About six months ago I jumped on the bullet journal bandwagon. I’m happy to say, I’m still using it daily. The flexibility of the method allows me to change how my planning and journal pages are used as time goes on. If I want to try something for a month, I can. And if it doesn’t work, I don’t have all these blank pages not getting used.
That flexibility let me play with various layouts and techniques, and I’ve settled into a format that works best for me.
This is the same as the official method, but I’ve added color coding. Anything to do with the blog is one color, a particular month is another, playlists yet another, and so on. This way, if I’m looking for something I have the added benefit of just looking for the color first.
In the Leuchtturm1917 notebooks the first few pages are for your index. Which means to get to your key page you have to flip to the front, and then a few pages in. It’s way more of a hassle than it sounds. I started writing mine inside the front cover. Problem solved.
I do this as outlined in the official method, but I’ve added an “infinity and beyond” page for stuff more than a year out from when I started the journal. This will be way more useful as I approach the end of the year, but I have a few items there already.
This is my first big break from the official method. Instead of a list of dates and items next to them, I draw out an actual calendar. It helps be visualize what’s going on much better. The extra space on the left is where I add up my time tracking for that particular month. I put my to-do list on the following page, and color code it using the same colors as my time tracker.
This is where my biggest break in the system lies. The original system has you just make up your daily log as you go. Each day, you list things you need to do that day and notes about said day. That simply does not work for me. What I do instead is to create a weekly log.
Each Thursday I draw out my weekly log for the next week and add the events I have for that week (again color coded). This helps me not forget about things like Monday morning doctor appointments. This is my format:
In addition to what’s scheduled, I have lots of room for other notes throughout the day. I have a water tracker at the bottom of each day to stay properly hydrated and avoid headaches. The column on the left is my time tracker, which I use to track what I’m doing in my free time everyday. This has really helped me manage in my time blindness. I take this information and add it to the grid in the bottom right corner of the layout. I compare it to the previous week, and at the end of the month I compare it to the previous month and the year to date. It feels awesome to finally know where my time is going.
I’ve really come to love my bullet journal ritual. I’ve incorporated more color as I’ve gone on because it helps me finds things. (And those following along will notice I’ve gone from felt pens to ballpoints. The ghosting was getting old.) But overall, my bullet journal is just a simple way for me to keep my thoughts and goals together.