This time of year it is pretty typical to be “busy“. Conversations spin around the topic like a dizzy merry go round. And I am no exception, the craziness has filled my head for the last couple of months and it was exhausting. With all the everyday house and school and mom stuff, then add on all the plans I have for teaching art workshops and finding the time to paint; well, yeah, it was crazy town in my head. It wasn’t that I had a problem with busy, everyone is busy. What I needed was some serious organization. And I found it!
My problem is that I am a planner and I have to write things down. My husband is a google calendar kind of guy. His work calendar is digital and he adds his personal things there too. I use google to put our kid’s stuff there and thought it would work for my personal things also. But I just CAN”T BE A DIGITAL CALENDAR KIND OF GIRL. I have gone back and forth between paper and computer so many times. I would have events digitally and notes, lists, and tidbits ALL OVER THE PLACE. I was constantly saying to myself, “I know I wrote that down somewhere”. I had tried paper planners many times over the years and the problem I had was that I needed more. I wanted somewhere to store lists like restaurants I wanted to try or birthdays. I wanted a place to doodle when the inspiration hit or I had a couple of minutes while waiting in the pickup line at school. Digital planners didn’t really offer me a solution and a combination of the two was definitely not working out.
My answer was bullet journaling. You have seen it on Instagram or Pinterest, I sure. Mostly in the form of cutesy titles and full of carefully drawn out boxes for everything. I was drawn to this at first I must admit, but after seeing Ryder Carroll’s bullet journal introduction videos, I knew simple bullet journaling was going to be right up my alley. I can’t even remember how I came across it. I was searching the app store for something and I saw the tagline, “the analog system for the digital age.”
I just sat there for a minute and thought “Holy shit, that is exactly what I need”.
If you are a person that needs to write things down but also likes the convenience of having to jot notes on your phone, take a look at this system right now!
What I like about this is that the page is free for plenty of planning AND still has room for little creative doodles. Also, planning out lists (like the ones I had all over the place) is right there in the same journal. This is a game changer people!
So back to the tagline that originally caught my attention, analog for the digital age. The bullet journal system has an iPhone “companion app”. This means, when I am out on my morning walk and an idea comes into my mind, I can go into the app and jot down the note. The app will remind me two times a day to move these “reflections” to my paper journal; because in 48 hours the digital note will disappear. Yep, brilliant. It also goes one step further and organizes your journals, so you can find out what you wrote and in what journal it is in. You can read and watch more about that here. You would think I would be making tons of money off all this positive feedback, but no, it is just an amazing system that has really allowed me to finally be in control of all my little floating thoughts.
Below are some photos on how simple this journal can be. This is my layout for the first 6 months of 2018. Super simple and a small area for little doodles. It gets the job done and is by no means perfect.
This photo is my December monthly spread that is a basic month outline with a fun little snowglobe doodle in the corner.
I love the flexibility of this layout because I choose how long or short my week layouts are displayed. This particular spread started on a Wednesday and ended on Sunday. I took this photo after Wednesday evening, after the day was complete. You can see the little task symbols were completed or migrated to future days that week.
One of the things I would tend to write in one of the 5 different notebooks I was trying to make work was a log of my dreams or something fun that occurred that day. With this system, I have a monthly snippets and gratitude page to jot down these ideas. When the journal is full, I can add photos of these pages to the companion app and hashtag it. Can you feel my excitement?!?
If you are like me and are fed up with the battle between digital and paper calendars, I highly suggest checking out this system. All you need is a notebook (mine is Moleskine from Barnes and Noble) and a pen (I use .03 Micron, black). There are so many ideas on Pinterest and Instagram about bullet journaling, but I highly recommend keeping it simple. One thing you don’t want is to feel stressed about decorating a calendar.
If you want to see some of the doodles and layouts in my journal, you can follow me on Instagram.
And if you want to share this post, you can pin it here.