As its National Stationary Week, I thought I’d share with you the fact that I am once again acting like a blogger cliché. Being original’s overrated these days, right?
A while ago Bullet Journals started doing the rounds on various lifestyle blogs and Instagram, and as soon as I saw them I was hooked. I’m a huge fan of stationary anyway, because it’s all so damn pretty… and ya know, useful. The one piece of stationary that I rarely invest in however is a diary. I feel a bit guilty confessing this to be honest, given that as a self-proclaimed stationary geek I should neglect one of the basic pieces.
Whenever I do start one, usually after finishing all the Christmas shopping and feeling all super motivated, I do it with the best intentions. They are never the Bridget Jones type diary, they are just boring, date orientated things that happen to have a semi-amusing slogan scrolled across the front. As such, within a month, my dedication to being all organised on paper begins to waiver, but I keep at it… because gurrrl can’t be giving up one month in. By about April (ok early, March) it’s usually lying forgotten in a winter handbag, or delegated to being plonked on a shelf in my room on the basis of ‘in sight, in mind’ (this tactic never works, don’t take it as a recommendation.)
What attracted me to the Bullet Journal was the freedom. It is essentially a blank notebook, with dotted graph paper inside – the type that you’re forced to buy for your Maths GCSE. Mine is more of a standard notebook in layout, in that the pages are lined. I’m just a stickler for tradition I guess. Apart from that they are totally your own. You can use colours, you can sketch out your goals or appointments, and you can break time down in chunks that suit you.
I’ve dedicated the first page of my bullet journal to my goals for 2016, separated into Life (& work), Health and Blogging. I’ve given myself set targets under these headings, and colour coded the categories. Seeing the areas separated out, allowed me to think more clearly about what I wanted to achieve in them, rather than just one big vague picture for the year.
I’ve then done a 1 page over-view of the year so far. I’m stealing this idea from so many other bloggers right now, but it’s a brilliant one – at the end of every month I am aiming to do a written entry, just a page long or so. I’m hoping it’ll just be a chance to reflect on what’s happened and what I’ve achieved, a chance to put things in perspective.
I’m splitting the bullet journal into months, because I feel that works best for me, though I know others have gone for quarters of the year, weeks or days. I’ve only written in one month, as I’m hoping to do it one at a time since there are no limitations to how much space you can take. At the start of the month, to be filled in retrospectively I’ve created a page called ‘April Stats’ which is broken down into the 3 main categories. Under the headers, I’ve made areas where I can fill in vital metrics to see how I am progressing towards my goals. I’ve done it this way, so that I can look back as the year goes on, both to keep on track and as a source of motivation – seeing how far I’ve come.
After the stats page, is key items/ideas/tasks for that month that can be ticked off as I do them. Trust me that nothing will make you feel sassier and empowered than seeing that lil page fill up with ticks. I’ve tried to keep the ‘To Do’ area just too big tasks, and all on one page. Part of me feels that if I was to put every single little thing I had to do that month, not only would it spill on too long it would also demotivate me a bit.
The pages after the ‘To Do’ area are my own. I can write when inspiration strikes, doodle or anything else my heart desires. Which is why I’m writing it month by month and not dividing it up beforehand.
The freedom and potential for creative has allowed me to stick to the bullet journal more than I would for a normal diary. Its helps you plan your life without being too rigid.
Disclaimer: If I haven’t succeeded in my plan for world domination by, I take all of these words back.