bullet journal · Uncategorized

Two Weeks of Bullet Journaling

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It’s been two weeks since I started using a bullet journal instead of a more traditional daily planner and I’m amazed at the transformation in how I use my time and energy! I feel like there must be some kind of magic afoot here. I’m keeping up with basic household chores that used to get away from me, I’m exercising, meditating and writing in my gratitude journal almost every day. I’m remembering to rest for a little while most afternoons (essential when you have chronic fatigue for any reason) and I’m remembering to take my fish oil and magnesium supplements twice a day almost every day. These are all things I’ve struggled to fit into my daily routine for years.

What is a bullet journal, you may be wondering? Well, here’s an introductory video, explaining the basics.

The beauty of the bullet journal is that, since you’re using a blank book,  it can be anything you need it to be and if something doesn’t work for you one month, week or day, you can make the next month, week or day different. I’ve already discovered that the monthly log like in the video doesn’t work for me. I need to see the days laid out into weeks, like a regular calendar, so that I don’t schedule too many things during any one week.

The features I’m using the most are the habit tracker and the daily logs. Here’s what my daily log for Thursday looked like.

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Because I like things to be colorful and pretty, I doodle in a border around the day of the week. Then I draw a little banner for the month and day and doodle in the weather. I also write down the time of sunrise and sunset and the predicted temperatures for the day, just because I like documenting stuff like that. Then I assess how I’m feeling, charting my inflammation, pain and stiffness, fatigue and brain fog so that I’m really aware of how I’m feeling before I decide how many tasks to put on my to-do list. I make a list of the things I want to accomplish that day and often write little notes about the day too. I cross off items as I finish them, using my color-coding system. (I’ll do a post on that later.) If I feel like journaling more, I do. If not, I just start the next day where the last one left off. It’s the most useful planner I’ve ever used!

All you need is a journal and a pen. Everything else, like pens of different colors, is optional. I bought a Leuchtturm 1917 journal and a set of Staedtler fineliner pens from Amazon and I was ready to go. The only other thing I would like to buy for my journaling is a pen that flows over the paper more smoothly for all the writing. I love the Staedtler pens for doodling but my writing is too messy with them. I need more flow.

Bullet journaling hasn’t solved all my procrastination problems. I’ve found that if I really don’t feel like doing something, (like working on that dreaded lesson 7 in my Art and Science of Herbalism course) I still won’t do it. But now I feel like I can easily find the time to work on it a little bit every day…if I really want to. That’s a big improvement over feeling too overwhelmed with everything else to find the time.

The bottom line is: I’m now a bullet journal addict!

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20 thoughts on “Two Weeks of Bullet Journaling

    1. I made a lot of messy pages before I made any I was happy with! I think the little flower doodles and weather doodles distract the eye from the messy parts because I seem to make a mess on every page but it’s not so noticeable on the pages with the doodles. My 2016 goal pages, monthly log and monthly task page are a total mess!

  1. Reminds me of the health journal I used to keep in the early hours when I couldn’t sleep (due to pain). It stretched into 10 years and was fascinating to re-read. Then it became like GroundHog day – a testament of the horrors of many years of pain, exhaustion, anger, despair and depression. It became for me a record of a period in my life I wanted to forget and wasn’t a pleasant thing at all.

    I stopped writing around Christmas 2013 and shredded it last week (literally every page).

    Your journal is so much more positive and liberating.

    1. I hope I can keep it positive and liberating! I can see how it could end up being depressing. Yesterday’s entry looked like a whole lot of complaining because I wrote down all my weird migraine symptoms and wasn’t able to get a single thing done. I’m going to add inspirational quotes and funny little things from the day to try to keep things lighthearted. Like this morning, I almost put ketchup in my coffee, so I wrote that down to laugh about later. 🙂

  2. I’ve never done a planner type journal before, but I kept one of daily happenings for just over 20 years from 1993 until early 2014 when I finally stopped because I wasn’t keeping up with it anymore. It certainly didn’t look as pretty as yours does. Mine’s nearly illegible because of my crappy handwriting…

    1. I’m impressed that you kept a journal for over 20 years! Most of my journaling attempts haven’t made it past 20 days. I am going to start adding more daily happenings to mine, to make it more interesting to look back on later. I wish I would have paid more attention to learning proper handwriting back in the day. My elementary school teachers would be horrified at my broken mix of cursive and printing!

  3. I converted my normal journal to a bullet journal last June. I’m still working on making it pretty but I find doing a short to-do list each day so useful, it helps me realise I’m achieving things even when I don’t feel like I am at all.

    1. That’s part of the reason I wanted to do this. I often beat myself up for not achieving my goals but, when I look at things written down, I realize that I do a lot of daily chores. It really helps me too to think about how I feel before making my to-list. Before I would write down so many things that I just didn’t have the energy for, so I would always fail. I’m glad you’ve found a system that’s working for you!

      1. Yes, I now aim for only 3-4 tasks on my list at the beginning of each day (I write them down the night before). If I’m going well during the day I’ll consider adding more things. Sometimes what I actually get done isn’t what I initially plan to do (some days I focus more on mental tasks and others on physical depending on which symptoms are worse and I don’t always judge correctly the night before about which ones will impact me).

        One thing that I’m struggling with at the moment is working out how to complete my work and study tasks in a timely manner. I can tell I’m doing something most days towards these tasks but I’m still feeling like I’m not really getting anywhere with a few of them.

  4. His looks excessively complex and my foggy brain was lost within minutes. Yours looks much easier to digest. It looks like there are other links off of his video that might help too. I don’t achieve things easily. I put stuff off a lot. I love that you include how you’re feeling that day to help you plan. You do have a monthly plan thing and all of that? I need to find a One Bite at a Time version of this overview. I’m hunting now 🙂 I’m also wondering if I have a journal lying around so I don’t have to buy a new one. I’m really bad about that. I love new paper and pens.

    P.S. I also CursiPrint.

    1. CursiPrint – I love that! That’s what I’ve done for years. Some of the capitals are just too complex in cursive.

      I did start a monthly plan page but I haven’t used it much yet. I’ve just been focusing on a day at a time because I haven’t felt that well. I saw a more creative monthly plan on Pinterest (a great source for bullet journal ideas) that had different categories spread out on the page in a more creative way than just one list. It appealed to my short attention span!

      I’m really bad about buying blank journals and pens that I don’t really need too! I probably should have used one of the many blank journals I have lying around but I was impulsive and bought a new one. Now I’m thinking about some new gels pens…. 🙂

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