Things are changing around here (in the bullet journal department, anyway). They have been for a while, to be honest. Gone are the days of strict habit tracking. I am all about creative expression and to-do lists now. It’s been this way for a while, hence the new art bujo account on Instagram (shameless plug I know, go check it out if that tickles your interest @alys.bujo). Today I thought I’d talk about the journey that explains how I got here, and include a selection of pages from January to show you what I’ve been up to…
The big thing I always go on about when it comes to bullet journals, honestly the main reason I love them really, is the fact that they are so versatile. And by that I don’t just mean each individual can adapt the basic bujo principles to fit their lifestyle and mindset (although this is a wonderful thing too) but that you can adapt the detail and rigidity of your journal each month to fit perfectly with your current needs and desires.
Last month, my bullet journal was pretty detailed. I had a lot of monthly spreads and things were meticulously planned in. If you missed that post, here’s a taster…
This is possibly the most excited I’ve been for a bullet journal setup post because I’m starting a new notebook this month. Yep, that’s right, I’m stepping on the Leuchtturm 1917 bandwagon for my new bullet journal. And it’s bright orange.
I wanted something that was going to cheer me up when I looked at it and I think this just about fits the bill. Cracking the spine of a new notebook can be a little daunting, and I definitely had a blank moment staring at the first page. As soon as I got into it though, things flowed a little easier.
As this is the beginning of a new bullet journal, I’ve added a few extra pages before my September spreads which will hopefully be helpful throughout the academic year. I know many of you mainly clicked on this post to see the photos, and not read paragraphs of writing, and so I’m just going to get straight into it…
I’m hoping this journal is going to last me through to at least the end of the academic year (and perhaps over next summer too) hence this title page. I’ve gone for quite a neutral plant theme, as I didn’t really want the start of the journal to define the vibe of the whole notebook.
This is my first time creating a future log – I figured it could be helpful for term dates, university events, birthdays, holidays… anything and everything. Basically a quick overview of the next six months. I have no idea how frequently I’ll use this, or if I’ll find it helpful at all, but I’m willing to give it a go.
Life in pixels
I’ve seen this method used to track many things related to wellbeing – mainly mood. The idea is to colour in each day of the year with how you felt that day. I’ve decided to draw two grids – one for general physical and mental wellbeing (graded good/okay/bad) and the other to note down if I felt any pain that day. As I’ve had on-and-off stomach problems, I think this could be useful for me to try to identify any patterns. It seems a little ambitious for me to think I’ll remember to fill this in every single day, but I’ve decided it’s better to have it there so I can use it when I want to – no pressure.
And now we’re onto the monthly spreads for September! I’ve decided to go for a toadstool theme as it feels fittingly autumnal and toadstools are very easy to doodle. As I don’t have September on my future log, I can use this page to note down any upcoming dates of importance (like moving to university!)
Line a day
This is another new spread for me – although not so different to the gratitude pages I’ve kept before in previous months. I want to record a sentence or two about each day here, so that I have something to jog my memory.
Goals and finances
This one is pretty self-explanatory, really. The first page is the things I want to work on in September, and the second is divided into areas I’ll be spending money on this month.
This one is a little different to the usual grid I draw of habits I want to encourage myself to do. This month, I’ve split it into things that are important to consider each day (and so the list acts as a reminder) and then the things I’d like to do more of but don’t necessarily expect to be daily activities. The toadstool drawings indicate the goal amount of times I’d like to have spent on each activity by the end of the month. I’ll colour in a row every time I do one of these things and hopefully I’ll reach the top of the toadstools!
For the next spread, I’m carrying on the blogging stats page I introduced into my bullet journal last month. This page is helpful because it helps me to see which platforms are growing better than others, and which need a little more attention. On the opposite page, I’ve left space for brainstorming blog post ideas.
And we’ve finally reached the last spread, for which I have a small confession: I really don’t like keeping a food diary. I find it tedious and a little obsessive and I don’t think I’d choose to do this normally. But, because of the stomach problems I’ve experienced, it could be helpful for identifying trigger foods (although my attempts at this have been unsuccessful so far). And so I’m going into September with the gritted teeth and the intention to fill this in every night. Wish me luck.
Washi tape tabs
To make filling in all these spreads a little easier, I’ve decided to use coloured strips of washi tape to indicate which pages need to be updated daily and which can be left a little longer. I think I’m being quite ambitious this month with the number of spreads I want to keep updated – but September always gives me a burst of energy to be a little more ambitious. So I will do my best!
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So I’m doing something a little different for today’s installment of (what I guess you could call) my bullet journal series. Normally, when showing photos of my bullet journal and explaining how I use it, I only post my monthly spreads – like this one for August. These posts include all the trackers and other pages I use throughout the month. However, a lot of people seem to like these posts and want more, so strap yourselves in kids, today you’re getting what you wished for – more journal photos! (Probably not you in particular, but some other strange internet-dweller like me who gets their thrills through arty organisation).
August has been the first month in which I’ve really stepped up my weekly spreads – previous months have had the same design for every single day, whereas this month is different each and every week! That’s why I thought it would be nice for this to be the first set of weekly spreads that I share with you all…
It’s time for everyone’s favourite post of the month: my bullet journal spreads for the next few weeks. After taking a little bit of time away from the intensity of this form of creative organisation, I eased myself back into it all last month with a sort-of-half setup. I also got a tad more creative with the design of my pages, opting for a watercolour lavender theme, and my interest in using watercolours only grew when I started planning my August setup.
I feel like I’m fully back into bullet journalling again now and I think that becomes pretty obvious when looking at these pages compared to my January ones, for example. I am also pretty excited because this will be the last month that fits in this notebook – September will be the time for a new one using fresh stationery and everything! I’ll also be setting up a lot of pages related to studying/student life as my university course starts next month too. So in the meantime, whilst you’re all waiting for that back-to-school content, I present to you my bullet journal spreads for August: the month for eating ice cream…
Since the start of 2018 I have been a huge advocate for bullet journalling. Using a notebook full of organisational layouts has really helped me to stay focussed more often than not throughout the last four months – even when I’ve been struggling a little. Aside from the monthly and weekly spreads I’ve relied on heavily since January, I have had fun experimenting with pages dedicated to developing a specific goal. I’ve done this with food, gratitude, wellbeing and a variety of other things, but April has been the month I’ve turned to fitness.
So many of us struggle to get going with even the most basic fitness schedule, let alone stick at it, and so this month I have been taking advantage of the slightly warmer (and sometimes sunny) spring weather to get outside. It’s easy to make up excuse after excuse to not be active, but I think that becomes harder as the weather gets nicer. The improving weather has been a huge motivational factor for me, but that’s not enough on its own. Not in England anyway…
If I’ve learnt one thing from the last three months of bullet journalling, it’s that people change. Our mindsets, priorities, goals, moods, levels of motivation and determination, wishes, strengths, weaknesses, abilities… All of these are versatile, malleable qualities and depending on life events are subject to change.
Personally, I have noticed how all of these things impact my ability to organise myself and manage my time. Because of this, it makes sense to adopt a method of managing myself that is easily adaptable. Enter the bullet journal. I love bullet journalling for exactly this reason: each month is a new opportunity to organise myself in a way that fits my current state, even if that’s totally different to the previous month.