I have been bullet journalling since September last year. I started by just using an old empty spiral notebook which of course I had to personalise.
Being a stationery junkie as well, bullet journalling is so dangerous as it gave me an excuse to splurge on some beautiful stickers, washi tape and pens. I bought a 36-pack of Staedtler Fineliners which here in Oz cost me over $30. The BJ (Bullet Journal) also brought back memories of my schooling in East Germany where we had learned to write with fountain pens. I remembered suddenly how I loved using them as it – incredibly – forces your handwriting to be neater. So, I have now bought a couple of fountain pens as well:
- Rose Fountain Pen – which I found on Etsy – the shop is JournalBoutiqueAUS
- Momoi Printed Pink Fountain Pen – which I bought on YesStyle (I think this is not available anymore
- You need Blotting Paper if you write with Fountain Pens. Again, this is made by the lovely Melanie of Wiccked (Etsy)
And then I saw this little travellers notebook:
I also suddenly had numerous other notebook options as detailed in my previous post
Late last year I decided to try two notebooks, the smaller cute traveller notebook for the daily carrying about and the A5 notebook to leave at home to complete and fill in lists (habit tracker and weekly spreads for example). However, I find I hardly use the little red book and am seriously thinking of abandoning it – at least for the originally intended purpose. Luckily the cover and my home-made inserts (I found awesome instructions to make these on Poketfullofvintage’s YouTube channel. It can be re-used as the little books are just held via elastic bands and can be replaced.
Another trial in my January setup was that I followed up the monthly January spread with every week of the month right after after. Basically I was sitting one day and prepared January 2017 and 4 weekly spreads at once. I now find that this method loses me and I am not remembering or using the weeks as I was last year when I sat down every Sunday (night mostly) and prepared the following week. It is the short-term memory I think that gets lost when doing the whole months upfront. I will abandon that method from February onward and revert to my Sunday ritual for the following week as I did it originally.
Or a new way of doing the planning might be the daily prep each night to see if that works. The reason behind that would be that some days might be busier and more task-heavy than others. And in doing this daily preparation no journal paper/page will be wasted by a not so busy day 🙂 but allow enough for very busy days.
Another thing I will not continue is the spending log. I really cannot keep this up. I am using a budget every month on an Excel spreadsheet for the last two years and think that is sufficient enough. I also keep forgetting to log a few dollars here and there which defeats the purpose.
What I will keep are the monthly colour-coding (I keep the washi tape needed for that month handy), the habit tracker, the weekly spreads, the gift idea list for each important person in my life, the shopping list – this is not the weekly groceries but rather special things like my candle wick trimmer or the skipping rope – and definitely the theme I introduced for each month. January 2017 is my “grateful/gratitude” month. Of course I have more lists to keep such as my “Books to read” and so on.
A short mention to my digital calendar on my phone. I couldn’t be without it and still need it as more often than not these days I leave the house with just my phone. Using the calendar I can quickly add any new appointments and scheduled task which I then religiously transfer to my paper format once I get back to it at night.
I find it amazing how my usage of the BJ evolves in such a short period. I haven’t yet found my perfect system but i will keep trying to develop it.
What I do find however although I am not using a “diary” as such anymore, i am still dependant on my wall calendar in my office as it shows me any bills that are due just by turning my head :-). I do transfer these to the BJ when I setup the month and the weeks. Come to think of it, I may do away with the month as well. As I previously mentioned, I have a short-term memory rather than long term and the weeks serve me better while the wall calendar could be my monthly trigger and reminder.
There are so many ideas that have been developed from the original Bullet Journal system by Ryder Carroll and I am still crawling the world wide web, or Pinterest for that matter to get my inspirations. Here are some that I follow on my instagram or have bookmarked: