How To Bullet Journal

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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:

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September and it’s orange theme.

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October was blue.

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November was purple.

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December was red/green (alternate weeks) for Christmas.

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And as you can see again, January is also red.

Using symbols

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 (ยฃ2 for three double-ended markers is a bargain let’s be honest) and Staedler Rainbow Ball Point 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!

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//Last week; ft. Year 13, bullet journals and Dutch//

Hallo mein Freunds! Today I come to you with a little catch-up of what I’ve been doing over the past week or so since my last post. Last week wasn’t particularly busy for me, despite starting back at sixth form on Monday but I thought I’d do a little list of things I’ve done anyway.

  • Read Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. I had mixed feelings about this book. I mean, it wasn’t written really well but some of themes were a bit heavy and perhaps it wasn’t the right time for me to read it, but I didn’t find it a particularly uplifting book…I don’t know.
  • Completed an introduction to Dutch course with the University of Groningen. I’m quite proud I actually finished this course, considering I started it at the beginning of august and only finished yesterday, so it took over a month, but it was really fun to get an intro to the wonderful Dutch language and I particularly enjoyed sinking my teeth into all the grammar rules.
  • Started Year 13. Of course I couldn’t do a weekly roundup without acknowledging the fact that sixth form existed. It was a bit of bumpy ride last week, some classes were good, others not and I can’t say I’m particularly happy to have returned to college despite initially not wanting to break up for summer. But I’m sure once I get back into the swing of things it won’t be so bad.
  • Got my new timetable. Obviously this links in with the last point, and maybe it should have come before it but oh well. Anyway my timetable is quite different this year from last year. Last year I was in Monday 9am-5pm, Tuesday 10am-3pm and Thursday 9am-4:30pm, so I had Wednesday and Friday off. This year however I’m in Monday 9am-12:15pm, Tuesday 1:15pm-4:30pm, Wednesday 9am-12:15pm and Thursday 9am-4:30pm. I get Friday off still this year but it’s hard to adjust to going in four days in a row instead of having a midweek gap. Having three 9am’s I’d not great but I think having shorter days will be better for me as I used to be exhausted on Monday’s and Thursday’s last year. However this year on Thursday afternoons I have a three hour break between lessons (a.k.a. an excuse to nap on the common room sofas) which is a bit of a nuisance as by the time my last lesson comes around, I’m not in study mode any more.
  • Took my sister back to uni. Well that was last weekend, but yeah we helped her move into her new house and met her house mates, who all seemed lovely, and hopefully we’ll be going down to visit next month.
  • Started bullet journalling. I decided to start a bullet journey today, because I love being creative and organised, so it’s the perfect combination right? I found an old notebook and ripped some pages out that I’d written in, and although the cover’s a little scruffy, it’s the perfect size for me and saves me having to buy a new one. Here are the spreads I’ve done so far:   You might be able to see that I accidentally gave February 29 days in the “year at a glance” section as I was talking to my mum and got a bit distracted ๐Ÿ˜‚. I decided to make mine follow the acedemic year, as I’m starting September, so I’m planning on doing it from now until August. I’m trying to keep it quite minimalistic because I know later on in the year I won’t have so much time to spare making it look artsy, so a few photos from magazines here and there will probably be the extent of my embellishments ๐Ÿ˜‚. I’m really happy with how it’s turned out, even if it took me a few hours to measure everything and make sure it’s all lined-up and evenly-spaced!
  • Excerised. Would you believe it…I went walking for about an hour and a half yesterday, then did a 45 mins cycle ride today. I have plans of running on Tuesday morning but I don’t know if my exercise streak will extend that far ๐Ÿ˜‚.

That’s pretty much it for last week, and all I can say is hopefully I’ll have a stroke of inspiration next week and find something more interesting to blog about. But for now I hope you all have a lovely week!