Starting a new job has very much given me that back to school feeling – so I bought new shoes and stationary and started a bullet journal!
I’d seen quite a few posts on Pinterest about keeping a bullet journal – but didn’t really know what one was. After a very enjoyable evening of reading blogs and and browsing Pinterest, I discovered that it’s whatever you want it to be! You create your own layouts within a notebook of your choice, and it can incorporate to do lists, weekly/monthly/yearly planners, goals, notes, diarys, projects and whatever else you want to put in it!
This is all held together by a contents page at the front so that you can easily find what you’re looking for.
I initially got very excited and decided that my bullet journal would be the answer to everything. I would no longer need lists in my phone, a work notebook, a freelance notebook, a ‘stuff to do around the house’ notebook, a yearly planner spreadsheet, a diary, a calandar and post-it notes! Everything would fit in my bullet journal and life would be forever perfectly organised.
I quite quickly realised that not every element of it worked for me. One page isn’t enough for a contents list – and I can’t really be bothered to number every page and then log it in the contents – so that didn’t last long. I did find a solution though and have been putting washy tape ‘tabs’ on each page so that I can locate things quickly.
I also didn’t get on with monthly planners. I love my yearly planner (above) and have written my main goals for each month in there. I enjoyed ticking off the bits I’ve done in Aug, but after trying two different layouts I decided that my months are too busy to be writing everything down by hand. So I’ve reverted back to my colour-coded spreadsheet planner where I can see at a glance when I have a workday, a freelance day, a workshop, a show, or occasionally a day off! Things change and move around so much with my schedule that I enjoy the flexibilty of doing this in a spreadsheet. I have printed it out to keep in my bullet journal though so it’s still all in one place!
My favourite bit is my weekly planners. For years I’ve been using boxes on my to-lists rather than crossing things out. I find it really handy to be able to look back and see when I did something and it’s easier to see if you haven’t crossed the whole thing out. I’ve created a key to make this even more organised and that’s going well so far.
I wish my weekly layouts looked as lovely as the ones above from omgstudytime and Aprons & Stilletos, but my weekly to-do’s don’t fit into nice little boxes/days! I am however liking having my work and freelance work in the same notebook as there is a bit of crossover between the two things. At the moment I’ve been squeezing it onto one spread – but that’s just not working. I think I’m going to start doing a page with an overview of the week and the tasks I need/want to complete, then a more detailed page of freelance work to-dos for the week and then two whole pages for the day job! This should feel less overwhelming and hopefully look a bit neater.
I’m loving keeping ‘collections’/projects in my journal. I used to jot things down all over the place, but now it’s all together. I have a page of things I want to make for me, ideas for blogs, decorating plans and many other bits and bobs.
I also want to add in a ‘goals’ page – I like the layouts above from Sarah’s Chapter and gettoworkbook. I think that would be a good thing to do in December ready for the new year. And I really want a meal planner. How organised is the one above?! Unfortunately I can’t find who did this originally but I love the idea.
Although I’ve found not everything is working for me – I’m still loving my bullet journal and it’s definitely helping me to stay organised now that I’m juggling a job and freelance work. It can be whatever works for you – and if you want to find out more just check out my journal board on Pinterest where I’ve pinned a few of my favourite layouts and ideas.