This time last year I was thinking about starting a Bullet Journal, they had become quite popular online and I thought they were really similar to what I was already doing to I thought I’d give it a go to. I had dreams of Pinterst-worthy pages, filled with beautiful calligraphy and super organised pages but I soon realised that my calligraphy isn’t great, I haven’t got the same patience as the people on Pinterest and I’m not that orgnaised and here’s what else I learnt…

Sometimes pen & paper is better than the digital version
I’m forever stuck in the predicament as to whether I want to digitize my life or if pen and paper is okay but I simply can’t find a way that works for me on my phone or laptop; I can’t find a nice way to store things and I like the freedom you have to draw with a pen and paper.

A dotted diary is very versatile
When I first heard that I needed a dotted diary I thought it was a little unnecessary, why not lined or plain white? The dots allow you to write the same way as you would on lined paper but really help when drawing, especially for graphs and tables. I guess squared would also be useful but would look as nice and delicate as dotted does. The Leuchttrum1917 A5 Dotted are the standard ones people use and are really nice quality.

Decorating the pages is too much for me
When I first started I thought every page would be beautifully decorated and still I love the idea of it but I just don’t have the time or patience for it. The whole point of me having a bullet journal is to be more productive and decorating a page would just be another way to procrastinate. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I use some washi tape or coloured pens (fancy right?) but I need the decor element to be quick and easy.

Simplicity is key
Bullet Journals work differently from person to person, I love the idea of water trackers on each page but I just don’t think it’s a priority for me. I don’t do fancy keys and tick boxes which are pretty standard in the Bullet Journal Community as I find it too tricky and find a simple tick works just as well.

It’s a working progress & making it work for me
Last year I had a go at listing every single restaurant I went to but really didn’t get very far and ditched that idea for 2017. It’s great to learn from last year or the month before to find different things that work for me. I also work back to front in the notebook for all my paid work and it works really well too.

Crossing out is hard, even if my journal was less than perfect
To call my Bujo less than perfect is an understatement, it’s basically a mess but even I find it hard to cross something out and sometimes simply move onto the next page but I suspect it’s a feeling a lot of people have. I actually always skip the first few pages as the pressure of filling them with the right thing is a little too much for me.

I still need a diary, a small one but I need one none the less
I use to have two diaries and a notebook but have since switched to a small light one for my handbag and my Bujo. I use to love the A5 one day view diaries which I could fill with lists, plans and ideas but now don’t think I need a big one. I do still keep a small diary as I don’t plan my Bujo very far in advance so need a diary to kep track of dates but not much more. I think I will sooner or later take my diary digital but for now this is working for me. (Also, worth noting I do have other diaries which were recently sent to me, I love them, they’re beautiful but I don’t currently have much of a use for them but photograph them lots as they look beautiful- more on those soon)

They’re great for future reference 
I just sat and looked through my 2016 Bujo and there was a weird sense of achievement. As I’ve said it’s not pretty but it’s something I worked at for the last year and it’s a stream of my thoughts. I know lots of people throw them away but I keep all my old notebooks as they’re a great way to come back to a certain time in your life or revisit old ideas.

It’s quite a private place
I wanted to dig in and show you my bullet journal but as I was taking these photos I became quite secretive and self-conscious. My boyfriend says I write like a child (and he’s right) so I don’t really like showing my handwriting but more than that inside I have lots of my ideas, dreams and aspirations which I don’t currently want to share on here. I think that’s okay, as it’s my interpretation of a Bullet Journal to fill with whatever I want and I’m very much looking forward to filling up another one this year.

So inclusion, it’s 2017 and I’m starting Bullet Journal number two. They require a tiny bit more work but I love mine. If you’re interested then have a look on Pinterest, YouTube and this Facebook Page for some more inspiration.

What’s your favourite way or organise yourself?

bujo 3 bujo 1 bujo 2 bujo 4 bujo 5

I first heard about Bullet Journaling from Lily Pebbles on Twitter, after a quick Google I realised it was probably something I would enjoy and similar to my current system. If you’re still unsure as to what Bullet Journaling is then head over to Lily’s blog post here to find out more.

I’ve never really had one notebook and instead used a few different pads of paper and notebooks for different things. I like to have timetables and lists but use to keep these separate and was very much drawn to the idea that I could have these all together in a diary that I designed myself to suit all my needs.

Getting started was a little scary but there are guides all over the internet and I opted for the Leuchtturm Dotted notebook. I decided that I wasn’t going to be too precious with mine and not worry too much about my horrible writing or bother trying to improve my cursive. I do occasionally still decorate my pages because it’s fun but usually with washi tape or small doodles.

I want my Bullet Journal to be across between a journal, organiser and a place for all my notes and lists. I started by adding in the organiser aspect and drawing out some calendars and adding in important dates. I also added a page to track my blog stats, a quotes page, a page with all the hotels I’m staying at this year as I think it’ll be cool to look back on in the future, a list of films I’ve seen this year, blog post ideas, a list of things to pack every time I go away and more. This might not be how everyone else uses their journal but I’m really enjoying all these lists.

At the end/beginning of every day/month/week I start a new page or section where I plan for the time ahead, write to-do lists and brainstorm ideas. I don’t do this on a absolutely daily basis but when I am having an at home productive day then I think it really helps and theres  even a key on how you should mark items once they’re done. I also love starting the new month, drawing out a timetable of posts and I really find that getting everything helps me stay on track.

I think my Bullet Journal isn’t really like the ones you see on Pinterest but I’m really enjoying and finding it useful. I know a lot of people already have a sort of DIY diary which is great, there is no need to change over to a Bullet Journal but if you’re overwhelmed by all the notebooks and pieces of paper that you may have then I would really recommend considering a BuJo.

One more thing, I do still use my diary/organiser as I like that all the dates are written out until the end of the year but much much less and I really wish I hadn’t bought a one-page-a-day one, I now write all my lists in my BuJo. I am considering moving my calendar onto my phone but I do love writing it all down.

Have you tried Bullet Journalling? What if your current system like?