Bullet Journal: A Peek Inside
I was a little unsure about doing this post at first as I’m not very good at drawing and sharing the in’s and out’s of my Bullet Journal I feel is quite a personal thing to do. At the same time though I love reading other people’s Bullet Journal posts and I’ve lost count of the YouTube videos I’ve watched where people show their layouts and collections.
I started Bullet Journalling around a year and a half ago after coming across Boho Berry on Instagram I believe. Before Bullet Journalling I’d been using an Erin Condren Life Planner which I loved at first but quickly found it just didn’t fit what I needed it for. There wasn’t enough space for everything I needed to write and I also found buying stickers so expensive. Bullet Journalling was such a no brainer for me, it allows me to create a completely custom planner, not spend a fortune on stickers and the Bullet Journal itself also doesn’t cost a fortune.
That isn’t to say that I don’t think EC Life Planners are beautiful planners, they are and they are fantastic quality too. They’re just not for me.
Bullet Journalling however, definitely is for me. I use it for so much. Meal planning, doodling, letter practice, blogpost planning, planning out my day. You name it, I use my bujo for it. Now if you’re not familiar with Bullet Journalling then you might want to check out this link from the guy who created the concept, Ryder Carroll. Bullet Journalling is basically a way to create your own completely custom planner/journal/diary. You can use the parts you like and scrap those that you don’t. Unlike regular store-bought planners which are set out in a specific and often identical manner, the Bullet Journal is yours to design and you can really make it your own.
Now there is a basic concept to Bullet Journalling and all that is explained on the link I’ve attached above so I won’t get into that here else we’ll be here forever. I also don’t set out my bujo in the same way as the original layout. I don’t use a key because I don’t need to, I remember what each icon I use means because I only use about 3 so it would just be a page for a pages sake in my opinion. I also don’t currently use a monthly spread as such, at least not in the way I’ve seen a lot of people use them. That’s what I love about Bullet Journalling, you really can make it your own. When I started using a bujo I felt this pressure to have it the same as the ones I was seeing online, even adding things in that I knew I wouldn’t use just because I thought you had to. That’s really not the case and four Bullet Journals later, that’s finally sunk in for me so don’t panic if at first you get it wrong, you make mistakes, you throw a huff and spent another £13 on a new Leuchtturm notebook because you just couldn’t handle using one with so much stuff in you were never going to use. Not that I ever did that of course *eye roll*. It’s fine to want to make your bujo perfect, it’s fine to only include the parts you know you are going to use. It’s also fine to make mistakes and just turn the page and move on, something I’m trying to learn still ha!
If you’re new to Bullet Journalling I would recommend watching lots of YouTube videos, getting on Pinterest and checking out Gwennan’s blog, Twenty Something Meltdown. She has an entire section dedicated to bujo posts and her Bullet Journal really inspired me to use it for what I wanted, not just what other people use theirs for or what the original bujo concept suggests. It also made me realise that Bullet Journalling doesn’t have to be about lots of colour and elaborate layouts that take 45 minutes to create (although don’t get me wrong sometimes that can be a lot of fun too), you can make your journal pretty with just black and white as well.
Ok so that’s probably enough rambling on for you now, let’s get into the good stuff. The peek inside my Bullet Journal. I’m currently using an A5 dotted hardback Leuchtturm1917 notebook in orange. It has 249 numbered pages, two pager markers, ink-proof paper (80g/sqm), a table of contents (index) and a little pocket at the back. It also has 8 detachable, perforated pages at the back. I’ve had 4 of these notebooks now, my first was also an A5 dotted hardback but in grey and my second was an A5 plain softcover in black, the third was an A4 dotted hardcover in black and of course my current bujo I’ve just told you. I prefer the dotted layout myself, it’s perfect for Bullet Journalling because it makes drawing, grids, lines etc so much easier. I also prefer the A5 hardbound as the softcover can get damaged easily and the A4 is too large to carry around day-to-day.
The index is at the start of the Bullet Journal and as the pages are already numbered it makes filling in the index really simple. I do use my index but I haven’t included a photo of it as it listed a few personal things and, I forgot. Little disclaimer here, I’ve blurred out any personal information and skipped some pages where everything would need to be blurred, including the titled so if you notice I’m suddenly showing page 12 and you haven’t seen page 10, that’s why.
After the index, pages 1-2 are the events coming up over the next few months. I decided only to cover up to April as I use my bujo a lot and honestly I think I’ll be onto a new one by then. This section is basically just a modified future log where I just write the months I know I’ll be using this bujo for and then write any upcoming events underneath the month. I then have a November At A Glance page, which is basically just a condensed version of a monthly spread. I have a small master to do list as I usually write my daily to do’s on my daily spreads, a section for events happening this month and a section for events coming up next month so that I can be prepared. I quite like this spread, it’s not something I flip back to a lot as I use my weekly spreads more than anything but I think I’ll keep it for a few months and see how I get on.
Page 4 brings us to the first weekly spread in my new Bullet Journal. I keep the layout pretty simple as I’ve experimented with fancier layouts in the past and just found they didn’t give me as much space and I ended up just not using them because they weren’t fit for purpose. I really like just using a simple layout of writing each day and then listing events and tasks under each. At the moment I’m linking Saturday and Sunday together to see how I like it but I think I’m going to end up just having them separate, rather than under the titled of Weekend. As you can see I’ve already laid out the rest of this months weekly spreads, I may switch it up a little for December by adding some more colour or a few doodles etc but for the most part this spread just works for me.
I’ve found it so handy having a list of the meals I’ve bought ingredients for and planned to cook for the month. I refer back to this list when I’m planning the meals week by week and then tick off each meal as we have it. My Bullet Journal keeps me so organised and I love it. I use it for everything, literally everything I possible can. One of my favourite thing to use it for is making lists, as you’ll see further down the page.
Habit tracking is something that is incredibly popular about Bullet Journalists. Just have a little look on Pinterest and you will see so many ways to habit track. At the most I’m just using a pretty simple design as I’m only tracking a few things right now but in the past I’ve used different colours for each day, different layouts etc. You can totally make it your own. You can use it to track things you don’t want to do, like eating sweets every day or for things you want to make sure you keep on top of, such as drinking enough water each day, oops.
I’m not very good as drawing or lettering, so I’ve been using my Bullet Journal to practice and I think I’m steadily getting a little better. I usually just look up fonts on Pinterest and then write them out as best I can to match. I find this really helps to practise your lettering and can ever give you ideas for creating fonts of your own.
My parents are coming to stay with us next month and I always love to do a super deep clean of the house before they stay. I don’t know why because I always stay on top of cleaning the house but when we have guests, even if it is my parents I like to have things just so. Also, the put handwash out in the bathroom thing, we always have handwash in the bathroom don’t panic. It’s just I’ve bought a special hand wash and hand cream set that comes on a little ceramic tray and I really want to have it out for then. Haha, yes these are the things I think about. Making my bathroom feel like one in a hotel.
Yet more lists, I love lists if you haven’t gathered already. Do you ever find yourself hungry for a snack but can’t think of anything to eat? Me too. I find myself in this situation so much in fact that I made a list of snack ideas so that next time I find myself in that predicament, I am armed with plenty of ideas.
The Master Grocery List is another idea I got from Pinterest. It’s basically a list of all of the staples that you always have in your kitchen, or at least I think it is and that’s what I use it for. I mean c’mon we’re Bullet Journalling here, things are whatever you say they are. I wouldn’t necessarily say that this list in particular is an essential for me, because if I need something for a recipe I’ll just add it on my shopping list but I do refer back to it when I’m doing a food shop just to check I haven’t forgotten a necessity, so it does come in handy.
I recently bought the Christmas 2017 issue of Good Housekeeping, it has so many amazing looking recipes in and quite a few I’m going to be incorporating into Christmas Dinner this year so it made sense to me to write some of my favourites to refer back to. I’ve actually already made the Truffled Roast Potatoes twice since writing the recipe down and let me tell you they are out of this world.
Here we are again with the lists, this time a Christmas Bucket List. I just thought this was a cute idea. I love Christmas and there are some things that just make it feel super Christmassy for me. Christmas Traditions if you will. I’ve watched Scrooge every year since I was little, the Alastair Sim version FYI. All others are hogwash, hogwash I say.
These next two pages don’t really need an explanation but I will anyway because this is a blog post and I’m pretty proud of my little doodles. I’m by no means claiming I’m good at drawing, I’m not at all, I just typed in “doodle” and “easy” into Pinterest and then copied them as best I could, pretty much the same method as with my lettering practice to be honest. The only four doodles that I drew all by myself, without looking at a picture for reference are the snowman, candy cane, Christmas pudding and stocking. I think it’s for that reason that the snowman is my favourite.
I’ve really started to enjoy doodling since I found out that I can google (read Pinterest) the words “easy” and “doodle” and then learn how to draw things and actually have them turn out alright.
Page 32 is a page I’m using to test out my pens, I’m not 100% sure why tbh, but I’ve seen a lot of people have a page like this in their bujo and so I thought I’d give it a go and see what the purpose of it is. It actually ended up making me switch out the pen I was using to fill in my bujo to a different one as I realised I had pens that were so much better than the one I was using. If you Bullet Journal, what’s your favourite pen? I have a few that I like but even then they’re not perfect, they’re either dry when you first use them and then all of a sudden it’s ink madness, or they’re dry full stop or inky full stop. Any pen recommendations would be great!
These last two pages are some of my newest additions to my Bullet Journal. There are, as I mentioned earlier on, a few pages I have missed for personal reasons but I can assure you, you’re not missing anything exciting.
The Bullet Journal Ideas page is a page I use for ideas I have for things I might like to include in my Bullet Journal. As you can see a few of them I’ve already added. I’m particularly excited about creating the Christmas Doodle A Day Advent Calendar, especially with my new-found doodling confidence.
My debt tracker page is another page I’m excited to start filling in. I hate owing money so I’m looking forward to seeing the squares filled in as I get closer to paying each item off. Somehow filling in a square each month makes it seem so much more fun, although the end result will definitely make it all worth while.
Well I’ve certainly rambled on long enough, I think this might be my longest blog post ever. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it and having a little insight into my Bullet Journal. I’d love to read your Bullet Journal posts too so please leave them below!
Thanks for reading!