Hello, friends. About eight months ago, I posted about starting a bullet journal. I had known, at the back of my brain, that I needed a new way to plan and organize my days. I just didn’t know what it was, until I heard about the bullet journal, via Stephanie Burgis. I loved the idea of combining dayplanner, to-do lists, mid-term goals, and gratitude in one place. And after I blogged about it, I discovered that SO MANY writers I admire and want to emulate (including Sarah Albee) are bullet journallers!
Anyway, I thought I’d check in and show you how things are going. Here’s my July spread:
As you can see, I stick quite closely to the original bullet journal. I’ve added a list of books read each month (in July we did a lot of travelling, which is why there are so many blank days on the left, and also why I only read one book, J. G. Farrell’s The Siege of Krishnapur). And on the Tasks page (on the right), I’ve broken down tasks by category: writing, writer admin (very important not to conflate the two!), blog posts (blogging doesn’t count as writing, for me), yoga, and life admin. I list the dates when I need to do the most important things – writing, yoga and blogging – so that I’m blocking out time.
And here’s eight pages from the month of July, right after school finished:
If you’re reading closely, you’ll see that my son and I had strep throat in early July, so the daily to-do lists were really useful for tracking our antibiotic doses, which differed in quantity and timing. I even write down the names of people I need to email, to make sure it all gets done. I normally have a gratitude list on each page, too, that I add to every couple of days. But between vacation prep, houseguests and strep, it just didn’t happen in the first week of July. And that’s okay, too.
As I think is obvious, I adore my bullet journal. It keeps me on track, it enables me to look ahead, yet functions as a kind of diary, too. Colouring in the little box beside each job, as it gets done, feels like a tiny reward in its own right. I believe I’ve been a lot more productive since I began using it.
In future, I might start embellishing it a little – writing down funny things I’ve overheard, children’s milestones – or I might not. I love that it’s a flexible tool, something with such a strong framework that it can bear a great deal of tinkering. And that might be the highest compliment of all.
How about you, friends? Are you loyal to a particular planning system? Still searching for your ideal? Do you have any suggestions for embellishments?