363 days ago, I scrapped together what ever cash I had to order a dot-grid note book, and a pack of colored pens, to jump into the world of bullet journalling. Back then, it was a struggle to find a dot-grid notebook that didn’t cost all my pocket money, now they seem to be everywhere (or I got real good at researching). I had also been watching as many videos as I could to not mess this up. I didn’t know if I would keep this up past month 3, I didn’t think that planning could be such a creative release, and I didn’t know that an amazing community of Journalers existed being artsy, inspiring, and calming.
So has it kept me organized?
My time management has improved ten fold. I rarely miss assignments now, and I’m better at scheduling rather than squeezing everything in after school/work. There have been rough patches where I had such a mundane routine, I didn’t feel like I needed a planner anymore, but it’s fine it’s working itself out. There are still things to do before and after work.
Is it hard to keep up?
It’s actually easier. Once I found what I liked, what formats worked for me, and what I actually needed, a routine appeared. Now, it was about making the doodles and washi tape fit into my personal system, rather than fitting a planner in a sea of pen ink and tape. It’s also really nice, that if there was a week where planning didn’t make sense, there wouldn’t be any wasted pages like in a traditional planner. You pick up where you left off. No guilt. No shame.
Couldn’t you do this digitally?
YES! there are so many digital bujo set ups and they are just as creative and useful as the physical journal. That didn’t work out for me, I just love the feeling of pen to paper.
Get to the June set up WOMAN
June is going to be SOOOOO busy so space is essential. I spread out my monthly layout into two pages instead of one. I’m also taking advantage of my local library, so there’s also a library book tracker along with my usual trackers. I made two whole packing list pages for all the events. There also isn’t a theme? I couldn’t think of one I liked enough to settle on, so I took everything I had for journaling and just went to town.
Tell me about your June set ups!
After a whole month of jamming every shade of gray in existence into my spreads, it’s time for some color! I haven’t seen a lot of people use orange as their main color in bullet journals. Isn’t that weird? It’s a nice color, but it’s severely overlooked so I am changing that! Instead of picking one thing like citrus or butterflies, if it is orange, and I like it, it’s going into the may spread. Now, the actual drawings are rough, and there are a LOT of black smudges. I was trying out the putting color down and then drawing on top of it. It worked so well for others but I’m not sure about it. Not every month can be an artistic master piece. I like it enough and it’ll work for what I need.
The usual spreads are the cover, drop list dates, month at a glance, and the habit tracker. Two new spreads I’m including are an expense tracker, and a job application tracker. I am looking for a new job and need to keep track of where I’ve applied and how long it’s been since I’ve applied. An expense tracker is also needed because I have to be a lot stricter with spending. The goal is to only spend on essentials like bills and gas, but iced coffee is a thing so I need to have a visual list of my spending to keep myself in check. They are super simple and look similar.
Tell me about your journals this month!! What themes or colors are you drawn to try?
I totally missed out on the 6 months mark to do a general update on how bullet journalling has gone for me. I’m going to try out monthly updates, even if it’s just to show my spreads and themes!
For April, I wanted to do a rain theme. It was a take on April Showers, but as I was sketching out the cover page, I liked the cloud theme so much that it it stuck! AmandaRachlee and her April set up video was also a big inspiration. The main collections for this month are the cover page, the date drop list, the month at a glance, my habit trackers, a shopping list, a bill tracker, and a few doodles/aesthetic pages.
I should have only chosen one accent color, but going through all of my markers every gray, pale blue, and lavender was perfect for this theme. A lot of people would consider this super sad and depressing, but cloudy and overcast days (when it’s not so humid you have to swim everywhere) are my favorite. Next month there will be more color!
On the topic of the bullet journal; do you have any fitness/workout spreads you love? I’m getting more serious about getting fit, and losing a little weight. Figured that I can keep myself accountable by incorporating it into my Bujo, besides the standard tracker. Let me know in a comment, or on twitter & Instagram; @elisabethlovess
In June, I started a bullet journal. It was daunting because making my own 95% customized planner is overwhelming. I had worries about finding the time to keep setting up spreads, if I actually needed a dotted notebook, if I actually needed to pay $20 for a fancy notebook I may not use more than 5 pages of, and if it would honestly help me manage my time better. Of course, I spent weeks watching bujo (Bullet journal) videos on YouTube for inspiration. They were all beautiful and creative. It made me wonder; how do I keep up? I’m breaking this post into the three months and what my experience was like in each
By then, bullet journalling had taken off and brands were already making affordable alternatives to the famous notebook that most people love. I got this one for $12, and I’ve found some for even less! I also got a giant pack of colored pens and let myself go wild with the colors for the first month. Getting that out of my system was important; I was full of ideas. I basically played around with my options for most of June. Even with the rainbow throw up, it did help me keep on track with my summer classes and social activities.
I grew sick of colors lol.
I picked a space theme and stuck to an all black and pen spread. This month I had an idea of what worked for me, and kept refining my “style”. I knew I needed a monthly overview, a page for quotes, and depending on how busy I was, I flipped back and forth between weekly and daily spreads. Summer classes were winding down, so there was a lot more free time than usual. To do lists were needed more than structured spreads and I enjoyed that how it can be changed up that easily! This month was where I learned that all of these fancy colorful, artistic spreads weren’t necessary.
August was where I truly fell in love with the Bujo system. I knew what I liked and what was useful. I picked a lavender theme, because purple, and it was cute but not overwhelming. I also made a weekly to-do list with a small space for specific events and appointments. That kind of weekly spread turned out to be really useful with no classes and tons of free time after work. I also dedicated a spread to the weekends. I experimented with a fitness spread, but that didn’t carry over into this month (Sept).
I used to think that people who kept up with these planners were heros/aliens from planet organization. This system is really easy to keep up with. Just a little time and you’ve got yourself a cute system that also helps you keep up with life! I’ll do another update soon, it’s turned into a real passion!