Planner Friday: Adventures in Bullet Journaling

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As you probably know, my current planner is a coil-bound Plum Paper vertical.  When I bought it I had hoped I could use it for everything – lists, reference, weekly and monthly planning, long-range planning, money stuff, Etsy stuff…but alas.  Very few of us plannerheads have found a single solution for everything.  There’s always something your planner doesn’t do well.

As you also know, I love lists, and have had great fun making list books in the past – those were for fun more than practical use, but periodically I’ve combined the two.  If only, I thought, I could find a system that was a planner and a list book!

Enter the Bullet Journal…sort of.

Bullet Journaling refers to a specific method of planning and list-making that was created by Ryder Carroll.  The idea is that all you need for a planner is a notebook and pen; it’s a straightforward system that can be equally useful for no-frills list making and crazy artistic doodle-maven planner depravity.  It’s all in what you do with it.

I won’t explain the whole system here, but I did try it, and while I love the DIY nature of Bullet Journaling (the plannerverse term for one is a “BuJo,” which sounds silly to me, but I’m not about to call it a BJ), it turns out I like my premade weekly planner!  I like making stickers and decorating it like I already do!

However, I quite happily adapted the concepts behind the Bullet Journal – specifically the indexing system and the use of a dot grid notebook – to create a new list book, which makes an excellent partner for my Plum.

The dynamic nature of a Bullet Journal lends itself best to project planning, short-to-middle-term lists, and monthly/weekly tracking.  Since a notebook will be filled up much more quickly, long term things like my bill payment chart can stay in my Plum, but keeping project lists and such in a separate notebook means my Plum won’t get as hugely overstuffed.

Right now I’m rocking a blue Moleskine dot grid notebook.  Here are some of the pages I’ve included so far.

The Index is the most important page of a traditional Bullet Journal.
The Index is the most important page of a traditional Bullet Journal.
Project planning - obviously I had to block out a few things.
Project planning – obviously I had to block out a few things.
Interesting quotes from a book I read.
Interesting quotes from a book I read.
A fun visual To-Read list - I totally stole this idea from several other people on Pinterest. I'm not sure where it originally came from.
A fun visual To-Read list – I totally stole this idea from several other people on Pinterest. I’m not sure where it originally came from. As you finish a book you color it in.
You can also use it as, well, an actual journal, with or without doodles, and add your entries to your index.
You can also use it as, well, an actual journal, with or without doodles, and add your entries to your index.
And of course I *have* to include some lists that are just for fun.
And of course I *have* to include some lists that are just for fun.
My vegan tracker for June - I thought this turned out really prettily, and am using the same design for July.
My vegan tracker for June – I thought this turned out really prettily, and am using the same design for July.

If you’re interested in Bullet Journaling, there are myriad resources out there, especially on Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram.  Some of my favorites are

Bullet Journal Junkies – a massive board on Pinterest that covers pretty much everything.

@Christina77Star – Instagram – a fun, colorful doodle-filled example of bullet journaling.

@passion.themed.life – another Instagram, and I believe she has a blog as well.

Boho Berry – YouTube channel, also on Instagram and Pinterest.  Here’s one of her videos that will give you a great idea of what a more traditional yet delightfully creative Bullet Journal looks like:

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2 thoughts on “Planner Friday: Adventures in Bullet Journaling

  1. Thanks for sharing these pages — the books-to-read is such a great visual, and the vine-y vegan tracker is a pretty option for daily tracking. Looking forward to checking out the links you shared.

    Unrelated: I’m in the middle of another reread of The Agency, after finishing another reread of the Shadow World series. I seem to end up rereading one series right after the other about once a year. The relationships among the various characters in both series are some of my most favorite relationships in fiction.

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