I meant to post an update after I had been using my bullet journal for about a month, but I blinked and six months flew by. 😉 Oh well, now I have a better handle on how I use it and what works best for me. It’s taken some tinkering, but I can definitely say that I absolutely love this system to organize my days, thoughts, and to do list! I thought I’d break it down by section and tell you what works and what I’ve tweaked to fit my needs.
I’m on the second page of my index now, and while I do use it occasionally, most of the time I find myself just flipping through until I find the right page. Maybe if I was better about keeping it up to date I’d use it more.
This is a central part of the original bullet journal system, but I actually don’t use this at all. It’s easier for me just to keep using my Cozi calendar on my phone for holidays, birthdays, vacations, etc.
This is where I’ve made the most changes over the months.
You can kind of see the progression from April to August, where I implemented my current spread that I will probably stick with. I like having a place to write down all my appointments and activities for the month. I keep them on my phone too, but it helps everything stick in my memory better if I write it down on paper (lately my long-term memory is shot. I blame the kids).
As you can see from my August spread I’m sticking pretty close to the original monthly log, but I divide my time into day and evening which helps me visualize my plans and keeps me from feeling too overwhelmed. On the second page of the spread I have my daily habits tracker which I flipped from horizontal to vertical so it would fit on one page.
This tracker has been a game changer for me, and really deserves its own post. I also have space for four Bible verses which I’m working on memorizing (one a week).
Ever since I read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp I’ve tried to be more mindful of the hand of God working in my daily life by recognizing the simple gifts He gives each day. I kept a separate thankfulness journal for a while, but slacked off the habit. Thanks to my bullet journal I’ve picked it back up again. Each evening I try to spend just a minute reflecting back over the day and remembering a couple moments that I am thankful for. This practice really has helped me slow down and remember, rather than letting each day whiz by in a blur and wondering what on earth I did with my time. It’s especially helpful on those tough days full of whining, fighting, and crying to remember those bright spots too.
I’ve streamlined my daily logs to just record my scheduled events and to-do list, and it really doesn’t take more than ten minutes each night to look over my list, cross off what I did, and set up the next day’s log. I design a cute little date header, write down the weather forecast, and jot down my dinner menu plan. Then I check my calendar and list any appointments and things I know I need to get done. This is definitely the most valuable part of my journal, and where it has made the most difference in my life. Getting in the habit of reflecting over the day and planning for the next has really changed me. Instead of just reacting to what comes up or feeling like I’m wasting my time or not accomplishing anything I can see it all right there in black and white. I feel productive when I mark things off the to do list, and I’m so much freer to spend time reading, blogging, or just surfing social media because I know I’m still able to accomplish everything I need to.
|This was a fun list we brainstormed together as a family at the beginning of summer. As you can see we did about half of it.|
I don’t have as many collections as I thought I would, but I do have a few that I update regularly like my prayer list and my Books Read list. I also have my blog schedule in here (which is one of the reasons I’ve been posting more regularly) and I’ve started my Fall Capsule Wardrobe list (I can’t wait to share it with you!)
So yeah, I love my bullet journal, and really can’t imagine life without it. If you are looking for a system to help you organize your schedule and all the random ideas bouncing around in your head I highly recommend you try it out. Start with this video, and then read this blog to get started. If you use a bullet journal or are planning to start one I’d love to hear about it!