~New Bullet Journal Tour (and waxing philosophical)~

bujo tour

My planner life this year has been very interesting. (okay, my ENTIRE life this year has been interesting XD). I started my ‘new year’ planning in February, trying out a store bought planner. That crashed and burned royally. In March I switched back to my old notebook, ditched the TN part, and went with my normal printed monthly calendars and traditional weekly.

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This… worked.

But that’s all it did.

I didn’t enjoy it. Planning wasn’t a happy, relaxing time for me like it had been in months past. I drew out the same spreads over and over because they worked, not because I actually liked them.

I was sick of it.

When I first discovered Bullet Journaling, I haunted the internet for blog posts, flip throughs, and how-to articles. I remember how inspiring it was to see other peoples’ journals and read how they used their BuJo to organize their life.

I knew I needed to capture that again, so I went back to the beginning. I went to Pinterest and found posts and blogs of hardcore, full-time BuJo-ers. I combed through their websites and followed links, saving article after article. A plan began to form in my mind; an excitement, a yearning to start a new adventure in Bullet Journaling.

I needed to completely rehaul my system. Everything that previously worked for me I threw out the window. This time I would follow the rules and have a ‘real’ Bullet Journal. If it didn’t work at least I would have tried something new and learned something along the way.

I shelved my beloved ring-bound notebook and bought a journal. A large, full-size journal from Walmart.

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I thought about waiting until September to start it. That would give me plenty of time to plan what I wanted to do and get the summer over with before I dove into this.

I started it in the middle of June and made July my first official month.

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I promised myself that I would have the artsiest-fartsiest Bullet Journal ever. Every page would be a work of art. I would invest myself in this journal and make it fun and pleasant to use.

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I used watercolors in my BuJo for the first time. And I created a key. I never used a key before. I still never use it. But it’s a beautiful page and I’m proud of it. (I do use the awesome flip out page-color-ID strip. It’s genius.)

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I never used an Index page in the past and I still don’t reference it, though I do keep it updated as I create new pages. I’m still glad I made it.

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I never found a future log layout that worked for me. I use this one a little bit, but it is convenient to have.

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A beautiful quote from an amazing blog post Ashley wrote a while ago.

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My first monthly spread! I went for a starry theme. I did a box calendar, habit tracker, sleep and mood graph, along with lots of data tracking including spending, prayer requests, blog posts, things to buy, and notes for the next month. I didn’t use quite all of it but I really enjoyed having such a thorough visual of my month.

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My weeklies for the month of July. Since I had Realm Makers coming up and I was still settling into a new planning routine, I forewent dailies and pre-made all my weeklies for July. These spreads included weekly habits//to-dos and my work schedule, and left room for journaling in each daily box. This spread was very useful, though there were some drawbacks (mostly having to flip my journal vertical to use the pages).

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Realm Makers pages. I wrote out the entire conference schedule, specific to my classes and appointments (and color coded it to match the Realm Makers blue and orange color scheme XD). I also left room for information about the hotel and anything else I might need to have handy, and then I wrote some information about the editors I was pitching to along with some quick lines about my book in case I needed answers to random questions. (I didn’t. I didn’t even pull my BuJo out during my pitches. Oh well, it’s still a pretty page.)

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During my research and gathering ideas for restarting, I found this amazing blog post about why having a Monthly Review is important. I gave it a try for July but never finished filling it out. I think I’ll still try it a few more times to see if I can find my own personal niche for it.

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My August monthly. More spacious and less crowded. I meant to go back and add more data boxes on the right page but I never got around to it and never had a need for anything else. I tried out a vertical line-by-line calendar for the month and I hate it.

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My ‘weeklies’; basically a large box calendar with some by-weekly habits and to-dos on the right.

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And my dailies. I always struggled with the idea of keeping weeklies and dailies, but I reconciled myself to having dailies on days I don’t work and I need a more specific to-do list, and just using my weekly boxes for days I work and don’t have as much to write down.

 ~

I never thought I would learn so much just by rehauling my Bullet Journal system. But I’ve learned many things over the last few months:

1) Change isn’t bad. Sometimes it’s healthy and needful to pull yourself out of a rut and completely start over and change your habits and way of doing things. Just because you’ve always done something a certain way doesn’t mean it’s the best way or the right way.

2) You can do anything you set your mind to. So, so often in the BuJo community there are people who say “I could neeeeeever have a journal as pretty as yours!” and that’s not true. I never put effort into making my Bullet Journal artistic before and that’s one reason why I fell into so much apathy about it. I didn’t put time and work into it and therefore I didn’t care about it. There are hacks and stickers and printables and all sorts of things to make any Bullet Journal look like a masterpiece. If someone truly has no artistic talent at all, that’s still no excuse. There are always ways around problems to achieve the result you want and need and dream of. Don’t hold yourself back by telling yourself you can’t do things. Try it, give it your all, and if truly, honestly fail, then at least you KNOW you can’t do the thing, instead of lying to yourself and ASSUMING you can’t. And if you reach that point where you can’t do something yourself, there are always ways around it. Ask for help or learn tricks and hacks to get over what you struggle with. Make the life you want and stop telling yourself you can’t.

3) Put the time and effort and work into doing something you enjoy and love. It is so healthy to take time to relax and calm down and do something creative or fun. Whether it’s also useful like a planner or not, every human being needs that personal time to do something they like. Take time out of your day for yourself. You are NOT too busy to do xyz. In fact, you’re too busy to NOT do xyz. You’ll be the better for it and be calmer, more relaxed, stress-free, and happy to return to all your busyness.

4) Try new things. It’s not actually that scary. New isn’t bad. Learning is good. Even if all you do is find out what doesn’t work, you’ve tried and learned something.

Okay. That’s all the philosophy I got for today. Come back next time.

4 thoughts on “~New Bullet Journal Tour (and waxing philosophical)~

    1. eeeeeeeep XD I don’t feel like it’s super special, but I am enjoying putting more effort and art into it! I’m glad you like it and it’s inspiring to you ^.^ I couldn’t ask for more.

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