Thursday, 4 August 2016

Bullet Journal: Then and Now

Monday marked the eighth month anniversary of starting my Bullet Journal so I thought it would be interesting to take a little peak back at my early days of Bullet Journalling to see how things have changed.

Back when I found out about Bullet Journalling I desperately wanted a notebook with a grid layout but my options on New Year's Eve on the island were a little limited. I managed to get my hands on a Gorjuss spiral-bound notebook which had lined, grid and plain sections. It was a good starter book and had a massive pocket, though I was pleased to upgrade to my Leuchtturm in May.

I started out following the recommended layout for the month. You jot down the dates and days down the left hand side of the page (or pages, if like me your journal doesn't have enough lines). You then use the rapid logging format to scribble in all the important events coming up during that month.

I quickly found that I was running out of space using this format. Some days I'd have nothing and other days I'd be trying to squeeze in half a dozen events on the same day.

Eventually I settled on this method:

The Leuchtturm lends itself much more easily to this format because it doesn't have the rings in the way of the spread. And it gives me a little more space for the things I'm up to. I like having it separated into morning and afternoon because I can see what's going on at a glance.

The work section is just used to note my schedule for that day as well as other things I might need to remember. The page above also shows something else I've embraced in the last few months; making mistakes! I got my shifts muddled up and so fixed it with a bit of washi tape and sticky notes.

I've also been playing with washi tape and stickers. I got the sticker from a pen pal and I'm using different colour themes each week so the tape was a good way to fill up some otherwise blank space.

Recently my tracker page has undergone a big change too:

My tracker pages have probably seen the biggest number of changes compared to all the others in the book. I used this method of tracking in my first BuJo but then modified it to a landscape format when I got the Leuchtturm.

I've mixed it up tracking everything, including when I went on Facebook, Twitter, did knitting and colouring in. Last month I was tracking almost everything so I decided to switch it up slightly this month. I found I was tracking so much that it was becoming meaningless and I wasn't really paying much attention to the Goals section either, so I've done away with it. I might bring it back, I might not. That's the beauty of Bullet Journal.

It's nice and simple. Plus it made me think a lot more about what I wanted to track so I think this is working better for me.

I've gotten a little more creative with my dailies as well.

Now I'm even playing around with doodling and adding more decoration to my pages. This obviously only happens when I've got time, so it tends to be weekends or days off that get this kind of treatment.

I'm so ridiculously proud of that wand. I'm not the best at drawing things and I did it without anything to copy it from either!

This month I'm trying out using a time tracker, though this one just shows when I was sleeping and when I was at work (and I've just realised that I've filled that bit in wrong). I'm not sure whether or not I'll keep this yet, but it's making my header look interesting.

Other than that, everything else is much the same. I'm keeping using my Gandalf to keep me accountable. If it's in the book I feel compelled to actually do whatever I've said so that I can cross it off. I'm writing a little journal entry at the end of each day where I try and focus on the good (even if it's along the line of 'it's been a really long day and I'm tired, my bed feels so comfortable').

My newest page is actually for tracking and planning blog posts. Normally I do this in a spreadsheet on my laptop but Gandalf comes everywhere with me; Bloo doesn't. This page is so new I've not even inked it in yet!

The boxes you see in the above picture are for ticking off my progress on a post. I tick them off as I write the post, format the pictures, then upload it.

Are you Bullet Journalling or do you use a planner? How has it changed over time?


  1. I tried to follow the whole bullet journal thing when you first posted about it. But I don't get it. I watched the video, but the whole thing makes no sense to me.

    1. I think it works best for people who have tried using regular planners but don't really conform to the pre-printed pages. And those people who always have a million and one apps, notes and doo-dads with important things to remember.

      I like that I can draw out what suits me and adapt it if it's not working (without investing several pounds in a planner I might stop using), plus I can keep a note of the books I'm looking for, the jobs that need doing around the house, and my medical stuff all in one place without referring all over the place. :-)


Let me know what you think. :-)