Up until this week, I had my planner inside my household binder. It was really cute, but not at all portable, and just wasn't meeting my needs. (To clarify, just the planner part wasn't working for me... I am still in love with my household binder!) Right before the new year, some friends started talking about the Bullet Journal, and I knew I had to give it a try. If you've never heard of it, head on over to BulletJournal.com. There is a quick video and some other information that explains how to set one up. After I had thought about it for a few days (so I wouldn't act on impulse) my hubby was sweet enough to go to the bookstore to buy me a Moleskine notebook. I got the large black soft covered Classic Notebook with squared paper. Large enough to fit my needs, and small enough to fit in my purse. I will say, it was hard to find because I live in the middle of nowhere, but if you go to the Moleskine website, they can tell you where you can find their products. Or you can use any ol' notebook you like!
We are only three days into the new year, so I don't have a whole lot in my journal yet, but I wanted to give you a quick peek. As you can see from the picture up at the top of the page, I had to add some color to that drab black cover. It was a quick 30 second fix, since I had some Martha Stewart Home Office stickers and elastic handy. Much better!
The first page is an index, so I can easily find things. A place for everything, and everything in its place. Since I'm one of those people that writes things down in several different notebooks, and on little sheets of paper and sticky notes, having one place to deposit all my plans, ideas, and notes is awesome.
I took the general Bullet Journal concept, and tweaked it to better fit my needs. On pages two and three, I drew some boxes for each month, and wrote down my family's birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. Then at the bottom of page three, I drew a key: a heart for anniversaries; a cross for anniversaries of deaths; a present for birthdays; and a dot for holidays. And because I like to doodle, each month has a little picture in its box.
Next, I made my January calendar. Overview on the left, and the month's tasks on the right. To give it some color, I used washi tape at the top of each calendar page.
On the next several pages, I divided each page into three days. (A few ended up with four days so the new month would always begin with two pages.) This is where I will keep track of each day's events and tasks, and where I will jot down notes and write a little bit about my day. I love that this acts as not only a planner, but as a journal and idea notebook, too. Because of that, this is something I will keep year after year. And don't you just love the satisfaction of coloring boxes in when you complete something? Or, maybe you prefer checkmarks, in which case, go ahead and check those boxes off to your heart's content.
I needed to be able to plan for future events, so after I finished making the monthly spread for January, followed by the daily pages, I kept going with February all the way through December. Monthly spread, dailies, and repeat. Yes, it took some time, but now I feel invested. Can't just throw it aside and forget about it when I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to finish it. This thing is with me for life. Or at least the next 12 months.
Right after the last page for December, I made a box for each month so I can write down appointments and other happenings that will take place in 2015.
Just to give you an idea of how I'm using the idea notebook part of the journal, the picture above shows some of the different projects I want to complete around our home, and below is a weight loss tracker I made to keep me motivated. I can't wait to color in all those little boxes!
I am convinced this is going to work really well for me. It will free my mind of all the ideas I have floating around, and will act as my memory so I don't have to keep lying to myself when I think, "Oh, I don't have to write it down. I'll remember." So a big thanks to my friends for introducing me to this method. Love at first sight.