Organizing with Bullet Journals and Planners
While the New Year is still giving me an extra bit of motivation, I decided to do something that I have always wanted to do – start a bullet journal. I am a devoted planner user and pretty much put my entire life in my weekly logs, so I thought that a bullet journal would easily slide into my daily routine. As a precursor, I must warn you that creating a bullet journal is time consuming. I spent hours on brainstorming ideas, creating a Pinterest board, and then actually creating my journal – and I’ve only done the first month! Despite the time commitment, the reward is a very pleasing journal to document as much of your daily life as you choose! I think that is well worth the time spent making it.
For my journal, I decided that the majority of my pages would be dedicated to monthly logs. After careful consideration of my Pinterest inspiration, I decided that the most important things to me were a monthly overview with goals, a mood log, a sleep log, a migraine tracker, and a daily-water-intake tracker. I chose these logs based on my problem areas – and I recommend doing that for yourself. As someone that probably doesn’t get enough sleep, I thought that maybe seeing how much sleep I’m missing out on might inspire me to go to bed a few hours earlier. Also, I am diagnosed with migraines so it is actually essential to my treatment that I track their occurrences daily.
Before I get into bullet journaling, I want to quickly talk about the benefits to keeping a planner. Guys, I’m not joking, my life would literally fall apart if I lost my planner. I keep everything in it, from when I wash my brushes (Sunday & Wednesday) to every assignment and meeting I have for the week. I cross the completed items off as I go and at the end of the week, it’s always satisfying to see a week full of completed tasks! In addition, I am pretty sure my anxiety was significantly lessened by using a planner. I get extremely anxious about school and work, which is a significant reason why I get migraines, and am constantly feeling like I am forgetting something important. With my planner, I can put my mind at ease for a millisecond and confirm that I do have all my work done. If you get anxious about work or school, a planner could seriously give you some peace of mind and I recommend trying it!
Disregarding all planners, bullet journals, or notebook related objects, organizing yourself with anything – be it a slip of paper – will set you up to succeed. Nobody wants to work with the person that is constantly forgetting assignments or deadlines. My boyfriend literally uses a notebook sheet folded in half every week as a makeshift planner (I told him to cave and just buy the planner already, but I think the only planner he’s ever seen is my pink floral one and it scared him a little). No matter what you use, just having that extra insurance is both relaxing and motivating.
Okay, let’s get to the interesting stuff. There are a few things that I did before even purchasing a journal that I believe are essential. First, you have to consider whether you can actually commit to it. There’s no point in dedicating a few hours and $30 into something that you’ll forget about a week later. If you think that you can, start making a list of the items that you know that you need. I knew that I needed migraine and hydration trackers every month. Once you have the list, go to Pinterest and make a board! This is especially helpful if you’re not the most creative person and can’t think of anything to draw. As this is my first journal, my January month relied pretty heavily on Pinterest so that I could get my bearings. There are so many great ideas out there and are bound to get your creative juices flowing!
My final pages ended up looking something like this:
- My Year in Pixels
- Monthly overviews with goals for the month
- Monthly mood trackers
- Monthly sleep logs
- Monthly migraine trackers
- Monthly hydration trackers
- Monthly spending logs
- Monthly polaroid picture
- Places I want to go
- Things I want to do
Now I will insert some pages from my own book – keep in mind these were sort of practice pages so I could get the hang of it! I forgot to mention earlier but for the calligraphy writing you see all over my book and on Pinterest, it’s much easier than it looks! The steps look like this:
- Write the desired word in regular cursive (or regular print)
- On every downward stroking line, place another line next to it to create a double line.
- Color in the space and viola! You have kind-of calligraphy writing!
- Tweak letters as needed
Okay, sorry, now I will enter the pages of my book.
Lastly, I just want to say how pleased I am with this project and how happy I am that I finally got around to actually doing it. If you’re a person that likes to plan and keep track of your life, I highly recommend creating one of these! Even though it’s January 5th, it’s not too late to start! Better late than never, am I right?
Anyways, thank you so much for coming onto my tiny little blog! I can’t wait to grow through this year with you guys. Don’t forget to comment an subscribe to my newsletter so you never miss a post!
Xx, Emy Diaries
NOTE: I purchased my journal at my local Staples. It is by Dwell Studio. The markers I used are Sharpie art pens.