I thought about posting a bullet journal primer, but there are already TONS on the internet! Plus, it’s easier to start from the basics and tune it. I follow a lot of bullet journal blogs and instagrams for inspiration and tweak things until they serve me best. In 2012, I started out journaling about my day and recording quotes. This year, I started using the bullet journal calendar system, so my journal has morphed from the traditional setup to a new setup that I’ve attuned especially for my needs. I use my journal for normal “here are my feelings about life and what I did today” thoughts, but I use it to keep track of all kinds of different things. I love having all of my life in one place.
Here are my bullet journal spreads:
- This month, I started a new monthly page where I put goals and quotes and mantras for the month. I’ll add to it as the month goes on, but there isn’t much on it yet.
- Beyond the month, I break it down into a weekly spread. I change it up a little each time, using different setups and printouts and quotes that suit the week’s ~vibe. On this spread, I record my appointments, to-dos, and a few habits. I also sometimes track my sleep and spending. Each Sunday evening when I create my weekly spread for the next week, I think about the things I want to improve about myself in order to set goals. If I have a week where I buy too much coffee, for example, one of my goals the next week might relate to abstaining from that bad habit. The weekly goals have check boxes that align with habits I want to create. A lot of people track their habits in their monthly spread, but I find it more encouraging to do it weekly so I have a clean slate each week. I usually keep scheduled items like appointments apart from to-dos. For example, in the weekly spread below, I use my three goals to separate events/appointments (above) from the the to-dos I fill in below.
- Though I don’t like tracking my habits on a larger scale, I LOVE using my journal to keep up with media, like this tracker I have for watching House, MD (please don’t judge me for those binges last month…). I have a monthly spread for the podcasts I listen to because I usually listen to one or more a day. I also have a bigger spread for the books I’ve read in 2016. For these big spreads, it’s helpful to use tabs for ease of access.
- There are other kinds of spreads, too! Just like when I first started journaling, I still like to keep track of quotes (below, left). I’m definitely a collector, and I love recording quotes from books, movies, and people. Also, it’s poignant to see what quotes struck me at different points in my life. I usually incorporate quotes in my weekly spreads as well as my day-to-day journaling. I have educational spreads where I’ll watch a documentary or read a book and take notes. I also have spreads devoted to different cleaning references. Travel spreads are so much fun in a journal (below, right). I collect small scraps from my trips, like ticket stubs and tea tags, and journal about my day around them like a mini scrapbook. I love buying postcards and putting them in my journal when I travel because they’re cheap, high quality pictures that are better than ones I can take with my iPhone and print. The travel spread below contains my memories from Parc Güell in Barcelona, Spain.
My journal is a hodgepodge of all the things that make me happy. It lets me celebrate the little pieces of who I am, the events and quotes and thoughts that shape me into the person I’m becoming.