Hello, and welcome to this months 'In the Spotlight' featuring Bullet Journaling. I stumbled across bullet journaling (Bujo) a few months ago; I cant remember how, but most likely from Youtube. Now, I am not going to profess that I am an expert in Bujo - I only started my first one in June, so hence why this is spotlight post. However, I wanted to bring it to the attention of you all in the hope that you may discover a new hobby to keep you organised.
The concept of bullet journaling
Bujo was created by Ryder Caroll, you can find more information here. He created a system where you can create an evolving system to plan, track and keep note of everyday life to increase your productivity and stay organised. The original concept of Bujo is very minimalist and simple, and for many this is ideal. However, you will notice if you search Bullet Journaling on Facebook, Instagram and Pintrest this is so many expressions of the format. There are some very creative and expressive spreads where many incorporate art journaling as well. Nevertheless, Bujos can be as simplistic or creative as you want it to be. This is the best part of it. You create it, you design it and you evolve over time to suit your needs.
The main points of a journal consist of a key - a list of symbols you use beside each entry in the journal to denote if it is a task, research, event, urgent etc. - an index, a future log, a monthly log, a weekly spread and daily spread. However, please note, if you find one of these isn't suited to you, then you don't have to do it. I don't keep daily logs, a weekly log is enough for me.
In addition to these, you can also add trackers, planners, and miscellaneous pages for journaling, keep notes or for expressing your creativity.
This Youtube video explains the basic concept well and is by Ryder Carroll.
What do you need to start a bullet journal?
You don't need a lot of equipment to get started, all you need is a notebook and pen! If you are unsure if a Bujo is for you, then I recommend you just stick to these two items to begin with. You will find a lot people will mention a variety of books to use a journal, or which pens don't bleed or ghost. However, until you know if a Bujo is right for you, then just ignore all of this. Then once you are happy with how your Bujo is going and want to explore it more, then perhaps invest in a nice set of pens etc.
When you start looking on the web for bullet journaling you will find a wealth of information, which to start with can be overwhelming. I found that I researched a lot before I started my Bujo to make sure I had a rough idea of why I wanted to use a bullet journal and what pages would suit me. I decided to spend a month researching and planning. Then the week before June I began to start laying out all my pages so I was ready to start using it in June.
Examples from my bullet journal
Now I didn't start off with a minimalist concept to my pages. However, at the same time I am no where near as creative as many Bujo'ers are out there. What you wish to add to a page, and how you do it is entirely up to you. Some keep it clean, whilst others add drawings, stamps, paints, washi tapes etc.
Bullet Journaling: Future Log
My first spread you see below is my future log page. This is a place for you to note down any planned events that get booked in way in advance, so when you come to do the monthly spread you can input these pre-booked events in.
Bullet Journaling: Monthly Log
The next spread I am showing you is my first montly spread I completed for June. On one page you have a line for each day of the month, and you can place any events on the future log in this section. I divided this page in 2 as I wanted a personal and blog log for the month.
On the page opposite I created sections I wanted to concentrate on and create goals for. When I came to set up each week, I would refer to this section to see if I could schedule an item in and complete a monthly task.
This second monthly spread above shows how I have evolved and changed the layout slightly. I found it a bit much to be drawing boxes around each section and instead I used coloured titles to help break up and identify each section. Although not completely minimalist, it is more simple in appearance to my previous layout.
Bullet Journaling: Weekly Log
Below is one of the weekly layouts I used in June. I found I tended to change the layout for each week and it wasn't until July when I decided to get rid of the boxes, did I settle on a layout I like. As I work normal hours within the week, and don't need to track what I do at work, I felt I didn't need such big spaces for the week days. I tend to fit more in at the weekends, and instead made the space for Saturday and Sunday larger to accommodate more tasks and entries.
I don't do daily spreads; as I mentioned I don't need to track what I do at work. When you research around daily spreads, some people like to keep a track of their complete day, ie. how much sleep, when to exercise, when to eat etc. However, I wasn't wanting to organised myself to that level of detail. As long as I assigned a task for that day, I would do it no matter what time. However, this could work for you so don't rule it out and take a look at the examples out there!
Bullet Journaling: Trackers
You can also use our Bujo as a tracker for all sorts of different things. From spending and saving, to exercise and weight loss. Below are a few spreads of different pages I keep within my bujo. I find them useful to keep track so I don't forget and to help motivate me.
This final spread is a monthly welcome page. Now by all means you don't have to include them, it doesn't serve a huge purpose other than announcing the start of the new month. But for any of you out there that wants to add some creativity to your Bujo, these pages are a great a way to do this.
Hopefully, this post has highlighted a new concept for you. I have certainly noticed a difference in how productive and organised I am since starting a Bujo. I have a place to note things down so I don't forget it and I have somewhere to help keep me motivated and focused. Let me know if you start your own Bujo; I would love to see it below or using #prettylittlebutton!
Remember there is so much inspiration and knowledge out there to help get you started. If you are a creative type I recommend following Boho Berry as she has so much inspiration and knowledge. Link to her page here.
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Till next time,