Friday, February 3, 2017

My Answer to Bullet Journaling

Planners are the rage right now.  I mean, it's always been important to have a calendar to keep track of appointments and events, but the "art" of planning is at an all-time high.  Heidi Swapp makes hers so beautiful,

and this one by Stephanie Makes looks so great!  
While I love all the stuff that goes with fancy planners--the stickers and clips and stamps and photos and washi tape--I know that it is just one more project that I would likely begin and never complete. And let's face it, the main reason I need a planner is to plan and get myself organized!

About mid-way through 2016, I decided to give bullet journaling a try. While I keep a digital calendar on my phone, I missed not having a place to jot down notes, plan dinners, and long-term projects.  After reading up on the bullet journal system, it seemed like it might be a good fit.  I purchased a set of digital printables from an Etsy shop, printed them out in the traveler's journal size and made my own cover.  That system lasted about a month before the book got lost in the bottom of one of my teacher bags and then forgotten.

I tried again this fall with more success.  This time, I made my own sheets based on things that I wanted to keep up with and it worked so much better. I started out with an index of sorts, but rarely referred to it, so rather than actually "bulleting" entries  in different colors or icons, I had a couple of different notebooks for different subjects.  Unfortunately, just after Thanksgiving, I lost my notebook, most likely left in a shopping cart somewhere. It had all my Christmas lists in it, as well as some long-range planning, so I felt a bit desperate for a while.  I quickly re-created the Christmas lists to get me through the end of the year when I knew I would be starting over again anyway.

For 2017, I re-evaluated my plan and made some tweaks in my page design.  I added a motivational scripture to the bottom of the page to remind me of my One Little Word and updated the icons and graphics.  I wanted to be able to see one week at a glance and included spaces to plan my meals, cleaning chores and Instagram prompts for each day.
As you can see, I have a To Do spot as well as a To Buy spot and there is even a space for miscellaneous notes. After printing the pages two-sided on pages that are cut to 8.5 x 10 size, I stitch down the middle and fold the pages in half.
I found this great little leather-look coupon holder on sale at Office Depot and my little books fit inside nicely.
Right now, I have a calendar, gift list, project book and sort of a miscellaneous book where I jot down random thoughts and lists.
A while back, I love these cute little sticky notes, the cute mechanical pencil and pack of small, colored pens.  These have been great to jot down the shopping lists before I go to the store, if I don't want to take in the whole wallet.  I also include a cute mechanical pencil.
On either Saturday or Sunday evenings, I have been jotting down events for the upcoming week, so that I'm ready to toss it into my purse when I get ready to leave the house.  So far---knock on wood---I haven't left it any shopping carts.  While it probably isn't true bullet journaling, it is so satisfying to cross things off my lists each day and to have a couple of master lists to refer back to.  If I don't get to something, I can always carry it over to the next day or even week, depending on the project.

How do you stay organized? Have you given  bullet journaling a go?
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