Spotlight On: Bullet Journal

Hello Readers!  Well, I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed by my to do list.  For a long time, I didn’t keep track of my to do list on paper because I often will feel overwhelmed by it or by trying to perfect my list.  However, I am a planner, and I have been known to over plan well in advance of being in advance.  For example, I’m currently preparing for a possible long-term organization project with family members out of town, and I am already planning my weeks and schedule through mid June.

But before I get into my process, allow me to explain the history of the Bullet Journal.  If you haven’t learned about it before, the Bullet Journal (or BuJo) was developed by Ryder Carroll from New York as a means of organizing his schedule and his to-do list in a streamlined method that implemented bullet points.  Hence the name.  Since his invention of this method, it has evolved into an art form completely of its own.  It can be as elaborate or minimalistic as you please.  I prefer a mix myself.  I have pages with my writing or planning process, and then I’ll have pages of nothing but my schedule.  So, let’s get into my BuJo and how I got hooked.

Now, having a list of projects and tasks to do was rough on me.  I have tried tons of methods to keep track of my goals and my projects, but it’s difficult to get started on the daily tasks to reach my goals when I couldn’t see how to break it down.  And using products like the Passion Planner or the Crush It Planner don’t help me break down my goals.  I’m a literary person, and I prefer to work through my concerns or thoughts with words, and most of these products don’t allow me enough space to get it all on paper.

But the Bullet Journal does.  Because there is no “end” to my space, I can write as much as I want or work through my ideas to formulate a plan.  This gives me a means to break down my projects and ideas in a way that makes sense for me, and it helps me plan my daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists.  This really does help with my own schedule organization, and it helps me learn how I spend my time every day.

What was most important was learning how others utilize their own BuJos and being inspired by their methods.  I’ve tried a few of them myself, and I found some of my favorite pages and methods to really help me get through my to do list.  First, for me, I had to implement a Year-At-A-Glance section at the front of the BuJo.  This was key for me to have access to a yearly calendar as well as a space to write my monthly events and activities.  I use my space for the monthly events to keep track of birthdays, appointments (such as our son Sean’s check ups with his pediatrician that I have to schedule three months out), and my cleaning focus for that month.  Knowing what cleaning project I want to tackle each month, such as my wardrobe twice per year or my carpet shampooing and deep cleaning the upholstery once per year, helps me plan out my months later on.

Next I created a yearly goals section.  I have a few goals for the year: reading goals, weight loss goals, money saving goals, and decluttering goals.  Having a space to keep track of my goals is crucial.  I also can easily refer to all of my goals to see if I have reached any mini-breaks or mini-rewards for my goals.  For example, I have implemented a few non-food related rewards into my weight loss chart built into it.  At the first mark of twenty pounds down, I have a mini reward to get a pedicure.  At the next twenty down, I have another mini reward for a facial.  And from there they go on.  I chose rewards that would be a “treat” for me and ones that I don’t always get due to our tight finances.

After these, I included a section for my monthly calendar and monthly projects list.  My calendar is a simple calendar with just the dates and any important information such as appointments, birthdays, anniversaries, and meetings.  My monthly projects includes the breakdown for the month for my goals or cleaning projects, including the monthly due dates and start dates.  This is all for reference so I can flip back and keep everything organized throughout the month.

Once I have this done, I start on my weekly sections.  At first, I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to organize this, but I soon found my favorite method that helps with no just my to do list but also with planning out the week a little in advance.  I can’t remember which BuJo it was, but I saw one user who added in the weather forecast for each day of the week in their BuJo for easy access.  Now, most of my weeks are fairly simple to manage all week since I am a SAHM and I am home most days.  So, it is easy for me to prep for the entire week ahead of time by writing out my week on the weekend, leaving space each day for a couple of extra to-do tasks based on how the week goes, and just leave my BuJo open to my week during the week to cross off my tasks and add to as the days pass.

By having the forecast listed on each day, I can easily plan out my wardrobe for the week as well.  Now, I don’t separate out my outfits for the week ahead of time in an organized fashion, but I do hold off on wearing certain items during the week or dressing for my week as it happens.  For example, I knew last week that it would be fairly nice all week except for on Friday when we had some rain.  I had a meeting to attend that afternoon for a real estate project, and I knew I would want my favorite navy stripe Tommy Hilfiger sweater for that day, so I held off on wearing it—opting to wear my other sweaters all week—to have this one ready for Friday.  I also knew I wanted to wear my red wool pencil skirt and black v neck sweater on Sunday, so I made a mental note of that when creating my weekly schedule so that I would remember to keep these articles available all week.

And that’s how I utilize my BuJo for now.  Tell me, Readers, what pages do you use in your own BuJos?

Until next time,

-BBM

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