Let’s talk bullet journal

Bullet journaling. I’m trying it out and I’m not as madly in love as the rest of you lot.

Some argue that using a bullet journal will make them more organized. Personally, I’m just seeing the chaos in my head reflected in a notebook. I.e. to make this work, you need basic organizational skills. A notebook is not going to do it for you.

Not that it matters at all, it’s not the reason I’m trying it out. This is my reason:

The idea of having everything in one place appealed to me; my to-do lists, as well as other lists, different types of schedules as well as appointments, all of it collected in once place! And the fact that it can be tailored to your own personal needs, how could you not be at least a little interested??

Also, I like the trackers I see people using in their bullet journals. But organized? Pah! I’m as organized as I’ll ever be.

What finally convinced me I could give it a go: you’re allowed to have a bullet journal even if you’re not creative. It doesn’t have to look like what you see on Pinterest and Instagram, it can look in whatever way you want. You can have a plain and clean layout. You’re allowed.

Not sure why I needed someone to tell me that. But I did.

Anyway…let’s move on to likes and dislikes.

My choice of notebook. It’s good but also bad. I’m using a blank page notebook in size A5. It’s meant for drawing so it has a hard cover, which I like. I did also look for a notebook with a spiral back on purpose, it’s what I usually prefer. But it’s turned out as a bullet journal, not so great. I mean yes, it stays open, but if you’re going to be writing a lot, the spiral will annoy the hell out of you.

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Also blank pages. Blank pages are a bit of a challenge for me. As I’m about to show you. Brace yourself for some crooked, chaotic and poor penmanship!

Let’s start with monthly dividers. I’ve seen people doing monthly dividers, makes sense in theory I guess. Tried a simple one:

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Conclusion: complete waste of space. I’ll leave that to the creatives.

Monthly trackers, however, now that I use! Although maybe a bit differently from most people, it’s more of a reminder than a “create healthy habits” tool. I already have habits. I excel at habits. I’m at the point where I don’t know why I would do a thing unless I can make it a habit.

Should probably work on that.

My March tracker:

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Tape people! Tape! I’m telling you tape is so useful in this context. As markers and just making pages just prettier.

PS. Another thing I do like about making your own planner: I can mix languages. I just realized it means I can add random German words. I love German.

Moving on!

I like it that I can add info such as my workout class schedule:

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And I saw someone make a folder by taping two pages together, such a simple and useful idea! Like this:

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My weekly spreads are still a work in progress. Current layout:

My sister thinks I’m quite neat. I think this apty demonstrates that, in fact, I am not.

Will probably add a weekly to-do list to the week intro page. Strikes me as useful.

What I struggle with is having enough space to write on because my daily to-do lists are quite long. In addition, I wanted to separate my work-related tasks from my private tasks, but still have them in the same space. Which is what the empty squares are about, it’s for work things.

Could be mentioned: I like to emphasize week number in this way because we talk weeks at work quite a lot. Most of the time in fact.

While I was going to keep it plain and simple, I seem to detest empty spaces.

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My future log though, v. v. pleased with it. It also solved my initial problem, which I considered a huge dislike, the needing to plan things months into the future. I’d have to spend hours and hours writing out all weeks in advance! This type future log solves the problem, because you can add events/tasks/whatever in non-chronological order. Gefällt mir!

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Also thought the dutch doors was such a cute idea that I had to try it. In case it’s unclear: it’s a page folded in half. If you unfold this particular page there’s examples of blog posts, which I thought could be useful if I run out of ideas.

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Which is also something the bullet journal is quite handy for, taking notes for blog posts, random ideas or while reading, which I like to do. And lists! I have all sorts of lists, highly unstructured and barely readable.

In conclusion; it’s alright, probably slightly more fun than actually useful.

PS. Top tip I wish someone had told me: get a pen or two in size 0.1 or 0.2, they don’t bleed through the pages and are also easier to work with especially if your penmanship isn’t great.

29 thoughts on “Let’s talk bullet journal”

    1. Weeelll..no matter how many calendars and other type to-do list apps I have I keep going back to paper. It’s like a force. I was using the Outlook calendar, a personal calendar, Wunderlist and Trello. Doesn’t feel like it’s quite working, I mean that’s at least 3 items too many, and also, I keep going back to paper.

      But bottom line is, you do bullet journaling because you’re a fool falling for trends, or because you think it’s fun, OR because you want readable handwriting. Yes it’s true! I’ve only used it for a few weeks and my handwriting has nearly become intelligible! Give me another few weeks…That alone, friggin worthwhile.

      But being realistic, do I think I’ll abandon this for a digital calendar at some point in the future? Pretty damn sure. For now: fun way to spend time. That’s why you do it.

      Possibly also because it’s like a calendar plus. You can add all sort of things. Budgets, lists of your blog posts, when/what to post, your workout program, packing list, recipes you make frequently, wish list, a checklist for finding a new apartment… Have you seen any of the people who’ve really mastered this art? There’s lots of good examples of how to use it here https://www.instagram.com/showmeyourplanner/, think it also shows how it’s slightly different from a regular calendar?

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        1. I have to entertain the idea because 1. I work in Svl, and 2. I go to the gym in Svl essentially meaning I don’t really do anything in Hsd anymore. I barely even buy my grocieries there, and shopping, well that’s what we have Birsta for, right? Plus: 600 kr för parkering per månad på jobbet. Och måste åka bil om jag vill träna, för att inte tala om slösa tid på att åka fram och tillbaka…

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          1. That would be perfect! I mean honestly, wouldn’t mind living in Indal. Never thought I’d say but I could have cats. Cats!

            At the same time, not sure I could own a freestanding house regardless of size on my own, considering how I suck at fixing things. Unless..maybe I could hire a student to come do stuff for me? They always want extra cash, right?

            But then, walking distance to work on days where it just won’t stop snowing, would also be nice.

            Like

          2. Jaa, tänkte att du körde som min familj där det typ lyser i ögonen om vi säger ordet “flytta”. Som i Buffy – “a vague disclaimer is nobody’s friend”!
            Jag är själv rätt upphetsad av att flytta, för det är rätt tråkigt där vi bor nu… finns som varken natur eller stad…

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  1. Your BuJo was way more organized than mine was.. i gave up on it because i was never happy with how it turned out.. plus i always forgot to actually fill in the trackers..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll take that as a compliment 🙂

      Well, I guess it’s not for all of us is it?

      Although I have to say, I’m still revising. Which is what I like about it, I like the do-revise-do-revise process. For example, when I transition to the next notebook in a few weeks I’m going to redo my trackers to make them work even better for me.

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  2. “PS. Another thing I do like about making your own planner: I can mix languages. I just realized it means I can add random German words. I love German.”

    – What draws you to German?

    Adding random languages is something I just started adding in my Bullet Journal! Mostly for the days of the week. It’s fun to practice different scripts. I just did Armenian and it’s so lovely.

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    1. I take it you’re not familiar with Einstürzende Neubauten? Else your question would make no sense 😉

      Only half kidding. I just like the sound of German, which is probably because I’ve been listening a fair bit to Neubauten. You can’t listen to Neubauten and not love German.

      Armenian sounds really cool! I’mna stick with languages I have some sort of grasp on tho 🙂

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      1. I am not… Haha.
        Confession… Back when I was really into screamo I listened to a lot of German music too. You heard of We Butter the Bread With Butter? My fave!
        Makes sense. Enjoy the bullet journal journey. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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