Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Tour of my Bullet Journal

I first discovered the concept of 'bullet journaling' sometime earlier last year. I found myself transfixed by the world of immaculate monthly overviews, weekly layouts, habit trackers and goal pages. Whilst impressed, I was initially adamant that I had no time to commit myself to such a practice. Who would put so much effort into constructing a space intended for planning the things you want to do when that time could be better used actually doing the things that need to be done? That was my initial skepticism and I can understand that this may be the case for a lot of people.

Nonetheless, I decided to do a bullet journal trial run over the remaining two months of 2016 in an old notebook. Much to my surprise, that period not only saw me actually stick to journaling for the first time in my life, but I also found it wholly fulfilling. I've never been as organised as I arguably could be. I'm still not. But that period of experimentation had me realise what wasn't working before. I realised that I don't like having a set format, and that's why organisation by way of keeping a store bought journal had never worked before, no matter how pretty those journals may have been. Bullet journaling also fulfilled me because it provided a creative outlet that I didn't otherwise realise I needed. I have always loved to draw and paint, but these days, I find little opportunity to practice artistic activities. Knowing I can set aside a chunk of time to create my layouts for the next month is a prospect I now look forward to, knowing it doesn't necessarily need to take too long. Creating a bullet journal can be as simple as you want it to be. I admittedly put in quite a bit of effort, but I really love the process. There's an element of achievement in thinking that even just creating my layouts contributes to a sense of control over my life even before the goal setting, appointments and 'to-do' lists are penciled in.

I thought I would give a tour of my Bullet Journal as it stands after almost an entire month. I can't wait to see how it evolves over the year.

Year Overview: Admittedly, I barely refer to the year overview, but it's still nice to have there. It was a fun little crafty project constructing those two pages: I cut up an old Kikki K diary for character.
Month Overview and Weekly Layouts: My favourite and most essential pages! They are kind of interchangeable in a way, but I try and leave the month overview as a space to mark important events/meetings/work and my weekly spreads for more detailed to-do lists. It's a bit of a challenge trying to come up with different layout ideas but fun nonetheless! I especially enjoy incorporating motivating quotes and making little doodles to encourage positive vibes. I also prefer to do weekly habit trackers, rather than monthly ones. It seems a little less overwhelming that way, seeing a seven day chart as opposed to a 30 day one! Other essentials for my weekly layout include tasks and goals boxes.
Nice Things and Notes Pages: Kind of like my equivalent to a gratitude page, I thought I would record 'nice things' that happen each day of the month, otherwise it's so easy for a month to go by with no recollection of the highlights. The Notes page is just where I can record things such as newly discovered music, movies I've watched, books I want to read, recipes I want to try...anything at all really. It all gets dumped there!
Food, Water and Medications Log: This page is motivated by my desire to improve my general health but also incorporate some diversity into my meals. There's no element of shame if, on one day, I ate cake as a snack, had fast food for dinner and drank one too many cups of coffee. Rather, it's there to help me make deductions on why I may not have felt good on a particular day, or why I felt amazing on other days. In doing so, I can hopefully encourage myself to a) drink more water and b) make food decisions on what makes me feel the best (and yes, sometimes that includes indulgences on shitty days, once in a while. I don't know a problem that can't be consoled with a chocolate chip cookie or two). The Medications tracker is simply there to remind me to take them.
Blog Ideas and Blog Scheduling: I haven't been using this as much as I intended, but even knowing these pages exist motivates me into blogging more regularly. Let's hope I continue to gain momentum and stick to this system more closely!
Etc.: Aside from the essential pages, I've also left room for keeping track of my reading for 2017, my 2017 Goals and a recipe index. I'm still planing how to execute a comprehensive Medications page (listing my meds, the quantities, alternative names, when I'm running low and in need of prescriptions etc). I've also thought about adding a Travel Bucket-List page, Top Songs of 2017, Top Movies of 2017 etc. But I don't want to over complicate it, so we will see! A section I didn't picture however, for obvious reasons, is my finance pages. I've find a simple layout and system that works for me, helping me to make savings goals and reach them. It's been very rewarding watching my savings grow, even at the times when I feel like I'm making no headway.

 Do you have a Bullet Journal or are you considering starting one? I'd love to read your tips, ideas, apprehensions and opinions on the topic!

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