month I didn’t really use my planner. However, being ready to pop with a baby may have had more to do with that than anything else :). I love the inside look into your bullet journal.

    • Kay

      Right?! At this point if you’re accomplishing anything beyond rest then you are doing plenty! Growing a tiny human is seriously hard work.

      I so get you on crapping out with planners. I have never managed to actually use one for a full year. Which is why I feel so guilty when I spend so much money on one. At least with this one, the only thing wasted if I don’t use it is my own time spent on the layouts (which while time consuming, isn’t TOO bad, I got the whole thing prepped in about 5 hours total over a few days). I’d much rather have a bit of wasted time than wasted money, but that could be due to living life on a budget!

      I also really like the freedom to change things up whenever I want. I didn’t fully fill in my weekly spreads because I know me, and I’ll likely want to switch it up at some point. Having that option is so nice!

  • Awww! I love it!!!! I also want to start bullet journaling, but I need more time 😮

    • Kay

      Thank you! It does take a bit of time to get it set up (I think I spent around 5 hours total, but that was spread over a few days working on it here and there) but once you get the initial layouts in, it’s so easy to maintain and keep up with! Getting bogged down in details can be easy, but I’m taking a pretty care free route with it. I hope you share if you try it one day!

  • The last time I used a planner was in college. I’ll admit for every day life I find it just easier to pop a reminder into the calendar app on my phone. However, this bullet journaling looks like it could have some fun to go with it. Although, like you I’d have to be careful to not care too much otherwise it’d lay there to be glowered at.

    • Kay

      So true! Often with purchased planners I would give up really quickly and then feel guilty about having spent the money on it. At least with this, if I skip a week of using it or just end up giving up all together, I have nothing to feel bad about! I also definitely still use reminders on my phone too since I don’t carry this everywhere with me. 🙂

  • I love your bullet Journal. I’ve never been very good at journaling to be honest, just not my thing but yours is super cute!!

    • Kay

      Thanks! I’m really enjoying it. I tried to go fully digital, which honestly makes more sense, but there’s just something about putting pen to paper. 🙂

  • I started using a planner a few months ago, as I became super stressed with everything going on. I needed to get some insight and prioritise, and it really helped.

    I love seeing how you made it and why you did it that way. Mine is different, but I think I will write my own blog post about it, because this was seriously just so much fun to read! I really like how you did the tracker, I think I’ll add that to my planner as well. It would help to get better insight into my exercise (this is a big challenge as I’m chronically ill – I tend to overdo things). And I might do my week pages like you do, because you get a better overview than how I do them currently (one day a page).

    • Kay

      Thanks Rav! I’m excited to read your post! My exercise tracker is so pathetic this year….I’ve done basically nothing. :/ But other than that particular category, I have really like tracking other things!

      And seeing all the different options is my favorite part of bullet journals. There’s really no wrong way to do them, and you can change up your layout anytime you like. Perfect!

  • I love this. I love that you recognize that it’s going to be messy. I’m that kind of person, too. I want it to be pretty and perfect or I’ll walk away from it. I’ve been thinking of starting one that’s more spiritually oriented and I might follow in your footsteps and go on a youtube binge for a little while!
    Also, YAY ZELDA!

    • Kay

      Thanks Leah! I hope you enjoy it if you start one! There are SO many options for vids on YouTube (Alice linked a great one in the comments below if you scroll a bit!) from the super pretty/decorated to those who embrace the mess! I just love the freedom of being able to make it WHATEVER I want.