It’s time for an update! Last time I talked to you about my bullet journal was back at the very beginning when I was just starting to use my new journal. If you want to read that past blog post, you can click here to read. So I decided today I’d give you an update, a year later, to share what I’ve learned through my personal experience bullet journalling and what I’ve liked and haven’t liked about the process.
What I Learned & Liked About Bullet Journalling After Doing It For A Year
First and foremost I learned that bullet journalling is whatever you make it to be. If you want it to be simplistic and just a way to keep track of your thoughts, plans and ideas then that’s what you can make your journal to be. If you want your journal to be a piece of artwork and a place to escape to, then you can do that to. I loved the flexibility I had in my bullet journal! If I didn’t like how something worked I could always change the layout or intention the next week or month. Now I personally am not a great artist when it comes to pen and paper, so I chose for my bullet journal to have a more simplistic approach. I loved the process of getting all of my thoughts and ideas out of my head and onto paper where it could be tracked and acted on. I also liked the ability to track whatever I wanted and to use my journal as a way to hold myself accountable and to create new habits. I’m always looking to improve and be a better version of myself, so my journal was able to help me with this as well! Also can we talk about how satisfying it is to cross things off your list too! I learned it doesn’t matter the tools you have, you can make your bullet journal work for you. Last year I used a lined notebook I bought at Indigo, a regular BIC pen and Crayola pencil crayons to create my bullet journal. This gave me the freedom to experiment and find what worked for me without investing a lot of time or money.
What I Am Doing This Year With My Bullet Journal
This year I decided to try a dotted notebook like what is commonly found when you look at Bullet Journal notebooks or spreads. I originally was hesitant to try the dotted notebook as I thought the dots would be obtrusive to any layouts or designs I had on my pages. The dots aren’t actually an issue for me once I got used to it. The darkness of the black ink contrasts sharply on the page and the dots almost seem to fade when you’re writing or reading in the journal. What really drew me to try the dotted journal was the fact that it would make creating graphs and charts easier than in the lined journal I had previously. This was a huge time saver for me and I also feel I have more creativity and flexibility without having the lines on each page.
I’ve decided this year to track more things in my bullet journal. I’ve adapted the mentality that this journal will be like a snapshot of my current life so if I were to ever look back on this journal I can see where I was in life and what was going on that was important to me. I’ve set goals for the year, then broken them down into quarterly and monthly goals. I have financial trackers in this new journal as well; tracking debt repayment, net worth, and monthly financial bills. In my health and wellness world I’m tracking my weight and body measurements, moods, sleep, water intake, steps and activity level. There’s often days when I feel off and I don’t really know why. So I decided tracking these various things that could affect my mental or physical health was important to finding habits that may not be beneficial to me or my health and wellness goals. House chores is another thing that always seems to be easily put off to “later”. So creating a simple tracker to help remind me to do certain things regularly, will be a help to me. I’ve also updated my weekly spread to better work with my life. Having separate columns for my personal to do list, my work reminder list and my husband’s business to do list was really helpful to keep track of everything. I decided to add a next week section as well. I only create my weekly spreads the Sunday before the week begins. This means anything I thought of in the current week that I wanted to do in the next week didn’t really have a place to be written down. The next week section should help alleviate that. I may experiment with other weekly spreads later on, but for now this one seems to be working.
I decided to invest in some other pens as well. My ballpoint BIC pen seemed to be dying as it was leaving blobs of ink in my writing or lines and would then often smudge which I hated. So I did some research (thanks friends! 🙂 ) and decided to try out the Pigma Micron PN pens. They write really nicely and dry quickly which I love. The fine point allows me to write easily in small spaces. So far I only have the black, blue and red pen, so this month is looking a lot less colourful than last year’s journal. Once I figure out how I want to add more colour in my trackers and spreads I’ll be sure to share another update. (Maybe I need to invest in some brush pens? Suggestions welcome!)
That wraps up my bullet journal update. If you also bullet journal, feel free to leave tips or recommendations for your favourite spread layouts or pens in the comments below!