Bullet journals have been everywhere for the past year. For a long time I wasn’t sure if they were for me, but gradually I became more and more intrigued by the concept. I finally jumped on the bandwagon earlier this year and got myself a Leuchtturm1917, and started using it in February. There are still some things that I’m working and I might change some things, but I think I have mostly found what works for me. I’m still very much a novice, but here is how I use my journal…
First is my future log — a fancy term for what is essentially the year ahead. I have shaded important dates, colour-coded for different areas of my life (uni, dancing, birthdays, etc) and written on the side what happens on these dates. As you can see, February and March are quite packed… The second half of the year is still looking a little bit bare, and I still haven’t actually detailed what the shaded dates are. The future log helps me when I’m setting up each month and is just a good way to get a general overview of the coming year.
Next I have a ‘Year in Pixels’ page, which is essentially a mood tracker. I realised too late that I probably should have had more than just four options, as I often find it difficult to pinpoint what mood I’m in… hence that some days are half and half. Next to this is a list of my goals and resolutions for the year ahead.
The next spread I have dedicated to books, films and tv-shows that I would like to read/watch. I am planning to fill this out more as the year goes by, as well as cross off those that I have had time to read/watch.
Next come the monthly pages. This is where I take the dates that I have put in the future log plus add other dates and events that have come up. I also have a few goals and to-do’s that are specific for that month, as well as a list of meal ideas and a list of what fruits and vegetables are in season.
On the next spread I have my gratitude log and my monthly habit tracker. The gratitude log is where I write down one or two things that have been good that day. I find it really good to sit down in the evening and think positively about the day that has passed, especially if I’ve had a particularly stressful day. The habit tracker includes things that I would ideally want to do everyday, such as wake up before 7.15, drink lemon water, get outside, avoid caffeine and sugar, not spend any money, etc. If I’ve fulfilled a certain thing that day the box gets coloured, so the aim is to have as many coloured boxes as possible!
My final monthly spread is my outfit log. This is my way to keep track of what clothes I’m wearing, which is helpful both in terms of understanding what clothes I actually like to wear (and what clothes that simply hang there in my wardrobe, waiting to be used), and to avoid wearing the same thing on a certain weekday.
I don’t bother with a daily log and just do a weekly spread, with a section for each day, a meal plan and a small section for notes and to-do’s. I also have a little square where I put a quote (in an attempt to inspire myself…). I simply transfer whatever is in the monthly log to the weekly spread and add a few more events. For example, I don’t bother putting dance classes in the monthly log as I know which days they are on, but I do put them in my weekly log. I also add to-do’s and notes for each day.
What I Use
I write mostly with my Muji 0.4 erasable ink pen. It’s my all-time favourite pen – wonderfully thin, subtly black and a joy to write with. Plus it’s erasable, which is excellent for someone who has a tendency to make silly mistakes. I also use this to write my fake calligraphy/hand-lettering, which works well as long as you don’t inspect my writing too closely…
I also have the Muji 0.5 gel pens which I use when I want a dash of colour, for example for the Year in Pixels spread or to separate the days in my weekly log. I also used it for my habit tracker and outfit log in February, but this month I’m using the Tombow dual brush pens for those spreads instead. I’d like to be talented enough to use them for actual hand-writing, but I haven’t had enough practice yet…
And that is my bullet journal! It’s not as fancy or creative as some are, but it suits me and my needs. I find it really helps me organise my thoughts and makes me feel less stressed and anxious.