Hello dear people of the interweb. I have unfortunately come down withsome sort of cold/flu thing (urghh) and although I am falling behind on college work, I don’t have the strength or focus to tackle much of it, so I decided to blog instead, because that’s still productive right?
I’ve been saying to various people that I will write a post about bullet journalling for a while now, so I’ve finally got round to it!
Disclaimer: the photos aren’t great quality because I couldn’t stand around for long without feeling dizzy this morning, so sorry about that!
My bullet journal
I’m going to start off by talking about my bullet journal. I started journalling back in September a few weeks into the new school year because I thought it might help me to be more organised and the creativity of a bullet journal would help me relax. Those two things have proven to be true, as I will explain further into the post.
This is my bullet journal, the one with the green/blue/beige zig-zag pattern. It’s a bit smaller than regular bullet journals, as you can probably see compared to the other notebooks in the image. I bought it from TKMaxx (because they always have awesome notebook collections in store) but it was actually made by a German company (of which I can’t remember the name).
Bullet journal set-up
When I started my bullet journal I had to do some research into the general set-up of a bullet journal (what pages you need, what layouts you can use etc.). I started mine off with an index page as you can see below that I add to as my bullet journal grows. I just write the title of the page/section and then put the page numbers in brackets.
Next I have my future log, which is where I write down events/plans for the future in a list so I remember to add them in to my weekly spreads. Once an event has passed, I cross it off.
I should add that after the index and future log, I left a spare blank page in case I need more room to add to them.
Then I have my “year at a glance” which spans across two pages and has each month laid out like you would find on a calendar. I’ve highlighted national holidays in one colour and birthdays in another, just so I can have an overall view of what’s happening this year.
These three sections are the basic set-up for a bullet journal, and after that there are a variety of different things you can do. I decided that I would do a sort of “month at a glance” page at the start of each new month, where I would write out all the dates and fill in things I have going on on each day. This is my January one, which is next to my “Hello 2018” page. I haven’t got much going on this month as you can see, but some months are busier than others!
I also use the month at a glance page to set out the colour scheme for the month. January’s colour is red, so I used red pens/pictures to decorate the page. This means that all the weekly spreads in January will have a red theme too, it helps me keep structure to my bullet journal and when it comes to making the spreads, it’s a lot easier as I know I just need to find red materials to make the pages.
Here are some of my weekly spreads from previous months that show the different colour schemes:
September and it’s orange theme.
October was blue.
November was purple.
December was red/green (alternate weeks) for Christmas.
And as you can see again, January is also red.
As my bullet journal is mainly used for academic purposes, a lot of what I write on the weekly spreads is homework or revision, so I use a square symbol to signify that it is something that I need to do and when I’ve completed that task, I’ll tick the square or if I haven’t managed to do it, I’ll put a cross in the square so I know I need to reschedule it.
I also use a triangle symbol to signify events such as birthdays and meetings. I tried using heart symbols for memories, but I didn’t keep this up very long as I decided to use my bullet journal mainly for college.
Bullet journal materials
To be honest you can use any sort of pens and pencils for your bullet journal, and it can be as artsy or basic as you want. Sometimes I don’t have time to do complex weekly spreads so I just take a biro and do a basic set-up.
There are some pens I do tend to use in my bullet journal though, including Stabilo Pastel Highlighters, Zebra Mildliners “Cool” Pack, Flying Tiger Brush Markers (£2 for three double-ended markers is a bargain let’s be honest) and Staedler Rainbow Ball Point Pens.
Flying Tiger Brush Markers
Zebra Mildliners “cool” pack
Stabilo Pastel Highlighters
Staedler Rainbow Ballpoint Pens
This is just stationary I’ve accumulated over time and most of it stays in my pencil case so I use it on a daily basis for college and revision, but they do come in handy for bullet journalling too!
Alongside stationary, I also cut out pictures form magazines and newspapers that fit with each months colour scheme or I’ll use post-it notes or paint colour swatches from the local hardware store to decorate my pages. Occasionally I’ll draw or paint something, but that is very rare!
Fitting bullet journalling into your life
The ironic thing about using a bullet journal to organise and schedule your life is that sometimes your life is too busy to find time to journal. I have to admit, if you want to make some really creative weekly spreads then it can take a lot of time, but ti doesn’t have to! I usually set out my weekly spread for the following week on a Sunday afternoon when I’m having a bit of a break from college work. Typically it’ll take me about 20-30 minutes to do a spread but it can be less if I do a really basic one. If I have enough time, I’ll try to do the spread for the week after as well so I can have a weekend off if things get busy.
It can take a lot of commitment to stick to it – to be honest I’m surprised I’ve managed to keep going for so long! But it really does pay off because I feel so much more organised since I started bullet journalling and doing something creative for half an hour a week is really relaxing!
I think that’s just about ti as far as my guide to bullet journalling goes. If you have any questions and tips, please leave them below! Otherwise, happy journalling!