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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!